Telephoto lens magnification compared to Spotting scopes

3 years 4 months ago #707111 by ZurabIgnacij
Hello, hope to find useful info here. Coming from a different field, other than photography, I am used to optical magnification being expressed in Times-zoomed. Some spotting scopes have fixed 30x magnification, for instance. Sticking an iPhone at the end of spotting scope is not the best solution, so I am putting together a Canon R6 + 100-500 RF lens set and possible 2x magnifier.
Requirement is to take pics of recognizable facial features at 150m and more in less than ideal conditions. This is more of investigative than artistic work.
My question is: how much magnification is 500mm lens compared to Times-magnified on optics like spotting scopes? Thank you!

P.S. Don't tell me times-magnified is ratio of lowest and highest zoom, because it's not.

3 years 4 months ago #707141 by Nikon Shooter

Given that a 50 mm lens is 1x, a 100mm lens is 2x, 200mm lens is 4x, etc.
To get the optics magnification factor, simply divide the focal length of the
lens by 50. So, using the formula, a 400mm lens to about the magnification
of 8x and a 500mm lens to roughly a 10x.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
Photo Comments
The following user(s) said Thank You: ZurabIgnacij
3 years 4 months ago #707142 by Nikon Shooter

Scopes achieve greater magnifications through the eyepiece
but there are less desirable features for photography.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
Photo Comments
1 year 8 months ago #743833 by uscameloptics
For a full-frame camera, 50mm is approximately equal to the focal length of the human eye, and we can calculate the corresponding multiples of lenses with different focal lengths. For example, a 400mm lens is equivalent to 8 times the telescope effect, and 800mm is 16 times. For cameras of other formats, you need to multiply by the corresponding coefficient. So, M43 frame, the factor is 500mm lens can be equivalent to the effect of 10 times telescope.

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