Telephoto Vision: 300mm and 400mm 2.8 Lenses

Telephoto Vision: 300mm and 400mm 2.8 Lenses

I’ve got a whole new look on life, literally.

I’ve been picking up my 300mm and 400mm F 2.8 lenses more and more, and I’m wondering why I haven’t done it sooner! My last several shoots have been saturated with their unparalleled capabilities to sharply focus my subject while rendering these creamy and dreamy backgrounds.

It would make sense, in most cases, to utilize their abilities in a sports photography environment. Capturing football players running towards me from 50 yards away requires long glass to get the full effect of their emotions as they carry the ball toward the end-zone. Similarly, photographing a basketball game from downcourt begs a photographer to bring at least a 70-200mm lens to capture the quick pivots and aggressive drives to the basket.

However, I got a little “extra” in a few of my portrait sessions over the last couple of months. Using the 400mm was successfully appealing, to say the least. My models and I quickly realized that communication between the two of us would look different from what we were accustomed to. For those who haven’t shot with a telephoto lens, the distance between the photographer and subject is substantial thanks to the glass’s incredible zoom.

It was clear that my prompts would either have to be yelled from 20 to 40 yards away or communicated through hand signals. I think the pictures speak for themselves; we got a system worked out, and the results were stunning. As you can see below, the subjects are crystal clear with the most beautiful bokeh backdrops.

Special thanks to Maci and Jennifer for their willingness to help test new gear and ideas!

Even though these dream lenses aren’t for everyone, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with the telephoto capabilities. Be on the lookout for more blog posts with more examples of this kind of gallery. I can guarantee that I’m going to be using these lenses more and more in the coming future. 

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