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Zooming in on a subject that is at a far distance.

Pam7
Occasional Contributor

Hi All..

Just a heads up... I'm new at this, so please bare with me. :  Smiley Happy

Ive been experimenting with and having a lot of fun with my camera. But,,, I cant seem to zoom in close to  a subject that is quite a distance away from me.

I have a Rebel T6i with a 18-55 lens on it right now. (And a couple other High Definition lenses).

Do I need a certain type of lens to zoom in close to a subject that is (for instance) 30 to 40+ ft away,, like wildlife? Or, is there a  way to do it with the lens that I have right now?

Thanks in advance!!

 

Pam

 

 

3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Waddizzle
VIP

@Pam7 wrote:

Hi All..

Just a heads up... I'm new at this, so please bare with me. :  Smiley Happy

Ive been experimenting with and having a lot of fun with my camera. But,,, I cant seem to zoom in close to  a subject that is quite a distance away from me.

I have a Rebel T6i with a 18-55 lens on it right now. (And a couple other High Definition lenses).

Do I need a certain type of lens to zoom in close to a subject that is (for instance) 30 to 40+ ft away,, like wildlife? Or, is there a  way to do it with the lens that I have right now?

Thanks in advance!!

 

Pam

 

 


Your 18-55mm lens has focal lengths that are generally regarded as wide angle [18mm] to standard angle [~50mm].  A 50mm lens is sometimes referred to as a standard lens, because it presents an angle of view comparable to the human on a 35mm film camera.

Focal lengths ranging from about 70mm to 135mm are considered medium telephoto.  Focal lengths ranging from about 150mm to 300mm are considered to be telephoto lenses.  Focal lengths of 300mm, and above are considered to be super telephoto. 

 

Many of the closeup pictures of birds that you see are usually taken with lenses with focal lengths in one of the telephoto ranges, most likely in the super telephoto range. Many "birders" like lenses that are least 400mm, with many going for 600mm.  

 

However, many times images are "cropped" in post processing in a computer, which means the photographer cut out a small piece from a wider angle shot, which can give the impression of a super duper telephoto lens was used.  The drawback to doing so is that you don't gain anything, except perhaps making flaws in the original image more noticeable.

 

Because of the way your camera's image sensor [ APS-C size ] is made, you camera will "see" a 35mm equivalent focal length that is longer than the focal lengths that are specified for a given lens.  Your sensor has a "crop factor" associated with it, which narrows the angle of view through a given lens. 

 

To make a long story short, your image sensor has 1.6x crop factor compared to the standard 35mm film camera.  This means that a birder using a 400mm lens on your camera, will have an apparent focal length equivalent to 640mm [400mm x 1.6]. 

 

But, using "long" super telephoto lenses isn't always easy.  It is almost like looking at the world through the cardboard tube at the center of a roll of paper towels, if not even worse.  The longer the focal length, the longer the cardboard tube would be.  I find it much easier to use a super telephoto on a tripod, than handheld, so that I can look up once in while and not lose my aim.

 

If you think you want to explore the world of birding and shooting wildlife, then you would need a telephoto lens, preferably a zoom lens, so that you can unzoom the lens, get your bearings, and zoom in on your subject.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-s-55-250mm-f4-5-6-is-stm-telephoto-zoom-lens-refurbish...

 

That is a good entry level zoom telephoto lens.  I gained familiarity with telephoto lenses using an older version of the same lens.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-100-400mm-f45-56l-is-ii-usm-refurbished

 

I like to use the above lens to shoot wildlife.  I like to photograp like a tourist, which means landscapes and cityscapes.  Sometimes, though, as I am walking around lakes, beaches, and woods, I do see wildlife.  In other words, I get lucky.  I used that lens to capture this photo of a bird that landed about a car length, or so, away from me.  I used the 400mm setting.

 

EOS-1D Mark IV2017_04_290766.jpg

Birding can be a fun activity.  I have captured my best shots after being one spot for a while, and the wildlife begins to creep out of hiding.  It reminds me a whole lot of fishing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

View solution in original post

"XIT Pro Series 0.43x High Definition AF Wide Angle Lens 58mm"

 

Pam,

I am sorry to tell you but those are not actual camera lenses.  They are more like add on filters.  They are really not very useful in real photographic work.  You probably bought one of the "kit" packages from places like Amazon.  It is a shame that so many people get caught in that scam.

 

What you need to do is get true camera lenses designed for your camera.  What you need to look for is the millimeter focal length of the lens.  For instance to shoot birds, which are very small, you need a lens with a very high number focal length.  I prefer 300mm up to 600mm.  Of course you can always try to get closer which serves the same purpose.  However, some if not most of the time you can't or it is impossible.

A good choise would be the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Canon or the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon.  An outstanding choice in the Canon line would be EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens.  The big problem with the mentioned EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens is, it too is still pretty short for serious, real bird photography unless you can get pretty close.

 

This is a friend of mine shooting a Mallard duck at a locl wildlife park.  He is using a 300mm f4 lens.

MK2N6936.jpg

 

I shot him with a 120mm f2.8 lens and this is the shot he got of the duck.  He is a student of mine and is learning just like you are.

 

MK2N6924.jpg

 

I hope this explains a little more on what you actually need.  Don't buy any more of those packages and tell all your friends not to either.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

View solution in original post

Pam, BTW what I wanted you to notice was the distance vs the 300mm focal length being used.  A smaller bird is going to be, "smaller" in the frame.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

View solution in original post

12 REPLIES 12

Waddizzle
VIP

@Pam7 wrote:

Hi All..

Just a heads up... I'm new at this, so please bare with me. :  Smiley Happy

Ive been experimenting with and having a lot of fun with my camera. But,,, I cant seem to zoom in close to  a subject that is quite a distance away from me.

I have a Rebel T6i with a 18-55 lens on it right now. (And a couple other High Definition lenses).

Do I need a certain type of lens to zoom in close to a subject that is (for instance) 30 to 40+ ft away,, like wildlife? Or, is there a  way to do it with the lens that I have right now?

Thanks in advance!!

 

Pam

 

 


Your 18-55mm lens has focal lengths that are generally regarded as wide angle [18mm] to standard angle [~50mm].  A 50mm lens is sometimes referred to as a standard lens, because it presents an angle of view comparable to the human on a 35mm film camera.

Focal lengths ranging from about 70mm to 135mm are considered medium telephoto.  Focal lengths ranging from about 150mm to 300mm are considered to be telephoto lenses.  Focal lengths of 300mm, and above are considered to be super telephoto. 

 

Many of the closeup pictures of birds that you see are usually taken with lenses with focal lengths in one of the telephoto ranges, most likely in the super telephoto range. Many "birders" like lenses that are least 400mm, with many going for 600mm.  

 

However, many times images are "cropped" in post processing in a computer, which means the photographer cut out a small piece from a wider angle shot, which can give the impression of a super duper telephoto lens was used.  The drawback to doing so is that you don't gain anything, except perhaps making flaws in the original image more noticeable.

 

Because of the way your camera's image sensor [ APS-C size ] is made, you camera will "see" a 35mm equivalent focal length that is longer than the focal lengths that are specified for a given lens.  Your sensor has a "crop factor" associated with it, which narrows the angle of view through a given lens. 

 

To make a long story short, your image sensor has 1.6x crop factor compared to the standard 35mm film camera.  This means that a birder using a 400mm lens on your camera, will have an apparent focal length equivalent to 640mm [400mm x 1.6]. 

 

But, using "long" super telephoto lenses isn't always easy.  It is almost like looking at the world through the cardboard tube at the center of a roll of paper towels, if not even worse.  The longer the focal length, the longer the cardboard tube would be.  I find it much easier to use a super telephoto on a tripod, than handheld, so that I can look up once in while and not lose my aim.

 

If you think you want to explore the world of birding and shooting wildlife, then you would need a telephoto lens, preferably a zoom lens, so that you can unzoom the lens, get your bearings, and zoom in on your subject.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-s-55-250mm-f4-5-6-is-stm-telephoto-zoom-lens-refurbish...

 

That is a good entry level zoom telephoto lens.  I gained familiarity with telephoto lenses using an older version of the same lens.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-100-400mm-f45-56l-is-ii-usm-refurbished

 

I like to use the above lens to shoot wildlife.  I like to photograp like a tourist, which means landscapes and cityscapes.  Sometimes, though, as I am walking around lakes, beaches, and woods, I do see wildlife.  In other words, I get lucky.  I used that lens to capture this photo of a bird that landed about a car length, or so, away from me.  I used the 400mm setting.

 

EOS-1D Mark IV2017_04_290766.jpg

Birding can be a fun activity.  I have captured my best shots after being one spot for a while, and the wildlife begins to creep out of hiding.  It reminds me a whole lot of fishing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

View solution in original post

Pam7
Occasional Contributor

Thank you for your in-put. It'll help tremendously!

I am very blessed to live in a area that has a lot of beautiful wildlife and more to practice my passion in photography.17523207_10208870405938379_5073067816689873211_n.jpg

This little guy was sitting on my back deck. He was roughly 25ft away from me.

 

 

 

RobertTheFat
Honored Contributor

@Pam7 wrote:

Hi All..

Just a heads up... I'm new at this, so please bare with me. :  Smiley Happy

Ive been experimenting with and having a lot of fun with my camera. But,,, I cant seem to zoom in close to  a subject that is quite a distance away from me.

I have a Rebel T6i with a 18-55 lens on it right now. (And a couple other High Definition lenses).

Do I need a certain type of lens to zoom in close to a subject that is (for instance) 30 to 40+ ft away,, like wildlife? Or, is there a  way to do it with the lens that I have right now?

Thanks in advance!!

 

Pam

 


You need a telephoto lens. 55mm (the long end of your kit zoom lens) is a mild telephoto, but you're looking for something stronger: a lens that's at least 135mm at the long end, depending on how far away the objects are and how much you want to zoom them in. Wildlife, for example, are suspicious of people and usually like to keep their distance. Only an experiences National Park animal is likely to be used to being photographed. In some cases a very long lens would be required.

 

Of course there is a way to do it with your current lens. You can crop the image to a smaller size and then magnify it to the desired size. But you lose resolution quickly when you do that, so the result is often unsatisfactory.

 

What are the other lenses that you own? Is either of them a telephoto?

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Pam7
Occasional Contributor

Hi Bob.

Thank you for your information.

Until I get these particular lens that your referring to, I'm learning how to crop ( to the point) where I don't have distortion).

I am fortunate to live in a area where there is wildlife and Northern light to photograph. (Which is going to be the next thing I want to learn how to do... Take photos of the Northern Lights!!)

The other lens that I have are: XIT Pro Series 0.43x High Definition AF Wide Angle Lens 58mm. And a, XIT Pro Series 2.2x High Definition AF Telephoto Lens 58mm.

 

 

This is just one of the shots that I was messing around with when using one of the HIgh definition Lens.16730670_10208538105671080_9171472935936062747_n.jpg

"XIT Pro Series 0.43x High Definition AF Wide Angle Lens 58mm"

 

Pam,

I am sorry to tell you but those are not actual camera lenses.  They are more like add on filters.  They are really not very useful in real photographic work.  You probably bought one of the "kit" packages from places like Amazon.  It is a shame that so many people get caught in that scam.

 

What you need to do is get true camera lenses designed for your camera.  What you need to look for is the millimeter focal length of the lens.  For instance to shoot birds, which are very small, you need a lens with a very high number focal length.  I prefer 300mm up to 600mm.  Of course you can always try to get closer which serves the same purpose.  However, some if not most of the time you can't or it is impossible.

A good choise would be the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Canon or the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon.  An outstanding choice in the Canon line would be EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens.  The big problem with the mentioned EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens is, it too is still pretty short for serious, real bird photography unless you can get pretty close.

 

This is a friend of mine shooting a Mallard duck at a locl wildlife park.  He is using a 300mm f4 lens.

MK2N6936.jpg

 

I shot him with a 120mm f2.8 lens and this is the shot he got of the duck.  He is a student of mine and is learning just like you are.

 

MK2N6924.jpg

 

I hope this explains a little more on what you actually need.  Don't buy any more of those packages and tell all your friends not to either.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

View solution in original post

Pam7
Occasional Contributor

Thank you for taking the time to explain this to me!! It's greatly appreciated!! 😊👍

TTMartin
Respected Contributor

@Pam7 wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to explain this to me!! It's greatly appreciated!! 😊👍


Yes, the EF-S 55-250 IS STM is on the short end of a birding and wildlife lens, it is also under $250. The other  longer lenses mentioned run between $1000-$2500.  That's a big jump in money for the additional zoom range. Also if you go with one of the 150-600mm lenses it leaves a pretty big gap in your zoom range from 55mm-150mm, so you'll eventually want a lens to cover those focal lengths. I have and use both the EF-S 55-250mm IS STM and the EF 100-400mm IS L II lenses.

Pam, BTW what I wanted you to notice was the distance vs the 300mm focal length being used.  A smaller bird is going to be, "smaller" in the frame.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

View solution in original post


@Pam7 wrote:

Hi Bob.

Thank you for your information.

Until I get these particular lens that your referring to, I'm learning how to crop ( to the point) where I don't have distortion).

I am fortunate to live in a area where there is wildlife and Northern light to photograph. (Which is going to be the next thing I want to learn how to do... Take photos of the Northern Lights!!)

The other lens that I have are: XIT Pro Series 0.43x High Definition AF Wide Angle Lens 58mm. And a, XIT Pro Series 2.2x High Definition AF Telephoto Lens 58mm.

 

 

This is just one of the shots that I was messing around with when using one of the HIgh definition Lens.16730670_10208538105671080_9171472935936062747_n.jpg


That looks to be a pretty good capture, but you could the free Canon Digital Photo Professional software to brighten it up a little bit.  Saving your files as RAW, with a CR2 extension, allows you a far greater range of adjustments compared to files saved with the JPG extension.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."