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Telephoto lenses
Do they make high power telephoto lenses for digital cameras? If not, why? If so, where? I'm trying to boost the zoom capability of my DiMage 7i. 7x is good, but I always want more. 2x seems to be the best I can find and I have no idea what a respectable brand is...

Comments (15)

You'll probably find the answer with a search of the Minolta Talk forum at http://www.DPReview.com/ and if not, just ask there. - Eric, http://www.InvisibleRobot.com/..

Comment #1

Thanks Eric.....there's a lot of good stuff there. Unfortunately, doesn't answer the burning question of why they don't make higher power telephoto lenses for digital cameras...

Comment #2

You are mistaking a simple difference: a teleconverter and a telephoto lens. A telephoto lens is something you put on your SLR camera- where you completely remove the entire lens (ALL glass lenses) currently on the camera and replace it with another lens that is specifically made for that camera to be sharp and in focus while zoomed in over long ranges. A teleconverter is something you slap on the end of a fixed lens camera to magnify the effects of it's unremovable telephoto lens. A teleconverter can give you a little more reach- but the further it pushes out, the blurrier the image gets. Ergo no one wants to make a 4x teleconverter because after you put it on the end of your 7i, the chances of it being in focus at full zoom are next to zero. Someone might be able to machine a special 4x teleconverter for the 7i and have a very sharp picture- the problem being it would probably be so extensive you would be better off buying a pro digital SLR at 4 or 5 thousand dollars.

Even shooting with a digital camera that has the same body style say the Minolta Dimage 5 and 7i their lenses are rather different in their 35mm eqivalent ratings. D7i: 28mm-200mm, D5: 35mm-250mm. Even though they have the same threading for add on filters and teleconverters the effect an extender or add on lens has varies...

Comment #3

Jeff, Thanks for the excellent explanation. It's always hard to find the answers to the simplest questions. Knowing that there is such a vast difference makes sense now. Actually, I have an old 1.5x teleCONVERTER (now that I know the difference) from my old video camera that just so happens to have a 49mm thread and as such, happens to work pretty well with my 7i. Maybe a little vignetting, but no more than the claims I've heard from other lenses. So thanks for saving $200...

Comment #4

If you really want magnification power, get a telescope or a field scope and a camera adapter. Otherwise, the teleconverter is the way to go. - Eric, http://www.InvisibleRobot.com/..

Comment #5

I think www.photosolve.com has some cool adapters for microscopes, telescopes, rangfinders, etc. that look pretty good. I'm getting a 35.5mm (thanks to minolta for picking a thread size that hasn't been used since early 1970's) adapter to 43mm so I can get a 2x for my S404 and a wide angle and may pick up the telescope adapter for my old telescope... I think they carry the eagle-eye 3x for some of their mounts. Cool stuff- but plan on doing some cropping and barrell distortion looks pretty harsh- but if you really want to take a picture 2mm away from something then they've got the hookup...

Comment #6

Is there a teleconverter lens made that will work on the Sony F707. Jerry..

Comment #7

There are a variety of teleconverter lenses that will work on the Sony 707. The Olympus A-200 and B-300. You can also get some limited success with the C-210. I have posted several sample shots taken with my Sony 707 and each of these teleconverters. You can view them on my website here: http://www.amystuff.com/lenses.htm Hope this helps!.

Amy.

Http://www.amystuff.com..

Comment #8

Could you recommend me a teleconverter for my camera? I have seen the Tiffen, Raynox amd Hama ones but I do not know which is better and which would be more suitable for this camera. Help!!..

Comment #9

Hi Amy, Also sony has a teleconverter lens, which was made for video cameras.

It is the VCL-R2052. check it out on sonystyle.com. I've bought one for me, and it works fine on my mavica CD-300.

I comes with 52mm and 49mm lens adapters... regards,.

Sven..

Comment #10

I think the original question of "why not" has more to do with the market for digicams than the technical quality issue. You'll find plenty of high-quality examples using an Eagle-eye or Kenko add-on. I think the big reason is 99+% of digicam users don't use a tripod and hand-holding gets iffy at even 3x zoom. So a manufacturer who makes the effort to produce, say, a 300 mm lens (35 mm equivalent) will be lambasted by the average Joe for horrible quality at that zoom. They won't know they can't just swing it around and get a clean shot...

Comment #11

So a manufacturer who makes the effort to produce, say, a 300 mm lens (35 mm equivalent) will be lambasted by the average Joe for horrible quality at that zoom. That doesn't make sense. The Olympus C-730uz has 380mm equivalent zoom, and you get few complaints. And my C-2100uz also has 380mm equivalent, and many people use teleconverters with no problem to get more zoom. Of course, the C-2100uz has image stabalization, but the C-730 doesn't. - Eric, http://www.InvisibleRobot.com/..

Comment #12

Zooms are compromises, going beyond 3x or 4x ranges adds complexity and usually means more elements and surfaces so that increases costs, internal reflectivity, etc. Above the visual equivalent of 6x or 7x magnification (not zoom) (300 and 350mm equivalents), shake is increasingly apparent. Also, the size will increase significantly to maintain light gathering power to keep lens speed up. Allow the lens to slow and shutter speeds must slow. The only alternative is to increase ASA and noise...

Comment #13

Have anybody tried the Kenko KUT-500 5X Super Compact Telephoto on the Cybershot DSC-P50? I have read your comments about teleconverters going beyond 2X, I read that this lens should be used at the end of the natural zooming range of the camera. I want to know what do you think about this lens. I would prefer a manual teleconverter, do you know if there is something like this for my camera? Thanks..

Comment #14

The Tiffen lenses are great. I had the 2x and .75x MegaPlus lenses for my Kodak DC4800 before I sold the camera and they were great. There was very low distortion. Check them out @ http://www.tiffen.com/digital.htm..

Comment #15

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