How to Choose, Maintain and Use Telephoto Lens

Everyone wants to capture moments. We can’t hold time, but we can capture our best moments. But for that, we need the best gear and should know how to choose, maintain, and use a telephoto lens. Photography whether a hobby or a profession, every photographer wants his/her every capture to be perfect. There are different types of cameras and lenses available in the market. Each type has its own distinctive features. When choosing a camera and lens, one should consider his/her own needs, not the hype. There are many technical issues when it comes to choosing the camera lens. So, everyone should check a little before spending money.

What is a telephoto lens?

A telephoto lens is a special type of long-focus lens. It is extensively used in photography and cinematography. Its actual length is shorter than the focal length. This is done by using a telephoto group. It can improve the light path and make focus length long in a shorter design. For the same focal length, the view angle and other long-focus lens effects are all same. Long focus length lenses can be designated as a telephoto lens, but this is incorrect.

How to Choose, Maintain and Use Telephoto Lens

There are two types of Telephoto Lenses

  1. Medium telephoto: lenses covering between a 30° and 10° field of view (67mm to 206mm in 35mm film format), and
  2. Super Telephoto: lenses covering between 8° through less than 1° field of view (over 300mm in 35mm film format).

How to Choose Telephoto Lens?

People often say that “It’s the photographer that counts, not the camera”. But consider capturing a high-speed race car or a flying bird from a long distance with a slow-moving camera lens. No matter how expert a photographer is, he/she will face some difficulties. So, Nikon or canon or whatever brand you use, it is really important to have the appropriate gear.

Before you go out there to buy your telephoto lens, you need to ask yourself if you really need it. Are you really into wildlife photography? Do you really need these high-end features? If you are not going to use it up to its full potential, then, there is no point in spending more money. If you can get your job done at a lower cost, get that one which is good enough for your needs.

How to Choose Telephoto Lens

The first thing people want with their camera is the best picture quality. It depends on the glass of the lens. The better the lens, the sharper the image will be. And more you spend on the lens, the image quality will be better.

Then you need to decide whether you need a prime lens or zoom lens. A prime lens has a fixed focal length, but a zoom lens can work over a range. Prime lenses are fast, but I think zoom lenses have the flexibility to be used over a range.

Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR II or Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM are zoom lenses. The prime lenses come in 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm.

There are some budget-friendly lenses available in the market like sigma, Tamron, etc. You may not get competitive features like Canon or Nikon. But since you are paying low, you have to forget something, right?

There are a few other things you need to check. As already mentioned motor speed of the lens is an important factor. If you have a slow lens, you can’t capture fast-moving objects.

Then check the focus length. This is one of the most important factors of the camera lens.

How to Maintain Telephoto Lens?

There are some simple tips to maintain a camera lens. This not only applies to a telephoto lens but generally to all types.

  • First, Keep your camera and lens in an air-tight container or Bag if possible.
  • Second, Keep it in cool and dry places.
  • Third, use a packet of silica gel inside the camera bag. This will keep it protected from moisture.
  • Forth, always keep a microfiber to clean any dust off the camera lens.
  • Fifth, every time you detach the lens from the camera, make sure no dust gets inside.
  • Sixth, before attaching to the camera Ensure that outside of the rear lens element is free of dust. You can use a rocket blower to blow away dust and finally a microfiber cloth.
  • Seventh, do not leave the camera with the lens mount open for the long term.
  • Finally, use a proper charger to charge your batteries.

How to Use Telephoto Lens?

Telephoto lenses can be used in a number of ways. That is why it is a great tool for photographers. Here are few of them-

With a telephoto lens, you can bring far objects closer. With telephoto effect, you can look like the object is close. The more the focal length more effective it will be.

With a telephoto lens, you can focus on a particular subject and fill the frame. If you don’t want to have the background, only want to fill the frame with the subject, then it can be useful. You can get distant things close to you, so, you can get a closer shot or a particular aspect of a landscape which is probably too far to get.

How to Use Telephoto Lens

Some subject may get lost if you take a shot from a distance. Well, with this lens you can particularly focus on something even it is at a long distance.

A telephoto lens is perfect for wildlife photography. It reduces the distance between the subject and you. The main feature is that you will get a closer shot and it will appear in the image that you were standing next to it while you took it.

Related: Tips on DSLR maintainence

To make shallow depth of the field it is really useful. As we have already discussed, a telephoto lens can focus on your subject and make background blur. So, everyone will keep eye on the subject.

You can take portrait images and even you can take a photo of the moon with this telephoto lens.

With longer focal length telephoto lens, you can capture moments of a fast moving substance. So, it is perfectly suited for sports photography. For example, if you want to take snaps of a fast moving race car and you can’t even get close to it. A telephoto lens can come handy in that case.

Final Verdict

A telephoto lens is a great tool for sports or wildlife photography. It is a great kit to have in your bag. The image quality mostly depends on the gadgets and gears we use. So, to capture the best image we need to have the best camera and lens. A telephoto lens has versatile uses. Still one should check if he/she really needs it.

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I am a photography enthusiast turned blogger, sharing my passion and expertise on her blog, "CallofPhotography." Growing up surrounded by nature, I developed a love for capturing moments through my lens. After studying Fine Arts with a focus on photography, I launched my blog to share tutorials, gear reviews, and my own photographic work. Through engaging storytelling, I invites readers to join her visual journey, inspiring and empowering photographers of all levels worldwide.

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