When I was shooting lots of editorial photo assignments for Sports Illustrated and the other Time/Life news magazines telephoto lenses (long glass) were always in use. They were big, heavy, awkward to carry and required the use of a monopod or tripod to insure a sharp image. These lenses included the 300mm f/2.8, a 400mm f/3.5 (later modernized with an f/2.8 aperture), and a 600mm f/4 behemoth.
I actually hauled these on many back country assignments that required hiking into a location. How times and technology have changed. These photographs were taken with my Panasonic Lumix GH-3 and the 100-300mm telephoto zoom lens. What’s more, they are all HAND-HELD shots. No tripod, no monopod and the lens is a mere fraction of the size of the previous ones I’ve used. Granted, it’s not a fast f/2.8 lens, but with the build-in image stabilization, better quality camera sensors, and smaller size I’m still able to get tack sharp photographs.
Timing is everything, right? My friend Julie and I had just hiked to the top of Red Mountain in Glenwood Springs, CO, where the paragliders take off. This launch occurred within minutes of our arrival on top. It was easy to throw that telephoto lens onto my camera and capture several images before they descended down into the valley.
The bird and farm irrigation photographs were taken from Julie’s back porch, same lens, same scenario.
It’s great to have long glass back in the camera arsenal!!!