Astounding Results From 36X Optical Zoom

A little over five years ago I posted examples of the field of view of a 10X optical zoom lens set at it’s closest wide angle setting and at it’s longest telephoto setting.  The post was titled “The Power of 10X Optically Zoomed VR Mega-pixels“.   I recently updated my camera to a 36X Optical Zoom Vibration Reduction model, and of course immediately had to test out what 36X zoom meant in visual terms.  So I took the camera outside and shot this picture, at the full wide-angle setting (Note – clicking on picture will open to a larger size):

While still standing in the same position, I decided to zoom in on something that I knew was off in the distance, but you probably cannot discern in the photo above.

Now, by zooming in a bit, you can see the martin house in the distance.  But I still had more to go, so I continued zooming in and took another photo:

And then I realized, the lens is still not zoomed out to the max, so I continued on:

Scroll back up to the first photo, and then back here to compare.  That is a pretty incredible zoom range.  In the first photo, the martin house is just barely visible.  In the last photo, you can see individual blades of grass sticking out of the nesting cavity.  Before being too critical of the last photo for being a little soft in focus, be aware that these photos were all taken HAND HELD!

For another example, here is a picture of my patio, taken with the camera attached to a tripod:

See the black smoker pit at the rear of the patio?  I zoomed in full to the top of the smoker, and this is what I saw:

With a tripod, the results are truly astounding.  And what is more astounding is that this huge zoom range is contained in the small package you see in this next photo:

It will be interesting to see how this powerful zoom actually performs as I put the camera through its’ paces on some photo-outings.  The proof, they say, is in the pudding.  I’ll be sure to let you know.

Eye-Fi Wi-Fi Goodness

If you love convenience, then you probably cherish sliced bread.  I mean, really, is it that difficult to get out a knife and cutting board and slice a couple of slabs from the loaf before making a sandwich?  No.  And yet we all buy sliced bread.  It’s just so darn convenient!

Similarly, if if you love convenience, then you will probably cherish an Eye-Fi wi-fi SDHC memory card for your camera.  After an easily accomplished initial one-time setup, your photographs will automatically be uploaded from your camera to your computer, and optionally to web-based photo sharing and storage sites.

This chart describes the process.  The following photo shows the various models of Eye-Fi memory card that are available.

No more card readers, no more USB cords, NO MORE WIRES!  Just pictures transfered quickly and easily from your camera to your computer.  What could be better?  Sliced bread?



There used to be a time, years ago, when I lived aboard a vessel and called places like the one seen in the photograph above my home.

In those days, I would dress up in a funny rubber suit and jump into the water …..

… armed with this Nikonos underwater camera.  Hopefully, I would happen upon some interesting subject,

such as this Spanish Shawl nudibranch, to take a photograph that might end up worthy of display.

Other times I might stalk creatures while on the ocean’s surface, and be fortunate enough to get a picture like the one of this elephant seal at San Miguel Island.

On those occasions when I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to tropical destinations, I would, with a little luck, be able to find subject matter such as that seen above.

Those of you who know me understand just how much the ocean, SCUBA diving, and underwater photography have meant to me over the years.  Alas, those days are past, as I have finally come to recognize.  So it is with bittersweet ambivalence that I have created the following listing on eBay:


I live in the place pictured above, hundreds of miles from the closest ocean.

Today, my photographic tool of choice is this camera ….

… with which I try to find interesting inland photographic opportunities, such as this rainbow …

or this beautiful moth.

It’s still good – just not the same.