Do you wonder how to choose one of the best telephoto lenses for Canon?

Look no further! I’ve done research and compiled it all together, and I’ll also prepared some useful tips on how to choose a telephoto lens.

In this article, you’ll learn what are the best telephoto lenses for canon and which of them do i recommend.

QUICK TAKE

  • I like the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM that offers a steady f/2.8 aperture and sharp images 
  • On a budget, the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary shines for wildlife photography, delivering a vast zoom range and stabilization at a great value

 

7 Best Telephoto Lenses for Canon


Here are the seven best telephoto lenses for Canon cameras that I suggest:

The Ultimate Workhorse

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM

Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L is III USM Telephoto Lens - White
  • Enjoy extra creative control - The lens�s f2.8 maximum aperture makes it easy to...
  • Low light? No problem - A 3.5-stop Image Stabilizer guards against camera shake. A...
  • Superb image quality - Fluorite and UD optics deliver high contrast and excellent...

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is a true workhorse in the world of telephoto lenses. Renowned for its exceptional image quality and versatility, this lens is a favorite among professional photographers.

With a constant f/2.8 aperture, it excels in low-light conditions and offers beautiful background blur (bokeh) for stunning portraits. The fast and accurate USM (Ultrasonic Motor) autofocus ensures that you can quickly and precisely capture your subjects, making it ideal for sports, events, and wildlife photography.

The 70-200mm focal range provides the flexibility to frame your shots creatively, from tight portraits to medium-range telephoto shots. Built to withstand the rigors of professional use, this lens is weather-sealed and boasts top-notch build quality.

ef70-200mm-f2-8l-is-iii-usm

The Wildlife Enthusiast’s Dream

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L is II USM Lens, Lens Only
  • Compact, high performance L-series super-telephoto zoom makes it ideal for sports and...
  • Rotation-type zoom ring allows for more precise composition and excellent balance...
  • Improved zoom torque adjustment ring allows easy setting of zoom tension, Focal...

For wildlife photographers, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is a dream come true. With its extensive zoom range, image stabilization, and superb optics, it’s tailor-made for capturing elusive creatures in their natural habitats.

This lens provides the flexibility to zoom in on distant subjects and frame your shots precisely. The built-in Image Stabilization (IS) system allows for sharp handheld shots even at longer focal lengths, crucial when photographing wildlife on the move.

What’s more, the fast and silent USM autofocus ensures you can quickly lock onto your subject without disturbing them.

Its rugged build and weather-sealing make it suitable for outdoor adventures, and the lens hood helps reduce flare and maintain image contrast. 

Sports and Action Photography Masterpiece

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L is III USM Lens, Black (3045C002)
  • Revised Optics for a lighter Super telephoto EF L Lens
  • Continues strong tradition of image quality associated with L-Series lenses
  • Super spectra coating (ssc) and Air sphere coating (asc) minimizes ghosting and flare

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM stands as a masterpiece designed for sports and action photography.

With its wide f/2.8 aperture, this lens is a low-light champion, allowing you to freeze fast-paced moments with stunning clarity and precision. Its superb image quality, sharpness, and beautiful bokeh make it a top choice for professionals covering sporting events or fast-action subjects.

The Ultrasonic Motor (USM) autofocus system is not only blazingly fast but also incredibly accurate, ensuring you never miss a critical moment.

The lens’s lightweight design and built-in Image Stabilization (IS) further enhance its usability, even for extended periods. 

More lenses for sport photography:

Budget-Friendly Wildlife Option

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG HSM OS Contemporary Lens for Canon EF
  • Lightweight and compact in construction for higher useability
  • Water and oil repellent coating on front glass element makes maintenance of the lens...
  • Filter Size: 95mm

The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality. This lens offers an impressive zoom range, making it a go-to choice for wildlife and bird photographers looking to get up close without disturbing their subjects.

Despite its affordability, it delivers respectable image quality and optical stabilization, helping you capture sharp images even at longer focal lengths.

The Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures swift and quiet autofocus, crucial for wildlife photography where silence is golden. Its compact and lightweight design adds to its appeal, particularly for outdoor photographers on the move. 

The Ultimate Wildlife Zoom Lens

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x

Canon Cameras US 5176B002 EF 200-400mm f/4L is USM Extender 1.4X
  • High performance L-series super-telephoto zoom with built-in 1.4x extender...
  • One fluorite and four UD lens elements provide excellent correction of chromatic...
  • Inner focusing, ring USM, a high-speed CPU and optimized AF algorithms for fast and...

For photographers demanding the absolute best, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM with a built-in 1.4x extender is the pinnacle of wildlife and sports photography lenses.

This lens delivers unparalleled image quality, incredible reach, and flexibility. The built-in extender effectively turns it into a 280-560mm lens, making it ideal for capturing distant subjects in breathtaking detail.

The lens’s f/4 aperture ensures excellent low-light performance, and the Image Stabilization (IS) system allows for sharp handheld shots.

Canon EF 200-400mm f4L IS USM Extender 1.4x

A Prime Choice for Prime Photography

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

SPECIAL SALE
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L is USM II Super Telephoto Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
29 Reviews
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L is USM II Super Telephoto Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
  • Optical Zoom: 0.18
  • Max Focal Length: 300.0
  • Package Weight: 14.95 Pounds

Prime lens enthusiasts will appreciate the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM for its fixed focal length and wide f/2.8 aperture.

This lens excels in scenarios where subject isolation and background blur are paramount, making it a top pick for sports, wildlife, and portraiture. The USM autofocus system is fast and accurate, ensuring you can quickly lock onto your subject.

Its excellent optical quality and minimal distortion guarantee stunning image sharpness and clarity.

The lens’s robust build and image stabilization add to its versatility, allowing for handheld shooting in various conditions. 

Quality and Value Combined

Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2

Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
181 Reviews
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
  • New FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism enables the locking of the zoom ring at any position
  • Fluorine Coating and improved Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Lightweight and easy-to-hold tripod mount is compatible with an Arce-Swiss style...

Tamron’s SP 150-600mm G2 lens strikes an impressive balance between quality and affordability.

It offers exceptional image quality and image stabilization at a competitive price point, making it a fantastic all-around choice for telephoto photography. The lens’s expansive zoom range gives you the flexibility to capture subjects at various distances, from wildlife to sports.

The Vibration Compensation (VC) system ensures sharp handheld shots even at longer focal lengths, and the fast USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) autofocus system ensures you can swiftly track moving subjects.

 

How to Choose a Telephoto Lens 


To help you make an informed decision, consider these tips:

Identify Your Photography Needs

Before diving into the world of telephoto lenses, take a moment to evaluate your specific photography requirements. Are you primarily interested in wildlife photography, sports, portraiture, or general telephoto work?

Understanding your niche will guide you toward the most suitable lens type and focal length.

Here are Canon lenses for every occasion:

 Determine Your Budget

Telephoto lenses come in a wide range of prices, so it’s crucial to establish your budget early on.

While high-end lenses offer exceptional image quality and features, there are also more budget-friendly options that deliver excellent results. Having a clear budget in mind will narrow down your choices.

Consider Focal Length

Focal length is a critical factor in telephoto lens selection. Longer focal lengths, such as 400mm or 600mm, allow you to get extremely close to distant subjects, making them ideal for wildlife and sports photography. S

horter focal lengths, like 70-200mm, provide versatility for various subjects, including portraits and events. Think about the subjects you intend to photograph and choose a focal length that suits your needs.

Also read: What’s The Right Focal Length For Portrait Photography?

Aperture Matters

The aperture of a telephoto lens influences its low-light performance and depth of field control. Lenses with wider apertures (e.g., f/2.8) excel in low-light conditions and create beautiful background blur (bokeh) for subject isolation.

However, they tend to be larger and heavier. Consider your shooting environment and whether a wide aperture is essential for your photography style.

Also read: F Stop Chart – Lens Aperture (Full Stops, 1/2 Stops, 1/3 Stops)

Image Stabilization

For handheld shooting at longer focal lengths, image stabilization (IS) can be a game-changer. It reduces the effects of camera shake, allowing you to capture sharp images.

If you plan to shoot without a tripod or monopod, prioritize lenses with effective IS technology.

Compatibility and Brand

Ensure that the telephoto lens you choose is compatible with your Canon camera model.

While Canon lenses are designed to work seamlessly with Canon bodies, some third-party lenses offer excellent performance and may be more budget-friendly.

Invest in Quality Filters

If you plan to use filters like polarizers or neutral density filters, make sure the lens you choose has the necessary filter threads or accepts a filter system.

Quality filters can significantly enhance your photography.

 

Which One Appeals To You The Most?


While the options mentioned in this guide cover a wide range of specialties and budgets, I’d like to share two personal favorites. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM stands out as a versatile and dependable workhorse. Its constant f/2.8 aperture, exceptional image quality, and fast autofocus make it a top choice for various genres, including portraits, events, and sports.

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary is a budget-friendly gem for wildlife and telephoto enthusiasts. It offers an impressive zoom range and optical stabilization at a competitive price point, making it an excellent choice for capturing distant subjects without compromising on quality.

 

Thanks for reading!

I hope this guide helped you learn about some of the best Telephoto Lenses for Canon. 🙂 

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