Best 70-200mm Lenses of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

What’s better than having a passion for photography and getting the right tools for it too? Surely nothing!

There is a great variety of lenses on the market to satisfy the needs of photographers. They enable them to practice all the new techniques and camera angles.

So, if you are thinking of buying a new lens, look up 70-200mm lenses. In this article, we have presented all that you need to know about them and reviewed our very favorite options in this category. 

Comparison Chart of the Best 70-200mm Lenses

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens

  • Best overall
  • Minimum focus distance is 37.8 inches
  • Aspherical elements present for greater image quality
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Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC G2

  • Runner-up
  • Aperture type of the lens is F/2.8
  • Diagonal angle of view is 34°21' - 12°21'
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

  • Best for the money
  • Maximum aperture is 1:4.0
  • Broad focal length range between 70 and 200 mm
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Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO

  • Best 70-200 mm lens for Nikon
  • Maximum magnification ratio is 1:8
  • Focal length is equivalent to 105-300 mm on APS-C camera
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Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S

  • The DSLR lens is G type
  • Minimum focus distance is at 4.6 feet
  • Best 70-200 mm lens for Nikon D750
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L is III USM Lens

  • Best Canon 70-200 mm lens
  • Maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.8
  • White and black frame looks attractive
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

  • Filter size of the lens is 77 mm
  • Best Telephoto lens 70-200 mm
  • L type lens with an aperture of f/2.8
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What Does 70-200mm Mean?

70-200 mm means the range of focal length of a lens. The focal length determines the ability of a lens to focus on an object. The greater the focal length, the better you can focus on objects in the distance. 70 mm lenses are great for portraits, while the 200 mm ones are suitable for landscape photography. 

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens

A 70-200 mm lens is one of the most practical varieties out there as it helps in multiple forms of photography. Having one means that you can easily adjust your camera to your surroundings. This is why it is an essential tool for every photographer’s kit. 

What is 70-200mm Lens Used For?

A 70-200 mm lens offers diverse usability, so you can use it for multiple formats of photography. You can use it for pretty much everything, but here are its most common uses. 

Versatile Focal Length

The best use of a 70-200 mm lens is that you can choose the focal length of your choice. No matter if you want to go for food photography or nature photography, you can adjust the focal length accordingly. The variation of focal length also lets you play around with bokeh more. 

Better Image Quality

Another benefit that makes the 70-200 mm lens so useful is the improvement of image quality. So, if you have opened up a new studio and want to have the best image quality in town, you should go for this lens.

Greater Speed

With greater focal length, you get to have a better grip on the focus. This increases your work efficiency, so you will not have to waste time changing the lens with every shot. Thus, a 70-200 mm lens brings speed and quality to your photography work. 

Teleconverter Operation

Teleconverter operation is one of many important uses of 70-200 mm lenses. These lenses have great compatibility with Teleconverters, which you can place between the lens and the camera. They help in magnification, and you can focus more on your subjects. 

How Do I Choose a 70-200mm Lens?

Choosing a 70-200 mm lens can be hard if you do not know what to look for. There are many people who have had to return their lenses as they didn’t find them useful. This is because they did not buy the right one for themselves. To avoid that, we’ve listed the aspects to consider while choosing a 70-200 mm lens. 

Optical Performance

Optical performance is something that directly affects the quality of an image. It refers to the clarity, brightness, and sharpness of the picture. The optical performance is at its highest when there is minimum light dispersion or chromatic aberration. 

Zoom or Prime

Getting a zoom or prime lens depends on your own ease of use and preferences. A zoom lens comes with a zoom ring, and its focal length is open to adjustment. Prime lenses, on the other hand, have a fixed focal length and lack a zoom ring. 

Aperture

The aperture of the lens matters a lot when it comes to sharpness and shutter speed. The wider the aperture, the easier it will be to get a clear image. It is advised to get a lens that has a broad range of aperture widths. This will help you adjust the brightness and shutter speed. 

Quick Take - Best 70-200mm Lenses

Before we dive into our review, here are the best 70-200mm lenses:

  1. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens
  2. Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC G2
  3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

Review of the Best 70-200mm Lenses

Now that you know the importance and uses of 70-200 mm lenses, you must want to see some of our top choices so you can select yours from the very best options that you can go for.

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens

PROS

  • Circular aperture has 11 sharp blades in it0.
  • Maximum reproduction ratio of 0.25x
  • Nano AR coating to remove reflection and improve images
  • Steady shot image stabilization overcomes shaky camera angles
  • Easy manual focus with the direct-coupled mechanical focus system

CONS

  • Quite heavy at a weight of 5 pounds
  • Zoom ring is a little tight for using with two fingers

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have taken quite a liking to this lens because of its minimum focus distance. It allowed them to focus on even the tiniest details while keeping the background on display too. The only problem that they reported is its weight. It causes fatigue in the wrist and hand on prolonged usage. However, that didn’t deter them from investing in this model. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens stands out to us due to its image stabilization technology. Even in videos, there will be almost no shakiness, and this is what all photographers want. The Nano AR coating is another great aspect because it makes the lens less prone to damage.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a lens for almost every photographer. There is nothing much to complain about other than the weight. The focus, image clarity, and stability are what everyone looks for. So, anyone can use it and enjoy working with it without a problem.

Bottom Line

To wrap up, this is easily the best 70-120 mm lens on the market as it is rich in features. Its shots are quite steady and have amazing clarity. Plus, its ease of use is second to none, which makes it exceptionally versatile. So, go for it if you do not have a tight budget to consider. 

Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC G2 for Canon EF DSLR (6 Year Limited USA Warranty for New Lenses Only)

PROS

  • Circular diaphragm has 9 blades in it
  • 5 stops involved to improve the VC performance 
  • Comes with a 6-year limited warranty by Tamron
  • Water and oil-repellent fluorine protective compound
  • Compatible with Teleconverters for added magnification

CONS

  • Minimum focus distance is not very impressive
  • Takes time to lock the focus before capturing a photo

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens has won over its buyers with the way it makes photography so much more fun. They like the diagonal angle of view the most, which is 34°21' - 12°21'. They also love the aperture type of f/2.8, which makes images brighter and sharper. Overall, all users seem satisfied with their purchase. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The warranty of 6 years is one of the most attractive features offered by this Tamron lens. It makes the product more reliable for customers and for us as well. It works well with Teleconverters too, which are usually a problem. This helps in increasing the range of magnification and zooming of the lens as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is for you if you want one with really sharp blades. This increases the shutter speed, and you get to have a better image. It is also a good option for you if you want to use Teleconverter elements in your photography. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that this is one of the best options for those who want a 70-200 mm lens. Considering everything, its pros outweigh its cons by a great margin and make it well worth the money. So, you will not regret choosing this one if you want variety in your photographs. 

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras, Lens Only

PROS

  • Ring-type used is ultrasonic
  • 34-12 degree diagonal angle of view
  • Great construction with 16 elements in 13 groups
  • Telephoto lens has high compatibility with SLR cameras
  • Circular polarizing filter is easy to use on its front element

CONS

  • No image stabilization for moving subjects
  • Size can be a problem for some photographers

What Recent Buyers Report

People who bought it recently reported a great user experience with this 70-200 mm lens. They recommended it because of its construction and built quality. They also like it due to its diagonal angle of view. The range of this angle is 34 degrees to 12 degrees, which makes it a better match for landscape photography.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were stunned with the amazing bokeh offered by this lens. It has a wide aperture and very quick shutter closure. This increases the sharpness of the images, and the bokeh has just the right amount of creamy texture. Its circular polarizing filter is great, too, as it sits well on the front element.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the best lens for photographers who prefer wildlife and nature photography, especially those who are shopping under a budget. Plus, the zooming in and blurriness is just perfect for landscape photography. This, in addition to the bokeh and shutter speed, makes it a must-have for adventure-loving photographers. 

Bottom Line

Summing it up, we have shortlisted this as the best budget lens for a reason. The price is practically negligible once you have a look at the qualities that it possesses. Thus, make sure that you add it to your photography kit if you like to capture nature as your subject.

Best 70-200mm Lens for Nikon:
 Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS FLD Large Aperture Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital DSLR Camera

PROS

  • Ring-type in it is ultrasonic
  • Wide aperture of f/2.8
  • 4 stops offered for image stabilization
  • Full-time manual focusing with AF motor
  • Super multi-layer coating for scratch and weather resistance

CONS

  • Heavy and causes hand fatigue
  • Bokeh gets all rippled sometimes

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers gave mixed reviews regarding this Sigma lens. They liked the fact that it works like a 105-300 mm lens on APS-C cameras. This made the buyers use it without any worries on their APS-C camera as well. They liked it because of its sleek and stylish frame too. Some were less thrilled with the weight and bokeh abilities of the lens.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens distinguishes itself to us with its image stabilization capability. It comes with 4 stops, so users can modify it more. The ultrasonic ring-type makes it easier to use and capture the best shots. It also has a full-time manual focus, which makes it the best friend of passionate photographers. 

Who Will Use This Most

This seems to be the most suitable for people who pursue photography as a passion. The manual focus improves the user experience, as it lets you explore your skills. As this lens has a wide aperture, it will help you in all kinds of indoor and outdoor situations as well. 

Bottom Line

The final word on it is that it is a great Sigma lens for Nikon cameras. The focus is great, and there are greater details in the images. The image stabilization is a definite win with it too. So, invest in it if you want something high on both quality and features. 

Best 70-200mm Lens for Nikon D750:
 Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens For Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (New, White box)

PROS

  • Diameter of the lens is almost 87 mm
  • Lens mount flange is great for Nikon D750
  • Telephoto lens allows for magnification as well
  • Comes with a built-in CPU for added image quality
  • Compatible with both FX and DX formats of cameras

CONS

  • Lens hood does not work well
  • Slight vignette on opening the lens to the maximum width

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers had a great time using this 70-200 mm lens because of its G type. It goes perfectly with Nikon D750 cameras and has the perfect mount. They also like this model due to its minimum focus distance of 4.6 feet. It enabled them to capture more details about their subjects. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens makes it to our list primarily due to its compatibility with both DX and FX formats. It has several impressive features in place to make the images more appealing. The built-in CPU helps in minimizing any disruptions and making the images more intact.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the best lens for you if you have a Nikon D750 or any other Nikon camera. The mounting is best with these DSLR cameras, and the previous users have loved it. It is also great for you if you want something that works as a telephoto lens. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is that it is one of the most amazing lenses on the market. It leaves its competitors in the dust by a long shot as it has a great aperture width. The DX and FX formats both are no problems with it too. So, there is nothing that should hold you back from buying it. 

Best Canon 70-200mm Lens:
 Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L is III USM Lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras, White - 3044C002

PROS

  • Minimum focusing distance is 3.9 feet
  • High image stabilization with 3.5 stops
  • High resistance to dust, weather, and water damage
  • Lesser flare and ghosting due to Air Sphere Coating
  • Fluorine coating to prevent fingerprints and staining

CONS

  • Less compatibility with non-Canon cameras
  • More expensive than other alternatives

What Recent Buyers Report

People who bought this Canon lens love its appearance the most. Its white and black frame makes it stand out from other lenses, which are usually black. They like its aperture width as well, which is maximum at f/2.8. Buyers also had a great impression of the image quality of the lens.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We first noticed this lens because of its Air Sphere Coating, which minimizes the flare ghosting. This, along with high image stabilization, makes for a great combination. We also like it because there are 3.5 stops in the image stabilization, which help you eliminate the shaky angles. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is most useful for people who prefer the steadiness of images above all. In addition, the lens has a fluorine coating that keeps fingerprints and smears away. This, too, makes the images sharper and clearer, helping out professional photographers further. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is one of the best 70-200 mm lenses by Canon that you can have in this price range. It has amazing focus and a great minimum focus distance, as well. The appearance and the features are so good that anyone who loves photography could hardly resist it.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

PROS

  • Filter is compatible with extenders
  • Very speedy autofocus for saving time
  • Full-time manual focus option is available
  • 23 elements in 13 groups construct the lens
  • Diagonal angle of view 34 degrees to 12 degrees

CONS

  • Mounting is a little tricky on camera
  • Drop in the sharpness upon going to higher focal length

What Recent Buyers Report

This telephoto lens by Canon has impressed its recent buyers a lot. They like its aperture width the most as it allows them better brightness. This then makes the images look clearer and have lesser dispersion of light. Buyers also prefer this lens for its filter size and its usability.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This stands out to us due to its capability of both auto and manual focus. The lens is easy to transition from manual to autofocus, and this saves time. It also has a very reliable construction, which makes it powerful. There are 23 elements in it that are in 13 groups and provide a quick shutter closure. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is most useful for those who like to practice different modes of photography. The best thing about it is that it works both as a full-time manual focus lens and an autofocus lens. This makes it better suited for those who keep changing their way of photographing. 

Bottom Line

In our opinion, you should get this model if you have prior experience of working with 70-200 mm lenses. The aperture width and image quality are great unless you go towards higher focal lengths. Its diagonal angle of view and the filter construction are quite good as well.

How to Shoot With a 70-200mm Lens

Using a 70-200 mm lens is not a hard task if you know the right way of doing so. Here is how you can shoot with one

  1. Mount the lens on your camera at the right angle.
  2. Open the lens to its widest aperture and see how you like the brightness.
  3. Then, adjust the aperture width according to your preference. 
  4. Now, adjust the focal length while going from the lowest focal length to the highest one.
  5. Afterward, choose the angle of your preference, and then you are all set to take your favorite shots.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying?

Buying a high-quality 70-200 mm lens crucial as it affects the kind of experience you will have. This is why you have to be very careful when you are going through the available options. Here are some things that you have to keep in your mind while buying a new 70-200 mm lens.

Weight

The weight of the lens is very important as it has a direct effect on the ease of usage. You should make sure to go for one that is light in weight. This will reduce the strain on your hand and wrist even after a long duration of use. 

Light Dispersion

Light dispersion is the characteristic of a lens that controls the clarity and sharpness of an image. If there is too much light dispersion, the images will lose their integrity and will look absurd. So, make sure that the one you choose has an active mechanism in place to minimize light dispersion.

Weather Resistance

Weather resistance is another important factor that you have to consider. This is because a photographer has to practice photography in a multitude of situations. The weather is not always consistent, either. So, your 70-200 mm lens should have weather-resistant coatings on it. 

Conclusion

Considering it all, getting a 70-200 mm lens can do you a world of good. They are equally great for professionals as well as recreational photographers. The range of focal length offered is amazing, as it is suitable for multiple situations and subjects. 

People Also Ask

70-200 mm lenses are so widely used that people keep coming up with new queries about them. This is why we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions for you here: 

How Far Does 200mm Lens Zoom In?

A 200 mm lens is not very good for zooming as it has a moderate range of magnification. It can magnify a subject up to 4 times only. Still, this is great for most situations, even if it is not for subjects very far away from the camera. 

Is 200mm Lens Enough for Wildlife?

A 200 mm lens has a great focal length and focus distance. People usually do not use it for wildlife photography. But you can use it for wildlife photography if you pair it with an APS-C camera. It needs a little practice and some easy techniques, but you can use it for wildlife like any other lens.