Telephoto lenses are notoriously expensive. If you do not have a large budget for camera gear, it can be difficult to find a telephoto lens for your Canon camera; however, it is possible to buy Canon telephoto lenses for under $300.
There is one clear standout winning as well as a handful of other excellent telephoto lenses in this category. In order to meet your budget requirements, you may have to consider purchasing a renewed or used lens. In most instances, refurbished and used lenses are still excellent quality and have been looked after by their previous owners.
A telephoto lens provides excellent creative options for your photography, letting you try your hand at wildlife or sports photography, for example. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, read on to find out about the best Canon telephoto lenses for under $300.
1. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM (Overall Winner)
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is our top choice. It is available for a myriad of popular Canon DSLR cameras including the EOS 7D, 60D, and various models in the Rebel series. Remember that this is an EF-S lens, so be sure to check its compatibility first!
This mid-range telephoto lens offers excellent quality and functionality. The focal range of 55-250mm means that you could use this as a standard kit lens. At 55mm, the lens is ideal for street photography, but the 250mm focal range is excellent for wildlife shots.
Aside from its great focal distance, this lens has some brilliant features for usability. First, it has built-in image stabilization which helps to reduce shakes when zoomed-in at the maximum focal distance. Secondly, it has the silent stepping motor which makes it quieter and smoother when focusing.
This is the best Canon telephoto lens for under $300 and is a real bargain considering its functionality.
If you are not bothered about owning the latest piece of technology, the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM is a brilliant telephoto lens. Admittedly, it does not have the features as the latest Canon telephoto lenses, but it is still a great budget option.
It has an excellent focal range of 75-300mm which means it can be used to create anything from portraits to detailed wildlife photography.
The main downside with this older lens is that it does not have built-in image stabilization. This means that it can be trickier to use. You must use extreme care and a tripod is advised when using this lens for extreme telephoto photography.
Tamron is well-known for creating brilliant and affordable telephoto lenses. The Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD is one of the top Canon telephoto lenses for under $300. Though to find it for this price point, it must be purchased as a renewed or used option.
This lens has a high-quality XLD glass that provides fantastic image resolution and quality. In addition to this, it benefits from Tamron’s USD technology (Ultrasonic Silent Drive). This means that the transitions and focusing are virtually silent.
Moreover, it also has vibration compensation technology which is Tamron’s version of image stabilization. This makes the lens easy to use, particularly at the maximum focal distance of 300mm.
As the lens features the Dual format Di design, it can be used on both cropped and full-frame sensor Canon cameras. This makes it incredibly useful and versatile. We like the lens design also. It has a firm textured grip so that you can easily transition between the different zoom settings.
Sigma produces a brilliant range of high-quality telephoto lenses. The Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Contemporary is a bargain if you are prepared to purchase a used or renewed version.
The focal distance of 18-300mm essentially means this lens encompasses everything from wide-angle, through to telephoto. You could comfortably use it as your standard kit lens if you didn’t want to carry multiple lenses.
It also has an excellent aperture range of f/3.5-6.3 through the different focal distances. This allows for excellent creativity.
This lens is intended for APS-C cameras and offers a cropped sensor focal distance of 27-450mm. In addition, it also features HSM technology. This is Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor, and it ensures a quiet performance with excellent autofocusing capabilities.
The lens element is made up from several different layers to provide brilliant clarity and sharpness for photos. It also as OS (Optical Stabilizer) which helps compensate for camera shake.
5. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro (Budget Winner)
The Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro is one of the most interesting Canon telephoto lenses for under $300. It can serve a dual purpose. Firstly, it can be used as a telephoto lens for wildlife and sports photography. Secondly, it can also be used as a macro lens with a minimum focusing distance of just 59 inches.
The lens glass is made from multiple layers, helping to reduce ghosting and flaring. The standard package comes with a lens hood to protect the relatively large lens glass.
The main downside to this lens is that it doesn’t have image stabilization, nor does it benefit from Sigma’s HSM technology.
Extend Your Focal Range With Canon Telephoto Lenses for Under $300
As you can see it is possible to own a high-quality telephoto lens without spending a fortune! The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is a wonderful lens and definitely the best option for cheap Canon telephoto lenses.
With a lens like this, you can start to explore different types of photography. In addition, it will help you improve your photography skills. For example, you can improve your subject tracking and focus on moving objects. Why not extend your lens repertoire today and purchase one of these budget telephoto lenses?