Canon RF lens range update

Canon has added the RF 70-200mm f4L IS and RF 50mm f1.8 STM lenses to their growing RF lens range. These two popular lenses pair lightweight portability with the exceptional lens making craft we expect from the manufacturer.

The Canon RF lens range already covers these focal lengths with an f/2.8 70-200mm zoom and an f/1.2 50mm prime however the new releases are significantly smaller and lighter due to their reduced maximum aperture. The DSLR compatible EF 70-200mm f4L IS has been praised by our Canon technicians as an exceptionally sharp lens, and the reputation of the 50mm f/1.8 the “nifty-fifty” is also well established. Canon has improved both lenses optically for their Mirrorless cameras in both their construction and ergonomics thanks to technology available with the wider RF lens mount. These smaller aperture lenses will also be lighter on the wallet compared with their larger counterparts in the RF lens range.

To place an order, contact our sales team on 0207 582 3294 or email us at

Canon RF 50mm f1.8 STM

Canon RF 50mm f1.8 STM lens

Designed to allow photographers to capture with comfort, the RF 50mm F1.8 STM introduces a novel combined focus and lens control ring. If you are focusing manually the focus ring drives the brand new optical system within the lens. If you are using autofocus the focus ring can be configured to control another camera setting like the custom control ring found on a variety of RF lenses and the EOS-R to EF control ring mount adaptor.

Focus closer with a minimum focus distance of 30cm, a 5cm improvement on the EF 50mm f1.8. The 7 blade rounded aperture is the same as used in the EF version so you can expect to see the same smooth background blur and bokeh from out of focus highlights.

Canon RF 50mm f1.8 STM Key Features:
  • STM Motor
  • Wide f/1.8 aperture
  • Aspheric lens element
  • RF mount
  • Super Spectra Coating
  • Focus / lens control ring

Canon RF 70-200mm f4L IS USM

Canon RF 70-200mm f4L USM Lens

The RF 70-200mm f4L IS USM features a retractable design like its f/2.8 RF counterpart. This is the most compact and lightweight canon 70-200mm lens to date, and the design re-affirms the manufacturer’s commitment to offer full creative potential with a lighter weight kitbag. The image below shows the lens with the hood removed, proportion more often seen on 24-70mm lenses!

Canon has added 5-stop optical image stabilization to keep your shots steady with the EOS R, Ra and RP. If used with the new EOS R5 and EOS R6 camera bodies then the in-body image stabilization and the lens’ optical IS combine to provide 7.5 stop stabilisation. Expect rock-steady sharpness when shooting handheld. At the very front of the lens is a new lens control ring, programmable to let you change settings without moving your hand from a shooting position. In the RF 70-200mm f4L IS the lens control ring is separate to the focus and zoom rings for independent control of three settings.

Canon RF 70-200mm f4L IS USM lens without hood.
Canon RF 70-200mm f4L IS USM key features
  • f/4 constant maximum aperture
  • Dual Nano USM focusing motor
  • L-series lens
  • UD elements and ASC element coatings
  • 5-stop Optical Image Stabilizer (7.5-stop combination IS when used with the EOS R5 and EOS R6)
  • Dust and water-resistant seals
  • Lens Control Ring

To place an order, contact our sales team on 0207 582 3294 or email us at


Guide to the best Sony FE lenses

With more and more photographers discovering the wonders of full-frame Sony E-mount cameras, there are absolutely loads of great lenses being produced for them. Whether you’re using the super-speedy A9 II, the ultra-sensitive A7S III or the high-resolution A7R IV, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to lenses. So much so that it can be difficult to know where to start! So, we’ve put together a guide to help you.

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through some of our favourite lenses for Sony FE cameras. We’ve split the guide into three sections – wide-angle, standard and telephoto, so you can easily jump to the type of lens you’re most interested in.

Unlike our guides to Canon RF and Nikon Z lenses, we haven’t been comprehensive here, as there are simply too many Sony FE lenses to include them all! Instead, we’ve included a broad spectrum of lenses, from Sony and from third-party manufacturers, at a range of price points. So no matter whether you need the best of the best, or you’re working to a tight budget, there will be lenses for you.

Sony FE Lenses

We’re dealing specifically with FE lenses – E-mount lenses that are compatible with Sony’s full-frame professional cameras Alpha cameras. We’ll keep this guide up to date, so keep checking back for our recommendations of the finest Sony FE lenses you can get right now.


Sony FE 12-24mm f2.8 G Master Lens
Sony FE 12-24mm f2.8 G Master Lens

Sony’s G Master lenses are not only some of the best E-mount lenses – they’re some of the best lenses around right now, full stop. So you can expect to see a fair few more of them throughout this guide!

The FE 12-24mm f2.8 G Master is a wide-angle zoom with professional-grade optics, designed to capture stunning details with minimal distortion. The optical design includes three XA elements, an aspherical element, two super ED (extra-low dispersion) elements and three ED glass elements, all of which adds up to an incredibly sharp image. The inclusion of advanced nanocoatings also helps ensure superior light transmission. Plus, an advanced autofocus system uses XD linear motors to make the focusing action fast, silent and accurate.

Best for: Landscapes, astrophotography.

Sony FE 16-35mm f2.8 G Master Lens
Sony FE 16-35mm f2.8 G Master

For a wide-angle that’s a little less extreme, try the FE 16-35mm f2.8. A high-quality lens for a huge range of shooting situations, the Sony FE 16-35mm f2.8 G Master boasts exceptional corner-to-corner sharpness thanks to its sophisticated optical construction. It consists of two glass XA elements (extreme aspherical), three aspherical and 2 ED glass (extra low dispersion) elements, all of which combine to effectively minimise chromatic aberration.

This combines with a dust- and moisture-resistant construction and a Direct Drive SSM autofocus unit to make for a lens that’ll perform in any situation you care to throw at it. A great, trusty optic for a working photographer to have by their side.

Best for: Landscapes, documentary, everyday shooting

Zeiss 18mm f2.8 Batis Lens
Zeiss 18mm f2.8 Batis Lens

A wide prime with superior optics – what else would you expect from Zeiss? The 18mm f2.8 Batis lens is designed to provide superior sharpness and quality across the entire image field, ensuring top quality across its entire field of view. Zeiss has employed a floating elements design for this lens, meaning it retains its quality across the entire focal plane, from its close focusing distance of 0.17m right the way to infinity. A handy OLED display provides a readout for focusing distance and depth of field.

Best for: Landscapes, interiors, architecture.

Sony FE 24mm f1.4 G Master Lens
Sony FE 24mm f1.4 G Master Lens

One of the most impressive aspects of this G Master lens is that it not only delivers the kind of professional-grade quality we’ve come to expect from these lenses, but it’s also amazingly portable. Weighing just 445g and measuring 75.4mm by 92.4mm, the FE 24mm f1.4 G Master also has a filter thread of 67mm. Somehow Sony has managed to include the Direct Drive SuperSonic Motor (DDSSM) focusing system, so the lens performs brilliantly in pretty much all categories. This lens is a truly impressive technical achievement!

Best for: Documentary, reportage, street photography.

Sony FE 28mm f2 Lens
Sony FE 28mm f2 lens

A fantastic budget lens for anyone looking for an affordable, dependable wide-angle prime. The Sony FE 28mm f2 delivers impressive sharpness, and the f/2 aperture puts shallow depth of field in play. This is further helped by the nine-bladed aperture, which enables the creation of beautiful bokeh.

The fixed focal length of the FE 28mm f2 is what has enabled Sony to include such sophisticated optics in a lens of its class; the design includes three aspherical elements and two ED elements. Also, if you want to increase its versatility, you can use the optional converters to change it to a 21mm ultra-wide lens or even a 16mm fisheye, without any impact on optical quality. This cements the lens as a fantastic options for shooters working with a limited budget.

Best for: Landscapes, outdoor photography, shooting on a budget


Sony FE 35mm f1.8 Lens
Sony FE 35mm f1.8 Lens

The humble 35mm is one of the most versatile focal lengths around, and we really rate Sony’s homebrew version of this optic with an f/1.8 maximum aperture. The accurate tracking AF of this capable prime means it’s a great choice for movies as well as stills, while its moisture-resistant design ensures it’s hardy enough for outdoor shooting.

There’s a pleasing amount of customisability to this lens – its Focus Hold button can be reassigned to other functions if that’s not what you want for it. The lens weighs a slender 280g, meaning it won’t weigh you down too much on an extended shoot. Whether you’re roaming the streets or producing landscapes, this dependable lens will make for a great choice of companion.

Best for: Travel, street photography, everyday shooting.

Sony FE 35mm f1.4 G Master Lens
Sony FE 35mm f1.4 DG Master Lens

If you like the sound of a 35mm lens but need something that delivers higher sharpness and brightness in low light, then this is your port of call. The Sony FE 35mm f1.4 G Master Lens is an outstanding optic, made with the latest Sony lens making technology for superior sharpness. Fantastic for low light thanks to the f/1.4 maximum aperture, the lens also sports an eleven-bladed aperture for the creation of vivid bokeh.

The minimum focusing distance of the lens is 27cm, so it’s great for close-up work as well as wider, more expansive scenes. The optical performance is topped off with Sony’s Nano AR Coating II which wards off reflections and ghosting for superior light transmission. ED glass elements reduce chromatic aberrations and XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements deliver excellent image quality in a compact form. An outstanding prime optic.

Best for: Low light, documentary, reportage, weddings.

Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 G Master Lens
Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 G Master Lens

This G master lens is one of the finest examples of the workhorse 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, and professional in many different fields will get a lot of use out of it. With Direct Drive SSM, its autofocus is fast and accurate, and the design is resistant to dust and moisture. The circular nine-bladed aperture also means that it’s possible to create beautiful defocused effects with the lens, and create images with gorgeous bokeh. This puts it in play as a portrait lens, as well as being useful for travel, reportage, event photography… and just about everything else! It’s hard to think of any type of Sony Alpha user who wouldn’t have any use for this lens.

Best for: Events, portraits, weddings

Sony FE 50mm f1.4 ZA Planar T* Lens
Sony FE 50mm f1.4 ZA Planar T Lens

Sony’s fruitful partnership with Zeiss has produced many outstanding lenses, and one we particularly like is this nifty fifty. The FE 50mm f1.4 ZA Planar T* is a high performance lens that hugely impresses thanks to its Planar optical design, not to mention its f/1.4 maximum aperture. The T* coating from Zeiss minimises flare and ghosting, while the aperture ring provides hands-on tactile control. Images look absolutely superb from edge to edge and corner to corner, as you’d expect from a Zeiss lens, and this standard, natural-looking focal length means it’s also a good choice for video.

Best for: Street shooting, video, documentary.


Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis Lens
Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis Lens

A fantastic optic in a useful portrait-friendly focal length, the Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis Lens is an outstanding choice for anyone who wants to photograph people. Be it studio portraiture or wedding photography, the 85mm f1.8 Batis is a fast, capable lens that will keep up and deliver images of superb quality.

A handy OLED display on the body of the lens helps the user keep track of focus distance and depth of field. The autofocus is fast and quiet, and the lens body is equipped with weather seals to make it suitable for outdoor shooting. Its minimum focusing distance of 0.8m makes it super-versatile, so you can get close to your subjects without fear.

Best for: Weddings, portraits, events.

Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master Lens
Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master Lens

Just like the 24-70mm, the G Master version of the 70-200mm f/2.8 workhorse lens is one of the best in the business. Whether you’re photographing sports, weddings, events, concerts or whatever else, this is a lens designed to get the job done in an exemplary fashion. It delivers excellent sharpness at all points in the zoom range and throughout its entire focal plane – Sony boasts that it reaches hitherto unknown heights of resolution thanks to its XA (extreme aspherical) element with 0.01 micron surface precision. Focus at distances as short as 0.96m, enjoy super-fast AF and take advantage of Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation. This is truly a lens to do it all.

Best for: Sports, events, weddings, music.

Sony FE 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens
Sony FE 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens

If you’re not fussed about an f/2.8 aperture but could do with a bit more reach, try the Sony FE 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens as a credible alternative to the 70-200mm f/2.8. It delivers solid optical performance throughout its focal range, with a Nano AR coating to reduce ghosting and flare.

It’s an excellent lens for tele-macro photography, with a close focusing distance of 0.9m and a magnification factor of 0.31x. Autofocus is also fast and quiet, thanks to the linear actuator, and Optical SteadyShot is on board for shake-free images.

Best for: Macro, portraits, events.

Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 OSS G Master Lens
Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 OSS G Master Lens

We’d recommend 100-400mm lenses to pretty much any working professional – you can read some of our guides to lenses [] and interviews with photographers [] to find out why this is one of the most useful, versatile focal ranges going. Sony’s G Master 100-400mm is a spectacular example of this type of lens, delivering excellent clarity at every point of the zoom range. The linear motor and Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) autofocusing system is fast and accurate even with fast-moving subjects, and the body of the lens itself is built to withstand the elements. Bring distant subjects into sharp focus – this lens gives you the reach you need.

Best for: Wildlife, events, sports.

Sony FE 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens
Sony FE 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens

If you like the versatility of a 100-400mm lens but feel you’re likely to need a little more reach, the 200-600mm FE lens is a great solution. You get that extra focal length but don’t lose sharpness and clarity, as the optical construction includes five ED elements and one aspherical element, suppressing chromatic aberrations and distortion. Distortion can often be a problem with super telephotos, but Sony has worked to minimise this and make the FE 200-600mm a fantastic professional lens.

Best for: Wildlife, sports.

Sony FE 400mm f2.8 OSS G Master Lens
Sony FE 400mm f2.8 OSS G Master Lens

This is Sony going all out. No holds barred, no expense spared – it’s optical perfection at 400mm. The Nano AR coating eliminates flare and ghosting, while the XD Linear Motor ensure autofocus is blisteringly fast and unerringly precise. Weighing just 2,895g, this is impressively light for a lens of its class, with a magnesium alloy construction that balances light weight with superior strength. The quality is exemplary inside and out. This isn’t just one of the best Sony lenses – it’s one of the best lenses, full stop.

Best for: Wildlife, sports, ultra-high resolution shooting.


Nikon Z6II versus Nikon Z7II

The Z6 II and Z7 II digital camera bodies are the next generation of flagship full-frame mirrorless cameras from Nikon. Both cameras deliver high speed, high resolution, superb image quality, and high build standards for professional use in harsh environments.

But which model is going to best suit your needs?

Let’s compare them after a quick look at the Z System itself.

The Nikon Z System

The Z system from Nikon is built around the Z mount, the new larger and shallower lens mount for Nikon mirrorless digital cameras. The Z mount supports a growing range of Nikkor ‘Z series’ Nikkor lenses. These cameras can be adapted to work with Nikon AF-S lenses with the Nikon FTZ mount adaptor.

There are, however, benefits to using the native Z lenses which we explore in our complete guide to Nikon Z lenses.

Modern mirrorless cameras do not feature an optical viewfinder or separate AF sensor. Both of these require a bulky mirror box found in all DSLR cameras. The result is more responsive and less cumbersome camera with a faster and more accurate AF system.

Next Generation Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Nikon has updated its original mirrorless bodies to the new Z6 II and Z7 II models. Both updates feature dual memory card slots which carry UHS-II SD cards and either XQD or CF Express cards.

The image flow, from pressing the shutter to safely stored on the memory card, has been improved with Dual EXPEED 6 processing engines. An improvement to the image buffers making them deeper and faster for un-interrupted continuous burst shooting.

Nikon Z7 II

The Z7 II builds on the success of the award-winning Nikon Z7. The updated Nikon Z7 II features a 45.7-megapixel sensor and has an improved dynamic range at all ISO levels. The processing power from dual EXPEED 6 processors along with an improved buffer enable continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second. The Nikon Z7 II can shoot a continuous burst of 200 full resolution jpeg images, or 77 12-bit uncompressed RAW files before reaching the buffer limit.

  • High resolution – 45.7 megapixels plus 4K/60p video
  • Reliable fast media – shoot to both UHS-II SD and XQD / CF-Express cards
  • Fast and sharp AF – selected focus point saved when waking from standby
  • Continuous shooting – high resolution RAW files at 10 fps
  • Tough – fully sealed body for harsh shooting environments


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Nikon Z6 II

The Z6 II is the evolution of the original Z6. The camera is robust and easy to use. The Nikon Z6 II combines powerful performance for both photography and video. With the ability to record professional 4K or Full HD video in both full-frame FX and cropped DX movie formats, the Z6 II impresses.

The 24.5-megapixel sensor is supported by AF improvements to Eye Detection and Animal Detection for reliable subject tracking. The improved AF capabilities benefit video and filmmakers as well delivering smooth focus tracking.

  • Low light performance – focus at -6 EV
  • Faster – record up to 124 RAW files at 14 frames per second
  • Power boost – twin EXPEED 6 processors for faster everything
  • For photography and video – combine 4K video footage with 24.5 megapixel stills
  • Eye AF and Animal-detection AF – available to enhance stills and video


Which is the best model for me?

Both models gain from equivalent boosts in processing speed thanks to the new dual EXPEED 6 processors, as well as improvements to image buffering.

Fair enough, so what’s the biggest difference?

The simplest answer is sensor resolution.

The Z6 II sensor is 24.5-megapixels, which should be more than enough resolution for most. If you want to level up, consider that the Z7 II has nearly double that at 45.7-megapixels, which is a sizeable jump.

If lower memory usage is important, you may decide the Z6 II is a better fit for you. The reduced megapixels will help maintain all-important card space. The Z7 II’s high-res usage comes at a memory card space premium.

The Z6 II makes a standout choice for video and as a brilliant general-purpose camera for stills. the Z7 II is a specialised model, likely better suited to those that really require high-resolution imagery in their field of choice.

A final consideration is whether or not you need professional-grade durability for tough conditions. If so you would be wise to invest in the Z7 II for that full seal. Is that worth the difference in price though?

The Z6 II itself is a robust camera, so unless you are really hard on your equipment or regularly use your camera in harsh environments, it should more than suffice. It also has slightly better autofocus and continuous shooting specifications that makes it a very enticing prospect indeed.

Upgrade to the Z7 II if you need those extra megapixels at your fingertips.


Sensor ComparisonNikon Z7 IINikon Z6 II
Sensor SizeFull FrameFull Frame
BSI-CMOS Sensor Resolution46 MP25 MP
Anti Aliasing AA filterNoYes
Continuous shooting rate10 fps14 fps
ISO Range64 – 25600100 – 51200
Expanded ISO Range32 – 10240050 – 204800
Image StabilisationYes – IBISYes – IBIS
Number of autofocus AF Points493273
Video Resolution4k (UHD) 3840 x 21604k (UHD) 3840 x 2160
ConnectivityNikon Z7 IINikon Z6 II
Memory CardsUHS II SD and CF Express / XQDUHS II SD and CF Express / XQD
Built in WiFiYesYes
Body & DimensionsNikon Z7 IINikon Z6 II
Dimensions W x H x D mm134 x 101 x 70134 x 101 x 70
Battery Life420 Shots410 Shots
Weather SealingYesYes
Viewfinder3690k dot EVF3690k dot EVF
LCD Monitor3.2inch tilting screen3.2inch tilting screen

Contact our sales team on 020 7582 3294 or email us at


The complete guide to Nikon Z lenses

Nikon’s Z system is one of the most exciting names in mirrorless shooting right now. The firm has done a great job of providing a tantalising range of cameras, from the flagship Z7 to the lightweight APS-C Z50, and the glass is also excellent.

Having recently introduced its S-line of pro-grade lenses, which includes a trilogy of f/2.8 zooms designed to kit the working photographer out for every situation, Nikon has made its Z lens range cater for all needs and all budgets. Whether you’re a pro who needs the best of the best, or a novice photographer who’s working to a tight budget, the Z system will definitely have you covered. Wide-angles, telephotos, primes, zooms – it’s all here, to the point where it can be difficult to know where to start.

We’ve put together this guide to help you, running through every lens available for the Z system, as well as giving our recommendations as to what applications each one is best for. We’ll keep this guide updated with the latest lens releases, and may be adding third-party options in the future, so keep checking back!


The key to the Z system is the ultra-wide Z mount. It’s larger than any other full-frame mount currently available, and what that means is that it lets in more light. This allows for improved low-light performance, better corner-to-corner image illumination, and the possibility for making lenses with ever-wider apertures, even as wide as f/0.95 – as you’ll see in this very guide.

Our guide to Nikon Z lenses

Lenses for the Nikon Z-mount are Nikkor-branded, and that means you can expect a few things going in. Great optics are sharpness are pretty much a given, and specifically you can expect: Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass, which minimises distortion and aberrations, and Nano Crystal Coat, an element treatment that reduces flare and ghosting for a sharp image with enviable clarity. In our guide below, we’ll focus on the individual character of each lens and the areas where they excel, so you can get a sense of which ones are right for you.

S-Line lenses

The S-line lenses represent the crème de la crème of the Nikkor Z offering. Similar to Canon’s L series or Sony’s G Master line, seeing a letter ‘S’ in the name of a Nikon lens is a cast-iron assurance that you’re going to be getting a lens of superb quality. If you’re shooting professionally, you should be going for S-line lenses as a matter of course.

S-line lenses boast top-quality sharpness and resolution, well-equipped to take advantage of Z cameras’ sophisticated sensors and their high megapixel counts. These lenses also specialise in reproduction of point light sources, designed to reproduce them more naturally for more pleasing bokeh effects, preventing light points from “fanning out” in low-light photography. S lenses have nine-bladed apertures as standard; they are also designed to eliminate focus breathing, making them more reliable for video, and their bodies are sealed to keep out dust and moisture.

We’ve divided the S-line lenses into primes and zooms, and ordered them from widest to longest, so you should be able to easily navigate to the type of lens you’re looking for.

S-line prime lenses

Nikon Z 20mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 20mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 20mm f1.8 S Lens

This ultra-wide prime is an extremely capable optic for a whole host of applications, thanks to its advanced optics that deliver both ultra-sharpness and an impressive close focusing distance of just 20cm. Whether you want to get big, expansive landscapes or small, intimate details with an exaggerated wide-angle perspective, the Z 20mm f1.8 S Lens will deliver. It’s surprising just how many situations a lens like this can be useful in!

Best for: Landscapes, architecture, close-ups

Nikon Z 24mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 24mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 24mm f1.8 S Lens

Another S-line wide-angle with a useful f/1.8 maximum aperture, the Z 24mm f1.8 S Lens distinguishes itself with a lot of great video-focused features. Its autofocus is near-silent, as is control of aperture and exposure compensation via the control ring, making it easier to make settings adjustments without compromising the audio of your footage. At 24mm, this is a great focal length not only for architecture and landscapes, but also for general documentary and urban street shooting.

Best for: Documentary, landscape, video

Nikon Z 35mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 35mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 35mm f1.8 S Lens

Designed to offer greater sharpness and clarity than most lenses of its class, the Nikon Z 35mm f1.8 S Lens is a lens that delivers speed and accuracy where it counts. A useful f/1.8 maximum aperture meets a speedy autofocus system, making the lens another ideal choice for street and documentary work. As is characteristic of S-line lenses, it also has had much work done to it to suppress aberrations such as sagittal coma flare, ensuring a super-clear image with pleasing light points, even at night.

Best for: Street, documentary, night shoots

Nikon Z 50mm f1.2 S Lens
Nikon Z 50mm f1.2 S Lens
Nikon Z 50mm f1.2 S Lens

One of the optically finest Nikon Z lenses on offer, this relatively new lens is billed as the perfect portrait lens for the Z system. Its 50mm focal length is complemented by an f/1.2 maximum aperture, while extensive coatings have been applied to the elements to significantly reduce ghosting and lens flare; these include not only the Nano Crystal Coat, but also Anti-reflection Areno. The lens also boasts an OLED screen for quick settings readout. Control depth of field like never before with this standout optical wonder.

Best for: Portraiture, high-resolution, low light

Nikon Z 50mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 50mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 50mm f1.8 S Lens

Significantly more affordable than the 50mm f1.2 S Lens, this is a great “starter” choice for any new Z shooter, and serves as a thoroughly decent all-purpose lens to boot. Providing edge-to-edge image clarity, at a focal length that roughly replicates the field of view of a human eye, the Nikon Z 50mm f1.8 S Lens is a terrific choice for all kinds of general-purpose shooting, with the nice addition of a stepping motor that makes autofocus both fast and silent.

Best for: Budget users, general-purpose shooting, video

Nikon Z 58mm f0.95 S Noct Lens
Nikon Z 58mm f0.95 S Noct Lens
Nikon Z 58mm f0.95 S Noct Lens

The fastest lens in Nikon history? For now, the Nikon Z 58mm f0.95 S Noct Lens takes that crown. Inheriting a few design cues from the 1977 AI Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 standard prime lens, it uses the large diameter of Z-mount to its advantage,resolving light points with astounding sharpness and clarity. Resolution and sharpness are fabulous even at that f/0.95 aperture, and the metal exterior of the lens has been engineered beautifully so the finished product has an elegant feeling class to it.

Best for: Shallow depth of field, portraiture

Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S Lens

Another superb portrait lens, the Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S Lens offers the ideal mid-telephoto focal length for shooting flattering portrait images. Its resolution is excellent, rendering the entire frame with sharpness and clarity, and a minimum focusing distance of 80cm means it’s possible to get nice and close to your subject. The lens is pleasingly affordable too, meaning that the vast majority of Z users can access this great portrait optic.

Best for: Portraits, interviews (video), documentary

S-line zoom lenses

Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S Lens

Designed for landscapes, architecture and astrophotography, the Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S Lens is the widest Nikkor zoom on the books for Z-mount at the moment, and blends superb image quality with smooth, pleasing bokeh. Despite the fact that it’s the kind of focal range you’d use for the faraway and expansive, the Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S Lens also boasts a close focusing distance of 0.28m, cementing its status as one of the most versatile Z lenses. It’s the widest member of Nikon’s “trilogy” of pro-spec f/2.8 lenses.

Best for: Astrophotography, landscapes, close-ups

Nikon Z 14-30mm f4 S Lens
Nikon Z 14-30mm f4 S Lens
Nikon Z 14-30mm f4 S Lens

With a constant aperture of f/4 throughout its zoom range, the Nikon Z 14-30mm f4 S a versatile wide zoom, however what’s really impressive is that it’s one of the first and only full-frame zooms of its class to support direct filter attachment – usually the bulbous front element of a wide lens makes this impossible. The optical construction of the lens incorporates four Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements and four aspherical elements, substantively controlling for aberration and distortion.

Best for: Landscapes, seascapes, video

Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S Lens
Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S Lens

The first pro f/2.8 lens for the Nikon Z system and the middle member of the trilogy, the Z 24-70mm f2.8 S is an excellent example of a workhorse focal range beloved by pros the world over. Sharp from edge to edge and corner to corner, the Z 24-70mm f2.8 S sports a minimum focusing distance of 0.38m, and a useful Fn button that can be assigned to any of 21 different functions. Built tough and compact, sealed against dust and moisture, this is a lens ready to put in years of faithful service.

Best for: Photojournalism, documentary, general-purpose shooting

Nikon Z 24-70mm f4 S Lens
Nikon Z 24-70mm f4 S Lens
Nikon Z 24-70mm f4 S Lens

The more affordable version of the 24-70mm for shooters on a budget, this lens blends excellent versatility with a portable build that fully retracts when not in use, making it easy to carry around to shooting locations. Full weather sealing is a nice touch, and the minimum focusing distance of 0.3m means it’s also a great choice for close-up work. Robust, hardy and relatively inexpensive – this lens ticks a lot of boxes for the budget-conscious photographer.

Best for: Travel, shooting on a budget, general-purpose photography

Nikon Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S Lens
Nikon Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S Lens
Nikon Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S Lens

The final member of Nikon’s f/2.8 trilogy, the Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S completes the set in another workhorse focal length beloved by so many pros. High-quality and versatile, with an OLED panel for quick readout of settings, the Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S uses a sophisticated optical construction of 21 elements in 18 groups, which includes six ED glass elements, two aspherical lenses, one fluorite lens, and one SR lens element. Focus breathing has been all but eliminated, making the lens a great choice for video too.

Best for: Sports, events, video

Other Z-mount lenses

Nikon Z 16-50mm f3.5-6.3 DX VR Lens
Nikon Z 16-50mm f3.5-6.3 DX VR Lens
Nikon Z 16-50mm f3.5-6.3 DX VR Lens

One of two DX Z-mount lenses for the APS-C Z50 camera (and whatever future APS-C cameras join the series). It’s a pancake zoom, slim and compact, with a silent control ring that works for manual control of focus, as well as aperture control or exposure compensation. Despite the small size, Nikon also finds room for including in-lens Vibration Control, further expanding the utility of this handy little lens.

Best for: Travel, budget-shooting, architecture

Nikon Z 24-50mm f4-6.3 Lens
Nikon Z 24-50mm f4-6.3 Lens
Nikon Z 24-50mm f4-6.3 Lens

One of the lightest full-frame zoom lenses around, the Z 24-50mm f4-6.3 gives you a useful range to play with that means you can shoot everything from architecture to portraits without changing lenses. Impressively affordable, the lens contains enough specialised glass elements to ensure crisp and high-contrast images, and with a sophisticated silent autofocus system, this is a lens for all purposes at a great price. It’s a good choice for a first lens for someone new to the system.

Best for: General shooting, learning the ropes, portraits

Nikon Z 24-200mm f4-6.3 VR Lens
Nikon Z 24-200mm f4-6.3 VR Lens
Nikon Z 24-200mm f4-6.3 VR Lens

Another lens that’s great for travel, the Z 24-200mm f4-6.3 VR utilises an interesting design where its heavier elements are located in the rear, greatly improving balance and handling. In total the lens weighs just 570g, which is pretty impressive for such an expansive focal range, and image quality is excellent right the way through the length of the zoom. Autofocus is near-silent, while focus breathing and focus shift have been minimised, making for a very stable and reliable lens.

Best for: Travel, outdoor shooting, street photography

Nikon Z 50-250mm f4.5-6.3 DX VR Lens
Nikon Z 50-250mm f4.5-6.3 DX VR Lens
Nikon Z 50-250mm f4.5-6.3 DX VR Lens

The other half of the picture for APS-C users, the Z 50-250mm f4.5-6.3 DX VR is a generous zoom that’s also eminently portable at 405g, making it a perfect companion for the nippy Z50. Nikon has also ensured a tight close-focusing distance of 0.5m, as well as fast focusing and a useful control ring. Taking you all the way from standard focal length to an impressive telephoto, this is an ideal choice for users who don’t want to bother with changing lenses while out shooting.

Best for: Travel, budget users, all-purpose shooting


The best 100-400mm lenses available right now

Now that optical technology is improving and lenses like the 100-400mm are getting lighter and lighter, carrying a broad-range telephoto zoom lens is starting to make more sense than carrying around multiple lenses.

Many news and sports photographers swear by their 100-400mm lenses – we recently spoke to Times photographer Richard Pohle to get the lowdown on why he loves his so much – which is why we’ve put together this guide to the various 100-400mm lenses that are available for different systems.

Each lens has its own characteristics and strengths, which are worth being aware of before you jump in with both feet. In our guide, we’ve included the best of the best for all the major pro systems – Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Fujifilm X and Canon RF – as well as a few third-party options for those who are looking to pick up a great lens on a budget.

Canon EF
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM

Construction: 21 elements in 16 groups
Image stabilisation: 4-stop Optical Stabiliser
Minimum focusing distance: 0.98m
Weather-sealing: Yes
Weight: 1,640g

Refining and perfecting a formula that was already pretty darn great to begin with, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is the second version of the firm’s 100-400mm lens for EF mount, and it’s a professional-grade optic for the working photographer.

Exceptionally sharp thanks to its sophisticated optical construction, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM uses a rotating zoom mechanism, rather than the push-pull design of previous models, making it easier and more intuitive to operate. This rotation incorporates a Zoom Touch Adjustment Ring, which can be customised to suit the user’s preferred feel of zoom control. Image quality is outstanding, autofocus is zip-fast thanks to the USM motor, and Canon also includes its 4-stop Optical Stabiliser, making the lens even more useful when shooting handheld.

Weather-sealed for outdoor shooting, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is an exceptional tool for any Canon-shooting pro who needs reach, quality and flexibility.

Nikon F
Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
Nikon 80-400mm AF-S Nikkor f4.5-5.6G ED VR
Nikon 80-400mm AF-S Nikkor f4.5-5.6G ED VR

Construction: 20 elements in 12 groups
Image stabilisation: 4-stop Vibration Reduction
Minimum focusing distance: 1.5m
Weather-sealing: No
Weight: 1,570g

The Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR gives you slightly more latitude to play with, with a focal range that starts at 80mm rather than the more common 100mm. Designed for use with the firm’s FX-format SLRs, it’s very much a professional lens for the serious user, boasting such features as Vibration Reduction (VR) system for minimising camera-shake, and the Silent Wave Motor (SWM) that enables fast and accurate autofocus.

Nikon has included 4 ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and one Super ED glass element in the optical construction of the lens in order to ensure top-notch sharpness, while the inclusion of Nano Crystal Coat helps to minimise flare and ghosting, even when you’re shooting into the light.

Sony E
Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master OSS

Construction: 22 elements in 16 groups
Image stabilisation: Optical SteadyShot
Minimum focusing distance: 0.98m
Weather-sealing: Yes
Weight: 1,395g

Sony’s G Master lenses are some of the finest optics around, and the FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master OSS is an exceptionally good lens for anyone lucky enough to be using a full-frame Sony E-mount camera. Its impressively innovative autofocusing system combines floating focus with a double linear motor and a Direct Drive SSM system, making for super-fast and accurate autofocus.

The inclusion of Sony Nano AR coating eliminates flare and ghosting in images, while the lightweight magnesium-alloy construction means it’s lighter to carry than both the Canon and Nikon optics above. Creating super-silky background bokeh is a cinch thanks to the nine-bladed aperture and ED glass elements, making it an ideal lens for wildlife portraiture or sports shooting.

Professional grade, powerful and portable, the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master OSS really is one of the best 100-400mm lenses around.

Fujifilm X
Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS
Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS

Construction: 21 elements in 14 groups
Image stabilisation: 5-stop image stabilisation
Minimum focusing distance: 1.75m
Weather-sealing: Yes
Weight: 1,375g

As the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR works with Fujifilm X cameras, which have APS-C sensors, its “true” focal length is actually 152-609mm, giving you a little extra telephoto reach that’s useful for wildlife photography. The lens is thoroughly kitted out for outdoor photography, with a construction that features 13 water- and dust-resistant seals at 12 points, and can operate in temperatures as low as -10°C.

Lightweight and speedy, with a five-stop stabilisation system, the lens is great for picking out fast-moving targets and producing images full of vibrant details and contrast. Also, thanks to the maximum magnification of 0.19x, the lens can be used as a telephoto macro, opening up plenty of interesting possibilities.

A super-telephoto made with the attention to detail and quality that Fujifilm are known for, the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lets you push the X system even further.

Canon RF
Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens
Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 L IS USM
Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 L IS USM

Construction: 20 elements in 14 groups
Image stabilisation: 5-stop image stabiliser
Minimum focusing distance: 0.9m
Weather-sealing: Yes
Weight: 1,530g

The first super-telephoto zoom for the RF system, Canon actually gives range-hungry shooters an extra bit of focal length to play with, as this lens runs from 100mm to an impressive 500mm.

If you’re planning to shoot sports of wildlife images then you’re pretty much set for life here. The Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 L IS USM’s construction incorporates Super UD and UD elements for a superior image free from distortion, while ASC coatings control for unwanted reflections. It’s easy to control functions with the customisable control ring, while the body is also sealed to dust and water, with an additional heat shield coating. If you need to push the focal length still further, it’s also compatible with Canon’s RF 1.4x and 2x extenders.

The next generation of optics looks to be in good hands, with the Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens representing an exciting new frontier of imaging.

Third-party 100-400mm lenses
Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD
Tamron 100-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di VC USD
Tamron 100-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

Available for: Canon EF, Nikon F

Construction: 17 elements in 11 groups
Image stabilisation: 4-stop Vibration Compensation
Minimum focusing distance: 1.5m
Weather-sealing: Yes
Weight: 1,120g

A budget alternative for those who don’t want to pay the premium for Canon or Nikon’s own 100-400mm lenses, this Tamron optic ticks a huge number of boxes for a lens of its price. As well as including features like four-stop Vibration Compensation and a minimum focusing distance, it’s also sealed against dust and moisture.

Autofocus performance is quick and accurate thanks to the USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) and Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) control system, while three LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements help to reduce aberration and distortion. The lens also sports an eBAND coating to reduce unwanted reflections, for clean and crisp images.

Despite its budget price, this is a seriously impressive lens, and any Canon or Nikon user looking to save some cash should definitely consider it.

Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary
Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary
Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary

Available for: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sigma

Construction: 21 elements in 15 groups
Image stabilisation: Optical stabiliser
Minimum focusing distance: 0.16m
Weather-sealing: No
Weight: 1,160g

Another budget-friendly lens that’s definitely worth considering for Canon and Nikon users, the Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens is designed around providing the user with as much shooting flexibility as possible. This means that as well as that generous focal range, you also get a choice between a twist or push-pull zooming action, an algorithm-based optical stabiliser, and an impressively short minimum focusing distance of just 160cm, which puts close-up shooting in play. And with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.8, this lens is very much capable of macro imagery.

The Hypersonic Motor provides quick and quiet autofocus,and the incorporation of four Special Low Dispersion (SLD) elements reduces colour fringing and chromatic aberrations for a final image that’s clear, sharp and full of contrast.

The value for money you get with the Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary is truly fantastic, and makes it pound-for-pound one of the most enticing 100-400mm lenses around.

Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS
Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 Contemporary DG DN OS
Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 Contemporary DG DN OS

Available for: Sony E, L-mount

Construction: 22 elements in 16 groups
Image stabilisation: Optical stabiliser
Minimum focusing distance: 1.12m
Weather-sealing: Yes
Weight: 1,135g

This lightweight 100-400mm lens is basically the rough equivalent of Sigma’s other Contemporary lens, but this one for mirrorless shooting. It comes in Sony E and L-mount fits, and is much lighter than a typical lens of its type, weighing in at just 1,135g. Despite its impressively budget price, the lens packs in plenty of upscale features: there’s the stepping motor autofocus system that’s fast and practically silent, there’s the electronically coupled manual focus ring, there’s the choice between push-pull or twist-action zoom.

We could go on. And we will – the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS also sports an optical stabiliser that’ll give you about four stops of compensation, and an impressive optical construction that ensures the lens punches well above its weight in terms of image quality.

This is an excellent telephoto zoom, and at a bargain price to boot.

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