July 2015
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Selecting the right telephoto lens to use – 5 tips

In the previous post, we were talking about different types of lenses. In this post, we will explore in more detail about a specific type of lens, the telephoto lens. It is pretty important to be sure that you buying the right telephoto lens, since a good lens can get pretty expensive, and you don’t want to fork out money for something that does not meet your needs fully. With a telephoto lens, you magnify objects in the distance, and if there is some problem with the lens or you have bought a low quality lens, then those problems will show up more easily, making you regret your decision. So, here are some points that can help you with the same.

Tip 1306 (Usage of the lens): Getting a telephoto lens would also depend on the usage of the telephoto lens. You could be needing it just to complete your lens needs, wanting a lens that allows you to bring distance objects closer, without some specialized need. Or you could be needing it for a specialized purpose, such as for wildlife shooting, or sports photography. If you were to looking for a specialized need, your equipment might be more expensive, while if you are looking to buy a telephoto lens for distant photography, then you would have a much wider variety of lenses to choose from and you might be able to get a less expensive lens.

Tip 1307 (Handling such lenses): Some of the better quality of telephoto lenses can be pretty heavy and long. Typically, the more zoom there is in such a lens, the longer the lens will be; this in turn means that the front end of the lens needs to be wider. You need to be sure that you have the required equipment to handle such lenses. They will tend to be more delicate (I don’t mean that you should treat other lenses roughly, but these lenses will be much more delicate; for example, when carrying long lenses, need to be sure that you don’t by accident hit either end of the lens somewhere).

Tip 1308 (Narrower view of objects): When people use a telephoto lens for the first time, they are surprised by how much narrower the field of view becomes. Even though a telephoto lens lets you see distance objects much closer, the number of objects you can see in the distance reduces significantly. Further, a telephoto lens tend to flatten distant objects, thus making it appear that 2 objects in the distance are closer to each other even though there would be space between them.

Tip 1309 (Image stabilization for telephoto lens): When you buy a telephoto lens, make sure that you buy one that has a good quality of optical stabilization. When using a telephoto lens, since the objects are at a distance, any movement of the hand can cause shaking of the end object as seen through the lens to get magnified, and a good lens optical stabilization can help control this. Ultimately, as the zoom and weight of the lens increases, you will need a collar on the lens so that it can be connected to a tripod (which is the best way of reducing shake).

Tip 1310 (Zoom factor): You get a wide variety of telephoto lenses. There are telephoto lenses that have focal lengths of 200mm, 400mm, 600mm and even more. As you get into higher focal lengths and better quality lenses, the cost of these equipment can get pretty high. See those lenses you see the professionals wielding at sports stadiums, those are excellent quality lenses with a high zoom, but are also pretty high. On the other hand, the equipment you see wild life professionals wielding are supposed to be more handy, with almost no motor sounds so as to not scare the animals, etc.

The Lens: A Practical Guide for the Creative Photographer How to Choose a Camera, Lens How to Choose Yor Camera Lenses

Videos on selecting the proper lens for the DSLR:

How to Choose a Lens for a DSLR

Choosing Your First Lens for a DSLR Camera

Photography Techniques : Selecting a Camera Lens

An overview of digital SLR lenses

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