In this guide, we will help you choose the best Nikon telephoto lens to pair with your SLR or mirrorless camera.
There are many long focal length optics proposed by the company and these are accompanied by compatible lenses, made by third-party manufacturers (such as Sigma and Tamron ). Below we have selected the most valid options and provided a brief description of the main features for each model.
In the mirror below you will find the list of the best Nikon telephoto lenses currently in the guide. Click on a model name to go directly to the part dedicated to it. If you want to know more about this type of lens or have doubts about compatibility with your camera, we recommend that you read the introductory section of the page.
Best Telephoto Lenses for Nikon 2022
Best Telephoto Lenses for Nikon | Comparison Table 2022
|High-Power 500mm/1000mm f/8 Manual Telephoto Lens for Nikon D7500, D500, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D810, D850, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200||BIG MIKE'S ELECTRONICS||Check Price|
|JINTU 420-800mm f/8.3 HD Manual Focus Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Digital Camera Lenses D5600 D5500 D5300 D5200 D5100 D3500 D3400 D3300 D3100 D3200 D7500 D7200 D7000 D7100 D750 D90 D850 + Bag||JINTU||Check Price|
|NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 Compact Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras||Nikon||Check Price|
|Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon DX-Format Digital SLR Cameras||Nikon||Check Price|
|Lightdow 420-800mm f/8.3 Manual Zoom Telephoto Lens + T-Mount for Nikon D5500 D3300 D3200 D5300 D3400 D7200 D750 D3500 D7500 D500 D600 D700 D800 D810 D850 D3100 D5100 D5200 D7000 D7100 Camera Lenses||Lightdow||Check Price|
|Opteka 650-1300mm (with 2X- 1300-2600mm) Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon D5, D4, D850, D810, D800, D750, D610, D600, D7500, D7200, D7100, D5600, D5500, D5300, D5200, D3400 and D3300 Digital SLR Cameras||Opteka||Check Price|
|Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 VC USD Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (6 Year Limited USA Warranty)||Tamron||Check Price|
|Meike 85mm f1.8 Wide Aperture Full Frame Auto Focus Telephoto Lens for Nikon F Mount DSLR Camera and Compatible with Nikon APS-C Cameras D610 D750 D780 D810||Meike||Check Price|
|High-Power 420-1600mm f/8.3 HD Manual Telephoto Lens for Nikon D500, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D800e, D810, D810a, D850, D3400, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7100, D7200, D7500 DSLR||BIG MIKE'S ELECTRONICS||Check Price|
Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:
Best Telephoto Lenses for Nikon | Products Overview 2022
1. BIG MIKE’S ELECTRONICS Best Nikon telephoto lens for wildlife
- High-power 500mm telephoto focal length for Nikon D40, D40X, D60, D90, D100, D200, D300, D300s, D500, D600, D610, D70, D700, D750, D800, D800e, D810, D810a, D850, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D7500
- Includes T-mount adapter for digital and 35mm NIKON DSLR cameras
- High index, low-dispersion multi-coated optical glass to reduce flare
- 2X Teleconverter doubles the power of your lens to 1000mm.
- THIS LENS IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE FOLLOWING NIKON CAMERAS D40, D40X, D60, D90, D100, D200, D300, D300s, D500, D600, D610, D70, D750, D800, D800e, D810, D810a, D850, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D7500
The Big Mike’s High–Power 500mm/1000mm f/8 Manual Telephoto Lens for Nikon DSLR is a powerful telephoto zoom lens perfect for both amateur and experienced photographers. With a maximum focal length of 500mm, this lens is a versatile tool for capturing distant subjects and creating stunning visuals. The lens is constructed with high index, low–dispersion multi–coated optical glass to reduce flare and improve image quality, and comes with a Nikkon T–mount adapter for easy attachment to your digital or 35mm DSLR cameras.
It also features a 2X Teleconverter that can double the power of the lens to 1000mm and a 67mm filter thread for adding filters. Big Mike takes pride in providing customers with top–quality accessories and solutions, and they use only the best parts and materials available. They also use innovative production processes and strict quality control to ensure their products meet the highest standards and expectations.
This state–of–the–art lens is no exception and is sure to give users confidence and reliability when taking photos. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just starting out, this lens is the perfect accessory for your camera. With its high–power zoom capabilities and multi–coated optical glass, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with your subjects and capture stunning visuals. And with the included T–mount adapter and 2X Teleconverter, you’ll be able to get even more from your lens, giving you even more flexibility and control over your shots.
- High power 500mm telephoto focal length.
- Compatible with Nikon DSLR cameras with a T-mount adapter.
- Multi-coated optical glass to reduce flare.
- Comes with a 2X teleconverter that doubles the lens power to 1000mm.
- 67mm filter thread.
- Manual focus only.
- No image stabilizationization.
- F/8 maximum aperture may not be ideal for low light conditions.
2. JINTU 420-800m Focus Telephoto Zoom Lens
- ★ JINTU Super zoom 420-800mm focal length. Manual Focus lens , only work on M mode. 4 Elements in 2 groups, Japan Design.
- ★ Compatible with for Any NIKON SLR Digital Cameras. such as Nikon D850, D810, D800, D750, D700, D610, D300, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D7500, D50, D60, D90, Df, D3, D3X etc.
- ★ Great for the wildlife or nature photographer who wants to be hidden while taking photos of the subject. Advances in ultra high-index / low-dispersion optical glasses, new barrel materials, and exotic anti-reflection coatings.
- ★ Use note: Camera must be set to M (manual focus) mode to make lens work. Some camera may need setting camera menu: release without lens or aperture priority to make lens work (set on place)
- ★ About image are too dark or white，Pls set camera speed or ISO resolve.（image white: Pls Set more fast shurtter speed,image dark: Pls Set lower shurtter speed)
This JINTU 420-800mm f/8.3 HD Manual Telephoto Camera Lens for Nikon SLR is a perfect choice for any wildlife or nature photographer looking to capture stunning images without being seen by the subject. The lightweight construction of this lens is made of brass and aluminum, and it measures 10.6 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches, making it highly portable and easy to carry around on your adventures.
This lens is compatible with most Nikon SLR cameras, such as the D850, D810, D800, D750, D700, D610, D300, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D7500, D50, D60, D90, Df, D3, and D3X. The lens features advanced ultra-high index/low-dispersion optical glass, a new barrel material, and exotic anti-reflection coatings for an enhanced experience. The lens has a fixed aperture of f/8.3, and it does not have an auto-focus function. As such, it is recommended to use a live view for accurate focus. Additionally, the focal length and aperture details are clearly visible.
The lens also features a push-pull zoom and a ribbed focusing tube with the smooth movement for precise settings. Finally, the lens comes with a small bag, allowing you to store and carry it around with ease. This lens is a great choice for any photographer who wants to capture stunning images and videos with ease. With its advanced features and design, it is sure to be a great addition to your camera setup.
- Compatible with various Nikon SLR digital cameras.
- Lightweight and easy to carry.
- Great for wildlife or nature photography with the ability to be hidden while taking photos.
- Improved optical quality with high-index and low-dispersion optical glasses and anti-reflection coatings.
- Precise focusing with push-pull zoom and ribbed focusing tube.
- No autofocus function.
- The aperture is fixed and cannot be adjusted.
- Recommended to use a tripod and remote control for stable photos due to the lack of image stabilization.
3. NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-200mm Super telephoto lens for Nikon
- Lens features Nikon technologies including Aspherical Lens Elements, ED Glass Elements, ARNEO Coat and Fluorine Coat
- Lens features built-in Vibration Reduction image stabilization
- The customizable, clickless control ring offers quick and quiet access to most used camera settings
- Image Stabilization: Optical
- Mounting Type: Nikon Z
- Optical Zoom: 8.3
The Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 Compact Telephoto Zoom Lens is an immensely versatile all-in-one zoom lens ready to capture any beauty encountered on your next trek. This lens features Nikon technologies including Aspherical Lens Elements, ED Glass Elements, ARNEO Coat, and Fluorine Coat for superb image quality and edge-to-edge clarity. It also features built-in Vibration Reduction image stabilization for shake-free shots and on-the-go convenience.
The 24-200mm lens is ideal for sweeping landscapes, impressive architecture, and lively street photography. It has impressive video performance with remarkably smooth, fast, and quiet autofocus, perfect for capturing video footage. The customizable, clickless control ring offers quick and quiet access to the most used camera settings. The lightweight design of this lens makes it perfect for grab-and-go shooting, giving you the convenience of always having the right lens with you.
The Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 Compact Telephoto Zoom Lens is the perfect solution for photographers and videographers who need a versatile lens to capture any scene. With its superb image quality, edge-to-edge clarity, and image stabilization, this lens is sure to capture the beauty of any landscape and impress any viewer.
- The versatile all-in-one zoom range of 24-200mm.
- Built-in Vibration Reduction image stabilization.
- Customizable, clickless control ring for quick access to camera settings.
- Superb video performance with smooth, fast, and quiet autofocus.
- Lightweight and convenient to carry for on-the-go photography.
- Aperture range of f/4-6.3, which may limit low-light performance.
- Only compatible with Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras.
- A maximum focal length of 200mm may not be enough for some telephoto photography needs.
4. Nikon 18-200mm Best all-in-one lens for Nikon
- 11.1x zoom in DX format with 18-200mm focal length
- Stabilisation System Vibration Reduction II (VR II) in Normal and On modes
- Silent wave motor (SWM) for fast and quiet autofocus
- M/A mode allows you to quickly switch between autofocus and manual focus.
- The 7-blade circular aperture corrects blurred elements for more natural backgrounds..Download the instructions in French here
The Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens is a powerful and versatile addition to any Nikon DX-Format Digital SLR Camera. Its 11.1x zoom range with a focal length of 18-200mm can capture everything from wide-angle landscape shots to distant wildlife photos. The lens is designed with a Stabilisation System Vibration Reduction II (VR II) that keeps your photos sharp and clear, even in low lighting and unsteady hands.
Its Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology provides fast and quiet autofocus performance, while the M/A mode quickly switches between autofocus and manual focus. The 7-blade circular aperture corrects blurred elements for more natural backgrounds. This lens is the perfect choice for all photographers, from amateur to professional. Its lightweight and compact design, combined with its powerful zoom range, allows you to capture professional-level shots without the bulk of most telephoto lenses. The lens also offers improved low-light performance, so you can take stunning photos in dimly lit areas.
And with its advanced technologies, like the Vibration Reduction II (VR II) and Silent Wave Motor (SWM), you'll get precise autofocus and sharp images, even in the most challenging conditions. The Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens is an all-in-one telephoto solution for any photographer. Whether you're taking wide-angle outdoor shots or distant wildlife photos, you'll get the perfect image every time.
With its advanced technologies and lightweight design, you'll be taking stunning photos with ease. Whether you're an amateur or a professional, the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens is the perfect choice for capturing beautiful shots no matter the environment.
- Versatile 11.1x zoom with 18-200mm focal length
- Equipped with Vibration Reduction II (VR II) for image stabilization
- Fast and quiet autofocus with silent wave motor (SWM)
- Switch between autofocus and manual focus quickly with M/A mode
- The 7-blade circular aperture enhances the quality of the blurred elements in the background
- Not compatible with full-frame Nikon cameras
- Maximum aperture is limited, not ideal for low-light photography
- No weather sealing
5. Lightdow 420-800mm Zoom Super Telephoto Lens
- User Instruction: This is a MANUAL lens, no electronic contacts, thats why your camera will not recognize the lens, it requires full manual settings on camera & lens body., please switch to MF MODE in order to use this lens correctly. Tips to use Manual Lens: 1) Set the mode dial to Manual (M); 2) Set the Release w/o Lens option in the camera menu to Enable; 3) Set the Shutter lock option in the camera menu to Off: no lens.
- Fine tune the front focusing ring to make subject in-focus and take a sample picture. If the picture turns out dark, take the following steps to improve, 1. Lower the shutter speed, from 1/500s down to 1/100s or slower 1/50 etc; 2. Raise the ISO Number, from ISO 100 to ISO 200/400/800 etc; 3. Use a remote shutter release and tripod to increase image stability; 4. Switch position to allow more environmental light coming through the lens into the camera imaging sensor.
- Multi coated low-dispersion glass, anti-reflection coating, manual focus telephoto zoom lens to use with DSLR SLR cameras.
- ADVANCED OPTICS / SUPER ZOOM / SOLID FULL METAL CONSTRUCTION / MANUAL FOCUSING
- 420-800mm f/8.3-16 Manual Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon EOS Rebel T7, T7i, T6, T6i, T5, T5i, SL2, 80D, 77D, 700D, 70D, 60D, 50D, 5D, 6D, 7D, 600D, 550D, 200D, 150D, 100D, 1300D, 1400D, 1500D etc
The Lightdow 420-800mm f/8.3 Manual Zoom Super Telephoto Lens is a powerful and versatile tool designed to allow quality telephoto and zoom capabilities for Canon EOS Rebel T3 T3i T4i T5 T5i T6 T6i T6s T7 T7i SL1 SL2 6D 7D 7D 60D 70D 77D 80D 5D II/III/IV DSLR Camera Lenses. This lens is constructed with solid full metal, multi-coated low-dispersion glass, and an anti-reflection coating, giving the user superior optical performance.
The 420-800mm lens is ideal for shooting far-away objects, allowing you to capture the moment with clarity and precision. With a wide range of focal lengths and aperture, photographers can capture detailed photos of distant wildlife, stunning landscapes, sports, and more. It is designed to focus manually and requires the user to set their camera to manual mode in order to achieve the best results. This lens offers a number of advantages, including a manual focus telephoto zoom lens, fast shutter speed, and the use of remote shutter release.
All of these are necessary to avoid camera shake and achieve the best possible results from the lens. Additionally, this lens does not require an adapter or converter for use in any country, making it ideal for international trips.
- Advanced optics with multi-coated low-dispersion glass and anti-reflection coating.
- Long focal length range of 420-800mm with f/8.3-16 aperture.
- Solid full metal construction.
- Manual focusing allows for precise control.
- Compatibility with a wide range of Canon EOS DSLR cameras.
- Requires manual operation and setting adjustments, and may not be suitable for beginners.
- The camera will not display the aperture value, which must be set manually on the lens body.
- Requires a sturdy tripod and good technique to avoid camera shake, especially at longer focal lengths.
6. Opteka 650-1300mm Telephoto Zoom Lens
- ADVANCED OPTICS: Featuring an optimized design, this lens uses a series of 6 optical glass elements (one SD super-low dispersion) in 5 groups to reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations throughout the aperture range. A high definition anti-reflective coating suppresses lens flare and ghosting for increased contrast and color fidelity.
- SUPER ZOOM: 650-1300mm or 1300-2600mm with the 2x converter, this lens is not only a superb long range choice, but also performs well in a variety of scenes from sports and surveillance to lunar shots.
- SOLID CONSTRUCTION: Full metal body and rear mount allow this lens to withstand wear and tear much better than plastic lenses while commanding a rugged, solid feel when using.
- MANUAL FOCUSING: This lens has preset f-stops that correspond with the focal length at which you are shooting. An index for distance and diaphragm scale is inscribed on the lens barrel to coordinate focal length and aperture.
- COMPATIBILITY: Can be used on all Nikon APS-C and full frame cameras including D7500, D7200, D7100, D5600, D5500, D5300, D5200, D5100, D5000, D3400, D3300, D3200, D3100. D3000, Df, D5, D4, D3, D850, D810, D800, D750, D700, D610, D500, D90, D60 and D40.
The Opteka 650-1300mm f/8 Super Telephoto Zoom Lens is a powerful, long-range lens that offers a wide range of focal lengths and is compatible with a variety of Nikon digital SLR cameras. This lens features an optimized design and incorporates 6 optical glass elements (including one SD super-low dispersion) in 5 groups to reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations while maintaining a high level of image quality.
The high-definition anti-reflective coating also suppresses lens flare and ghosting for increased contrast and color fidelity. The Opteka 650-1300mm f/8 Super Telephoto Zoom Lens also features a full metal body and rear mount, making it very durable and rugged. Manual focusing is also available, with preset f-stops that correspond to the focal length at which you are shooting. An index for distance and diaphragm scale is inscribed on the lens barrel to coordinate focal length and aperture.
This lens is also compatible with all Nikon APS-C and full-frame cameras. Opteka is an American-based photography brand that has been a leader in the science of optics since the early 2000s. With a passion for photography, Opteka has been able to create products that have been able to achieve and surpass their goals. The Opteka 650-1300mm f/8 Super Telephoto Zoom Lens is a great example of its commitment to excellence and is the perfect choice for any photographer looking for a powerful and reliable long-range lens.
- High-definition optics with anti-reflective coatings to reduce lens flare and ghosting.
- The super zoom range of 650-1300mm or 1300-2600mm with a 2x converter.
- Solid construction with a full metal body.
- Manual focusing with preset f-stops and a distance and diaphragm scale.
- Compatible with all Nikon APS-C and full-frame cameras.
- A fixed maximum aperture of f/8 may not perform well in low-light situations.
- No image stabilizationization.
- Preset f-stops may be limiting for some photographers.
7. Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 VC USD Telephoto Zoom Lens
- Lightest weight in its class and featuring widest maximum aperture
- Superb image quality in an ultra-telephoto zoom lens
- Exclusive eBAND Coating reduces flare and ghosting
- 4-stop VC image stabilization for confident telephoto shooting
- Moisture-Resistant construction and fluorine coating for enhanced weather protection
The Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD (Model A035) is an ultra-telephoto zoom lens that provides AF precision and clarity when shooting in-the-moment action. It features three LD (Low Dispersion) glass elements positioned to prevent aberrations that are typical with many telephoto lenses and Tamron’s proprietary eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating to reduce reflections.
Its lens barrel is made primarily of magnesium, making it the lightest weight in its class and ideal for handheld shooting over long periods of time. It also has a minimum object distance of 1.5m and a maximum image magnification ratio of 1:3.6, giving you the ability to soften the foreground or background for dramatic emphasis on your subject. The Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD is also designed for superior weather protection, featuring moisture-resistant construction and a fluorine-coated front element.
This lens also has a 4-stop VC image stabilization system that ensures that your images remain sharp and clear even in low-light conditions. Additionally, this lens comes with a 6-year limited USA warranty. The Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD is a highly portable, ultra-telephoto zoom lens with AF precision and features that make it an ideal choice for capturing action shots with clarity and ease. Its weather protection, image stabilization, and wide maximum aperture make it a great choice for any photographer looking for a telephoto lens that offers superior performance and durability.
- Portable and lightweight for easy handheld shooting
- AF precision for capturing fast-moving action
- eBAND Coating reduces flare and ghosting for clearer images
- 4-stop VC image stabilization for confident telephoto shooting
- Moisture-resistant construction and fluorine coating for enhanced weather protection
- Maximum aperture not as wide as other lenses in its class
- Focal length can drop as the aperture gets wider
- Higher price point compared to other options in the same category
8. Meike 85mm Best budget telephoto lens for Nikon
- Compatible with Nikon F mount full frame mirrorless cameras, such as D610 D750 D780 D810 D850 D3300 D3500 D5100 D5200 D5300 D7100 D7200 cameras other digital DSLR cameras with standard stand
- The classic 85mm portrait lens with a wide aperture of f/1.8, the lens can capture beautiful photos with smooth background blur effect, even in dark environment.
- Suitable for a wide range of other subjects, including selective architecture, landscapes, portrait, short range sports and theatre photography.
- The lens is a auto focus lens and automatic aperture, Lens carrying the usual electronic contacts, but also a USB connection that can be used to upgrade the lens firmware
- The lens constructure is 6 groups,11 elements, makes the lens capable of delivering sharp images
The Meike 85mm F1.8 is a full frame, autofocus telephoto lens ideal for Nikon F Mount DSLR cameras and compatible with Nikon APS-C cameras. This lens is perfect for capturing beautiful portraits with a smooth background blur effect, even in dark conditions. It is also suitable for a wide range of other subjects, such as selective architecture, landscapes, short-range sports, and theatre photography.
This lens is equipped with a wide aperture of F/1.8 and a 6-group and 11-element construction, making the lens capable of delivering sharp images. It also has electronic contacts and a USB connection, which can be used to upgrade the lens firmware. This allows you to keep your lens up to date and ensure it delivers the best performance possible.
The Meike 85mm F1.8 Wide Aperture Full Frame Auto Focus Telephoto Lens for Nikon F Mount DSLR Camera and Compatible with Nikon APS-C Cameras D610 D750 D780 D810 is a great choice for any photographer looking for a versatile lens capable of capturing stunning photos in a range of settings. It is easy to use, equipped with the latest technology, and is sure to deliver excellent results.
- The wide aperture of f/1.8, is ideal for capturing beautiful portraits with a smooth background blur effect.
- Compatible with a wide range of Nikon F mount full frame mirrorless and digital DSLR cameras.
- Autofocus and automatic aperture for convenient and efficient shooting.
- USB connection to upgrade the lens firmware.
- 6 groups, 11 elements construction provides sharp image quality.
- May require an adapter or converter for use internationally, due to differences in outlets and voltage.
- Limited compatibility with Nikon F mount cameras only.
- No image stabilization feature.
9. High-Power 420-1600mm f/8.3 HD Manual Telephoto Lens
- Works with all these Nikon Cameras D90, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D7500, D300, D300s, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D800e, D810, D810a, D850
- High-power 420mm telephoto focal length
- Includes T-mount adapter for digital and 35mm Nikon SLR cameras
- High index, low-dispersion multi-coated optical glass to reduce flare
- 2X Teleconverter doubles the power of your lens to 1600mm
This BIG MIKE'S ELECTRONICS 420-1600mm f/8.3 HD Manual Telephoto Lens is a great choice for any Nikon D-Series digital SLR camera owner, providing a versatile and powerful focal length range, perfect for any situation. This lens comes with a T-Mount adapter to fit all Nikon digital and 35mm SLR cameras and is equipped with high index, low-dispersion multi-coated optical glass to reduce flare and improve image quality.
This lens also includes a 2X Teleconverter that doubles the power of your lens to 1600mm, providing a truly impressive magnification range. This telephoto zoom lens is perfect for both amateur and professional photographers alike, allowing experienced veterans to capture stunning works of art and giving newcomers the opportunity to explore and experiment with the power of a telephoto lens. With its versatile focal length range and powerful zoom capabilities, this lens is ideal for capturing landscapes, wildlife, sports, and any other type of photography in between. The BIG MIKE'S ELECTRONICS 420-1600mm f/8.3
HD Manual Telephoto Lens is a must-have accessory for any Nikon D-Series digital SLR camera owner looking to take their photography to the next level. With its high-quality construction, long-lasting durability, and impressive magnification range, this lens is sure to provide you with the sharp precision and professional results you're looking for.
- High-power 420mm telephoto focal length
- Includes T-mount adapter for digital and 35mm Nikon SLR cameras
- High index, low-dispersion multi-coated optical glass to reduce flare
- 2X Teleconverter doubles the power of the lens to 1600mm
- Versatile and reliable for both amateur and experienced photographers
- Manual focus only, making it less suitable for fast-paced or spontaneous shots
- f/8.3 aperture may struggle with low-light performance
- May require some time and practice to get the best results
Best Nikon Telephoto Lens: Which to Choose? The Features to Evaluate
There are about a dozen telephoto lenses for Nikon that are part of this guide, and although they are all in the same category, they are very different from each other. Not surprisingly, their price also varies from a few hundred euros to several thousand, for the most advanced optics.
So let's try to clarify what are the key characteristics of telephoto lenses , those on the basis of which each model differs from the other.
The most important properties of lenses, in general, are the focal length and aperture. In the case of telephoto lenses, a very important role is then covered by some options and particular optical characteristics.
The focal length, which as you probably already know is expressed in millimeters, is that parameter that indicates the angle of view that you can frame with a lens.
Low values (such as 24mm ) correspond to a wide angle of view, typical of wide angles, which allows you to shoot very large scenes, such as landscapes.
On the contrary, high values ( 100mm, 200mm, 300mm …) allow to frame a narrow-angle of view. This has the effect of concentrating the shot on a particular, which appears all the more magnified as the focal length increases. Exceeding the 70mm focal length, you enter precisely the field of competence of telephoto lenses, the subject of this guide.
In the diagram below we show the shot that would be obtained by shooting from the same point (the terrace of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris) using a different focal length.
Although technically, an 85mm also belongs in all respects to this category, we think that if you are looking for a Nikon telephoto lens you are oriented towards much longer focal lengths, which involve a significant magnification of the subject. For this reason, we have only considered lenses that reach at least 200mm of maximum focal length.
However, most of the lenses we have considered are of the zoom type and offer a remarkable focal range. Many of them also cover more moderate focal lengths, from medium-telephoto, such as the various 70-200mm or 70-300mm, which guarantees considerable versatility.
The second parameter to consider when choosing a Nikon telephoto lens is its maximum aperture.
This value, as well as the focal length, is always indicated in the model name, preceded by “ f / “. As a general rule, a large maximum aperture, which corresponds to a low value (such as f / 2.8 ) is preferable to a narrow one (higher values, such as f / 5.6 ).
The most virtuous lenses, from this point of view, are called bright in jargon, as opposed to those defined as dark. A large aperture has several positive effects on photography. Below, we mention the most significant ones:
- Open apertures allow you to reduce shutter speeds, limiting the risk of finding yourself with blurred photos.
- A wide aperture allows you to keep the background out of focus and focus interest on the subject, an effect normally sought in genres consistent with long focal lengths.
- A very wide maximum aperture makes it possible to use teleconverters (if compatible) without serious repercussions on the performance of the lens.
That said, the brightness of a telephoto lens must always be evaluated in relation to its range. As the focal length increases, it is increasingly difficult (for design reasons) to find oneself with large apertures, if not investing a very high budget.
For a lens that reaches 200mm (we will see many telephoto lenses for Nikon on this cut) an aperture of f / 4 can be considered satisfactory, f / 2.8 excellent, and f / 5.6 mediocre. Going up to 400mm, however, an aperture of f / 5.6 is considered more than appreciable, while the few options available at f / 4 are purely professional in nature. A 400mm / 2.8 complex, on the other hand, would cost more than a small car!
In the case of tele-zoom lenses, two different maximum apertures are often indicated (ex: 70-300 f / 4-5.6 ). In these cases, the widest aperture refers to the minimum focal length and the narrowest aperture to the maximum focal length. At focal lengths between minimum and maximum, an intermediate diaphragm opening can be used.
However, the subject is too broad to be explained in detail here. If you want to know more, we recommend that you read our guide to the lens aperture.
The reproduction ratio is another feature that - depending on your needs - could be important to consider for choosing a Nikon telephoto.
This is the maximum magnification that you will be able to obtain in close-up shots and refers to the ratio between the dimensions of the subject in focus and those of the sensor. In the case of macro lenses proper, the reproduction ratio would be 1x (or 1: 1). You could then fully shoot a subject with the same sensor size.
We have dedicated a separate guide to lenses of this kind (see: best macro lenses for Nikon ), while here we will not deal with such high magnifications. However, some of the telephoto lenses for Nikon that we will analyze have a very interesting reproduction ratio, such as 0.4x or 0.3x for example. In the datasheets of the individual models, further on, we have reported the most performing optics from this point of view.
The ability to obtain high magnifications in the close-up pictures depends, technically, on a high ratio between focal length and minimum focus distance.
Obviously, we advise you to consider this parameter if you are interested in shooting details and close-ups (butterflies, insects, flowers…). If not, it's a feature that can easily take a back seat.
Among the possible options of telephoto lenses, the image stabilizer is certainly the most interesting. This device makes it possible to obtain perfectly clear photos even using relatively long shutter speeds in relation to the focal length used.
As a rule, to have a good chance of avoiding blurry photos, you should use a faster time than the inverse of the focal length, for example, less than 1/200 when shooting at 200mm or less than 1/400 when shooting at 400mm.
In the case of a stabilized lens, this safety threshold is significantly lowered and makes it possible to shoot at super-telephoto focal lengths even with rather long times (eg: 400mm @ 1/90 ).
The importance of the image stabilizer, especially for telephoto lenses, is such that its presence has become somewhat of a standard on this type of lens. Almost all Nikon telephoto lenses that we will see are in fact equipped with them. Older models generally provide a maximum gain of about 3 stops of time, while the latest generation optics also reach 5.
Telephoto Lens Compatibility with Nikon Cameras (Reflex / Mirrorless, DX / FX)
The choice of a lens must always be made according to - as well as your needs - also the camera in possession: reflex or mirrorless. Each Nikon telephoto lens has a specific amount, which makes it compatible with one of two types of cameras.
Most of the lenses that we will see, in truth, are designed for SLR cameras. Nikon Z telephoto lenses for mirrorless cameras (to which we dedicated the last part of the guide) are in fact available, for the moment, in a very limited number of models.
Considering the considerable commitment the company is showing in this segment, it is easy to foresee that a number of new lenses will be introduced for these cameras shortly.
In the meantime, if you own a mirrorless camera and can't find a natively compatible model that's right for you, you can use a telephoto lens designed for reflex cameras using the simple FTZ adapter.
This adapter is often supplied as a kit with the camera itself, but you can also buy it separately. Its use does not alter in any way neither the optical quality of the lens nor the autofocus performance.
Beyond the type of camera, a priori distinction must be made regarding the type of sensor integrated into it. Except in rare cases (appropriately highlighted in the guide), the Nikon telephoto lenses that we will see are suitable for both FX cameras (full-frame) and DX cameras (APS-C).
However, if associated with the latter, their focal length will be 1.5x higher due to the crop factor. For example, a 70-200mm used on a DX camera will behave like an “equivalent” 105-300mm. The range of the telephoto lens will therefore be even more boosted.
In the individual cards, to dispel any doubts, we have written in black and white which types of cameras each lens is suitable for and what its equivalent focal length is.
Tamron SP AF 70-300mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD
The first telephoto lens for Nikon that we want to describe to you is one of the cheapest options among those present in this guide.
The Tamron 70-300mm is compatible with both Nikon FX ( full-frame ) and DX ( APS-C ) SLRs. On the latter, it will behave like a 105-450mm equivalent.
Such a high focal length allows you to maintain an appropriate distance when shooting animals in the wild or, in general, unapproachable subjects, still obtaining a good magnification.
Autofocus offers good performance overall, although the difference with high-end lenses is quite noticeable. This makes it possible to approach even fast-moving subjects, such as birds in flight or athletes engaged in a sports competition.
A relatively short minimum focusing distance (150cm) allows for interesting close-up shots, achieving a reproduction ratio of approximately 0.25x.
The image quality is more than sufficient in an amateur context and considerably higher than that which distinguishes the objectives of the economic range, such as the zoom sold-in kit with the camera. A slight decrease in sharpness is observed at the most extreme focal lengths (from 200 / 250mm upwards), situations in which it is advisable to close the diaphragm by a couple of stops to obtain the maximum yield.
The lens has an efficient image stabilizer, which is very useful when shooting in low light, especially when using three-digit focal lengths.
There are several telephoto lenses for Nikon that are placed on this exact focal range. The stabilized Tamron 70-300 is certainly what we suggest to those who are approaching optics of this type and want to do it without excessive expense, still being able to count on a good general quality level.
It is important not to confuse this model with the Tamron 70-300 is not stabilized, model instead strongly advises against. The difference does not lie only in the presence of the stabilizer (however very important on these focal lengths): it is an old project, now obsolete and of very low quality.
Those who demand even more from a qualitative point of view (and are willing to invest a higher budget) can instead consider the Nikkor that we will see in a moment.
What Lens Has The Greatest Telephoto Effect?
The lens with the greatest telephoto effect is generally considered to be a super telephoto lens, which typically has a focal length of 300mm or more. There are also specialized telephoto lenses, such as zoom lenses that cover a range of focal lengths up to 600mm or more, and prime lenses with even longer focal lengths up to 800mm or more.
The greater the focal length, the more magnification and telephoto effect the lens will have. However, it's important to note that the telephoto effect is also influenced by other factors such as the sensor size of the camera and the distance between the camera and the subject.
Which Is Better Telephoto Or Zoom Lens?
A telephoto lens and a zoom lens are not mutually exclusive as a telephoto lens can also be a zoom lens. Telephoto refers to a lens that has a focal length longer than the standard lens, while a zoom lens is a lens that can adjust its focal length.
So, in a sense, a telephoto lens can be a type of zoom lens, as it can zoom in on distant subjects, but not all zoom lenses are telephoto lenses.
As for which is better, it depends on the specific needs of the photographer. A telephoto lens is ideal for capturing distant subjects and isolating them from the background, while a zoom lens can be more versatile as it can adjust its focal length and capture a range of subjects at varying distances. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on the type of photography the photographer wants to do.
What Is The Best Zoom Nikon?
Nikon offers a range of zoom lenses suitable for different purposes, so the best zoom lens for you will depend on your specific needs. However, some of the best zoom lenses from Nikon include:
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR: This is a professional-grade lens with a versatile zoom range that is suitable for a wide range of subjects, including sports, wildlife, and portraits.
- Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR: This is a standard zoom lens with a wide aperture that is great for low-light conditions and producing sharp images with a shallow depth of field.
- Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR: This is a wide-angle zoom lens that is perfect for landscape and architecture photography.
- Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR: This is an all-in-one zoom lens that covers a wide range of focal lengths, making it a great travel lens.
Ultimately, the best zoom lens for you will depend on your specific needs, budget, and shooting style.
Is It Worth Buying A Telephoto Lens?
Whether or not it's worth buying a telephoto lens depends on your specific needs and preferences as a photographer. Telephoto lenses are great for getting close-up shots of subjects that are far away, which can be useful for wildlife, sports, and other types of photography. If you frequently shoot in situations where a telephoto lens would be useful, then it may be worth the investment.
However, telephoto lenses can also be quite expensive, heavy, and bulky, so if you don't anticipate using one very often, or if you don't want to carry around the extra weight and size, then it may not be worth the investment for you. It's important to carefully consider your shooting needs and budget before making a decision.
How Do I Choose A Telephoto Lens?
Choosing a telephoto lens depends on several factors, including your photography needs, budget, and camera system. Here are some things to consider:
Focal Length: Telephoto lenses come in a variety of focal lengths, ranging from moderate to extreme telephoto. Choose a focal length based on your photography needs. For example, a 70-200mm lens is versatile and can be used for portraits, sports, and wildlife photography, while a 400mm or 600mm lens is better suited for birding and wildlife photography.
Aperture: Telephoto lenses have different maximum apertures, which affect the lens's ability to gather light and create a shallow depth of field. A wider maximum aperture allows for better low-light performance and more background blur, but it also comes at a higher cost.
Image Stabilization: Some telephoto lenses have image stabilization built-in, which helps reduce camera shake and allows for sharper images when shooting handheld. If you plan to shoot in low light or handheld, consider a lens with image stabilization.
Compatibility: Ensure that the lens is compatible with your camera's mount.
Price: Telephoto lenses can be expensive, so consider your budget when choosing a lens.
Ultimately, the best telephoto lens for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. Research different lenses, read reviews, and try them out if possible before making a purchase.
Which Lens Is Best For Wildlife Photography?
A telephoto lens is typically the best option for wildlife photography, as it allows you to get close-up shots of animals without disturbing them or getting too close. A good telephoto lens will have a long focal length, fast autofocus, and image stabilization.
For Nikon cameras, some popular telephoto lenses for wildlife photography include:
- Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR
- Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
- Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR
- Nikon 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR
- Nikon 600mm f/4E FL ED VR
Each lens has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, so it's important to consider your specific needs and budget when choosing the best lens for your wildlife photography.
What Is The Disadvantage Of Telephoto Lens?
While telephoto lenses have many advantages, there are some disadvantages to consider as well:
- Price: Telephoto lenses tend to be more expensive than standard or wide-angle lenses, especially if they have a large maximum aperture or image stabilization.
- Size and weight: Telephoto lenses are generally larger and heavier than other types of lenses, which can make them difficult to carry around for extended periods of time.
- Limited depth of field: Telephoto lenses tend to have a shallower depth of field, which means that only a small portion of the image will be in focus. This can be an advantage for portraits or wildlife photography, but it can also make it difficult to get everything in focus for landscapes or group shots.
- Need for tripod or image stabilization: Due to their size and weight, telephoto lenses can be more difficult to hold steady, which can lead to blurry images. This can be addressed with the use of a tripod or image stabilization, but these can add to the cost and weight of your setup.
- Limited field of view: Telephoto lenses have a narrow field of view, which can make it more difficult to capture wide landscapes or fit large groups of people in a single shot.
Why Do Photographers Like Using Telephoto Lenses?
Photographers like using telephoto lenses for several reasons:
Compression: Telephoto lenses have a compression effect that can make the background appear closer to the subject. This is particularly useful in landscape and wildlife photography, where it can help to isolate the subject from the surroundings and make it stand out.
Reach: Telephoto lenses can reach much farther than standard lenses, allowing photographers to capture distant subjects without having to physically move closer. This is particularly useful in sports and wildlife photography, where the photographer may not be able to get close to the action.
Bokeh: Telephoto lenses have a shallow depth of field, which can create a beautiful bokeh effect that blurs the background and makes the subject stand out. This is particularly useful in portrait photography, where the subject is the main focus.
Low light performance: Telephoto lenses often have larger apertures than standard lenses, allowing them to perform better in low light conditions. This is particularly useful in indoor or nighttime photography.
Overall, telephoto lenses are versatile tools that can be used in a variety of photographic situations, and their unique characteristics make them a popular choice among many photographers.
What Is A Good Mm For A Telephoto Lens?
A good mm range for a telephoto lens depends on what you plan to use it for. In general, a telephoto lens starts at around 70mm and can go up to 400mm or even longer.
If you're planning to use the telephoto lens for portraits, sports, or events, a lens with a focal length between 70mm and 200mm may be suitable. For wildlife or bird photography, a lens with a focal length of 300mm or longer may be required to capture distant subjects.
It's worth noting that as the focal length of a lens increases, the lens tends to become larger, heavier, and more expensive. So it's important to consider your needs and budget when choosing a telephoto lens.
Which Model Is Best In Nikon?
Nikon offers a range of models across various categories, including entry-level, mid-range, and professional-level cameras. The best Nikon model for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences, such as your budget, shooting style, and desired features.
Some popular Nikon models include:
- Nikon D850 - a professional-level DSLR camera with a high-resolution sensor, fast autofocus, and 4K video capabilities.
- Nikon Z7 II - a full-frame mirrorless camera with a high-resolution sensor, fast autofocus, and 4K video capabilities.
- Nikon D780 - a versatile DSLR camera with a full-frame sensor, fast autofocus, and 4K video capabilities.
- Nikon Z50 - a compact and lightweight mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor, fast autofocus, and 4K video capabilities.
- Nikon D5600 - an entry-level DSLR camera with a cropped sensor, vari-angle touchscreen display, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Ultimately, the best Nikon model for you will depend on your personal needs and shooting preferences. It's always recommended to do research and read reviews before making a purchase.
Which Lens Is Best For Zoom?
There are many excellent zoom lenses available from different camera brands, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Some highly regarded zoom lenses include:
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM: A versatile standard zoom lens that's great for a wide range of shooting situations, including portraits, landscapes, and street photography.
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR: A popular telephoto zoom lens that's perfect for sports and wildlife photography, as well as portraits and events.
- Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS: A high-quality telephoto zoom lens designed for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras, with fast autofocus and image stabilization.
- Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD: A versatile zoom lens for crop-sensor mirrorless cameras, with a fast aperture, image stabilization, and a compact, lightweight design.
Ultimately, the best zoom lens for you will depend on your specific needs, such as the type of photography you enjoy, your budget, and the camera system you use.
Is 10x Optical Zoom Enough?
Whether 10x optical zoom is enough or not depends on your specific needs and shooting situation.
For example, 10x zoom can be sufficient for shooting portraits, landscapes, or indoor scenes, but it may not be enough for capturing distant wildlife, sports action, or concerts.
It is also important to consider the image quality of the lens, as higher zoom ratios can sometimes result in decreased sharpness or image distortion.
Ultimately, the best zoom lens for you depends on your shooting needs and preferences.
How Far Can A 800mm Lens Zoom?
An 800mm lens provides a very long reach and can capture distant subjects. With an 800mm lens, you can zoom in up to 16 times closer than with the naked eye. The exact maximum zoom distance depends on the camera sensor size and the lens aperture, but generally, an 800mm lens can zoom up to several hundred meters or even more than a kilometer. However, the exact range will depend on various factors, such as lighting conditions, atmospheric conditions, and the clarity of the air.
Is Telephoto Better Than Wide?
Telephoto and wide lenses have different purposes and are better suited for different types of photography. It's not a matter of one being better than the other, but rather which one is best for your specific needs.
Telephoto lenses are better for photographing subjects from a distance, such as wildlife or sports photography. They allow you to get close-up shots of subjects that would otherwise be too far away to capture in detail. Telephoto lenses also have a narrow field of view, which can help isolate your subject and create a more dramatic effect.
Wide lenses, on the other hand, are better for capturing landscapes or large groups of people in a single shot. They have a wider field of view, which can capture more of the scene in a single shot. Wide lenses also tend to have a deeper depth of field, which means that more of the image will be in focus from front to back.
Ultimately, whether telephoto or wide is better depends on your specific needs as a photographer and the type of photography you plan to do.
Are Telephoto Lenses Good For Night Photography?
Telephoto lenses can be good for night photography in certain situations, such as capturing images of the moon, stars, and other celestial objects. Their long focal length and wide aperture allow for high magnification and low-light performance, which can result in stunning and detailed images of the night sky.
However, for other types of night photography, such as cityscapes or landscapes, a wide-angle lens may be more suitable. Wide-angle lenses can capture more of the scene and can provide a unique perspective of the environment.
Overall, the choice of lens for night photography depends on the specific subject and the desired effect.
Leave a Reply