Capturing Telephoto Shots with Standard Zoom Lenses
Longer focal lengths enable you to stand farther back and still capture great portraits.
For this image, the photographer used the zoom ring on the kit lens of a Sony APS-C camera to frame the shot how he wanted it, which came out to a focal length of 45mm. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but you should remember that a crop factor of 1.5x makes this the equivalent of 68mm on a full-frame camera. That puts this shot just inside the near (or medium) telephoto range.
Zoom all the way in to capture objects at a distance.
This image was shot on a Canon APS-C. Thankfully, the lens the photographer was using had a maximum focal length of 135mm. He zoomed in fully and captured the blimp before it flew away.
In cases like this, having a camera with a healthy number of megapixels really helps. While you clearly want as much zoom as you can get out of your lens, the pixel count gives you the option of cropping out extra space without compromising the photo’s quality if you decide to get a large print made.
Zoom in to capture stunning near telephoto portraits.
This image was shot with a Canon full-frame dSLR using a 24-105mm lens set at 105mm. That makes this a near (or medium) telephoto portrait. Aside from marveling at just how pretty she is (natural smiles and laughter make for great photos), notice the background in this scene. On an APS-C camera with a crop factor of 1.6x, you would have to use a focal length of 65mm or more to have the same effect.
Unlike the group shot of the boys, having a single subject enables the photographer to focus entirely on her. The result is a great photograph — shot with a really nice zoom lens. However, near telephoto focal lengths on standard zoom lenses are quite effective at shooting group and individual portraits.