5 Things You Should Do When You Buy a Large Telephoto Lens

Large telephoto lenses are some of the most powerful and exciting optical tools out there, able to capture faraway action like birds or sports and create dynamic images. Nonetheless, they take some special considerations in order to get the most out of them and to ensure you are not straining yourself physically when using one. This helpful video tutorial discusses five things you should do whenever you buy a large telephoto lens. 

Coming to you from Steve Mattheis, this great video tutorial discusses five things you should do when you purchase a large telephoto lens. One thing that is absolutely necessary for using such a lens in a monopod. Not only are these lenses heavy, often pushing 7-8 lbs (3.3-3.6 kgs) or more, often, that weight is extended over a significant length, adding a lot of leverage as well. This can make them very physically taxing to use, and as you tire, your ability to hold the lens steady for a sharp shot also diminishes. Many pros will also opt for gimbal head to ensure quick and easy movement for following the sort of fast action such lenses are frequently used for. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Mattheis. 

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Parking lot queens

Every point is a must do especially the fun and play/work with it! Back when I only had my A7S '15 (no IBIS) I stopped at the Florida Caverns State Park during a trip and found out no tripods were allowed during the tour. Thinking fast I got out my binocular harness AND a yellow bungee cord that I attached to the camera plate on the bottom and my belt, then I became the tripod! The tour guide did not like it because I was clicking away and not in the group much. But using the Voigtlander 10mm I got wider shots with no flash also. Today I have the prize of the Sony FE 200-600mm plus 1.4x and 2x. I use the same method, sorta, at times doing birding when a fast response to a Egret flying out of a tree right in front of me with it on my chest not in a bag on my back or on a stick where I have to plant it first. Also play time is doing a full moon capture at 1800mm in APS-C mode using 2x, this way you get a legitimate moon for it wobbles through the night and upside down in the southern hemisphere. The most fun or challenge is a Lunar Eclipse like in '17 January at 20 degrees for almost 10 hours start to finish or one off my front porch in '22 for you will want every phase. Hint the moon moves fast and settings ISO/SS are equal 125 or faster for ghosting and f/# 8-11 for sharpness adjust, need an head with adjustable screws for up/down and sideways as it moves across the sky up and over your head straight up, camera needs adjustable screen so your not on your back! you will need the same setup for a Solar eclipse. Take a stroll at the zoo on a hot day, they do not like sticks either, you will find the binocular harness a godsend also wear a extra large Photo Vest to hide the lens from prying eyes. The camo skins/rap is also great for a white lens will scare the wildlife, wear camo also but also a white lens says money so it also helps hide from prying eyes another reason for insurance - you may be leaving at your car and get hit in the head!!!! You can drive with it on, get in and out with it on your chest under your vest. I have seen many carry from car to hotel room also to car openly. Yes carry sticks and small folding chair for sit and wait times. Also a bikers mirror on your glasses to see what is happening behind you!

"Thinking fast I got out my binocular harness AND a yellow bungee cord that I attached to the camera plate on the bottom and my belt,"

So the bungee stretches from belt to camera? I was thinking of trying that. Also adapting the old trick of standing on a string that is attached to the camera and stretched taut, but with a bungee from camera to string. You would have more freedom to movement. For instance, tilting the camera upwards. With string only, you would need more string length or squat a bit to account for the string not stretching. With the right bungee, it would be fairly taut for level shot or shooting downwards, then have just enough stretch to quickly raise the camera for a subject that is much higher than camera level.


Five bullet items might have enticed me to go look at the video.

But in general, I don't have time for videos.