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4.3 Medium Telephoto Zooms

A medium telephoto lens fills the gap between the standard and a full telephoto lens. It can be an excellent lens to have if you need a bit more reach in your shots. In this lesson you will learn about medium telephoto lenses and see what they look like in the real world.

4.3 Medium Telephoto Zooms

A medium telephoto zoom lens fills the gap between a standard zoom lens and the full telephoto zoom lens. It can be an excellent lens to have if you need a little more reach to your shots. In this lesson you will learn about the medium telephoto zoom lenses and see what they look like in the real world. At this point, I should tell you that long focal length lenses are often informally referred to as telephoto lenses although this is technically incorrect. A telephoto lens specifically incorporates the telephoto group, this would include median telephoto, telephoto and super telephoto lenses. That said, what we are looking at are higher quality lenses that have become popular in the market today. Coming up in the course we will look at super zoom lenses, which go from wide to super telephoto. But you trade off image quality. If you want something that's a bit better, you need to look at lenses that have a more limited range. A medium telephoto zoom lens is a lens that has a field of view around 10 to 30 degrees. On a full frame sensor, this would be a 70 to 200 millimeter lens. On an APS-C, you'd be somewhere around 50 to 150 millimeters. And for a micro four-thirds cameras, you'd be around 35 to 100 millimeters, or somewhere in that neighborhood. There's not really a strict range for these medium telephoto zoom lenses. For example, we could put this 70 to 200 millimeter lens on an APS-C Camera and get most of the range that you would need with a bit more on the long end. This is not your typical walking around lens because at the widest these lenses are pretty tight. Let's check out what these focal lengths look like in action. Now, the next several photos that we're gonna check out here were all shot using medium telephoto zoom focal lengths. Now, they all weren't shot with a medium telephoto zoom lens, because for an APS-C sized camera, there's not a whole lot of strictly medium telephoto zooms available. I think there's actually only one, it's made by Sigma. It's a 50 to 150 millimeter lens. For full-framed cameras, you'll see 70 to 200 millimeter lenses. But for APS-C cameras a lot of times you often have to use lenses that are either slightly wider at one end or slightly tighter on the other end because they don't really make a lot of lenses available that fit the medium telephoto zoom perfectly. But all of these were shot with medium telephoto zoom focal lengths. A lot of these, you'll recognize. Some of the Kazakhstan pictures, again. These were shot with a pretty crappy Quantaray 70 to 300 millimeter lens. Now, that's not really a medium telephoto lens. That's kind of medium telephoto to telephoto. Most of the other shots in this series of photos were shot with a 28 to 75 millimeter Tamron F2.8 lens. Now, on a full frame camera, a 28 to 75 millimeter lens would be pretty close to the standard zoom. It's actually right in the same neighborhood as you find most of the standard zoom lenses for full frame cameras. When you put that lens on an APS-C body it occupies the area in between a standard zoom and a medium telephoto lens. Now, the photos that you're looking at are all medium telephoto focal lengths because that's what I searched. Some of these other photos were taken with the Canon 70 to 200 millimeter F2.8 IS L series lens as well, but again, only the focal lengths that are in between 56 millimeters and about 156 millimeters, so they're all in the median telephoto range. And one thing you notice about these photos is, none of them are really wide, right? I mean, you can take some landscape photos with them and you can take some photos of buildings with them, but what you're gonna notice is the angle of view in all of these photos is fairly restricted. The ones that look like they're wider, you can tell that they are from far away because there's nothing in the foreground. And if there is something in the foreground it's going to be fairly out of focus because the focus point in these wider shots is going to be several hundred feet away in some cases. But this medium telephoto range is a great people lens. You can see all the shots of people look nice. Their faces look nice. And that's something that we're going to discover later on in this course. Because the medium telephoto focal lengths, so on an APS-C Camera that would be 50 to 150, makes people's faces look really fantastic. And we're gonna prove that in an upcoming lesson in this course. Now, in this group you're also going to see some sports type shots. You're gonna see some wildlife type shots. Now, a medium telephoto lens is not the typical lens that you think of for wildlife and sports. You think of a telephoto zoom lens for that. Something that's got some pretty big numbers associated it. But that doesn't mean that you can't use a medium telephoto for that because it's all about your distance away from the subject. And for these shots of my kids playing soccer and my kids wrestling and my nieces riding horses, which you'll see later in this set, this type of lens worked out well because of my distance away from them. For the wrestling and the soccer and the wildlife shots I was pretty close to the animals, I was pretty close to the action. For the horse riding shots, you know, the horses were obviously a little bit further away but they still fit in that medium telephoto zoom. So to capture more of the action, the medium telephoto zoom works fantastically. All of these photos look a little bit tighter, right? We're not seeing group shots with an expansive background. We're seeing shots with a fairly tight grouping of objects or background elements in these shots, because that's what a median telephoto focal length lens will give you. You can see it looks great for portraits, this is the ultimate portrait lens this medium telephoto zoom range, but at the very end here you can see some really fantastic horse riding shots where we're seeing most of the animal and the rider. Now, if we were to use a telephoto zoom, what we'd see is mostly the rider, or mostly, you know, the animal's head, it would be much, much tighter and I don't think they would have worked nearly as well. Now that you have an understanding of median telephoto zooms you're ready to move on to the next lesson where you will learn about telephone zooms

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