Sports photography demands a quick and sharp lens with a broad range of focal lengths to capture those fast-paced, precise shots. But don’t you worry, I’ve done some digging and compiled a list of top-notch camera lenses for sports photography, suitable for various camera mounts.

In this article, you’ll discover some of my top picks and the reasons why I recommend these lenses for sports.

QUICK TAKE

  • For sports photography, lenses that offer a combination of speed, accuracy, and a range of focal lengths are essential
  • My choice is The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM for its fast autofocus, effective image stabilization and an electronic information display
  • The Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC USD stands out as an affordable all-in-one zoom lens with a wide focal range, excellent vibration compensation, and moisture-resistant construction for APS-C camera users

 

7 Best Camera Lenses for Sports Photography


Here are some of the amazing camera lenses for sports photography that I recommend:

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM 

This lens is truly a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to sports photography, offering versatility and affordability in one package.

With a diverse range of focal lengths at your disposal, it allows you to adapt to various sporting scenarios, from capturing the intensity of a close-up basketball dunk to zooming in on a distant soccer goal.

This lens counts with a silent autofocus system. It ensures you won’t miss a beat when tracking fast-moving athletes, providing crisp and clear shots with ease.

The lens boasts an effective image stabilization feature, a lifesaver for those moments when you need to shoot handheld or in less-than-ideal lighting conditions.

What sets it apart is the electronic information display, a nifty addition that provides crucial data like focal length, depth of field, and camera shake right at your fingertips.

This lens is compatible with both full-frame and APS-C Canon cameras.

More Canon lenses for sport photography: Canon’s Top 7 Lenses for Sports Photography.

Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC USD

SPECIAL SALE
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD All-In-One Zoom For Nikon APS-C Digital SLR Cameras (6 Year Limited USA Warranty)
528 Reviews
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD All-In-One Zoom For Nikon APS-C Digital SLR Cameras (6 Year Limited USA Warranty)
  • World?s first 222x ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom Lens
  • Filter diameter: 79 mm.0.15x (When the macro switching ring is set to "0,3m-?"),...
  • VC for confident telephoto shooting. Focal Length- 18-400mm. Minimum Object Distance-...

Next up, we have an all-inclusive zoom lens tailor-made for sports photography enthusiasts, offering an expansive focal range from wide-angle to super-telephoto.

This lens serves as the ultimate versatile tool, ensuring you can effortlessly transition between capturing the broad field action and zooming in on those intense, close-up moments.

What sets this lens apart is its remarkable vibration compensation system, a technological marvel that significantly reduces the impact of camera shake.

This feature is crucial when you’re shooting fast-paced sports events, ensuring your shots remain crisp and blur-free even in high-pressure situations.

More telephoto lenses: 7 Best Telephoto Lenses for Canon

This lens is built to withstand the elements, featuring a robust moisture-resistant construction that keeps it well-protected during adverse weather conditions.

Another handy addition is the zoom lock mechanism, putting an end to annoying lens creep and ensuring your chosen focal length stays exactly where you want it.

This lens is specifically designed for APS-C cameras across popular brands like Canon, Nikon, and Sony.

More Tamron lenses: 5 Best Tamron RF Lenses for Canon EOS R Cameras

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

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Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens for Canon
4,949 Reviews
Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens for Canon
  • 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

Introducing a top-tier lens that stands as the pinnacle choice for sports photography, particularly excelling in scenarios like wildlife and outdoor sports.

This premium lens takes your telephoto capabilities to new heights, allowing you to capture those distant moments with unparalleled precision.

Notably, it boasts an optical stabilizer that is a true game-changer, compensating for up to four stops of camera shake. 

Further enhancing its prowess, this lens is equipped with a hypersonic motor, delivering lightning-fast and pinpoint autofocus.

This ensures that you never miss a beat when tracking fast-moving subjects, allowing you to seize those split-second moments with astonishing clarity and accuracy.

Its robust design, featuring a dust- and splash-proof construction, adds an extra layer of durability, making it a reliable companion in adverse weather conditions.

It seamlessly fits both full-frame and APS-C cameras across renowned brands like Canon, Nikon, and Sigma. 

More Sigma lenses: Sigma RF Lenses: The Best Third-Party Lens for Canon EOS R

Nikon Nikkor Z 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR

Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm VR | Compact all-in-one telephoto zoom lens with image stabilization for APS-C size/DX format Z series mirrorless cameras (standard to long telephoto) | Nikon USA Model
323 Reviews
Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm VR | Compact all-in-one telephoto zoom lens with image stabilization for APS-C size/DX format Z series mirrorless cameras (standard to long telephoto) | Nikon USA Model
  • 50-250mm zoom range equivalent to a 75-375mm lens in 35mm format
  • Built-in VR image stabilization up to 5 stops
  • Features an assignable control ring

Here we have a lens that embodies the essence of portability and convenience, tailor-made for Nikon’s Z-mount mirrorless cameras.

Its compact and lightweight design makes it an ideal companion for photographers on the move. What truly sets this lens apart is its innovative vibration reduction system, a technology that takes the edge off the potential blur caused by camera movement. 

Equipped with a responsive stepping motor, this lens delivers smooth and virtually silent autofocus, allowing you to focus on your subjects without drawing unnecessary attention. It’s all about capturing the decisive moments with precision and stealth.

The inclusion of an ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element further enhances the lens’s optical capabilities, effectively reducing chromatic aberration.

Discover: 7 Best Wide Angle Lenses for Nikon Cameras

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

OM SYSTEM OLYMPUS M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO For Micro Four Thirds System Camera, Light weight powerful zoom, Weather Sealed Design, MF Clutch, Compatible with Teleconverter
240 Reviews
OM SYSTEM OLYMPUS M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO For Micro Four Thirds System Camera, Light weight powerful zoom, Weather Sealed Design, MF Clutch, Compatible with Teleconverter
  • Dust, splash, and freeze proof construction
  • Ships with lens cap (LC-72C), rear lens cap (LR-2), lens hood (LH-76), and lens case...
  • Manual focus clutch mechanism

Enter a lens that stands as a paragon of performance, purpose-built for Micro Four Thirds cameras hailing from Olympus and Panasonic.

With a constant f/2.8 aperture, this lens serves as a beacon of light in the realm of photography, granting the power of fast shutter speeds and exceptional low-light performance.

The unrelenting f/2.8 aperture ensures that even in dimly lit arenas or during evening matches, you can freeze the action with precision and clarity, eliminating the challenges posed by less luminous conditions.

Adding to its arsenal of capabilities, this lens is equipped with a dual voice coil motor, delivering autofocus that is nothing short of rapid and pinpoint. Every frame is captured with swift and precise focus, allowing you to seize the decisive moments in sports photography with unmatched speed.

The lens’s robust construction doesn’t just stop at optical excellence; it is also weather-sealed to withstand the harshest of conditions.

Fujinon XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

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Fujifilm XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
150 Reviews
Fujifilm XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
  • Focal length : XF100-400mm (152-609mm - 35mm Format Equivalent)
  • 21 elements 14 groups (includes 5 extra low dispersion elements and 1 super extra low...
  • Focus range : 1.75m, Max.magnification : 0.19x (Telephoto)

This lens stands as a testament to power and precision, embodying the essence of what makes Fujifilm’s lenses exceptional.

At its core, this lens boasts an optical image stabilization system, a technological marvel that combats the blurring effects of camera shake. 

To complement its prowess, the lens features a linear motor that epitomizes the marriage of speed and silence.

Fast and quiet autofocus is the name of the game here, allowing you to focus swiftly and discreetly on your subjects, capturing those pivotal moments in sports photography without drawing undue attention. B

ut the lens’s attributes extend beyond its optical and mechanical prowess; it is fortified with a weather-resistant structure that lends it a robust resilience against dust and moisture.

This lens provides an equivalent focal length of 152-609mm, an impressive range that enables you to capture distant subjects with unmatched clarity and detail.

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

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras, White - 3044C002
465 Reviews
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras, White - 3044C002
  • Constant f 2.8 Maximum Aperture throughout Entire Zoom Range.
  • Canon’s Air Sphere Coating (ASC) Minimizes Ghosting and Flare.
  • Optical Image Stabilization at up to 3.5 Stops of Shake Correction.

Renowned for its exceptional performance, it’s a favored choice for capturing the world of sports in all its glory.

What sets this lens apart is its constant f/2.8 aperture, a characteristic that serves as the cornerstone for outstanding low-light performance and the ability to craft exquisite shallow depth-of-field effects.

This feature becomes a game-changer when you’re immersed in dimly lit stadiums or aiming to isolate your subject with beautiful background blur. The lens further elevates its game with an image stabilizer that offers up to 3.5 stops of compensation for camera shake, allowing you to maintain picture-perfect stability even amid fast-paced action.

When it comes to focus, this lens is nothing short of remarkable, thanks to its ultrasonic motor. It delivers autofocus that’s not only fast but also incredibly accurate, ensuring that your subjects are in sharp focus without delay.

What’s more, this lens is the epitome of versatility, compatible with both full-frame and APS-C Canon cameras.

Regardless of your camera choice, you can rely on this lens to deliver outstanding image quality characterized by impeccable sharpness, rich contrast, and true-to-life color accuracy.

 

Which Would Be Your Pick?


As I’ve mentioned above, all the camera lenses for sports from this article worth being considering.

I love the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM for its versatility and fast autofocus, making it suitable for various sports scenarios. It also features effective image stabilization and an electronic information display.

The Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC USD stands out as a budget-friendly all-in-one zoom lens with a wide focal range, excellent vibration compensation, and moisture-resistant construction for APS-C camera users. Great choice for those who don’t want to spend a lot.

 

Thanks for reading! 🙏

I hope this guide helped you learn about some of the best camera lenses for Sports Photography 🙂

 

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