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                   Saturday, August 1, 2009 - 9:41PM

More test images with the 650-1300mm

By DAN ROBINSON
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25 Years of Storm Observing
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UPDATE - NEW IMAGES: Close lightning shot with the Bower 650-1300mm

I did a few more test shots with the Bower 650-1300mm from Fort Hill this evening, though I didn't have the best of conditions for contrast (the sun was behind clouds to the west). All of these were shot at 400ISO and shutter speeds ranging from 1/50 to 1/200, and mirror lock-up enabled. The aperture on the lens is a fixed 'sliding scale' that changes with the zoom length - from F8 at the 650mm end to F16 at the 1300mm end. I used my bigger video tripod and head for this, which helped tremendously. Focusing, as always, was very difficult - as just touching the lens to turn the ring violently jiggles the picture in the viewfinder. It was actually easier to focus with the viewfinder rather than with zoomed-in Live View. Live View has terrible rolling shutter that can't deal with the rapid 'jiggle' of the picture. I can't imagine trying to focus a faster lens this long (with a smaller depth of field).

FYI, these are all full-sized frames (no cropping).

Moon at 1300mm:


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Three shots at the 650mm end of the lens:


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And three at the 1300mm end:


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For comparison, here is an earlier 18mm wide shot from the same location:


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