Top 8 Best Lenses for Wildlife Photography

In Gear by Stefano CaioniLeave a Comment

Let me ask you a question, do you feel a connection between you and the animal you see in all wildlife photography? If the answer is no, the photographer may not be making most of his equipment or not taking other factors into account.

Wildlife photography is one of the fastest-growing photography hobbies, and there is a good reason for that. Many of us feel we have lost a vital connection with nature and we are desperately trying to re-establish it. 

Photographing wildlife is a great way of doing so, but there are some tricks to the trade you need to learn to make the most out of your new exciting hobby.

Getting to Know Your Subject and the Best Wildlife Photography Gear

When you want to make the most of your skills, there are a few things you need to take on board. Yes, it is important to buy a good quality camera, however, many wildlife photographers would argue the camera lens is as important. 

Not only do you need to make sure you invest in the right camera and camera lens, but the right tripod, or maybe even tripods, can mean the difference between success and failure.

However, more than anything else, it is important to know your subject. This is why many wildlife photographers choose to specialize in photographing a certain animal. In combination your knowledge of your chosen subject along with using the right camera lens, and other wildlife photography gear, you can take some stunning photos.

What Are the 8 Best Lenses for Wildlife Photography

Don’t rush into buying a lens. Take your time and find out which lens is right for your needs as a budding wildlife photographer. There are a plethora of lenses which can help you to produce the most amazing photographs of animals and wildlife in general. 

1. Nikon 500mm f/4E FL VR

When you need to work with your subject from a distance, Nikon 500 super photo lense is what you will need. It lets you snap away quickly with precision and accuracy capturing the action in the blink of an eye. This lens also has the advantage of being lightweight making ideal when you need to hike in to photograph your subject.

It is a great starter lens, gives you balance and fewer vibrations thanks to unique anti-vibration technology from Nikon. Durable because of its special fluorine coating along with fluorite elements giving you fantastic results. Capable of high-speed bursts for photographing fast-moving animals because of its electromagnetic diaphragm.

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2. Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II Lens

Stabilization is essential when you want to photograph wildlife. The Canon EF 500 mm offers you just that. With its high magnification and latest stabilizer technology, it is a good solution for both nature and wildlife photographers. 

The EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM is a high-magnification, super-telephoto lens featuring integrated Image Stabilizer technology. The perfect solution for wildlife, nature and sports photographers working in the field.

This lens also has high moisture and dust resistance which makes it right for photography work in both dry and wet environments such as a cloud or rain forest. Comes complete with f/4 aperture and fluorite plus UD lens elements. Another important element worth pointing out is that it has a powerful focus for video capture.

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3. Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 IS Pro 

When you are looking for a compact lens, you should consider, the Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 IS Pro. It is by far one of the best compact lenses on the market and offers a great wildlife photography experience. It is small enough to fit into the average size backpack. 

If you are an off-the-cuff wildlife photographer, this is a really good lens to pack at all times. Easy to use for a first time user, and you can snap some amazing photos thanks to its field of view. 

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4. Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro

With its excellent weather-sealed protection, you can always rely on this lens. Comes complete with fast autofocus and near-silent operation. Fantastic for close up work and 16 features optical formula. Can be bought together in a kit with M.Zuiko Digi to give you that ultimate control and performance.

Is it worth its price? Many experienced and beginner wildlife photographers swear by this lens as it also offers so much protection from the elements.

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5. Canon 100-400mm IS II

When you know that reflection may be an issue, you should turn to the Canon 100-400 mm IS II. This exciting lens has an optical design of 21 elements which even includes a fluorite lens element along with an ultra-low dispersion. It gives you the chance to take perfect photographs without reflection problems from almost every angle.

Good lens for high sunlight photography or when photographing birds in flight. 

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6. Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR II

Would you like to capture outstanding backgrounds as well as amazing animal moments? The Nikon 200-400 mm f/4 VR 11 can make that happen. It is all down to its fast speed along with consistency and great performance at low light levels. Fantastic lens to use in challenging situations and excellent for all photographers who like to keep their wildlife photography gear down. Invaluable for telephoto work and produces images, you can be truly proud of as a photographer.

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7. Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR II

Are you looking for a superfast aperture which gives you a professional finish? In that case, you have found the right lens. You will achieve amazingly clear images with this lens even though the light may be fading. Sharp images are produced thanks to its quiet autofocus and anti-vibration system.

Really good lens for professionals and for amateurs who want to invest a little bit of extra money in their hobby.

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8. Sigma 500mm f/4 Sport

This is one of the best lenses for focus. It may not be the most lightweight lens, but if you are looking for a lens with sustained focus capability, this is the one for you. You have an option of purchasing this lens with a USB dock which is essential for micro-adjustments.

The Sigma 500 mm is a great lens when you want to photograph birds which often change direction quickly or go from swimming to perhaps flapping. Great light quality and easy to use in the field. 

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Before you go

All of these lenses have their advantages. Telephoto lenses for wildlife photography can make or break a photo. Make sure you base your lens purchase depending on your needs and capability. Above all, enjoy your photography and remember that you need to invest in other wildlife photography gear to snap that perfect image.

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