Action photography is a very popular genre of photography. The best lenses for action are those that will help you capture the perfect moment in time, one that tells the story of what’s happening. In this article, I’ll go over some of my favorite lenses for shooting sport and wildlife, as well as how to choose the right lens depending on your needs!
What Should I Look For In Action Lens?
A lens that is able to quickly autofocus on a moving subject will likely be the best lens for action photography. Other features you should look into are image stabilization, weather sealing and quick manual focus override (to make getting those fast shots easier).
While it may not always be possible to move in close enough for an epic shot of your favorite athlete or animal, sometimes zooming can help give perspective as well as flexibility when framing your photo. Therefore, lenses with longer ranges such as 70-200mm F/F f/16 etc…are great picks for this type of photography.
Best Wide-Angle Or Mid-Telephoto Lenses
Below are some of the best wide-angle or mid-telephoto lenses available for action photography:
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm F/2.8E ED VR
This is a popular mid-telephoto lens with image stabilization. This lens provides up to four stops more shooting range due to Nikon’s VR (vibration reduction) technology, which is great for capturing sports and wildlife in low light.
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
This is Canon’s high-end zoom lens, which has taken the place of the popular full-frame EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM option. The ultrasonic motor in this lens allows for edge-to-edge sharpness, smooth bokeh, and fast focusing. This lens also has water-and-dustproof seals around the zoom and focus rings for extra durability when shooting action photos.
Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 E X DC OS HSM
The Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 E X DC OS HSM is a budget-friendly zoom lens that comes in a variety of mountings and includes image stabilization on most platforms, with the exception of Sony and Pentax. It features hybrid aspherical glass for correction of aberrations, as well as excellent contrast and sharpness.
Best Long Telephoto Lenses
Below are some of the best long telephoto lenses available for action photography:
Sigma 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM
This is a high-quality, long telephoto lens with optical image stabilization, focal length lock, and fast autofocus. The lens’ mount includes a water-and-dustproof seal that may be quite beneficial for sports and wildlife photographers.
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm F/5.6E ED VR
This lens will allow you to take stunning pictures of birds, animals, sports, athletes, celebrities, landmarks, and other distant subjects. It comes with a fixed f/5.6, which is adequate for most shooting except when light is extremely low. It also has VR image stabilization built in.
Canon EF 400mm F/5.6L USM
This is a L-series lens, which means it has outstanding optical and mechanical qualities. It’s not as powerful as Canon’s 400mm f/2.8, but it’s considerably cheaper and ideal for wildlife photography and bright field sports. Even though this lens lacks image stabilization, many individuals manage to take pictures with it handheld without difficulty.
Best Mid-Range To Telephoto Lenses
Below are some of the best mid-range to telephoto lenses available for action photography:
Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD
For amateurs looking to get into sports photography, the Tamron is a wonderful option. Its fast focusing and fairly sharp contrast are well-known characteristics. Tamron’s ultrasonic auto-focus drive mechanism was the first to incorporate USD (ultrasonic silent drive), according to the company. This lens also has image stabilization built in.
Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II USM
The lens offers four stops of effective stabilization at all focal lengths, making it a solid buy for sports and wildlife photos. It delivers excellent image quality, focuses fast, and has top-of-the-line construction quality.
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F/2.8G ED VR II
Nikon’s Tele-Zoom, which features a compact design and fast autofocus, is highly regarded for its quick autofocus, excellent color reproduction and creamy bokeh. If you enjoy shooting sports or animals in low light, this powerful lens is definitely worth considering.