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Avoiding Common Problems with Using a Telephoto Lens

Telephoto lenses have a few potential pitfalls. When you use a telephoto lens on your digital camera, be aware of the problems you may experience. To prevent problems when taking picture with a telephoto lens:

1

Make sure your flash can reach your subject.

The electronic flash built into most digital cameras can’t reach more than 10 to 20 feet, so if your subject is farther than that, you end up with a very underexposed photo.

2

Use a high shutter speed.

Because longer lenses magnify the shakiness of lightweight cameras, use a shutter speed that’s high enough to counter the vibration. Otherwise, you end up with a photo like the one in this figure.

3

Use a small f-stop.

Telephotos have less depth-of-field at a given aperture. If you need the maximum amount of depth-of-field, use a small f-stop.

4

Take the weather into account.

The air can be full of enough haze or fog to reduce the contrast of your long telephoto shots and affect your pictures, as illustrated in this figure.

5

Use a lens hood to avoid flare.

Telephoto lenses have a narrow field of view, making it easy for bright light outside your image area to affect your image with flare, which reduces contrast.

Use your lens hood without fail.

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