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Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto

Lesson 35 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto

Lesson 35 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

35. Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto


Class Trailer



Nikon Lens Class Introduction


Nikon Lens Basics


Focal Length: Angle of View


Focal Length: Normal Lenses


Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses


Focal Length: Telephoto Lens


Focal Length Rule of Thumb


Field of View


Aperture Basics


Equivalent Aperture


Depth of Field


Maximum Sharpness




Hyper Focal Distance


Nikon Mount Systems


Nikon Cine Lenses


Nikon Lens Design


Focusing and Autofocus with Nikon Lenses


Nikon Lens Vibration Reduction


Image Quality


Aperture Control and General Info


Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses


Nikon Super Zoom Lenses


Nikon Wide Angle Lenses


Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses


3rd Party Zooms Overview


3rd Party Zooms: Sigma


3rd Party Zooms: Tamron


3rd Party Zooms: Tokina




Nikon Prime Lens: Normal


Nikon Prime Lens: Wide Angle


Nikon Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Nikon Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto


3rd Party Primes: Sigma


3rd Party Primes: Zeiss


3rd Party Primes: Samyang


Lens Accessories: Filters


Lens Accessories: Lens Hood


Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount


Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Lens Accessories: Teleconverters


Macro Photography


Nikon Micro Lens Selection


Fisheye Lenses


Tilt Shift Photography Overview


Tilt Shift Lenses


Building a Nikon System


Making a Choice: Nikon Portrait Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Sport Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Landscape Lenses


Nikon Lens Systems


Lens Maintenance


Buying and Selling Lenses


Final Q&A


What's in the Frame


Lesson Info

Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto

All right, let's jump up to the super telephoto rage so we're talking about professional sports photography and when I say professional sports photography that's both the photographer being professional and the sports being professional as well because they typically have bigger fields they push all the photographers back further and the photographers there oh, no now I need a three hundred now I need a four hundred now I need a five hundred because they keep pushing you all the way back hope was almost up into the stands wildlife photography in any sort of extreme action like rock climbing where their way up on the walls or surfing where their way out there skiing where they're on a slope on the mountain across the way and so these are all fx lenses but you can use a dx camera on them and you get a one point five magnification of it and so they become even longer lenses. And so sometimes when I need a really long lens I'll use a crop frame camera because it just magnifies the effect o...

f these telephoto lenses. All of these lenses are equivalent. Well, no, I wish all of these lenses are more expensive than the car I drive. Okay, so these are very expensive lenses if you want to become a professional football baseball photographer professional sports photographer this is the first lens you buy this is the most important lens in the kit, because this is what you're going to be shooting with on a day to day basis when you look at the sidelines at the olympics. For most of the events, this is the standard issue lands, and the reason is is because it is the longest lens that nikon makes that is a two point eight aperture and that's generally the standard that they need for shooting most sports because they're shooting very fast shutter speeds, they're shooting in arenas that they're not outside there inside and so that they need that fast aperture and two hundred is just not long enough. So in some cases, why go three hundred to wait when you can do for hundred to eight? Both are very nice, and so for those slightly bigger field areas, areas where you're getting pushed back further, so professional sports fans I know when I was one of my favorite sports to shoot was basketball, and so in basketball, you sit down on the baseline and you got players on the near side and you shot them with an eighty five, sometimes a one o five, but if you shot professionals, you probably had to shoot in eighty five because the guys, they're so much bigger there, but it kind of depends on are you shooting them? Out at the free throw line or a little bit closer in and then when they run down to the other side of the court you put that camera down and pick up your three hundred two point eight but if you get really good on the three hundred two point eight you can graduate to the four hundred two point eight but don't try to shoot it straight off the four hundred two point eight because you gotta learn on the three hundred two point eight so I've mentioned this before about you started fifty and you kind of grow as your skill level improves and so also true here and so incredible top of the line lens they recently upgraded this it's now in e lens and so you remember that the the diaphragm control is now electronically controlled by the camera which means that this has limited communication with the earliest of the digital cameras and all of the old film cameras and so if you have older equipment you probably don't want this lens they did have a g version but I think it's been discontinued and it's next to impossible to find it this time knew you confined amused I'm sure as people are upgrading their lenses so very recently introduced was there five hundred e they've kind of done a full sweep of their big telephoto lenses they're taking them all from the g lends to the islands which has that electro magnetic diaphragm in it, and so the five hundred four beautiful lands really good for wildlife photography because it is not quite as heavy as some of the other lenses up in this category, and they have actually dropped two pounds, and that was because now the fluoride elements you go back to the features and technology section, the fluoride elements are much less weight, and they could do the job of multiple elements they're more difficult to make, and they're more expensive, so the price of the lens has gone up so it's around ten thousand dollars, and so we actually have one of these over here, and my first big nikon lens was thief five hundred f or p, which was a manual focus version because they didn't really have a lot of auto focus versions when I was first getting into it, and I like that lands because it was really long, but you know, it was it was reasonable in price for what it is now, this is the lens hood, and we're going to talk about lens hood's in the next accessory section, and this is a really big lens hood, and one of the nice things is that it does reverse on here so that we were storing it in a backpack or a case it folds up quite nicely, so this is the actual lens here. And weight wise six point eight pounds it doesn't really feel like it, but some of the other ones the four hundred to eight well, I went to a sports illustrated photography workshop, nikon was there, and when they let us use any of the nikon lenses, we could check out any lands and nikon had a three hundred millimeter f two leads that that's just a whole story on itself. It's just amazing lens, but the lens weighs sixteen pounds and I put it on a mono pod and it was like having a bowling ball on the end of a stick, it was just so heavy on this is just so much lighter, but this is something that with the f four, I wouldn't want to use this inside for sports. It's the f four is just a major hindrance. I'm gonna have to double my eyes, so because I can't, I can't get my shutter speeds down any slower when you're shooting action, and so this would be a nice kind of big field sports lens. It's also a wildlife lands that you can fit this into a fairly normal backpack and, you know, hike out for miles and be able to pull this out now the new six hundred has dropped in weight and is closer to this, but this is still a sweet spot for a lot of wild like photographers, if you're a wildlife photographer and you say, well, that seems nice, but I really want to push I wanna push my game to the very edge, and I don't care how much muscle and power it takes. Well, yeah, then you get the six hundred four, but if you want to just a little bit more reasonable sweet spot, this is a sweet spot for either outdoor, sports or wildlife and there's a number of controls on here. We'll talk a little bit while we talked about most of these so far, one of the things that it has on here that I haven't haven't mentioned is that there are a number of buttons and you can see there's a couple here, and they're all around here, and these khun b programmed in with the camera as function buttons and so you, khun, trigger the auto focus. One of the things that you can also do on this is let's say, you're photographing baseball, and you're photographing the picture and the batter and the things that happened in the outfield, but, you know, there's, a runner on first base, and we all know where that runner's going, right, second base, so you could focus on second base, set this to memorize that position so that you can recall positions by simply pressing a button. And so you don't have to worry about your camera locking on focus all you know is you hit this and it goes right to where you want it to go and so there's a number of sports where in soccer you could have it on the goalie in hockey you could have it on the goalie there are the pitcher in baseball anytime you know you want to get exactly one particular spot uh these have road treating tripod collars will talk more about those things have uh drop in filter so that you can put filters in the back rather than in the front and look at the size of that bling right there it's a serious bling right there big old gold and I could see that hanging around someone's next with a chain all right all right so that's the five hundred and then we also have a six hundred so that was what was that six point eight pounds and this one is eight point four pound so same aperture and so if you want the longest lens that goes out to the fourth and that's the six hundred and this eight point four pounds in some ways is very lightweight because they recently gone through a bit of weight loss with their flow right lenses and it's lost nearly three pounds these lenses used to be just a really beast I usedto work with a photographer who would shoot football here at university washington and basically the system that he had his, he would mount this on a video tripod and shoot from the end zone, and basically any time they got within the teams were within, say, seventy yards, then he would start shooting basically was towards the middle of hell because once they got too close is to close for, but the video tripod was nice because you can rotate the lens vertically on the collar so you don't need to turn it on the tripod, and it was just easier for panning back and forth on it. And so there's a number of special special tripod accessories for working with these big lenses, but just absolute top quality in optics and construction and everything else. Once again, this is the new e version, and so it's not gonna work on the earlier digital cameras introduced in two thousand fifteen. So it's, a very current lands the eight hundred five six this is there on ly lens, that is a five, six aperture, and this is something that they've had in the lineup. They've had an eight hundred for a long time, but they didn't have it in auto focus until quite recently two thousand thirteen, and so they haven't done in auto focus eight hundred until just recently, yeah, this is the extreme winds and so this is extreme sports wildlife burning and in case you notice this case back here when you by the big lenses they come with cases like this and I mean that that's bling right there uh and you know what I hadn't checked in here but I wanted to see because they come with all sorts of straps and this is the big old that's the lens cap right here and there it isthe so this eight hundred comes with its own matching tell a converter and so we're going to talk about tele converters into coming in the section coming up but this one is dedicated specifically for this lens by itself and so that I could do this with one hand tell a converter when you put it on here it's an unusual when because most of them from nikon are one point four or a one point seven or two times and this is a one point two five which takes this up tio I believe a thousand millimeter lands and so if eugene I need just a little extra reach on it you'll mount this on here and mounted on and you might think well that's not a lot of support is that strong enough to support this land's well at this point you're mounting it by the lands it's supporting the camera which it doesn't have a problem with and so this is just a very tiny little accessory just to give you that little extra reach, which is kind of nice thing to have and so that comes with it for free isn't that nice? When you spend eighteen thousand dollars, they give you a five hundred dollars accessory for it free and so a hundred millimeter lens great lands as I put that away, I'll just tell you there was ah, like a lens that we sold I don't know, I think was back in the sixties or the seventies and it was so expensive they wanted to give a free freebie with it, so they gave a volkswagen bug with the leads you get a free car, it's a free carrying case for your legs so that's the eight hundred, I've only had a chance to use it out the field a few different times, but if you're looking to create really unusual and special look, I know I was shooting some track athletes in the hundred meter sprint and I was shooting it from it on the ground and I was intentionally trying to get lots of heat waves toe look like the runner was running across lots of heat waves, and so you can do that with a lens of this nature it zey unique beast so those are our collection of our big lenses, these air, all very expensive lenses, they are definitely an investment that is going to be a serious money that you're gonna need to make, but they do last a long time now there is some recently discontinued lenses I'll quickly tell you about because if you try to look for some of these, at least right now, for those of you watching live, they may not even be available that's because the five hundred and six hundred just got replaced their rg versions out there and these ones will work a little bit more easily with some of those earlier digital cameras and the film cameras because they've evolving their lens mount those new the lenses are only going to work with the current crop of digital cameras and so forth. And so the weight wise, I think what we're what we're yet like six point eight pounds on this, so this is the previous version, and here it becomes an issue of what's more important to you wait or money choose one all right? And so if you want to save a bunch of money, you can buy these older g versions. If you're you can still find them available, but they are a couple pounds heavier and that's both true of the five hundred and six hundred physical size is about the same it's the floor glass that they've been able to reduce the number of elements in the lens and reduce the weight of it as well. And so this is up on eleven point, two pounds of working with an eleven point, two, twelve fourteen pound lands can be a very tiresome prospect if you're going to be shooting with that for several hours on end. So those are classic glass. Not that they're really that old. They were just just a few years old, they were only introduced in two thousand seven, just in case you want to have some other classic glass out there. Nikon used to make a thirteen millimeter lands that was very interesting piece, because it was just so big in diameter. And so this was the widest lens that nikon ever made. You might find this on ebay used from time to time. It'll sell for upwards of forty thousand dollars, even though when it was new, I think it was a little under ten thousand dollars. But if you want their biggest telephoto lands, that would be the twelve hundred to seven hundred, and this one is a zoom so it's a zoom from five six two faa now it is a manual focus lens, so you will need to manually focus on this and thirty five pounds, you might need help getting it out of the car and mounted on it tripod originally cost sixty thousand dollars, and if I recall correctly, you placed a paid order with your local dealer and you waited eighteen months because they would build it by hand for you. Now the story that nikon has on their website is that they built a twelve hundred two, seventeen hundred partly because cannon built twelve hundred and they wanted to one up them. And the reason that they built a twelve hundred is because and I really have a hard time believing this it's what they say. But, you know, they might just be crazy enough. This could be true. It is what could they really make it up? This was built to photograph a high school baseball came ah, high school baseball tournament in japan plays in a particular stadium and there is a place for photographers to sit in the outfield where they can look down the line and they can see the picture in the batter. And nikon decided, well, what focal length would we need to get a picture that has the baseball pitcher and the batter in the same shot and that's a twelve hundred millimeter lens? Well, what lens would we need if we wanted just a tight shot of the batter hitting the ball? Oh, well, we need a seventeen hundred there's, our lens twelve hundred seventeen hundred, and so they made a number of these the newspapers, you, tim used them I think they were used in a few of the olympics I think sports illustrated had a couple of my remember hearing a sports illustrated story that at the super bowl sports illustrated has a lot of photographers there okay? And so you know, they got one's on each corner but they would have one or two people up in the stands shooting every play with it because you never know what's gonna happen on on any given plane, so in case something happens they'll at least have a somewhat backed off shot of that with this lands and there's there's another good web story of some photographers in france using it to try to get a picture of the president of france and a parade with a particular look to it because they're just very far away from the president. And so I think there's maybe even another story about photographer is using this to try to get a pope a picture of the pope at the vatican when they come out and there's this huge crowds but they can't get very close to him and so it's not sold new anymore was discontinued sometime in the two thousand or so I really haven't released seen it pop up on ebay's, ebay or sotherby's or anything like that but you can take a look for that if you really want something that's going to set you apart from the crowd

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon® Lenses Part 1
Nikon® Lenses Part 2
Nikon® Lenses Part 3
Nikon® Lenses Part 4
Field of View
Nikon® Lenses Part 5
Nikon® Lenses Part 6
Nikon® Lenses Part 7
Nikon® Lenses Part 8
Nikon® Lens Data

Ratings and Reviews


Outstanding class! This is a must own. You will refer back to this class many times during your photog career. John has put a ton of work into this class and it shows. Being able to download the slides and other Nikon glass info is wonderful. Even if you're not a Nikon shooter you will still gleam tons of information from this class, John covers in great detail the strength and weaknesses of each lens and when you might consider using it. I was expecting a good class, but this turned into an epic class. I watched multiple videos several times. The only bad thing I can say is I "had" to order a few more lenses! Thank you John Greengo for making a truly amazing class.

Anna Fennell

Wow! What a course! Very in depth, lots of valuable information. John instructs with great knowledge and integrity. I have taken other online courses, NOT from Creative Live (my bad!) and was left feeling like a monkey who had learned tricks without understanding or knowledge. Now I feel I have the confidence to move forward on my photographic journey securely knowing how lenses function, what to look for and what price range I can expect. Bravo John! I'd love to see a 2020 update video as an addendum.

Fusako Hara

Finally I have some sense of what lens do, know what I have, what I would like to have, what lens to use, and how I can get images that I see. Best part of this session is it was made so clear, simple, logical, and practical. I am glad that I purchased this product. Now, I am going to look for more from John Greengo so I can take better understanding and take better images. Thank You.

Student Work