Using Telephoto Lens

Tele Lens
Super Telephoto Lens

Long lens commonly called Telephoto lens is the lens type designed for photograph of far subjects, could be ‘astronomy’, ‘wlidlife’, ‘sport’, or ‘human interest’ photography. Telephoto lens focal length categorized from 100mm to 300mm, while greater than 300mm its called super telephoto lens, eg 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, 800mm etc.

Same with the kind of wide angle lenses, we could find of telephoto lenses in the market as zoom and prime type. Currently, the price of prime lens telephoto or super telephoto still relatively expensive at between aroudn US$ 10,000…! But for most of new beginner long shooter, might to choose of some “third party” telezoom lenses, which are cheaper (a LOT CHEAPER) compare to fix type a lens and they provide for Canon and Nikon mount, for example Tamron and Sigma with focal length zoom of 150mm-600mm.

They are priced below 20 million Indonesia Rupiahs (around US$1,400 – US$1,500…!) even Nikon had launced a super telephoto zoom lens for beginner type, its AFS Nikon 200-500mm f / 5.6E ED VR, priced at $ 1400, in Indonesia sold dg price of Rp 18,540,000 (January 2017). Basically, this Super Telephoto Zoom Lens, it a breakthrough exciting new for amateur photographers, beginners of wildlife, sport, ‘jurnalis photographers.

Why using a telephoto lens?

1. Closing the subject of the photo.

If a situation where we can not / should not be approaching the subject of the photo such in sport / stage photography in which we are not allowed to close the player or participants of the game, as well as to the subjects ‘wildlife’ ~ wild animals tend to be ‘run’ or even ‘strike’ if there is something that is considered disturbing then with the telephoto lens, it can be avoided by take our position in safe enough distance. What is important is the position we are right, in consideration of composition, lighting and safety; then the end result is better and desirable can be achieved.

Birding photography

2. Fill the frame.

When the subjects looks ‘full’ in the frame will add interest in a photograph, because there are no other objects to be seen and compare, such as large and complex background or foreground objects are even often disturbing interest in an image produced by this lens.

3. Isolate the subject

Photos crucial moment in an event much success due to the ability of the photographer to isolate of distant subjects, this is very useful for sport and wilidlife photographers, as well as human interest photographer. For example, when a player kicked the ball in football game, or when a lion pouncing on prey deer, transactions between sellers and buyers in the market, etc.

4. Shallow DOF

Because the telephoto lens has a focal length that is relatively large, then the shallow DOF will be more easily achieved than the lens focal length that is smaller. But its often sharp photographs of these lenses, are produced at an aperture of f/8 – f/16.

5. Same Scale of Perspective

Consider the following picture, how different telephoto lenses can produce scale perfective different and unique compared with the wide angle lens. At telephoto lens, a subject that is, between the foreground, midground, the background will look at the relative size approximately equal size. Conversely, at a wide angle lens, the subject of one who stands behind it will have a big difference-scale perspective.

Tips on how to use telephoto lens

1. Shutter Speed = 1/Focal Length

Apply rule “Shutter speed = 1 / focal length” when using handheld, this is the minimum speed. Better, try with a higher speed. You might to break the rules when using a tripod, monopod, or have trained your hands at a lower speed.

2. Monopod or Tripod

For maximum results, use a tripod or monopod. Try to be more selective in using these for static objects that do not move or static or any moment which has been predicted, then the selection of a tripod would be better and safer. Conversely, for a scene requiring rapid changes, such as sport, wildlife or the ‘action’ more, then use a monopod would be better.

Tele Lens on tripod

3. Shutter Release

Shutter release might be needed, especially on super telephoto lenses (up to 300mm) in which when we use the speed under the terms of the rule “shutter speed = 1 / focal length”. Sharpness is reduced as a result of subtle vibrations or ‘micro shake’ can be observed in the LCD 100% zoom camera condition.

4. Mirror lock-up, self timer

The mirror lock-up and self timer is useful features to reduce the motion / vibration smooth camera when we press the shutter button, even some old person, could not avoid shaking his hand, despite being trained. So use this feature, to achieve sharp images.

5. IS / VR Feature

Another feature of tele lens is IS (image stabilization on the Canon) or VR (Vibration Reduction Nikon). This feature will essentially provide a reduction in their sudden movement of the lens, its working as like a ‘safety belt’ in the car principally, where if there is a ‘jerk’ the lenses will be set as ‘floating’ and reduces their movement changes internally.

VR feature
VR feature on Nikon Lens

If the there are things that need to be added or corrected on this article, please send a message via the ‘contact’ page on my official website, or included in the comment field below this blog.

Keep shooting and Have fun,

Sad Agus Photography, © Copyright 2017.

Offiicial website ~

My Portfolio in Dreamstime microstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *