Buying Guides

10 Best Nikon Camera Lenses to Take Your Sports Photography to the Next Level

Bret Leon Avatar
Bret Leon
21 July, 2022 • Updated 17 days ago
Share
Share
Best Nikon Lens For Sports
Sports are full of fast-paced action. For that reason, there is nothing I enjoy more than freezing a fleeting moment in time during those heart-pounding events. It always gives me a huge buzz getting a shot just right. Best of all, no matter how you choose to snap your pictures, you can still end up with remarkable shots.

But that doesn’t mean that it is all sunshine and roses. In sports photography, timing, angle, and lighting are all critical factors in the success of an image. You must ensure that your images are correctly exposed, crisp, and framed with a suitable background. It isn’t just about capturing images with a strong emotional impact; it’s also about creating new visual experiences for the viewer. And with that, you need to choose the perfect lens for each setting.

Using the right lens can make the difference between capturing iconic photos that could end up on the front page of ESPN or taking photos that might not even be good enough for the local newspaper. Before purchasing a lens for sports photography, take a look at my top Nikon lens suggestions in this article.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4

Things to Consider When Buying a Nikon Lens for Sports Photography

Autofocus and its Responsiveness

For sports photography, a lens with faster autofocus is necessary. Opt for a lens with a higher maximum aperture and faster autofocus. The faster your lens is able to focus, the better it is at capturing images of fast-moving subjects. Lens reactivity can be especially handy when capturing fast-moving subjects.

Aperture

Choosing a lens with a wide aperture, such as f/2.8 or higher, can ensure that your image will have as much light as possible. When shooting in dim or low-light conditions, you can make use of the wider aperture. 

Focal Length

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to photograph, choose a lens that meets your needs. If you want to capture distant scenes, you’ll need a lens with a long focal length. You must know the distance from which you intend to shoot before you can select the appropriate focal length.

Lens Ergonomics

The ergonomics of the lens refers to how it feels in your hands. The quality of your photos will suffer if you are unable to hold the camera comfortably after fitting the lens. Check to see if the lens you consider buying has a tripod collar and, if so, where it is located. Look for an AF-on/lock button on the lens as well.

Build Quality

The lens’s construction quality is yet another essential aspect. Because of its modest weight and sturdy construction, it should last for a reasonable amount of time. Poorly constructed lenses may provide all of the above, but you can be sure that they will not serve you well in the long run.

QUICK OVERVIEW

Top Nikon Lens For Sports 2022

Products Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.6
600+
600+
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $450
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $450
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4.4
500+
500+
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom LensNikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800
Check price
at Amazon
MOST REVIEWED
4.7
5000+
5000+
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G EDNikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
Check price
at Amazon

1. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f4

Description

My overall impression of the Nikon 24 120mm f /4 lens is that it is of excellent quality. The optical design provides outstanding color and contrast and the sharpness is perfect in the center, with some softness in the wide-open corners. This isn’t an issue for me when shooting wide-open because I rarely need or want sharpness in the corners. However, when I need the corners to be crisp, I can simply stop down to f/8, and everything will be in good form. It’s a fantastic lens for sports videography.

Nikon’s upgraded optical features include second-generation vibration reduction (VR II), which is a huge step up, especially given the price of this lens. With the AF S Nikkor 24 focus motor’s vibration reduction, the lens is able to focus more silently under different lighting scenarios.

Aside from that, this lens includes an advanced optical performance consisting of 17 elements with two ED and three aspherical elements to correct chromatic aberrations. As a result, the lens can focus all colors to the same point without straining the zoom range. I haven’t noticed any major problems with chromatic aberration.

The AF-S silent wave motor is quiet and fast, and its focus is generally spot-on. The 24-120mm focal length gives you a range from wide to mid-telephoto lens – perfect for group photos, close-up portraits, and everything in between. This also makes this lens ideal for capturing a scrum on a rugby pitch. The maximum focal length shortens at distances to focus as sharp as it can.  

By capturing magnificent panoramic photos at sunrise or sunset with crisp, brilliant colors on the field, this lens adds an extra layer of creativity to sports footage.

Get this spectacular lens if you’re looking for a high-quality sports lens that’s great for both sports filmmaking and photography. It captures vivid colors and clear details in both images and films. All the lenses you’ll need are right here in one lens, so there’s no need to lug about a suitcase full of them.

Features

  • Focal Length — 24 to 120mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/4
  • Minimum Aperture — f/22
  • Lens type – Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • Lens Format Coverage — Full-Frame
  • Angle of View — 84° to 20° 30′
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 1.48′ / 45 cm
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.24x
  • Optical Design — 17 Elements in 13 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 9, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus
  • Image Stabilization — Yes
  • Filter Size — 77 mm (Front)
  • Length at Maximum Extension — 5.82″ / 147.8 mm
Pros
  • Image stabilization
  • Wider-angle clarity that holds up
  • Constant f/4 aperture
  • Image stabilization
Cons
  • Wider angles lead to darker corners
  • There is noticeable distortion
  • A little softness when zoomed in on at f/4

2. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8G ED VR II AF-S

Description

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, in my opinion, is an all-purpose camera lens. I use it for anything from sports, portraiture, and events, to wildlife and nature. In point of fact, if I had to choose just one lens to use for the rest of my life, it would be this incredible piece of equipment.

Even in the middle of a game, when you need an extra stop of light, you’ll find that this lens comes in quite handy. Lighting in gyms, indoor arenas, and stadiums can be dreadful. For shutter speeds quick enough to stop action, you’ll need a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 or faster. At twilight or in poorly lit theaters and churches, this lens is a godsend.

It’s an excellent lens for sports and action photography because of its sharpness, contrast, and quick autofocus. With this telephoto lens, you can capture stunning action photos of any subject! You’ll see a lot of photographers on the sidelines of professional sports games with a 70-200 mm lens such as this on their hip. Why? It’s fast, accurate, and simple to use, and you can shoot from a distance or up close, depending on the situation.

The fact that the AF-S NIKKOR lens is weather-sealed adds to its appeal. Every moveable part of the lens barrel is thoroughly sealed to prevent dust and water from damaging your investment. You can keep shooting in almost any conditions thanks to this construction choice.

Six ED glass elements, Fluorite (FL), High Refractive Index (HRI), and Nano Crystal Coat (N) lenses eliminate distortion and glare, even in harsh backlighting settings.

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR is an excellent lens for virtually any type of photography you can imagine. There are no limits to how far you can push your photography with this Nikon lens, regardless of whether you’re using a DX or FX camera.

Features

  • Focal Length — 70 to 200mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture — f/22
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • Lens Format Coverage — Full-Frame
  • Angle of View — 34° 20′ to 12° 20′
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 3.61′ / 1.1 m
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.21x
  • Optical Design — 22 Elements in 18 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 9, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus
  • Image Stabilization — Yes
  • Tripod Collar — Removable and Rotating
  • Filter Size — 77 mm (Front)
  • Length at Maximum Extension — 7.97″ / 202.5 mm
Pros
  • Autofocus is fast and silent, making it a joy to use
  • Colors are aesthetically attractive, realistic, and dazzling
  • Sharp all the way through the zoom range
  • Comes with vibration reduction
  • Includes tripod collar
Cons
  • A little pincushion distortion here and there
  • Plastic hood
  • Maximum distance at which the lens can focus up close is 4.6 feet

3. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED

Description

With a fast fixed aperture of f/2.8 across a 24–70mm zoom range, this lens provides both fine resolution and natural representation. Its Internal Focus (IF) provides fast and quiet auto-focusing without changing the length of the lens so that you can retain subject to working distance through the entire focus range. A Nano Crystal Coat helps effectively reduce ghost and flare effects under harsh lighting for greater image clarity.

The AF-S NIKKOR lens delivers fast, wide-angle to medium telephoto zoom capability and is optimized for edge-to-edge sharpness on both Nikon FX- and DX-format DSLRs. Its fast, fixed f/2.8 aperture enables exceptional low-light performance and consistent exposure across the entire zoom range. Enhanced optical formulas produce superior sharpness, contrast, and color, rendering outstanding image and video integrity.

If you want reliable performance in challenging environments, the AF-S NIKKOR 24–70mm f/2.8G ED delivers. Its rugged construction includes professional-grade dust and moisture resistance. Three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and Precision Glass Mold (PGM) aspherical lens elements control chromatic aberrations while enhancing sharpness and contrast, even at the widest aperture settings; and Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables ultra-high-speed auto-focusing with pinpoint accuracy and super-quiet operation.

This lens is perfect for low-light weddings, concerts, film sets, and sports events.

Features

  • Focal Length — 24 to 70mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture — f/22
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • Lens Format Coverage — Full-Frame
  • Angle of View — 84° to 34° 20′
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 1.25′ / 38 cm
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.27x
  • Optical Design — 20 Elements in 16 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 9, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus
  • Image Stabilization — Yes
  • Filter Size — 82 mm (Front)
  • Length at Maximum Extension — 6.9″ / 175.3 mm
Pros
  • Optically stabilized design
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Quite sharp
  • Solid build
Cons
  • Uneven illumination at f/2.8
  • Some distortion
  • Edge performance suffers at wide apertures

4. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f4.5-5.6G ED

Description

To make the 55-300mm /4.5-5.6 as light and portable as possible, it is constructed of polycarbonate plastic, a metal body mount, and plastic filter threads. This lens isn’t considered a “constant” lens because the maximum and minimum aperture sizes decrease with increasing focal length.

A one-stop reduction in aperture is all that you need to get consistently crisp images across the frame when using this lens at its widest setting. The lens also has a high degree of chromatic aberration resistance.

You can bring all the sports action into focus with the help of its High Refractive Index (HRI) lens and two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass components. To ensure clearer still photographs and HD video capture, Nikon VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization provides 3.0 stops of blur-free handheld shooting.

Additionally, it has Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for accurate, fast, and ultra-quiet autofocus operation, as well as the Super Integrated Coating (SIC) for improved low-light performance and a reduction in ghosting and flare. Lastly, this lens includes Tripod Detection Mode for lessening vibrations while shooting with a tripod.

Features

  • Focal Length — 55 to 300mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/4.5 to 5.6
  • Minimum Aperture — f/22
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • Lens Format Coverage — APS-C
  • Angle of View — 28° 50′ to 5° 20′
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 4.59′ / 1.4 m
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.28x
  • Optical Design — 17 Elements in 11 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 9, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus
  • Image Stabilization — Yes
  • Filter Size — 58 mm (Front)
Pros
  • Excellent optical performance
  • Good build quality for a consumer lens
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Lens extends and focus ring rotates during AF
  • It takes a bit of time for the VR system to start working properly

5. Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Zoom Lens

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 80-200mm f2.8D ED Zoom Lens

Description

Many experienced photographers will tell you action photography is best done with the 80-200 f/2.8 AF FX NIKKOR lens. It’s a high-performance constant aperture telephoto zoom lens that creates stunning images and HD videos throughout its 80-200mm focal length range.

The ultra-sharp AF telephoto zoom won’t let you down with its constant f/2.8 aperture across the whole zoom range. You’ll get brilliant, clear shots with magnificent blurred backgrounds thanks to the camera’s ultra-fast maximum aperture (bokeh). Sport, wildlife, and portrait photographers find this camera to be a fantastic choice for low-light photography.

This lens is ideal for sports photography enthusiasts who want to get up close and personal with their subjects. With this lens, you’ll be able to engage with the action while still capturing crystal-clear images from a distance. For the best chromatic aberration correction, Nikon created an optical glass that is combined with standard optical glass for this telephoto lens.

Zooming in and out is made easier with the rotatable zoom ring, which helps you to get a fine focus on your subject even when zooming in or out.

Features

  • Focal Length — 80 to 200mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture — f/22
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • Lens Format Coverage — Full-Frame
  • Angle of View — 30° 10′ to 12° 20′
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 4.92′ / 1.5 m
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.24x
  • Optical Design — 16 Elements in 11 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 9, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus (with Nikon Cameras That Have an Autofocus Motor)
  • Image Stabilization — No
  • Tripod Collar — Fixed and Rotating
  • Filter Size — 77 mm (Front)
Pros
  • Strong sharpness through most of the range
  • Long telephoto reach
  • Optical stabilization
  • Minimal distortion
  • Lightweight, yet not too light
  • Includes tripod collar and hood
Cons
  • At 400mm, sharpness begins to deteriorate and extends to the edges of the frame
  • Pretty expensive

6. Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR Fixed Zoom

Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f4.5-5.6E ED VR

Description

Nikon’s AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR is an excellent choice for a wide-angle to telephoto zoom lens with a wide range of focal lengths. It features an optical design with an extra-low dispersion element, which helps to reduce chromatic aberrations for better clarity and color accuracy in images.

When working in bright or backlit circumstances, its Super Integrated Coating aids in achieving accurate color reproduction by reducing flare and ghosting.

With the AF-P designation, you can be sure that this lens has a pulse-stepping motor, which means that it will autofocus quickly and quietly for both images and videos. For sharper handheld shots, Vibration Reduction image stabilization also compensates for up to 4.5 stops of camera shake.

The AF-P NIKKOR ED VR’s performance is exceptional for a lens at this price point. Even at 300mm, the sharpness is impressively consistent over the whole image area. You can use this lens as a semi-macro lens even if you’re only a few feet away from the subject.

Using this Nikon lens is an excellent choice for DX-format photographers looking to make use of a telephoto zoom lens. For this low price, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Everything about it is precise and lightning-quick.

Features

  • Focal Length — 70 to 300mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/4.5 to 5.6
  • Minimum Aperture — f/32 to 40
  • Lens type — Zoom lens
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • Lens Format Coverage — Full-Frame
  • Angle of View — 34° 20′ to 8° 10′
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 3.94′ / 1.2 m
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.25x
  • Optical Design — 18 Elements in 14 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 9, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus
  • Image Stabilization — Yes
  • Filter Size — 67 mm (Front)
  • Length at Maximum Extension — 7.94″ / 201.7 mm
Pros
  • Quite sharp
  • Solid zoom range
  • Optically stabilized
  • Smooth, quiet autofocus
  • Full-frame compatibility
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Dim corners at wider apertures
  • Soft edges at 70mm
  • Incompatible with older SLRs

7. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR Len

Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR Len

Description

For burgeoning videographers, photojournalists, and hobbyists alike, the Nikon AF-P DX 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G lens is a multipurpose telephoto zoom lens that was intended to meet the needs of today’s up & coming photographers.

From close-up subjects like unique flaura to distant targets like sports athletes, wild animals, or snowcapped mountain tops, this lens can capture nearly anything with excellent clarity thanks to its remarkable 35mm equivalent range.

Make the most of the high-resolution sensor in your camera with this magnificent telezoom lens. Even under less-than-ideal conditions, your images and videos will have rich, vivid colors, strong contrast, minimum distortion, and lovely, soft backgrounds. All high-end Nikon lenses have excellent optics and cutting-edge technology and the same can be said for the 70-300mm f/4-6.3G Lens.

When shooting handheld, Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization ensures that images and videos remain clear. Low-light capabilities are improved as well, allowing you to use slower shutter speeds in low-light situations. Use the camera’s menu to choose between autofocus and manual focus, or to turn VR on or off. It’s impossible to make a mistake while trying to take a picture because there are no switches on the lens barrel.

The NIKKOR lens utilizes a pulse motor comprised of stepping motors to achieve a focusing speed that is both exceptionally quick and practically silent. With pinpoint accuracy, quickly and precisely bring your subjects into focus with this one-of-a-kind lens.

Features

  • Focal Length — 70 to 300mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/4.5 to 6.3
  • Minimum Aperture — f/32
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • Lens Format Coverage — APS-C
  • Angle of View — 22° 50′ to 5° 20′
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 3.61′ / 1.1 m
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.22x
  • Optical Design — 14 Elements in 10 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 7, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus
  • Image Stabilization — Yes
  • Filter Size — 58 mm (Front)
  • Length at Maximum Extension — 6.97″ / 177 mm
Pros
  • Light and compact
  • Long telephoto reach
  • Effective image stabilization
  • Good image quality
  • Quiet, smooth autofocus
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Narrow aperture
  • Not great for manual focus
  • Some distortion when zoomed
  • Modest vignette

8. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens

Description

The AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is a portrait to telephoto zoom lens that has a dazzling f/2.8 continuous maximum aperture. This lens covers a wide range of longer-than-normal focal lengths compared to most standard zoom lenses.

Nano Crystal and Super Integrated Coatings further improve image quality by reducing lens flare, which results in improved contrast and color accuracy. It has six extra-low dispersion elements, one fluorite element, and one high refractive index element to eliminate chromatic aberrations and color fringing for better clarity and sharpness. Fluorine coatings on the front and back elements also guard against dust, moisture, and smearing.

In addition to the lens’s optical advantages, the Vibration Reduction technology reduces camera shake by four stops for clearer handheld shooting.

The fast, quiet, and smooth focusing performance of a Silent Wave Motor AF system makes it ideal for both stills and video applications. In order to activate AF Lock, the lens has four focus controls on the barrel and a full-time manual focus override. Also included are a weather-sealed magnesium-alloy construction and a retractable tripod collar that rotates on ball bearings for fast and smooth vertical-to-horizontal shifts during shooting.

Based on my experiences with this incredibly sharp lens, it’s engineered to get the images exactly where they need to be, regardless of the circumstances. In terms of sports photography, you won’t be let down by the Nikon NIKKOR 70-200mm F/2.8 AF-S.

Features

  • Focal Length — 70 to 200mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture — f/22
  • Lens Mount — Nikon F
  • Lens Format Coverage — Full-Frame
  • Angle of View — 34° 20′ to 12° 20′
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 3.61′ / 1.1 m
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.21x
  • Optical Design — 22 Elements in 18 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 9, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus
  • Image Stabilization — Yes
  • Tripod Collar — Removable and Rotating
  • Filter Size — 77 mm (Front)
  • Length at Maximum Extension — 7.97″ / 202.5 mm
Pros
  • Quite sharp
  • Aperture remains at f/2.8 throughout the zoom range
  • Optical stabilization
  • Sturdy build
  • Rotating tripod collar
Cons
  • Some distortion
  • At f/2.8, the corners became dim

9. Sigma 70-200mmF/2.8 DG OS HSM

Sigma 70-200mmF/2.8 DG OS HSM

Description

Although this telephoto zoom lens is commonly associated with wildlife, action, and portrait photography, its fast and constant aperture makes it an excellent choice for sports photography.

This lens offers a quick constant f/2.8 maximum aperture and a brilliant and sophisticated design, making it ideal for working in low-light conditions. The bright aperture allows for a greater degree of control over the depth of field, which is helpful when isolating subjects. Color fringing and chromatic aberrations are considerably reduced by employing ten low-improvement elements. A Super Multi-Layer Coating employed in the lens structure reduces ghosting and lens flare, especially while working in bright lighting conditions.

Furthermore, it has an Intelligent OS system, which helps keep handheld shots clear by reducing the impression of camera shake. In addition, it sports a Hyper Sonic Motor that delivers fast and quiet autofocus performance as well as a full-time manual focus override. 

Additionally, the lens’s physical construction has multiple seals to protect it from dust and moisture, as well as water. The exposed elements have been given an oil-repellent coating to keep moisture, fingerprints, and smudges from sticking to them. 

Despite shooting wide open at f/2.8, this Sigma Sports Lens has some light fall-off in the corners on both ends of its zoom range (left and right). If you want to entirely eliminate this effect, you’ll need to use an f-stop of f/5.6 or smaller. 

Despite minor drawbacks, you can’t find a better lens to capture the speed and beauty of your favorite sporting events.

Features

  • Focal Length — 70 to 200mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture — f/22
  • Lens Mount — Canon EF
  • Lens Format Coverage — Full-Frame
  • Angle of View — 34.3° to 12.3°
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 3.94′ / 1.2 m
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.21x
  • Optical Design — 24 Elements in 22 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 11, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus
  • Image Stabilization — Yes
  • Tripod Collar — Fixed and Rotating
  • Filter Size — 82 mm (Front)
  • Length at Maximum Extension — 7.99″ / 203 mm
Pros
  • All-weather build
  • Optical performance is good
  • Image stabilization
  • Internal zoom
  • Compatible with teleconverters
Cons
  • At 200mm, the image is not as sharp as at 70mm
  • Some distortion

10. Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary

Description

The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS HSM Lens, like other Sigma Sports lenses, is held to a high standard and the visuals of this model place that on full display. Of course, the substantial size and weight of this lens contribute to its premium appearance.

Along with its attractive design, the Sigma 150-600mm OS Sports Lens boasts an impressive zoom range, a sturdy construction, and overall good performance. Even though it is hefty and pricey, this lens provides a wealth of creative possibilities that outweigh this singular drawback.

This Sigma Lens is a typical zoom lens with it having a focal length of more than 200mm. In other words, when you move from 150mm to larger focal lengths, your wide-open aperture exposure settings will vary as well.

Sigma has not released the optical stabilization system rating for this lens, but I’d be shocked if it was less than four stops today.

With proper technique and steady footing, I was able to achieve handheld results that were generally crisp down to 1/13 of a second at 150 millimeters, and at exposures of 1/10 of a second.

With a focal length of 150-600mm, this Sigma lens is Nikon’s best, most inexpensive option for sports and concert photography as well as nature documentaries that require the ability to get up close and personal with subjects.

Features

  • Focal Length — 150 to 600mm
  • Maximum Aperture — f/5 to 6.3
  • Minimum Aperture — f/22
  • Lens Mount — Canon EF
  • Lens Format Coverage — Full-Frame
  • Angle of View — 16.4° to 4.1°
  • Minimum Focus Distance — 9.19′ / 2.8 m
  • Maximum Magnification — 0.2x
  • Macro Reproduction Ratio — 1:4.9
  • Optical Design — 20 Elements in 14 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades — 9, Rounded
  • Focus Type — Autofocus
  • Image Stabilization — Yes
  • Tripod Collar — Removable and Rotating
  • Filter Size — 95 mm (Front)
  • Length at Maximum Extension — 13.39″ / 340 mm
Pros
  • Excellent telephoto reach
  • Very sharp
  • Includes tripod collar and lens hood
  • Focuses quickly
  • Effective image stabilization system
  • Zoom locking mechanism
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Some chromatic aberration
  • Moderate pincushion distortion
  • Relatively narrow aperture
  • Not fully dust and splash-proof

Frequently Asked Questions

Are telephoto lenses good for sports photography?

If you want to capture fast-moving action in your photographs, you’ll need a telephoto lens with a wide maximum aperture. It gives you more alternatives and is excellent at blurring distractions, particularly in big events.

Are 50mm lenses good for sports photography?

50mm lenses are fast lenses with a fast maximum aperture. They perform well enough given you are close enough or if you want a wide view of the playing area. One area where you may consider a 50mm is in low light conditions.

Is 300mm enough for sports photography?

For some sports, a 70-200mm lens may be all that’s needed. When shooting a sport that requires you to be a long way from the action, like football or soccer, you’ll likely choose to use a longer lens, such a 300mm, 400mm, or even 600mm.

Conclusion

The best lenses for sports photography are those with fast autofocus, large maximum apertures, and long focal lengths. Choosing the right sports photography lens kit can be a daunting task, however, I’ve done the legwork for you in this guide so that you can make an informed decision.

Bret Leon Avatar
Written by
Bret Leon
Bret Leon is a photography enthusiast who indulges in all matters cameras, lenses, gears, themes, editing, trends, and the latest product releases. If he's not trying to freeze time by capturing moments during his grand ventures, you can bet he's looking for the next big content idea.