7 Best Telephoto Lenses in 2022

By Tati Taylor 20 days ago, Cameras & Lenses

The best telephoto lenses from famous brands.

telephoto lens

If you often have to capture objects at long distances, then you need to use a good telephoto lens. I have collected high-quality telephoto lenses from different manufacturers so that you can choose the one that suits you most.

Top 7 Best Telephoto Lenses

  1. Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 - Our Choice
  2. Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 - Excellent handling
  3. Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 - Budget
  4. Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E - For wildlife photography
  5. Sony 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 - Solid performance
  6. Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - Great video performance
  7. Fujinon XC50-230mmF4.5-6.7 - Sharp images

Check out my tips on what to look out for when choosing the best telephoto lenses. I hope this review of the 7 most popular models this year will help you.

1. Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3

Our Choice
long range zoom lens

Mount: Canon EF | Diaphragm blades: 9, Rounded | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 2.8 m | Max magnification: 0.2x | Filter size: 95 mm (Front) | Dimensions (øxL): 105 x 260.1 mm | Weight: 1830 g

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⊕ Very sharp image
⊕ Speedy focusing
⊕ Powerful stabilization
⊕ Rather close focus for 600mm lens
⊖ Some zoom issues

This is one of the best telephoto lenses due to its excellent combination of quality and price. Sigma introduced truly amazing optics with incredible performance. You will be surprised at the capabilities that you get for a fairly reasonable price.

Its performance is on par with more expensive “Sports” optics. Overall, this is a nice option for photographers who are not willing to pay a lot but want good quality and performance.

2. Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3

Excellent handling
professional telephoto lens

Mount: Sony E | Diaphragm blades: 11, Rounded | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 2.4 m | Max magnification: 0.2x | Filter size: 95 mm (Front) | Dimensions (øxL): 111.5 x 318 mm | Weight: 2115 g

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⊕ Easy handling
⊕ Fantastic AF system
⊕ Great performance
⊕ Controls chromatic aberration
⊖ Heavy

This professional telephoto lens features reliable weather sealing, excellent build quality and impressive performance. Focusing is virtually silent, fast and smooth thanks to the DDSSM focus motor. The picture quality is pretty good throughout the zoom range, although you may notice some optical imperfections.

This lens is a decent option for those who need a long-reach model to capture distant subjects. Although you will have to pay quite a bit for this long distance camera lens, you will be completely satisfied with its performance. Many fans of the Sony brand have been waiting for such a lens for a long time, and the manufacturer finally gave them what they need.

3. Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6

Budget
sharpest telephoto lens

Mount: Canon EF | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 1.5 m | Max magnification: 0.25x | Filter size: 58 mm (Front) | Dimensions (øxL): 71 x 122 mm | Weight: 480 g

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⊕ Affordable
⊕ Amazing focal range
⊕ Compatible with all sensor types
⊕ Not heavy
⊖ Low aperture value with its f/5.6

This is an excellent budget telephoto lens for Canon cameras. It is compatible with all types of sensors and various camera models. The maximum aperture value changes during zooming since this lens has variable brightness.

For example, the lens brightness is f/4 at 75 mm. At the same time, at 300mm, the brightness is f/5.6. The Canon EF 75-300mm also includes a 58mm traditional filter thread. Using a UV filter is an inexpensive way to protect your optics from dust and scratches.

4. Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E

For wildlife photography
dslr telephoto lens

Mount: Nikon F | Diaphragm blades: 9, Rounded | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 2.2 m | Max magnification: 0.22x | Filter size: 95 mm (Front) | Dimensions (øxL): 108 x 267.5 mm | Weight: 2300 g

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⊕ Crystal-clear optics
⊕ Long telephoto range
⊕ Fixed f/5.6 max aperture
⊕ Tripod collar can be removed
⊖ Doesn’t work with some older DSLRs

This lens from Nikon is distinguished by a decent performance and deservedly takes its place in this top list. With this DSLR telephoto lens, you can take sharp and high-quality pictures.

It is not heavy and offers excellent zooming capabilities. This lens is a great choice for sports, wildlife and other genres shooters who need to capture objects from long distances.

5. Sony 70-350mm F4.5-6.3

Solid performance
long distance camera lens

Mount: Sony E | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 1.1 m | Max magnification: 0.75x | Filter size: 67 mm (Front) | Dimensions (øxL): 77 x 142 mm | Weight: 625 g

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⊕ Awesome 70-350mm focal range
⊕ Crisp images at all focal lengths
⊕ Includes OSS On/Off switch and focus button
⊕ Fast autofocus
⊖ Limited focal range

If you are a fan of Sony lenses, then you will surely love this new advanced super-telephoto model. This is an ideal optics for the Sony A6000. This telephoto zoom lens provides incredible zoom capabilities, especially when you take into account the focal length at its a full-frame equivalent of 105-525mm.

Now, you can record cool videos or photograph distant objects taking advantage of its max range of 525mm. This lens gives you great value for money. To get the same performance with a full-frame camera, you have to pay a lot more.

6. Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6

Great video performance
budget telephoto lens

Mount: Canon EF | Diaphragm blades: 9, Rounded | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 1.2 m | Max magnification: 0.25x | Filter size: 67 mm (Front) | Dimensions (øxL): 80 x 145.5 mm | Weight: 710 g

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⊕ Quick, smooth Nano USM AF
⊕ Nice lens tracking in AF servo mode
⊕ Great video performance
⊕ For both APS-C and full-frame cameras
⊖ Doesn’t work with Canon’s extenders

Nice handling and decent build are the advantages of this cheap telephoto lens. The model has excellent control over glare and chromatic aberration. As a result, you get crisp, reasonably sharp, contrast and high-quality images.

Incredible specific color rendering, smoother transitions and amazing bokeh make the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L one of the best telephoto lenses. It works great with both APS-C and full-frame models.

7. Fujinon XC50-230mmF4.5-6.7

Sharp images
telephoto zoom lens

Mount: FUJIFILM X | Diaphragm blades: 7, Rounded | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 1.1 m | Max magnification: 0.2x | Filter size: 58 mm (Front) | Dimensions (øxL): 69.5 x 111 mm | Weight: 771 g

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⊕ Ample telephoto reach
⊕ Nice sharpness
⊕ Low distortion
⊕ Even lighting
⊖ The edges look a bit soft

Although this lens is not in the professional class, its strengths make it one of the best on this list. This fast telephoto lens is universal and delivers the highest quality images.

By purchasing this model, you get more capabilities than you can expect for the money. It contains a silent, accurate and fast aperture and excellent image stabilization.

Image Name Features  
best telephoto lenses
Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3
Our choice
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Min focus distance: 2.8 m
  • Max magnification: 0.2x
  • Filter size: 95 mm
CHECK PRICE
professional telephoto lens
Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3
Professional
  • Mount: Sony E
  • Min focus distance: 2.4 m
  • Max magnification: 0.2x
  • Filter size: 95 mm
CHECK PRICE
budget telephoto lens
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6
Budget
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Min focus distance: 1.5 m
  • Max magnification: 0.25x
  • Filter size: 58 mm
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Best Telephoto Lens?

budget telephoto lens

Subject

When choosing a telezoom lens, you should consider your subject. If you are a portrait or wedding photographer, then buying the Sigma 150-600mm lens is not a worthwhile investment. If you are looking to photograph sporting events or safaris, then you need more than a 200mm lens.

Environment

Are you planning to photograph primarily outdoors? If yes, then you need to look for a long range zoom lens with reliable protection from water, dust, etc. Also, you should consider the lighting conditions. Optical stabilization and/or a wide maximum aperture are required for capturing low-light scenes.

Focal Length

The focal length is a key feature when choosing a tele zoom lens. If you need to capture an athlete on the opposite side of the stadium or an animal that you cannot get close to, the lens’ ability to record or photograph an object in such situations is very important. Lenses with a focal length of 300mm or more are great for sports and wildlife photographers.

Aperture

Extremely fast apertures are quite rare among super-telephoto lenses. Moreover, the fastest models are more expensive than more traditional options. For example, you can see options with f/2.8, f/4 DO and an f/5.6 aperture among 400mm lenses. If you look at the weight and size of these options, you’ll find that an f/2.8 telephoto lens is twice as wide and weighs significantly more. However, if weight and size are not a problem and quality is your main concern, then an f/2.8 lens is the best choice for you.

Comfort

Consider how comfortable it will be for you to travel with your new lens. If your expensive 70-200mm f/2.8E will be gathering dust in the studio because of its weight, then you should opt for the lighter 70-210mm f/4.

Budget

budget telephoto lens

You don’t have to spend your last dollar to get good picture quality. Manufacturers offer lots of top-end optics at affordable prices. You just need to find a suitable budget telephoto lens and spend the rest of your money on other pleasant things.

FAQ

  • • Which Nikon telephoto lens to choose?

Most shooters recommend the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E.

  • • Is a telephoto lens better than a zoom lens?

Using a telephoto lens, you have larger focal lengths, while wide-angle options provide small focal lengths. Telephoto lenses are fixed. They do not move when they bring closer a faraway object. Zoom lenses are more universal as they can move in and out.

  • • Why do telephoto lenses cost so much?

The fast telephoto lens with a wide maximum aperture is the favorite optics among photographers. However, the production of such lenses is quite expensive as their designs require special glass components. Therefore, their prices are much higher, especially if the focal length is longer.

  • • How can I choose the right telephoto lens?

We've mentioned all the necessary characteristics in the Buyer's Guide above.

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