61

Rarity. There were only approximately 20 of these now out of production lenses ever made. When they were in production they sold for about $90,000 (US). Due to the time needed to grow the large fluorite crystal used in the 3rd element of the lens, once ordered they took about 18 months to produce. Autofocus Capability. These lenses include auto focus ...


51

Who in the world buys large primes? Wildlife and sports photographers, mostly. I'm struggling to see how one would find use in a long focal length prime, 300mm and above for example: without zoom, isn't your shot composition always at the mercy of how close or far away your subject is, meaning heavy cropping is almost always necessary in post? It's the ...


42

TL;DR - Pretty much everything in your post indicates that you don't really need a new camera, but need to learn how to use the equipment that you have. I haven't used RAW... it still boggles my mind a bit that the RAW to JPEG conversion can't have an option to do this automatically. This is like driving a race car and never shifting past second. The ...


37

You can't. I don't care what you've seen on CSI, this just isn't possible in the real world. Even taking Canon's ridiculously big (and now discontinued. Oh, and $100,000) 1200mm lens, The Digital Picture say: faces were recognizable at distances up to a mile or more However, you're talking about six times that distance. You could think about mounting a ...


33

Because the distance from Earth to each of the other planets varies due to orbital mechanics, the size of each planet as seen from Earth can vary significantly. Which planet is the largest and the order of relative sizes changes frequently. For example, right now as of April 1, 2018 the following are the angular sizes of the planets as viewed from Earth: ...


25

By specifying that you want to do your surveillance photography in "good sun light", you have already shot yourself in the foot. The best time to do this kind of photography is at night or in the very early morning before the heat from the sun has time to create the "thermals" that make extreme telephoto photography almost impossible, even with the very best ...


24

Normally Jupiter is easily the largest seen from Earth, but depending on orbits, it could sometimes be Venus (next time in September, and then next in 2020). This site will answer about details relative to exact date: https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/planets/distance


19

The general consensus in this thread is that detailed photography of a subject at a range of 10km is exceedingly difficult, and probably impossible using commercially available equipment — and there's plenty of evidence to support that in the other answers. However, there is a way to photograph extremely distant targets in extreme detail — it's just not ...


18

It's very hard to say without knowing your photography style and common usage. I think the simplest explanation of stabilisation is "it's like having a cheap, flimsy tripod on your camera at all times... without the hassle of a tripod". It can be incredibly beneficial, and it can be useless (and a battery drain). Personally, I shoot a lot of (non-sporting) ...


17

If you're shooting with a tripod ­— a good, solid one, not a sub-$100 deal — image stabilization isn't very important. If you're shooting in a controlled environment with strobes, it's not very important either. Or, if you're shooting in very bright light where you can get good depth of field and a fast shutter speed (to today's standards of pickiness, much ...


14

There is no direct relationship between Telephoto focal lengths and Macro capability. There are some fixed focal length prime lenses that fall into the Telephoto range in terms of focal length and also are capable of close enough focus to be Macro lenses. But a lens doesn't have to be a telephoto lens to have Macro capability and there are many Macro lenses ...


13

The 1200mm lens you cite is something of an aberration, since it's built-to-order, not a general-market lens — see Why are some big telephoto lenses so expensive compared to telescopes? and Why are some lenses so expensive?. But the general rule holds true: lenses for DSLRs and most mirrorless cameras are gigantic compared to those in superzoom cameras. ...


13

As others have said, 10 km is not feasible due to the physics of light and atmospheric distortion. However, I'd like to address another aspect of this that hasn't been mentioned yet: if someone is standing 10 km from you and you're both at the same altitude you won't be able to see them because they'll be behind the horizon! If a person is 1.8 meters (~6 ft)...


12

Almost any camera system will out perform a camera phone when used properly. A camera phone uses a tiny sensor so even MFT cameras have a bigger sensor capturing more light so superior in low light conditions. Phones use night mode to overcome their bad high ISO performance. Night mode in most cases is a merge of several images to get more information. ...


11

There is no direct relationship between Telephoto focal lengths and Macro capability. Macro lenses allow closer focusing than most lenses. By allowing you to get the subject closer to the camera, it allows you to increase the size of the subject in your photo. Macro capability is measured in terms of Maximum Magnification (MM) that is only indirectly ...


11

If, specifically, you want to cover telephoto and macro, and not necessarily general-purpose nearby photography or wide angle shots, then yes, this is no problem, because relatively long focal length macro lenses are a common design. Sony, for example, has a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. This won't quite give you the reach of a more extreme telephoto lens (...


11

Your 200mm will still be a 200mm. It will project the same image on the sensor. In DX mode, all that will happen is the camera will throw away the outer areas of that captured image and retain what would have fallen on a DX sensor. This is something you can do yourself in post-processing, so I don't think there is much benefit (apart from smaller file ...


11

Though the angular size of Venus in the Earth sky is larger than any other planet, because Venus is an inferior planet that largest angular size happens only when Venus in the the direction of the Sun. Jupiter has the next-largest angular size and it occurs when Jupiter is in opposition, thus is is also in it's most well-lit state (for an observer on Earth). ...


11

With any lens of greater than 300mm focal length on a full frame camera you're probably not going to get results you're happy with shooting handheld. On your 1.6X APS-C camera, the same angles of view are provided by any lens 188mm or longer. It is true that lenses such as the Sigma and Tamron 150-600mm telephoto zooms are weakest at their longest focal ...


10

Several focal-length-related factors can influence sharpness: It is usually harder to manufacture long focal lens, so at constant cost, expect a 50 mm to be sharp, a 200 mm to be not-so-sharp, and >300 mm to be really low quality. On a related note, it's hard to make a lens with both a long focal lens and a wide aperture. So, long focal lens often have a ...


10

There is no such thing as a portrait lens. Just some are known to produce more appealing portraits. It can be used to shoot any other thing where the focal-length desired is the same. Note that I didn't say needed since portraits can and are shot with different focal-length. A 42.5mm lens on a MFT gives what people consider a flattering perspective, making ...


10

The monopod removes three degrees of liberty: distance from ground is fixed, and roll and pitch are linked to position in space. But you are overlooking that you are no longer lifting the (potentially heavy) lens, so its shaking is no longer caused by your muscular control, itself affected by muscular fatigue(*). Of course the 55-250mm is a rather light ...


10

Shooting from the same point of view will always result in the same image (in terms of magnification) with every 300mm lens you can get (zoom or prime doesnt matter). To achieve a higher magnification your only options are: get closer to your subject (your best option but not always possible) use a longer focal length like 400mm or 500mm (the second best ...


9

It's impossible to say. This is because a "zoom factor" is a relative measurement, not an absolute one. 10x zoom doesn't mean the picture is enlarged 10x. All that the zoom factor is telling you is how much longer the longest focal length of the lens is from the shortest one. Both a 5-50mm and a 50-500mm lens are 10x zooms. But they have vastly different ...


9

Pseudo-Macro Photography with a Telephoto Lens Macro photography is one of the all-time favorite pastimes of photographers. The enlargement of the small and microscopic to huge scale, the exploration of detail the naked eye cannot see. Sometimes it’s tough to decide what kind of photography to do on a day trip, when you can only carry so much gear. As a ...


8

To do astrophotography with a 70-300mm lens using a film camera is a challenge, but is possible. One of the limiting factors is the speed of the film you use. In general you need a very fast speed film to do astrophotography, especially with longer focal lengths such as 300mm. This is because as the Earth rotates on its axis, the stars appear to move across ...


8

Michael Clark missed one important point in his otherwise correct answer: Physical vs. Optical length Think about what the 1200mm really mean. This is the focal length. This normally means that the distance from the center of the lenses to the place where the image forms is 1200mm. (Yes 1.2 meters!) On your telescope I guess that you pretty much see these ...


8

Manufacturers produce what they think they can sell. It is possible to produce a F2.8 70-300 lens, but such a lens will have a very large front element (approximately 107mm or 4.2"). Lens with such large front elements are quite costly, and customers quite rightly expect almost fanatical attention to optical quality. Correcting the compromises of such a ...


8

Short answer: Venus subtends the largest angle, followed by Jupiter. Intermediate-length answer: Randall Munroe provides the following helpful visualisation (extracted from a larger visualisation at https://xkcd.com/1276/): Long answer: there is some variation due to relative positions in orbits. See Wayne's answer for an animation which shows how the ...


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