Backpacker - - PHOTO SCHOOL -

A long lens will pro­duce the best qual­ity—but can cost thou­sands. On a bud­get? Try these work­arounds.

1. Crop it. Though res­o­lu­tion will suf­fer, you can shoot wide and crop in for a post-pro­duc­tion zoom job. 2. Rent a lens. Spe­cialty cam­era stores and on­line ven­dors lend out their fleets for $20 to $40 per day. 3. Check your cam­era. A crop sen­sor mul­ti­plies the fo­cal length, usu­ally by a fac­tor of 1.3 to 1.6. If your cam­era has one, you can get away with a smaller lens. Down­side: grainier pho­tos. 4. Add a lens ex­ten­der. Stick one of these ($100 to $ 500) un­der your lens in­stead of buy­ing a whole new one. You’ll lose some qual­ity but save space, weight, and money.

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