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Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 36 of 58

Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 36 of 58

Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Lesson Info

Prime Lens: Short Telephoto

Okay, so let's continue on into the world of short tele photos. In this case, we're gonna be looking at isolating particular subjects from the scene. And we will be doing that in two different ways. One by the angle of view that we're shooting. And secondly, by using shallow depth of field so that our subject is in focus in everything else is out of focus, most commonly associate ID with portrait photography. And so, if you're into portrait photography, this is the first of two areas that we're gonna be talking about it. So here we're gonna have 85 101 35 millimeter lenses. So let's just go ahead and dive right into it. This is a fantastic value. And if you want to get into portrait photography and you do not wanna portrait lands, this is the lens to get it is not very expensive. It is not very big. It has been around a while, but it is still optically, a very good lens. I actually own this lens myself, and when I am called on to do portrait's, this is the lens that I am most likely to...

grab. It is very good quality lens. It's small. It's lightweight that 85 if you're not really sure where to get a what portrait lens to get 85 is the default standard. A great place to get a lands. Maybe you're gonna find out you prefer 100 or 1 35 or 50. But this is a great place to get started. And because it's an older design and the research has all been paid off on this, it's a very affordable LEDs. About $350. It's got some chromatic aberrations, and it's not perfect when it's wide open. But it is an excellent quality lens that I can't highly recommend enough. Most people don't see that 85 18 that we just talked about because they are blindsided by the 85 12 And this, this is this is the one that gets all the glory because this is the one that has the shallowest step, the field in the 85 range. And so this 85 12 is really the ultimate portrait lands. If somebody said I really want to shoot Portrait's on the very highest level, what lens should I get my question would be. What equipment? Dio now. And how long have you been doing this? And if they said Well, I don't have a camera. I just want to get into it. I would tell them Get the 85 18 Learn how to use that lens after you've learned how to use that one, then you can upgrade to this one if you straight out by this one. This is the equivalent of giving the Lamborghini to the 16 year old. Not that they're gonna crash this, but that they're not going to understand and be able to appreciate Because this is a highly tuned item. This is a dangerous item to use. You need to be skilled. You need to build up your your skill level before you get to this. And so I do not recommend this. Even if you have the cash, you won the lottery and you're just wanting to dump money on photography. This is something that you need to work up to. This is a mountain that you need to climb to get to it. And I don't know that we had one of these over here. Let me just put a couple of these back, and I do Let me see where iss have it. I thought I had it. There it is. Okay, so we'll do a little live comparison. Let me just clear a couple of these Officer here. The 85. Yeah. And so here the 85 the hood size always is deceptive on exactly how big the lenses. So we take off these hoods here. All right, So here's our 85 18 that I highly recommend. I would prefer to have the 85. 12 I'll show you a photo later in. The class was shot with this because it it's just beautiful. Gorgeous, out of focus, background. It's awesome. But my nickname for this lands is the shot put. Okay, you guys know the shot Put its right about the size. Put it in here, sailors. ITT's that solid and heavy, and this is just much lighter way. This is a much more reasonable lands and look at the size if we get a nice close up of the size of the opening in order to get this in here, and that is some high quality glass which tends to be very heavy, and so this is a chunk of the lands. I know we've had some people on our tours that have been walking around the streets of Cuba with this, and this is a chunk. I mean this, this really weighs on you. It's £2.3 on the front of the lens. And so I mean, it's you and just holding this, like in your hand, along with a camera. It gets really tiring. And so I know there's a number of wedding photographers who would much rather shoot a six hour wedding with that 85 18 than the 1.2 lens. The focusing system is actually a little bit slow. And so there might be some sports photographers that would might be interested in this because of light gathering ability. But the focusing system, because the size of the elements air so big in there, it is a little bit on the slow side, so it's not perfect for really fast action. 100 of two is another one of their older lenses. It's a near sibling of the 85 18 that we've just been talking about here and It's just a subtle, slight difference of a little bit more magnification enough to aperture. I think it's a great lens. I would recommend it as highly as theeighties five. You do need to have a little bit more space between you and your subject. It means you're going to be back a little bit further. If you were doing head shots in your spare bedroom, which is fairly small because you don't have much space to work with, you would probably better get better. Get 85 because that will just put you a little bit closer. If you have a nice, big open area to shoot, the 100 gives you is gonna have a little bit more room. And so you want a little bit more room for shooting your portrait. Okay, once again, no had supplied Canon naughty, naughty and see. A chromatic aberration will see. That's how it's often shortened up. So you gotta learn how we like to shorten our words. All right, so this is from the original collection of lenses that Cannon introduced back in 1987. It is technically still in the lineup. It's probably hard to find it's a very special soft focus lens that has. You see this big old ring up in the front of it, it says. Soft 01 and two. It's a normal, sharp 1 35 millimeter, 2.8 lands. But you can add in what I like to call the Elizabeth Taylor soft filter effect. All right, so it adds a nice, dreamy filter, and everything becomes this soft out of focus area, and it's interesting. I've never really shot with it, but it's a very old design, and it's very, very particular and unique. So it's probably not gonna be on the want list for most photographers. And so if you found one used and you just wanted to be able to do something a little different than all the other photographers I could see picking it up in that regard just so that you have a different tool that most people don't have in the bag. But 1 35 F two. This is a favorite, even though it's been around for a little while. This has been a favorite of portrait photographers for quite some time. It's a little bit longer focal length. It has been referred to in more than one case as the poor man's 85 1.2. And so if you were lusting after an 85 1. but you didn't have, it's like $2400 fat. Let's if you wanted to get something that had a similar effect as that leads, this lands is right about $1000. So it's less than half the price of the 85 12 And the difference is is that it's a longer Focal Inc. And it's going push you back from your portrait subject a little bit further. So I consider this. The outdoor portrait lets you better have a really nice big house if you want to shoot pictures inside cause you're probably going to be 30 35 feet away. In some cases, it's incredibly sharp. And if you want that shallow depth of field look, it has an incredibly good, shallow depth of field. Look. Ah, lot of people are hoping for an upgrade from Canon. They would like to see image stabilization added to it, which I think would help just because it's it's lens. It's a little hard to hold because it's getting into that longer focal ing because it's one of their. In fact, I would say it well tonight. Not quite the longest, but it's one of their longest lenses that does not have image stabilization. So I think that would be a nice addition if we are to see an upgrade to that. And so when it comes to the portrait lenses, I think the 85 is just an easy choice for the absolute top of the line pros who have experience using these lenses. 85 12 If you really want to try to take your photography to the very top level, and if you're gonna be working outside maybe doing senior portrait type things where you take somebody down to the park and photographing the 1 35 is going to get to that effect of the 85 but at a little bit longer distance. So some very nice lenses that though 18 is a really good bye

Class Description

Working with interchangeable lenses can be both exciting and daunting to all levels of photographers. Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will prepare you to select the right lens and get the most out of all of your lens investments.

John Greengo is the master of making complex photography concepts easy to understand and in this class, he’ll bring all of your Canon EOS DSLR lens options and operations into focus. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • Focal length and aperture
  • Canon zoom lenses
  • Which lens accessories to buy
  • Third-party lenses
  • Maintaining a lens system

John will cover the full range of Canon lenses, from ultra-wide to super-telephoto, zooms to primes, fisheye to perspective control. You’ll learn how to match the right lens to your needs and get insights on the best ways to use it.

Whether you are thinking about buying a new lens or just want to get the most out of what you already have, Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will help you out.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Canon Lens Basics

    John Greengo gets you up-to-speed on the basics of working with interchangeable Canon® lenses.

  3. Focal Length: Angle of View
  4. Focal Length: Normal Lenses
  5. Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses
  6. Focal Length: Telephoto Lens
  7. Focal Length Rule of Thumb
  8. Field of View
  9. Aperture Basics
  10. Aperture: Maximum Aperture
  11. Aperture: Equivalent Focal Length
  12. Aperture: Depth of Field
  13. Aperture: Maximum Sharpness
  14. Aperture: Starburst Effect
  15. Aperture: Flare
  16. Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance
  17. Camera Mount System
  18. Canon Lens Compatibility
  19. Canon Lens Design
  20. Canon Lens Composition
  21. Canon Lens Shape
  22. Canon Lens Coating
  23. Canon Lens Focusing
  24. Lens Autofocus
  25. Canon Lens Image Stabilization
  26. Canon L Lenses
  27. Image Quality
  28. Canon Zoom Lenses: Standard
  29. Canon Super Zooms
  30. Canon Wide Zooms
  31. Canon Telephoto Zooms
  32. Prime Lens: Normal Lenses
  33. Prime Lens: Moderate Wide
  34. Prime Lens: Wide Angle
  35. Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide
  36. Prime Lens: Short Telephoto
  37. Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto
  38. Prime Lens: Super Telephoto
  39. 3rd Party Lenses Overview
  40. 3rd Party Prime Lenses
  41. 3rd Party Zoom Lenses
  42. Lens Accessories: Filters
  43. Lens Accessories: Lens Hoods
  44. Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount
  45. Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes
  46. Lens Accessories: Extenders
  47. Macro Lens: Reproduction Ratio
  48. Macro Lens: Technique and Choices
  49. Fisheye: Technique and Choices
  50. Tilt Shift: Techniques and Choices
  51. Make a Lens System Choice
  52. Choosing A Portrait Lens
  53. Choosing A Sports Lens
  54. Choosing A Landscape Lens
  55. Best Lenses for You
  56. Lens Maintenance
  57. Buying and Selling Lens
  58. What is John Greengo's Favorite Lens?



I so appreciate what a good teacher John is. I wish I would have known this much about lenses when I first started out buying my lenses. It was hard finding information about lenses. I didn't want to spend money on a lens I wouldn't use. The better understanding we have about our gear the better photographers we will be. I have never seen a class like this. Invaluable...yes I bought the class! I am really impressed with the high quality photography classes available on Creative Live!


This was a great class not just about the lenses that Canon offers but also how each lens works. As usual, John's slides are alway informative and entertaining. There is a phrase: John has a slide for that! I am not even a Canon user and found this class to have great information for the use of each specific lens. Great work John! Thank you Creative Live for another great class!

a Creativelive Student

Have loved the other John Greengo classes I've watched & purchased - and this is another winner! Having been a high school/college science teacher, it is refreshing to take a course with someone who not only is extremely experienced, seems to be a computer having stored so much knowledge, but is equally concerned about making the information truly understandable to different levels. And he shares the information using every tool he can: slides, video, interactive presentations, and great quizzes. I learned so much about my Canon lenses - and lenses in general with their many components. I am excited about testing each of mine to see what macro ratio they handle, and especially appreciated the tutorial on testing each for their specific quirk that affects super sharpness. This class is great whether you own Canon lenses or not. Thanks John Greengo!