Street Photography with a Telephoto Lens

If you’re interested in street photography, you’ll come across a lot of photographers who’ll suggest you use a lens somewhere between 24mm and 50mm. The wider field of view gives your image context and forces you to be more involved by getting close to the action. Images can also appear more natural with a perspective that we’re used to seeing with our own eyes. But it is never a bad idea to challenge those conventions and try capturing street images using a telephoto lens. Photographer Mike from northborders does just that and shares what he could get using a 100-400mm lens for street photography:

The immediate advantage that you will feel when using a lens with a long focal length is that you get a greater reach on your subjects. You have the option to have different compositions without having to move around much, and that can make your life much easier.

However, this convenience comes at a cost. Telephoto lenses are heavier and can tire you out more easily. This can mean less photography time and, consequently, fewer photos. Walking around with a big lens also makes the people around you more aware of your presence and can make them self-conscious. This can take the life out of street photography.

Whether or not you like to use longer lenses for street photography, it is always a good idea to try new things. It gives a fresh look to your images and forces you to try out different angles and newer perspectives. If you haven’t tried doing some street photos with a telephoto lens, you might as well give it a shot.

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One response to “Street Photography with a Telephoto Lens”

  1. Boris says:

    Not having to move your feet probably is secondary.
    Primary advantage would be that dynamics of the scene with people will be different if someone with camera will be present in zone of drama.

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