13 Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography in 2021 - Reviews
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13 Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography in 2021 – Reviews

13 Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography in 2021 – Reviews

Are you in search of the best budget lens for wildlife photography?

Well search no more, because you are in the right place.

Wildlife photography is no secret it’s all about that how closer you can get to the subject by zooming the captures the interesting shots of wildlife animals. Here is the list of the 13 best budget lens for wildlife photography.

Buying Guide

Research is always good and beneficial and that’s why we always include the buying guide in our articles. So you can have a better idea of what factors you should consider before buying the best budget lens for wildlife photography. So, here are some things that are crucial to consider:

  • DX/APS-C format

We can easily switch from DX mode to APS-C (Advanced Photosystem Type-C) format. The image sensor of a lens is lower than the 35mm camera, to convert we need to calculate the wide-angle and further measurements for normal and photos.

As we told you, it’s quite easy, you just need to multiply the length of a lens by 1.5 on a Nikon camera DX-format or APS-C to compare it to a 35mm lens.

For precision and accurate results in Nikon lenses, you need to multiply by 1.52, but 1.5 is a round–off amount so calculations become much easier and the outcomes of calculation are near enough.

  • Focal length

You might be curious about what mm means? Well, it’s the focal length of your lens which is one of the vital aspects of a lens for wildlife photography.

It’s simple to understand, with longer lenses that feature longer focal lengths, users can capture subjects that are distantly placed (about 100 yards) along with the insurance of the background.

The focal length of the lens ranges from 300mm to 800mm. So first, think that how much the subject you will be shooting is far away and then made a decision.

  • Maximum aperture

Lenses that come with a large aperture are most useful and play an important role when you are looking for a lens with larger focal lengths. For wildlife photography, you might find yourself shooting under low light scenarios, and with a lens that features maximum aperture, you can do the job easily.

  • Auto Focus and USM

A fast and accurate AF system is always an advantage to a wildlife photographer, it’s a must-have requirement when you are shooting a fast-paced object like a bird flying or a cheetah sprinting. That’s where a lens with a faster AF system and faster shutter speed comes in handy.

  • Zoom

A most important feature in bird photography. You can’t believe them some might poses for you when you go near them and some of them are so shy, tiny, and fast-moving that capturing a perfect shot becomes frustrating.

 No doubt, capturing a flying bird into a frame with a properly focused object isn’t an easy task. But the Zoom feature can help a lot.

You need a lens that is easy at handling and sports certain features that improve the capabilities of a lens to rapidly capture high-quality images.

Along with the long zooming range, the focus system of the camera should also be good enough to capture that shy bird you’ve been stalking for so long.

  • Vibration reduction and image stabilization.  

If your chosen lens is big and heavy to handle, then you might face vibrations and instability in your images. And this is where a tripod stand comes in handy, with a tripod stand you can reduce the vibration and capture stable images.

Best Budget Lenses For Wildlife Photography

1.Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3mm Contemporary DG OS HSM (Editor’s Choice)

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

The very first and best option we have for the best budget lenses for the wildlife photography we have Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3mm contemporary DG OS HSM.

No doubt. it’s the best lens that sports the features of an expensive lens at half of that price. The design of this lens is compact and the weather-sealed feature is what makes it a good option for wildlife photography.

Sigma 150-600mm comes with a lightweight and compact design, so carrying this lens won’t be a difficult task. The lens is coated with oil and water repellent which makes it completely weather-sealed plus, you don’t have to spend much money on maintenance either.

As mentioned in the name the focal length of this lens is 150-600mm and the minimum focusing distance is 280cm which results in outstanding wildlife photos while being at a safe distance from the subject you are shooting.

The lens sports an updated Sigma technology such as a quiet and optimized (HSM) Hyper Sonic motor along with a new Optical stabilizer (OS) comes with an accelerometer for enhanced photography in both horizontal and vertical plane.

All these features combined make this lens the best budget lens for wildlife photography. Moreover, thenew zoom lock feature can be locked at any focal length.

Pros
  • Compact design and lightweight.
  • Maximum magnification: 1:5
  • Updated Sigma technology.
Cons
  • Some users complained about the focus quality of this lens.

2.Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor is another great budget lens for wildlife photography. To amaze every wildlife photographer, this lens sports some stunningly great features that only come on high-end expensive lenses.

One of the major features of this lens is the Internal Focus (IF) system that enables users to provide a blazing-fast and quiet AF system so you can get a perfect shot of what you are willing to shot.

The non-rotating front element offers are easy to use circular polarizing filters and the wireless Nikon Close-up Speedlight system. This feature allows you to take amazing photos in low lighting conditions too. Another helpful feature this lens offers is the 9-blader rounded diaphragm which makes all of the unfocused elements appear naturally.

With this lens attached, no matter you use an FX camera or a DX camera, the 300mm coverage allows you to capture a clear and well-focused photo from a distant area too.

This lens is also ideal for landscape photographers too, it strikes a good balance between a 300mm zoom, vibration reduction, VR image stabilization, and size makes it a great choice for shooting landscapes and wildlife photography.

Pros
  • Faster and quieter AF system.
  • High-speed shooting.
  • Lightweight and compact.
Cons
  • Not weather sealed.
  • The build quality of the lens is not so good.

3.Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

TheTamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro is another best budget lens for wildlife photography in the market. It features the following qualities of being affordable and top-notch lenses on the top. The all-in-one zoom capability makes the lens quite useful and incredibly versatile.

The lens is useful for both types of photography wildlife photography and macro photography. The lens comes with amazing image compensation and image stabilization with a blazingly fast piezo-driven AF system that ensures all of your photos are sharp and well-focused.

The lens comes with numerous layers coated which makes it moisture and weather-resistant, so you are free to shoot under rainy conditions, or dusty weather while capturing the wild.

The sharpness and details this lens is capable to capture are artsy and more accurate.

Moreover, to remove the chromatic aberrations and for reduction of colour infringement, Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC comes with newly featured glass.

With a focal length of 16-300mm and a minimum distance coverage of 15.3 inches, this lens becomes a great all-rounder for nature landscape and wildlife photography that is ever ready to give you the perfect capture of the scene.

Pros
  • Value for money.
  • Great and faster image quality.
  • Easy to use.
  • Lightweight.
Cons
  • Sometimes fails to search for an object in low light conditions.

4.Nikon AF-P Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

One of the best Nikon lenses for wildlife photography and also the Cheapest lens for wildlife photography with the features of an expensive lens.

The lens features the widest angles for APC-S DX-format models which makes it an ideal option for travelling, landscape, and capturing in tight areas. there is a crop factor linked with the shooting mode in APS-C format so the Zooming of the camera acts like a full-frame equivalent to 15-40mm in field of view.

The Nikkor 10-20mm won’t let you down. The unmatched and most attractive feature of this lens is the ultra-wide view angle which allows you to take better picture quality and composition and tons of ways to play with the lens and discover new shots.

As the name shows, the lens features a VR (vibration reduction mode) and built-in body and image stabilization which outcomes in sharp handheld photos and videos. Talking about performance in low light conditions, the lens comes with a slow shutter speed by which you can capture a bright image in low light.

The lens has 3 x Aspherical Lens which helps a lot in getting rid of image distortion for clear and sharp results. 

Pros
  • Covers a very wide angle of view.
  • Quite sharp.
  • Optical image stabilization.
  • Affordable.
Cons
  • Dimmed corners.
  • Narrow aperture.
  • Plastic lens mount.

5.Canon EF 70-200mm

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

Canon EF 70-200mm is a versatile and lightweight telephoto zoom lens that is designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount Digital SLR cameras. But that’s not the limitation of canon EF 70-200mm it can also be used with APS-C models where the same lens gives an equivalent range of 112-320mm focal length.

Most users think that EF 70-200mm is a little shot lens for wildlife photography, but for the practice and right development of your photography skills this Canon EF 70-200mm is a great lens to start with especially excellent when paired with an APS-C camera.

The lens comes with a focal length of 2.8 with an amazingly fast aperture to cover a surprisingly great bokeh blur effect (unfocused area) along with its AF speed. The maximum focal length of the lens is 4 apertures.

Results from this camera will bring a smile to your face with its high-quality images. The min. focus distance of 3.9, the lens offers a max. magnification of 21x zoom.

The value is good for the price for bird photography and close portraits. Another good thing about this lens is that the lens doesn’t extend while zooming all credit goes to its inner focusing system.

All in all, the quality of images produced by the lens is amazing.

Pros
  • Minimum distortion.
  • AF System is fast.
  • Color rendition.
  • Produces sharp images.
Cons
  • Weight

6.Canon RF 600mm f/11 STM

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

The 600mm super-telephoto focal length of this lens is what makes it one of the best budget lenses for wildlife photography. The built-in image stabilization and canon’s STM Autofocus system seems a pretty good duo. The angle provided by the focal length of this lens will work for you in most conditions.

The STM lenses are designed for EOS R-series mirrorless that offers a unique experience to prime telephoto lens. The lens uses Diffractive optics (DO) and a narrow f/11 fixed aperture rating, being fitted with a fixed aperture the lens is not heavy. It’s 930g and easy to carry.

Also major thanks to the Dual Pixel Auto Focus sensor-based AF system which produces exciting images of high quality.

If you like to shoot from your car while being in a safe position from the wild animals you are covering, then Canon RF 600mm is the best budget lens for wildlife photography.

Want to add some colorful landscape and wildlife portraits to your photo? Search no more because Canon RF-600mm is the right lens that gets the job done smoothly. Moreover, the lens is also good for shooting the moon so you are also getting a touch of astrophotography with this lens.

Pros
  • Lightweight and compact design.
  • Strong optical performance.
  • Image stabilization.
Cons
  • Not weather sealed.
  • Constant f/11 aperture.

7.Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6G ED

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

A lens for those who are looking for the best budget lens for Wildlife photography that also has a wider range. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm is a great option for them.

The major highlight of this lens is that it can reach 400mm without needing ay teleconverters. Secondly, the lens got a versatile zooming range which is very helpful if you are into Sports and Wildlife photography.

Another feature is the lightweight of this lens, it can handhold for a long period of time. This newer Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm barrel is metal from the backside and the zooming and Focusing ring is covered with textured rubber which makes it look good.

The Vibration Reduction technology used in this lens reduces the effects of shaken shots and results in sharper images which means you can use this lens in both ways with or without a tripod stand and capture some great wildlife in your camera.

The AF system of this camera is so accurate that even capturing the photos while you are in a moving car, you can get focused images.

Overall the lens is durable, robust, and carries all the features that are essential for a wildlife photographer.

Pros
  • Solid build.
  • Stunning AF system.
  • Amazing VR.
  • Sharp image qualities.
Cons
  • Plastic build.
  • Expensive for the price.

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

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

The Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L USM is without arguing the best lens for wildlife photography from the “L” lens series that combines both excellent optical qualities and professional-grade build. Although the lens is solidly built, with a lightweight i.e. 705g, it does not feel like a burden to carry.

The lens is sharply very wide open and has a wide end of focal length range at mainly in the corners of the lens. Slight barrel distortion is noticeable at min. focal range i.e. 70mm when using this lens with a full-frame camera but if disappears around 100mm.

Images captured from Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L USM are of excellent image quality, have great color accuracy, and ideal bokeh (background blur). The 8-blader aperture works with constant F/4 focal ranges and the range is wide enough to create some diffusion in the background with the focal range.

The Canon EF 70-200mm has a fast focusing AF system, that works very accurately and very quietly all credits to Canon’s RSM (Ultrasonic Motor). The front element of the lens doesn’t rotate and also the lens doesn’t extend while zooming in or out. Unfortunately, the lens is not weather-sealed so you’ll have to be careful while using it.

Pros
  • Nice build quality.
  • Nice contrast and sharping of the image.
  • Saturated colors
  • Quick AF system.
  • Price
Cons
  • Vignetting at full frame.
  • Lacks IS.

9.Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Macro Telephoto Zoom lens

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

From a glance of a lens, it’s exciting to know that the new Sigma 70-300mm is one of the best lenses for wildlife photography, but when we came to know about the built-in optical optimizer the lens carries it truly becomes the best lens for macro photos too.

Sigma 70-300mm is a DG lens that means it works perfectly with full framing DSLR and is equally ideal to work with an APS-C camera body with smaller sensors.

The camera works efficiently with various mounting options like Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sigma, and Sony. On canon APS-C cameras the effective zoom range of the lens is 112-480mm while on other fitments the lens offers the zoom range of 105-450mm along with the focal length of f/4-5.6.

The lens is generally used by photographers who love to capture the amateur’s sports and even the wildlife. Being a macro telephoto lens, Sigma 70-300mm is capable of capturing amazing and stunning details with a 4 to 1 zoom ratio. You can easily carry the camera while traveling.

Sadly, the feature that is lacking in this lens is vibration reduction. Otherwise, the camera is worth the consideration when you are looking for the highest focal length offering lens for the cash.

Pros
  • Good sharpness at 300mm, even when you are using the largest aperture i.e. f/5.6
  • Effective 4-stop optical stabilizer.
  • Strong and robust build quality.
Cons
  • AF system is noisy in operation.
  • The front element rotates and extens while zooming.
  • VR.

10.Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 (amazon’s choice)

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

You can call Canon EF-S 10-18m F/4.5-5.6 one of the cheapest lenses for wildlife photography. the lens got a plastic build and features an amazing photo that will tell a story and bring a smile to your face.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm is capable to work with APS-C cameras and features an STM focus motor that results in smooth AF in video shoots to select objects.

A very compact design, specifically when you look at how wide of a field of view this lens can cover. The field of view this lens is equal to 16-29mm zoom when using with a full-frame camera along with the zoom factor of 1.8x sounds excellent coupled with a change of view this lens becomes a good deal to consider.

The lens comes with a switch button to toggle between a manual AF and Automatic AF stylistic stem and also to enable or to disable the built-in stabilization system.

The lens features a 4-group optical zoom which results in top-quality pictures along with minimal glare. For the perfect blur in the background, this lens features a 7-blade aperture that satisfies every wildlife photographer.

If you are into landscape photography also then the optical image stabilizer is there to help you capture the right beautifully aesthetically scenery.

Pros
  • Optically stabilized.
  • STM focus motor.
  • Affordably priced
  • Sharp throughout the range.
  • Excellent wide-angle field of view.
Cons
  • Plastic lens mount.
  • Little color fringing.
  • Lens hood not included.
  • Narrow aperture.

11.Tamron Sp-150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Zoom

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

A lens for that works best for birders. Tamron joins the party with a weather-sealed body and amazing image stabilization that it’s no less than an Editor’s choice. Tamron G2 is one of the big lenses that extends while zooming and is comparatively lighter and easy to handle.

Tamron Sp-150-600 is no doubt an expensive lens but with premium price come the premium advantages. The lens has a Vibration Reduction scheme in 3 modes and the company claims that the shutter speed to go down to 4.5 steps.

The lens is covered in black and has a barrel made up of a metal exterior along with both zoom and manual AF rings covered in textured rubber.

This lens has a dedicated lock switch that works then the range reaches 150mm, it’s a good way to prevent the barrel from staying out when shooting under the range of 150-600mm.

Besides, there are AF/MF switch, a focus limiter function, a VC mode setting, and a Vibration compensation toggle.

The three mode stabilization functions in the following way: Mode 1: for general use, Mode 2: when capturing a moving target. While Mode 3: engages the stabilization when you click an image (you will get to see the effects of an image stabilizer when you press half the shutter button.)

Overall a solid performer who, that when paired with a full-frame camera, produces high-quality images with surprising details.

Pros
  • Quick AF system.
  • Lockable zoom mechanism.
  • Excellent stabilization system.
  • Weather sealed body.
  • Integrated Arca-Swiss Foot.
  • Available for cannon, Sony SLRs, and Nikon.
Cons
  • Teleconverters use limits AF operation.
  • Weak performance at wide and telephoto extremes.

12.Panasonic Lumix G II Vario 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

A lens that makes the full of micro Four-thirds size advantages to capture details telephoto pictures. This lens, Panasonic Lumix G II Vario 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 is hugely popular and one of the earliest lenses from the Panasonic lineup that that offers an equivalent 600mm variety in a very compact design.

The lens offers built-in optical image stabilization with a fast quick and silent AF system.

Recently the smart and fresh black barrel design has been updated to the ‘II’ model which makes this lens weather-sealed and makes this lens ideal to work with the Dual IS system from the Panasonic lineups.

The lens has it all which makes it one of the best budget lenses for wildlife photography. It has all the video assistance features which make the adjustments in the aperture smooth so you will not experience sudden exposure jumps.

The minimum focus distance at which the lens works is 1.5m which is quite good for frame-filling close-ups with max. zoom.

The lens is all about silent design that captures a picture full of details. Moreover, the surprising feature of this lens is the amazing AF performance that can records 4K video too.

Pros
  • IQ Excellent on all focal lengths.
  • Excellent build from a plastic material.
  • Accurate and fast AF system
  • Best for birders.
Cons
  • The price is high.

13.Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS (amazon’s choice)

Best Budget Lens For Wildlife Photography

Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS is one the latest addition to the Sony lineup which has a maximum range of 600mm focal length as same as Sigma. A perfect option for those who want a long telephoto reach but don’t have much money to spend.

The control and setting of this lens are easier and more smooth to fit in. The lens comes with internal builds to seal to protect it from splashes of water and dust.

The lens has a tripod collar that rotates and if prefer to use the lens without the collar you can do that too because the tripod foot is removable. 

Another cool feature of this lens is that The focus limiter function enables this lens to search for scenes and subjects over long ranges. The min zoom focus of this lens is 7.9 feet i.e. 2.4 meters.

Another feature that needs to be highlighted is the Focus speed. Unlike other lenses which capture the speed at up to 10fps along with AF when coupled with a9, the Sony FE 200-600mm is capable to focus and track the subject at 20fps when linked with any of the company’s high-end camera, so it’s decided that you are capturing the blazingly fast-moving cheetah clearly with this lens.

So, if you are already using a Sony body and looking for a telezoom lens then Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS is the right option you can opt for. It’s a better fit for birding o your next trip to your favorite destination.

Pros
  • Long telephoto reach.
  • Internal zoom design.
  • Fast AF system.
  • Teleconverter Compatibility.
  • Weather sealed body.
Cons
  • Narrow max aperture.

Recommendation

In our recommendation, the best budget lens for wildlife photography is our very firstly placed lens which is Sigma 150-600mm. It’s one of those lenses which offers great features of an expensive lens at almost half of the price of high-end lenses.

It’s excellent when it comes to wildlife photography and already popular among wildlife photographers. The build of this lens is lightweight and compact and most importantly it’s weather-sealed so you can easily carry it with yourself under strong weather conditions.

FAQs

The full-frame lens is nearly equivalent to a 35mm frame on the other side the APS-C lens is smaller. The primary effect between these two types of lens is that a 50mm full-frame lens mounted on an APS-C camera body will give you a 1.5x crop factor and can capture a field of view that is the same on a full-frame body as a 75mm.

The focal length of each lens is displayed with its name, if a lens says a range of 150-600mm so it means that the lens has a focal length coverage starting from 150mm to 600mm.

The smaller focal length can capture more scenes; on the other hand, the larger focal length brings the subject closer. For example, a lens with a 500mm focal length brings the subject closer to more than a 200mm focal length.

The lenses that come with a lower f-number are considered as the ideal lenses because they are manufactured with higher quality glass and other features too. If you are a professional, then you are recommended to go with a lower f-value lens.

Another thing: the constant aperture makes the lens heavy so be sure when you make the decision.

Wrapping up

I hope that this article will help and bring you closer to your best budget lens for wildlife photography. You are clicks away from buying your best lens for your wildlife photography career.

Let us know in the comments section which one you bought and feel free to share your wildlife shots too.

About the author

awaisgul

It's me AG software engineer. A pro lover of Technology and tech gadget. Love to Write about tech gadgets and news of upcoming things related to technology.

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