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Has anyone tried the zoom lens available for this camera? I believe this lens gives the user a 1.7x advantage over just the camera's normal zoom. I am trying to find out if it gives the user any advantage if using photoshop to edit pictures. If photoshop ends up giving the same quality after cropping, then the $200 for the lens is probably not worth the investment. If anyone has heard any comments pro or con, I would appreciate a reply. Thanks.
You should get a lens that gets you as close as possible. Then use photoshop to enhance and correct your pictures. Personally I own a Nikon D300 and a Tamron 200-500. Photoshop is only useed to enhance and to crop.
That is sort of what I am thinking, but I had a friend who does a lot of photography tell me that I could accomplish the same thing using the cropping in photoshop as with the telephoto. I would like to get 'closer' to the subject in my photos so am mulling over the telephoto lens issue. The lens costs as much as the camera did, so I want to make sure that I would benefit from it.
It's not really a matter of cropping, although you can get a good image from a crop. As a matter of fact all of the pictures that I post except for very few of them have been cropped. The problem with that is the loss of detail. Here is the link to the humming bird shots that I did last summer.: http://www.ohiobirds.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=795. I had a 70-300 telephoto lens on and it shows a lot of detail even with the crops.
The reason that I was able to get good detail were many, The lens is a great lens, It is a Nikon and it has vibration reduction which means that it is able to compensate for me shaking. Also the bird was about five to ten feet away most of the time....It would have let me get closer, but my lens couldn't focus that close. Also I had the lens close to 300mm for most of the images.
Now for the Godwits and most of the other images that I have put up, I use a 200-500 Tamron. The lens is big and heavy and requires a tripod for good pictures because of camera shake. There are other lenses out there that would give me better results but this one was the cheapest.
On any of the images that I took, if I had used say a 50mm lens, the bird would have appeared really small then when I crop it to just the bird, Details like eye color and feather veins just would not be there. I would have probably been able to get a good ID shot of the bird, but as far a print, it would be useless.
As with everything, it's all a matter of how much you want to spend. That Tamron cost me $1000...I'd hate to ask Kenn K. Or Brian Zwiebel on how much they spent on the setup they have... but I can guarantee that it was over $10k...but if all they had was a 50mm or 100mm lens, they would not have taken some of the stunning pictures that we have seen and enjoyed.
My advise is that if you are not going to go Canon or Nikon in the next year, then go ahead and get the lens, you will be able to get better, closer pictures because of it. Just keep in mind that you might need to use a tripod as well due to camera shake and the like.
Thanks for the additional input. The camera I use does have anti-shake technology, which has helped greatly in my picture taking. I think I will seriously have to check into the lens for this camera. I just bought it last year and don't plan on buying another in the forseeable future. Of course, that was my thought when I purchased the camera previous to this one. The technology is advancing so quickly and the prices keep dropping that one can never say never. Those were great pics of the hummingbird, by the way.
I have been pretty happy with the quality of the pics I get with my camera. I had looked at several others at the time, including both sony and canon, but this one got good reviews and gave me the same features as the others at a cheaper price. And as with all of the cameras I looked at, it has been superseded by a better model. My choices are limited for a telephoto lens, as an adapter has to also be purchased. I will have to do some more research now.
The Panasonic FZ8 is a point and shoot camera. Commonly referred to as a super zoom. The lens on this camera is not interchangeable.
The adapter you are talking about is a 1.7 magnifier. It attaches to the front of the lens or it attaches to the body and “sits” in front of the lens. What Steve is talking about is a SLR camera with interchangeable lenses. As Steve stated, you can spend as much as you want on photo equipment and when shooting birds, you will always want more. However, camera equipment has really come down in price. Now there is a huge used market on cameras too, that really can help keep the cost down.
It really depends on how far you want to take the hobby. If you want to really get into taking bird photos, then it would probably be worth getting a Digital SLR and as good and long telephoto lens as you can. If you want to carry a camera around with you all the time as you are bird watching so you can get those opportunistic photos, then a mega zoom is probably a good choice.
I’m into the photo thing, but also really into bird watching. I describe myself as a birder with a camera. I shoot a Canon 40D and a Canon 100-400L IS Lens. Comparing Steve’s setup to mine, I gave up 100mm (which is a lot) in reach for image stabilization. I do not like using a tripod. Here is a link to my bird gallery: http://redtail.smugmug.com/Birds
If you decide to go the SLR route and want to talk more feel free to email me. I’d be more than happy to help any way I can.
It is a lot of fun… Best of luck.
Thanks for the clarification. Those are fantastic pics, by the way. I am presently not in the market for another camera. I was just trying to see if I could gain anything worthwhile adding the 1.7 lens to the camera. I do not have the funds to move up to the next level at this time as far as getting a digital slr. I bought my present camera as it gave me the best bang for the buck with what I could afford. I also am not really thrilled about carrying a tripod around. I just enjoy trying to get that bird pic when stumbling upon one while out bird watching. It is also helpful with identifications at times. And as I am sure you are aware, the one you most want to photograph is the one the farthest away and the most skittish.
Have you seen any comparison with the super zoom cameras with and without the 1.7 lens to determine if there is any real advantage to adding it to the camera? Thanks for your input.
To me a 1.7 is a teleconverter that makes my lens into a "bigger" one. Usually unless it is a very good teleconverter, it will soften the image. and you will loose two fstops as well. for example a 300 mm f4 lens will turn into something between 450 and 500 and have an fstop of around 5.3.
Now as to what it is for yours, I don't really know. But whatever you get, will help you in the long run.
Something that you can look into is a monopod it acts like a walking stick at times and it will mount to most camera mounts.
Yes, a person never gets enough reach, and $200 is a lot to add to a P&S. Looks like the 1.7 lens would bring your FZ8 to about 20X. Since you are stretching you might want to consider digiscoping.
If you were to buy an 8 Meg Canon A-590 for less than the $200, plus an inexpensive achromatic scope, you could get an effective zoom of 30 or 40X using an astro 20mm Expanse eyepiece. Do NOT try to digiscope with the FZ cameras, the optical system is too large to fit inside the optical image cone of a telescope.
Check out the bluebird shot on the web posting site:
Click on the bluebird thumb and then on the Original size for an expanded view. This is not the sharpest I can do, but typical. The distance was about 30 feet. Gene Smith Smithhill1@Embarqmail.com
Note: Camera designation changed to FZ 11-06. I do have a FZ-50, which I like, but not for digiscoping.
Last edited by Gene Smith (2008-11-06 08:56:11)
Thanks again for the suggestions. I have been checking out some forums on the internet and I have found that Olympus has a 1.7x lens that people have been using on my camera and have been happy with the results. It is only about half the price of the panasonic lens. I am mulling over trying that lens. It is an Olmpus TCON-1.7x. It would give me some additional reach. I realize it will not be as good as an SLR or a digiscope, but for now I will be content with this camera. I am very happy with the OIS this camera has, as it has taken a lot of shake out of the pics I take with this camera as compared to my previous camera. Thanks again.
Based on what you told me about the type of shooting you want to do, I would get the 1.7 mulitplier. Consider where you buy it from. A lot of places have a good return policy. If you find it really isn't working well, you can return it.
I don't think you lose a stop with these, but I could be wrong.
As a general rule, you can hand hold one over the focal lenght. So if you zoomed out to 420, then you don't want less than 1/400. OIS might get you down to 1/125. Add the 1.7 and you need 1/700 and with OIS you need 1/400.
Thanks, Bruce, for the input. I may have to put it on the Chistmas list this year. I would just like to be able to get a little closer to the birds with the camera without dropping a ton of cash. I think I will try this lens.
I just wanted to update and say that I have purchased the Olympus 1.7 lens for my camera. I have had limited opportunity to use it so far, since living in Northern Ohio this time of year gives us great weather. The few times I have used it so far have been favorable. I would recommend this lens for someone with the panasonic FZ8 if they want to get some additional distance but cannot afford a newer camera with a higher zoom.