Finding the best budget telephoto-zoom lenses really can start your photography without having to be too tough on your own wallet. Once you’ve surely got to grips with your mirrorless camera or DSLR and bundled kit lens you’ll like find yourself wanting to expand your shooting options and give yourself the ability to capture distant, fast-moving subjects. But how to know which to choose? We’ve put together this guide to make it easier for you.
For many people new to digital photography, a telephoto zoom lens is the first lens they look to invest in after choosing their camera body and kit lens and it’s easy to see why. Allowing you to get very much closer to your subject matter and fill the framework, they’re great for a wide range of subjects, from tightly-cropped architecture and landscapes to striking wildlife and action photos.
While it’s possible to spend over five numbers on some high-end telephoto zoom lenses, there are some great budget telephoto zoom lenses out there as well.
You’ll find that many of the more affordable lenses on this list are designed specifically for APS-C camera bodies, which means they tend to be lighter and more compact than their full-frame counterparts. Pair one of these with an APS-C camera body and you may have a very neat system that can get you really close to the actions. It’s worth bearing in mind that some lenses though will still work on cameras with larger full-frame sensors and others won’t, so it’s always worth looking at the compatibility of a lens with your camera before buying.
We’ve included a range of lenses on this buying guideline to the best budget telephoto zoom lenses, some are manufacturers’ own, and others from third-party lens makers. In every case, we’re assured that the lenses we’ve included represent amazing value for money.
Best Budget Telephoto Lenses in 2021
1. Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Lens for Sony E-Mount Cameras Silver (Renewed)
- This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
- Wide zoom range (82 - 315mm 35mm equivalent) ideal for sports or nature
- Internal focusing for smooth, quiet operation - perfect for video capture.Direct manual focus with non-rotating focus ring during AF: ideal for precise, comfortable manual focus adjustments
- Optical Steady Shot image stabilization for stable video capture and low light performance
- Minimum Focus Distance - 3.28 ft, Maximum Magnification ratio - 0.23x
2. Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Lens for Sony E-Mount Cameras (Silver)
- This version is originally intended for sale outside the US and may contain adapters, manuals, and warranties not compatible with US standards.
3. Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Lens for Alpha & E-Mount Mirrorless Digital Camera with Gadget Bag, Tulip Hood, 4X Macro Close-Up Kit, 3 Piece Filter Kit and A-Cell Accessory Bundle (Silver)
- Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS Lens is designed for APS-C-format cameras, this 55-210mm lens perfectly complements many kit zooms by providing an 82.5-315mm equivalent focal length range for telephoto applications. (Bulk Packaging)
- E 55-210mm Lens Key Features: E-Mount Lens/APS-C Format; 82.5-315mm (35mm Equivalent); Aperture Range: f/4.5-6.3 to f/22-32; Two ED Elements; Two Aspherical Elements; Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization; Internal Focus; Minimum Focus Distance: 3.3'; Seven-Blade Circular Diaphragm.
- A variable f/4.5-6.3 maximum aperture helps keep overall lens size and weight to a minimum, Two extra-low dispersion glass elements are featured in the lens design to help reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing for improved clarity and color neutrality.
- Two aspherical elements are incorporated in the lens design to reduce astigmatism, field curvature, coma, and other monochromatic aberrations. An internal focus mechanism contributes to faster, more responsive autofocus, the minimum focus distance of 3.3'.
- Optical SteadyShot image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake for sharper imagery when shooting handheld with slower shutter speeds. This stabilization system can be combined with select camera's sensor-shift type image stabilization for more effective control of camera blur.