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Telephoto lens advice

Telephoto lens advice


What is a telephoto lens?

To put it simply, a telephoto lens is a lens that brings subjects up close. The focal length starts here at 80mm and has no real upper limit. Increasing the focal length changes the depth of an image significantly. The further the focal length moves into the telephoto range, the blurrier the background becomes and the larger the background becomes compared to the subject.

The area of ​​application

There are different areas of application for telephoto lenses, which depend somewhat on the actual focal length . A lot is possible between 80 and over 1000mm focal length .

Telephoto lens for portrait

The effect that telephoto lenses bring with them makes them great for portraits. They separate the person very well from the background and provide significantly more blurring in the background. You have to go a little farther away than you have to with a wide angle or normal lens , but you can clearly see the difference.

As you can see in the example images, increasing the focal length gives you significantly less background on the image. The second effect is the blurring. Although the picture was taken at 200mm with aperture 5, the background looks blurred and the subject stands out much better. However, since it is difficult to photograph a portrait at 200mm and there is often simply no space for this, a telephoto focal length between 80 and 130mm is often used in portrait photography .

Standard telephoto lens

The standard telephoto lens is in the focal length range up to 200mm and is used in travel, nature and sports photography. In this focal length range, you remain unnoticed as a photographer and can simply bring distant subjects closer. When buying, it is worth paying attention to a large open aperture and an image stabilizer, but more on that later.

Super telephoto lens

The super telephoto lens goes far beyond 200mm and is intended for large distances between the subject and the photographer. If something is very far away, it is worth using a super telephoto. The longer the focal length, of course, the stronger the effects that you get through the telephoto lens.

The cons / limitations

There is actually nothing in photography that has only advantages. It is of course the same with the telephoto lens.

Exposure time

The larger the focal length , the faster the exposure time has to be in order not to blur the image. In theory, as explained in the article on the exposure time , at 600mm, for example, 1/600 sec. That is extremely fast, especially in poor light situations, and naturally makes the picture dark. As a result, we usually have to go up with the ISO value or use a tripod.

An image stabilizer can of course also help here and so you can take photos with your free hand with 1/250 of a second, as in this example.


If you want to take photos from the free hand, you should be aware of one thing. Telephoto lenses are extremely heavy. Yes, not all of them, but you can quickly achieve a decent weight and of course a corresponding size that is not exactly easy to transport.

A tripod is extremely helpful here and you can take pictures of yourself in one place and from there. You can get close enough because of the long focal length .


If you don’t feel like taking a huge telephoto lens everywhere with you, I have a tip for you. Use a teleconverter. With a telecoverter, the focal length can be extended, but this has disadvantages. I already said: everything has its disadvantages. Depending on the converter, the lens loses 1-2 stops of light intensity.

However, you can combine these and turn a fast 100mm lens into a 200 or even 400mm lens very quickly.

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DSLR camera purchase advice

DSLR camera purchase advice

Buying DSLR: What to Look For

Are you considering buying a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera? Are you looking for the answer for most important questions, you need comprehensive advice and reveal what to look out for when buying – from the equipment to the manufacturer?

Our DSLR buying guide will help you find the right SLR camera.

Digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLR) deliver the best image quality of all camera types and can be used most flexibly – even if their lead over mirrorless system cameras is shrinking. That’s why more and more amateur photographers are swapping their compact cameras for a DSLR. But which DSLR model is the right one? And which one is right for you?

When buying a DSLR, you choose a system

All SLR camera manufacturers try to retain customers in the long term with inexpensive entry-level DSLRs. Because the fact is: Once you have decided on a brand, you not only buy a camera, but also commit yourself to a system – and later buy suitable lenses, flash units and accessories.

Even if photographic skills and technical requirements for the camera develop further, most photographers remain loyal to the system they have chosen, even as advanced or professional users. Accordingly, you should plan your entry into the world of digital SLR photography carefully.

What does DSLR stand for?

The abbreviation DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. In terms of price, the cheapest and most expensive DSLR models easily differ by a factor of 10 – the differences in equipment are correspondingly large.

In this article our team has put together and answered the most important questions for you. So you are well prepared for the purchase of a DSLR camera.

What is the difference between DSLRs and other cameras?

Single-lens reflex cameras offer  two major advantages over compact cameras:

The sensors that record the image are significantly larger. This enables a considerably better image quality.

Instead of permanently installed optics, there are interchangeable lenses. In this way, the camera can be optimally adapted to every imaginable task.

The so-called bridge cameras (also known as megazoomers) play a special role. In size and appearance, they are reminiscent of a DSLR, but in fact they are classic compact cameras with a small sensor and built-in lens that covers a very large range of focal lengths from wide-angle to strong telephoto. In addition, they often offer setting options similar to those of a single lens reflex cameras.

In terms of size and weight, the mirrorless system cameras are between compact cameras and DSLRs. They are still equipped with large sensors and interchangeable lenses and are now equal to DSLRs in terms of image quality.

In general, if you don’t want to worry about camera settings when taking photos, a compact camera that makes all the important settings automatically is ideal for you. However, if you already have a basic knowledge of photography and now attach more importance to high image quality and many setting options, you cannot avoid a SLR model.

What are the advantages of DSLRs?

If it is only the image quality that counts and the purchase price only plays a subordinate role, then SLR cameras are best suited for everything, because they deliver better image quality than a compact camera in all shooting situations.

The less light is available, the greater the quality advantage the DSLR has. They score particularly well in atmospheric twilight or when taking pictures indoors without a flash unit.

A DSLR can be used flexibly thanks to interchangeable lenses (example Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with EF 400mm F2.8 lens).

In addition, DSLRs can be used universally. If you want to take photos carefree, with a suitable zoom lens and the automatic setting you can take photos as carefree as with a compact one. Conversely, thanks to the large number of different lenses and the ability to manually set all recording parameters such as sensitivity, shutter speed and aperture, you are equipped for every conceivable photographic task.

Another advantage that is often overlooked is the excellent ergonomics. The shape and weight of an SLR camera make it easy to hold and the large buttons and wheels make it easy to operate. The small compacts are often fiddly to use the buttons and difficult to hold because of the smooth (because pretty) surface. Compared to DSLRs, compact cameras are smaller, lighter and easier to use.

What are the disadvantages of DSLRs?

Of course there are also disadvantages. Size and weight score points in terms of ergonomics, but the DSLR does not fit in a jacket pocket, but is hung around the neck or carried in the hand. Neither of us does that all the time, so we miss some interesting motifs. And the purchase price of a DSLR with a few additional lenses can quickly be many times that of a compact camera.

Last but not least: Even the otherwise incredibly practical interchangeable lenses can be a disadvantage. If you don’t have the right lens with you or if you change the lens in bad weather, moisture or dirt get into the camera interior and cause problems there.

How do DSLR systems from different manufacturers differ?

Since every manufacturer cooks its own porridge, you are already determined when you start. Let’s say you start with an entry-level housing and two lenses. Then you can later buy a higher quality housing from the same manufacturer and continue to use the lenses without any problems. With a few exceptions, however, the lenses do not fit the bodies of other manufacturers.

Third-party lens manufacturers such as Sigma or Tamron offer their lenses with connections for the models of several camera manufacturers, but a lens built for Canon only fits a Canon and a lens built for Nikon only fits a Nikon.

Flash units are connected via a standardized hot shoe and look as if they can be used across systems, but they are not. Due to the complex automatic functions, you also have to replace the flash unit later when changing the system. In contrast, only simple accessories such as filters or memory cards are completely independent of the camera manufacturer.

Which DSLR systems are there? An overview:

Canon and Nikon are the top dogs in the field of large DSLRs with mirrors. They have most models and cover the entire range from entry-level ( e.g. Canon EOS 1300D , Nikon D3400 ) to professional models ( e.g. Nikon D5 , Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R ). In addition, they score with the most extensive range of lenses and accessories.

Sony has clearly caught up in terms of depth and breadth of the range in recent years and impresses with many innovations. In addition to classic DSLRs with a fixed mirror (e.g. Sony Alpha 77 II ), they developed there. This construction principle offers a number of advantages, especially when the camera is also used for video filming. However, Sony is focusing more and more on mirrorless system cameras.

Leica, Hasselblad and Pentax with their medium format models serve the professional sector – prices in the high four-digit or five-digit range ensure that. Pentax also has a number of amateur and mid-range models in various categories, from the entry-level K-S2 to the full-frame DSLR1 .

Olympus now completely relies on the more compact models without mirrors, as do Panasonic, Fujifilm and Samsung. Sony, Canon and Nikon now also have such cameras in their ranges

The best SLR cameras with APS-C sensors

Canon, Nikon, Sony and Co: In our gallery we present the currently best DSLRs with APS-C sensors.

Are there DSLRs for specific purposes?

No. The area of ​​application of a DSLR is determined much more by the lens than by the camera itself. And here too, not only the focal length range is decisive, but also the initial opening. It determines the amount of light on the sensor and the depth of field and thus makes a significant contribution to image design.

Special DSLR properties are only required in exceptional cases. This includes:

Sports photography: In addition to a bright and long-focal length telephoto lens, a fast camera is required that can also create longer series with fast image sequences while maintaining sharpness. Professional devices such as the Canon EOS 1Dx or the Nikon D5 can do this.

Video: The top models from Canon and Nikon, on the other hand, are hardly usable for good videos in HD quality. Here, mirrorless system cameras are now more than a nose’s length ahead of DSLRs. The lens must also be optimized for video and quickly adjust the focus without overshooting the target.

Outdoor: If you use the camera in places where sand, water and dirt clog it, it should be a more robust model. They can be found primarily in the professional class with steep prices, but more and more semi-professional DSLRs also offer dust and splash protection.

I still have old lenses from the analog era – is that a purchase criterion?

Some people would say “Under no circumstance!”. New manufacturing techniques make better lenses possible, which is why modern lenses are superior to any “oldie” in terms of imaging performance. If you buy a DSLR because you want to get better pictures, working with old lenses often makes no sense. However, this is not always the true. There are some old vintage lenses that have a good quality and they are most of the time chap too.

Yet, it worths to mention: Even with suitable connections within a system, not all functions are transferred from the housing to the lens and vice versa (compatibility issues). So you lose a considerable part of the automatic functions of a camera.

What trends can be observed?

Buy your DSLR when you need it. The quality has once again improved significantly in recent years and it will remain so in the future. In addition to the trend towards larger sensors – i.e. more full-format cameras – their increasing resolution can also be observed. Faster processors also manage to store more images in less time and with better quality.

In the long term, the trend is increasingly towards mirrorless system cameras . Classic DSLRs are therefore far from being on the “Red List”. Anyone entering the DSLR world today can be sure that they will still be able to access a top quality system in many years’ time.

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15 tips to Learn to take photos

tips to Learn to take photos

Are you looking for tips for better pictures? Do you want to learn photography and take better photos? Here I have 15 tips for cool photo tips for you. This makes learning photography child’s play.

Well, maybe I am a bit over the top. Because learning to take photos above all requires a lot of practice. But there are already a few tips that will help you on the way to better photos – basically the basics of photography or a great overview for beginners.

And one more word about your path into photography. We do almost everything out of habit. So when you think about your goal: I WANT TO LEARN TO PHOTOGRAPHY, then above all you should work on your habits! Make your vision or goal a habit – keep your camera on hand, daily or at least weekly. Try out new things but also get a routine in camera technology..

In this photography article for beginners, you will teach you some basic step by step important photography basics about aperture, ISO, focus, exposure time and light meter. You will learn how your camera takes a picture, regardless of whether it is a single lens reflex camera, system camera or compact camera.

1. Every photo needs a foreground

Bring depth to your photo. They also say: Every photo needs a foreground. So look for objects in the foreground of your photo. It can be a rock, a stone, a fence or a bush. That opens your picture and guides the gaze. Foreground is the portion of the frame that is closest to the camera. The foreground space in an image can be utilized to draw attention to a subject located further into the frame

A railing can be a perfect foreground, even if it’s only partially visible!

2. Give your photo a frame

A natural frame helps your composition. This can be an archway, a hedge or a group of people. So frame your photo! This also gives your photo depth. I also have a great photo task for you on the subject of “Give your photo a frame” !

A frame increases the depth of your photo

3. Get close!

Dare to approach your subject. Your photo wins by being close. Unimportant picture elements are eliminated and the view of the essentials increases.

Get close! Proximity increases the effect of the picture.

4. Zoom in with your feet

Wow, I can zoom in on it super cool. Nice to pull up the photo in the mobile phone. Huh, everything out of focus?! Remember that every zoom and telephoto effect often always has a loss of quality. So zoom in with your feet. Because then the quality is retained!

Too far away? Then get closer – instead of always zooming!

5. Pay attention to the direction

The eye always wants to follow the direction. No matter whether in the run, in the flight path or something similar. So your photographed object should always leave room for direction. For example, let the person walk into the picture, not out.

I tried to pay attention to the running direction in the running photos. Leave room!

6. In the dark with a tripod

Photos in the dark should generally always be taken with a tripod. Because in long exposure it is not possible for you to hold the camera without shaking. Nowadays, of course, many cameras can achieve infinitely high ISO values, but as a rule, the lower the ISO value, the lower the image noise. And above all, you can compose great photos in the long exposure with the remote release.

Better to use a tripod in the dark!

7. Do not cut off the feet

I often (only) pay attention to the face when photographing people. But in the full body portrait you should develop a view of the big picture of the subject. So do not accidentally cut off your feet, arms or legs.

If you’re taking full body shots, don’t cut off their feet!

8. Hard light and soft light

You should teach yourself to control the light. Because then you have learned one of the most important rules. Soft light gives your photo a natural mood, but hard light can also be totally exciting. Also you can use a flash diffuser.

9. Create tension and curiosity

If you don’t show everything, then you leave the viewer room for speculation. Much is completed in the head. But that is exactly what can create tension and curiosity.

A clever cut in particular can create a lot of tension.

10. Focus on the eyes

The eyes often determine the portrait. That’s why I always focus on the eyes in portrait photography. I also often choose a large aperture in order to have a lot of blurring in the background and thus additionally emphasize the eyes.A focus on the eyes combined with a large aperture and blurring can create tension.

11. Check the sharpness

Nothing is more annoying than blurry images when you have planned it differently. Consistent sharpness is particularly desirable in landscape photography or architectural photography. So check the sharpness during and immediately after the photo. Otherwise, vary the aperture to achieve a greater depth of field.

12. Go at eye level

Go on eye level with your subject. This is especially true for children, animals and flowers. The result is much more authentic images!

Go at eye level. This gives your photo a much more natural look!

13. Get out of the middle

Avoid placing them in the center of the picture. Better to take photos according to the rule of thirds. Visual balance is always important.

The eye perceives a placement according to the rule of thirds as very pleasant and exciting.

14. Use natural light

Light composes your photo. And if you want a natural, authentic photo here, then try to get as much natural light as possible.

It’s all about natural light

15. Pay attention to shapes

There are shapes everywhere. You can find circles, rectangles, triangles and much more everywhere. Even if you don’t recognize it right away, develop an eye for shapes in your photo. This will help you.

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6 tips for creative photo ideas: the extraordinary from the ordinary

6 tips for creative photo ideas: the extraordinary from the ordinary

I really take pleasure in writing about imaginative motivation for new picture ideas. Specifically on the method to learn photography, it is constantly important to me that you don’t have to travel to a unique place to take excellent photos – rather the opposite.

Just walk and find the wonder around you!


– Discover the beauty in everyday life

– Discover the wonder around you

6 tips for more extraordinary in the ordinary

  1. The ordinary everyday life
  2. Observe light and shadow
  3. Take notice of the alignment
  4. Have fun with props
  5. Fascination in the background
  6. Take note of your corners and edges

Discover the beauty in daily life

It’s extremely delightful to take powerful, amazing images of everyday life. What can you do when you live in what you think is a truly dull place and you do not see any beauty in the everyday? The concern is of course not meant extremely seriously. Because it has to do with making something remarkable unusual. Let’s get going and try to find beauty in everyday life.

The reflection on a bonnet provides fantastic themes – and very simple to embed in scene.

Discover the wonder around you

It is a bit difficult not to wait for the big travel photography trip, but to discover the beauty – or at least the aesthetically spectacular fascination – in the everyday. But again and again I show you a lot of ideas that it is now very easy to summon something photogenic out of everything. Would you like some examples?

The view from the window with the focus on the rain-soaked pane.

Practical suggestion: Concern selective understanding

Question your perception and alter your viewpoint every now and then.

We call selective perception the psychological phenomenon that only certain elements of the environment are signed up throughout perception and others tend to be neglected. If you perceive something as allegedly uninteresting or regular, question it and attempt to look at it anew, with different eyes.

6 suggestions for more extraordinary in the ordinary

1. The ordinary everyday life

Take photos of street signs, the supermarket or simply the shopping carts in front of the door. Remember the details and nearness ideas, along with the pointers to clean up your scene:

Common obstacles in our theme search

– If the subject is too little, the viewer of your images may not recognize it as the main topic.

– Are there a lot of (unimportant) things in the picture? Oh dear, then the significance of your picture may be lost.

A completely typical theme can look really remarkable in the right image section!

2. Observe light and shadow

Observe the light and also the shadow cast. How can light and shadow assist your scene? You can find more about photographing shadows here.

Having fun with shadows is a great creative photo idea.

3. Take notice of the positioning

Viewpoint and direction are important for the wow element. As quickly as you photograph a banal pedestrian tunnel in ideal balance, the suction result mesmerizes everybody. Frequently it is only a few steps to the left or right that alter the impact of the picture.

A lot of proportion in the Soviet memorial in Berlin Treptow

4. Have fun with props

I put props in my photo. Are you interested by the texture of the wooden table in the hall? How about the glass on the table including your arm and hand in the picture? Much more alive than without!

Such a basic image idea: the hand brings life to the scene.

5. Fascination in the background

Keep an eye out for amazing patterns and textures. When you have a terrific pattern, your great image is not far away.

The background emphasizes the subject – even if it is small and put on the edge.

6. Take notice of your corners and edges

Keep in mind the pointers about the edges and corners of your photo. Notice what takes place there. Let out whatever that doesn’t belong in there, but likewise generate what makes the structure exciting.

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Fixed focal length vs. Zoom?

Fixed focal length vs. Zoom?

I often get the question what is actually better now, I would like to explain the difference between fixed focal lengths and zoom lenses.

Neither of the two is really better, it depends on what you want to photograph.

Zoom lens

A zoom lens makes life a lot easier for the photographer. We can easily zoom in on objects without moving. Of course, this zoom mechanism needs space. The lenses in the lens have to be able to move and this is usually at the expense of lens performance.

Disadvantages of the zoom lens

Due to the zoom mechanism, the lens is missing in other places. Most zoom lenses are very limited in terms of aperture . That is of course logical. The space that the zoom takes up in the lens is at the expense of the other elements. In the affordable price range, the lenses have a maximum open aperture of 3.5 – 6.3. It all depends on the lens and the zoom level.

Advantage of the zoom lens

Of course, the number one advantage is zooming. You don’t have to change the lens if you want a different focal length . However, this can quickly become a disadvantage. I’ve learned more from prime lenses than I could ever have learned from a zoom lens. You think a lot more about the point of view and the perspective and don’t just zoom in on your subject.

Prime lenses

A fixed focal length is a lens without a zoom function. I cannot change the focal length of the lens and have to walk to get closer to my subject.

Advantages of the prime lens

Of course, the lack of a zoom saves space. This space can be used for a large aperture or to make a lens smaller and more manageable. Fixed focal lengths already offer open apertures of 1.8 in a lower price segment.

Disadvantages of the prime lens

The photographer has to think & move. He has no possibility to zoom but can only change the image section by moving (sneaker zoom).

I don’t really see that as a disadvantage myself. It has boosted my creativity enormously and fundamentally changed my thinking in photography.


My recommendation: Get a fixed focal length and only force yourself to take pictures with this for a certain time. It will give you a whole new view of things. You will know when you need a prime lens and when you don’t. You will think differently and adjust your point of view and perspective on the prime lens. You learn to take photos in a completely different way and don’t just zoom in on the subject lazily.