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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Nov 05, 2015 0 comments

Chances are if you take a poll of what photographers picked for their first telephoto lens, it would be the 300mm. For one thing, it’s a good choice for those starting out in wildlife or sports photography and, given the nature of millimeters, it’s relatively inexpensive as compared to the big guns like the 400, 500 or 600mm lenses. 

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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Oct 01, 2015 0 comments

It took a while, but I finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel. For years, I’ve wanted to upgrade from my AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR that I’ve been sharing with my wife. I use the lightweight and portable Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G on my trusty Nikon D2X DSLR and she uses it with her Nikon D90 during longer photo trips when bringing minimal gear is essential. For shorter forays, the super sharp Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 is my go-to lens, especially when shooting landscapes.

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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Aug 12, 2015 1 comments

A lens aficionado once told me, “the more reach you have, the more you want.” This remark, of course, was directed at the wide array of telephoto lenses available today for outdoor photographers and their obsession with getting up close and personal with wildlife.

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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Jun 08, 2015 0 comments

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: everyone has their favorite lens and in my pack, you will always find one in the 400mm variety. To wit, I have Nikon’s newer Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR, the 200-400mm f/4 G ED VR and the standard-bearer of them all: the prime Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 AF-S lens. Before that, I had a few of the pre-set, manual focus 400’s but when the Nikon F4 was introduced, the game really changed, especially when it came to wildlife or other land moving objects. I was hooked.

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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Jul 18, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments

Considering that this opticis only a tad slower than the Nikkor 200-400mm f/4, with a drop of a stop when you zoom out, has a 5x zoom range, is lighter, and costs about half of the near $7000 price tag of the 200-400mm f/4, it is certainly worthy of consideration for those who can appreciate what it has to offer in both range and versatility.

Stan Trzoniec Posted: Jan 28, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 1 comments
When photographing animals on an African safari, sharp photos are a gift to bring home and it all centers on proper technique. Use the “sweet spot” on the lens; with both of my shorter lenses it was around f/5.6 or f/8. On the longer zoom, I found f/5 or f/5.6 gave me needle-sharp and distortion-free images. With the animal at rest, always put that focusing spot on the eye. On longer distances or perhaps with the animal moving, place that spot on the shoulder or flank to keep a decent depth of field throughout their length.
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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Oct 18, 2012 0 comments

In all my years of shooting in the field, I have yet to meet a photographer who did not like the look, isolation qualities or the sharpness modern telephoto lenses offer.

When it comes to possibilities, they seem endless. Wildlife is at the top of the list for many, perhaps to focus in on that bright cardinal outside your window or to record that special wolf pack in Yellowstone. Whatever your subject, a long telephoto will bring it in closer, sharper and with more detail than you’ve ever experienced before. Buying a telephoto lens might mean spending as much or more than the camera in your hands right now, so knowing what to get, and what it will get you, is an important part of making any purchasing decision. With that in mind, here’s a number of frequently asked questions on the subject of telephotos.

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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Jun 06, 2012 Published: May 01, 2012 2 comments

Out of all the telephoto focal lengths, the 400mm is my favorite, so I looked forward to Canon’s updated 400mm f/2.8L. At about $11,499 list price (slightly less on searched street prices) it’s for those who absolutely need a fast, fixed focal length lens in their still and/or video work, and that’s work that pays well.

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Stan Trzoniec Posted: May 16, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 1 comments

There are two general classifications of lenses that define how you use them in the field—zooms and single focal length, the former being a variable focal length lens that has many convenient advantages, and the latter being a single focal length that, in the group we’re covering here, is what’s known as a “fast” lens. Fast doesn’t mean that it focuses quicker than its zoom cousins, though it might—it usually means that it offers a wide maximum aperture, anywhere from f/1.2 to f/2.8, and that aperture stays put, unlike some zooms where the aperture varies by going narrower as you zoom into longer focal lengths. And to help refine the group we’re covering here we’re also topping out the focal length at 50mm, which makes these lenses prime for street and low-light photography, candid and photojournalism work.

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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Sep 09, 2011 Published: Aug 01, 2011 0 comments

With the availability of sky-high ISOs on digital cameras and VR on slower lenses, some have argued that it’s not practical or economical to work with fast, prime lenses anymore. On the other hand, lenses like the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED (list: $2200) and 50mm f/1.4G (list: $485) serve a distinct purpose for not only the obvious low-light advantages but also for the very, very shallow depth of field they can deliver.


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