The 10 Best Bird Photography Lens

If you’re into bird photography, you know that having the right lens is essential to getting great shots. There are a lot of different lenses on the market, and it can be hard to decide which one is best for you.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 10 best lenses for bird photography. From telephoto lenses to wide-angle lenses and everything in between, we’ve got you covered!

List of 10 Best Bird Photography Lens

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens

Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens

Is one of the best lenses for bird photography. This lens is perfect for capturing high-quality images of distant subjects, such as birds. It has a fast autofocus system and optical stabilization to help reduce camera shake when handholding the lens.

Additionally, it has a fixed minimum focus distance which will allow you to get very close to your subject. The optical quality of this lens is outstanding and it produces sharp, vibrant images. This lens is best suited for those on a budget who want to get top-notch images without breaking the bank.

The Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens for Nikon is a great choice for bird photography. This lens features an impressive focal length range of 150-600mm, allowing you to capture stunning images from far distances.

In addition, it offers optical image stabilization (OS) to help reduce camera shake when handholding the lens. It also has a fast autofocus system, allowing you to quickly and accurately lock on to your subject.

This lens is best suited for those looking to get amazing shots without spending too much.

Pros
  • Impressive focal length range of 150-600mmnOptical Image Stabilization (OS) to reduce camera shakenFast autofocus systemn
Cons
  • Fixed minimum focus distancen

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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

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

For the best bird photography lens, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens is an outstanding choice for capturing stunning photos of birds in flight or perched on a branch.

This telephoto zoom lens produces sharp and vivid images and has built-in image stabilization to help reduce camera shake. With a minimum focusing distance of 0.98m and a maximum magnification of 0.31x, you can get close to the action while still keeping your subject sharp.

The lens also comes with a weather-resistant construction for outdoor use and is compatible with all Canon EF Mount cameras, making it a great choice for bird enthusiasts.

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens is an excellent choice for bird photography, offering sharp and vivid images with built-in image stabilization and a weather-resistant design.

This telephoto zoom lens also features a rotation-type zoom ring that allows you to precisely adjust the zoom range, enabling you to get the perfect shot.

Plus, its high-grade fluorine coating on the front and rear elements help reduce dust and dirt accumulation, so your lens will stay clean even when shooting in harsh conditions.

The lens also features a rotation-type zoom ring that allows you to precisely adjust the zoom range, enabling you to get the perfect shot.

Plus, its high-grade fluorine coating on the front and rear elements help reduce dust and dirt accumulation, so your lens will stay clean even when shooting in harsh conditions.

With a minimum focusing distance of 0.98m and a maximum magnification of 0.31x, this lens is sure to help you capture stunning shots of your favorite birds.

Whether you’re a professional wildlife photographer or an amateur bird enthusiast, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens is sure to help you capture amazing images of your feathered friends.

Pros
  • Sharp and vivid images with built-in image stabilizationnWeather-resistant construction for outdoor usenCompatible with all Canon EF Mount camerasnRotation-type zoom ring that allows you to precisely adjust the zoom rangenHigh-grade fluorine coating on the front and rear elements reduce dust and dirt accumulationnMinimum focusing distance of 0.98m and a maximum magnification of 0.31x for excellent close-up shotsn
Cons
  • Expensive price tagnBulky size can be cumbersome to use in certain situationsn

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens is a great choice for those seeking wide-angle reach and image stabilization.

This lens features a fast and silent autofocus system, and an electronic diaphragm to help with precise exposure control during video recording lens also has a set of ED (extra-low dispersion) glass elements that ensure sharp and vivid images, even at the telephoto end of its reach.

Additionally, the built-in VR technology helps to reduce blur caused by vibration or camera shake. Overall, this is an excellent choice for those looking for a long focal length with image stabilization, and the affordable price makes it an attractive choice for photographers of all levels.

In comparison to the Canon EF 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens, this lens has a slightly longer focal length range and less expensive cost, making it a great option for those on a budget who still want to capture stunning long-distance shots.

Nikon’s VR technology also makes it easier to stabilize images, making it a great choice for those who want sharp and detailed photos even when shooting in low light or at the telephoto end of its reach.

Overall, this lens is an excellent choice for those seeking wide-angle reach and image stabilization. Its built-in VR technology, ED glass elements, and affordable price make it an attractive option for photographers of all levels.

For those needing a longer focal length range on a budget, this Nikon lens is an excellent choice.

Pros
  • Long focal length rangenAffordable pricenBuilt-in VR technology and ED glass elements ensure sharp and vivid imagesn
Cons
  • Slightly slower autofocus system than the Canon lens may make it less suitable for fast action shots.n

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lens

Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lens

The Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lens is a great choice for anyone looking to get the most out of their photography experience. This lens has an impressive zoom range, stretching from 200-600mm, allowing you to capture faraway subjects with ease and clarity.

The lens also has a maximum aperture of f/5.6-6.3, which helps to capture sharp images even in low-light situations. Additionally, Sony’s Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization technology allows you to take crisp photos without camera shaking and blur.

The lens comes with an optional tripod collar for easy mounting on a tripod and the dust- and moisture-resistant design makes it rugged enough to bring with you on your outdoor adventures.

It’s also one of Sony’s G (Gold) lenses, which means that it features superior optical performance compared to other lenses in its class.

The lens is a great choice for photographers looking for a high-quality and versatile zoom lens. It’s a great option for capturing wildlife, sports, and other distant subjects.

It’s a great alternative to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens and provides a similar range of features at a reasonable price point.

The Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lens has been designed with a nano AR coating, which helps protect the lens from fingerprints and smudges.

This is especially important for outdoor photographers, who often need to take pictures in all types of weather conditions.

The nano-coating also provides improved color reproduction and contrast, making your photos look more vivid and lifelike. Additionally, the lens comes with a focus hold button, which allows you to easily keep a sharp focus on a subject when shooting continuously.

Finally, the lens has 9 blade circular aperture diaphragm that helps create a beautifully smooth background blur in your images.

Pros
  • 200-600mm zoom range with a maximum aperture of f/5.6-6.3nOptical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilizationnOptional tripod collar for easy mounting on a tripodnDust and moisture-resistant designnSuperior optical performance compared to lenses in its classn
Cons
  • Price point may be too high for some photographersnMaximum aperture of f/5.6-6.3 may not be fast enough in low-light situationsn

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Fujifilm XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

 Fujifilm XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

This lens from Fujifilm is the perfect complement to any Fujifilm X-Series camera. It features a 35mm equivalent of 152-609mm, making it suitable for a variety of shooting scenarios.

This lens also features advanced 4-stop optical image stabilization for sharp results even in low light and when shooting handheld.

The lens’ weather-sealing is great for shooting in all elements, and the internal focusing system means that you don’t have to worry about the lens extending during use.

The focal length range of this lens makes it comparable to Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens, but with the added advantage of better image stabilization and weather-sealing. If you’re looking for a lens that can do it all, this Fujifilm model is definitely worth checking out.

The Fujifilm XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is an all-weather lens that offers superior performance and reliability in any climate thanks to its dust and water-resistant construction.

With a weather-sealed design, this lens protects against moisture, dust, sand, and other particles that could damage the glass, while also reducing ghosting and flare.

This lens is perfect for capturing distant subjects with its 35mm equivalent of 152-609mm focal length range. Plus the internal focusing system prevents any extension during use.

Pros
  • 35mm equivalent of 152-609mm focal length rangenWeather-sealed design with dust and water-resistant constructionnInternal focusing system prevents extension during usen4-stop optical image stabilizationn
Cons
  • Relatively heavy at 1.2kg (2.6lbs) nExpensive compared to other lensesn

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6.Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens

The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens is a great choice for photographers looking for a compact, lightweight telephoto zoom with excellent image stabilization technology and fast autofocus.

This lens offers outstanding performance in low-light conditions, making it ideal for sports, wildlife, and other action photography. The lens is also compatible with both DSLR and mirrorless cameras, making it versatile and suitable for a variety of photography applications.

Its Image Stabilizer technology reduces camera shake when shooting at longer focal lengths, enabling you to take sharper images even in lower light conditions. With its fast autofocus system, this lens is capable of capturing fast-moving subjects with ease.

The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 4.9ft (1.5m), making it great for close-up photography as well. Additionally, the lens comes with a dust and water-resistant construction that makes it durable and suitable for shooting in harsher environments.

With its versatile combination of image quality, performance, and durability, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens is an excellent choice for photographers looking for a quality telephoto zoom lens.

Pros
  • Compact and lightweight designnExcellent image stabilization technologynFast autofocus systemnMinimum focusing distance of 4.9ft (1.5m)nDust and water-resistant constructionn
Cons
  • Not weather sealed as well as the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM LensnNot as good in low light conditions as the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lensn

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR Fixed Zoom Digital Slr Camera Lens

 Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR Fixed Zoom Digital Slr Camera Lens

The Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR Fixed Zoom Digital SLR Camera Lens is a super telephoto lens ideal for capturing distant close-up action shots.

Its features include an advanced Vibration Reduction (VR) system that provides 4.0 stops of image stabilization, a silent wave motor technology that enables fast and quiet autofocusing, an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism for accurate exposure control, and ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration.

Its f/4.5-5.6 maximum aperture range provides excellent low-light performance, making it ideal for capturing indoor shots or those in a dimly-lit environment.

Additionally, the lens is equipped with a 9-blade diaphragm that produces beautiful bokeh effects, making it an excellent choice for portraiture and wildlife photography.

In comparison to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens, this Nikon lens offers a much narrower focal length range and does not feature the same type of weather sealing as the Canon lens.

Additionally, its maximum aperture is fixed at f/4.5-5.6, whereas the Canon lens offers a variable aperture of f/4.0-f/32, enabling you to capture even more light in lowlight conditions. 

Overall, the Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR Fixed Zoom Digital SLR Camera Lens is a great option for those looking to capture distant close-up action shots.

Its features make it a powerful tool, and its lightweight design makes transport easy. With this lens, you’re sure to capture stunning images that will make your friends and family take notice!

Pros
  • Advanced Vibration Reduction (VR) system that provides 4.0 stops of image stabilizationnSilent wave motor technology for fast and quiet autofocusingnElectromagnetic diaphragm mechanism for accurate exposure controlnED (Extra-Low Dispersion) glass elements to reduce chromatic aberrationn9-blade diaphragm produces beautiful bokeh effectsnLightweight design for easy transportn
Cons
  • Narrower focal length range than the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM LensnFixed aperture of f/4.5-5.6, compared to the Canon lens’s variable aperture of f/4.0-f/32nNo weather sealing like the Canon lensn

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

8. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS Lens

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS Lens

This 100-400mm lens from Olympus provides great value for the money, offering an affordable option with excellent image quality and performance.

The built-in Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) helps to reduce camera shake when shooting in low light conditions or at slow shutter speeds.

Its metal body construction is durable and lightweight, making it ideal for use in the field. The lens also features a high-speed autofocus system, enabling you to capture fast-moving subjects with ease.

Additionally, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm is waterproof and dustproof for added durability when shooting outdoors or in challenging conditions.

With its budget-friendly price tag and top-notch performance, this lens is a great option for photographers looking to get the most from their investment.

Overall, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS Lens both offer excellent performance for capturing stunning shots in a variety of settings.

The Canon lens is built with more durable materials and features a few more bells and whistles, but the Olympus lens is an excellent alternative for those on a budget.

Whether you’re shooting wildlife or sports, these lenses can help capture the perfect moment with sharp images and fast autofocus speeds. So when it comes to 100-400mm telephoto lenses, both of these models are sure to deliver stunning results.

Pros
  • Fast autofocus speedsnOptical Image Stabilization (OIS)nDurable and lightweight buildnWater/dustproof option availablen
Cons
  • Canon lens is more expensive than the Olympus lensnA bit heavy for some usersn

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

9. Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

The Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras is an ideal lens for those seeking to capture stunning wildlife photography or sports events. This lens features a powerful vibration compensation system (VC) which reduces camera shake and gives you the sharpest images possible.

The new zoom system provides up to 6.0 stops of compensation and the improved coatings ensure maximum light transmission with minimal glare and reflections. The design also incorporates a new advanced ring-type USM motor for fast, precise focusing.

This lens offers superior sharpness, contrast, and color accuracy in both still images and video capture. And it’s all backed by Tamron’s reliable and durable construction.

If you’re looking for a versatile lens that doesn’t compromise on quality, the Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 is an excellent option.

The Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras comes equipped with a tripod mount which is both lightweight and easy to hold.

The mount features an Arca-Swiss-style quick-release plate, allowing you to quickly attach and detach your lens from the tripod, making set up and take down much easier.

The lens has a fast maximum aperture of F/5-6.3, allowing you to capture stunning images in low-light conditions. It also features an advanced optical design consisting of 20 elements in 13 groups which provides excellent image quality throughout the entire zoom range.

Additionally, the front lens element is fluorine-coated, reducing smudges and fingerprints.

Pros
  • Powerful vibration compensation system (VC)nUp to 6.0 stops of compensationnImproved coatings for maximum light transmissionnAdvanced ring-type USM motor for fast and precise focusingnSuperior sharpness, contrast, and color accuracy in both stills and videonTripod mount with Arca Swiss-style quick-release platenFast maximum aperture of F/5-6.3n
Cons
  • Expensive price tagnNot ideal for wide-angle shots due to the long zoom rangen

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10. PANASONIC LUMIX G LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR PROFESSIONAL LENS

PANASONIC LUMIX G LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR PROFESSIONAL LENS

The Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmar Professional lens offers excellent performance and the highest possible image quality for a wide variety of photographic applications.

The lens features an advanced optical design that allows for capturing crisp, detailed images with minimal distortion and aberration. It also has an impressive maximum aperture range of f/2.8-f/4.5, allowing you to capture a variety of different shots in various lighting conditions.

In addition, the lens features an advanced image stabilization system that helps reduce camera shake and blur while shooting handheld. It also features a macro focusing range of 0.22m (0.72ft.), making it great for close-up photography.

Whether you’re shooting subjects from a distance or up close, the Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmar Professional lens is an ideal choice.

The Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmar Professional lens is a great companion to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens, providing you with the ability to capture impressive wide-angle shots and detailed close-up images.

The lens also features a multitude of advanced features that make it an ideal choice for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

With its high-quality optics, versatile range, and reliable image stabilization system, the Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmar Professional lens makes a great addition to any photographer’s kit.

Whether you’re shooting landscapes, portraits, or wildlife photography, the Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmar Professional lens is an excellent choice for a wide variety of photographic applications.

Thanks to its impressive performance and advanced features, it will help you capture the perfect shot, no matter the situation. If you’re looking for a reliable lens that offers exceptional performance and image quality.

Thanks to its superior performance and high-quality optics, it will quickly become an invaluable part of your photography kit.

If you’re looking for a reliable lens with great features, then the Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmar Professional lens is an excellent choice.

Pros
  • High-quality opticsnImpressive maximum aperture range of f/2.8-f/4.5nAdvanced image stabilization systemnMacro focusing range of 0.22m (0.72ft.)n
Cons
  • Expensive compared to other lenses in its classn

Last update on 2024-04-12  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens is an excellent choice for anyone who needs to extend their telephoto range.

Its long focal length, fast and precise autofocus, great image stabilization system, rugged construction, and weather sealing make this lens a top choice for outdoor photography.

The price tag is definitely on the higher side, but you do get what you pay for in terms of quality and features. If you are looking for a lens with great telephoto capabilities that will last for years to come, then this should be your go-to choice.

FAQS

Is 400mm enough for birding?

Yes, 400mm is plenty of focal length for birding. You may want to pair the lens with a teleconverter in order to get even more reach if needed.

What 3 lenses should every photographer have?

Every photographer’s needs vary, but some popular lenses that all photographers should consider include a wide-angle lens (like the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM), a zoom lens (like the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM) and a telephoto lens (like the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM). Having these three lenses should provide you with enough versatility to cover almost any photographic situation.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.