Choosing the perfect telephoto lens for wildlife photography tin can be a struggle. There are and so many options – and and so many factors to consider!
After reading our article, you will know what to look for in a telephoto lens for wild fauna photography purposes. You lot will also detect which lens fits your needs the most.
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The Best Lenses for Wild fauna Photography
Wild fauna photography requires you lot to cheque some specific aspects that you might not need for any other niches.
You need a focal length that allows you to capture wild animals without getting too shut. You also have to consider how fast your lens is. The faster information technology can catch movement (specially in low-low-cal situations), the better.
It is too an reward if your lens has weatherproof sealing. This will ensure that your equipment does not become destroyed in the challenging environment that you have to endure every bit a wildlife photographer.
With his information in mind, we accept collected our all-time-recommended lenses for wildlife photography.
1. Sigma 150-600mm f/v-6.3 DG OS HSM
This is the first super-telephoto lens from Sigma’southward gimmicky line. It is lightweight (1930 grams), making it possible to shoot handheld.
The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) offers fast and accurate autofocus, compared to the broad focal range it has to cover. It has a stiff optical operation on shorter focal lengths, which decreases towards the higher end of the focal range.
The dust and splash-proof mountain get in possible to shoot in almost whatsoever outdoor condition. The lens is besides h2o and oil repellent.
There is besides extra flare reduction added to the build of this lens, which ensures that you take high contrast images even in backlight.
Due to it being inexpensive compared to its competitors, this lens is an affordable and easy-to-acquit choice for wildlife photographers.
- Depression cost
- Weatherproof mount
- Wide range of focal length
- Sometimes inaccurate autofocus
- Optical functioning decreases above 500m
2. Sony FE 200-600mm f/v.6-6.3 G OSS
This Sony lens is every bird photographer’s dream. It weighs 2115 grams and is suitable for shooting handheld.
The prototype quality is outstanding, retaining sharpness and dissimilarity throughout the zoom range. Fifty-fifty though the aperture is somewhat slow, this lens excels at sport and wildlife photography.
The autofocus is fast and accurate in decent lighting. You volition not have whatsoever bug dealing with energetic wild fauna.
This super-telephoto zoom lens besides comes with a built-in optical prototype stabiliser. This helps shooting both static and moving subjects even at the longest focal length.
- Amazing epitome quality
- Fast and accurate autofocus
- Fairly calorie-free
- Tedious discontinuity
3. Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x
This is Canon’s ultimate wild fauna photography lens. It offers incredible prototype quality – and it is precipitous across the lath.
The autofocus is very potent – working well with fast-moving subjects. But that is not its main feature. The existent selling indicate of the Canon 200-400mm f/4 is its focal length range.
This super-telephoto zoom lens is a powerhouse, going from 200 to 400mm (and offering incredible image quality along with the entire range). And even more exciting is the built-in one.4x teleconverter.
With the motion-picture show of a switch, you lot tin can get from 400mm to 560mm. Aye, your maximum aperture goes back to f/5.half-dozen. Merely that is a minor drawback compared to the total value of the lens.
Consider the flexibility that this brings to your wildlife photography. Y’all tin can start by shooting some wider shots, so a few tighter portraits, and then some intense close-ups – the opportunities are endless.
- Incredible focal length range
- Superb image quality
- Fast autofocus
- Long and heavy
4. Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR II
The Nikon 200-400mm f/iv is a monster of a lens in more ways than i.
Let’s beginning with the biggest drawback: this lens is heavy at vii.4 pounds (iii.three kgs). If you lot are a wildlife photographer who values portability, become with a different option. Merely if you do not mind the weight, then at that place is much to be excited near.
First, the focal length: 200 to 400mm is perfect for photographing wildlife. And the zoom range allows for some serious flexibility in the field.
Not to mention the amazing epitome quality. This lens is sharp throughout its entire focal length range. Information technology is also abrupt at f/4 – which means that you can appreciate the wider maximum aperture.
Finally, the VR is impressive, allowing you lot to handhold at shutter speeds 4 stops slower than normal.
All in all, this is a cracking lens. But the weight may be prohibitive for those with a more travel-oriented photography style.
- Fantastic focal length range
- Amazing paradigm quality
- Vibration reduction
- Quite heavy
5. Canon 100-400mm
Are you looking for a lens for larger wildlife – i that is easy to handhold and relatively portable? Then cheque out the Canon 100-400mm
IS Ii. This lens is one of Catechism’s well-nigh popular telephotos.
The 400mm maximum focal length is perfect for photographing bigger creatures. Bears, elks, deers, and bigger birds will all be inside your attain. You will as well have a fair shot at smaller wildlife, especially if they are tame.
The 100 to 400mm focal length offers a tonne of flexibility. You tin can shoot some close-ups of an beast and then zoom out for an environmental portrait.
This lens is decently calorie-free. And I am still a big fan of the IS, which makes handholding this lens, even at lower shutter speeds, relatively easy.
When it comes to zoom lenses, one matter to worry about is the image quality. Fortunately, the Catechism 100-400mm is impressive. Information technology is very sharp, even at 400mm, which you cannot say about most such zooms.
The autofocus is also Lightning-fast.
One unique thing about this lens is its close-focusing distance. This lens focuses upward to iii.3 ft (ane 1000) in forepart of the camera. So you tin can utilize information technology for all sorts of shut-up shots, even of tiny critters.
This is a relatively inexpensive lens, which ways that there will be a tradeoff or two. In this instance, it is the maximum discontinuity which is f/4 at 100mm, and f/5.six at 400mm. So you volition be somewhat express in low light.
- Very flexible focal length
- Light and easy to handhold
- Strong epitome quality
- Low toll
- Small maximum aperture
- Focal length does not allow for shots of smaller birds
6. Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR II
The Nikon 300mm f/2.8 is ane of the shortest lenses on this listing. This lens offers 1 of the fastest autofocus systems out there. It focuses in milliseconds, and it is fast enough to runway running animals or birds in flight.
The epitome quality is amazing. The lens is ultra-sharp across the board. The wide maximum aperture is fantastic for low-light wildlife photography. Y’all can take photos of wildlife at dusk. And you do non have to worry near camera shake.
Some other positive: This lens is calorie-free enough to comfortably handhold, and the vibration reduction is icing on the cake.
With the VR plus the f/2.8 aperture, you volition be able to capture sharp shots in dark weather condition.
A 300mm focal length can become yous some gorgeous wildlife shots. But simply if you are in the right location. 300mm is too curt for nigh wildlife, especially if it is skittish. 300mm is also too short for most birds. Even with a 1.4x teleconverter, yous are only getting to 420mm.
- Ultra-fast autofocus
- Stellar image quality
- Piece of cake to handhold
- f/2.eight aperture
- 300mm is too short for a lot of wildlife photography
seven. Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/iv.5-5.half dozen R LM OIS WR
This lens is 1 of Fujifilm’s best telephoto lenses for wildlife photography. It is small (1400 grams) compared to other lenses with similar focal lengths. You tin handhold it if y’all need to – and you tin can take it on hiking trips without as well much difficulty.
The autofocus system is accurate and silent, focusing from infinity to the closest focus in a 2d.
The h2o and dust-resistant mount make this lens suitable for every outdoor condition that you may see.
The lens provides excellent prototype quality at any range, with a broad aperture range. This helps to create a decent bokeh and a shallow depth of field at longer focal lengths.
I also love the flexibility that the huge focal range provides. Information technology means that you do not have to worry about lugging along several lenses. You take it all in 1.
Bottom line? This lens comes with minimal compromises and is perfect for those looking for a budget telephoto lens for wildlife photography.
- Focal length range
- Smashing handheld capabilities
- The build has a plastic feeling
- AF tracking is sometimes slow
8. Nikon 400mm f/2.8E
For serious wildlife photographers, the Nikon 400mm f/ii.8E is incredible. For one, it has an incredible maximum aperture of f/2.eight. This gives y’all an extra stop of calorie-free, which is critical when in the field.
The f/2.8 aperture as well means that this lens volition piece of work with all Nikon’s teleconverters. This allows for some focal length flexibility. You can shoot larger wildlife at 400mm. So, slap on a 1.4x teleconverter and photograph birds at 560mm.
Optically, this lens is superb. At f/2.8, it is also very sharp, which does not change across its range. And at f/2.8, bokeh is gorgeous.
This lens also has some impressive build quality. It is wet and dust-resistant, and information technology is built to last.
The autofocus is both fast and ultra-quiet. Then you lot can hands capture photos of moving wildlife (even birds in flight).
The chief downside is the price. Only if you need an ultra-fast wild animals lens, the 400mm f/two.8 is the way to get.
- Amazing image quality
- Gorgeous bokeh
- Fast autofocus
- The lens is big and heavy
9. Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM
This is the first mirrorless Canon super-telephoto lens on the market. Compared to the EF (electronic focusing) mount, RF lenses are smaller and lighter while providing the same optical operation.
The focal length range is suitable for wildlife photography. At 500mm, this lens is well placed to handle smaller wildlife, including birds. And the lens is light enough (1530 grams), which allows for some portability and handholding in the field.
The lens offers almost silent and completely authentic autofocus, with an intelligent creature photography autofocus mode.
The Optical Image Stabilizer is a nice concluding touch. This adds to the ease with which you can handhold this lens.
This lens is excellent for those wildlife photographers wanting to reach 500mm without breaking the bank.
- Wide range of focal length
- High image quality
- Easy to handhold
- Very expensive
- Slower focus on older camera bodies
10. Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.iii Di VC USD
This Tamron lens is not the flashiest one on this list. But it is still a noteworthy option, especially for those looking for their commencement wildlife telephoto.
The main benefits include loftier image quality throughout its whole range. In that location is some slight decrease in sharpness at 600mm, though information technology would non tremendously affect your images.
Autofocus speed is fast, with the ability to capture moving subjects, which makes information technology perfect for wild fauna photography. But, there is some noticeable focus lag on older camera bodies.
The 150-600mm focal length makes for a lot of shooting options. You lot can include a shut subject field in the frame, merely you tin can also shoot impressive shut-ups at 600mm.
This could be the right pick for those looking for more than of a ‘walk-around’ wild fauna lens.
- Strong paradigm quality
- Deal price
- Long focal length
- Loss of sharpness at 600mm
- Slower focus on older photographic camera bodies
Choosing the best lens for a specific niche of photography is ever a catchy procedure. From focal length to speed or size, at that place are many factors to consider. It is not unlike when it comes to photographing wild animals.
We hope that our article has helped you choice the right lens for your wild fauna photography needs!
Now that y’all know the best telephoto lenses for wildlife photography check out our Wonderful Wildlife course and put them to good use!
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