Choose your first telephoto lens

More and more people have begun to love the photography industry. Some people can afford thousands or even tens of thousands of yuan of professional digital SLR cameras. But it’s one thing not to be able to afford it, and another to buy it right.

While the saying “It’s the photographer that matters, not the camera” is usually true, credit must still be given to the equipment used. For example, when using a lens with a slow motor, it is almost impossible to photograph high-speed birds. With this in mind, it’s important to choose your first telephoto lens carefully and make sure you make the right choice.

The first question you need to ask yourself is “How passionate am I about wildlife photography?” If you’re not sure if this area is right for you, then you shouldn’t spend all your hard-earned money on the latest high-end lenses. On the other hand, if you are sure that this is indeed your true calling, it certainly makes sense to buy the best telephoto lens you can afford. Going deep like this reduces the long-term monetary cost of constantly upgrading your equipment as your skills improve.

blue sky and white cloud

The second question was “Do I need the best lens?” There’s no point in buying the latest high-end lens if you’re not going to use all of its features. For example, if you never shoot fast-moving objects, then perhaps you can use a slower lens.

Many people also know that after buying an SLR camera, they generally need a telephoto lens to be more professional. Can choose what kind of telephoto lens this one thing, for beginners it is also very difficult. Today, as a beginner to sort out some of the selection of telephoto lens experience, for your reference.

1. Know the lens

The lens that can form a complete set of digital cameras is not little, besides ordinary lens or called standard match lens, still have long focal length lenses (also called telephoto lenses) and wide-angle lens. Telephoto lens, the focal length is long, the angle of view is small, the image is large, in the same shooting distance, the same scene can be shot on a local larger and clearer than an ordinary lens. Therefore, it is more suitable for close-up shots. Telephoto lenses do more than that because they zoom in closer and reduce perspective error, you can get a similar view to what the human eye would see.

Wide-angle lens and telephoto lens use is the opposite, short focal length, wide shooting angle small imaging. With the same film, it is easy to take a wider view than a normal lens. It is generally suitable for taking panoramic and full photos that cannot be taken by ordinary lenses.


2. Know the difference between focal segments

The focal segment of the lens can be roughly divided into 10-17mm for ultra-wide angle, mainly shooting scenery, especially large scenes, such as grassland, desert, ocean, etc. 17-35mm belongs to the wide-angle, suitable for scenery, culture, especially suitable for travel shooting. 35-135mm for the middle focus, suitable for humanities, portrait shooting. The 85mm focal length in this section is considered the best focal length for portrait shooting. The focal length of 50mm is said to be the most consistent with the visual angle of people’s eyes, so it has become the standard focal length, often called the 50mm lens “header”. 135mm and above are telephoto, generally we ordinary photography enthusiasts commonly used to 200mm so far, but some people like to shoot wild animals, birds to use 300, 400, even 600mm such focal segment, of which more than 300mm lens is called the super-telephoto lens. But with tens of thousands of shots, it’s the choice of a special professional.

3. Best picture quality

The first thing people want most from their devices is a sharp image. This mainly depends on the quality of the glass in the lens, although there are other factors. Therefore, the more you spend, the clearer your lens is likely to be. There are exceptions to this rule, so it’s important to view sample images from different lenses.


4. Depending on budget and subject

We hope that you should have a certain budget before buying a lens, especially for beginners. It is recommended that friends who have just started SLR should start from reality first and take the scenery and scenes they often shoot as the premise to do enough. Otherwise, spend a big price to buy back a professional telephoto lens, not only can it not fully develop its power, and lose silver. In addition, try to refer to the above focus section distinction written, you like to often shoot what is suitable for the focus section lens, both can achieve satisfactory results, and avoid waste.

5. Prime or Zoom?

Telephoto lenses exist as prime and zoom lenses. Prime lenses mean that the focal length is fixed, while zooms work within a certain range. Primes have a wider minimum aperture, so let more light in. But in exchange, you lose the flexibility of a zoom lens. I find that zoom lens help a lot with composition. If the subject is closer than expected, you can zoom out and adjust the composition. Your shooting style will help you choose whether to focus or zoom, as with a fixed lens you will inevitably miss some images. By contrast, in some cases, the extra speed of the prime lens can create or destroy the image, so zoom lenses can also cause you to miss the shot.


6. Imaging requirements

When it comes to imaging needs, this can be a big problem for some people. There are many standards for good or bad imaging, but simply speaking, including clear imaging, pure color, good detail level performance, sharp in the focus, soft out of the focus, etc. If you’re only shooting for fun, regular shots will suffice. If engaged in professional photography, you need to seriously consider the lens of the imaging ability, according to their own needs to choose.

7. Upgrade and preservation issues

Now that you have bought a telephoto lens, it should be said that you are likely to love photography more and more. If so, after some time, there may be lenses that need to be upgraded to higher requirements. Therefore, in the purchase should be considered in the future may appear upgrade demand, consider the choice of a telephoto lens is the value of the problem. Generally speaking, the telephoto lens of an SLR camera is relatively value-preserving, in many cases more than a card or mobile phone.

8. Conclusion

Understand your current real needs, choose your telephoto lens, later needs can increase the necessary upgrade.

The world of camera lenses is a minefield. There are a lot of different lenses on the market, and they’re all slightly different.

I hope you can carefully remember the above buying skills and methods so that you can buy a desirable telephoto lens.



Should my first lens be prime or zoom?

If you are very particular about image quality and don’t need to adjust your focal lengths, then prime lenses are the way to go. But if being able to quickly take photos at different focal lengths is more important than having a small camera bag, then zoom lenses are the best option for you.

Is it worth buying a telephoto lens?

A telephoto lens will allow you to take photos of subjects that are farther away. This comes in handy when you are taking photos of things that you can’t, or don’t want to, get close to. Having more distance between you and your subject can help some people feel more at ease in front of the camera.

Which is better telephoto or zoom lens?

A telephoto lens is optimized for long reach (good magnification at long distances). A zoom lens is one with variable focal length, usually ranging from wide to long. Each of them has its advantages, and which one is better depends on your needs.

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