movement technique with telephoto lens : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Greetings - - I am considering the purchase of my first telephoto lens (Schneider 400mm HM APO-tele-xenar) for use with my Toyo 45AII field camera for landscape work. I have read that the movement principles are different with a telephoto vs. a non-telephoto. I realize that I'll see what's happening on the ground glass anyway but would appreciate any thoughts/advice that you can share on the proper technique. For example, when shooting a non-telephoto lens with a straight-forward scenario of a flat field of flowers in the foreground and mountains in the distant background, I'd normally focus on the mountains and tilt my lens forward (or tilt the back backwards) then refocus to get it all sharp. How would this situation work with a telephoto lens? Thanks very much....Bill

-- Bill Stone (, November 15, 2001


I used a 400 mm telephoto lens for several years. There's no real difference in using a telephoto lens and a conventional lens in the situation you describe. The same movements and focusing techniques that you use with a conventional lens are used in the same way with a telephoto lens. The only difference, which to me wasn't significant with such a long lens, was after a tilting movement like you describe you may have to recompose and/or refocus one more time with a telephoto lens than with a normal lens. Because the nodal point is out in front of the lens, movements like tilts can cause a more extreme change in the focusing and compositon than with a conventional lens. This wasn't always the case, depending on the extent of the tilt and how critical the precise composition was, but it did sometimes occur. Otherwise I didn't see any difference between using the telephoto lens and using my conventional lenses for the type of work I used it for (mostly nature stuff). I don't know anything about the particular lens you're considering. Being a Schneider I'm sure it's an excellent lens but you might look at its size and weight compared to the Fuji 400T. I used the Fuji and liked it for backpacking since it took a Copal 1 shutter and so was relatively small and light (as 400 mm lenses go).

-- Brian Ellis (, November 16, 2001.

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