What Are the Different Types of Long Lens Professional Photography?
Long-lens professional photography covers all kinds of subjects ranging from flattering portraits to candid snaps taken from a distance. Whether you’re looking to expand your landscape, portrait, or sports photography repertoire, a longer lens can really make a difference.
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What Are the Different Types of Long Lenses?
There are three main types of long lenses: telephoto, wide angle, and zoom lenses. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, so understanding them can help you select the perfect camera lens for your needs.
Mirror Lenses – The Cheapest and Lightest
If you’re on a tight budget or just want to experiment, a mirror lens might be your best option. They’re smaller, lighter, and less expensive than refractive lenses, but they also suffer from inferior picture quality and a fixed aperture.
Refractive Lenses – The Most Superior
When you’re looking for a long lens, a refractive lens is usually the best choice. They are cheaper, lighter, and have a wider range of focal lengths, giving you more flexibility for your photography.
Focal Lengths & Aperture
As with all lenses, the focusing ability of a long lens is crucial to its performance. As you can imagine, these lenses can be very slow to focus, so it’s important to have the right shutter speed to avoid blurring your photos due to camera shake.
You’ll need to be ready to refocus your camera at each end of the focal length when taking pictures that require a fast refocus, such as if you’re photographing wildlife or action shots. The longer the focal length, the faster you need to refocus your camera because the lens has to shift its glass elements to achieve focus and zoom.
Image Stabilization – For Bird and Wildlife photographers, this can really help you get sharp shots, as it can reduce the risk of camera shaking when tracking moving subjects. Most telephoto lenses have multiple modes of stabilization, so choose one that suits your needs the best.
Compression – For landscapes and vistas, these lenses can be very useful, as they can compress the composition and make your subject seem closer to the background than it actually is. This helps you create more pleasing symmetry in your landscapes and allows you to take pictures that are both jaw-dropping and intimate at the same time.
Bokeh – For portraits, long lenses are often preferred to wide-angle lenses because they can produce soft and round bokeh, which help isolate your subject and draw attention to their facial features. This can be particularly effective if you’re using a shallow depth of field and your subject’s face is well-lit.
It’s also a great way to help your subjects feel comfortable and ‘pop’ from the frame.
The most common mistake in a long lens portrait is to try and fill the frame with the subject’s face, which can result in an unflattering portrait. The longer focal lengths available mean you can fill the frame without putting your subject out of their comfort zone.