Telephoto lenses, also called Zoom lenses, have a number of characteristics.
- They are flexible for varied situations, such as events. In a fast moving arena, you may need the reach of a telephoto lens to get a particular shot, and then shortly afterwards, need a wide-angle lens to capture a group of people.
- There’s no need to keep changing lenses as the situation and your needs change. This is particularly important at such contexts as weddings, company gatherings, family dinners, and the like. When you are out of doors, changing lenses introduces a greater possibility of dirt or dust getting into your camera or lens.
- It is often easier to use the changeable focal length of a zoom lens to take a photo than to move into a different position.
- A single telephoto lens may be less expensive than several prime lenses. But in photography as in so many things: It Depends.
- However, they may introduce more distortion at lower focal lengths due to having so many lenses.
- Unless you buy a rather expensive version, zoom lenses will not be able to stay at a wide aperture as you increase the focal length.
Prime lenses also have specific characteristics.
- Usually, there are more inexpensive versions available.
- You will likely be able to have a wider aperture (“a faster lens”) at a lower cost.
- Because they are much simpler, they tend to distort less.
- They might help you become a better photographer, because you will need to think more carefully about the composition. You will need to “zoom with your feet,” rather than being able to simply zoom to a better-composed photo.
Crop-sensor vs. Full Frame
If time permits, we will discuss crop-sensor vs. full frame cameras and how to compare photos taken with each kind.
Practice: We will take some photos using both prime and telephoto lenses to see how your composition practice may change. We will also compare the same photo taken with a crop-sensor and a full frame camera, time permitting.