How to use a Long Telephoto Camera Lenses

Long focal length’s by which I mean a hundred millimetres or more a five hundred or a thousand etcetera, now they do the obvious of making
something that’s a long way off come much closer and fill up the frame, this is used extensively by wildlife photographers and sports photographers and the press, but there’s also a bit more to it than
that let’s just take a look at that zoom once again, now I’m sitting in the middle of your picture like a little tiny pea, and as I’m getting bigger and bigger and filling
the frame, so this rock is sneaking up behind me and it’s starting to get bigger too, it now looks as though it’s right smack behind me, even the top of it has been cut off. But how could you use that technique in your photography to take better pictures? You see these stones, they’re all spread out off the hill side and the evening light looks amazing, but it’s kind of a flat open kind of a shot, if i shoot something from here it’s well it looks okay but it’s a load of old nothing, now using this compressing the way that stone came up behind me, we can do it with these stones themselves, now you see this big stone that’s about here, we’re gonna use that as the foreground of the shot, that’s
going to be our focus and we’re going to do it by using a long
focal length, so I’m gonna set this out to two hundred and seventy-five millimetres. Now i want to get down low over here, I’ve gotta be a long way from the stones this is about not being lazy, let’s get up close to something and zoom around and then go click, set the focal length according to what
you want from the picture and then move yourself away from the
subject. I’m a long way from that stone. Now I’m gonna get down low because i want to get a bit of this
grass just looking through it, and I want to, look at that, beautiful evening light. Just kissing the stones, we’ve got all the stones the shot, if I was to try to do that same shot with a wide lens and get up close to the
stone look at this, it’s just, there’s nothing to it is there? the stones big and it’s powerful and it’s dramatic, but we’ve lost all the others behind it, they’re hidden because the wide
lens is opening up the space where is the narrow lens the
long lens is closing it in again. There’s another thing you can do with a long lens too. A long focal length inherently has a shallow depth of
field, a wide short lens has lot’s and lot’s of depth of field, the longer you get the shallower the depth of field you have, that’s the least amount of picture from front to back that will be sharp. Now this is incredibly useful in portraits and things like that because you can make a lovely blurry background, so using the long lens and that compressing in bringing up of
rocks thing I’m going to shoot a portrait of Nat here and have a really nice soft gentle sort of background that’s pretty good actually Nat just kind of like you are, put your chin down just a bit, that’s cool, you look like you’re gonna cry though. So sorry, just let your shoulders relax a bit, that’s it tilt your head towards the rock a bit, that’s better. That’s great stuff. So you see how the rock in the background has gone completely soft and fuzzy and Natasha is absolutely the subject of the photograph because she’s nice and crisp and sharp. By using a long focal lens with a wide aperture that’s a low f number like f five point six, f four, f two point eight if you can afford a lens with that wide an aperture, which is fantastic for this. Portraits, long lenses they work brilliantly, there’s just one more thing I want to show you. Close-ups. Provided your long lens will focus in
close enough and on this one i can get in to point four nine of a metre that is one point six feet, that’s pretty close, that’s only about that far away from the front of the lens. Provided you can focus close enough you can do some beautiful macro close-up
photography with a long lens, now the purest will say you really need to use a macro lens, I say I don’t care as long as I get the image that I want and It looks great then who cares what lens you’ve used. Now then, this stuff here I believe it’s called cow slip, I grew up in the country and I’m terrible plant ignorant, so if i’ve got that wrong please don’t email in. Now if I zoom that lens to it’s longest setting, I’m going to two hundred and seventy millimetres, I’m gonna focus as close as I can often the best way of doing this is to
use manual focus and set the focus to its closest
distance so that it’s already there then you get the focus by looking through the view finder and moving yourself backwards and forwards in till what you want to take a picture of comes sharp, here we go, look at that fantastic, let’s get one in the middle. Just moving up and down, it’s not the best because it’s very tricky on a day like today, there’s a slight breeze, and that makes the plant wobble around a
little bit and every time it moved it moves itself out of focus because your depth of field like this has got, very very small indeed. let’s take one from a bit further back, look at that, that’s beautiful. Notice I’m shooting into the light as a posed to the light over my shoulder, it looks so much nicer, So look at those, aren’t they gorgeous, even light on the cow slip or whatever it may be. Long lenses are very very versatile, you can shoot portraits with them, you can make soft background’s with them, you can move the environment around and make things come up sneaking behind them, what more could you ask from something to stick on the front of your camera

100 Replies to “How to use a Long Telephoto Camera Lenses”

  1. Really enjoy these videos and just watched your DVD which was delivered next day, thank you! I'm a slow learner by nature but the fun and interesting way these are presented makes me want to keep coming back. Also, it makes a refreshing change from the equipment bores on the internet who'd have you believe a piece of kit was more important than the image itself. Good stuff.

  2. This is exactly the video for which i actually started the entire search. I am absolute beginner in DSLR. so far had used canon powershot S2 IS (now obsolete). And as i wanted to buy a compact DSLRs i came across Sony Alpha NEX 6 (a mirror less camera). I wanted to understand what these different lenses are and if i could replace a prime, macro and other zoom lens with just the kit lens. By watching this video it hints me that i could go for 18-200mm zoom lense and not buy rest of the lenses. 🙂

  3. My Canon telephoto lens doesn't have image stabilizer…can I still be able to take good pictures without the use of a tripod or if I don't have one now?

  4. If your shutter speed goes to a lower number than she shutter speed then there's a high chance the image will be blurred because of camera shake if you're not using a tripod. Have a look at this video /watch?v=s2b62BJIw5c

  5. Can't believe nobody's asked where this video was made. I'm thinking somewhere near Avebury but? Please let me know. Ta

  6. You can use it on any camera – the make doesn't matter. They're an OK lens and convenient because of the big range. I bought it for when I'm taking pics for myself and don't want to take 3 different lenses with me. But image quality at full zoom isn't very good.

  7. You’re welcome. Long lenses are like any lens when it comes to low light. the better the lens quality or the wider the aperture it has the better it will be in low light…

  8. Best equipment cannot compensate for lack of talent, and in regrads to Tamron , their new lenses are amazing, with VC better that that of Nikkon, sickly fast focus, and they are smaller than other lenses in the same category.

  9. Tamrons are OK. All lenses vary according to how much you spend. I have used some Nikon lenses that were rubbish and other's have been great.

  10. I'd just like to add I've got one, it is great. Easy to hand-hold, small and light. I have an opteka 500mm mirror lens.

  11. In this video it was an 18-270 tamron. Not the best quality lens and I wouldn't use it for a commercial job. But it's handy for when you're out for a walk and don't want to carry 2 or 3 better lenses.

  12. Nice video, but if you must use subtitles at least make it look professional.

    Grocer's apostrophe, all over the place. Dreadfully distracting.

  13. Sorry for late reply, not too much, the most annoying thing is being restricted to a shallow DoF, but I've got used to this and find it makes my photos look better.

  14. Thank you. The subtitles are generated automatically by Youtube voice recognition software which can produce some crazy transcripts. We're working our way through correcting them but at around 2 hours per video and over 200 videos to do it'll take a while…

  15. Thank you Brittany Miles. Please help us spread the word and grow the community by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing our videos and linking to us on photo forums, Facebook etc

  16. I made up my mind to buy d lens for my Canon 650D. Nedd suggestions for long telephoto lenses that can be used to shoot photos and also video.

  17. Mike, I couldn't agree with you more about your statement of using a telephoto lens over a macro lens for some close up shots @ 4:10. I personally like the versatility of a telephoto lens that's fixed at f/2.8. Keep up the great work and I will definitely share with my photography friends!

  18. Excelent and using not top of the range equipment gives us confidence in our simular gear if your ever in Dublin the Guinness is on me.

  19. I have a 70 – 200 lens that I used in the mid 1990's with an SLR ( film camera ), now that I have a DSLR ( full frame ), would that lens which was made for a film camera be considered a full frame lens? It certainly is compatible with the new camera though.

  20. Excellent video Mike. Photographers also like to manipulate images – move the object – but still; keeping it natural. So, with no gloves, they break the stem and arrange it. Know what you are photographing. Use gloves it you pick things. HEMLOCK – I can't tell the difference between it and cowslip. And if you do have a medical emergency after picking flowers, tell the medics it maybe "flowers". Quite a few have died because of not identifying how they fell ill & this was under supervision of hospitals. A pretty flower – Aconitum Napellus, has killed a few. So look after yourself and your children. I know you said, "don't email" but I thought this worth a mention.

  21. love your ideal…"the pro" always gonna say u gotta use that lens this lens…but the truth is…who cares…as long as you can get the shot you want with what you got that's what creative is…IMO =) thank you for the great video

  22. Mike, your videos are incredibly informative and really help me as a beginner photographer. Thank you so much…

  23. Hey Mike and again thanks so much for all your awesome tips and tricks and videos,
    i am thinking about getting this lens and wonder if you have any thoughts about it:
    Opteka 650-2600mm Super Telephoto Zoom Lens

  24. Hey Mike and again thanks so much for all your awesome tips and tricks and videos, is that the Tamron 18-270mm you are using. i got that one and yes it is great for macro too and in the high arctic too and in the jungle,
    i am thinking about getting this lens and wonder if you have any thoughts about it:
    Opteka 650-2600mm Super Telephoto Zoom Lens

  25. i went and bought from ebay a telefoto lens 650 to 1300 .its kinda heavy to carry around and huuuuuge and people in the street look at me like an alien,but i tooks some amazing pics like sunset birds.
    now i need a tripod lol

  26. I'm getting a Nikon D3200 very soon and I want to buy another lens with the 18-55 kit lens, should I got for a 50 1.8 or a 70-300 non VR?

  27. Hi Mike Browne……your tutorials are awesome man……… this tutorial which long lens do you have……….and please make a video on Nikon 70-300mm Lens………I have Nikon D-5500, 18-55mm Lens………..i want to buy another lens………..

  28. 4:30 I learned something new to me. Set the focus manually to the closest distance and move your self until you get the sharpest image. Thanks.

  29. While the lenses such as the tamron 18-270, nikon 18-55, sigma 18-250 allow you to focus close, There are other telephoto lens that don't focus close. For example, with the Nikon 55-300mm lens, sigma 150-600, lenses, you have to stand back a significant amount in order for the lens to focus. They don't focus as close as the tamron 18-270, nikon 18-55, sigma 18-250.

  30. still the best and most charismatic teacher on the're a natural Mike..watched the same videos several times and always pick up something new…thanks so much

  31. Hi Mike! Wonderful video. However i am a little confused. I am planning to buy my first dslr camera along with the kit lens 55 250mm telephoto lens. I am confused whether i should go for a telephoto lens mentioned above or a wide angle zoom lens like tamron 18 400mm. Thanks

  32. Great technique reminders, Mike; as well as some new ones. I use my Minolta 75-300 f4.5(32) ~ 5.6 in similar situations, and for similar reasons. The trick with the Minolta lenses is to remember that they are full frame lenses, and on my APS size A77ii they have a crop factor of 1.6, effectively giving me a focal length of 100~450 mm (approximately); and I have also used closeup filters with it. The sensor based anti shake system lets me use the lens hand held (sometimes – easier at 1/250 sec, or more.) My camera gives me decent images up to ISO 6400, which is also really useful. A very cool tool to use!

  33. I just got my self a 18-200mm lens for my Nikon, and i've been having issues using it correctly. This video helped a lot. Thank you Mike.
    And the trick at 4:30 is amazing!

  34. I'm curious about this location. We've seen it before in other videos. What are all these big rocks doing just standing in this field?

  35. Found this one as I'm getting ready to buy that E Series Nikon 75-150mm f/3.5 manual lens for my crop sensor Canon. I can't wait! Great tutorial!

  36. I like how he poses a question then walks away. "Today i'll show you "this"  " …. walks away. Im going to try that when im talking to someone. Excuse me mate, do you have the time?   "why yes, it's….. hey where are you going?"

  37. Sry man, that could be cow parsley but I suspect is poisonous hemlock, very toxic plant. Anyway, I'm watching a bunch of your videos, good stuff man.

  38. 4:01 – I always thought the distance rating on the lens was from the image sensor to the subject…..not front of lens to subject

  39. Old 240p video. But the content is timeless. You are still one of the best teachers i know of

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