How To Use Telephoto Lens

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How to Use Telephoto Lens (For Beginners)

If you are passionate about photography, one of your goals should be to scale your venture and improve your skills. A telephoto lens can help you achieve this and more. Read on to learn more about telephoto lenses and how to use them.

Understanding Telephoto Lenses

Telephoto lenses are popular among both professional and amateur photographers because they are functional in various situations.

A telephoto lens has a long reach, allowing a photographer to capture images that are far away. You can also use these gadgets to enlarge your subject in the frame. A lens is said to be a telephoto if its focal length is a minimum of 60mm.

According to some people in the photography industry, telephoto lenses are similar to zoom lenses. However, these two are different. When it comes to telephoto lenses, all that matters is the dimension of the focal length. Telephoto lenses do not have to be zoom lenses.

How to get the most out of Telephoto Lenses

Target the Details

Telephoto lenses are powerful when it comes to targeting small details within a particular scene. They come with a lean area of view, allowing you to capture a small part of your subject. With a telephoto lens, you can separate details with more ease than you would on a wide or medium-angle lens.

Your photography niche determines the type of details you focus on. For example, if you are passionate about portrait photography, you do not need any surrounding components to capture an individual’s face.

Landscape photographers can focus on one mountain peak and highlight it as the most outstanding object in the image. Consider using macro lenses, as they allow you to capture the smallest scenes.

Move Objects Closer

You can use a telephoto lens to bring far-off subjects or things you cannot go near, such as wild animals, closer. Capture unique landscape images comprising valleys and mountain ranges as well as wildlife with telephoto lenses.

Display an Impression of Scale

Assuming you utilize a wide-angle lens when standing near a tree with mountains at a far-off distance, the tree will be larger than the background. This fact relies on perspective. When you are near an item, it will appear bigger compared to its background.

However, the lens you use does not determine this effect, but the position of your camera. Still, using a wide-angle lens closer to a subject widens your field of view.

Standing farther away when using a telephoto lens gives your images their actual size. For example, assume you use a wide-angle lens to photograph subjects in front of a mountain while standing approximately two feet from them.

The people will be huge in this case. However, they will be smaller if you opt to zoom the image. In this case, the mountain will appear big. This method can be ideal in various situations, such as sports and landscapes.

How to Capture Sharp Images with a Telephoto Lens

Select the Correct Shutter Speed

Choosing a shutter speed is crucial when it comes to photography. Shutter speed should be faster than or equal to the focal diameter of your lens.

If you are using a 500mm lens, your shutter speed should be slightly 1/500th of a second. Shooting at below 1/500th of a second triggers a camera shake, which alters the sharpness of your image.

The lens that features image stabilization allows you to capture an image at a slow shutter speed. Remember, utilizing a cropped sensor requires you to multiply the crop aspect by the focal diameter to determine the right shutter speed.

When using a 500mm lens and a 1.5 cropped sensor, you will want to shoot 1/750th of a second to get sharp images.

Use a Tripod or Monopod

Telephoto lenses today are lighter but still heavy, especially if you have to carry them for many hours. If you carry them for a long time, you may start shaking, which brings in a camera shake in your images.

Remember, super-telephoto lenses feature a tripod collar frame. Fix the lens on the tripod and not the camera. You could damage your lens and camera should you fix them to a tripod without proper support.

Utilize Image Stabilization on Your Telephoto Lens

Different lens manufacturers have a unique name for image stabilization. This feature helps reduce the shake triggered when tilting or panning your camera. It is ideal for shooting while holding your camera.

Remember to deactivate image stabilization when shooting from a tripod. Activating it creates a minor shake, which can circulate to the monopod or tripod.


Are you considering investing in a telephoto lens? Use this article as a guiding principle to help you make an informed decision.

See Also

Camera Polarizer Lens

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