Best Lens for Wildlife Photography

Note – This was an email sent to our subscribers (buyers of our online courses) on Wednesday, 19th July 2023.


One of the common questions I get from my students is – Kush, which is the best lens for wildlife photography?

Since there are so many good lenses, this question can be answered very simply by asking another question – Which is NOT THE BEST lens for wildlife photography?

The lens that you should NOT buy is a lens that is under 500 mm focal length.

Simple as that.

I see a lot of beginners buy medium telephoto lenses in the range of 70-300 mm because these are given by the companies at a discount when you buy the camera body.

300 mm seems like a lot but trust me, unless you live in a tree house or you are Mowgli’s cousin, it’s not enough to get shots in which you can capture the bird or animal in a way that you are able to fill the frame. And filling the frame is important because for a wildlife shot to be impressive, you need to show a detailed close-up of the animal/bird.

The birds and animals are always far away from us that 300 mm zoom is simply not enough. And the last thing you want to do is to take a shot and then crop it to fill the frame with the animal. Because that will pixelate the shot (digital zoom).

So which is the best lens?

The one that can reach at least 500 mm and ideally 600 mm, WITHOUT USING A TELECONVERTER.

Using a teleconverter can enhance the focal length of a medium telephoto lens but it causes a whole lot of other issues when it comes to allowing in more light in the camera, like restricting the opening of the lens aperture, which will then be compensated by increasing the ISO value and thereby increasing noise.

Teleconverters are used best with expensive medium telephoto lenses like the 70-200 f2.8 or the 300mm f4 prime lens because they already have a wide enough aperture to start with, so even if the telecovnerter restricts the aperture, it’s still not too bad.

In my opinion, a beginner should go for the 150-600mm lenses offered by Sigma and Tamron.

And then if they find they really like wildlife photography, then go for prime wildlife lenses like the 600mm f4 (which can cost over Rs.10 lakhs).

I hope this helps you out!

P.S – If you’ve ever wanted to learn wildlife photography, then do check out this course. It’s the best course on the internet and covers every aspect of wildlife photography.


Kush Sharma

Creative Pad Media

About the Author

portrait photographer for portfolio shoot in pune

Hi there, I'm Kush Sharma, the founder of Creative Pad Media, an organization dedicated to simplifying photography and videography education.

We have over 40 online courses that cover various genres in photography & videography, catering to both beginners as well as professionals. These courses are available via Udemy.com. Our courses have been downloaded in over 170 countries.

I hope to see you inside a course very soon!

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