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Good Sony Zoom Lens For 2,100ft Distance

Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:22 am

I'm going to be heading up to LGB on Wednesday to catch Air Force 1 arrive and I just recently bought a Sony A200 to start out with dSLR photography. I'm going to try and get up to the restaurant in the terminal to take the pictures which will be about 2,100ft and I was wondering what types of zoom lenses (brands and how many mm) would be best. Thanks
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RE: Good Sony Zoom Lens For 2,100ft Distance

Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:28 am

I would also advise you to be careful while at the airport when AF-1 arrives. If you're not a ticketed passenger you may get hassled. I heard some...interesting...stories about AF-1 coming to ABE and people being bothered, threatened, and one guy I know actually being taken in for being in the terminal as a non-ticketed passenger.

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RE: Good Sony Zoom Lens For 2,100ft Distance

Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:22 am

Congratulations on your A200, great camera, I love mine, As far as AF1 in my opinion it is not worth being hassled, look at other's pictures, it is the same plane! I understand you want the satisfaction of taking your own pic but there are so many beautiful planes out there, I'd go for the variety! Good luck, enjoy your camera! Hernan
P.S. If you do go let us know how it went, if you have the 70-300 I have heard it is a good lens. I have a 28-210 (350mm equivalent) that works for me but at 2000 feet may be short!
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RE: Good Sony Zoom Lens For 2,100ft Distance

Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:00 am

70-300G would probably do the job. It's a shame you couldn't get one from the vast circuit city closeouts that were going for $500 or so on average... a very excellent deal at that price.

Of course there is the new 70-400G which is absolutely fantastic (and I hope to acquire soon). At $1500 it is quite spendy though.  

The South Coast Plaza sony store has every lens (even the 300 f/2.8 G). Bring your a200 and try them out there.

There's also the third party route but any telephoto of decent quality gets up there in price unfortunately...

You could also find an old 70-210 f/4 (maybe too short) or the 75-300 f/4-5.6 (old style), commonly referred to as the Beercan and Big Beercan respectively. They both look alike, the difference is that the 75-300 has a focus limiter switch. You can find these used for reasonable prices ($2-300 for mint copies) and they have excellent IQ.

[Edited 2009-03-16 19:01:54]

[Edited 2009-03-16 19:02:33]
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RE: Good Sony Zoom Lens For 2,100ft Distance

Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:37 pm

Between 200 and 300mm should do it. Doing the maths, a horizontal field of view of 300ft (for a B747 at 230ft) at a distance of 2100ft gives an angle of 8deg. If there's a 1.6x scaling that brings it to 5deg.

The horizontal view angle of a 200mm lens is 6.5 deg with the 1.6x factor and for a 300mm lens it's 4.3 deg.

Unscaled the angle for a 200mm lens is 10deg and for a 300mm it's 6.9 deg.
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