Get the best results from long lenses
Your quick-start guide to getting the best results from super-sized glass
1 Mount the lens
Super-telephoto lenses need to be fixed on sturdy tripods and heads. Position the tripod legs so one extends out underneath the lens and use a sliding quick-release system to enable you to balance the load. Alternatively, consider a gimbal-style head like the one produced by Wimberley.
2 Adjust the settings
Premium lenses such as this Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM have an array of buttons and switches for optimising autofocus performance. To improve AF speed and reduce ‘hunting’ (where the camera doesn’t lock on), there’s a focus preset feature and a focus distance limiter.
3 Avoid the shakes
Press your eye against the viewfinder eyecup and rest a hand on top of the barrel. If it’s an image-stabilised lens, make sure it’s switched to its tripod setting, or its panning setting if you’re shooting action. When you take a picture, gently roll your finger onto the shutter release rather than jabbing it.
Try hiring a super-tele lens
If the eye-wateringly steep price of 500mm and 600mm lenses puts you off wildlife photography, why not hire one instead? A number of websites will rent a range of lenses by the week.
PAGE 1: How to shoot garden wildlife photography
PAGE 2: Best camera settings for garden wildlife photography
PAGE 3: How to set up a feeding station
PAGE 4: Choosing the right wildlife photography location
PAGE 5: Look for frozen water
PAGE 6: Getting the best results from long lenses
PAGE 7: Why you want to get close to animals
PAGE 8: Key techniques for getting close to wildlife
PAGE 9: How to set up a hide
PAGE 10: How to shoot from a car window
PAGE 11: Wildlife photography in iconic locations
PAGE 12: Don’t forget the basics of wildlife photography
PAGE 13: How to protect your gear
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