"http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/loose.dtd"> Florida Wildlife Nature Photography - Choosing The Right Lens

Florida Wildlife Photography
Picking the Right Lens






Florida Everglades


Bigger is Not Always Better

For animal photography, a lens in the 300mm range is about as large as anyone can use without the aid of a tripod. A good rule of thumb is that the camera's shutter speed needs to equal or be greater than the size of a lens.

For instance, a 200mm lens requires a shutter speed of 250th of a second. A 300mm lens demands 500th of a second. And so on.

This is a situation where fast film is a must for traditional still photography. It's another instance why digital cameras can be far superior.

A telephoto lens can also be made "longer" by adding either a 2x or a 1.5x extender. A 2x extender, for instance, doubles the focal length of the lens, so a 300mm lens immediately becomes a 600mm but at greatly reduced cost.


On many autofocus cameras, extenders work best for scenics and closeups, since the extender must be manually focused. An extender also takes away one or two F-stops depending on its power. A tripod is often needed when adding an extender.

More Topics

Shooting in Low Light Situations

Or, why we love digital cameras so much!

Approaching Animals
More tips on getting close

The Problem of Bright Sunlight
Why brighter is not better.

Close up Photography

Seeing the world differently.

Protecting Gear from Rain & Humidity
There's a lot of both around here.

Creating Good Sunset Silhouettes
Not as easy as it seems.