The Best Lens for Wildlife Photography

In wildlife photography it is important to invest in nice glass, especially with telephoto.  Lenses hold their value extremely well.  There are hundreds of lenses to choose from when trying to determine the best lenses for wildlife photography.  Below is a list of some of my favorites.  *Please note: I tried to include both high end and “the most bang for your buck” lenses at a variety of focal lengths.  My favorite combo is to carry two camera bodies, one mounted to a 500mm f4 on a tripod and the other a 70-200 f2.8 on a Rapidfire strap.  If you shoot Canon and you see a Nikon lens you like here, odds are they have something similar and vise versa.  I buy all of my lenses from B&H Photo Video.


Nikon 800mm F5.6

The longest lens in the NIKKOR lineup, delivering 800mm of exceptional full-frame super-telephoto power (1000mm with the included 1.25x teleconverter) and the latest advancements in optical design and lens technology. Suprisingly compact and lightweight with a magnesium-alloy barrel and dust- and moisture-resistant construction, this is the definitive long-reach lens for sports, news and wildlife photographers.

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Canon 600mm f4 IS II

Canon’s EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Telephoto Lens has all the upgrades needed to make it the go-to super long telephoto lens for professional photographers and anyone who has the highest standards for the gear they use.

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Nikon 500mm F4 VR

My top choice and primary lens.  Powerful, lightweight super telephoto, ideal for nature and sports features Nikon’s VR II image stabilization and Nikon Nano Crystal Coat for exceptional performance.

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Canon 200-400mm f4 with built in 1.4x Teleconverter

The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender fromCanon is a high-performance super-telephoto zoom lens with a built-in 1.4x extender that converts the focal range and maximum aperture to 280-560mm f/5.6. The extender is located at the base of the lens and applied with a simple lever switch.

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Nikon 300mm F4

This lightweight, compact, fast-focusing telephoto lens for sports, wildlife and action photography is perfect for carrying around during a full day of shooting.

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Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6

This Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Autofocus Lens offers high resolution, superb contrast, neutral color balance, and Canon’s original built-in Image Stabilizer function. High zoom magnification is achieved by means of a 6-group configuration with 5 movable groups.

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Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VRII

Fast aperture, f/2.8 zoom features VR II image stabilization, ED glass and Nano Crystal Coat. Excels at low-light sports, fashion, portraits and more.

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Canon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6

The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Telephoto is designed to deliver ultra-high quality images along with lightning fast operation. The lens brings a favorite zoom range to the celebrated Canon L-series.

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Nikon 14-24mm F2.8

Fast aperture, high-performance, ultra-wide-angle zoom optimized for FX- and DX-format sensors featuring Nikon’s exclusive ED Glass and Nano Crystal Coat.

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Canon 16-35mm f2.8

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens is a high performance, water-resistant, and ultra wide-angle L-series lens. The optical design has been improved to offer better edge-to-edge image quality. In addition, it features 3 high-precision aspherical lens elements, each of a different type: ground, replica and GMo.

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