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Telephoto Eyes

The Experiment: It is time to reveal the experiment I was conducting out in the Nevada Desert. What I wanted to find out was am I naturally telephoto or wide eyed. The experiment was simple, take a single versatile lens (in this case a Nikon 18-200) along on a 9 day road trip and photograph like crazy. I took my D7000 and 18-200 with me everywhere, and forced myself to never pass on a scene. Dark, light, cats or dogs…just make images. When I returned home, I analyzed the data to see if I naturally frame images below or above the normal 50mm mark. Well, it’s pretty apparent I have telephoto eyes. All but two of my images were composed below the 50mm mark.

Notes: I should note that I did have another camera and uber sexy lens along with me for another experiment I will share with you in the coming weeks. However, as an experiment control, I made an effort to leave the second body/lens behind when I would go out on daily photo walks.

Conclusion: I have given this a bit of thought, and this is what I arrived at. I’m still not sure I have purely telephoto eyes. It could be that telephoto lenses simply help enable the lazy photographer. As Jay Maisel says, ‘You are responsible for what is in your frame’. Well, it’s a lot easier to manage what’s in your frame if you isolate your subject with a telephoto lens. That being said, I could have both telephoto eyes and be a lazy photographer. I’m confident that I naturally see my compositions as isolated subjects in the chaos of the world’s canvas. However, I’m still trying to figure out if I’m lazy?

Photographer’s Note: As you know, I’m not a big ‘gear guy’. I dig whatever gets the job done, and for what I do, ‘all in one super zooms’ will often do it for me. Actually, most of the time. If you are interested, I posted a full review of this great Nikon 18-200 VR Lens on my reviews page (Click Here To Read) .

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  1. Terrific series of images Justin and cool experiment. I took a workshop with the great Bill Fortney last year and discovered I was a wide-angle guy (I sort of knew it intuitively).

  2. Interesting experiment. I’ve really grown to love my 70-200 and less interested in using my wide angle lenses these days though I do love my 50mm. I really like the isolation of these images and so I guess that’s why I love those two lenses right now. Well done, sir!

  3. Very cool experiment. I think I tend to be the telephoto type gal but since my 18 to 200 bit the dust I’ve been essentially using my 24 – 70 and its made a big difference in how I look at things. Having said that I still need to replace my telephoto zoom. Terrific set of images.

  4. Interesting experiment. A telephoto is next on my list, but I’m still camera-poor from buying the D800 and 24-70. I had the VR 18-200 a few years ago, but I didn’t feel like I was getting good sharpness from it. Maybe I didn’t give it a chance, but I know people love it.

Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you