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  • Writer's pictureJeff Palicki

Best Lens for Sports Photography Canon

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Hello, my friends! Let's cut to the chase - I'm a Pro Sports Photographer, and here are the seven Canon lenses that I recommend for sports photography:


Canon Sports Photography Lens | Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM

This is a fast telephoto zoom lens that is ideal for capturing speedy athletes and 90 mph fastballs. Its fast f/2.8 aperture and image stabilization system make it a good choice for shooting in low light conditions and at high shutter speeds.


The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is a popular choice among sports photographers due to its fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, versatile focal length range, and powerful image stabilization system.



One of the standout features of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM that benefits us sports photographers is its image stabilization system, which helps to reduce the effects of camera shake, allowing for sharper images when shooting handheld or in low light conditions. The lens also has a durable, weather-sealed body that is suitable for use in a range of conditions, making it a reliable choice for professional sports photographers. Trust me, the last thing you want to be worrying about while photographing a rainy football game is, "is my Canon lens going to be destroyed?"


In terms of image quality, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM delivers excellent results. The lens has a number of advanced optics, including Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements, which help to reduce chromatic aberration and produce high-resolution images with excellent contrast and sharpness. The lens also has a Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghosting and flare, which is particularly useful when shooting in bright conditions.



Side note: This is also a top choice for anyone wanting to shoot concert photography. And if you need a hand, I also wrote a brief guide to setting up your camera in low light concert settings, but I digress...


 

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM | Best Canon Zoom Lens for Sports

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM is a top-of-the-line super telephoto lens that is designed for professional sports photographers who need to capture fast-moving athletes from a distance. It has a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture and a fixed focal length of 400mm, making it ideal for shooting night games at high shutter speeds.


One of the standout features of the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM is its image stabilization system, which helps to reduce the effects of camera shake, allowing for sharper images when shooting handheld or in low light conditions. The lens also has a durable, weather-sealed body that is suitable for use in a range of conditions, making it a reliable choice for professional photographers.



In terms of image quality, the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM delivers excellent results. The lens has a number of advanced optics, including Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements, which help to reduce chromatic aberration and produce high-resolution images with excellent contrast and sharpness. The lens also has a Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghosting and flare, which is particularly useful to me when I'm when photographing Major League Baseball on those bright sunny days.


Overall, the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM is a top-of-the-line lens that is suitable for a wide range of sports photography professional.



 

Sports Photography Lens | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is a good lens for sports photography due to its versatile focal length range and fast autofocus performance. The lens's focal length range of 100-400mm allows for a great deal of flexibility, making it suitable for a wide range of sports and action photography applications. Its image stabilization system also helps to reduce the effects of camera shake, allowing for sharper images when shooting handheld or in low light conditions.


The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM's fast autofocus motor is also a key feature for sports photography. It is capable of tracking fast-moving subjects with ease, making it easy to capture sharp images of moving athletes or other fast-paced action. The lens's durable, weather-sealed body is also a plus for sports photographers, as it allows the lens to withstand the rigors of professional use in a variety of conditions.


In terms of image quality, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM delivers excellent results. The lens has a number of advanced optics, including Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements, which help to reduce chromatic aberration and produce high-resolution images with excellent contrast and sharpness. Its Super Spectra Coating also helps to reduce ghosting and flare, which is particularly useful when shooting in bright conditions.


Overall, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is a reliable and high-performance lens that is well-suited for all of your sports and action photography wants and needs.



 


Best Lenses for Sports Photography | Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM


The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens is a great lens for sports photography because it has a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8, which allows for fast shutter speeds in low light conditions. This is important in sports photography because it allows you to freeze the action and capture sharp images. The lens also has Image Stabilization (IS), which helps to reduce camera shake and allow for sharper images when shooting handheld.



Additionally, the 300mm focal length of the lens allows you to get close to the action and capture tight shots of the players. The lens is also relatively lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry around and use during long events. Finally, the lens has a durable build quality, which is important in a lens that will likely be subjected to a lot of wear and tear during sports photography.


I used the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens at a football game and was impressed with its performance. The fast f/2.8 aperture and Image Stabilization (IS) system helped me capture sharp, well-exposed images in challenging lighting conditions, and the long focal length allowed me to get close to the action and capture tight shots of the players. Overall, the lens proved to be a valuable tool for capturing top-quality sports photographs.



 

Long Range Sports Photography Lens | Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x

This is a professional-grade telephoto lens that is ideal for sports photography. Its built-in 1.4x extender allows for a focal length range of 200-560mm, making it extremely versatile. Its fast f/4 aperture and image stabilization system make it a good choice for shooting in low light conditions and at high shutter speeds.


The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x is a telephoto zoom lens with a built-in 1.4x extender. It has a focal length range of 200-400mm and a fast maximum aperture of f/4, which allows for fast shutter speeds in low light conditions and helps to produce beautiful bokeh in images with shallow depth of field.



The lens also has Image Stabilization (IS), which helps to reduce camera shake and allow for sharper images when shooting handheld. It is constructed with high-quality materials and has a durable build, making it a reliable choice for professional photographers.


One unique feature of the lens is the built-in 1.4x extender, which allows you to extend the focal length of the lens to 560mm (with a corresponding decrease in maximum aperture to f/5.6). This can be useful for capturing distant subjects or for isolating specific elements in a scene.


Overall, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x is a versatile and high-quality lens that is well-suited for a variety of photography applications, including any and all sports!




 

Best Budget Lens for Sports Photography Canon | Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens for Canon


If you're a Sports Photographer on a budget, this is the best lens to add to your Canon camera. And if you need to find the best budget Canon Camera to match, allow me to point you in the right direction!


The Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens for Canon is a telephoto zoom lens with a focal length range of 150-600mm. It has a maximum aperture of f/5-6.3, which is relatively fast for a lens in this focal length range. The lens also has Optical Stabilization (OS), which helps to reduce camera shake and allow for sharper images when shooting handheld.


One unique feature of the Sigma 150-600mm lens is its customizable focus limiter switch, which allows you to specify a range of distances within which the lens will focus. This can be useful for improving focus speed and accuracy in certain situations, such as when you know that your subject will be at a specific distance from the camera.



The lens is constructed with high-quality materials and has a durable build, making it a reliable choice for professional photographers. It is also compatible with Sigma's optional 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, which can extend the focal length of the lens even further.


Overall, the Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens for Canon is a versatile and high-quality lens that is well-suited for a variety of photography applications, including sports, wildlife, and events. It is a great choice for photographers who need a lens with a long focal length range that is capable of producing sharp, well-exposed images.



Overall, any of these Canon lenses would be a great choice to pair with your Canon Cameras for sports photography, depending on your specific needs and preferences.


 

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM | Wide-Angle Lens for Dynamic Sports Environments

Now, let's explore a lens that brings a different perspective to your sports photography arsenal – the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM. While wide-angle lenses are not the traditional choice for sports photography, the 24mm focal length of this lens introduces a dynamic element to your shots.


Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

Price | Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

Priced at approximately $1,699, the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM offers excellent value for photographers seeking a wide-angle option with a wide aperture for low-light conditions and creative compositions.


Autofocus | Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

The autofocus system on this lens is rapid and precise, ensuring quick and accurate focusing in various sports scenarios. This, combined with its wide aperture, makes it suitable for capturing fast-paced action with stunning detail.


Focal Range | Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

The 24mm focal length provides a unique perspective, allowing you to capture the entire sports environment in a single frame. It's perfect for showcasing the grandeur of stadiums, the energy of the crowd, or providing a wide-angle context to the sporting event.


Why Choose the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM?

While not the conventional choice, the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM adds versatility to your sports photography toolkit. It excels in situations where you want to capture the atmosphere, surroundings, and overall ambiance of a sports event. Whether it's a panoramic view of a packed stadium or a dramatic wide-angle shot of athletes in action, this lens opens up new creative possibilities.




 


In Conclusion

Each lens on this list caters to different aspects of sports photography, from capturing tight shots of athletes to showcasing the broader context of the game. Consider your specific needs, shooting style, and the variety of sports you cover when selecting the ideal lens for your Canon M50. Having a diverse set of lenses ensures that you're prepared to capture all the thrilling moments and unique perspectives that sports photography demands.


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