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Old Sep 24, 2008, 3:54 PM   #11
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JohnG wrote:
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Ok, yes, not enough depth of field. Thanks for the example, but was it cropped or reduced (or both), and at what focal length was it shot?
Well obviously it has been reduced since it's posted here. A bit of cropping but not much. My point was - if the OP shoots beyond the ranges I specified their results will be much worse.
So at what focal length was this shot?
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 5:14 PM   #12
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So at what focal length was this shot?
Out of curiosity - what difference does it make? If I tell you 200, 300 or 400 - what impact is there to the point being made? Especially since I don't recall the distances involved - but you already should be able to intuit the distances are less than 50 yards.
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 8:34 PM   #13
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JohnG wrote:
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So at what focal length was this shot?
...- but you already should be able to intuit the distances are less than 50 yards.
That depends on how big the dog is.

If that was a Coke can or a car tire out there, then I could judge the distance.

But thanks anyway.
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 9:02 PM   #14
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If you are on a budget and tele interests you, my recommendation would be an olympus camera. Their smaller sensor leads to a 2x crop factor. It means that a 200mm lens, which on a canon, nikon or sony entry level dslr would be equivalent to 300-320 mm, is a 400mm on the olympus.

So while virtually every mount has at least a 200mm f2.8 tele lens available for less than 1000, only the olympus (and panasonic) would give you a 400mm reach.

Additionally, some of the olympus kits include the 70-300, a fine lens for the price.
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 9:24 PM   #15
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If you are on a budget and tele interests you, my recommendation would be an olympus camera. Their smaller sensor leads to a 2x crop factor. It means that a 200mm lens, which on a canon, nikon or sony entry level dslr would be equivalent to 300-320 mm, is a 400mm on the olympus.
Here's the problem - having a smaller sensor doesn't magically give a lens the ability to focus farther. For instance my 20d has a smaller sensor than my 1d. And yet my 1d actually focuses better at distance. Lenses are designed to operate over a certain distance - once you get near 'infinity' focus you really lose focus accuracy. And then, by the time you crop down you end up with a poor shot.

Having a smaller sensor helps for getting more pixels on your subject for a given distance - but the notion that you get more 'reach' isn't really true. The lens itself is a limiting factor from my experience. So regardless of whether I use my camera with the 1.3x sensor or the 1.6x sensor I don't get more 'reach' by being able to focus longer distances. And as I indicated, the better focus system trumps the smaller sensor. Now, conversely - many birders like to use the smaller crop canons for birds in trees. They get more pixels on the subject - still at the same distances they would shoot at with a 1-series camera. That theory is great with a small bird because you're still within the lenses working range.

For moving subjects any gain from having the smaller sensor will be wiped out by the loss in AF performance. Oly is a great system for certain things - but it's strong suit isn't tracking moving subjects. And, in my experience the supposed 'reach' advantage of smaller sensors is a red herring. Otherwise every sports and wildlife shooter on the planet would sell off their Nikon and Canon gear and buy Oly. And that's just not happening. I'm not saying they're bad cameras but they're just not as good in this arena as some of the other brands.
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 10:28 PM   #16
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johnG,

nice clarification about the accuracy of focusing from a distance.

but I guess the point dlpin is trying to make is that the olympus system will generally give you more reach for the same buck. serious sports/wildlife shooters won't give up their canons/nikons because they're willing to spend 1000+ usd on a single lens.

I happen to own a nikon d50 and a tamron 70-300 - that's far from being anything special, but it's not very different from what nikon/canon users on a budget will get for tele shots. that'll give me a 450mm eq. range, and at that point, shots are already quite soft even at f/8 or f/11. I'm sure you'd do better with a different lens, but not much better. I've seen some sample pictures from this 70-300 dlpin talks about, and, at 600mm eq., I could be wrong - but don't think you'll get that kind of IQ on a sony/nikon/canon, at 600mm eq., for that price. focusing might be slightly less precise with an oly at that point, but then again, you get slightly deeper DOF with a smaller sensor at a given aperture. (maybe that even explains it - not sure though. but I'd guess one makes up for the other.)

bottom line is, being a nikon user myself, an olympus e-5xx (built-in IS) + 70-300mm kit would, IMHO, be the best option for tele shots on that kind of budget.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 7:03 AM   #17
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kezs wrote:
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bottom line is, being a nikon user myself, an olympus e-5xx (built-in IS) + 70-300mm kit would, IMHO, be the best option for tele shots on that kind of budget.
True, the crop factor of the Olympus 4/3 system might be an advantage. The disadvantage of the Olympus, though, is that the autofocus system isn't very good for sports/action/wildlife shooting. So, having the additional reach doesn't help if the subject is moving and the camera can't keep it in focus.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 9:15 AM   #18
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kezs wrote:
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but I guess the point dlpin is trying to make is that the olympus system will generally give you more reach for the same buck.
And that is exactly my point. it does NOT give you 'more reach'. It really doesn't. You will NOT be able to shoot subjects further away with more accuracy. It will give you more pixels on a subject THE SAME DISTANCE as with shooting with a larger sensor. This subject is the problem with over-simplifying things. "MORE REACH" is an inacurrate statement. What I am saying is: Take a Canon or Nikon camera with good 300mm lens and take the oly camera with their 70-300mm lens. I am saying the OLY will NOT be able to take good photos from further away than the Canon or Nikon of this subject matter. So it does NOT give you 'more reach'.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 10:01 AM   #19
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johnG,

based on your statement that oly will give you more pixels on a subject the same distance, I think it's fairly accurate to say that it will give you the same number of pixels on a subject that's farther away - considering the image is sharp enough in both situations. because you didn't mention lens sharpness/ca, and because, judging from the samples I've seen, that is the case, then I guess this means more reach.

that's the point I think dlpin tried to make, and that's the point I tried to make. in my case, it's based on a subjective analysis of reviews and sample pictures. if you're going to affirm something with such conviction like you just did, actually stating that what you're saying is a fact rather than an opinion, you'd better back your affirmation with facts, samples or whatever. otherwise, you're just being arrogant. and using capitals doesn't make whatever you say more true.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 10:17 AM   #20
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Kezs,

Do you shoot action photography? I do. It's not arrogance - it's experience. Go out shoot action photography with an oly and with a canon - whatever distance you like. See which gives you more keepers. That's the difference between giving advice based on experience vs. just what you read. Photography is an applied art/science. Things that look good on paper don't always turn out that way out in the field. You don't have to take my word for it. Go try for yourself. Again, subjects must be moving here. AND (and this is important) you have to be talking about a situation like this where you're shooting out into a field (i.e. not shooting DOWN where focusing on the ground vs. the head won't make a difference).

I've stated in other threads - taking advice on action photography from those that don't shoot action is dangerous. But in all honesty, if you DO have experience shooting action please explain how, in your experience, any point I have made has been mis-stated.

And as I already stated - I've shot with 1.6 crop sensors and 1.3 crop sensors - and I can state from absolute experience a smaller sensor does NOT give you an advantage in action photography. I've also stated the Oly focus system doesn't stack up to that of Canon or Nikon (above d60/d40). The internet is full of samples that will back that up. Or find yourself an oly sports or wildlife shooter getting the same results as the canon/nikon sports wildlife shooters on this forum.
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