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pshute
Thursday 20th January 2011, 20:08
In a thread on another forum, I queried someone's use of the word "reach". They appeared to be using it as alternative to magnification, but I feel there's more to it than that. It's very easy to achieve much higher magnification, but then find that the resulting images show less detail than a lower magnification because of various kinds of blurring.

E.g. I often hear people saying you can't just add a cheap teleconverter to a camera lens and expect to see more detail, and I've tried it and found it to be true.

Is there an official definition of the word "reach"? I thought it might be more appropriate to ask the question here than in one of the camera forums, as it's obvious that digiscopers are all seeking more of it.

fugl
Thursday 20th January 2011, 20:25
In a thread on another forum, I queried someone's use of the word "reach". They appeared to be using it as alternative to magnification, but I feel there's more to it than that.
.

Don't think so. "Reach" as used by photographers is simply an informal term for magnfication with any special technical meaning.

pshute
Friday 21st January 2011, 11:12
Don't think so. "Reach" as used by photographers is simply an informal term for magnfication with any special technical meaning.
Thanks, but where does that informal definition come from? I can't find anything on the web other than arguments about it. One person described it as "pixels per duck".

If it's an informal term, can it really have a definition?

fugl
Friday 21st January 2011, 16:16
The reason why bird photographers carry around long lenses is to “reach out” & “fill the frame” with their subject matter so as to avoid having to unduly enlarge the image during post-processing. The advantage of not having to enlarge, all else being equal, is better image quality (i.e. more pixels assigned to subject matter--which is normally all the photographer cares about--& fewer to background).

I’m puzzled by why you’re making such heavy weather of this. “Reach” in this context is simply a piece of photographic jargon referring to what I’ve just described. [Another even more formal synonym for “reach” BTW--in addition to “magnification”--is “focal length”.]

And of course an informal term can have a definition: any word can. Consider for example the various 4-letter words for bodily functions.

But perhaps I'm misunderstanding your question?

pshute
Sunday 23rd January 2011, 05:32
I’m puzzled by why you’re making such heavy weather of this. “Reach” in this context is simply a piece of photographic jargon referring to what I’ve just described. [Another even more formal synonym for “reach” BTW--in addition to “magnification”--is “focal length”.]

And of course an informal term can have a definition: any word can. Consider for example the various 4-letter words for bodily functions.

But perhaps I'm misunderstanding your question?
I'm just curious, because I see the term often, but it seems ill-defined. Those 4 letter words are in the dictionary, but I can't find a written definition of reach.

It can't be just about focal length if filling the frame is also involved, because a compact camera can fill the frame with a much shorter focal length.

Would you say you had more reach than before if you added a $5 no name teleconverter off eBay to your lens? I think most people would look at the results and see that, although the pictures fill the frame more, there is similar or less detail, and decide that was not a successful way of getting more reach.

Or do you believe that reach and quality are completely separate things?

Kevin Conville
Sunday 23rd January 2011, 06:11
I'm just curious, because I see the term often, but it seems ill-defined. Those 4 letter words are in the dictionary, but I can't find a written definition of reach.

It can't be just about focal length if filling the frame is also involved, because a compact camera can fill the frame with a much shorter focal length.

Would you say you had more reach than before if you added a $5 no name teleconverter off eBay to your lens? I think most people would look at the results and see that, although the pictures fill the frame more, there is similar or less detail, and decide that was not a successful way of getting more reach.

Or do you believe that reach and quality are completely separate things?

I think you're making it too complicated. Reach, in this case, is just another word for magnification.

Quality is another matter.

fugl
Sunday 23rd January 2011, 08:03
Or do you believe that reach and quality are completely separate things?

Yes, I do. Reach is just reach; it implies nothing about quality. As I've already said, it's a very simple concept.

pshute
Sunday 23rd January 2011, 08:25
I think you're making it too complicated. Reach, in this case, is just another word for magnification.

Quality is another matter.
OK, but where did you get your definition from? I just checked about 20 online glossaries of photographic terms, and none listed it. I would have thought that if it was in common usage then it would have to be in some of them.

There's no doubt it gets mentioned a lot in places like this. Perhaps it's just wildlife photography jargon.

If your definition of magnification, do you include "digital magnification"?

fugl
Sunday 23rd January 2011, 08:57
OK, but where did you get your definition from? I just checked about 20 online glossaries of photographic terms, and none listed it. I would have thought that if it was in common usage then it would have to be in some of them.

There's no doubt it gets mentioned a lot in places like this. Perhaps it's just wildlife photography jargon.

If your definition of magnification, do you include "digital magnification"?

This is getting ridiculous. You’ve asked what a particular piece of photographic jargon means & 2 of us (so far) have told you. I’ve used it myself on occasion & have heard many others use it, all in the same sense: magnification--“my lens is longer than your lens”. “Reach” hasn’t yet appeared in connection with camera lenses in most (or maybe all, who knows?) dictionaries because its photographic use is an obvious & logical extension of the general meaning.

So-called “digital magnification” is just a form of in-camera cropping. As such, you could say, I suppose, that it increases “apparent reach” in the same way that you could say that it increases “apparent magnification”.

Paul Corfield
Sunday 23rd January 2011, 09:34
I'm just curious, because I see the term often, but it seems ill-defined. Those 4 letter words are in the dictionary, but I can't find a written definition of reach.

It can't be just about focal length if filling the frame is also involved, because a compact camera can fill the frame with a much shorter focal length.

Would you say you had more reach than before if you added a $5 no name teleconverter off eBay to your lens? I think most people would look at the results and see that, although the pictures fill the frame more, there is similar or less detail, and decide that was not a successful way of getting more reach.

Or do you believe that reach and quality are completely separate things?

A compact camera can fill the frame with less focal length because it has a tiny sensor. It's just cropping off everything that a bigger sensor sees.

With optics you generally get what you pay for. Put a top quality teleconverter on a top quality prime lens and you will get next to no loss in quality. Compromise on price then you will likely compromise on the end result.

Reach and quality are totally separate. If you had different focal length lenses of equal quality you could still find the shorter one produced a better image than the longer one and it's generally just down to the weather conditions on the day. Long reach is very dependent on weather conditions as more magnification magnifies imperfections in the air. I always try and use the least amount of magnification to get the best image rather than use the most magnification I have at my disposal. You will get more light, faster shutter speeds and lower ISO which help capture sharp details. Depending on the camera a photo can withstand quite a lot of cropping and still be as good as the lens with more reach.

Paul.

poledark
Sunday 23rd January 2011, 09:56
Now you are just confusing him even more Paul :clap::clap:

Den

alphan
Tuesday 1st February 2011, 01:30
I am sure most reader here are still having a cold time (though not me) and some confusion would get the brain's blood circulation going good.

Another bit here. I once thought I do not need that much reach (or magnification or frame filler whoever calls it) but can just crop everything else out to fill the frame until some good fella point out that I am loosing too many pixels for larger print (which I never did before). :brains::smoke: