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Today, the wiki is in read-only mode to allow for a hosting migration.  Please enjoy reading all our xkcd explanations.
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We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
 
We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
 
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Revision as of 01:59, 30 October 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

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Telephoto
I was banned from the airliners.net photography forum by concerned moderators after the end of my lens started brushing against planes as they flew by.
Title text: I was banned from the airliners.net photography forum by concerned moderators after the end of my lens started brushing against planes as they flew by.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Telephoto lenses are special lenses for cameras that have a longer focal length than standard lenses, which allows the photographer to zoom in on an object. The joke is that Cueball did not want to spend the money on buying a new telephoto lens, and instead added many many "converters" and "extenders" to his existing lens to get the same effect.

There are many problems with this. First, the end result is completely impractical to carry around; as shown in the comic, Cueball has to set up two tripods just to support the weight of his hulking behemoth of a camera. Second, if you're an animal photographer like Cueball, you need to be able to see the animal as close up as possible in order to get a good picture; a lens with lots of magnification power accomplishes just that without alerting the animal to the photographer's presence, but Cueball's camera would surely scare off any birds he tried to picture (except in fanciful proof-of-concept diagrams like this comic).

Perhaps most damning of all, though, is the fact that Cueball's idea involves installing a webcam at the far end to be able to photograph anything. Webcams are not designed to capture high-resolution images, so the resulting image will be of considerably lower quality compared to professional photographers' works. But more importantly, the presence of the webcam renders the functionality of the extenders (and the base camera itself!) completely redundant, cementing this idea as a total waste of time and effort.

The title text continues this by saying he was banned from the airliners.net photography forum because his new modified lens got so long from all of the attachments that it started brushing against planes as they took off. It would seem that having a greater than 100 foot lens set up on or near the runway, along with the potential to damage planes in-flight, being banned from an online forum would be the least of his worries.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.



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