Best budget lens for wildlife photography

The Best Budget Lens for Wildlife Photography

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To get the best shot in the wild, its critical to acquire the right equipment for the job as be savvy with your budget. Having a good quality camera is important, but when you want to go out and shoot some wildlife footage or stills, you need to weigh up a number of factors to make sure you buy the best budget lens for wildlife photography.

With the types of long lenses that most wildlife photography requires, it would be easy to drop upwards of $15,000 (YES! that much!) on a lens, when you could get 95% of the results with a lens at a fraction of the cost. 

With that in mind, don't miss our recommendation below:

In contrast to urban photography, the subjects involved in wildlife photography are always on the move; so most of the time, you have to capture subjects while in motion. This means you want something that holds steady with some sort of stabilization, and is fast to focus on your cameras.

The longer focal length lens you lenses are expensive. Although they offer great performance, if you’re a novice here, spending a lot to acquire lenses seems impractical

Here’s the good news; there are different lenses out there that are budget-friendly. Below is the list of the four best budget lens for wildlife photography.

best budget lens for wildlife photography

IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR TOP PICKS…


Camera Make

Price 

Nomination

Overall Rating

Sony

$$$

Best chromatic aberration suppressor

4.6/5

Canon or Nikon

$

Best optical stabilizer

4.5/5

Nikon

$$

Best vibration reduction

4.6/5

Canon

$$$$

Best image stabilizer

4.8/5

The 4 Best Budget Lenses for Wildlife Photography

The popular Sigma 150-600mm DG OS Lens has a telephoto focal length of 150 – 160mm, nine diaphragm blades, and a minimum focal distance of 280 cm.

From the contemporary line, it is referred to as the first hyper - telephoto zoom. It also has a lightweight and has a compact construction for higher usage with your DSLR camera. This helps it to handle photographic situations of long distances.

It also includes updated Sigma technology, an optical stabilizer, an accelerometer to ensure excellent horizontal and vertical panning photography which suits wildlife photography.

    Features

  • Minimum Aperture: f22
  • Filter Size: 95mm
  • Maximum Magnifications: 1:5

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Updated Sigma technology
  • Maximum Magnifications: 1:5

Cons

  • A small number of customers have complained that the picture quality of the lens was not as in-focus as it could be.

The Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm ED VR Lens boasts image quality, speed, autofocus, VR image stabilization, etc. This is one of the best Nikon lenses for landscapes strikes a great balance between a 300mm zoom, size, and vibration reduction which makes it a great choice for wildlife photos and videos on any of the Nikon DSLRS range of cameras.

With this lens, whether you shoot a DX or FX camera, the 300mm lens allows you to get the photo from any distance. This lens is great for anything from perfectly in focus wildlife portraits to close-ups.

Features

  • VR image stabilization
  • Stepping motor (AF-P)
  • Specialized electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism
  • 300mm zoom range

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • High-speed shooting
  • Faster and quieter focusing

Cons

  • Build quality isn't fantastic
  • Not weather sealed

The Sony FE 70-300mm G OSS Lens features an optical design that includes two ED glass elements, four aspherical glass elements and the Nano AR coating of Sony, which works hand in hand to suppress chromatic aberration, distortion, and spherical aberration.

With its Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, it produces beautiful high-resolution pictures for video and still shooting.

Features

  • A circular aperture of nine blades
  • Linear actuator
  • Sony’s Nano AR coating

Pros

  • Quiet autofocus
  • Suppresses chromatic aberration
  • Enhanced operability

Cons

  • A little pricey
  • The lens does extend when zooming

The Canon EF 70-300mm IS USM Lens is our top pick among the best budget lens for wildlife photography. It has been well developed to meet the high demands of today’s photographers.

It’s well known for its small size, useful focal length range, lightweight, image stabilization, and midrange price. It features an aperture range of f/4 to f/45 and two ultra-low dispersion elements: Fluorine and Super Spectra coatings.

It also has a rounded diaphragm of 8 blades as well as an Ultrasonic Motor AF system. The overall package is even more improved with its 70-300 IS

Features

  • Image stabilization
  • 8-blade circular - wide aperture
  • Useful zoom-lock switch

Pros

  • 1-year AOM warranty
  • Has good center sharpness
  • Moderately small and lightweight
  • Superior L-series performance
  • Superior L-Series Build Quality

Cons

  • Focussing can sometimes be slow
  • Full manual focus is yet to be provided

Wildlife Photography Lens Buying Guide

What to look for in an ideal lens for wildlife photography

Focal Length

You might ask: what does mm mean in lenses? This is your lens’ focus length which is one of the most important features of a lens for wildlife photography. With longer focal lengths, users can capture subjects that are far away (about 100 yards) ensuring their presence in the background. Lenses here can range from about 300mm – 800mm.

Max Aperture

Lenses having a large aperture are more versatile and usually play a vital role when choosing a lens having longer focal lengths. You may need to take shots in low light conditions and with a lens with max aperture, you will surely combat that challenge.

AF Speed & USM

For most scenarios, a fast and accurate AF is a great feature; however, it becomes a requirement when you need to take shots of fast-moving objects like a sprinting cheetah. With a faster lens, you can use faster shutter speed in different lighting conditions.

Vibration Reduction & Image Stabilization

If your lens is too big and heavy to handle, it becomes difficult to stabilize very quickly without using a tripod. This is why any handheld wildlife lens needs to possess the vibration reduction or enhanced image stabilization feature.

Our Verdict

To do well in wildlife photography, a very effective lens that can handle all issues coupled with delivering focused and clear photos is very important.

In wildlife photography, you have no control over the weather or lighting conditions. Also, coming very close to these subjects could be dangerous; the need for the best budget lens for wildlife photography.

The Canon EF 70-300mm IS USM Lens is our top pick among the list and this is because it is well developed to meet the high demands of today photographers with features such as its small size, useful focal length range, lightweight, improved image stabilizer, and midrange price.

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