Telephoto Lens For Canon: Why I Hate Big Lenses

Telephoto Lens For Canon: Why I Hate Big Lenses

An early photography lesson I learned was “Your best zoom is your feet”. But! There are times when you probably don’t want your feet, or any other part of you, close to what you are shooting – for example a moose, a bear, or a whale. In those cases, a telephoto lens is not only your best technical choice – but your safest choice. The more zoom you have, the farther away you can be and still create a great image.

Shot with Telephoto Lens in Maui
Mountain Range In Lanai, Maui
Canon 70-200mm 2.8L USM II, 2x Extender, ISO 400 112mm f/10 1/500 sec

There’s a problem with that, though. A good telephoto lens or super telephoto lens, aka “big glass”, is expensive. The bigger and ‘faster’ the lens – the higher the price tag. So, in most cases they fall into the category: nice-to-have-but-I’m-not-that-serious-about-my-photography. Yes, they are nice to have and produce great images. Do you need a big lens to create great images…? NO. There’s no guarantee that because you have one – your pictures will be better than someone with a shorter lens.

As you can tell, I really don’t hate them. I recommend them – remember that personal safety thing I mentioned. I have a couple on the lower end of the price spectrum, and I enjoy shooting with them. But, no matter how big your lens is – when you’re out… somebody ALWAYS has a bigger lens. The good news is that if you need one (or think you need one) – you can rent one. Be careful… this could lead to a purchase.


If I don’t hate long lenses… why did I write this? I like to have fun – and this is intended as some fun pokes at photographers with really big lenses I’ve watched on videos or overheard while out shooting at popular spots. I’ve compiled a list “issues” with things I’ve heard them say. #sizematters #lensenvy

Canon 70-200mm Telephoto Lens

I Take Issue With You IF:

  • Your idea of a wide angle lens is a 70-200mm
  • You’re complaining that you don’t a have a sturdy enough tripod to support your
    600mm lens.
  • If your struggle is whether or not travel with your 600mm lens.
  • You’re shooting with a 500mm lens and you tell me I don’t need one to get good photos.
  • You call a 200mm lens a “short lens”

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