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Essential Gear - Medium telephoto



There are many choices for medium telephoto lenses. A great range is 70-200mm and 80-300mm or anything similar. Lenses such as 18-200mm offer an incredible range of focal lengths, but the price you pay for this convenience is that they are not as ‘fast’ as lenses with a more modest range. By ‘fast’ I mean that the maximum lens aperture is not impressive. They will typically be f/5.6 or f/6.3 at the largest aperture.

This means when photographing in low light such as the  Montezuma oropendola from Costa Rica that I shot under a thick cloud cover, the shutter speed won’t be as fast as it should be unless the ISO is raised, which is not a good solution.

On the other hand, slower lenses are much less expensive, and they are lighter as well. I own the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS medium telephoto. I love the lens because it’s fast and sharp, but it’s heavy. To lighten your load, the Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS is a great choice. It is quite a bit lighter and many hundreds of dollars less expensive, too. It is also a smaller lens. This is what my wife uses. She only weighs 98 pounds, so she really appreciates the ease of using this lens. 


My other medium range lens that I use all the time is the 24 - 105mm lens.  I use this to shoot people, festivals, architecture, and many other subjects.  I didn't own this lens for many years, but once I got it, it became indespensible to me.