Canon Telephoto Lens

What is a Canon Telephoto Lens?

A Canon Telephoto lens is one that the photographer can mount on a Canon digital SLR camera, and it has a focal length that will render an image at a larger magnification than what is normally viewed by the human eye. Think of it as you would a looking glass or a pair of binoculars. The effect is the same.

Carolina Wren - Taken with Canon Telephoto Lens

Carolina Wren - Taken with a Canon EOS Telephoto Lens

Do you know which Canon Telephoto Lens is the #1 seller right now?
Take a peak ==> HERE <==

The Difference Between Telephoto Lenses and Normal Lenses

This brings up a comparison between what is called a normal lens and the telephoto lens. In photography circles, a lens of between 35mm and 50mm is known as “normal”. Lenses larger than 50mm are telephoto.

However, there is one caveat here. There are different sized sensors in digital SLR cameras that create a problem when it comes to naming a normal focal length. There are full frame cameras and there are crop sensor cameras. Full frame models have the largest sensors, and a 35mm lens behaves as a normal 35mm lens would on older film cameras. Crop sensor cameras have a smaller sensor, the result being that images are actually magnified by a factor of 1.6x. So a 35mm lens attached to a crop sensor camera produces images equal in appearance to a 56mm lens on a full frame model.

Therefore, for all intents and purposes, a 50mm lens is the lower limit of telephoto. There is no upper limit, although lenses longer than about 300mm are considered “super telephoto.”

Prime Canon Telephoto Lens Choices

Many of the top Canon photographers prefer to use prime lenses. The reason for using a prime, or single focal length, lens is that the optics are excellent, and it is generally easier to construct a prime lens with wide aperture than it is to build a zoom lens with the same wide aperture.

Here are some examples of highly rated prime Canon Telephoto Lenses:

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens

While this little lens does not qualify as an “L”, nor does it feel as solid as the f/1.2 model, it is an extremely strong performer (can all those folks who used it and rated it at 4.8 out of 5 Stars be totally wrong?). The wide aperture and quick focus make it a winner in many ways. And since you can pick it up for less than 25% of the cost of the f/1.2, it may be just what you need.

Product Description: A highly practical medium telephoto lens with superb delineation and portability, the Canon EF 85mm lens produces sharp and clear images at all apertures. Through computer simulations, the lens has been designed to give beautiful background blur, thereby bringing your subject into crisp view. The ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM) and fast f/1.8 aperture, meanwhile, helps the subject zip into focus in the viewfinder. And because the front lens group does not rotate during focusing, special filter effects are not affected. Best of all, the standard zoom lens–with its natural angle of view and perspective–captures the subject plainly, making it excellent for portraits and images that require a natural depth of field. As with all Canon lenses, the lens carries a one-year warranty.

Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM Lens

All you have to do is hold this one in your hand, and you know you are in the presence of greatness. It is a rock-solid performer that also feels rock solid. The price tag is the one drawback, but lots of pros and avid enthusiasts agree that this Canon L lens is worth it.

Product Description: Retaining the impressive optical performance and large aperture of the original Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L lens, this revamped medium telephoto lens employs a ring-type Ultra Sonic Motor (USM), high-speed CPU, and optimized algorithms to achieve an autofocus speed that’s approximately 1.8x faster than the original. This high-speed autofocus system combines with the circular aperture to create a shallow depth of field that brings attention to the subject and blurs the background, an ideal effect for portraits and weddings. In addition, the lens’s floating optical system includes an aspherical lens element that suppresses aberrations and produces an excellent imaging performance.

Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM Telephoto Lens

This lens is a great one for portraits. It’s nice wide aperture will do well in darker areas, too. Do not confuse this with the Canon EF 100mm Macro lens.

Product Description: Another option in high-speed moderate telephotos, this compact lens is ideal for portraits and low-light work. Compared to the 85mm f/1.8 USM lens, it provides that little bit extra of telephoto power sometimes necessary outdoors or for candid shooting. Like the 85mm, it’s super-sharp (even wide-open), and has fast USM autofocus along with full-time manual focusing.

A medium telephoto lens with a large aperture brings the subject closer, creates excellent background blur, gives a longer flash range, and affords a faster shutter speed to freeze the action. A standard zoom lens, with its natural angle of view and perspective, captures the subject plainly, with no special effects. However, you can use standard lenses in creative ways by varying the subject distance, aperture, and angle.

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Telephoto Lens

As a prime telephoto lens, this guy will give awesome detail as well as excellent bokeh (background blur) when taking portraits.

Product Description: Zoom in on a favorite subject from a distance with the Canon EF 200mm telephoto lens. Offering a long focal length that lets you effectively compress the distance between the subject and camera, the lens lets you easily capture the details and feeling of a far-off scene. The lens is distinguished by two ultra-low-dispersion (UD) glass elements and a rear focusing system to correct aberrations, producing extremely sharp images. The lens also offers a natural-looking background blur and comes with a dedicated, detachable hood. The lens carries a one-year warranty.

Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Telephoto Lens

This lens is a steady shooter. It has the IS feature with an f/4 aperture to make it an excellent wildlife lens are an affordable price (if you are comparing it to the f/2.8 model).

Product Description: Bring your subjects closer while shooting sports or wildlife with the Canon EF 300mm f/4L telephoto lens. The lens is equipped with Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, which compensates for camera shake by providing the equivalent effect of a shutter speed two stops faster. The camera provides two IS modes: Stabilizer 1, the same mode featured on the EF 75-300mm lens, and Stabilizer 2, which steadies the image during horizontal or vertical panning. The lens is also half the weight of the 300mm f/2.8L IS, with a close focus distance of 4.9 feet. And like all of Canon?s fixed focal length L-series lenses above 135mm, it?s compatible with Canon’s EF 1.4x II and 2x II Extenders.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Lens

Straight 5-Star ratings! That says it all. Very pricy, but if your bank account can afford it, you will not be disappointed.

Product Description: The high-performance L-series EF 300mm super-telephoto lens is a terrific choice for sports photographers and other long-distance users. Sports action requires a fast shutter speed and a long focal length. This lens easily complies thanks to its large maximum aperture–which supports a faster shutter speed–and its 300mm length. The lens also boasts a built-in, dual-mode Image Stabilizer (IS) function. This creates an equivalent shutter speed of up to four stops faster than the same size lens without an image stabilizer, letting you capture long distance hand-held shots far more assuredly. And thanks to the fluorite element and pair of UD-glass elements, the lens effectively corrects the chromatic aberrations that are prone to occur with telephoto lenses. Other features include the world’s fastest autofocus (AF) speed with an improved Ring Ultrasonic Motor (USM) and new algorithms; a rugged, lightweight magnesium alloy lens barrel; and a detachable tripod collar that removes smoothly and locks securely. All Canon lenses carry a one-year warranty.

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Super Telephoto Lens

This 400mm lens comes at the same price as a lens half its focal length. Sharpness is excellent, but the aperture is f/5.6, so you will have to be able to hold it steady or use a tripod in all but the best light (no IS either).

Product Description: Light. Portable. Excellent handling. Sharp. And amazingly fast autofocus. The 400mm f/5.6L is all of these things, and a premier choice for wildlife and nature photographers–one of the finest telephoto lenses in the world for fast-moving subjects such as birds in flight or motor sports. It uses UD-glass elements to provide outstanding optical quality, even wide-open, and image quality is preserved when used with either the EF 1.4x II or EF 2x II tele extenders. It accepts 77mm filters, and has a built-in removable tripod collar.

See a Different Dimension
A super telephoto lens can make an ordinary scene into an extraordinary one. Its ability to see surpasses that of the human eye. It can compress images and make them look as if they come from another dimension. It opens up new realms of photographic expression. All EF super telephoto lenses are L-series lenses to provide the highest quality. The USM provides quiet and high-speed autofocusing. These lenses promise outstanding delineation and put your imagination to the test.

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens

This is the “cat’s meow” lens. What more is there to say?

Product Description: Always a favorite of motor sports, wildlife and nature shooters, the relatively lightweight 500mm lens now adds Image Stabilization for an unbeatable package of handling and sharpness. Fluorite and UD-glass–a combination available from no other lens manufacturer–provide great performance, even with the EF 1.4x II or 2x II tele extender attached. It focuses down to less than 15 feet (4.5m), and offers the same weather-resistant design and incredible AF speed as its 300mm, 400mm and 600mm siblings.

Canon Telephoto Lenses With Zoom

A this point in the photographic chronological time line, there have been some huge strides made in improved technology, making zoom lenses much more viable for use in creating pictures with outstanding image quality.
Here are a few of the most impressive Canon Telephoto Zoom lenses.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Telephoto Lens

This lens has recently been upgraded. It is very popular as the second most popular Canon lens (second only to the kit lens).

Product Description:This telephoto zoom lens is designed with Canon’s Optical Image Stabilizer technology while retaining compactness and lightness, in response to demands of photographers. This high zoom ratio lens is equivalent to a focal length of 88-400mm in the 35mm format (when used on Canon EOS cameras compatible with EF-S lenses), and the image stabilizer effect equivalent to a shutter speed about 4 stops faster than the same size lens without Image Stabilizer. In other words, if the slowest shutter speed you could formerly hold a 250mm lens steadily was 1/250th of a second, with Canon’s 4-stop stabilization correction, you could hand-hold at shutter speeds as slow as 1/15th of a second. It also uses a UD-glass lens element to correct chromatic aberration for excellent image quality throughout the zoom range. This new EF-S telephoto lens with great features delivers excellent performance at an affordable price for all photographers.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Lens

This zoom lens is considered the Canon “Flagship” lens (there are 5 different configurations of this lens). This particular model is the least expensive, and, notice that it is still an “L”, meaning that it is built with the best materials and technology Canon has to offer. The focus speed and image quality are truly amazing.

Product Description: Capture the far-off action of fast-paced sports or zoom in for an intimate portrait with the Canon EF 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens. This high-performance, L-series telephoto zoom lens is distinguished by such features as an f/4 maximum aperture, an inner focusing system, and a ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM). The last two features combine to deliver quick and quiet autofocusing–a priority for many amateur and professional photographers. In addition, photographers can attach and use a circular polarizing filter without difficulty because the front lens element does not rotate during focusing. Compatible with the same tripod collar (sold separately) used with the EF 300mm f/4L USM lens, the lens carries a one-year warranty.

See more about the Canon EF 70-200mm Lenses.

Canon 70-200mm f 4 Lens took this photo of a titmouse

Canon 70-200mm f/4 L takes sharp pictures. This brand new titmouse was looking for Mom.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM Telephoto Lens

This is the best of the lenses in this group. Expensive, but amazing… buyers comments describe their surprise at the value for the money, despite the fact that the price is quite high compared to the f/4L version.

Product Description: Improving upon one of the most celebrated lenses in the Canon EF line is no easy feat, but Canon has done just that. The all-new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM increases the speed, performance and optical quality of the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM while maintaining all of the characteristics that have made it a legend for professionals and advanced amateurs alike. The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM features one fluorite and five UD elements for increased optical quality and reduced chromatic aberration. It has a minimum focusing distance of 1.2m/3.9 ft. at all zoom settings, which is useful for photographers in smaller spaces trying to get closer to a subject. It features a next-generation Optical Image Stabilizer, providing up to 4 stops of correction at all focal lengths. And as with all L-series lenses, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is dust- and moisture-resistant and designed for use in the challenging environments typical of rigorous professional use.

Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Lens

This lens is a bit different in that it zooms by moving the lens forward and backward. Once you get used to that, it works like it’s supposed to work. Considering the zoom range and the “L” rating, it is fairly inexpensive (when you consider the alternatives).

Product Description: Equipped with an Image Stabilizer, the Canon EF 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens makes it easy to capture the far-off action of fast-paced sports or zoom in for an intimate portrait with a blurred background. The lens offer such features as fluorite and Super UD-glass elements that largely eliminate secondary spectrum; a floating system that ensures high picture quality at all focal lengths; two Image Stabilizer modes; and compatibility with extenders 1.4x II and 2x II. The lens carries a one-year warranty.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM UD Telephoto Lens

This lens is rock solid, as are the other “L” models. Adding an extra 100mm in focal length to the 70-200 models, the only drawback (and the thing that keeps the price down) is that it has a variable aperture rather than a constant aperture across the zoom range. Still, it will provide years of excellent shots.

Product Description: Designed to deliver ultra-high quality images along with lightning fast operation, the new Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM telephoto zoom lens brings a favorite zoom range to the celebrated Canon L-series of lenses. It features two Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration, incorporates a floating focusing mechanism for sharpness from close up to infinity, plus an IS system that increases usability by approximately four stops. The EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM features a function that prevents erroneous operation when the lens is mounted on a tripod or monopod. Gleaming white, with a removable tripod collar, dust and water resistant construction, and a newly developed Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum, its phenomenal performance and flexibility is assured. For portraiture or to bring what’s far away up close, this addition to the L-series is guaranteed to perform.