Of course, there are also some negative
aspects to this lens as compared with a short telephoto lens. It is
bigger, heavier, slower (smaller maximum aperture) and much more
expensive. Filters are larger and more costly, and you will probably
need a tripod for best results most of the time. A medium telephoto lens
is definitely a special purpose lens and should be acquired only by
someone interested in the kind of subjects t handles so well.
What are some of the subjects for which a
medium telephoto lens is appropriate? To some extent they are the same
ones that might be covered by a short telephoto lens. The difference is
in the required degree of magnification. Children at play, animals at
the zoo, or the performers on a stage can all be made to appear large
with a medium telephoto lens from the same distance. Or you can be
farther away and still obtain an image size comparable to that given by
the shorter lens.
There are other subjects areas especially
suited to a medium telephoto lens. Outdoor sports are one such area.
Baseball, football and soccer pictures lack impact when photographed
from the sidelines with a normal lens or sometimes even with a short
telephoto lens. On the other hand, a medium telephoto lens can close in
on one or two players and capture exciting highlights as though you were
out on the field with them. When action is nearby you can get
spectacular close ups. But even when it is on the other side of the
field, the picture can be filled with players instead of unimportant
turf and grandstands.
Wildlife and nature photography, in the
wilderness or in a large, cage less Animal Park, is another area where
the medium telephoto lens is especially useful. Most animals in the open
are shy. They keep a “safe” distance between themselves and humans, a
distance that is often too great to be adequately bridged by a shorter
lens. Unless you shoot from a car with its motor stopped and gain
steadiness from a window frame, a tripod or other support is highly
recommended with a medium telephoto lens. A tripod will make stalking an
animal on foot more cumbersome, but the sharper, better composed images
that result will make the effort worthwhile.
You, along with many other photographers, may be unsure whether to buy a short telephoto lens (which doesn’t produce very large image, but is small, light, fast and hand-hold-able) or a medium telephoto lens (which is bigger, heavier, slower and often requires a tripod but captures large, detailed and impressive images). Specific subject matter sometimes dictates the choice but frequently there is an overlapping area in which either type of lens can function well.