Super-telephoto lenses offer unrivaled detail and allow you to capture magnificent images of things like wildlife or sporting events. Canon has produced some brilliant quality options and today we look at the best Canon super-telephoto lenses under $1000.
When choosing a super-telephoto lens, you should consider image stabilization, portability, and autofocusing. Image stabilization for this type of lens is essential, especially when zoomed-in at maximum focal distances.
Many super-telephoto lenses tend to be bulky and heavy, therefore you should be aware of its size and how you can carry or use it. Do you need a tripod, for example, or can you use it comfortably handheld? Finally, a sound autofocusing system is also important as this will help you track moving objects easier like wildlife.
1. Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM (Overall Winner)
Our first choice for Canon super-telephoto lenses is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM. This is an older high-end lens and, as a result, does not have some of the technologies of newer models. However, it’s still one of the good lenses and provides great image quality for a budget price.
This is an L-series lens and has a beautiful design with the patented white coating and red ring you come to expect from L-series lenses. The standard package comes with a padded lens bag so you can easily carry it around.
The lens construction is made from 16 elements in 13 groups and features UD-glass. This special glass greatly reduces distortions while also boosting contrast and general image performance. It features the Ultra Sonic Motor (USM) autofocusing system which is vital when tracking moving objects or working in low-contrast areas.
The main drawback of this lens is a lack of image stabilization. Because of this, we advise using it with a tripod to help with stability. This lens can be used with both 1.4x and 2x extenders which boost the maximum focal distance to 280mm and 400mm respectively.
The Canon RF series of lenses is steadily expanding and this 600mm behemoth is a great addition. The Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM is a unique lens with an interesting design. It is a prime super-telephoto lens for Canon EOS R cameras and features an incredible focal distance of 600mm.
Despite the huge focal length, this budget lens is created in such a way that makes it portable and relatively lightweight. It weighs 1215g which is fairly impressive considering the lens elements inside.
The lens features a retractable design that helps reduce weight and bulk. When not in use, it can be retracted fully and simply extended when taking photos. It can also be used with the Canon 1.4x and 2x extenders.
In terms of features, this top lens has both image stabilization and Canon’s STM autofocusing motor. This means it is stable but also can focus quickly on moving objects like wildlife.
The Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM is currently the largest focal distance available for Canon cameras without using an extender, but excitingly enough, this super-telephoto lens can still be used with one. You can use both the 1.4x and 2x extenders to provide either a 1120mm or 1600mm focal distance.
This budget lens is made for Canon EOS R cameras and has some good features including an STM focusing motor and an image stabilization system that corrects up to four stops of camera shake. The STM motor provides lightning-fast autofocusing which is vital when tracking wildlife and extreme focal distances.
Like the lens above, this lens also has an interesting retractable design to help reduce its footprint and weight. It is relatively easy to use and much easier to carry than other super-telephoto lenses. This is by far one of the best Canon super-telephoto lenses under $1000 and an essential item for serious wildlife photography.
4. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM (Budget Winner)
The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM is a great budget option and sits right on the $500 mark. This is a bargain and allows you to experiment with super-telephoto photography without spending a fortune.
This is a standard EF Canon lens, but it still has decent features and solid build quality. For example, it has built-in image stabilization and Canon’s Ultra Sonic Motor autofocusing system. This means the lens is both stable quick to focus.
For general specs, it has a close focusing distance of 3.94ft, weighs 710g, and has a maximum length of 5.73 inches. This means you can still shoot from a relatively close distance, but it is quite heavy and bulky. As a result, you may want to use this budget lens with a tripod.
The information display on top of the lens is quite handy. This small display shows important information including focusing distance, shake amount, and focal length. You can assess the display to make quick adjustments to your compositions. This is certainly the best value Canon super-telephoto lens under $1000 and very a solid option.
Get Unparalleled Detail with Canon Super-Telephoto Lenses Under $1000
As you can see, it is possible to purchase an affordable super-telephoto lens. Canon has some great options and you can easily get a high-quality telephoto lens for less than $1000.
We are interested to see if Canon releases any other super-telephoto lenses for the EOS R series of cameras. With the release of the EOS R5 and EOS R6, it appears that Canon is pushing the lens range too.
Also, the different styles and designs of the Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and 800mm are intriguing developments. In the future, we could see more of these specialist super-telephoto lenses being produced which would give photographers more cheap lens options.