Wide & Telephoto & Super Telephoto Zoom


Choosing the Right Camera Lens


Lesson Info

Wide & Telephoto & Super Telephoto Zoom

Let's talk about our wide-zoom lenses in here, and so this is for your landscape, your architectural, your travel photographer. For your full-frame Canon, that 16-35 is a lens that I've owned for a couple of years now. It's a fantastic lens. The Nikon version is equally as good in my mind. Canon and Nikon have both introduced very low-priced wide angle lenses, and these are the types of lenses that are selling for around $300. Canon's 10-18 and Nikon's 10-20 are not the greatest lenses in the world, but, if you have an entry level system, you want a practical, good basic lens that'll get you wide angle, these lenses will do it at the best value of anything I've seen out there. Gettin' into the mirror-less world, there's gonna be a good collection of lenses here. Sony has recently come out with the 16-35. When it comes to the micro four thirds system, I think there's some really nice premium options that may be worth a little bit of the extra money here. The Fuji 10-24 is one of the hig...

her end lenses in this basic category. I kinda wanted to put it in the premium; it's not quite there, but it's still a really good lens that I think is very nice. In the premium category, one of the things you're gonna notice here with a lot of the lenses is that they have a faster aperture. They have an F/2.8 aperture on it. This is gonna be important for people doing photojournalism, or maybe wedding photography, where they're shooting a lot of people under low-light conditions. Just because this is the premium option, you may not need to go here if you're a landscape shooter 'cause you're gonna be stopping your lens down. This is for people who really do want to be shooting it wide open in those cases. Sony's new 16-35 is pretty good. This is where Sony's mirror-less system, they don't have the lens system fully fleshed out you might say. There's not quite as many options out there. The new Olympus 7-14 and the new Panasonic 8- both look like they're some really good quality, premium options for the four thirds system, as well. Another very valuable tool for most all photographers is the telephoto zoom option, and this is probably the first lens most people get beyond the standard kit lens. Canon's newest one has a little digital LED read out, and there are probably more options in this category from any of the manufacturers than any other key areas that we're looking at. So these I think are some of the best options in this particular category. They're not too exciting 'cause they're not extreme lenses, but they are extremely practical. In fact, I end up shooting more photos in this range than anything else, and so having a lens and one that you like working with is very good in here. So, something, getting up to around that 200 or 300mm range is really nice, and let me see if I can do one more demo here with you. That Panasonic 45-150 is just so small. Let me see if I can find it here. Where did it go, 45-150? No, no, there it is. Well, actually not quite yet. Nope, there it is; found it. And so this, and let's grab a bigger one, a Sony version here. Hard to find these lenses, we got too many lenses. And so here's the difference between a micro four thirds lens and a full-frame lens that does exactly the same thing when it comes to angle of view and aperture. Now, the depth of field you shoot with, yes, we all know that's gonna be different because we watched section one of this class where we talked about aperture, but these are still pretty good travel lenses in all cases. Alrighty, back in their spots. Alright, let's look at the premium options for telephoto zoom. Another common theme here, f/2.8 apertures or f/4, constant maximum apertures. All of these on screen are excellent lenses, very good at what they do. Sony recently got their 70-200 two-way. They're filling out their mirror-less system very, very well. Olympus, because they have their smaller system, they're able to get a little bit more range, the equivalent of an 80-300 2.8. The 35-100 2.8 from Panasonic is absolutely tiny in what it is. I think I have one of those here, as well. Let's see if we can pull that, and we got the 35-100. Let's look at the Nikon 70-200. We'll leave the hoods on these here. So these two lenses have the same angle of view, you would end up with the same exposure when you're shooting, you will get shallower depth of field with the Nikon, but they're basically doing the same basic things. So you could bring a really nice telephoto lens with you with that micro four thirds system, but, if you want the best in quality, one of the trends in photography in my lifetime, is that the camera equipment has gotten bigger, and that's because the cameras have gotten higher quality and we need better quality lenses for the higher quality sensors on our cameras. I have camera bags that I got in college, I can't use them anymore 'cause the lenses are so thick and so big that I can't get all my lenses in 'em anymore. Alright, next category, final category of the zooms is the super telephoto zoom. So, people interested in wildlife photography, motor sports, things like that. Alright, now I still consider this basic, the Canon 100-400, the Nikon 200-500, these are some kinda premium options. It's just that Nikon and Canon offer some really nice, even higher-end options than these. These lenses will allow you to reach out on those subjects that are further away at the zoo, on the safari, or on the race track or on the sports field. 100-400 is kinda a good standard in here. It's not offered in all of the categories. Nikon and Canon tend to have more of these categories filled up with versions of lenses, and they're not always available in all the other standards. And that Sony 100-400 is really nice. The Olympus and Panasonic, they're a little bit more basic. You might wanna look at their premium, if you're looking for something that's pretty good. The premium category is gonna cost you lots of money in here. That Canon 200-400, it's over 10 grand. The Nikon lens, that's about seven grand in there, but it gets you a reasonably fast aperture throughout that entire range. When in comes to super telephoto in the mirror-less, we're gonna have a few holes in here, you might say. The new Fuji 100-400 is a really nice lens, and let me just grab that one real quick 'cause I wanna show you the comparison size of the Fuji 100-400 versus the Sony 100-400. Let's make sure I got the right one here, and you'll notice it's not much difference, In fact, it's technically a little bit bigger, but it's going onto a smaller sized sensor, and I think they just wanted to build the best 100-400 they could. Panasonic has one; they're using a different sized sensor. And where is the 100-400? And here we go, and you'll notice that this one is noticeably smaller, and so this is where you get to save a lot of size and weight if you do like going with that smaller sized sensor on the micro four thirds. And so you really gotta think about what camera you wanna get because that's gonna impact what size of lenses you're gonna be getting.

Class Description

Once you’ve chosen the camera of your dreams, how do you know which lens will maximize your camera’s capabilities? Join camera expert John Greengo as he explains what the best lenses are to add to your camera bag. He’ll explain:

  • Which lens is best for specific areas of photography
  • The technology behind lenses
  • How to use specialty lenses including macro and fisheye
  • Tips on operating and maintaining your lenses

John will also talk about lens accessories including hoods, mounts, filters, and teleconverters. By the end of this class, you’ll understand exactly what lens you’ll need to take your best photos!


Boris Dimitrov

Excellent class packed with incredibly useful knowledge. John is an amazing lecturer. He has also developed really great materials to help explain all the concepts and technologies that are explored in the class. Looking forward to my next class with him!

a Creativelive Student

Great class. So informative. John Greengo is such a fantastic tutor and explains everything in such and easy-to-understand way. I would highly recommend this class. Prior to doing this class, I was so confused about which lenses are best for various photography. Now I understand lenses completely. Thanks John!

Lettie Turner

Another great JG class, my 4th. He gives a lot of individual attention to several popular lens brands. I really think after seeing this video series you could pick out three lenses that would fit your needs and your pocketbook. The class handout is spot on for what is covered in the video. Great job!! Thank you