A look at Long lenses

Long lenses

Telephoto lens settings allow you to fill the frame with distant subjects. But the ideal maximum focal length to take with you will depend on your holiday plans

The main purpose of telephoto lens settings is that they allow you to get ‘closer’ to a subject without having to move your feet, magnifying the image in comparison with shorter lenses. They are essential in situations where it is impossible or unwise to move within a certain distance of the subject. But whilst the use of long telephotos with sport and wildlife subjects is usually essential, most subjects will occasionally benefit from the use of a more extensive zoom.

A short telephoto lens (with a focal length 70mm to 135mm, say) is often the best lens for close-up portraits, as it tends to flatten the features in a flattering way. Longer settings (from 200mm to 300mm) can be useful for candid shots – letting you capture shots of local people, or of family and friends, without their becoming camera conscious.

Even with subjects such as architecture and landscape, where the wide-angle is often the lens of choice, a long telephoto will not only allow the photographer to pick out details and individual elements in the scene, it will allow him or her to tackle these subjects in a refreshing way. The way in which a telephoto lens can seem to compress elements in the composition, or throw backgrounds so convincingly out of focus, can often be more beneficial than its narrow angle of view

The exact length of lens required will depend on the subjects you find at your destination. The further away you are, and the smaller your subject, the longer the lens you will need. On a safari you will benefit from the magnification of a 400mm, whilst shooting surfers from the beach you may need an 800mm. Such extreme focal lengths are not often found on zooms, requiring you to buy a bulky additional lens (or use a teleconverter). Zooms for SLRs, however, are widely available with a maximum focal length of 300mm – capable of dealing with most subjects, including action and nature.

Avoiding undue disturbance

Even if the people you meet on your travels do not object to being photographed, a long telephoto lens will allow you take their picture without invading their personal space. By taking pictures from of locals from afar, you don’t need to ask their permission or disturb their work.

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~ by onlinecamerawarehouse on November 13, 2010.

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