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09-28-2011, 12:46 PM   #46
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You could lay all of my lenses for Pentax and M43 from end to end and they wouldn't be that long. WOW!

09-28-2011, 02:30 PM - 1 Like   #47
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I tested my 1200mm F8 Celestron with my Pentax K-7 in HD video mode a few years ago and it worked great.



I also tested my 2350mm F10 Celestron :

With F6.3 focal reducer (1480mm F6.3) :

09-28-2011, 02:57 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by yurihuta Quote
Would you share how you had the item packed and shipped to you? The website is a little vague on this. Did they pack and ship it for you?
Yeah... I contacted them first, and it was clear it would be complex. That was part of why we placed a low bid and hoped.

They wont ship, but they will allow you to have some items shipped, depending on which warehouse has the goods (you have to check ahead of time), which in UPS terms means having an account, and creating a return shipment. It also means you have to handle *all the details of export, and import*.

Also they wont take it to a UPS drop-off so it must be picked up by UPS. This takes some discussion with UPS as well.

Then there was talking them out of charging me taxes, which took several emails and a phone call.

The one thing they did do was bubble wrap it, and then bubble wrap the case and box it. That was largely at my instruction for what I wanted done.

Again, it was clear it wasn't going to be smooth sailing. But for $5221, $30 for currency exchange, and $350 to ship it... it was simply a steal. I'm still waiting to see if I get assessed any duties.
09-28-2011, 04:38 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Yeah... I contacted them first, and it was clear it would be complex. That was part of why we placed a low bid and hoped.

They wont ship, but they will allow you to have some items shipped, depending on which warehouse has the goods (you have to check ahead of time), which in UPS terms means having an account, and creating a return shipment. It also means you have to handle *all the details of export, and import*.

Also they wont take it to a UPS drop-off so it must be picked up by UPS. This takes some discussion with UPS as well.

Then there was talking them out of charging me taxes, which took several emails and a phone call.

The one thing they did do was bubble wrap it, and then bubble wrap the case and box it. That was largely at my instruction for what I wanted done.

Again, it was clear it wasn't going to be smooth sailing. But for $5221, $30 for currency exchange, and $350 to ship it... it was simply a steal. I'm still waiting to see if I get assessed any duties.
Weren't you bidding on the 250-600 also? From your signature it looks like you already have one. Did you really want two?

09-28-2011, 04:57 PM   #50
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Cool, Clinton. A legendary lens and a great story to go with it.
Let's see, so far there's been:

International Intrigue, Suspense, Surveillance, Cops, High Finance and Sheer Unbridled Lust!

All that's missing is a car chase.

Last edited by .a.t.; 10-15-2011 at 12:27 AM.
09-28-2011, 05:15 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by all thumbs Quote
All that's missing is a car chase.
Oh I've got that too. For reasons unknown, UPS decided they couldn't deliver the lens to either of the addresses I provided them, therefore, I had to make a mad dash to the UPS hub to pick up the lens.
09-28-2011, 06:17 PM   #52
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First set of sample shots. None of these images are anywhere near where I am standing.

What have I learned thus far? The subject isolation on this is simply amazing. I can isolate things that are no where near where I am standing. I need to work on my long lens technique. This thing vibrates on my tripod like crazy. It's actually more advantageous to leave the Wimberley loosely open, or all the way open so that the vibration can be absorbed. I think the vibration may actually be worse than with the Reflex 2000 as the lens is quite a bit physically longer on both ends. Focusing is a dream, the throw is nice, and the size of the focus wheel helps dial it in.

Plastic and chrome test + 1.4X-L TC. About 1/4 of the frame. Wide open.


Dove, high contrast transition, 100% crop. Wide open.


Rusty metal, 100% crop. Wide open.


Grapes on the vine. 2/3 of the frame. Wide open.


Glass and texture test. full frame.. stopped down to F11 (I think the contrast benefits from one stop down as you can see in this shot.)
09-28-2011, 06:33 PM   #53
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Wow!! That last shot really lets you see what the lens is capable of. And you;re right, the contrast really gets a boost from that one stop. Totally awesome!

09-28-2011, 08:44 PM   #54
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Ya know what you need to look for now? A 645D and a 600 5.6 to go with it. That is my ultimate goal along with a number of other 645 lenses.
09-29-2011, 06:23 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
Ya know what you need to look for now? A 645D and a 600 5.6 to go with it. That is my ultimate goal along with a number of other 645 lenses.
You're just sayin' that so I'll sell my K mount gear
09-29-2011, 06:38 AM   #56
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I'm really curious to learn how it was used by the RCMP.

It doesn't seem like you could really use it to do many types of field surveillance - it's just too bulky and requires a very complex, stable setup. You couldn't casually poke this out of a car window and get a shot. But I guess you could set it up in a room overlooking your surveillance target or something.
09-29-2011, 06:47 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I'm really curious to learn how it was used by the RCMP.
Judging by the stated condition I'd bet they bought it, said wtf are we going to do with this? and put it back in the box, haha.

My best guess would be long range tactical spotting/surveillance paired with a sniper could have been the intended use....but how often does that become necessary in Canada? It could be relatively easily to conceal in an urban environment (i.e. inside a building).
09-29-2011, 08:27 AM   #58
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Hey Clint,

I highly recommend the RRS Long Lens Support and use it regularly on my long lenses...There are photos in the Marketplace where I'm selling an M*400/4 with the Long Lens Support. I sold another Long Lens Support along with my FA*250-600 that I sold to a forum member last year.

Note that the photos in the marketplace show the support to the front of the lens. For the big zoom and probably for the 1200, you can reverse the support to hold the overweight back end of the lens barrel. This will greatly increase your number of keepers from the zoom and likely from the 1200.

I still think you will want to add the Bogen camera body support mentioned in my previous post. Perhaps you could use that to support the ass end and the Long Lens Support from RRS for the front end? Anybody who thinks this is a bunch of overthinking hasn't tried using superteles in the field. Even my little FA*600/4 requires very picky technique to get consistent results. (Note: my 16 year old just nailed a bunch of shots of fighting mule deer while resting the 600 on a towel draped over the window sill of his truck--last Saturday actually--and pics are in this lens forum under "Big Gun Fun" or something similar. So sometimes it seems easy. Usually it isn't easy to get crisp images through supertele lenses.
09-29-2011, 01:28 PM   #59
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Hey Ron,

My observation thus far is that the vibration is coming from vertical and horizontal torque directly against the post of the tripod and Wimberley head. Will a long lens support really help? It would distribute the mount points along the lens, but it still leaves the main mount point as the pivot point for tension and vibration. My first inclination is to add a neoprene pad between the Wimberley plate and the lens to dampen some of this.

Thoughts?
09-29-2011, 06:12 PM   #60
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Very interesting that you bring up the neoprene washer idea. I have a rubber washer between my tripod and head. Hate to admit, but mine is a thin rubber circle that was originally designed to help grip jar lids. Don't know what such items are called? Jar lid openers? Oh well, doesn't hurt to try a thin vibration absorbing gasket...

I'm 100% positive that when you use the Really Right Stuff Long Lens Support you will immediately order one or two more to fit some of your other big guns! The 250-600 is particularly helped by this support as it's quite butt heavy hanging out away from the tripod support like that. You can set the supports at whatever point you want along the lens barrel and best of all, you can set the tension of the rollers against the lens and actually create support. On the big zoom I set the support to slightly lift the back end of the barrel to create a "no drag" balance when rotating the lens. You probably noticed that the lens without support drags a bit in the rotating collar. With some lift. the lens can be rotated from horizontal to vertical more smoothly and is easier to level on the fly while following movement.

Your observation of the vibration or movement seeming to originate at the support point is also probably pretty accurate. I noticed that your tripod has a center column. Many shooters of big telephotos shun the small diameter of center columns in favor of a "plate" top. On big tripods like yours, the plate makes a 3.5 to 4 inch diameter point of contact with your head. It's something I bought into years ago and both my primary tripods have no center column. Gitzo has always offered models without the center column and they sell plates to swap out and convert center column models. RRS makes plated-top tripods and I think they make a conversion plate for other brands? My big tripod is a Gitzo 410 with the Gitzo top plate.

It took me almost 8 months to get the system worked out for my first 600/4--an F*. Keeper shots out in field conditions--snow, mud, rocks, unlevel, windy etc. with moving critters were few and far between. Tripod and technique were the two things I had to change. That massive 1200 will benefit from any little improvement you can do since the detriments of each little weakness are additive, cumulative and exponential.

P.S. The best news is that when you work out the little technical details, you have several lenses that will be oh so fun!
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