Practical Advice for Shooting with Long Lenses

Photofocus (old site)

Long lenses magnify. That’s their main job. A 500mm lens offers 10x magnification when compared to a 50mm lens. Any mistakes you would make with a 50mm lens are magnified 10 times with a 500mm lens. Most problems associated with getting sharp images with long lenses are associated with vibration. Vibration can come from many sources. Wind is a major culprit. A tripod that’s not sturdy enough for the lens mounted to it is a major cause of vibration. An inadequate tripod head is also a common source of vibration. So, when using a long lens, one of your primary concerns is to reduce or eliminate vibration.

Probably the simplest method is to add your own weight to the lens by placing a hand on the top of the lens and leaning into it. Press your eye to the viewfinder, (a large, rubber eyecup like the ones Hoodman sells work…

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