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The 10 Best Tele Lens Recommendations of the Year

Best Tele Lens Recommendations 1

A telephoto lens is a lens used to photograph distant objects, such as when taking photos of football matches, landscapes, or wild birds. Today, there are many manufacturers producing good telephoto lenses such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and so on.

The types of telephoto lenses that are produced are very diverse. There are cheap telephoto lenses and some are expensive, depending on the specifications of the lens.

You also have to choose the best telephoto lens for your needs. If you are still confused about choosing the right telephoto lens, use this article as a guide for choosing. Happy reading!

What is a telephoto lens?

Telephoto lens (telephoto) or telephoto lens is a lens used to photograph objects that are far away. This lens can also be used to take great pictures and bokeh photos. 

This type of lens usually uses a large focal length. The difference with wide-angle, the distance of the telephoto lens is further. This is evidenced by the focal length of the lens.

Telephoto lenses have a focal length range of 70–600 mm. Meanwhile, the wide-angle lens has a focal length of between 24-35 mm. 

Therefore, telephoto lenses are used to photograph objects from a distance, such as observing birds or wild animals in the forest. There are also those who use a telephoto lens to photograph sporting activities or simply take portraits of objects and indoor activities.

Before choosing a telephoto lens, understand the characteristics of the telephoto lens that you will use for various shooting scenes. Then, find a suitable model for your use

How to choose a telephoto lens?

There are several types of telephoto lenses that are distinguished by the distance of the object in the photo. We'll explain how to choose one so you can find the telephoto lens that best suits your needs.

Adjust the focal length of the telephoto lens to your needs

The focal length of a telephoto lens affects the type and distance of the object to be photographed. The greater the focal length value, the farther away the object can be captured. 

Even so, a focal length that is too large is actually not suitable for use when the camera is close to the object of the photo. 

Therefore, you must choose a telephoto lens whose focal length corresponds to the distance of the object in your photo.

Focal length 85–135 mm, short telephoto range for taking portraits

A telephoto lens with a focal length of 85–135 mm is known as a short telephoto. This type is usually used to photograph objects that are not too far away. 

Some of them, such as portrait photography, product photography, and photography for events, both indoor and outdoor.

Usually, the background of the photo will be blurred so that the expression of the photo object stands out more. 

Therefore, lenses with large focal lengths are often chosen to produce portrait photos with a distance that feels natural. The distance between you and the object is not too far and not too close so there is no miss communication when shooting.

Focal length 135–300 mm, medium-range telephoto when shooting sports

Focal length 135–300 mm is also known as a medium telephoto lens. This class of lenses is arguably the most popular because it offers a fairly long range. 

Generally, people use a telephoto lens with this focal length to shoot indoor sports. With this focal length, you can capture the facial expressions of players from afar.

Even so, the intensity of light in the room is usually inadequate. Therefore, to take indoor sports photos, you should also use a lens with a low aperture. If possible, you can choose a lens with an aperture of f/2.8.

Focal length 300 mm and above, ideal for shooting outdoor sports and wild birds

Lenses with focal lengths above 300 mm are usually called super-telephoto lenses. This lens offers the farthest reach. Besides being used to photograph outdoor sports, this lens is used to photograph wild birds or other animals that live in nature.

For outdoor sports, such as football, it is recommended to use a lens with a focal length of 500 mm. Meanwhile, to photograph wild animals, you have to do it from a distance. Moreover, the size of the object will look smaller so you really need a super-telephoto lens.

You can just use a lens with a small focal length and enlarge the photo so that the object looks bigger. However, this will make the quality of the photo decrease. Because of this, a super-telephoto lens is recommended. This type of lens is usually used by professionals.

Check the availability of the image stabilization feature so that the image is minimally blurry

The greater the focal length, the greater the possibility of blur in the photos you take. Therefore, currently most telephoto lenses are equipped with an image stabilization feature. Even so, that doesn't mean all telephoto lenses are equipped with this feature, so you still need to check this feature.

It's true, when shooting using a lens with a focal length of 70–300 mm, the image stabilization feature feels less used. However, it is still highly recommended to choose a product that is equipped with an image stabilization feature. Especially, if you want to use a super-telephoto lens.

Also know the types of lens mounts of telephoto lenses

Also check the type of mount used from the telephoto lens and adjust it to your camera. The reason is, not every telephoto lens is compatible with all cameras. For example, Canon telephoto lenses will usually be compatible with Canon cameras only.

However, there are several telephoto lenses with mounts that are compatible with various types of cameras. 

One of them is a telephoto lens from SIGMA with a mount that can be paired with SIGMA, Nikon, and Canon cameras. You can see the compatibility of this lens mount in the specification table.

Check the weight and size of the telephoto lens for ease of use

Telephoto lenses have a larger weight and size than other lenses with smaller focal lengths. Therefore, you will need a large bag to hold your lenses when you travel. 

In fact, for telephoto lenses with large focal lengths, you need a tripod as a support.

There is also a small telephoto lens with a fairly light weight that is comfortable to grip so your hands don't get tired quickly. 

If you move a lot because you are shooting dynamic objects, such as sports competitions, choose a telephoto lens that weighs about 1 kg. However, if you plan to use a tripod, it doesn't matter if you use even a heavy telephoto lens.

Best Tele Lens Recommendations 2

Top 10 recommended telephoto lenses

Next, we'll recommend ten of the best telephoto lens products that we've selected based on how to choose above. These products are carefully selected by considering product quality, buyer reviews, and the level of trust in the seller. Our products are sorted by popularity in various marketplaces

1. Olympus - M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f2.8 PRO

Olympus presents a telephoto lens that is sturdy and strong making it suitable for use in extreme conditions. 

This telephoto lens is designed to be dust-resistant, splash-proof, and cold-resistant. This durability is supported by seals spread across 11 parts of the lens body to ensure good performance in a variety of environments.

If you like to travel to various places with various conditions, this is the right lens to choose! With this lens, you can shoot anywhere, anytime, in any situation.

  • Focal length: 40–150 mm
  • Weight: 880 grams
  • Mount: All cameras with MFT (micro four third) Mount
  • Size: 7.94cm x 16cm
  • Image stabilization: No

2. Nikon - AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

If you don't want to miss any crucial moments to be photographed, this lens is a must-have. This lens is equipped with an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism, VR (vibration reduction), and SWM (silent wave motor). The lens is not only stable, but also very fast to focus on the object you are aiming at.

What's more, when you set this lens to sport mode, the VR can work optimally so that the lens focuses quickly. 

That way, you can capture all the best moments using your camera. Coupled with the ED (extra-low dispersion) glass, you will also get high-resolution photos.

  • Focal length: 200–500 mm
  • Weight: 2,300 kg
  • Mount: Nikon F Mount
  • Size: 10.8cm x 26.7cm
  • Image stabilization: VR (vibration reduction) Image Stabilization

3. SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM

Are you a professional photographer looking for a super-telephoto lens? This product from SIGMA deserves your consideration. This lens has a super large focal length so that it can photograph objects that are very far away clearly.

You can use this lens to watch sports matches or outdoor concerts. It is also possible to observe birds and animals in the wild with this lens. To support its use, the lens is designed to be dust and splash resistant.

  • Focal length: 150–600 mm
  • Weight: 1,930 grams
  • Mount: SIGMA SA Mount, Nikon F Mount, Canon EF Mount
  • Size: 10.5 cm × 26.01 cm
  • Image stabilization: Yes

4. Canon - EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens from Canon is a high-performance telephoto zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. This lens has four UD glass elements that correct chromatic aberrations.

Thanks to this feature, high-resolution images with good contrast can be produced. There is also a USM (ultrasonic autofocus motor) which makes the lens auto-focus fast, smooth, and quiet. If you not only prioritize quality, but also a balanced contrast, this is the right product.

  • Focal length: 70–200 mm
  • Weight: 1,300 grams
  • Mount: Canon EF Mount
  • Size: 8.38cm x 19.3cm
  • Image stabilization: Not mentioned

5. Sony - Super-Tele Zoom Lens G Master FE 100-400 mm

This product from Sony is made using Nano AR coating and fluorine coating technology. The Nano AR coating enables accurate light transmission while suppressing reflections that can cause flare and ghosting. This lens is suitable if you want outstanding clarity in your shots.

On the other hand, fluorine coating protects the lens from various impurities, such as water, oil, fingerprints and others. 

Thanks to that, the dirt that sticks can be easily cleaned. In addition to protecting the lens, the fluorine coating reduces the worry that the lens will get dirty when doing outdoor activities.

  • Focal length: 100–400 mm
  • Weight: 1.395 grams
  • Mount: Sony E Mount
  • Size: 9.39cm x 20.5cm
  • Image stabilization: Optical SteadyShot

6. Sony - E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS

This Sony SEL55210 lens is equipped with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. Thanks to this feature, you can take sharp and stable pictures every time. 

Stabilization with Sony technology ensures that photos and videos look smoother and not blurry. This will certainly help you when you have to shoot without a tripod. Then, the mechanism of the image stabilizer feature is also quiet during movie recording.

  • Focal length: 55–210 mm
  • Weight: 345 grams
  • Mount: Sony E Mount
  • Size: 6.38cm x 10.8cm
  • Image stabilization: Optical SteadyShot

7. Tamron AF 70-300mm Nikon f/4-5.6 Macro

One of the things that most photographers avoid is shots that experience chromatic aberration. Chromatic aberration is a halo or light shade of purple, green, or red. The shadows cause the photos to be deformed and less sharp. Well, to avoid that, it's a good idea to use this lens.

This telephoto lens from Tamron features an LD glass element that reduces color aberrations and minimizes the effects of chromatic aberration. 

The lens also uses layered coating technology. That way, the effects of ghosting and flare that occur due to light reflections can be minimized. In addition, the price is quite friendly!

  • Focal length: 70–300 mm
  • Weight: 458 grams
  • Mount: Nikon F Mount
  • Size: 7.62cm x 11.68cm
  • Image stabilization: No

8. SIGMA: APO 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG MACRO

This product from Sigma is a compact telephoto zoom lens that makes it perfect for traveling. If you are looking for a travel lens, this is the product you don't need to doubt anymore. This lens is designed so that you can easily carry it mobile.

The lens captures are suitable for capturing the scenery in the various places you visit. For example, to photograph flowers in the garden and animals in the zoo. 

The focal length of the lens is also suitable for candid shots and children playing. Wherever you go, this lens will make a great companion.

  • Focal length: 70–300 mm
  • Weight: 550 grams
  • Mount: SIGMA SA Mount, Canon EF Mount, Nikon F Mount, Sony A-Mount, Pentax Mount
  • Size: 7.66cm × 12.2cm
  • Image stabilization: No

9. Fujifilm - Fujinon XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

If you are looking for a telephoto lens for your mirrorless camera, consider this product. The reason is, this lens has a variety of features that allow you to explore. Not only close-up telephoto, this lens has super telephoto capabilities. You can also capture your everyday moments.

There are still various other features that make it easy for you to take pictures of objects. This lens configuration includes one aspherical element and two ED lens elements.

What's more, one of the elements of the ED lens is a Super ED element. The photos also minimize chromatic aberration and provide sharpness from corner to corner throughout the zoom range.

  • Focal length: 55–200 mm
  • Weight: 580 grams
  • Mount: Fujifilm X Mount
  • Size: 7.5cm x 11.8cm
  • Image stabilization: Yes

10. Canon - EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III

If you are looking for a telephoto lens for everyday use, we recommend this product from Canon. This lens is known to have a compact and lightweight form so that it is practical when carried everywhere. This lens can be used for a variety of activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Another plus, this lens also has a wide enough focal length range so that it can magnify distant objects. Its autofocus system makes capturing objects even easier. In fact, this lens also offers bokeh focus to make your shots even more beautiful.

  • Focal length: 75–300 mm
  • Weight: 480 grams
  • Mount: Canon EF Mount
  • Size: 7.11cm x 12.19cm
  • Image stabilization: Not mentioned


In choosing a telephoto lens, adjust the focal length of the lens to the distance and type of photo object. Whether for portrait, indoor, or outdoor photos, the results will be more satisfying if the focal length is ideal.

You should also choose a telephoto lens of the right weight and size. Then, the photos will be even better with the image stabilization feature. So, choose the telephoto lens that best suits your needs. Hope our review can help you!

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