The Importance of Having a Long Lens Available

Feb 11, 2016  By Dick Gilcreast


Sometimes having a long lens in the bag can make the full page lead shot for a magazine story. Sometimes it can produce a picture that couldn’t have been gotten otherwise due to distance or obstacles in the way. Sometimes, as here, it gets the shot of the day, serving to spice up a series of snowy landscapes. I learned long ago that having some kind of a long lens available was a good plan whenever possible.

This article is in particular praise of Leica’s 180mm f/2.8 R lenses — any one of the three versions produced. The 180 has been a favorite ever since the first one by providing that great combination of length and speed while still being very handholdable. This picture is a typical example of the 180’s capability in the difficult circumstances it was designed for.

The opportunity arose when driving past a local NH domestic and wild animal farm where in the summer months they have animals on display. This day was just at the end of winter, with a little sleet falling, the farm not yet open. As I was passing I saw this pair of fallow deer wandering over the top of a small rise in one of the pastures. I stopped and quickly grabbed an SLR with 180 from the back seat, shot out the window and over the fence and got two exposures before they took off.

Gilcreast 48_2

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