Your first camera normally comes with something like a 50mm lens. You can shoot your family etc well enough, but very soon after you start, you want something bigger, longer better. The US Army has a huge desire for bigger and better – and it looks like it will be getting it soon enough. KitGuru strips off to avoid being caught on camera.
Smaller telephoto lenses, in the 70-200 range, focus on image quality and creative expression.
If you're into shooting wildlife etc, or want to cover a football match from a fixed position, then you are looking at lenses in the 400mm range. With a ‘doubler', you can add a device between the lens and the camera that will give you an 800mm effective lens.
We can all visualise a football pitch, where nothing is likely to be more than 100 metres/yards away from your lens – while true paparazzi will try and get candids that might be 200 or 300 meters away.
So, with that in mind, now consider the effort needed to get high resolution shots – at a distance of 1km.
Speaking to Optics Express about his team's breakthrough in long range photography, physicist Gerard Buller from Heriot-Watt university in Scotland, explained why super cooled, super conducting nano wires were involved, “That's the beauty of this system, each laser pulse contains many photons, but we only need one photon to return for every 10 optical pulses”.
So that's 10 pulses with a laser – which is a huge amount of light – to get one photon back from a distance of 1km – and you're in business.
To make the system practical for field deployment, the requirement for exotic detectors and cooling solutions would have to be removed – but the possibilities are impressive.
Well you could accurately photograph the bottom of a lake, without ever venturing down there or, for the military, take photos of your enemy's camp and all its inhabitants – without ever having to risk being caught.
The only downside is that enemy troops could strip off to avoid being shot – because human skin is a terrible reflector for this kind of technology.
KitGuru says: Funny to think that celebrities could avoid dodgy pictures of themselves by stripping off. On a more practical note, Loch Ness must be a target for this technology.
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