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Old Dec 8, 2009, 3:53 PM   #11
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probably shouldn't be too bad shooting at f/8.
That would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 600mm lens on a 35mm camera (with stabilization on a Sony body), with more flexibility compared to a non Zoom lens, if you don't mind it's size and weight. So, a used Sigma 135-400mm lens at $245 and a Sony A230 kit with an 18-55mm lens at $429.95 would get you in at around $675 plus shipping if you're on a real tight budget.
All of the information in the preceding posts is excellent and a journal for me. Thanks to all of you. You personify the high level of Steve's Forum. JimC; wow; you're cooking with gas brah. I'll study up later because Pe'ahi "Jaws" is going off at 50 foot plus. The Eddie Aikau Contest at Waimea is on today too. Aloha
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 4:53 PM   #12
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I'll study up later because Pe'ahi "Jaws" is going off at 50 foot plus. The Eddie Aikau Contest at Waimea is on today too. Aloha
It looks like somebody probably bought it (I don't see it listed anymore). As the old saying goes, "if you snooze, you lose". ;-)

I probably shouldn't have posted a link to it here (somebody else may have read the thread and decided to buy it).

If you want to see what they have now, click on "Non-Mfg Zoom" lenses from this page. Note that they seem to be having issues with their web site right this minute, so you may get an error or two (or slow page loads) when browsing there.

http://www.keh.com/Category-Classes/.../1/39/527.aspx

They have them divided up into categories for Zoom lenses, Fixed Focal Length Lenses (Minolta Brand Lenses), as well as categories for third party lenses (listed with the Zoom and Fixed Focal Length categories preceded with "Non-Mfg").

Here's a crop from a screen capture showing what the listing looked like when I made the post about it, if you didn't take a look at it then (but I don't see it anymore, so someone probably nabbed it). I've still got a browser tab open with the listing showing, so I made a screen capture of it when I saw it missing in the listings.
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 4:56 PM   #13
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Bob, you can get an adapter for your S3 that allows you to add a teleconverter, to nearly double your zoom with only small loss of image quality.
An example of a teleconverter: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-VCL-DH175...pr_product_top
(I have used a similar adapter, and a close-up lens, with the S3 and had some fine results. Have read of others who used this teleconverter with good results too.)
Another possibility is to get an entry-level DSLR body that is compatible with older lenses. For example, you can get a Pentax K2000, and then shop around for an old pentax-mount long telephoto (I use this combination for bird photography...)
Hope this is of some help!
Upon rereading your post Mole, I think this is what I will try first. The S3IS has image stablization and I have a tripod. This will be great. Thanks for the good advice. I also can look for that older long lens in your #2 scenario without a hurry. If my next girlfriend is rich, maybe order one of those beutiful catadioptric ones made from the old Minolta technology (or Sigma or ?). Cool
It will take some time to absorb all this information so i had better get a beer.
Ely school administrator/banjo player/windsurfer "Hey; someone has to do it!"
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 5:15 PM   #14
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It looks like somebody probably bought it (I don't see it listed anymore). As the old saying goes, "if you snooze, you lose". ;-)

I probably shouldn't have posted a link to it here (somebody else may have read the thread and decided to buy it).

If you want to see what they have now, click on "Non-Mfg Zoom" lenses from this page. Note that they seem to be having issues with their web site right this minute, so you may get an error or two (or slow page loads) when browsing there.

http://www.keh.com/Category-Classes/.../1/39/527.aspx

They have them divided up into categories for Zoom lenses, Fixed Focal Length Lenses (Minolta Brand Lenses), as well as categories for third party lenses (listed with the Zoom and Fixed Focal Length categories preceded with "Non-Mfg").

Here's a crop from a screen capture showing what the listing looked like when I made the post about it, if you didn't take a look at it then (but I don't see it anymore, so someone probably nabbed it). I've still got a browser tab open with the listing showing, so I made a screen capture of it when I saw it missing in the listings.
Your link above worked fine for me JimC.. and I made a favorite of that. Don't worry about exposure; we're all in this together. I was too slow but I'm learned of many new options. That can't be bad. You are a good dude, aloha, Thank you.
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 5:25 PM   #15
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If the Sony (or Minolta) autofocus catadioptric lens is out of your reach, several companies sell manual focus ones. Vivitar sells a 500mm f/8, a 500mm f/6.3 and an 800mm f/8, the most expensive of them is $250. They're available with different brand names on them, including Opteka, Pro-Optic and Samyang. (I think Samyang is the actual manufacturer, but I don't know for sure.) They all use standard T-Mount adapters, so they'll fit any dSLR, but on a Sony, they don't support autoexposure.
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 7:47 PM   #16
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Default I know you said DSLR, but ...

I have a Pentax K-x DSLR and a Pentax 55-300mm lens. With the 1.5X crop factor, that comes out to 82-450 mm. That camera is a good one, but you will be able to snag other entry level cameras cheaper, as other forum members have written.

My brother and father-in-law both have S3IS. It's a nice camera. I had the Panasonic FZ28 and I liked it a lot. I used it to take pictures of surfers at Waikiki last December. It has a little more reach than the S3IS (486mm vs. 420mm) and 10 megapixel images vs. the 6 megapixel images. The FZ35 is the upgrade to the FZ28, with the same zoom range and 12 megapixels. However, if you want to use a superzoom as a cheaper substitute for a DSLR with telephoto zoom, have you considered the Canon SX20 or the Olympus SP-590? The former reaches out to 560mm and the latter to 676mm. You can get the Olympus from Buydig for less than $320 and the Canon for less than $375. The picture from either at low ISO settings (i.e. in bright sunlight) should be pretty good, though not as good as a DSLR with even an ok telephoto zoom lens.
I bought one of those 500MM manual focus zoom lenses for my DSLR last spring and while it's ok for pictures of stationary objects in fairly bright daylight, I have doubts as to whether you would liketo use it to take pictures of surfers.
These new superzooms will not do very well in low light. They will not give you the tight depth of field that a DSLR can give you, and they will not have sustained burst modes as fast as DSLRs. But, given the right setting, they could take some good shots, and save you some money.
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 9:10 PM   #17
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There is a general equation that quality = $$$$. (Baskin Robbins rule #3)
I would have a try of one of the teleconverters for your current camera as it might do the trick. I've not used one to know how much loss of quality you will experience.
I just ordered the Canon for $100. Worth a try. Thanks ev'ryone.
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Old Dec 9, 2009, 7:15 PM   #18
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Mystery Bob-

A used Nikon D-40 equipped with the Nikon 70-300mmVR lens will effectively give you, after the multiplier is factored in, 105 to 450mm in 35mm terms.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 2:52 PM   #19
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Mystery Bob-A used Nikon D-40 equipped with the Nikon 70-300mmVR lens will effectively give you, after the multiplier is factored in, 105 to 450mm in 35mm terms. Sarah Joyce
Thanks Sara. Could you clarify what you mean about the multiplier? I think 450mm is too short for my surfers, though I'll learn more when I stick on my new teleconverter. This is a change for me because I never believed in them when i shot film with a Nikon F2 and Nikkor lenses....so it will be seen....
Similar response to Robbo. I want to improve on a "superzoom" and work into SLR.

The consnesus seems to be that it is difficult to use a fixed focal length lens like the sony 500mm F/8 catadioptric, so I may hold on until I can do a SLR with autofocus????

Aloha, Bob
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 3:05 PM   #20
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The consnesus seems to be that it is difficult to use a fixed focal length lens like the sony 500mm F/8 catadioptric, so I may hold on until I can do a SLR with autofocus????
I don't follow you there. The Sony 500mm f/8 is Autofocus (as is the Minolta Maxxum 500mm f/8, which shares the same lens design). ;-)

You just can't zoom in or out with it (it stays at 500mm), or vary the aperture (it's always going to be f/8). You'll have to decide if 500mm is a good focal length for you or not, and whether you want to compromise the ability to get some closer shots because you may not be able to zoom out enough without swapping lenses). If you're sticking to further away shots it would make a more compact and lighter weight package in an SLR with a focal length that long.
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