Commonly, People use telephoto lens to zoom a subject from afar, but actually there are so many other functions of it.
This article will discuss all about this lens.
First of all, lets we find out the definitions of this telephoto. According to me myself, a lens can be considered as telephoto if it has a focal length of 60 mm or more which includes the lens standard or lens width.
There are two kinds of telephoto: one is a telephoto lens that cannot zoom (fix) such as Canon EF 200mm f/2. The other one is a zoom lens like Canon 70-200mm f/4 L. lens with zoom is more multi-functional but one without zoom normally has maximal opening which is wider and small in size. There is all around lens that has got wider focal length than telephoto for example 18-200mm lens.
Let’s uncover the characters of telephoto lens.
Zooming the photo subject
The most prominent character of the telephoto lens is its ability to zoom a subject from afar. This character makes this lens a favorite use for sport photography, wildlife, architecture, sceneries or other subjects where you cannot get any closer. This lens is also ideal to capture candid images because it can take pictures from a distance without being known by the people whose photographs are taken. By using telephoto lens, a dancer that is at far distance can look bigger and closer.
Macro or close-up
Though we can zoom up a subject photo from afar, but most of telephoto lenses are not suitable for zooming near distant subjects (macro-photography). It is caused by the great number of telephoto lens that cannot be focus near the photo subject. The solution for this matter is to use special telephoto lens for macro-photography like Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM, or Nikon 85mm f/3.5 DX VR.
Shallow Depth of Field
The more far the used focal length, the more blur the unfocused area in the photo (for example, background). Because of this character, telephoto lens is mostly used for portrait photo. Because this can make people who look at the photo focus on seeing the subject of the photo rather than the background.
The other character if telephoto lens can produce a photo like one which gets compressed. The background and subject of the photo appear closer, the photo looks like two dimensions. Because of that, there are so many photographers choose wider lens for scenery photos because the wide lens can make a photo appear like three dimensions.
However, sometimes, telephoto lens is better than new wide lens for scenery photos for instance this lens is able to make the moon or the sun look bigger than by seeing it using our own bare eyes so that they will appear more dramatic. Telephoto lens can make backgrounds like mountains look closer and bigger than the reality.
Telephoto lens is suitable for capturing sports photos. The spectators will appear pretty closer when they are actually quite far. This is because of the effect of compression effect.
Like what I have discussed before, telephoto lens is very popular for photo portrait especially the close up or head and shoulder one. This lens can make one looks more attractive because this lens is able to eliminated face distortion. And because of the depth of focus is thin, women’s portraits can become more interesting because of the soft effects resulted from it. In the field, there are so many fashion photographers that use long telephoto like 200 mm lens or more.
So many people believe to take a group photo with so many people involved, one needs a wide lens. But actually this lens can create distortions especially in the outskirts of the image. According to me, using telephoto lens for this kind of photo taking is better.
When we take a group photo in big size and levels, telephoto lens can be more useful for it takes clear images of people at the back because they will look bigger than ones at the front row. If you use wide lens, the photo of people at the back row will look smaller than the front ones except when we take the image from a high place.
The challenges of using telephoto lens
There are some challenges when we use telephoto lens. First, it will be more difficult to make the camera and the lens stable so that the images will not get blurred. This is because of the size of the lens which is relatively bigger and heavier than wide lens. For perfect photo taking, you may need a tripod or increase the shutter speed and ISO according to the need.
The second one is the size which is large and heavy. This will give you trouble while carrying this lens for long journey or trip. You will also draw people’s attention when you carry the very long telephoto lens.
The third challenge is the width of the field. You will need wider place so that the lens can work well for example you will need more or less 3 meters if you want to take close up photo suing the 85 mm medium telephoto lens. If you use wider lens such as the 100 or 200 mm one, you will need bigger room. Most of photo lenses have minimum focus distance that can be pretty far for about above 1 meter, except for the macro lens.
The last weakness of this lens is its price. There are so many telephoto lenses are on sale for more expensive prices than the wide lens especially ones with wide aperture and image stabilization/ vibration reduction feature.
I hope this article allows you all to understand and know more the characters of telephoto lens so you can use this lens more effectively.