Telephoto lenses tips

Telephoto lenses can get you close to the action without getting in the way. Here are some general tips and techniques for making the most of a tele-photo lens:

  • Remember that using a telephoto lens makes it harder to hold your camera steady. If you have it, turn on your lens’s Image Stabilizer feature, and shoot faster shutter speeds.
  • In addition to IS, use a tripod or, if you’re moving around a lot, a monopod. This reduces arm fatigue from using a heavier lens-camera combination.
  • Consider a DO lens if you don’t have a lot of arm strength. These are ideal if you need to take frequent telephoto shots because they are much smaller and lighter.
  • If you’re using a tripod, make sure it’s heavy-duty enough to support your camera and lens.
  • For long telephoto lenses, use the lens-mounted tripod mount.
  • Hold your camera and lens correctly for the most stable image. Place your left hand underneath the lens, not on the top of it. This is how your camera and lens were designed to be held, and is the most ergonomically correct position.
  • It’s easy to shoot tight shots with a tele-photo lens, but be careful not to shoot too tight. Remember that you may need to crop later to fit various print-size aspect ratios, so think about leaving a little margin in your shots.
  • If you’re using a variable-aperture zoom lens, don’t forget that when you zoom out your f-stop changes. Especially if you are shooting in manual mode, you’ll need to adjust your speed and/or ISO accordingly.
  • Shooting with a flash and a telephoto lens can be tricky, because the effectiveness of the flash isn’t designed for great distances. Remember the Inverse Square law when shooting flash images.

Category: Science of Lenses

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