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Choose the Right Lens for Sport and Wildlife Photography

When shooting at a distance for wildlife and sports photography, the first thing to consider is focal length. Sports and wildlife photography are often grouped together in terms of lens choice because often what you're shooting is quite far away from you and moving pretty fast.  

Fast focusing is critical over a long distance at high magnification 

Fast moving subjects like animals or race cars will come in and out of your frame very quickly so take advantage of very rapid focusing technology. There will be times that you won't be able to get very close to your subject or when its better to keep your distance, and the right lens lets you do this.

With sports and wildlife you're often shooting a moving subject

Wide maximum apertures are going to let you shoot at faster shutter speeds, are going to let you freeze the action and they're going to minimise any effects of camera shake.

Three great lenses for sports and wildlife photography:

  1. Canon 55-250mm lens

    Try a 55-250m lens designed specifically to work with an APS-C camera like EOS 60D or 7D. It provides a really useful range for wildlife and sports and its image stabilizer reduces camera shake for a more stable, focused sharp image.

  2. Canon L-series 70-300mm lens

    This lens boasts a really useful range and in addition to image stabilization, it detects the way you're moving and cancels out the camera shake in the other axis. Its USM motor is extremely fast and almost silent, which very important to a wildlife photographer. 

  3. Canon's 800mm L-Series lens

    Canon's longest lens includes some incredible technology as well as image stabilization in two modes. It also boasts a fluorite element to ensure all the light coming in makes it down to the sensor to prevent chromatic aberrations - rainbows around high contrast edges - meaning you'll get really close to the action and keep the detail. 

Long lenses will get you really close to the action and photograph things in a really impactful way. Practice by photographing your local footy team in the park or wildlife in your garden and remember, the easiest way to change your photography and get a fresh approach is to change your lens. 

Are you interested in learning more about sports photography? Check Phil Hillyard's sports photography tips and capture the action just like a pro!