Recently I got my hands on the Canon EF 600mm and tried it for some Street Photography. Oh boy, I know I am (or was) a vivid advocate for short focal lengths to shoot some street, but this baby got me hooked on some longer range. The advantages of such a long lens literally outweigh short prime lenses .

“The longer the lens the better the picture ”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Being Taken more seriously

With my short prime lens and a normal camera I was able to take pictures unnoticed. People wouldn’t bat an eye at the glass and didn’t think that I am a renowned Street Photographer. The 600mm lens finally represents my status and makes it clear from the very first sight that I am a professional. While I had to witness jokes about the shortness of my most important parts, the 600mm lens comes in handy and I am finally taken seriously again.

As a bonus, uploading a selfie with this combo also nets in some valuable likes on facebook, one of the most important measurements for the quality of a photograph and your abilities to take pictures.

Getting Closer

Finally you don’t need to shove your 35mm lens into the face of strangers, but are offered the opportunity to get closeup shots while being in a safe distance. Following the quote by Robert Capa the closer the picture is the better it will be. Of course it makes sense to change the short prime lens with a longer tele lens and getting closer that way, doesn’t it?

Just take the following pictures as an example.

The first one is pretty far away, the subject is nearly visible among the dark environment.

On the other hand in the bottom picture you are so close you can see clearly her impressed facial expression of your big lens. She is totally separated from the background which makes it easier to enjoy her looks.

Of course the second picture must be better, since it is taken with the superior lens.

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, the lens is not long eNOUGH”

Robert Capa

Losing the Fear

Getting closer takes a lot of courage, courage you don’t need when you own that long baby on your camera. Just sit on a bench or wait behind a hedge for people to pass by and photograph them from the comfort of your safe space. In case you live in an interesting city you might not even leave your house anymore. Use the 600mm lens and get closer than ever without the effort of human contact or repercussions.

“Shooting with the tele lens increased the sale of my workshops by 401%”

Eric Kim

More Flexibility

One thing that bothered me about Street Photography was that I needed to use my feet to get my pictures. Walking is a hassle that I am proud to overcome with my new tele lens. Instead of spending money on new shoes or risking injuries while crouching down to capture a new picture I can simply place myself on a strategic spot and photograph down the street. I am able to cover a lot more distance just through my lens, that I wouldn’t be able otherwise.

Bonus Points if you get your hands on a 1200mm lens to capture the street.

Better Quality

Of course a longer lens also means that more pixels can enter your camera, thus enhancing the quality of your images by a tremendous amount. Your pictures will look sharper than life and leave you speechless. Everyone knows, the more money you invest the more your photography will improve on the spot. The red ring also signals that your pictures will automatically look better after pushing the trigger.

“The world just does not fit conveniently into the format of a 35mm lens”

W. Eugene Smith


Do you worry about composition and finding the right background all the time? With a tele-lens you can throw away those negative thoughts. The features of such a lens make it easy to isolate the subject with the support of a low f-stop. Even in crowded places you the control to blur away all those ugly faces that could ruin your image and wouldn’t get many likes in the internet.

“Bokeh Bitches!”

Kai Wong


Forget all the talk about the “Gear-Acquisition Syndrome” or short prime lenses in Street Photography. Long focal lengths are a secret that all the teachers keep for themselves. They don’t want the public to acquire that knowledge and take quality images like they do. Make short lenses great again!

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my tele-lens”

Abraham Lincoln