When Using A Telephoto Lens

 

Not Just About Getting Up Close
Apart from the obvious use of photographing subjects that are far away, a telephoto lens can also be used for effect. The higher the focal length, the more compressed the field will become. This basically means that the background will appear to be closer to your subject, the more you zoom in. This can be used to flatten backgrounds that are otherwise too crowded, or to simply make a subject in the background seem closer.

Try to ensure that your subject stays within the gamut of your camera’s AF points, so that the lens does not lose focus in the middle of the action. Photograph/Jayant Sharma

Try to ensure that your subject stays within the gamut of your camera’s AF points, so that the lens does not lose focus in the middle of the action. Photograph/Jayant Sharma

Emphasise the Subject
Even if the aperture is the same, a longer focal length will result in a more blurred background. You can use this to your advantage. Even if you don’t have an expensive f/2.8 lens or a fast prime, you can blur out the background by zooming in to the maximum focal length possible.

Avoid AiAF as it will only try and lock focus on the closest subject. Foreground bokeh can help lead to your main subject, but as long as it is not too much. Photograph/ Krishnendu Halder

Avoid AiAF as it will only try and lock focus on the closest subject. Foreground bokeh can help lead to your main subject, but as long as it is not too much. Photograph/ Krishnendu Halder

Be Careful About Focusing
Since the DOF at the telephoto end is very shallow, focus can be very critical. Even the slightest of mistakes may look bad. Use the Single Point AF function if possible and if the subject is moving around very quickly, you may want to fire a number of shots.

This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Better Photography.

Tags: 2014, better photography, focus, long focal length, September, shallow depth of field, subject, Telephoto lens, tips and tricks