Telephoto Lenses Explained – The Quick Guide to Understanding Telephoto Lenses

Understanding telephoto lenses is the easy part of selecting a lens to buy for your digital SLR camera. Selecting the right lens in the shape and size that fits your needs is the hard part! There are only a few major camera brands and models to choose a camera from but the number of lenses available will make your head spin! How do you find the best Nikon telephoto lenses? How do you select the best telephoto lens for an Olympus camera? How do you know which telephoto lenses for Canon Rebel cameras are right for the right job? Which sigma telephoto lenses for Nikon D80 is the one for you? Where do you go to get telephoto lenses explained?If you are overwhelmed by the choices you are not alone. Digital SLR lenses come in all shapes and sized and prices! Some are for amateur photographers and others are designed specifically for professionals who need a studio work lens like a Tiffen close up lens or journalists need sports telephoto lenses.

So let’s have a look at the basics of lens selection and the driving factors for this important and potentially really expensive investment:
Camera Type – what brand of camera you have DOES determine lens compatibility. Not all brands are interchangeable. Just like cars, manufacturers won’t you dedicated to their brand. Camera lenses now must ‘talk’ to the camera. That is how aperture settings get automatically changed by the camera’s input. Due to that your camera and your lens have to speak the same ‘language’…the language of Nikon lenses to Nikon cameras and Canon lies to Canon Camera.
Lens Mount – the lens mount is the way the lens ‘fits’ on the camera body. Manufacturers have their own specific design so that you must buy lenses specific to that camera and that manufacturer. There are third party lens makers but when selecting one of their lenses you must select the style of lens with your camera brand’s compatible mount.
Right Lens for Right Job – knowing what you intend to use the lens to capture helps you narrow the decision of the type of lens to purchase. You must know the focal length of the types of pictures you wish to take as well as the maximum aperture. A normal lens is akin to what the human eye sees (usually a 50mm lens that comes standard on a 35 mm camera). A zoom lens (telephoto lens) lets us ‘see’ beyond the human eye. We can ‘see’ much further with a telephoto lens than we can normally. It enhances and expands our view. The larger the lens number in mm the greater the distance the lens can shoot. If you are shooting birds on the far side of the river you will want a 300-750mm perhaps. If you are on the sidelines at your kids’ lacrosse game you might prefer a 200-500mm lens. Like your dad always said, “Choose the right tool for the right job!”

It does not matter if you are looking for the best Nikon telephoto lenses or telephoto lenses for Canon Rebel cameras. Even if you want to find the right Sigma camera lens that are compatible with your Olympus DSLR, selection is all based on personal choice of digital lens length and understanding telephoto lenses.