There are so many choices out there when it comes to cameras, lenses, filters, tripods, everything. Some photography equipment you buy, will make little to no difference to your photos. However, there are some items that will make a massive difference. While we all know they aren't cheap, they are well worth it. Of course, that is what this blog is all about. Make sure to read to the end for lens recommendations. So let's dive right into it.
With a telephoto lens you will have a lot more glass that other kinds of lenses. Therefore, generally speaking the photos from a telephoto lens will be a lot sharper. If you are comparing a $200 telescopic lens, to a $4000 prime 35mm that may not be the case. People tend to buy lenses in a similar price category, and if that is the case. Then within that price category, your telescopic lens is likely to be your sharpest zoom lens.
More Creative Options
Doesn't matter where you are, or what you are shooting. Having a telescopic lens in your bag gives you way more creative options. Any range of lenses will do this, although a tele will make a massive difference. More so than other kinds of lenses. A photograph of exactly the same thing using a range of lenses can give you a variety of results. Especially if you contrast a wide angle lens to a telescopic lens!
As you can see in this example, the wide gets the whole area in, yet with the tele lens you can focus more on the details. It is always good to have as many options as you can. A tele lens enables this massively.
It almost goes without saying. For photographing wildlife, a telescopic lens is a must. You are always going to struggle to get close enough to the wildlife, not disturbing them and being respectful towards them is very important too. Without a telescopic lens, unless you are really lucky, it's very unlikely to happen for you. Something that can zoom to at least 200mm, unlocks a whole new world of photography for you.
The ability to photograph something up close without getting near to it is essential for wildlife. Not to mention, useful in other circumstances too, take that waterfall shot above. I would have got myself and my camera soaked if it wasn't for my tele, allowing me to keep a distance.
Lens compression is a result of you being further away from your subjects, then zooming in to make them appear bigger. Compression comes from the distance between the camera and the subject. With longer focal lengths (which have a narrow field of view), you will have to move away to keep your subject the same size in the frame. A wide angle lens has a much wider field of view. To keep your subject the same size in a wide angle image, you'll need to get up close and personal.
Use lens compression to your advantage when you understand that it's the distance between the camera and your subject that causes distortion. For example, if you are trying to take a portrait, and there's a lot of distracting elements in the background, use a tele lens and keep distance between you and your subject. When you create some distance, you can isolate your subject against a single element in the background (eg a waterfall like the portrait above) instead of all the clutter.
I would never get this composition without a telescopic lens. You would have to get very close to this mountain to get a similar size with a wide angle lens.
Here are my top end recommendations for a telescopic lens-
And here are my budget recommendations
Thank you for reading, if you have any questions feel free to contact me here.