Telephoto lenses are a great addition to a photographer’s gear of lenses as they provide clearer and more detail on distant objects that are beyond the capabilities of the kit lens many cameras have, which is usually is only up to 50-55 mm focal distance.
But aside from distance, how can one capture better photos with a telephoto lens? Let us show you it could be done:
- Use A Tripod For Sharp Photos
First thing to remember is that when you use a telephoto and super telephoto lenses, your subjects need to be tack sharp in the photo. But because of to the narrow field of view and magnification of telephoto lenses ever so slight movements have an amplified impact diminishing image sharpness. One sure way to ensure that you’ll capture sharp images is to use a tripod and a tripod head that can support the weight of your lens and camera.
- Use A Shutter Release
As was said before, any movement is amplified when looking through the viewfinder of a camera using a telephoto lens. Even the simple act of pressing the shutter on your camera will cause even a tripod mounted camera and lens to shake when trying to photograph a distant subject. To minimize camera shake use a shutter release. Quite simply a shutter release is a shutter release button on an extension cord. Minimizing movement of your camera and lens while mounted on a tripod will reduce unintended blurring of your photo.
- Turn Off Lens Image Stabilization for Tripod Mounted Cameras
When you have Image Stabilization or Vibration Reduction active on your lens the internal mechanics detects movement and counter acts it producing a sharp image. When your camera and lens are mounted on a tripod movement is removed, but your lens can errantly activating the IS/VR mechanism creating an image that is less than sharp. For this reason it is best practice to turn off your lenses IS or VR functionality when it is mounted to a tripod.
- Telephoto Effect: Bringing Far and Near Together
Telephoto lenses have this unique optical effect in that they flatten scenes with great depth, an effect known as the Telephoto Effect. Making use of this effect can be very useful in composing graphically striking subjects and scenes. Unlike shorter focal length lenses that can provide a great deal of depth to a scene the flattening of a scene with the use of a telephoto lens can give the illusion that multiple subjects separated by great distances are actually very close. This effect can create a great deal of impact with viewers.
- Tightly Frame Your Subject
The most obvious use of a telephoto lens is to magnify a subject so as to close the distance between you and what you’re photographing. Of course, this lens proves useful when you’re photographing wildlife and would like to get closer without putting your life at risk. Beyond wildlife using a telephoto lens give you creative license to get extremely close to your subject in some instances. This is particularly useful in highlighting details that would otherwise be lost with shorter focal length lenses.
- Isolate Your Subject
Telephoto lenses are great to more distinctly isolate your subject. While this can be done with shorter focal length lenses telephotos enable you to have greater reach to subjects that might be too far off otherwise. This is a middle ground use of telephoto lenses where you’re not looking to crop in too tightly or close the gap between subjects that are far apart.
- Pan for Action
Panning with a telephoto lens can provide high impact photos of almost any moving subject although maintaining a sharp subject can be tricky requiring some practice. The added dimension of motion blur bring telephoto and super telephoto lens photos to life.