Best Lens for Sports Photography in 2023 | Professional Picks

Best Lens for sports photography

Among all the genres of photography, capturing moving objects is something challenging compared with other categories. Sports photography is such a type that takes different skillsets and minds as well. To do so, apart from the knowledge, you’ll also require necessary accessories like good-quality lenses. So, in this case, we’ll help you in finding the best lens for sports photography to shoot the sporting moments professionally.

How to Choose the Best Lens for Sports Photography

There are a number of factors you should check before you select the appropriate lens for sports photography. The factors are briefly described for your acknowledgment.

Type of the Lens

We all know that there are different types of lenses and for sports, Wide-angle, zoom, telephoto, and prime lenses are most suitable. Choose the appropriate one for your work.

Stabilization System

You will learn about the image stabilization system with the number of shutter speed stops. The higher the number will be, the better stabilization the lens will get. So, don't forget to check this fact.

Mounting

It's about the camera you will use with this lens. You should remember that all the lenses can't get set with any camera model. So, check twice before you buy the lens if the lens is appropriate for the camera.

Lens Build Quality

For sports photographers, a lightweight lens is always suggested. Besides, the lens should have a robust build quality so that you can get the perfect long-term performance.

Price

No, we cannot exactly say how much your desired lens will cost. It depends on the brand, market value, condition, model, and some other factors. We suggest checking the price before you choose from any reliable source.

Besides, you should check the autofocus responsiveness, lens ergonomy, focal length, aperture, etc as well.

9 Best Lens for Sports Photography

For sports photography, a fast and long telephoto lens is typically considered the best option. A fast lens has a wide aperture, allowing for fast shutter speeds and low light capabilities, while a long telephoto lens allows for capturing the action from a distance. Let's have a look at our picked items with their specifications!

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

2. Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport

3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR

4. Fujifilm XF100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

5. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM III

6. Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master

7. Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary

8. Olympus ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Zoom Lens

9. Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD

 

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

Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L

Let's start with a masterpiece from Canon. Their EF 100-400mm USM lens is always considered the best sports photography camera lens. It is initially built with Air Sphere Coating that ensures essential backlit flaring and ghosting reduction. It also has a compact design and a unique outlook.

Key Features

  • The fluorite and super UD element will ensure excellent resolution and contrast.
  • With the high-end functions, you will have reduced chromatic aberration across the complete range for zooming.
  • It comes with a 9-blade circular aperture and 3 different modes.
  • An L-series super-telephoto zoom is used here as well.
  • It is only 3.46 pounds in weight.

 

 

2. Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport

Sigma 70-200mm

Denying the supremacy of Sigma in the world of photography must be a foolish decision. And when it is to sports photography, we wonder which one performs better than Sigma 70-200mm. Maybe you will find it pretty much heavier, but it won't disappoint you with its function.

Key Features

  • The lens measures around 7.76 x 3.39 x 3.39 inches and weighs not more than 3.08 pounds.
  • It initially comes with 9 FLD and a low-dispersion SLD glass element.
  • There are 11 diaphragm blades that ensure the ultra-HD bokeh.
  • With the magnesium alloy barrel, it comes with the great build quality.
  • This lens is fully dist and splashproof.

 

 

3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm

Where are the Nikon lovers? Did you miss the Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm one for the best sports photography? This high-end VR has everything you need for extraordinary shots. When you need to capture a wide photo of the whole stadium, we doubt which lens can perform better than this one.

Key Features

  • Excellent vibration reduction image stabilization is the best part of this lens.
  • The ultra-wide-angle zoom works the best to capture wide photos.
  • This lens is quite small in size and only 1.21 pounds in weight.
  • The inbuilt silent wave motor ensures quick autofocus.
  • The package includes a 77mm UV Filter, a cleaning cloth, and a lens cap keeper.

 

 

4. Fujifilm XF100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm

Fujifilm launched their dedicated sports camera lens, XF100-400. It is definitely a quite suitable one if you are looking for a compact size lens with perfect focal length. The 35mm image sensor format is amazing and you will instantly fall for its APS-C format functions.

Key Features

  • This mirrorless lens initially comes with a robust telephoto zoom.
  • It is slightly bigger than the regular mirrorless lens.
  • Autofocus function is available and it has around 210.5mm x 94.8mm in dimension.
  • 1.75m minimum focus distance and the magnification rate is almost 0.19x.
  • It comes with 9 diaphragm blades and is perfectly compatible with the teleconverter function.
  • This high-end lens is pretty lightweight and it's not more than 1375 grams.

 

 

5. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM III

Canon EF 100-400mm

Sometimes, photographers need a zoom lens to get the perfect shot from the gallery. For them, Canon EF 70-200mm, must be the best option. This red line zoom lens comes with a gold standard class. The lens again comes with the amazing build quality and impressive sharpness.

Key Features

  • A large focus ring is available here to ensure a better grip.
  • This fluorine-coated lens is completely dust and waterproof.
  • There are 8 diagram blades and 77mm filter thread.
  • It is indeed 89x199 mm in measurement and almost 1440g in weight.
  • There can be some distortion but it is acceptable.

 

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6. Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master

Sony FE 135mm

If you are a fan of Sony, its FE 135mm would be your best pick anyway. With around 135 Millimeters of maximum focal length, this lens offers around 0.25x maximum magnification. The robust build quality and excellent zooming function must prove you with the best performance.

Key Features

  • It is one of the most lightweight sports camera lenses. Indeed, it's no more than a pound.
  • This amazing lens is built with nano anti-reflective coating and 13 essential lens elements.
  • It has around 35 mm full-frame functions and 11 blade aperture.
  • You can get the functions of XD liner focus motor in this masterpiece.

 

 

7. Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary

Sigma 100-400mm

We suggest another zoom camera lens for sports photography that you shouldn't compare with another ordinary zoom camera. Sigma 100-400mm lens comes with an extraordinary ultra-telephoto zooming function. So, you can get ultra-clean shots from hundreds of meters away.

Key Features

  • This lens is built with four SLD glass lens elements for the best performance.
  • It has minimized optical aberrations for the best power distribution.
  • With a powerful optical stabilizer, it comes with an exclusive algorithm.
  • It is completely dust and has a splash-proof lens.
  • Being very lightweight, it is suitable for sports photographers. It's indeed only 1.160 kilograms.

 

8. Olympus ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Zoom Lens

Olympus-ED-12-200mm-f3.5-6.3-Zoom-Lens

The Olympus ED 12-200mm lens is a versatile, all-in-one zoom lens made for Micro Four Thirds camera systems. This lens offers a wide focal range of 12-200mm, equivalent to 24-400mm in 35mm format, allowing for a wide variety of shooting options, from wide-angle landscapes to telephoto sports and wildlife photography.

Key Features

  • Aperture range of f/3.5-6.3 for low-light and shallow depth of field shooting.
  • Zoom lock switch to prevent the lens from accidentally extending while being carried.
  • Also features a fast and accurate autofocus system, which is especially useful for sports and action photography.
  • The lens also has excellent build quality, with a durable metal construction and weather-sealed design, making it a good choice for outdoor photography.

 

9. Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD

Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di

The Tamron SP 70-200mm (Model A025) is a high-performance telephoto zoom lens for full-frame DSLR cameras. This lens is ideal for capturing portraits, sports, wildlife, and other subjects that require a telephoto lens. With its fast aperture and vibration compensation, it is a great lens for low-light and fast-moving subjects.

Key Features

  • Focal length range of 70-200mm for telephoto shooting
  • Fast f/2.8 maximum aperture for low-light and shallow depth of field shooting
  • Vibration Compensation (VC) system for stable handheld shooting
  • Compatible with full-frame and APS-C DSLRs
  • FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism prevents unwanted zoom slippage

 

To Conclude

Photographing sports has always been challenging so far; Even if your hands are full of experience. Mostly, you have to deal with moving or running objects. It’s not always so easy to shoot things perfectly keeping the ISO, lighting, and aperture OK. To make it more comfortable, our picked lens for sports photography will hopefully help you capture the best shots.

So, choose the most appropriate one for your project and let us know the outcome. Till then, have a nice day!

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