What Is A Telephoto Lens?

On top of taking excellent nature and wildlife photos, telephoto lenses take flattering portraits of people.

What Is A Telephoto Lens?

Telephoto lenses are commonly used in photography and cinematography. They are extremely popular among both professional and novice photographers when it comes to taking pictures of the outdoors.

A telephoto lens is a long-focus lens with a physical length shorter than the focal length. A special lens, called the telephoto group, extends the light path to create a long-focus lens in a shorter design.

To phrase it simply, telephoto lenses have a long reach, which allows photographers to capture a subject that is far away. It also allows them to magnify the subject in the photo.

In order to accomplish this, telephoto lenses compress everything inside of the image. Objects that are distant from each other will appear much closer together within the photograph.

Since these lenses warp perspective, they are capable of creating artistic looking photographs other lenses are incapable of achieving. Most notably, they can keep a subject in focus while blurring the background. That way, the attention is drawn to the subject and taken away from the backdrop.

Telephoto lenses are perfect for capturing action shots. If you do not want to approach a wild animal in fear of scaring it away or getting harmed, you can use this lens to take a shot from a safe distance. If you want a picture from the stands at a football game, you can capture the players without sneaking out of your seats to the front row. If you want to take a shot of a newlywed couple dancing at their reception but do not want to intrude on the dance floor, you can capture the moment from your seat.

On top of taking excellent nature and wildlife photos, telephoto lenses take flattering portraits of people. They do not cause distortion as some wide-angle lenses can do. Instead, they can create the illusion of facial features being more proportional.

If you would rather use your telephoto lens to capture the natural world, keep in mind that they can magnify distant objects and change the perspective of a picture. They can place emphasis on a certain aspect, such as the moon or the sun, causing it to appear much bigger on photo paper than in reality.

In order to accomplish this, telephoto lenses have a narrow field of view. That means in order to use them effectively, you need to stand pretty far away from your subject. The longer your telephoto lens, the further back you will have to step in order to fit everything into frame.

That is one of the downsides of using this lens. You are going to have trouble using them indoors because you might not be able to get enough distance to frame your subject. Telephoto lenses also need fast shutter speeds to work well so if your camera is slow, the image might come out shaky.

Another flaw is that these lenses tend to be bulky and heavy, which makes them awkward and at times difficult to use. You also need a lot more light to shoot high-quality photos, which means you are rarely going to be able to take any useable pictures as night.

If you are looking to buy a telephoto lens, you have to be careful. Long focal length lenses are sometimes grouped together and called telephoto lenses, which is incorrect. A telephoto lens has to use the telephoto group, which is not true of all long focal length lenses.

There are subtypes of telephoto lenses. There are medium telephoto lenses which cover between a third degree and ten degree field of view. Then there are super telephoto lenses which cover between eighty degrees to less than a one degree field of view.

If you want to become a photographer, then you should research the best option for your photoshoots and try your hand at using a telephoto lens. See what you can create!