The 10 Best Camera Lens For Sports Photography [Updated – 2023]

Capturing the perfect shot in sports photography requires a combination of skill, timing, and the right equipment. A quality camera lens is arguably the most important piece of gear for sports photographers, as it can make all the difference in capturing the fast-paced action and delivering stunning images. This article is a comprehensive guide to the top 10 best camera lens for sports photography, providing reviews and buying advice to help you choose the perfect lens for your needs and budget. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an aspiring hobbyist, finding the best camera lens for sports photography is essential to elevate your game to the next level.

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Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Everything you Need to Know About Camera Lens For Sports Photography

Sports photography is a highly specialized genre that demands specific gear to capture the fleeting moments of action. One of the most important pieces of equipment for sports photography is a camera lens that can handle the fast-paced action and unpredictable movements of athletes. These lenses come with a range of features that cater to the needs of different sports, such as the ability to zoom quickly and capture clear, sharp images in low light conditions.

When it comes to sports photography, photographers need lenses that can capture both close-up and long-distance shots. This means using a lens with a focal length of at least 200mm, which is capable of zooming in on the action from a distance. Sports lens also need to be fast, with a wide aperture of f/2.8 or wider to allow more light to enter the camera and reduce the risk of camera shake. Additionally, lenses with fast autofocus capabilities are essential to capture sharp images of fast-moving subjects. Overall, the right camera lens can make a huge difference in capturing stunning sports photographs that are both engaging and memorable.

The Best Camera Lens For Sports Photography to Buy Today

Action Camera UV Filter,MC UV Aluminum Optical Glass Sports Camera Optical Glass...
  • UV filter is to eliminate UV harmful light filter, more practical and convenient.
  • In the perspective, mountain, sea and other environments, due to the high color temperature blue wavelength and large ultraviolet ratio, the picture will be...
  • Using multilayer coating to increase light transmittance and surface hardness, improved the picture quality for Osmo Action, effectively protects the lens from...
  • Using aluminum material frame, with anti-slip edge design, the disassembly and assembly is more quickly.
  • Made of high quality aluminum and optical glass material, sturdy, durable and long service life.
Lightdow 420-800mm f/8.3 Manual Zoom Super Telephoto Lens + T-Mount for Canon...
  • User Instruction: This is a MANUAL lens, NO electronic contacts, that's why your camera will not recognize the lens, it requires full manual settings on camera...
  • Fine tune the front focusing ring to make subject in-focus and take a sample picture. If the picture turns out dark, take the following steps to improve, 1....
  • Multi coated low-dispersion glass, anti-reflection coating, manual focus telephoto zoom lens to use with DSLR SLR cameras.
  • 420-800mm f/8.3-16 Manual Telephoto Zoom Lens Compatible/Replacement for Canon EOS Rebel T7, T7i, T6, T6i, T5, T5i, SL2, 80D, 77D, 700D, 70D, 60D, 50D, 5D, 6D,...
SaleRANK 3
Phone Camera Lens Kit 7 in 1, Selvim 22X Telephoto Lens+235 Fisheye Lens+25X...
  • TOP QUALITY MANUFACTURE: Compared to other cheap plastic phone lens, we use high-quality Blu-ray lenses to improve the optical path, thus increasing the...
  • 7 IN 1 COMPLETE LENS KIT: The phone camera lens kit includes 22X telephoto lens (can be used as monocular or telescope), 235°fisheye lens, HD 0.62X super wide...
  • EXCELLENT FUNCTION: 22X telephoto lens for smartphone - Magnify distant subjects and zoom in for vivid close-up shots. Tripod stand prevents camera shake and...
  • UNIVERSAL COMPATIBILITY: The phone camera lens kits is compatible with most mobiles in the world, like iPhone 11 10 Pro Max, X, XS, XS Max, XR, iPhone 8, 8 Plus...
  • PORTABLE TRAVEL CASE: An Excellent Protector of Your Lens. Perfect for carrying Selvim iphone lens anywhere. The travel case protects all lens kit from dust or...
JINTU 420-800mm f/8.3 Telephoto Lens Camera Zoom Lenses with T Mount Adapter for...
  • ★ JINTU 420-800mm MF Super HD Telephoto lens, Solid Construction with full metal body, Small size 10.6 x 3.5 x 3.5 inch, lightweight 700g=1.8LB, easy to carry...
  • ★ Compatible with Canon Digital EOS Rebel T1i, T2i, T3, T3i, T4i, T5, T5i, T6, T7, T6i, T6s, T7i, SL1, SL2, EOS60D, 70D, 77D, 80D, 50D, 40D, 30D, EOS 5D,...
  • This is a FULL Manual Lens, NO Electronic Contacts, your camera will not detect the lens when mounted, that's why it shows "LENS NOT ATTACHED", please switch to...
  • ★ Multi coated low-dispersion glass, anti-reflection coating, manual focus telephoto zoom lens to use with DSLR SLR cameras.Perfect for small or distant...
  • ★Free T mount adapter supply. If your camera is nikon, pentax, sony, DSLR cameras or other brand micro 4/3 which can buy extra adapter from our store.
JINTU 420-800mm f/ 8.3 Manual Telephoto Zoom Lens + T-Mount for Canon EOS Rebel...
  • ★ JINTU 420-800mm MF Super HD Telephoto lens, Solid Construction with full metal body, Small size 10.6 x 3.5 x 3.5 inch, lightweight 700g=1.8LB, easy to carry...
  • ★ Ultra high definition image quality from Japan, Multi coated low-dispersion glass. Free canon adapter supply. If your camera is Nikon, Pentax, Sony e mount...
  • ★ Compatible with Canon EOS Rebel T1i, T2i, T3, T3i, T4i, T5, T5i, T6, T7, T6i, T6s, T7i, SL1, SL2, 60D, 70D, 77D, 80D, 50D, 40D, 30D, 5D, 1D, 5D III, 5D IV,...
  • ★ Perfect for boyfriend or husband birthday gifts or photographyer. Best choice for small or distant subjects, ranging from birds and wildlife, through...
  • ★ NOTE: This is a manual lens, NO auto focus, your camera will show "lens not attach", but not defect. pls switch to MF MODE in order to use this lens.
SaleRANK 6
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras,...
  • EF Mount; Aperture Range: f/4-45; DC Autofocus Motor; 4.9' Minimum Focus Distance; 58mm Filter Thread Diameter
  • 4.9-foot closest focusing distance; 32- to 8-degree diagonal angle of view
  • Measures 2.8 inches in diameter and 4.8 inches long; weighs 16.8 ounces
  • Improved mechanism makes zooming smoother; front part of zoom ring sports silver ring.
Tony Northrup's Photography Buying Guide: How to Choose a Camera, Lens, Tripod,...
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Northrup, Tony (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 531 Pages - 11/18/2013 (Publication Date) - Mason Press (Publisher)
Meike 85mm f1.8 Large Aperture Full Frame Auto Focus Telephoto Lens for Canon...
  • Filter size is 67mm, minimum focus distance with 0.85m
  • Lens aperture range is F/1.8-F/22, lens construction with 6 groups of 9 pieces
  • Full frame view: level: 16 degree / vertical: 24 degrees / diagonal: 28.5 degrees
  • Lens carrying the usual electronic contacts, but also a USB connection that can be used to upgrade the lens firmware
  • Suitable for a wide range of other subjects, including selective architecture, landscapes, portrait, short range sports and theatre photography
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 20.1 MP Digital Camera - Black (Renewed)
  • Sensor: The 20.1 MP sensor delivers beautifully detailed photos that make for gorgeous enlargements, while in-camera stabilization offers crisp quality and...
  • Zoom: With a 35x optical zoom, you can get close to distant subjects without moving an inch. It's perfect for travel photography, candid shots of your kids,...
  • Finer Details: More pixels mean you can enlarge, zoom in, and crop your photos without losing detail
  • Sweep Panorama: The camera features Sweep Panorama, so you can capture the whole scene
  • Optical SteadyShot: This feature reduces blur even in low light
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L is USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
  • 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens with f/4.5 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras
  • 2 Image Stabilizer modes make it easy to capture far-off action or close-in portraits
  • Flourite and Super UD-glass elements largely eliminate secondary spectrum
  • Compatibility with extenders 1.4x II and 2x II; 5.9-foot close focusing distance
  • Measures 3.6 inches in diameter and 7.4 inches long; 1-year warranty

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reasons for Buying Camera Lens For Sports Photography

Sports photography requires specialized equipment to capture the action with precision and clarity. One of the essential pieces of gear every sports photographer should have is a high-quality camera lens. In this section, we’ll dive into some of the key reasons why investing in a camera lens for sports photography is worth considering.

What Things to Consider when Buying Camera Lens For Sports Photography?

When it comes to sports photography, having the right lens can make all the difference. There are several key factors to take into consideration when deciding on the best camera lens for your needs. Here are some important aspects to keep in mind.

Focal length

Focal length is a crucial consideration when selecting a camera lens for sports photography. The term refers to the distance between the lens and the camera’s image sensor, and it has a direct impact on the image’s field of view and magnification.

For sports photography, a high focal length lens is recommended, as it allows you to zoom in on the action from a far distance. This helps to capture close-up shots without having to get too close to the athletes, which could be dangerous or disruptive to the game. Additionally, a higher focal length also provides a shallower depth of field, which helps to create a blurred background effect that isolates the subject and makes it stand out more. Overall, selecting a lens with an appropriate focal length is essential for getting clear, sharp, and impactful sports photographs.


Aperture is one of the most important factors to consider before buying a camera lens for sports photography. Aperture is the opening in the lens that determines the amount of light that enters the camera. A larger aperture (lower f-number) allows more light to enter the camera, which is crucial for capturing fast-moving sports action in low light conditions. This results in sharper images and reduces the need for high ISO settings that can cause noise and graininess in the images.

In sports photography, a fast shutter speed is essential to freeze the action, but this also means less light is entering the camera. Choosing a lens with a wide aperture allows for faster shutter speeds to be used while maintaining a properly exposed image. Additionally, a wide aperture also helps create a shallow depth of field, which can help to isolate the subject from the background and emphasize the action. Therefore, considering aperture when buying a camera lens for sports photography is crucial in capturing stunning sports shots.

Image stabilization

Image stabilization (IS) is an important factor to consider when buying a camera lens for sports photography. It helps to minimize camera shake and allows for sharp and clear images, even in low-light conditions or when using a slow shutter speed. When shooting sports, there is usually a lot of movement and action, which can make it difficult to capture a sharp image.

A lens with image stabilization technology will help you to capture better quality images and allow you to use slower shutter speeds without worrying about blur. It will also be particularly useful when using longer lenses, as they are often heavier and more difficult to hold steady. Overall, IS technology can provide significant benefits for sports photographers, making it an essential feature to consider when choosing a lens.

Autofocus system

Autofocus system is a vital feature to consider in a camera lens before purchasing it for sports photography. This advanced technology enables the camera to adjust the focus automatically and quickly, which is crucial for capturing fast-moving subjects such as athletes. With a dynamic autofocus system, the lens can track and lock onto a subject, enabling you to capture sharp, clear images without missing the crucial action.

Furthermore, the autofocus system should have a fast and accurate focus-tracking ability that can seamlessly switch between subjects. This feature allows for continuous shooting without any lag in focus, producing a stream of stunning images that capture every aspect of the game. Overall, when considering a lens for sports photography, an advanced autofocus system is an essential feature to look for to ensure that you achieve the quality of images that best represent your subject.

Build quality and weather sealing

Build quality and weather sealing are important factors to consider when buying camera lenses for sports photography. Sports photography often involves harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and wind, as well as rough handling, such as quick movements and accidental bumps. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a lens that’s built to withstand such conditions and offer reliable performance. A lens with solid build quality and weather sealing will provide protection against environmental elements while ensuring optimal sharpness, contrast, and color rendition.

Furthermore, a well-built and weather-sealed lens can help you focus on capturing the action without worrying about the equipment. A lens that’s designed for sports photography must be able to perform fast and accurately in a variety of lighting conditions, as well as withstand repetitive use without compromising on quality. With a durable and weather-resistant lens, you can improve your sports photography skills and take your game to the next level. Ultimately, investing in a high-quality and weather-sealed camera lens will be a long-term investment that can pay off in terms of results, durability, and peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of camera lens is best for sports photography?

For sports photography, a fast lens with a wide aperture is ideal. This allows for faster shutter speeds which can freeze action and capture sharp images, even in low-light conditions. A telephoto lens with a focal length of at least 200mm is also recommended, as it allows the photographer to capture the action from a distance without being too intrusive on the field or court. Additionally, the lens should be able to focus quickly and accurately on the moving subjects, which requires a fast autofocus system.

Overall, a fast, telephoto lens with a wide aperture and fast autofocus is the best choice for sports photography, as it allows the photographer to capture sharp, detailed images of the action from a distance.

Does the aperture of the lens matter when shooting sports?

Yes, the aperture of the lens matters when shooting sports. A larger aperture (i.e. smaller f-number) allows more light to enter the camera, which in turn allows for faster shutter speeds and lower ISO settings. This is important when shooting fast-moving subjects, such as athletes, as it provides the necessary speed to freeze the action and prevent blur. Additionally, a larger aperture also creates a shallow depth of field, which can help to isolate and emphasize the subject from the background. However, a smaller aperture (i.e. larger f-number) may be needed to ensure that the entire subject is in focus, particularly if they are moving around the frame.

It is important to note that the choice of aperture also depends on other factors such as available light, desired depth of field, and the focal length of the lens. Additionally, sports photographers may also need to consider factors such as lens speed, autofocus speed, and image stabilization when choosing a lens for shooting sports.

Is zoom or prime lens better for sports photography?

Both zoom and prime lenses have their advantages when it comes to sports photography. Zoom lenses offer versatility by allowing the photographer to quickly adjust their focal length, making it easier to capture a range of different shots without having to constantly change lenses. This flexibility can be particularly useful in fast-paced sports where the action is constantly moving. However, zoom lenses tend to be slower than prime lenses in terms of their maximum aperture, which could impact their ability to capture sharp images in low light conditions.

On the other hand, prime lenses typically have a wider maximum aperture than zoom lenses, which makes them better suited for low light situations. They also tend to be sharper and offer better image quality. However, the fixed focal length means that the photographer may need to move around to get different angles and compositions, which can be more challenging in fast-paced sports. Ultimately, the choice between a zoom or prime lens for sports photography will depend on the specific needs and shooting conditions of the photographer.

How important is image stabilization in sports photography lenses?

Image stabilization is a crucial feature in sports photography lenses as it helps to avoid blurry and shaky images caused by camera shake. Sports photographers often have to shoot in low-light conditions or use long focal lengths to capture action from a distance, which makes image stabilization even more necessary. It enables photographers to take sharp, clear images without the need for a tripod and allows them to capture action shots quickly and accurately.

Final Thoughts

In today’s day and age, sports photography is quickly becoming one of the most competitive and in-demand fields in the industry. If you want to capture action-packed shots, you need to invest in the best camera lens for sports photography. With the right lens in hand, you can freeze moments in time and deliver stunning images that leave a lasting impression.

In conclusion, choosing the best camera lens for sports photography is no easy task, but with this comprehensive guide, you now have the necessary information to make an informed purchase. Start with your budget, then focus on the specific needs of your desired sport, and finally, narrow down your options by reviewing the lenses in this article. By doing so, you’ll be one step closer to capturing breathtaking moments in sports photography.

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