Canon 101: Telephoto Lenses

In this basic video tutorial by Canon, photographer Matt Kloskowski takes a look at telephoto lenses, their uses and features.

Kloskowski talks about the nature of telephoto lenses and their ability to get you closer to the subject. Kloskowski does tend to switch the terms telephoto and zoom quite a few times. These terms and not the same although lots of people tend to confuse them. Telephoto lenses do let you “magnify” your subject compared to shorter lenses and in this respect you can think of their capability as a sort of “zooming in”, but in photography the term zoom is typically saved for a lens which has a varying focal length (say 24mm-70mm) versus a prime lens which has just one fixed focal length (say a 50mm lens). This distinction isn’t clear enough in this video and its important to understand.

Telephoto lenses (both zoom and prime ones) are typically considered to range from around 60mm~ and up to 800mm and more. They are used in almost any type of photography, from sports and action, to wildlife, nature, portraits and even landscape photography.

This video is part of Canon’s EOS 101 basic tutorial series which you can view as it is updated here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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