70-200: Perspective compression

Using a telephoto lens like the 70-200mm f/2.8 SP Di VC USD for close-up photography comes with certain advantages.

Longer lenses are known for compressing perspective. When combined with the depth-of-field reduction of a longer lens, this means that you can effectively see through foreground obstructions to provide a pleasing blur, or a wash of colour. This skipper butterfly was shot using a short extension tube to get a little closer than the lens’s minimum focus distance. The foreground plants were used to create a natural, pale vignette around the main subject.

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Then there’s the extra reach. When your macro lens is a paltry 105mm, it’s not always my first choice when shooting dragonflies out over the water. The 200mm focal length lets me get that little bit closer than my macro when there is a limit on how close I can move to the subject.

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