Using a longer focal length

A very useful reason for changing to a longer focal length telephoto lens is so that you can keep your distance from the subject and yet still make it fill your picture. In portraiture photography, changing to 70 or 100 mm allows you to take a head-and-shoulders type photograph without being so overbearingly close that you make the person self-conscious, or creating steepened perspective which distorts the face. Candid

Figure 15.4 Fixed focal length lenses provide a single angle of view and are less popular than zoom lenses, which can be adjusted to provide a variety of focal lengths and therefore angles of view.

Figure 15.3 A fixed wide- and ultra-wide-angle lens can be added to many cameras and produces dramatic images displaying highly exaggerated perspective.

A iVas-

Zoom lens or variable focal length lens - 24mm - 85mm

Fixed focal length lens - 50mm

Figure 15.5 Long lenses are great for capturing close-up versions of distant scenes.

shots of children or animals are more easily shot with a 135 or 150 mm focal length lens from a greater distance, where you can keep out of their way. At sports events too, you are seldom permitted to approach close enough to capture action details with a normal lens. Both here and when photographing animals or birds in the wild, a lens of 210 mm or longer is worthwhile (see Figure 15.5).

Long focal length lenses are also useful for picking out high-up, inaccessible details in monuments or architecture, or to shoot a landscape from a distance so that mountains on the horizon look relatively large and more dominant.

Remember, however, that longer focal length means less depth of field, so you must be very exact with your focusing. The more magnified image also calls for greater care to avoid camera shake than when using the normal focal length. So keep a tripod handy to help steady those zoomed-in photographs.

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