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Updated by Vishal Subramanyan on Mar 28, 2016
Headline for Best Wildlife Photography lenses under $2,500
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Best Wildlife Photography lenses under $2,500

Everyone wants to get a great lens with large zoom before they go on their wildlife holiday. Here are some very good lenses that you can buy in which you don't have to pay a fortune.

1

Olympus 300mm F4

Olympus 300mm F4

Olympus claims that the Olympus M. Zuiko 300mm Pro F4 is the sharpest and best lens they have ever made. And based on the sample images I have seen, I am inclined to agree. The sharpness of the photos is just mind bobbling. Since this is part of the micro 4/3rds system the zoom is actually equivalent 600mm. It is a prime lens. This is Olympus's only lens in the micro 4/3rds system that has image stabilization built in to the lens. Combined with the OM-D E-M1 and OM-D E-M5 mark ii, there is sync stabilization, meaning the stabilization will work in both the lens and the camera. Working together the camera and the lens achieve six axis image stabilization, the most powerful ever. It is compatible with the 1.4 teleconverter which can make it reach a shocking 840mm. The only downside of this lens is its extremely heavy weight of 4.8 pounds. For more information about this beauty check Amazon.

Here are some extremely sharp sample images taken by Robin Wong with the OM-D E-M1.

#Olympus

2

Fujinon XF 100-400mm

Fujinon XF 100-400mm

The Fujinon XF 100-400mm is Fuji's largest zoom lens in the XF system. The sharpness of the lens is absolutely amazing. The lens is equivalent to 152-609 mm. It has a shocking 5 axis image stabilization weighs only 3.03 pounds, meaning there will be almost no camera shake. It is also water resistant and dust resistant. Its aperture is 4.5-5.6. It is compatible with the 1.4 teleconverter which makes it a whopping 213-853mm. To learn more about this lens, check its page on Amazon.

Here are some sample images taken by Bill Fortney. Body used was the X-T1

#Fujifilm

3

Canon EF 100-400mm IS II USM Lens

Canon EF 100-400mm IS II USM Lens

This lens is one of Canon's flagship lenses. Images produced from this lens are extremely sharp. This lens is compatible wth APS-C and full frame cameras. On the APS-C camera bodies the zoom is equivalent to a large 105-600mm, one of Canon's largest zoom lens that is not prime. It is weatherproof and can be used in extremely harsh and unforgiving conditions. it has four axis image stabilization, a very large amount that almost completely eradicates camera shake. The weight is 3.46 pounds, which is light for a Canon lens. With the lens being that light and having such good stabilization, there will be virtually no camera shake. This lens's aperture is 4.5-5.6. For more details about htis camera lens, see the Amazon page.

You can find sample images from the lens here. These photos were taken by Bryan Carnathan

#Canon

4

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm

The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm is one of Nikons biggest and best large zoom lenses. If you use DX format body, the lens's reach can be equivalent to a stunning 120-600mm. With the light weight of 3.46 pounds and 4 axis image stabilization(vibration reduction) there will be virtually no camera shake at all. You can auto focus on something as close as 5.7 feet with this lens, allowing for some very in depth and close up shots. For more about this beautiful lens check Amazon.

Here are some sample images.

#Nikon

5

Panasonic Leica 100-400mm

Panasonic Leica 100-400mm

Panasonic Leica 100-400mm is a lens made with Leica glass. From the sample images seen, it produces really sharp images. Since it is part of the micro 4/3rds system its zoom is equivalent to a whopping 200-800mm. Another amazing factor of the Panasonic Leica 100-400mm is its extremely light weight of 2.17 pounds, 2 times less than the Olympus 300mm F4. This lens can also achieve dual stabilization with the Panasonic GX8. Dual stabilization means both the image stabilization in the body and lens can work in sync. Together they equal 4 axis stabilization. The aperture on this lens is F4-6.3 and it has a built in lens hood and tripod collar. One downside of this lens is that the images are not as sharp as the Olympus 300mm F4. For more information on this lens, check its Amazon page.

You can see sample images from Daniel Cox here and here. These sample images were taken with the Panasonic GX8.

#Panasonic

6

Sony SAL-70400G2 70-400mm

Sony SAL-70400G2 70-400mm

The Sony SAL-70400G2 70-400mm is one of Sony's best and lenses. It is the largest zoom made by Sony and on APS-C cameras, the zoom is equivalent to a shocking 105-600mm. It has extremely fast auto-focus and weighs only 3.31 pounds, which is light for a lens that is equivalent to 600mm zoom. It is compatible with some of the newest and best Sony models like the a7II full frame camera. Its aperture range is f4-5.6, which is very good for such a large zoom of 600. To learn more about this lens, see its page on Amazon.

Here are some sample images by Gary Wolstenholme

#Sony

7

Nikon 200-500mm

Nikon 200-500mm

The Nikon 200-500mm is the largest zoom lens that is not prime made by Nikon. On DX format DSLR'S, this lens is equivalent to a whopping 300-750mm zoom. It has a heavy weight of 4.6 pounds, but it is made up in the fact that it has 4 axis image stabilization(vibration reduction). You can focus on something as close as 7.2 feet. It is also compatible with several teleconverters, including 1.4, 1.7, and even 2x. Its aperture is 5.6. To learn more about this beautiful lens, see the Amazon page.

Here are some sample images taken by Ken Rockwell

#Nikon