Comment from a reader: This photo might not seem like much, but I was absolutely amazed with it. I took this photo from Mount Loretto, a beach on Staten Island. Mount Loretto is directly across a body of water separating Staten Island from New Jersey. The distance is about 8 miles. Years ago, a friend and I wanted to paddle across in our kayaks, but we never got to do it. If you look across the water from the Mount with the naked eye. all you can make out is green rolling hills. This day I was trying to shoot some seals, birds, or whatever. There was nothing around, so I concentrated on the passing sailboat. I was at 500mm (750 cropped), ISO 500, f/22, and 1/250th shutter speed. When I got home, went into RAW, cropped, and enlarged the photo, I was amazed to find that not only was I able to now see the beach on the Jersey side, but houses and people standing on the beach. All this from a distance of 8 miles!
New Jersey from Staten Island.
Reply: Hi Herb – This is an incredible photo! I can’t believe you were able to manage such detail from so far away. You may as well use this lens as a telescope as well. This is a wonderful endorsement for Sigma. I have one of their wide angle lenses and I love it. Nothing like your 500mm though.
Reply: I wish there was some way I could find the actual mileage between Staten Island at Mount Loretto, and directly across to New Jersey. I guess I’ll have to give the Coast Guard a call one day.
Reply: From the shore of Mount Loretto Unique Area to Conaskonk Point in New Jersey, it’s 3.75 miles.
From the shore of Mount Loretto Unique Area to Keyport Harbor in New Jersey, it’s 4.6 miles.
From the shore of Mount Loretto Unique Area to Keansburg Amusement Park in New Jersey, it’s 5.35 miles.
From the shore of Mount Loretto Unique Area to Sandy Point Hook Beach in New Jersey, it’s 11 miles.
These points are all almost directly south and southeast of Staten Island.
If you download Google Earth, there’s a Ruler tool that you can use to measure things like what you’re interested in. I use it all the time.
Reply: WOW! Thank you Jay, so much for taking the time in getting that info. Sometimes it pays to keep up with the technology which makes all this info readily available.It’s like I am living in a cave during the stone age. Although I am not certain, I think it might be Keyport Harbor I am seeing directly across from the Mount. Not the 8 miles I though it was, but still a great achievement for that lens. I see that Sigma now has a 60-600mm zoom. I think though tempted, I’ll hold off on that for a while.
Reply: I thought you’d like that. I was excited to share these distances with you because I felt like a whizz. The Ruler tool in Google Earth (not Google Maps online) is one of those little hidden treasures. It’s fun to use it to see how long you’ve hiked or walked or whatever. I see that it’s also now good for photography. Glad to help!
And yes, I think your 500mm is pretty good for now. I agree with you though, an extra 100mm is so cool.