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Chapter 7 - Lens or telephoto, what are the differences?

When you get into photography, you quickly find yourself faced with a crucial choice: what type of lens should you use to capture the images you want? Two common options are standard lenses and telephoto lenses. In this article, we'll explore the difference between these two categories of lenses and help you decide which is best for your style of photography.

Standard lenses: Standard lenses, also known as normal focal length lenses, are usually supplied with DSLR or mirrorless cameras. They have a focal length close to that of the human eye, making them versatile for a variety of subjects. A typical standard lens has a focal length of 50mm on a full frame camera. These lenses offer a natural perspective, ideal for landscape, portrait and street scene photography.

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Maroc - Atrayoux photography

Telephoto lenses: Telephoto lenses, on the other hand, are characterized by their longer focal length. They allow distant subjects to be brought closer and magnified, making them ideal for sports, wildlife, astronomy and event photography. Telephoto lenses typically have focal lengths over 70mm on full-frame cameras. Some telephoto lenses also have built-in image stabilization, which reduces camera shake and allows for sharper shots, even handheld.

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Factors to consider when choosing a lens:

  • Focal length: Determine the type of subjects you want to photograph. If you need to capture distant details or photograph moving subjects, a telephoto lens will be more suitable. If you are looking for a more natural and versatile perspective, a standard lens will be a good choice.

  • Weight and size: Telephoto lenses are generally bulkier and heavier than standard lenses. Take these aspects into account if you have to transport your equipment for long periods or in difficult conditions.

  • Maximum aperture: Lenses with a large maximum aperture capture more light, which is useful in low-light conditions. High-end telephoto lenses often have large apertures, but they can be more expensive.

As a photographer, choosing between standard and telephoto lenses depends on your style of photography and the subjects you want to capture. Standard lenses offer versatility for a variety of situations, while telephoto lenses allow you to reach distant subjects and magnify them. Be sure to consider focal length, weight, size, and maximum aperture when choosing. By investing in the right lens, you can improve your photography skills and capture images that match your artistic vision.

Personally, I always have several lenses in my bag to best adapt to the situation (close-up, landscape, movement). To your devices, I hope this article has been able to help you...

See you soon for new tips.

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