What Is A Telephoto Lens?

What Is A Telephoto Lens - Reviews

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Many people are not sure what a telephoto lens is. It’s understandable, as there are many different types of lenses with various purposes.

But don’t worry – this article will answer all your questions about the telephoto lens!

What Is A Telephoto Lens

What Is A Telephoto Lens? by thevloggingtech.com

First, let’s take a look at the word “telephoto”. The prefix “tele” means far away.

In telephoto lenses, the focal length is shorter than the physical length of the lens, allowing photographers to use a short focal length. 

A Tripod Is Useful

What Is A Telephoto Lens? by thevloggingtech.com

This requires longer exposure times so that the image isn’t blurred from camera shake. 

This can be dangerous when shooting in certain environments or conditions such as light rain or dust storms.

It’s important to note that many people think of a “telephoto” as interchangeable with “zoom”. However, this isn’t always true.

Many lenses on DSLR cameras have zoom capabilities but are not considered telephotos.

Such examples include kit lenses and ultra-wide angle lenses, which can both zoom in and out.

They are prime lenses with focal lengths longer than 50 mm (in 35 mm equivalent).

But to make it easier for our purposes here, we’ll consider any lens with an effective focal length of 85mm or more as “tell the difference”.

What's the difference between a telephoto lens and other lenses?

What Is A Telephoto Lens? by thevloggingtech.com

A normal or standard lens is one with an effective focal length of around 50mm.

This will be your typical “walk-around” lens on most DSLRs, which many people use for taking pictures in everyday situations.

A wide-angle lens has an effective focal length that’s less than 35 mm. The benefit of a wide-angle lens is that it captures more in the shot.

However, be aware that their effective focal length will make them less desirable for taking pictures indoors or in small spaces because they can distort objects.

Why use a telephoto lens

What Is A Telephoto Lens? by thevloggingtech.com

Some people like to use a telephoto lens because it’s more discreet than zoom or prime lenses. This is important when you’re just starting out in photography, especially if you want to take pictures of strangers without them knowing!

Why would I buy a “tel” lens: If you’re wondering why someone might opt for a “tel” lens over another type, here are some reasons:

When you want to take pictures without people noticing.

If you like the look of shallow depth of field (blurred background).

You enjoy taking landscape or architecture photos where things shouldn’t be distorted. A prime telephoto is great for taking these kinds of photos because it will keep everything in perfect proportion.

You want to take pictures from a great distance without physically venturing there yourself!

Why not just use an ultra-wide-angle lens

A telephoto lens is going to have a very narrow depth of field, which means that you’ll need a tripod or flash for taking pictures indoors or in low light.

An ultra-wide-angle lens has a much larger depth of field, which means that you can take sharper photos without one – but may end up with more distortion (like “keystone”).

What other lenses are good for portraiture?

What Is A Telephoto Lens? by thevloggingtech.com

There’s also the standard-length telephoto lens which is somewhere in the middle of a wide-angle and telephoto lens.

This is an excellent choice for portraiture because it’s not quite as narrow in the depth of field but also doesn’t distort the subject too much either.


A telephoto lens is an optical device that has a focal length longer than normal lenses.

These kinds of lenses are commonly used for pictures from far away because they have much smaller angles of view and make objects appear closer to us in photos.

The main characteristics of these types of lenses include: magnification, narrow depth-of-field, and they are used for compressing or flattening perspective.

The main characteristic of telephoto lenses is magnification.

They make faraway objects appear larger when they are in focus, which can create a very dramatic effect in pictures.

Telephoto lenses also have much smaller angles of view than standard focal length lenses.

This means that they are great for compressing perspective and making objects appear closer together or bigger than they really are.

How to choose the right telephoto lens for you

What Is A Telephoto Lens? by thevloggingtech.com

If you’re wondering how to choose the right telephoto lens for you, here are some things that might help:

The focal length of a “tel” lens is expressed in terms of its equivalent on a 35 mm camera body. So if your camera has a crop factor of x, then multiplying this by your magnification will give you the focal length of your “tel” lens.

For example, the EF 100-400mm f/40 x gives you a field of view equivalent to a 160-640 mm lens on a 35mm camera body!

A telephoto lens can be a great investment for taking pictures indoors or in low light. However, it’s not going to do you any good unless you have a tripod and flash!

The focal length of your “tele” is an important consideration when choosing the right lens for portraiture.

For portraits, there are prime lenses with varying focal lengths from 85mm to 135m – but the general advice is that a lens between 100-135 mm works best if you want the subject to appear life-size in your photos.

Tips and tricks on how to take great photos with your new telephoto lens!

A telephoto lens is a pretty common piece of equipment that you can purchase at your local photography store.

They are great for taking pictures from far away, but there are some tips and tricks on how to take great photos with them!

It’s always best to use the lowest possible ISO setting, so you don’t have too much noise in your photos.

A tripod is a great investment when you are using your telephoto lens because it will help keep the camera steady and stop any excessive movement that might blur your pictures – especially if you’re zoomed in with high magnification!

If possible, try to use an external flash unit instead of relying on the built-in flash.

The built-in flashes on DSLR cameras aren’t powerful and don’t always give you the best results when using your telephoto lens for taking pictures at night or indoors.

Don’t forget to adjust your white balance before you start shooting! If possible, try using a custom setting that matches the lighting conditions (i.e. daylight, tungsten light, etc.), so your pictures don’t look too yellow or blue.

For the most part, you should try to avoid using digital zoom on DSLR cameras because it will degrade image quality and create noise in your photos.

If you need to remove something from a photo, you can always crop it later!

If you’re using your telephoto lens to take pictures indoors, turn on the “image stabilization” mode.

This will keep your camera from shaking and give you sharper photos when handholding!

If possible, use a tripod or monopod (or both) for taking pictures with long exposures because they are very useful if you want to shoot at night or in low light…

Common mistakes people make when using their new telephoto lens

What Is A Telephoto Lens? by thevloggingtech.com

One of the biggest mistakes people make when using their new telephoto lens is not holding it steady enough!

It’s easy to think that because you’re zoomed in and far away from your subject, everything will be fine – but this isn’t always true.

Another common mistake that people make with a telephoto lens has more to do with the picture’s composition.

There’s no shame in becoming a little ambitious and trying to accomplish too much in a single day!

If possible, always zoom out so you can see more around your subject – this will create a better overall image.

A third mistake is taking pictures through glass or dirty windows because they are unfocused and grainy-looking.

If possible, avoid taking pictures through the glass because it will ruin the quality of your photo.

Finally, a common mistake that people make with their new telephoto lens is trying to zoom in too much!

It’s always best to keep things as zoomed out as possible so you have more options for editing later on.

If you’re using a DSLR, you should remember that the higher your magnification, the lower the quality picture you will get.


What are the benefits of a telephoto lens?

Great for taking pictures at a distance

High magnification allows you to edit photos after shooting them, enlarging or reducing the subject of your photo.

What are the drawbacks of the telephoto lens?

More susceptible to camera shake since it is further away from the body of your DSLR – using a tripod/monopod will help cut down on this and give you a much sharper image.

How does a telephoto lens work?

Light travels in an outward path (from your eye to the subject) instead of straight through the lens.

This creates a magnification effect and allows you to take closer pictures from far away without having to stand directly next to your subject!

What is the focal length of the telephoto lens?

The distance between the optical centre of the camera’s lens and where light through it converges.

A long focal length will result in more magnification of the subject.

What is image stabilization on a telephoto lens?

A type of optical system used to reduce camera shake by offsetting slight movements or vibrations from hand holding your DSLR camera, which will result in sharper images