Which is Best Lens for Bird and Wildlife Photography Choose from Experience

So, lenses definitely do play a much a bigger role in creating the images you want you can have a really expensive camera.

But the wrong lens and you can get crappy photos or you can also have a relatively affordable camera but if you have one of the best lens for photographing wildlife you will get really good images and it’s really important how to choose lenses.

If you’re a wildlife photographer you know that capturing the perfect photo requires the perfect wildlife photography lens so I believe Nikon is a trusted brand when it comes to cameras and lenses.

It’s usually the biggest hurdle to get into Wildlife photography if you don’t have the appropriate lens.

So, a couple of years ago Sony was not ready to be a perfect camera for wildlife photography they weren’t fast enough to take a bird in flight.

Sony didn’t have any lenses for taking photos of birds in wildlife but after the Sony A7R IV was released everything changed because this camera is capable of taking photos with the high demands of bird photography.

Table of Contents

If you are a wildlife photographer and wondering which is the best lens for bird and wildlife photography there’s a wide range of lenses for every purpose.

Best Lenses For Wildlife Photography

Telephoto Lenses

Telephoto lenses are essential for capturing wildlife images from a distance. A lens with a focal length of 400mm or longer is recommended for this type of photography.

Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 l is II usm

So, the best camera lens for wildlife photography for any beginner wildlife photographer whether you are a bird photographer or wildlife photographer is no doubt Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 l is II usm lens is the base lens for you to start your wildlife photography.

Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 l is II usm
Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 l is II usm

It’s the best lens for any beginner wildlife photographer with an optical zoom lens that ranges from 100 to 400 millimeters the f-stop comes in at 4.5 and 100 millimeters and 5.6 at 400 millimeters and it only weighs 1.7 kilograms.

It uses canons ring type ultrasonic motor for its autofocusing system its weather sealed and it has internal stabilization, it even works with canons range of optical extenders which help you decide on what lanes to get.

So, the zoom capability makes it a lot easier to compose your wildlife shots when the subject is standing close to you it’s having that wider angle shots and gets it in full frame but when the subject is standing further away, you can still zoom all the way in making sure that you get the best possible shot and secondly the f-stop capabilities or aperture gives you great dynamic range.

the internal stabilization technology is highly detailed having three internal stabilization settings you are always assured that you have the right setting for the right scene.

Iif your subject is moving away or if it’s a flying bird you can get the stabilization that you need with this lens to get crisp and In Focus shots.

Things to Consider

  • 21 Elements in 16 Groups
  • 9 Rounded Diaphragm Blades
  • Optical IS II Stabilization
  • 400mm x 1.4 x 1.6 =896mm Effective F8
  • Close Focus + Reproduction Ratio 1:3
  • Variable Aperture
  • Can Take Standard 77mm Filter
  • Close Focus to 3.2 feet
  • 3 Mode Optical Image Stabilization

Canon EF 200-400mm F/4 L is USM Extender 1.4X

Canon EF 200 to 400 millimeter F4 L is not a small lens it’s big and heavy which you should expect of a lens like this its sharpness is simply off the charts.

the built-in teleconverter which reaches 280 to 560 millimeters at F/5.6 giving you extra reach without having to switch to a longer lens with a teleconverter.

this lens is ideal for sports and wildlife photography its reach and sharpness are ideally
suited to either pursuit though with an f4 maximum aperture you will encounter issues when light is not plentiful.

Canon EF-70 to 300 millimeter F4 to 5.6 IS 2 USM 

Canon EF-70 to 300 millimeter F4 to 5.6 IS 2 USM is a massive improvement over the
original Canon 70 to 300 millimeter IS USM.

So, the new Canon EF 70 to 300 millimeter F4 to 5.6 is 2 USM has a much faster nano USM autofocus system that’s virtually silent which gives smooth transitions for video

It’s like the best of ultrasonic and stepping motor systems rolled into one and unlike the previous lens the focus ring no longer rotates during autofocus.

the image stabilizer is also much improved with a four-step rating and image quality is much sharper with better contrast

Another nice touch is that there’s an LCD screen on the barrel with a push button for cycling through display modes these include focus distance and depth of field effective focal length on APS-C format camera and the current level of vibration.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 55 to 250 millimeter F4 to 5.6 IS stm proving that telephoto lenses don’t have to be heavy this lens weighs just 375 grams part of the weight loss is due to having
plastic rather than a metal mounting plate.

But it’s also downsized because it’s specifically designed for aps-c format dslrs as such it only produces a relatively small image circle and the lens isn’t compatible with full-frame DSLRs.

So, more sophisticated than the is-2 model that it replaces this latest edition has a virtually silent stm stepping motor autofocus system which is faster for stills and gives smoother autofocus transitions for movie capture.

It’s attractively priced but as usual with canon’s non l series lenses you need to buy the hood separately.

Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 VC

tamron 100 to 400 millimeter F/4.5 to 6.3 VC feels solid and sturdy in your hand it has weather sealing to keep the elements out.

So, this lens is relatively lightweight at two pounds eight ounces but it has a huge reach at up to 400mm if you’re on the fence about this lens or a seventy to two hundred millimeter
having twice the reach with less weight could be an important determining factor.

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP has a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system that enables full-time manual override and not just when the stepping motor is being powered by the camera body switches are fitted on the barrel for AF or m focus modes and VC on or off the vibration compensation system is tamron’s proprietary form of optical stabilization

Autofocus is fast and effective image quality is very good overall matched by top build quality that combines sturdy barrel parts with a metal mounting plate.

Super-Telephoto Lenses

Super-telephoto lenses with a focal length of 500mm or longer are ideal for capturing birds, small mammals, and other wildlife that are too far away for a standard telephoto lens.

These lenses tend to be more expensive, but they provide unparalleled image quality and magnification.

A good example of a super-telephoto lens is the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM or the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR.

Wide-Angle Lenses

While telephoto lenses are essential for wildlife photography, it’s also important to capture the animal’s environment and surroundings.

A wide-angle lens can be useful for this purpose. A lens with a focal length of 24-70mm or wider can help capture the entire scene.

A good example of a wide-angle lens is the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM or the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR.

Macro Lenses

Macro lenses are great for capturing small details such as insects or flowers, which can add interest to your wildlife photography.

A lens with a focal length of 100mm or longer is recommended for this purpose.

A good example of a macro lens is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM or the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED.

Zoom Lenses

Zoom lenses are versatile and can be used for a variety of wildlife photography situations, they are great for capturing animals that are moving quickly, and they can also be used for portraits of larger animals such as deer or elk.

A good example of a zoom lens is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM or the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR.

What do You need to Look at Before Buying a Lens or Which is Best Lens for Bird and Wildlife Photography?

  • Image Quality
  • Lens
  • Aperture
  • Lens Weight
  • Image Stabilizer
  • Weather Celling
  • Focusing Capability
  • Construction
  • Lens Price

Image Quality

the number one thing people want most from their equipment is a sharp image this is mainly down to the quality of the glass in your lens although there are also other contributing factors consequently the more you spend the sharper your lens is.


1.So, first you really should consider when buying best lens for wildlife photography so first up you need to know the amount of zoom this is always assured.

Camera Lenses


2. The second thing you need to look at is the aperture and how blurry your background will be though zoom definitely has a bigger impact, two is the brighter you can have your aperture the higher you can have your shutter speed improving your chances of freezing motion of a fast-moving subject and or number three is the brighter you can have your aperture the better quality you can have out of your iso performance resulting in a higher quality and more crop ability out of your shots.

Lens Weight

3. Considering that the weight just like the price can be very important except you have no issues carrying a heavier lens but if you are on a long distance the extra weight might be a bit of a burden for you so the weight can definitely slow you down.

these 100 to 400 lenses come under three pounds and the larger 200 to 600 millimeter lenses or 200 to 500 are hovering around four pound weight range.

100 to 400 Millimeters Who is this Lens for?

If you want one lens that gets you from landscape all the way to photographing birds this is the way to go it’s good for close-ups good for stuff that’s far away, they are all 4.5 millimeter to 5.6 variable aperture and it’s an incredibly sharp lens.

So, however, 4.5 to 5.6 is absolutely fine you get good background blur specifically if you get closer to your subject

Image Stabilizer

4. Next up is the image stabilizer all of the lenses have different degrees of image stabilizer and having an image stabilizer will have different effects.

So, if you’re shooting fast moving subjects the shutter speed is high that you’re not going to get a camera shake image.

Image stabilization is a desired feature with telephoto lenses this is true for lenses with
slower apertures this feature uses motors to counteract camera shake and movement when photographing handheld.

When we look at the minimum shutter speed for handheld photography we work off the rule of focal length of the lens as a general rule the shutter speed shouldn’t drop below the focal length this would introduce shake and thus a blurry image.

Weather Ceiling

Waterproof lens

5. In terms of weather ceiling where sand moisture and dust landing is around you will suck all that grime into your lens and slowly or in some cases very quickly kill your lens weather ceiling will help protect against that, especially with anything that is a tube design.

6. You need a focal length that allows you to capture wild animals without getting too close.

Focusing Capability

7. When it comes to focusing a lens with fast focusing usually lenses with apertures between 2 to 4 comes as considered accurate and fast focusing lens.

You also have to consider how fast your lens is the faster you use it can catch movement.


8. the construction is another factor to look at the lens and here the clear edge goes to prime lenses as they have fewer moving parts than zoom lenses.

Lens Price

9. And last is price because some of you will have no issues about putting thousands of dollars into a lens and some of you really are just on a tighter budget.

I will go into a little more detail about the zoom, sharpness, autofocus, speed, and teleconverters but if you just want to know what is the best lens and always can only truly be depending on what you want to shoot.

How longer lenses You Should Look?

Long Lenses

If you’re planning to shoot birds it is recommended that you use a lens with at least 400 mm focal length and if you have the budget you can go as high as 600 mm or even 800 mm but if you’re into shooting animals on the ground a 200 mm.

Do you Need the Fastest lenses to Look?

So, it would be of help if you had lenses that are fast and capture more light, lenses with an aperture of less than 4 are usually good but you shouldn’t go beyond F/5.6.

Do You Need a Huge Budget For Lens?

You don’t need to spend a fortune you can get really good lenses at affordable prices or it’s better to go with the used gear I mean secondhand.

What are the Best Sony lenses?

Sony FE 70 to 200 F2.8 g master OSS

the Sony FE 70 to 200mm f 2.8 g master OSS lens is a must have lens for any type of photographer and any type of camera manufacturer. This lens is like a work horse it’s ideal for snapping shots of birds that just happen to fly, it’s a fast lens at F 2.8 and perfect for capturing bird and wildlife photos on low light days.

sony fe 70 to 200 millimeter f 2.8 g master oss lens
sony fe 70 to 200 millimeter f 2.8  g master oss lens

In terms of build quality, it’s very solid, very easy to hold in the hand, it’s great because you can actually shoot in a variety of conditions.

Is it Waterproof?

This lens has enhanced weather sealing so it’s going to be great for shooting in different conditions but just make sure that the body you’re using it with is also weather resistant.

So, anything from wet conditions to dry conditions, you should feel reassured that this lens would be able to stand against those elements.

Is stabilization really great?

The stabilisation works very well, especially at full zoom, the F2.8 aperture also makes this lens more versatile for low light conditions and assists in helping you blur out the background from your subject in focus.

Is Image Quality Good?

In terms of image quality, I don’t think it’s going to disappoint with that either. This lens performs absolutely flawlessly there are literally no issues with the speed of focusing and it produces really nice full of contrast images.

the image lock this lens delivers the focal length of 70 to 200 is absolutely great for anything from close-up like nature photography to Wildlife Photography with this focal length paired with the F 2.8 wide aperture you get amazing separation between your subject and the background.


  • E Mount Full Frame Versatile 70-200mm
  • Excellent Build Quality
  • Fantastic Look
  • Fast F2.8 Aperture
  • Weather Sealing
  • 11 Aperture Blades
  • Filter Thread Diameter 77mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance 3.14/96cm
  • Teleconverter Performance 1.4x
  • Weight 1480 grams/52.2 oz
  •  11 inches long with the lens hood installed & without 8 inches

Things to Consider

  • the zoom ring gives incredibly fast and easy target acquisition
  • High contrast when filming faces
  • Captured extremely high resolution and delivers the most incredible Bokeh
  • the cemetery 200 lands perform well
  •  Completely internally focusing


  • Its made from quality materials
  • Great Autofocus
  • Minimum Focus Distance
  • Best Build Fastest Focusing
  • Best Image Quality
  • Image Stabilized
  • Full Time M/O
  • Beautiful Bokeh


  • Expensive
  • Shutter speed not so fast


the price point it’s definitely a consideration it’s an extra expense at some point its one of the most expensive 70-200mm on the market when you compare it to Canon and Nikon.

Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II


  • Aperture Ring with Click ON/OF Switch for Smooth Control
  • Tracking While Zooming improved by 30%
  • High AF Tracking Performance with teleconverter


  • I Found not perfect on autofocus


  • Dust & Moisture Resistant
  • Breathtaking Resolution
  • Minimal Focus Breathing
  • Worlds’t Lightest 1045 grams
  • Fast Precise AF
  • Astonishing AF Speed

Things to Consider

  • AF Captures Momeny at a Time
  • Exquisite Bokeh
  • Exquisite G Master Bokeh
  • Exceptional Clarity & Definition
  • High Corner to Corner Resolution
  • High Contrast at F2.8
  • Nano AR Coating Minimises flare and ghosting
  • Instant Focus on Desired Subject
  • Smooth Quiet AF for Movies
  • Linear Response MF
  • Balanced for Quick Precise Panning
  • Contrast Barrel Lenght Maximises Stability
  • Fluorine Coating Keeps the Front Element Clean

Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS A Lens Every Wildlife Photographer Needs

the Sony FE 100 to 400 millimeter F 4.5 to 5.6 g master oss lens so if you are a bird photographer this is an affordable telephoto lens one of the best wildlife lens perfect for bird photography and bird shots with a great resolution to punch in post production.

Sony FE 100 400mm f4.5 5.6 GM OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS

this lens can be used for a multitude of things from portraits to wildlife photography it’s flexible and great
performing lens, the build of this lens is fantastic and nothing less than you’d expect from a G master in this price range at full extension.

So, with the lens hood installed it measures about 14 inches long take off the lens hood for about three introduction which is about what you’re looking at. This lens was released for the Sony A9 which has one of the most impressive and demanding autofocus systems out there.


  • Autofocus
  • Size & Weight
  • Based on a metal lens mount
  • Sharp
  • Wheather Sealed
  • Minimum Focus Distance
  • Image Stabilized


  • Expensive
  • No/MO Switch


  • E Mount Full Frame
  • Variable F4.5–5.6 Aperture
  • 9 Aperture Blades
  • Automatic manual focus switch
  • Focus limiter switch
  • Optical steady shot on and off
  • Mode one and two switch
  • Manual focus override setting
  • Fast Linear Focus Motor AF
  • Filter Thread Diameter 77mm
  •  Full-Time IAF
  • Weight 1,395g

Things to Consider

  • AR Nano coating which helps with ghosting and flaring
  • Rubber gasket for confidence when it comes to weather sealing
  • Door to help you access your nd or polarizing filter
  • Incredible minimum focus distance over 3 feet

Is Sony 100 400 Worth it for Wildlife Photography?

the 100-400 is great for wildlife because you don’t end up getting in danger you don’t have to get close to the subject you have to get close to the animal so you aren’t going to be attacked by wild animals so you don’t end up disturbing the animals and getting a really unnatural composition and even those F/5.6 you still get the bokeh and the compression at 400 mil is insane.

Sony FE 200 to 600mm F/5.6 to 6.3 G OSS

Sony FE 200 to 600 millimeter F5.6 to 6.3 g oss
Sony FE 200 to 600 millimeter F/5.6 to 6.3 g oss

the number four is the Sony FE 200 to 600mm F 5.6 to 6.3 g oss lens this lens was made to take on the third-party lenses from Sigma and Tamron both on reach and price point. this would be your go-to lens.

this lens is a super telephoto zoom for Alpha mirrorless cameras aimed at sports and wildlife photography
it’s only for sony’s e-mount mirrorless cameras full-frame or APS-C and it costs around $2,000 on BH Photo and Adorama, and it’s more expensive than the Sigma 150 to 600 millimeter sports.


  • Automatic manual focus
  • Switch a focus and limiting switch
  • Optical steady shot or image stabilization
  • Mode selector switch
  • Able to zoom from 200 to 600mm in a blink
  • the big grippy focus ring turns quickly
  • Active track & shooting insanely fast speeds
  • Ability to limit your focus


  • No full-time manual focus override
  • Expensive

the optical construction employs 24 elements in 17 groups with optical stabilization a closest focusing
distance of 2.4 meters 11 aperture blades and DDS SM focusing.

this lens is an understandably substantial lens with a weatherproofed barrel measuring 112 millimeters in maximum diameter and 318 millimeters in length.

the slightly dark maximum aperture of F/5.6 to 6.3 means that this lens can be relatively portable so it’s extremely useful for wildlife photography internal Zoom.

the lenses barrel is solid and metallic long and thin and while its weight of just over two kilograms
is considerably relatively easy to handhold and carry it’s

the Sony 200 to 600 it’s a very very good lens but even when compared to for example like the Tamron 150 to 500 millimeter it delivered a little bit better focus accuracy and a little bit for better focus speed.


  • E Mount Full Frame Extreme Telephoto
  • Variable 5.6-6.3 Aperture
  • 11 Aperture
  • Fast, Precise, Quiet AF
  • Filter Thread Diameter 95mm
  • Weight 2.1kg
  • 12.5 inch length
  • Based on a metal lens mount
  • Weather sealing

Things to Consider

  • Focuses very quickly between near and far
  • Superb image quality and beautiful bokeh
  • High resolution throughout the zoom range
  • Zoom to 1200mm with teleconverter
  • Outstanding image quality
  • Constant Autofocus with Blazing Speed
  • Refined Control
  • No Change in Length of lens while Zooming
  • Linear Response Manual Focus
  • Customizable Focus Hold Buttons for Easy Access
  •  by putting on APS-C you’ll be able to utilize the crop factor making it 900mm equivalent
  • Improved stabilization in the viewfinder

Sony FE 85 millimeter F/1.8 prime lens

Sony FE 85 millimeter F1.8
Sony FE 85 millimeter F/1.8

Sony FE 85mm F1.8 prime lens why they are perfect for bird photography first the wide aperture is perfect for low light situations, second the bokeh or blurred out background is buttery smooth and 85 millimeters gives me a good focal length to capture other things while out capturing bird photos also capable of taking series bird photography.


  • Value
  • Small Size
  • Good Focus Motor


  • Focus Breathing
  • FBW Not Great
  • Plastic

Things to Consider

  • Full Frame Lens
  • F/1.8 F/22
  • Angle 29
  • Minimum Focal 80CM
  • 9 Rounded Blades
  • Filter 67mm
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony 400 millimeter F/2.8 g master oss

the Sony 400mm F2.8 g master oss lens is simply a beautiful lens but the Sony 400 millimeter prime lens for me is much more for capturing bird photos.

Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM is a crazy powerful advanced $12,000 lens its what sports shooters and wildlife shooters have been waiting for.


  • 2895 grams
  • 2 focus motors
  • 11 diaphragm blades
  • Special coating
Sony FE 400mm f2.8

Things to Consider

  • Stunning Super telephoto performance that defines the future
  • XD linear motors deliver a new dimension of speed
  • up to 5x faster AF tracking when mounted on Sony A9

Sony FE 600 millimeter F/4 g master oss

So, when it comes to bird photography one of the Sony recommended lenses for birds is the Sony FE 600mm F4 g master oss lens.

SONY FE 600mm f4 GM OSS

I can say it’s an awesome lens with an awesome price perfect for capturing photos of birds it’s the ultimate lens for bird photographers and any type of camera.

In comparison with lens like the sony 400 millimeter prime lens the 600 millimeter prime against the sony 200 to 600 millimeter for capturing stunning bird photos the winner is the sony 600 millimeter but it is just too expensive.

Things to Consider

  • up to 1200mm F/8
  • XD Linear Motor Designed to deliver Significantly Higher thrust
  • XD Linear Motor Realize extremely fast focus
  • Accurate Focus on fast moving subject
  • Stunning Resolution & Bokeh
  • Fast Precise & Tenacious AF
  • Large Focus Lens Group Driven with quiet speed and precision
  • Flawless continuous capture of fast moving subjects
  • Large XA Element
  • High Performance with 1.4x/2.0x teleconverters
  • Rigid, Durable Magnesium Allow
  • Dust & Moisture Resistance

What are Nikon’s Best Lenses?

Nikon Z 100 to 400mm F/4.5 to 5.6 VR S

Nikon Z 100 to 400mm F4.5 to 5.6 VR S

So, if you’re looking for Nikon lenses for wildlife photography my first choice is the Nikon Z 100 to 400mm F 4.5 to 5.6 VR S a great telephoto lens for anyone looking to shoot Wildlife Photography.

the lens is lightweight and easy to carry, the autofocus is fast and accurate and the image stabilization ensures that your photos will be sharp.

Things to Consider

  • Inner Balance Technology
  • Outstanding Operability
  • 20 Groups and 25 Elements
  • The Lenses Inside Move Forward as it zooms in
  • The Center of Gravity moves Forward
  • Lenses Inside Moves Backward for Balance keeping the Center of gravity constant
  • This Lens Achieves a zoom mechanism with forces acting in opposing directions
  • Prevention of Lens Extension/Retraction Due to its Own Weight

Nikon Z 400mm F 4.5 VR S

the Nikon Z 400mm F 4.5 VR S is designed for use with Nikon’s new Z-series models actually it’s a best telephoto lens for wildlife photography with a focal length of 400 millimeters with a maximum aperture of F 4.5 and equipped with Nikon’s vibration reduction VR system.

Nikon Z 400mm f4.5 VR S

The autofocus is based on a virtually silent linear stepping motor system which is fast for Stills while enabling smooth Focus transitions when shooting video vibration reduction is courtesy of Highly Effective voice coil Motors and gives a 5.5 stop Advantage.

However, rising to a six-stop benefit in Synchro VR mode which also utilizes the sensor shift stabilization of compatible cameras build and handling at 235 Min length and 1245 grams in weight the Z400 is easily
manageable even for long periods of handheld shooting.

The autofocuses is super fast and highly accurate while optical image stabilization is highly effective it’s a powerful combination that delivers an excellent hit rate even for tricky subjects in difficult shooting conditions, the high performance AF and VR systems are backed up by superb handling a fabulous image quality in all respects.


  • generous weather sealing gasket
  • no issues with autofocus backgrounds
  • superb image quality
  • 19 elements in 13 groups


  • body is mostly made of plastic
  • not fastest aperture rating

Things to Consider

  • Customizable control ring with a distinctive rough texture to control aperture iso levels or exposure compensation
  • simple controls for focusing
  • focus memory preset for capturing fleeting moments
  • autofocus and image stabilization works fantastically
  • Maximum aperture of f/4.5 is superb bright for striking images
  • Outstanding Agility for Decisive Moments


It’s not the cheapest lens out there but this is potentially something a little bit special lens like this is going to be ideal for wildlife photography.

Nikon 200-500mm F/5.6E VR

the Nikon 200 to 500mm F5.6 E VR is a great telephoto lens for Nikon DSLR cameras it has a fast maximum aperture of F 5.6 which is great for low light photography and offers Nikon’s image stabilization technology also has a built-in tripod collar which is a nice feature to have overall.

this lens is made for sport and wildlife photography it’s so special due to its focal lengths offers a great value for money over any other third-party brand lens.

The silent wave autofocus system produces fast near-silent focusing performance that suits both still shooting and movie recording which can instantly be manually overridden by simply turning the manual focus ring.

Nikon’s VR image stabilization compensates for the effects of camera shake by up to 4.5 shutter speed stops, electromagnetic aperture mechanism is integrated into the lens design to provide greater exposure and control stability.

Things to Consider

  • great focal lengths ideal for wildlife spotting
  • the Image Stabilizer allows you to compensate for stops while filming or taking photos with long exposure times

Is the Nikon 200 to 500 lens relevant for Bird and Wildlife Photography in 2023?

  • The build quality is good, with basic weather sealing, but doesn’t compare to Canon 100-400 Mark II lens where even the switches are weather sealed. the 100-400 lens has a ridiculously minimum focusing distance. But when it comes to bird photography I prefer the Nikon 200-500 because of its extra reach.

Nikon 300mm F/4E PF ED VR lens

the Nikon 300mm F/4E PF ED VR lens is a fast lightweight lens that is ideal for a variety of Photography this lens features a phase fresnel PF element that reduces chromatic aberration and enables the lens to be lighter and smaller than traditional 300 millimeters lenses.

Nikon 300mm F4E PF ED VR lens with image samples 1

Things to Consider

  • 300mm Focal Length
  • F4 Contrast Maximum aperture
  • 1.4m 4.5ft minimum focus
  • Fresnel lens for more lightness
  • Ultra Low Dispersion ED Glass
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm
  • Build in VR optical stabilization
  • AU Fluorine treatment
  • Phase Fresnel optics for reduced size and weight

What is Phase Fresnel

Nikon 300mm F4E PF ED VR lens with image samples
  • Each lens has very exactingly cut ridges that bend light rays in a very specific manner. The ridges on the backside of the PF element are cut in very fine concentric circles.
  • These cuts, along with the Nikkor ED Extra Low Dispersion glass and other proprietary elements, bend light such that the faster and slower spectrums of white light all focus at the same point on the focal plane.
  • This is a fixed lens with a focal length of 300mm and a maximum aperture of F/4 the first Nikkor interchangeable lens to feature the proprietary Phase Fresnel technology with improved image sharpness due to less chromatic aberration.
  • The Phase Fresnel lens boasts a significantly lighter and smaller profile which makes it more portable and easier for using.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm F/5.6E ED VR

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm F/5.6E ED VR offers excellent image quality and the best overall performance for wildlife shooting it comes with 19 glass elements in 12 groups letting you shoot incredibly sharp images

The focal length is just good for shooting ferocious animals and flying birds from a distance the lens also features a 9 blade diaphragm offering high quality bokeh in your images

It has three high-end extra low dispersion optics which effectively reduce chromatic aberration and color fringing even when you’re shooting fast-moving wildlife characters and

the constant 516 aperture ensures consistent performance throughout the focal lengths, the silent wave motor offers quick and quiet autofocus performance which is an added benefit for wildlife shooting.

Besides the vibration reduction system allows for stabilizing your footage up to 4.5 stops this lens offers incredibly sharp images fast autofocus performance and fantastic stabilization.

What Are Best Lens on a Budget?

Canon RF 600mm F11 IS STM

Canon RF 600mm F11 IS STM is an affordable telephoto lens on a budget it’s compact and lightweight delivers decent image quality, and weighs under one kilogram.

Canon RF 600mm F11 IS STM

this lens lets you capture subjects from a distance which makes it a good choice for shooting birds and other animals without intruding into their daily life.


  • Based on a metal lens mount
  • Works well with the animal eye
  • Weighs 930 grams
  • Gives more image definition


  • not Cheap
  • focus ring is made of plastic

This lens features 10 glass elements in seven groups providing adequately sharp wildlife images when you’re shooting wildlife shoots are unpredictable so you might have to capture a lot of handheld footage

Additionally, with its 5 stops of optical image stabilization, this lens delivers smooth footage each time, another great feature is that the STM motor offers a silent fast focus which helps track moving animals.

Things to Consider

  • Fewer optical elements in its construction
  • It corrects chromatic aberration just like it does
  • Super telephoto lens to find very distant subjects
  • It has an stm focus engine that smooths its transition
  • 4,5 meters of minimum distance to overcome focus
  • It corrects chromatic aberration just like it does
  • Diameter of lens nozzle to place a filter is of 82 mm and considering the image stabilization focus
  • Optical image stabilizer and thus up to five points of immigration correction Optical Construction
  • Image stabilization works very effectively combined with the extra stabilization

Canon RF 100mm F/2.8 L Macro IS USM

Canon RF 100mm F/2.8 L Macro IS USM is the first dedicated macro lens its very similar in size and weight to like a Canon EF 100 millimeter macro with around 650 grams, 67 millimeter filter it’s ruggedly built, and fully sealed.

In terms of build quality, the lens comes with a decently sized plastic hood, it’s no surprise when you see that illustrious red ring but also with a decent amount of weather sealing.

It has external controls, a customizable control ring at the front of the lens, standard focus limiters, a manual focus switch, and an image stabilizer on and off.

Canon RF 100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM

This macro lens has a couple of new features such as a new 1.4 times magnification ratio which gets you closer than ever to your subject.

The manual focus ring is rubberized and works smoothly and responsively with the lens’s focus motor, the lens does suffer with some focus breathing zooming as you focus more closely but it’s actually not as bad.

There are switches on the side to control focus and image stabilization, the image stabilization on this lens worked well in stills mode but in video mode, the footage still looked a bit shaky for some reason.

In terms of the image quality turned on at F/2.8, the lens is ridiculously sharp in the middle of the image with excellent contrast and corner image quality, however, this is a macro lens, and the image taken at the maximum 1.4 times magnification at F/2.8 is very sharp.

This lens has a maximum aperture of f/28 with 9 rounded aperture blades which means its renders are really smooth and aesthetically pleasing bokeh and is an EF lens.

This lens has a new 17-element design, with floating optics inside for unbelievable sharpness, and it also has built in optical Image Stabilization providing up to 5 stops of shake correction.

It comes with an incredible 4 stops of image stabilization which on a short telephoto lens like this is really important.


  • Dust and Weather sealed
  • Image stabilization worked well in stills mode


  • In video mode footage looked bit shaky

Why is this Lens Perfect for Bird and Wildlife Photography?

This lens has a magnification of 1.4 times as well as a minimum focusing distance of about 26 centimeters or 10.2 inches making it incredibly awesome for capturing in detail.

Also, the lens features a curious spherical aberration control mechanism if you turn that control ring to the left then the image zooms out slightly your subject gets a soft focus effect and your backgrounds look increasingly soft.

If you turn that control ring to the right then the image zooms in slightly you get the soft focus again on your subject but this time the bokeh becomes much much harsher.

Things to Consider

  • Bokeh allows you to take full control over the image
  • Dual NANO USM Focusing Motors Give Filmmakers Smooth, Steady Focus with Minimal Focus Breathing
  • Ability to magnify the subjects beyond life-size to 1.4x
  • 148 in length compares to 123 millimeters for the older lens

Who is this Lens For?

If you’re just a beginner looking to upgrade to a premium lens this lens probably isn’t for you this is a lens for filmmakers with more experience, the 100mm macro is an absolute no-brainer and quite possibly is the best ever lens for b-roll.

But the Sigma 105 macro does have pretty much all the same features at a slightly lower price point, the difference is the Canon 100 macro l series just has that added X-factor that the Sigma’s missing, and perhaps that alone justifies the price difference.

Canon RF 24-105mm F/4L IS USM


  • 57% focal lengths of 16-35mm
  • Decent weather sealing
  • Capable of producing some interesting Close-Up shots
  • Shooting objects far away
  • Image stabilizer function
  • Capable of five stops of image stabilization
  • Fast autofocus for shooting sports
  • Very accurate tracking system
  • Five stops of image stabilization
  • Blazing fast and silent auto focusing


the RF 24 to 105mm F/4 L IS USM is one of the best all around lenses for photography it’s basically the mirrorless version of Canon EF 24-105 millimeter f/4 L IS USM lenses. the maximum aperture of
F/4 stays the same throughout the zoom range giving you a decent amount of light as well as notably autofocus backgrounds.

Canon RF 24 105mm F4L IS USM

This is one of the best lenses for video work, this lens always is very sharp in the middle of your images with very good contrast. It’s brilliant for a full-frame optic with a zoom range of over four times.

Its image quality is really good its electronics are absolutely superb and it’s also one of the best lenses I can think of for handheld on-the-fly video work, its always very sharp in the middle and generally pretty good in the corners, this lens has one of the best autofocus systems on any of the RF mount lenses even more expensive.

It has 1:4 magnification ratio what means that the object you shoot at the minimal focus distance projects at the image sensor 4 times smaller than real life. The lens is very sharp at F4 and the reaches superb
sharpness at F/5.6.

When it comes to shooting portraits, this lens can handle it for sure more than good you can use this for portraits landscapes events macro photography, and for landscape photography.

the lens is about 700 grams in weight that’s about one and a half pounds it is 83 and a half millimeters in diameter a little over 170 millimeters in length that’s about 3.3 inches by about four and a quarter inches.

It has a 77 millimeter front filter thread, it has nine rounded aperture blades a minimum focus distance of 45 centimeters which is about a foot and a half and it has a maximum magnification of 0.24 times.

Compared to RF 24-70mm, the 24-105mm is smaller and lighter. It’s almost 2 centimeters
and 200 grams lighter

Things to Consider

  • Features three aspheric and one UD element to reduce chromatic aberration
  • no bokeh not ideal for shallow depth of field photography
  • Can produce some decent background blur throughout its focal range
  • First lenses to feature canons nano USM auto focusing system
  • Has a circular nine bladed aperture to get beautiful looking backgrounds

Sigma 60 to 600mm F/4.5 to 6.3 DG DN Ultimate Zoom Lens

Sigma 60-600mm is Sport lens announced in January 2023 it has a 10 times optical zoom taking you from standard coverage to Super telephoto costing $2,000 on BH Photo and Adorama its primary specification is based on the previous model the 6600 DG OS.


  • 7 Stops of Stability at 60mm
  • 6 Stops at 600mm
  • 119 millimeters in diameter or 4.7 inches
  • Filter thread size is 105 millimeters
  • large 105 millimeter front filter thread
  • Image stabilization built
  • E Mount Full Frame Telephoto Lens
  • Variable F4.5-6.3 Aperture
  • 9 Aperture Blades
  • Auto Focus
  • Filter Thread Diameter 95mm
  • Weight 2,485g
Sigma 60 600mm DG DN

So, the new lens shares the same range and focal ratio its 10 times Optical range taking you from standard to Super telephoto with a Twist of the zoom ring.

In terms of controls there’s four switches near the Mountin cluding a focus limiter and two custom modes there’s also two Optical stabilization modes with option two disabling the panning Direction so you can more easily follow Wildlife or Sports Action horizontally.


  • Magnesium Allow Carbon Fiber Infused engineered Plastics
  • High Response Linear Actuator
  •  High speed Auto focusing  
  •  Improved Optical stabilizer  
  •  Cross focusing capability at 200mm  
  • water, dust and splash resistant structure


  • Not waterproof
  • Not a lightweight lens

the 60 to 600 millimeter is delivering a little bit better contrast a crisper result if you are photographing the birds you can use 600mm to capture a portrait bird or you can use a wide end to capture a group of birds.

So, as well as Wildlife photography this lens will be very useful for Sports Photography, this lens achieves a very high Optical performance at each vocal length for this type of ring.

Things to Consider

  • Minimum aperture IS F 22 at the wide end and F32 at the long end
  • Minimum Focus distance 45 centimeters wide end, 260 centimeters long end at 600 mm focal range
  • Ability to Achieve 7 stops compensation at wide end and six stops compensation at Talent
  • 10x Zoom that covers from standard focal length to long tail folder
  • ARCA Swiss compatible removable shoe
  • HLA Focus motor with improved focus speed
  • 27 elements in 19 groups and 9 bladed diaphragm
  • Decisive Momment Captured Exactly as intended

Is 600mm enough for birds?

Sigma 60 600mm F4.5 6.3 DG DN OS
Sigma 60 600mm F4.5 6.3 DG DN OS 1

the sigma 60 to 600 F4.5 to 6.3 is a huge 10 times telephoto Zoom that’s going to give you capabilities to shoot everything because it’s best lens for bird and wildlife photography from Landscapes to birds in flight. It’s a crazy huge focal range and this thing does not disappoint.

Weight & Size

the length of this lens is 279.2 millimeter and the maximum diameter is 119.4 millimeter the weight is 2.5 kilogram which is 200 gram lighter than the same 60 to 600mm for DSR version .

Do You Need an Expensive Lens for Bird and Wildlife Photography?

So, why would you get an expensive lens obvious answer is image quality, image sharpness contrast, and color which are all excellent with lenses like Canon RF 600mm F/11 IS STM, you can just shoot at 2.8 and not worry about it you’re getting plenty of detail, it’s probably sharper at 2.8 than like a 70 to 200 at F 5.6.

Or if you want to blur the background but you also don’t want to lose detail you can do that with this lens, also the colors and the contrast you don’t have to work around anything because you shoot at 2.8 you can also zoom into 400 the benefit of that is you’re getting Superior image quality.

Is the Weather Sealed lens Necessary?

I think in some cases no but it adds some insurance and safety and it’s definitely beneficial if you’re going to be spending a lot of time out in the field.

Do You Need image Stabilization for Wildlife Photography?

So, a lens built-in optical stabilization like Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS is really useful when it comes to photography because having stabilization in your lens means that you can drag that shutter a bit
even though when it comes to wildlife because birds or animals in can move quite fast so you need to have a faster shutter speed.

Do I Need image Stabilization for Sports?

So, things like automotive and motorsport photography lens like Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS is amazing because you can use optical stabilization and get that blurry background as you whip across to get the subject in focus and when you’re wanting to do video the optical stabilization with the
built-in image stabilization you don’t have to worry about any major shakes in any of your footage.

Is 600mm enough for wildlife?

you need at least as long as 500 millimeters using less than 500 can fall so you need to use a 500 or 600-millimeter lens with the widest aperture of it at least F/5.6.

What focal length is best for wildlife?

It’s recommended that using a lens with at least 400mm and if your budget is good enough you can go as high as 600 mm or even 800 mm.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *