What is telephoto lens?
Telephoto lenses give you the power to
select portions of the landscape, and enlarge them on film, so that you
can pick out details of the scene and frame them up for intense scrutiny.
Most telephoto lenses provide quite a modest degree of enlargement: at its
longest setting, for example, an 80-200mm zoom enlarges the subject by
just four times - much less than the average pair of binoculars.
Nevertheless, this is sufficient for most landscape pictures, and most
photographers choose a lens in the 70-250mm range as their first
If you find yourself frequently cropping in on the central area of
pictures shot with a moderate telephoto, you may be tempted to buy a
longer focal length. Bear in mind, though, that lenses with focal lengths
longer than 250mm tend to be heavy, costly and cumbersome. It is best to
borrow or hire such a lens before buying. You can cut bulk and weight two
ways - by using a mirror lens, which is half the size and weight of its
conventional counterpart; or by coupling an existing lens to a
teleconverter. Unfortunately both these solutions have drawbacks. Neither
produces such sharp pictures as a conventional lens used on its own, and
mirror lenses have a non-variable aperture.
More about telephotos lenses
Short Telephotos Lens
Long Telephotos Lens
Medium Telephotos Lens
Mirror Lenses and Telescopes
Characteristics of Tele Lenses
Tips on how to handle long lenses