Photography 101: Can You Shoot Wildlife Without a Super-Telephoto


Here are more great photography tips from Stephen Dennstedt’s blog.

Expat Journal: Postcards from the Edge

Stephen F. Dennstedt

Can you shoot wildlife without a super-telephoto lens? We’re back to the gear versus photographer argument. The simple answer is yes you can. Most folks just getting started in photography buy consumer APS-C crop-sensor cameras like the Canon Rebel series. You can get terrific shots with these little (mostly plastic) cameras.

A telephoto lens is typically defined as having a focal length (FL) of 100mm to 300mm, and a super-telephoto lens is usually anything at or above 300mm. Now the thing to keep in mind is when using an APS-C crop-sensor camera your effective field of view (EFOV) increases by 1.6x for Canon and 1.5x for Nikon.

So basically any lens with a FL of 200mm or more becomes, in effect, a super-telephoto lens. Lets use a Canon Rebel as an example: a 200mm lens has an EFOV of 320mm when mounted on a crop-sensor camera and…

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