8 best ways to shoot with telephoto lenses

Telephoto lens, which refers to the equivalent 135 full-frame camera focal length of more than 100mm lens, is not a very long and large lens. A focal length of 65mm or more is typical on a half-frame camera, while the M43 has a focal length of 50mm.

Telephoto lenses have multiple uses and can be a great tool in a photographer’s arsenal. To understand their versatility, this article will show you how to shoot with telephoto lenses and the 8 best ways to use telephoto lenses.

1. How to shoot with telephoto lenses?

A telephoto lens is a favorite shooting tool of many photographers, but how to make good use of the telephoto lens, take better photos. Next, share some small experiences in filming, convenient for everyone to shoot better out of the film.

The landscape with a telephoto lens

(1) Depth of field control

When the aperture and focal point are the same, the longer the focal length, the more likely the picture is to produce a shallow depth of field, and the better the effect of background blur. At this point, if you match a large aperture, you can make the background more blurred. So telephoto lenses can blur the clutter of the scene, make the subject more prominent, and also make the picture more concise. So telephoto lenses are great for portraits, easy to handle, and smoother.

However, attention should be paid to focusing during shooting, because the depth of the field of a telephoto lens is very shallow. Once the control of the focal plane is unstable, it is easy to run away from focusing. Therefore, when shooting with a telephoto head, it is necessary to hold the AF-ON back button or half-press the shutter to lock the focal plane, translate the camera and compose the picture.

(2) Sense of compression

The telephoto lens has a strong sense of space compression. That is, the visual sense of the pictures taken is that the space distance before and after the picture elements is compressed, and the subject and background seem to be closer, giving people the visual feeling that the background and the subject seem to be in the same plane. This effect makes it easy to shoot the background and subject in the same plane.

Animals shot with telephoto lenses

When using the telephoto lens, in addition to the distant scene behind him closer to the subject, background and main body in the same flat screen outside, still need according to the position of the subject and the background adjust the aperture, choose the good focal length, and better control the depth of field, for better shot composition, make the picture visual perception to achieve the best effect.

(3) Shooting distance

In order to get the best effect, it is necessary to get close. However, in most cases, it is not possible to get close enough. For example, when shooting wild birds and pet animals, when using a telephoto lens, it is easy to get the picture you want even if you keep a certain distance from the subject.

2. 8 main ways to use telephoto lenses

Longer telephoto lenses are great for photographers who want to shoot shy wildlife, zoom in on distant subjects, or just fill the frame to create compelling shots.

To show you the versatility of telephoto lenses, we’ve listed eight ways to use these lenses.

(1) Bring the distant subject closer

The telephoto effect of these lenses makes the distance between objects can actually be large, making it seem as if they are very close together. The longer the focal length, the more obvious the effect. This is useful when you have city skylines or mountains in the background, and if you pull them closer to the object in the lens (such as bridges, buildings, or boulders), it will give you a more interesting and enjoyable shot, which is your main focal point.

The landscape with a telephoto lens

(2) Fill the frame

If you want to exclude certain parts of the picture, such as the boring gray sky in the background of a landscape photo, use a telephoto lens to focus on colorful tree lines instead of shooting trees and the sky. It also pulls distant subjects closer to you, which means you can get a shot of shy wildlife or a particular landscape that you can’t get to.

(3) Pick a distant subject

Use a telephoto lens to isolate your subject if you want to focus on specific aspects that are lost when shooting with a wider focal length. You can do this with a shorter focal length, but the longer length of telephoto means you can isolate the subject at some distance from where you’re shooting.

(4) Capture wildlife footage

Telephoto lenses are ideal for wildlife because they bring you closer to your subject. With a telephoto lens, you’ll be able to take a picture that looks like you’re only a few steps away from your subject, when in fact you’re quite a distance away. This distance means your subject won’t be scared away and will keep you safer if you’re photographing animals that might be considered dangerous.

(5) Shoot the moon

Your shots aren’t as good as those taken with a telescope, but you can still take great pictures of the moon with a telephoto lens. In addition to a very long lens, you’ll need a tripod, clear skies, good weather, remote control and cable release, a few hours of free time, and good technology. You can even take multiple photos and combine them to produce a sharper image.

(6) Portrait

Shooting the head or shoulders with a longer focal length provides a better view and tighter cropping when away from the subject. This distance also means you don’t have to get too close to your subjects, so they’ll be more comfortable and you’ll have more natural portraits. You can also take photos without any distortion, and backgrounds are easier to lose focus, even if they are only a few meters away from the subject, which means all the focus falls directly on the subject. However, if working hand-held, pay attention to shutter speed, as you don’t want the shake to ruin your shot.

Portrait shot with telephoto lens

(7) A shallow depth of field

As mentioned above, telephoto lenses make it easier to get a blurry background in a photo, isolating your subjects and really making them the focus of your shots. You don’t want distracting background details competing for the viewer’s attention, and a shallow depth of field will ensure that doesn’t happen.

(8) Capture action

For fast-paced action that you can’t get close to, such as racing and flying events, you’ll need telephoto lenses to give you a longer focus, because in most cases it’s impossible to get close to the action. To create a sense of rhythm, use a telephoto lens to take pictures with sharp subjects but a nicely out-of-focus background.

3. Conclusion

Telephoto lenses also allow for close-ups of the subject at a good proportion, highlighting the beautiful texture or fine detail of a scene at a distance.

A good photo should first have its own idea, not necessarily express what, but must shoot the effect you want. Get the feel and taste you want, choose the right lens, and then use your technique to get the picture you want.

The landscape with a telephoto lens

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