The lens is an important part of any camera. No camera can work properly without a lens. As an essential part, the lens must be very specific to its working and photography style. But a lens without a camera is useless as well.
So, it is very obvious that a camera with a single kit lens cannot fulfill all the requirements of a photographic category. Every type of photography needs its own artistic touch whether by the lens, camera, scene, or the photographer itself.
Telephoto lenses make it easy for a photographer to capture actions even being far away from the spot of that certain action. We have seen the professionals and suggest to beginners that they must have a telephoto lens in their bags as a photographer. It is the best lens for sports and wildlife photography.
List of Best Telephoto Lens for Canon
Further analysis shows that telephoto lenses are of great use when it comes to shooting in a confined area like shooting a sports game in a stadium from a specific area. But the best telephoto lenses are expensive and difficult to find, however, which is the telephoto lens depends on what you want. We will be discussing the best telephoto lenses in this article so you can get a rough idea of what you prefer.
Which is the best telephoto or zoom lens?
Well, there are two perspectives to this question. Firstly, zoom lenses offer versatility and come in pocket-friendly prices so we think it is a good option for beginners to go for a zoom lens.
The focal length of the zoom lens is, however, shorter than the telephoto lens but as said before, it is a good choice for beginners to start with. Telephoto lens, on the other hand, is a must-have lens in your bag. The telephoto lens has a focal length of 60mm or higher and an aperture up to f/5.
Which lens is best for wildlife photography?
First of all, wildlife photography is difficult because a photographer has to shoot without disturbing the subjects. And the subjects sometimes hide in the darkest and tiny places that make the shooting difficult. So, a lens is best for wildlife photography as it shows excellence in low-light conditions.
A focal length of 200-600mm is a must for wildlife photography. This range gives wide flexibility to the field. The lens would be best for wildlife photography as it has a fast AF, good image quality, accurate working, large focal length, and sharp images. The best lens for wildlife photography would be Canon 100-400 or Nikon 200-50mm.
Best Canon telephoto lens for wildlife
If one can afford it, Canon EF 600mm f/4L III USM is the best Canon telephoto lens for wildlife photography. It is highly accurate and quick in its working that making it the best out of all the lenses for wildlife photography.
Accuracy & Autofocus: Accuracy is considered very important and well maintained by the Canon EF 600mm f/4L III USM lens. The aberrations are kept in the minimal levels whereas accuracy is the highest. The super-spectra and Air Sphere coating also play a part in color accuracy. Ring-type ultrasonic motor leads to the fast, quiet, and accurate working of the AF system of the lens. It is undoubtedly the best canon telephoto lens for wildlife.
Sharpness: As a telephoto lens Canon EF 600mm f/4L III USM has an incredible zoom range accompanied by fast AF and accuracy. The wildlife images are end-to-end crisp sharp. The five-stop image stabilizer clears the blurred unclear points of the photos. The chromatic and spherical aberrations are almost nullified in order to sustain the sharpness of photos.
Elements & Mount: now coming to the construction of the Canon EF 600mm f/4L III USM, it is basically constructed from 17 elements organized in 13 different groups. It uses aspherical elements to minimize aberrations. In order to clear the images and sustain accuracy Canon EF 600mm, f/4L III USM lens features the Super UD and Fluorite elements. The lens is designed for Canon EF-mount DSLR but it is also compatible with APS-C models.
Weight & Build Quality: Total weight of the Canon EF 600mm f/4L III USM lens is 3050 grams. When you look at the weight of other telephoto lenses it is very common to weigh in the same range so Canon EF 600mm f/4L III USM is a lightweight lens. In addition, the lens is weatherproof and it comes with a removable rotating tripod.
- Recently, some problems of image stabilization were reported
- Amazing image and build quality
- Fast AF
- Impressive body design
- Weight of the lens
Canon super-telephoto lens
Looking for a super Canon telephoto lens? Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM is the best option. It has the best features to offer you for photography.
Accuracy & Autofocus: First of all, Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM features one super UD element that makes it highly accurate and sharp. The AF of Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM is also incredibly fast, quiet and accurate. The simple mechanism of Canon EF 400mm makes it easy to use but the extraordinary image quality makes it a super Canon telephoto lens.
Sharpness: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM is a prime lens that does not offer built-in image stabilization. But fortunately, it has an ultrasonic motor that adds to the sharpness of photos and movie recordings. It also has an internal focusing system that removes the blurred areas from photos.
Elements & Mount: Besides the UD-glass element Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens’s construction consists of 7 elements confined in 6 different groups. As mentioned before, Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM is a prime lens that is compatible with Canon full-frame and APS-C DSLRs.
Weight & Build Quality: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM weighs 1250 grams in total. It is a lightweight and somewhat compact telephoto lens. The wide focal length provides a vast range of fields. It is constructed both from metal and magnesium. It comes with a built-in hood and removable tripod mount.
- The Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM telephoto lens is bulky in size
- Incredible optics quality
- Affordable and sharp
- Lens hood
- No weather resistance
- Omit IS
Best budget telephoto lens for Canon
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM is the best budget telephoto lens for canon. It is sharp, accurate, and fast. The overall working of Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM is best for wildlife photography.
Accuracy & Autofocus: The flexible zoom range is best for wildlife photography. The built-in NANO USM technology of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM lens consists of a ring-type Ultrasonic and video-optimization Stepping motor. This dual-purpose AF motor leads to quick, quiet, and accurate AF. In addition, the accuracy of photos and movies remains constant throughout the focal length.
Sharpness: It seems that Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM has a sharp eye on its sharpness. It features a four-stop image stabilizer. An image stabilizer system is built-in; the lens reduces up to a 4-stop shake to enhance the sharpness of the images and movie recordings. Additionally, the nine-blade diaphragm is used to add bokeh in the shallow depth of the image field.
Elements & Mount: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM consists of 19 elements in 14 groups. For image stabilization, the Canon EF 70-300mm features ultra-low dispersion (UD) elements. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM telephoto lens is designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount DSLR. When it is used for APS-C models, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM provides 112-480mm focal length.
Weight & Build Quality: Total weight of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM is 710 grams. It is an extremely lightweight yet best-budget telephoto lens for Canon. Unfortunately, the lens is not weatherproof. So it does not support harsh weather conditions for wildlife photography.
- One have to pay extra for the lens hood
- Excellent AF and image stabilization
- Smart LCD display
- Omit weather resistance
Best telephoto lens for Canon Rebel T6
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is not only the best telephoto lens for Canon, it is rather the best telephoto lens for Canon Rebel T6. The focal length range suits very well for Rebel T6. When it comes to AF and accuracy it is very reliable.
Accuracy & Autofocus: The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM by Canon is the most versatile, compact, sharp, and accurate. The built-in STM stepping AF system of the lens is utilized for quick and almost silent AF. The bright aperture provides control over the wide depth of field. It is the best telephoto lens for Canon Rebel T6. In addition, a full-time manual focus is also present in the lens.
Sharpness: Each individual element in the lens construction minimizes the flare and unclear effect with their Super Spectra coating. The color contrast and accuracy is also maintained by it. The sharpness of images and movie recording is further improved in low-light and other conditions by the f/1.8 maximum bright aperture.
Elements & Mount: The total elements in Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM are 6 that constitute 5 different groups. The lens carries circular blades and seven (7) diaphragm blades. The normal length Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM prime lens is basically designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount DSLR but is also compatible with APS-C mount.
Weight & Build Quality: The total weight of Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is 159 grams. It is an extremely light and versatile lens that we think is the best telephoto lens for Canon Rebel T6. The build quality cannot be ignored as well. Is the best compact lens we can search for the Canon Rebel T6 camera. Unfortunately, it is not whether or dustproof.
- Some barrel distortion and delayed AF
- No hood
- Lightweight and affordable
- Quick and silent AF
- Sharp at f/1.8
- No stabilization
- At wide apertures the performance is not very good
Canon telephoto zoom lens
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is one of the best telephoto lenses for Canon. It is compatible with Canon EF-mount. The maximum apertures of Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is f/2.8 and a focal length of 70-200mm with a minimum focus distance of 1.20 meters.
Accuracy & Autofocus: The credit of fast autofocus and excellent accuracy must be given to the 3.5 stop optical image stabilizer. The Ring-Type ultrasonic motor fixed inside the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM makes it accurate in its working. The built-in full-time manual focus is responsible for the fast responsive AF of the lens.
Sharpness: For sharpness Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM has the UD elements to minimize the chromatic aberration and color fringing. It thus increases the clarity throughout the range. The Air Sphere coating also reduces flare and ghosting; hence enhancing contrast and fidelity in all kinds of situations.
Elements & Mount: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM consists of 23 elements in 19 groups. It is a broad range telephoto zoom lens that is designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount DSLR and APS-C models. It, however, in APS-C models provides 112-320mm of focal length.
Weight & Build Quality: The weight of Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is 1440 grams. It is a lightweight telephoto lens that covers many areas of photography from portraits to sports and wildlife. The lens is thus suitable for both indoor and outdoor shootings as it is also weather sealed. The construction mainly consists of magnesium alloy.
- There is modest vignette to this lens
- Strong sharpness and stabilization
- Dust, moisture, and fluorine coating
- Excellent build quality
- Little distortion
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is an 88-400mm-equivalent zoom for Canon DSLRs. The zoom range, sharpness, weather sealing, minimum distance of focus, and most importantly image quality are what compelled us to add this Canon lens to this of the best telephoto lenses for Canon.
Accuracy & Autofocus: When it comes to focusing the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM has fast autofocus. The full-time focus system along with the Stepper motor works at a very rapid speed to catch each element in the frame. The accuracy of the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is also impressive.
Sharpness: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM, fortunately, features an internal image stabilizer that makes it fast and accurate, at the same time, sharp. With the help of internal stabilization Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM removes the unclear and blurred areas from the frame as quickly as possible.
Elements & Mount: Coming to the elements first and then we will discuss the compatibility mount of the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM. This Canon lens features 15 elements in 12 groups. Additionally, it also carries a circular diaphragm and 7 blades. The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM telephoto lens is mainly designed for Canon APS-C format and Canon EF-S mount DSLR.
Weight & Build Quality: When we checked the total weight of Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM we measured it approximately 375 grams. It is a reasonable lens that has a lightweight and good image quality. When it comes to building quality, Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is mostly made up of plastic, like the barrel and mount.
- It does not include lens hood
- Outstanding sharpness and STM focus motor
- Light and compact
- Zoom range up to 4.5x
- It has a plastic mount
Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD has the most useful equivalent focal length. It has a total of 17 elements in 12 groups. In short, Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD is the best telephoto lens for Canon in the affordable range.
Accuracy & Autofocus: The Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD consists of an Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) Autofocus mechanism along with the full-time manual AF system. The USD mechanism is used by the lens for fast and nearly silent AF. The AF is fast and accurate, moreover, accuracy in other functions is also very clear.
Sharpness: There are LD (Low dispersion) and XLD (Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses which work as a checkpoint to prevent chromatic aberrations hence capturing end-to-end sharp images. It is the best telephoto lens for Canon because of its fast speed, accurate working, and sharp image quality.
Elements & Mount: 17 elements in 12 groups make it competitive with other telephoto lenses. The Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD is digitally integrated so it gives an amazing performance with full-frame DSLRs and APS-C format sensors. It is compatible with Canon EF, Nikon F (FX) and Sony (Minolta Alpha).
Weight & Build Quality: The weight of Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD is 765 grams. It is best suitable for a Canon camera. The construction of this telephoto lens consists mainly of plastic (barrel) but it also has metalwork in it like the metal mount.
- It does not have weather resistance
- Quick AF
- Excellent image stabilization
- Have focus distance scale
- No fluorine coating
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM comes with some very amazing features that enable you to shoot the best photos and shoot the best movies via this telephoto lens.
Accuracy & Autofocus: The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM features an optical image stabilizer that works on the accuracy of the system. It also maintains accuracy in sharpness and autofocus, for this purpose, it features the internal image stabilizer and autofocus. It further increases the AF speed and performance.
Sharpness: The Five-stop image stabilizer of Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM stabilizes the movie recordings and images to a greater extent and reduces the unclear areas in it. It also features the Ring-type USM that focuses on the subject and thus the sharpness of the central part of the image is even more clear.
Elements & Mount: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM impressively features 20 elements in 15 groups. Of these twenty elements, one is fluorite whereas two of them are UD. All the elements are Super Spectra and fluorite coated. The telephoto Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM zoom lens is compatible with full-frame Canon EF-mount DSLR and APS-C format.
Weight & Build Quality: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM weighs 780 in grams. It is a relatively compact and lightweight telephoto lens. The build quality of the lens is also very good just as the image quality. Its construction includes magnesium alloy as a major component. Alongside the construction, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM is dust and moisture resistant as well.
- The optional tripod mount for this lens is expensive
- Superb AF and image stabilization
- Amazing build quality
- Lightweight and compact
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM carries 10 Low Dispersion (LD) elements that improve the chromatic working of the lens. It is one of the best telephoto lenses for Canon because of the features discussed below.
Accuracy & Autofocus: The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM telephoto lens constitutes one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) and nine FLD (F Low Dispersion) elements which enhance the accuracy of the lens by reducing the color fringing and chromatic aberrations. On the other hand, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM has a full-time manual focusing system and a RING-Type Ultrasonic AF motor for fast and nearly silent autofocusing.
Sharpness: Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM also has a mechanism to sharpen the images and movie recordings. It has low dispersion elements that reduce the aspherical aberrations and induce sharpness throughout the focal length range.
Elements & Mount: The Lens construction of Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM consists of 24 elements in 22 groups. It is a zoom lens that has one SLD and nine FLD elements. It is designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount and APS-C format where it offers 112-320mm of focal length range.
Weight & Build Quality: The weight of Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM is 1805 grams. Compared to other telephoto lenses it is light in weight and small in size. The lens has construction elements of both plastic and metals. The overall image and build quality of the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM lens makes it the best telephoto lens for Canon.
- The tripod mount is not completely detachable
- Customization of setting
- Amazing performance
- Fast autofocus
- Heavy and big
Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is also the best telephoto lens for Canon Canon. If we talk about working, Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is highly accurate and specific in its working. For further details let’s see the details mentioned below.
Accuracy & Autofocus: Until now we have made it clear that most of the telephoto lenses feature internal stabilization but Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is a telephoto zoom lens that has a Dual NANO USM mechanism for this purpose. The accuracy of the lens is prominent throughout the focal length. To further induce accuracy it has 23 elements for this purpose.
Sharpness: The sophisticated optical design of the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens consists of specialized elements that increase the sharpness of the lens. Image stabilizer also works in this regard. The image stabilizer is there for compensation of up to 5-stop of the camera shake.
Elements & Mount: The lens construction of Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM comprises 23 elements in 18 groups. It very well competes with its rivals by improving the image quality and focal length. This versatile telephoto zoom lens offers compatibility with full-frame Canon RF-mount mirrorless cameras.
Weight & Build Quality: The weight of the lens is 1070 grams. When we compare Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM with other telephoto lenses, we observe that it is very lightweight and somehow compact. The filter does not rotate on zooming the frame. Its barrel and mount is made up of metal. Additionally, it also offers weather protection via fluorine coating.
- Its barrel extends on full zoom
- Super-fast and quiet AF
- It have 5-stop image stabilization
Well, Tamron does not need any introduction. It manufactures the best lenses for different purposes just like the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 is its best telephoto lens for Canon.
Accuracy & Autofocus: Telephoto lenses cover many categories of photography like sports, landscape, portraiture, candid and wildlife, etc. So they must be very accurate in order to capture the best shots and not only should they be accurate but also fast and responsive. Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 features both internal stabilization and AF. It also has a Ring-type Ultrasonic motor for fast working AF.
Sharpness: For sharper and focused shots Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 features an upgraded Vibration Compensation (VC) system. It works on clarifying the images and videos shot. The BBAR and EBAND coatings reduce flare caused by the slightest movements of the lens. It also consists of 9 diaphragm blades for stability.
Elements & Mount: The total elements in the lens construction of Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 are 23 in 17 different groups. This layout consists of one XLD element and five LD elements. These elements suppress the chromatic aberrations and color fringing. Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 telephoto lens is designed for Canon EF-mount and FX-format Nikon F-mount DSLRs.
Weight & Build Quality: The weight of Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 is 1500 grams. It is a very common weight for a sharp improved telephoto lens like Tamron SP 70-200mm. During testing, we observed some obvious improvements in the lens like its build quality. The build quality is improved and it is fluorine protected to prevent any damage that can be caused by natural conditions like rain, storms, etc.
- The lens is heavy when compared to other lenses
- Superb AF
- Triple-mode stabilizer
- Extraordinary performance
It is one of the best telephoto lenses for Canon. The reason behind it is the wide focal length, image stabilizer, accuracy, and fast AF.
Accuracy & Autofocus: Canon RF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM comprises one fluorite and one Super low-dispersion element that suppress the chromatic aberrations that directly result in improved accuracy and sharpness. For AF there is a ring-type ultrasonic motor that works in coordination with the optimized focusing algorithms and high-speed CPU. All of these together work for fast, accurate, and silent AF.
Sharpness: Air Sphere coating of the elements reduces flare and ghosting effects in different light conditions and induces sharpness. Three image stabilization modes are available for improvement of sharpness. The Optical Image Stabilizer also adds to the sharpness of images and videos by reducing the unclear areas caused by the sudden camera vibration.
Elements & Mount: Canon RF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM features 17 elements in 14 groups. One of these elements is fluorite whereas one is Super Low-Dispersion. The lens is compatible with full-frame EF-mount DSLRs and APS-C format as well.
Weight & Build Quality: The weight of Canon RF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is 1640 grams. The weatherproof body construction makes it both dust and moisture-protected. Additionally, a fluorine coating is applied for fingerprint and smudging protection. It also has a detachable tripod collar.
- It is expensive
- Pro-grade ergonomics and build quality
- Incredible all-rounded performance
- It is heavy and bulky
In this section of the article, we will be discussing some major points that you must check in a telephoto lens before buying one. These features are very important for a lens.
We have already listed the best telephoto lenses for Canon but if you have another lens on your mind and do not know how to check it, you must check the features discussed below.
However, keep in mind that the lens you select is based on what you want from a camera and for what category. So without any further due let’s dive into the buying guide.
The focal length of a lens basically defines the distance between the image sensor and the lens when it is focusing on the subject. Generally, a lens of a focal length of 60mm or longer is considered a telephoto lens. But, some also say that a focal length of 135mm is the shortest focal length for a telephoto lens. So do check the focal length for a lens before buying it.
An aperture of f/5.6 or f/6.3 is considered for telephoto lenses with focal lengths ranging from 400-500mm. a narrow aperture of a telephoto lens will result in vibration. So you must check the aperture of a telephoto lens as well.
Well, image stabilization is necessary for a telephoto lens when handheld. The lens, when used for shooting static or slow scenes, must have built-in image stabilization. If not, the images and videos shot will be unstable, blur and unclear. So image stabilization is also a must for telephoto lenses.
Weight & Quality
Telephoto lenses generally have a weight between 2lb-8lb. this range may exceed in some cases whereas in others the lens may be lighter than this range. So telephoto lenses do not have a specific weight but do check the weight of a lens before buying.
In the case of quality, both image and build quality matter. The image quality includes sharpness, accuracy, AF, and other features. Whereas, in build quality weather sealing, fluorine coating, lightweight and sturdy construction are what matters. Before purchasing any telephoto lens keep an eye on these features.
This was our article about the “Best Telephoto Lenses for Canon”. This article carries twelve different lenses that we think are the best telephoto lenses for canon. The aforementioned details are authentic and compiled after proper investigation and analysis.
We hope this article was helpful to you in a way!