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Equipment help

2 Feb 2018 8:31AM
I am keen on photographing creatures. I don't want to buy another camera but would like a good quality zoom lens for my phone. Should I get a telescope, a telephoto lens or a monocular...and what's the diff? Also, what spec should I get.... (help understanding what the 'x' numbers mean).
Phone is a Samsung S8.
Many thanks in advance.
joshwa Plus
10 927 1 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2018 9:01AM
Hi Sadie,

What kind of creatures? Birds, or wildlife / animals, or close-ups of bugs etc?

I'm guessing wildlife / animals?

You can get a number of different attachments and the X is the number of times it multiplies your focal length. So for example, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 26mm (equivalent) lens, which is quite wide-angle. A 5x telephoto lens attachment, would times that by 5 and gives you an equivalent to 130mm. A 10x telephoto lens attachment would give you 260mm.

Manufacturers of these lenses seem to use telephoto / telescope interchangeably. They are basically the same. A monocular is a more compact form of telescope.

Be aware that they are manual focus, and you'll most likely need to use a tripod with them.

Hope this helps,

PS - Welcome to the site

2 Feb 2018 9:07PM
Hi. The phone is good for macro shots, but my distant birds on the far side of the lake are neither large enough nor defined enough. My other half's compact slr is 30x and I was wondering about getting an equivalent lens for my phone. There are quite a few to choose from so need some rules of thumb to help with selection!
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
2 Feb 2018 9:36PM
See if you can find out the focal length of your partner's lens. It will be measured in mm, typical lengths are 18mm, 28mm, 50mm 200mm etc

If it's a zoom lens it will extend from one extreme to another such as 18mm - 200mm in one lens.

If your partner's maximum is 300mm then to match that you need to be thinking of a 12 x adaptor like this for example.
3 Feb 2018 12:47PM
Thanks. So it's focal length rather than magnification that's key...and that's the first number, right?

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