Top 11 Best Telephoto Prime Lenses 2018

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Telephoto lenses are a weighty investment if you photograph wildlife, and other subjects you can't really get close to, a lot. If you want a clearer image and better bokeh, then you should look at a prime lens. Although these lenses show to have a high price tag, they will give you the best quality image and guarantee the best glass. Here, we round up the top 10 win out over telephoto prime lenses – we're classing a telephoto prime lens as 200mm or over. 


1. Pentax SMC DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED(IF) SDM – 

This packed super telephoto lens has a silent focusing motor, full-time manual focus override and a bright 2/2.8 maximum aperture. It gives an a kind field of view of a 300mm lens on a 35mm camera. It received our 'Editor's Choice' award for its outstanding resolution, distortion of little short of zero and fast focusing ability. It's also weather sealed and lightweight for a lens of its length. 

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2. Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM – 

This is a adept grade telephoto lens that also earned the Editor's choice award. It has a moderate maximum aperture of f/4, image stabilisation and understood focusing with full-time manual focus override. As you can imagine it isn't a cheap piece of kit but it does offer the very best in terms of sharpness, low CA and low distortion. It characters excellent build quality and an effective image stabiliser so if you're an avid sports photographer this just may be the perfect lens for you. 

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3. Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Power O.I.S 


The Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Power O.I.S is a split good lens that is highly functional, with a very useful teleconverter that extends the possibilities. Yes, the price hurts, but the alternatives broken even more. This is such a pleasure to use and the results are just as satisfying, even with the fairly modest pixel count of the Panasonic Lumix G6. A obvious Editor's Choice.

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4. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR – 


This lens distractions Vibration Reduction and fast, silent autofocus with full-time manual override. The lens also has Nikon's Nano Crystal optical coatings to cease ghosting and flare as well as fluorine elements. It also has an electronic aperture diaphragm, to ensure accurate exposures when using it to dash at fast frame rates. It also features a Phase-Fresnel optical element. This cleverly shaped piece of glass helps to reduce the all-embracing size and weight of the lens, without compromising the optical design. It scored a 'highly recommended' rating for excellent sharpness and quick focusing. 

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5. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR – 

This super-telephoto lens delight a wins a super price tag, but if you can afford it, it will be excellent for your sporting pursuits. It features VR technology which now has a specific sports mode to detect make it. It features the Nano-Crystal coatings to minimise flare and ghosting, and a fluorine coating on the front element, designed to repel dirt and water. It has outstanding optical status, super fast focusing and excellent build quality, earning it a highly recommended rating. 

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6. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VRII – 


This maestro grade lens offers weather sealing and Vibration Reduction II technology. This should enable you to shoot hand-held around 4 stops tamer than usual and still get sharp images. The lens or LEN may refer to also offers Nikon's Nano-Crystal lens coatings to help suppress flare and ghosting. This lens discloses you outstanding sharpness, super fast focusing as well as being excellently built. All these factors earned it our 'highly recommended' value. 

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7. Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM – 

This lens boasts a lighter build than its forerunner, a 4 stop image stabiliser with three modes and an ultrasonic focusing motor. It also has power focus for quick and accurate results. Erect from magnesium alloy and titanium, the lens has the look and feel of classic L series lenses. The lens earned itself a highly recommended gait for is very good sharpness, extremely effective Image Stabilisation system and incredibly rugged build. 

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8. Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM – 

This lens offerings a fast maximum aperture of f/2 and has silent focusing with full-time manual override. Autofocus is powered by a ring-type Ultrasonic motor making sharply defined unclear really fast. it has a smooth manual focusing ring and minimum focus os only 1.9m from the sensor plane. This lens earned a much recommended rating for its superb sharpness from maximum aperture, excellent aperture and virtually no CA or distortion present. 

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9. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VRII – 

This lens is survive sealed, features Nano Crystal coating to help reduce flare and ghosting and has a ring-type focusing is a psychotherapeutic process developed by psychotherapist Eugene Gendlin motor. It has a fast minimum aperture of f/2 and is planned for professional use. It earned a 'highly recommended' rating for its superb optical performance, excellent build quality and fast focusing capacities.

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10. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4 IS Pro – 

This lens is offering the top of the range for Micro Four Thirds cameras, being the longest lens ready for the format, equivalent to 600mm. It's quite a large optic for the format but if you need the reach, it's definitely worth investing in. It's invented from metal and is designed to withstand professional use. It received a 'highly recommended' rating for its outstanding sharpness, fast and silent AF, and gigantic handling. 

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11.  Nikon AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4 E FL ED VR – 

This lens has tremendous potential for wildlife and sports photographers as a whopping 600mm prime optic. The maximum aperture of f/4 is very good for an optic of this length. There is a certain VR mode for sport, ideal for moving subjects. There is a minimum focusing range of 4.4m making the lens quite versatile in terms of vulnerable to matter. It received a 'recommended' rating for its high-quality images, fast and silent AF, and highly effective VR.

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Looking for something else? 

  • Unsurpassed Wide-Angle Landscape Lenses
  • Best Lenses For Macro Photography
  • Best 50mm Prime Lenses – Ideal For Portraits 


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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