Long Range Nikon Lens: The Top 5 Choices for Wildlife Photography

Long Range Nikon Lens: The Top 5 Choices for Wildlife Photography
Photo by JD Gipson / Unsplash

Long range Nikon lenses are an essential tool for photographers who want to capture distant subjects with clarity and precision. These lenses are designed to provide high magnification and superior image quality, making them ideal for wildlife, sports, and landscape photography. Nikon has a long history of producing high-quality lenses, and their long range options are no exception.

When choosing a long range Nikon lens, it's essential to consider factors like focal length, aperture, and image stabilization. Focal length determines the magnification of the lens, with longer focal lengths providing greater magnification. Aperture controls the amount of light that enters the lens, with larger apertures allowing for faster shutter speeds and better low-light performance. Image stabilization helps to reduce camera shake and ensure sharp images, particularly when shooting handheld.

To help you find the right long range Nikon lens for your needs, we tested and researched several options. We considered factors like image quality, build quality, and ease of use to identify the top performers. Whether you're a professional photographer or an enthusiast, a high-quality long range Nikon lens can help take your photography to the next level.

Best Long Range Nikon Lenses

When it comes to capturing distant subjects, having a long range lens is crucial. Nikon offers a wide range of lenses that are perfect for wildlife, sports, and other outdoor photography. In this article, we've compiled a list of the best long range Nikon lenses that will help you get the perfect shot every time. Whether you're a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, these lenses are sure to meet your needs.

Big Mike's Electronics Long-Range 650mm-1300mm f/8 Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon DF, D3100, D3200, D3300, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D7000, D7100, D7200, D300s, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D800e, D810, SLR Cameras

Big Mike's Electronics Long-Range 650mm-1300mm f/8 Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon DF, D3100, D3200, D3300, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D7000, D7100, D7200, D300s, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D800e, D810, SLR Cameras

If you're looking for a long-range Nikon lens, the Big Mike's Electronics Long-Range 650mm-1300mm f/8 Telephoto Zoom Lens is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Extreme magnification
  • Multi-coated optical glass to reduce flare
  • Includes tripod mount, black lens pouch, and T-mount adapter for Nikon SLR cameras

Cons

  • Requires high ISO or bright light to utilize a fast shutter speed
  • Manual autofocus
  • Heavy, so use with monopod, tripod, or chest supports to minimize camera shake

This lens is perfect for capturing distant subjects with exceptional detail. The multi-coated optical glass reduces flare, producing sharp images. The lens also comes with a tripod mount, black lens pouch, and T-mount adapter for Nikon SLR cameras, making it easy to use. However, it's important to note that this lens requires high ISO or bright light to utilize a fast shutter speed and is manual autofocus. It's also heavy, so using it with a monopod, tripod, or chest support is recommended to minimize camera shake.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a long-range Nikon lens that can deliver excellent sharp images, the Big Mike's Electronics Long-Range 650mm-1300mm f/8 Telephoto Zoom Lens is a great choice.

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

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

If you're looking for a super telephoto zoom lens that can bring your faraway subjects into focus, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Zoom Lens is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact for a super telephoto zoom lens, making it easy to take with you on the go.
  • Fast f/5.6 constant aperture produces beautifully out-of-focus backgrounds and performs well in low light.
  • 4.5 stops of vibration reduction with sports mode, which counteracts camera shake for sharper photos and steady videos.

Cons

  • The lens is quite heavy, weighing in at 81.2 ounces.
  • The price point is on the higher end, making it a significant investment for most photographers.
  • The lens is not weather-sealed, which can be a concern for outdoor photographers.

In my experience, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Zoom Lens is a reliable and high-performing lens. Its lightweight and compact design make it easy to carry with you, even on long hikes or outdoor excursions. The fast f/5.6 constant aperture produces beautiful bokeh and performs well in low light, allowing you to capture stunning images even in challenging conditions.

The lens's vibration reduction system is also a significant advantage, providing up to 4.5 stops of stabilization with sports mode. This makes it easier to capture sharp photos and steady videos, even when shooting at super telephoto distances.

However, the lens is quite heavy, which can be a concern for photographers who need to carry it for extended periods. Additionally, the price point is on the higher end, making it a significant investment for most photographers. Finally, the lens is not weather-sealed, which can be a concern for outdoor photographers who may encounter harsh weather conditions.

Overall, if you're looking for a high-performing super telephoto zoom lens with excellent image quality and reliable stabilization, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Zoom Lens is an excellent choice.

UltraPro Hi-Resolution 500mm/1000mm Manual Telephoto Reflex Lens

UltraPro Hi-Resolution 500mm/1000mm Manual Telephoto Reflex Lens

If you're looking for a long-range Nikon lens, the UltraPro Hi-Resolution 500mm/1000mm Manual Telephoto Reflex Lens is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • The lens has a focus distance of 500mm, which is great for long-range shots.
  • The included T-Mount for Nikon allows full manual focus compatibility with all Nikon Cameras, making it easy to use with your existing gear.
  • The lens is constructed with multicoated optics that reduce flares and increase resolution, ensuring high-quality images.

Cons

  • The lens is heavy, which can make it difficult to use for extended periods of time.
  • The lens only has manual focus, which can be challenging for beginners.
  • The lens is not weather-sealed, so it may not be suitable for use in inclement weather conditions.

In my experience, the UltraPro Hi-Resolution 500mm/1000mm Manual Telephoto Reflex Lens is a great option for photographers who want a long-range lens that is easy to use and produces high-quality images. The lens is well-constructed and feels sturdy in your hands, which is important when you're working with such a long lens.

One thing to keep in mind is that the lens is quite heavy, so you may need to use a tripod or other support to keep it steady. Additionally, the manual focus can take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy to use.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the UltraPro Hi-Resolution 500mm/1000mm Manual Telephoto Reflex Lens to anyone looking for a long-range Nikon lens that delivers great results. With its high-quality construction, excellent optics, and compatibility with all Nikon cameras, it's a great choice for both amateur and professional photographers alike.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

If you're looking for an all-around lens that can handle a wide range of shooting situations, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens is a great choice.

Pros

  • The 5.8x zoom range is versatile and can handle everything from wide-angle shots to portraits.
  • Vibration Reduction technology allows for handheld shooting at slower shutter speeds, resulting in sharper images.
  • The aspherical lens element virtually eliminates lens aberration, improving image quality.

Cons

  • The lens is not particularly fast, with a maximum aperture of f/3.5-5.6.
  • Some users have reported quality control issues with the lens, such as focus problems and lens wobble.
  • The lens is not weather-sealed, so it may not be the best choice for outdoor photography in inclement weather.

Overall, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens is a solid choice for photographers who need a versatile all-in-one lens for their Nikon DSLR. It's not the fastest lens out there, but it's capable of producing sharp, high-quality images across a wide range of shooting situations.

In terms of image quality, the lens is sharp and produces good contrast and color saturation. The Vibration Reduction technology is a real asset, allowing for handheld shooting at slower shutter speeds without sacrificing image quality. The lens also has a close focusing distance of 1.48 feet, making it possible to get creative with close-up photography.

On the downside, the lens is not particularly fast, with a maximum aperture of f/3.5-5.6. This means that it may struggle in low-light situations, and may not be the best choice for photographers who need to shoot in challenging lighting conditions. Some users have also reported quality control issues with the lens, such as focus problems and lens wobble.

Overall, if you're looking for a versatile all-in-one lens for your Nikon DSLR, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens is definitely worth considering. It's not the fastest or most advanced lens out there, but it's capable of producing sharp, high-quality images in a wide range of shooting situations.

JINTU 420-800mm f/8.3 Manual Zoom Telephoto Lens

JINTU 420-800mm f/8.3 Manual Zoom Telephoto Lens

If you're looking for an affordable long-range Nikon lens, the JINTU 420-800mm f/8.3 Manual Zoom Telephoto Lens could be a good option.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Long zoom capability
  • Effective for learning manual camera settings and operation

Cons

  • Strictly manual focus
  • Some users reported difficulty attaching the lens to their camera
  • Image quality may not be as crisp as more expensive lenses

This lens is a great option for those who want to experiment with long-range photography without breaking the bank. However, keep in mind that it is strictly manual focus and may take some practice to get the hang of. Additionally, some users reported difficulty attaching the lens to their camera, so make sure to double-check compatibility before purchasing.

Overall, if you're willing to put in the effort to learn how to use this lens effectively, it could be a great addition to your photography toolkit.

Lightdow Manual Zoom Telephoto Lens

Lightdow Manual Zoom Telephoto Lens

If you're looking for an affordable, manual zoom telephoto lens for your Nikon camera, the Lightdow Manual Zoom Telephoto Lens is a great option.

Pros

  • Sharp high-quality images
  • Comes with lens pouch and protective caps
  • Multi-coated low-dispersion glass and anti-reflection coating for advanced optics

Cons

  • Manual focusing can be challenging for beginners
  • No electronic contacts, so camera won't detect lens when mounted
  • May not work with Nikon metering or autofocus

This lens is solidly constructed with a full metal body, and the manual focusing allows for more control over your shots. However, it may not be the best option for beginners who are used to autofocus lenses. It's important to note that this lens does not have electronic contacts, so you'll need to switch to MF mode in order to use it correctly.

Overall, if you're willing to put in the effort to learn how to use a manual zoom telephoto lens, the Lightdow Manual Zoom Telephoto Lens is a great value for the price.

Buying Guide

When it comes to buying a long-range Nikon lens, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the most important features to look for:

Focal Length

The focal length of a lens determines its magnification power. A longer focal length will allow you to zoom in farther, while a shorter focal length will give you a wider field of view. Consider what type of photography you will be doing and choose a lens with an appropriate focal length.

Aperture

The aperture of a lens controls the amount of light that enters the camera. A wider aperture will let in more light, which is useful for low-light situations, but it will also result in a shallower depth of field. A narrower aperture will give you a deeper depth of field, but it may not be suitable for low-light conditions. Consider what type of lighting you will be working with and choose a lens with an appropriate aperture.

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is a feature that helps to reduce camera shake and blur. This can be especially useful when shooting at long focal lengths or in low-light conditions. Some lenses have built-in image stabilization, while others do not. Consider whether or not you need this feature and choose a lens accordingly.

Compatibility

Make sure that the lens you choose is compatible with your camera body. Nikon lenses are designed to work with Nikon cameras, but there are different types of mounts and connections to consider. Check the specifications of both your camera and the lens to ensure that they are compatible.

Weight and Size

Long-range lenses can be heavy and bulky, which can make them difficult to use for extended periods of time. Consider the weight and size of the lens and whether or not it will be comfortable for you to use. Additionally, think about how you will be transporting the lens and whether or not it will fit in your camera bag.

By considering these factors, you can choose the best long-range Nikon lens for your photography needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum focal length of a Nikon telephoto lens?

The maximum focal length of a Nikon telephoto lens varies depending on the model. The longest focal length available in Nikon's current lineup is 800mm.

Which Nikon telephoto lens is best for wildlife photography?

The Nikon 600mm f/4E FL ED VR and the Nikon 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR are both excellent choices for wildlife photography due to their long focal lengths and fast apertures.

What is the price of the Nikon 800mm lens?

The Nikon 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens has a suggested retail price of $16,299.95 USD.

Is the Nikon 800mm Z lens compatible with all Nikon cameras?

The Nikon 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens is compatible with all Nikon cameras that have an F-mount. However, it is not compatible with Nikon's newer Z-mount cameras without an adapter.

What is the best telephoto lens for Nikon cameras?

The best telephoto lens for Nikon cameras depends on the specific needs of the photographer. Some popular options include the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, and the Nikon 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR.

Does Tamron make an 800mm lens for Nikon cameras?

Tamron does not currently make an 800mm lens for Nikon cameras. However, they do offer a 150-600mm f/5-6.3 lens that is compatible with Nikon cameras.