Choosing the right lens for sports photography is a difficult task. We are here to assist you with making the right choice, from telephoto to prime.

70-200mm f/2.8 Lens

Our first choice is a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. This is where versatility meets quality. Featuring a fast constant f/2.8 aperture that excels in low light and offers control over depth of field for isolating subjects. It facilitates agile shooting in diverse situations from sports and wildlife to portrait photography. Its only downfall would be that you will need an extra lens (like a prime lens to add a different perspective) to compliment your kit.

In sports photography, the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is perfect for netball, athletics, swimming and those split-second moments you have to capture a try in rugby.

Lenses:

Best sports photography lenses.
Image taken with a Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens

400mm f/2.8 Lens

The super-telephoto 400mm f/2.8 lens captures incredibly crisp images and the new models have shed a lot of weight, which is a great feature for a pro sports lens. Low light performance is exceptional, not to mention the fast focusing speed and precision that its low aperture allows. As a prime lens, it doesn’t have the benefit of zoom but works great in combination with the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens

The 400mm f/2.8 lens captures spectacular motorsport, birding, wildlife and mid-field rugby photographs. The 600mm f/4 will handle the aviation and cricket sports easier but if you add the 1.4x converter to the 400mm f/2.8 lens, it extends your range to a 560mm f/4.

Lenses:

Best sports photography lenses.
Image taken with a Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens

Pro Zoom Lenses

For fast focus, high-quality images you can look at these pro zoom lenses. The fixed aperture gives you the versatility you need to shoot in different sports environments. With the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM and the Nikon 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 AF-S FL ED VR, you will enjoy a built-in 1.4x teleconverter that can be activated by a flip of a switch. They do not have the sharpness of a prime lens but doesn’t comprise image quality.

These lenses are great for athletics and motorsports, capturing quality and detail with speed and precision.

Lenses:

Best sports photography lenses.
Image taken with a Nikon 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 AF-S FL ED VR Lens

Top-End Lenses

If you are looking for a sports lens that is versatile while receiving excellent value for money, you’ll love these top-end lenses. They are trademarked by good focusing and image quality. The variable aperture offers great versatility for different sports scenarios but isn’t as good in low-light conditions as the pro-lenses. 

Lenses: 

Best sports photography lenses.
Image taken with a Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM Lens

Entry-Level Lenses

Entry-level lenses will get you to your destination with ease. It will be an amazing experience and a stepping stone to something extraordinary.  If you are starting out or on a tight budget, these entry-level lenses produce good image quality for those victorious sports moments.

Lenses: 

Best sports photography lenses.
Image taken with a Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM Lens

We hope you have a better understanding of the different types of lenses for sports photography. With the right gear to back you, those “once in a lifetime” shots can be relived and shared. For more advice, feel free to contact us at info@outdoorphoto.co.za.