10 things to watch out for
Here are a few things to help cover the distance when shooting with a telephoto zoom
1 Size matters
The larger lenses in the group we’re looking at probably won’t fit in your gadget bag or photo backpack, so you’ll need to carry an additional bag.
2 Weight for it
Even prolonged periods of handheld shooting are fairly comfortable with lenses that weigh around 2kg or less.
3 Get a leg up
A sturdy monopod makes an excellent support for heavier lenses, while still enabling freedom of movement.
4 Go steady
Optical stabilisation can make for much sharper telephoto images when you’re not using super-fast shutter speeds, both for handheld shooting and when using a monopod.
5 Delayed service
For tripod-mounted shooting, the ‘exposure delay’ function or ‘mirror-up’ drive mode are great for avoiding blur caused by mirror bounce.
6 Truly telescopic
The 1.5x crop factor of cameras with APS-C image sensors can give a hefty boost to the effective reach of any telephoto lens.
7 Diminishing returns
Once you get to a focal length of 500mm, the additional 100mm of a 600mm lens doesn’t appear to make a massive difference in outright reach.
8 On the tele
Teleconverters are compatible with most of the lenses on test. However, the resulting widest aperture may be too narrow to enable autofocus, and can give a dark viewfinder image and slow shutter speeds.
9 So shallow
Even at apertures as wide as f/8, long telephoto lenses can give a shallow depth of field when shooting objects that are only a few metres away.
10 That’s the limit
Focus-range limiter switches can speed up autofocus in tricky conditions by avoiding hunting through the shorter end of the focal range.