Back in January, I wanted to see and photograph the Super Blue Blood Moon. In order to get a moon image as big as possible, I went hunting through my lenses for telephotos. I found that I had two 200mm telephoto lenses. One was the 18-to-200mm E-mount zoom lens that came with my Sony cinema camera and the other was one of my father’s ancient Auto-Topcor full-frame 35mm film lenses.

I set up a test to see how telephoto was a 200mm lens and if both lenses covered the same field.

A 200mm lens does give quite a close up image. Photo 1 is the tableau I set up as seen with an 18mm wide angle lens. Photo 2 is from the exact same spot. The camera was not moved. I just changed lenses. You can also note that the 50 year old Auto-Topcor provides a nice bright, sharp image.


Even though both are marked as 200mm, they were made for different cameras. Usually full-frame 35mm film lenses when adapted to a camera with an E-mount and a Super 35mm film size sensor provide a more close-up image than native E-mount lenses. I wanted to test that. It turns out that the difference was quite small. The Auto-Topcor provided a closer view but not significantly so. Below is the Auto-Topcor as mounted on the Sony camera. It is a pretty big lens.

So, equipped with a good long lens I duly got up at 3am and headed outside. I looked up and it was overcast! I looked for the moon and for a second the clouds parted, I saw the moon, and the clouds closed never to open again. So, much for Super Blue Blood Moons.