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I just want to know how much magnification there is... if I have a point and shoot camera and it has 10X zoom, I'm seeing that the subject is "brought" 10x closer. So, what does a dSLR telephoto lens need to be to bring the subject 10X closer? I am looking to buy a 55-200mm Sony lens - will the subject be approximately 10x closer? Or 5x closer or 15x closer?

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    Note that that's not what the "10x" means. See the question linked above for explanation. – mattdm Jul 19 '13 at 22:13
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To answer your question we need to know two things:

  1. The max focal length of the lens (200?)
  2. The "normal focal length" for your sensor size (about 45mm on a FF DSLR), but much smaller on a P&S

Now just divide number #1 by #2, so on my FF DSLR a ~200mm lens makes things look 4x closer. The 10x zoom advertising copy on P&S cameras has to do with how large a range the lens covers, which of course has a relationship to how close it can make things look, but by itself cannot answer your question.

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