When making the switch from point and shoot cameras to DSLRs or mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs), one aspect of the interchangeable lens camera that can be confusing is understanding the capabilities of a telephoto zoom lens, as well as how it works.
While the system used to measure the telephoto range in a zoom lens for an interchangeable lens camera is similar to the way you measure the range of the zoom lens in a point and shoot (or fixed lens) camera, there are some differences in the way the numbers are presented that can lead to some confusion.
Continue reading to gain a better understanding of how to measure the telephoto capabilities of your interchangeable lens versus what you may have had with your fixed lens camera! (A zoom lens is a type of lens that can shoot at multiple focal lengths, versus a prime lens that can only shoot at one focal length.)
Changing the zoom range
With a fixed lens camera, you probably had a zoom ring that surrounded the shutter button or a zoom switch on the back of the camera. Press the zoom ring one way to advance the zoom range to a more telephoto setting, and press it the other way to create more of a wide angle setting.
With a DSLR or mirrorless ILC model, you probably will change the zoom setting by twisting a zoom ring on the lens itself. A few advanced DSLR type cameras offer a power zoom option, which allows you to use a switch to advance the zoom, but it depends on the type and brand of lens and camera you own.