Giant Telephoto Lenses: Pro Tips for Using and Caring for Them

From Sports Illustrated to touring with Bon Jovi, New York City music and sports photographer David Bergman has definitely made a name for himself in the photography industry. With over 20 years in the business, Bergman has figured out a wide variety of tips and techniques to fine tune his craft. In this quick and easy tutorial for Adorama TV, Bergman explains how to properly care for large lenses:

First and foremost, when working with large lenses it is important to avoid scratching or damaging them in any way. Large lenses, such as the telephoto lenses, can be very heavy. Therefore, you typically can’t hold them while shooting like various other cameras. In most cases, photographers use either a tripod or a monopod while shooting.

pickup tripod collar

Always pickup large lenses using the tripod collar.

When using a monopod, you will only want to pick up the camera by the tripod collar. Never pick it up by the monopod. Otherwise, you’ll place a significant amount of stress on the connection point.

Whether it’s rain, sleet, or unruly fans, you never know what could fall onto the lens and scratch or damage the glass. To avoid any unnecessary damage, always carry large lenses with the glass facing down. This will prevent the camera from catching any unnecessary debris.

keep lens close

Carry lenses close to your body to avoid hitting objects and other people.

While your photography may not require the use of a monster lens, many photographers still use either the 70–200mm or 100–400mm lens. To avoid swinging your camera around and hitting you, other people in the crowd, or other objects as you walk around, always carry them using an over the shoulder strap. The trick is to make sure to flip it around in the opposite direction; this allows the lens to sit up close and tight against your body and makes it lay flat against your leg.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what type of photography you’re trying to capture; you should always try to protect your camera lenses and avoid scratching the glass.

Do you have any special tips to care for your long lenses?

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