Telephoto lenses are much hyped and talked about. Telephoto lenses are an integral part of a wildlife or sports photographer’s kit.
Other photographers use telephoto lenses to make lovely portraits or even landscapes. Telephoto lenses, being classified as anything above the normal 50mm range on a 35mm format, have many applications, as are their focal length ranges.
Below you will find the best 20 images we could scare up for you. Every image is handpicked and analyzed.
When you speak of tele photography, people do not usually associate it with landscapes. However, the flattening perspectives make telephoto lenses quite suitable for photographing landscapes with the sun or the moon in the background.
The classic setting sun behind beautiful hill tops is often a budding artist’s first attempt at landscape drawings or painting. The photographer here has recreated that child like dream using excellent photographic skills.
Alright, we’ve seen an excellent landscape shot. How about a seascape? Be it a landscape or a seascape, telephoto lenses similarly flatten perspectives in both cases, and the photographer has utilized this aspect to the fullest, with a setting sun in the background of the silhouette of a boat.
What better way to isolate a background than to use a long focal length lens? Photographers who shoot birds almost always use Telephoto lenses. Imagine how different this image would have been, how much less effective without the telephoto lens.
Eagles have fascinated mankind since the beginning of recorded history, and this image truly explains why. The magnificent and imperial look of this bird is captured perfectly in this tele image. Again, the out of focus background draws the viewers’ attention straight to the eagle’s eye, as does the apt composition.
We love how this photographer has used a telephoto lens to shoot this cityscape. This is an example of a dull cityscape being captured in a spectacular fashion using a spectacular lens.
Heavenly bodies have fascinated man since the beginning of mankind, and the moon being visible to the naked eye seems so close, but yet so far at times! Even a mid range tele photo such as a 200mm or 300mm can bring out fantastic details on the lunar surface, as in this image.
Here the photographer shows that you do not have to wait for a full moon to photograph it. He has waited for the right balance of twilight and moon rise to make this lovable image of a landscape. Just a few more minutes, and all detail in the plants would have nearly been lost on exposure.
A beautiful building that is lit at night always does cry out to be photographed. And if that is true, a beautiful building lit at night with a bright moon behind it; demands a second look from a photographer carrying a tele photo lens.
We love how this photograph has detail almost everywhere other than the sky, being a night shot. That is not to ignore the obvious mammoth size of the moon thanks to a very long tele photo lens. The painting-like perspectives of this photograph make it a stunning composition captured on camera.
Telephoto lenses make for awesome portrait lenses as well. The image above has isolated the boy and created a bokeh effect thanks to the use of a telephoto lens.
And then the obvious and most talked about use of the telephoto lens – wild life photography. You wouldn’t want to get too close to a subject such as this. Would you? Thank God for tele photo lenses!
This striking image of a tiger could never have been made without a telephoto lens. Apart from the obvious danger of getting too close to such a creature, the use of the telephoto lens distances the photographer from the subject for a different reason altogether – so as not to distract the animal from its grand relaxation!
We like how the telephoto lens used in this image has isolated the bird from an already dark background. Notice how the foliage in the foreground too is out of focus, thanks to the shallow depth of field the telephoto lens creates.
Sports photography is another field that could never have been possible without telephoto lenses. All of us are accustomed to seeing such images in sports sections of news papers and in sports magazines.
All of us are more than used to seeing such images in magazines and on web sites. Notice the excellent sharpness and flattened perspective yet again – only possible with a good quality tele photo lens.
Agreed that this is not an extreme telephoto lens used. However, motor sports do not allow the photographer to get up close and personal with the subjects. This is probably a low range of the zoom lens, maybe around 150mm used. The panning used with a slowish shutter speed however, makes it a winning image.
This image is a stunner thanks to two primary aspects. One is the excellent exposure which captures almost all of Ansel Adams’ famous zones. The other is the use of a telephoto lens, which makes the hills in the background seem almost as large as those in the foreground.
The owl is a fascinating bird to photograph, thanks to the fact that it has both eyes in front, unlike any other bird. The wonderful image of an owl is accentuated by a telephoto lens. Notice the bokeh effect once again. The image is very well composed, with the inclusion of a bit of the tee trunk, without which the photograph may have looked a little too bare and simple.
Well, if you can shoot a bird in flight with a long focal length, why not a jet plane? Shooting planes could well be easier than birds, thanks to their usually predictable flight paths.
Some could argue that this cityscape doesn’t appear to be photographed using a telephoto lens. We would like to point out here that anything above the 50mm on a 35mm format is classified as a tele. The photographer has rightly used a longish lens here to retain the vertical lines without any distortion.