Why travel with telephoto lenses?

When you arrive at a breathtaking location, you’re often so overwhelmed by the sights and sounds in front of you that your first instinct is to pull out a wide-angle lens and capture everything around you. So it’s no surprise that nature photographers don’t always carry a telephoto lens in their camera bag.

However, telephoto lenses have the potential to take your nature photography in a completely different direction. We shoot landscapes with telephoto lenses and we can choose what we want to represent from the chaos of the scene. Of course, shortening the subject, compressing the space distance, and presenting a shallow depth of field are all characteristics of telephoto, and as long as the camera angle is slightly moved, the original composition can be changed, and the subject will be full of the picture, the composition is more compact. To use telephoto lenses effectively, you have to change your mindset and see things differently. Learn Why travel with telephoto lenses.

1. What is a telephoto lens?

A telephoto lens is a photographic lens with a longer focal length than a standard lens. Telephoto lenses are divided into ordinary telephoto lenses and ultra-telephoto lenses. The focal length of an ordinary telephoto lens is close to that of a standard lens, while that of the ultra-telephoto lens is much larger than that of the standard lens.

The beauty of the telephoto lens

Telephoto lenses come in a variety of focal lengths, ranging from 70mm to longer than 400mm. They can be zoom lenses with adjustable focal lengths or prime lenses with fixed focal lengths.

A telephoto lens can be divided into the general telephoto lens, inverted telephoto lens, and reflex telephoto lens according to the different light group structures.

2. Features of using a telephoto lens

Shooting with a long focal length lens has the following characteristics:

First, the perspective is small. Therefore, the shooting of the scene space scope is also small. In the same shooting distance, the shot of the image is larger than the standard lens, suitable for filming the details of distant scenery and shooting not easy to approach the subject.

Second, the depth of the field is short. Therefore, the subject in a chaotic environment can be highlighted. However, it is difficult to focus accurately. If the focus is slightly inaccurate during shooting, the subject will be blurred.

Third, the perspective effect is poor. This kind of lens has the characteristic that obviously compresses the space depth distance and exaggerates the rear scene.

The beauty of the telephoto lens

When long focal length lenses are used, they are generally used to take pictures of distant objects. Due to the absorption of air and diffuse light. Therefore, the contrast of the shot image is small, and the dust extinction is serious, it is not easy to achieve very accurate focusing. Using the ultra-telephoto lens of 300 mm or more, it is difficult to focus all colors on a single point, thus causing the problem of sub-spectrum. Based on the above situation, sometimes the image quality of the work taken is not high.

There are many factors that affect the use of a long focal length lens, but the advantages are the main ones. In the distance, shooting scenery figures, tourism photography, portrait photography, in the stands shooting stage, sports games and other photos, in the zoo shooting animals, animals in the wild, with auxiliary mirror for close shooting. And so on, in these numerous fields, it is used everywhere.

Long focal length lens shooting, generally using fast photographic film and fast shutter, such as the use of 200 mm long focal length lens shooting, the shutter speed should be more than 1/250 second, to prevent the camera vibration handheld camera shooting caused by blurred image. For normal shooting, it is best to fix the camera on a tripod in order to keep it stable.

Ultra telephoto lenses are generally used only in special circumstances, and cannot be used to fix the camera with a normal tripod alone, otherwise, overweight lenses will damage the camera base fixed on the tripod. Therefore, a kind of tripod that can support the lens support must be used to fix the camera. Without this special tripod, two tripods can be used to fix the camera body, one to fix the camera body, and the other to fix and support the ultra-telephoto lens.

The beauty of the telephoto lens

3. Reasons for traveling with telephoto lenses

(1) Use telephoto lenses to film wild animals

If you really want to do wildlife photography in a natural setting, you need a good telephoto lens. While we don’t always film wildlife, we can carry telephoto lenses with us in case we get a chance to capture wildlife.

Keep in mind that taking wildlife photos with a telephoto lens is not easy and requires you to overcome many different challenges. Two of the most common challenges faced by nature photographers are how to focus on fast-moving wildlife and how to take sharp pictures.

(2) Use telephoto lenses to shoot landscapes

Telephoto lenses can be used not only to capture long shots, but also to capture scenes on private property, unreachable objects (such as objects on the edge of cliffs), and even some great aerial shots.

We always use sturdy tripods and quality ball heads to capture such vistas. Also, if we’re shooting in windy conditions, we make sure to use a fast shutter speed. The fast shutter speed will allow us to overcome the tiny movement of telephoto lenses due to gusts and capture stunning clarity.

The beauty of the telephoto lens

(3) Macro photography using telephoto lenses

When we think of small subjects, we immediately think of macro photography. But some subjects are big enough to be shot with a long lens. Any subject that does not require 1:1 magnification can be shot with a long lens.

Some live animals, like this gecko in Hawaii, are difficult to photograph because they are afraid of humans getting too close. For these subjects, the long lens allows you to get away from your subjects and shoot without disturbing them.

(4) Isolate your topic

Telephoto lenses tend to have a very narrow depth of field. This can be challenging if you’re trying to keep everything clearly in focus, but isolating your subject from the background can be very useful.

(5) Shooting all-day

Depending on the subject, you can shoot with a telephoto lens at any time of day. The narrow field of view of a telephoto lens, combined with the small size of the subject, makes it easy to find an evenly lit subject even in the middle of the day. Having telephoto lenses in our camera bags meant we were able to use our time on location more efficiently, and we were able to take some amazing pictures that a wide-angle lens couldn’t capture.

The beauty of the telephoto lens

4. Conclusion

While telephoto lenses are very effective for nature photography, they are not always easy to use. They bring their own set of challenges that must be overcome in order to produce a clear and outstanding photo. Our telephoto lenses use tutorials to show you how to overcome challenges, be creative and fill your portfolio with stunning photos.

So next time you head to a nature photography studio or visit an area rich in wildlife, be sure to bring your favorite telephoto lens.

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