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9 Best Sony Lenses for Wildlife Photography in 2024

Last updated: March 20, 2024 - 14 min read
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The best Sony lenses for wildlife photography makes a huge difference in capturing those breathtaking animal images. With the right lens, photographers can bring distant animals into sharp focus, revealing stunning details.

Our guide to the nine best Sony lenses for wildlife photography is designed to help you find the perfect match for your camera and shooting style, ensuring you never miss a shot.

The Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS is our top choice for its impressive zoom and optical stabilization. It’s a versatile option that offers sharp images across the focal range, bringing out the best of Sony’s high-resolution cameras.

But if that’s not the lens for you, there are eight other Sony lenses to consider. Whether you’re in the back garden or the out back, there’s a Sony lens for every wildlife photographer.

Our Top 3 Sony Lenses for Wildlife Photography
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G

What Is the Best Sony Lens for Wildlife Photography?

When selecting the best Sony lens for wildlife photography, you need to consider factors like zoom range, image stabilization, and low-light performance. Our list includes options that excel in capturing detailed shots from a distance, ensuring sharpness in various outdoor conditions. And they all offer quick autofocus for tracking moving subjects.

These lenses are chosen for their ability to improve wildlife photography by providing flexibility, durability, and high-quality images. We have wildlife lenses for Sony full frame and APS-C cameras. 

Our Top Pick
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
  • Versatile 100-400mm zoom for dynamic subjects
  • Superior sharpness and fast autofocus performance
  • Effective Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
  • Durable, weather-sealed construction for outdoor use
  • Compatible with Sony E-mount full-frame, APS-C
Best APS-C Telephoto Zoom
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
  • Ideal for wildlife and sports photography
  • Lightweight design enhances portability and handling
  • Sharp images across versatile 70-350mm zoom range
  • Fast, accurate autofocus for dynamic shooting
  • Built-in Optical SteadyShot stabilizes images effectively
Best Super-Telephoto Zoom
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G
  • Expansive 200-600mm range for distant subjects
  • Sharp imagery across entire zoom spectrum
  • Fast, precise autofocus with DDSSM technology
  • Durable design with weather-resistant features
  • Effective Optical SteadyShot stabilization for sharp shots
Best Versatile Telephoto Zoom
Sony FE 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 G OSS SEL70300G
Sony FE 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 G OSS SEL70300G
Sony FE 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 G OSS SEL70300G
  • Versatile 70-300mm range for diverse photography needs
  • Exceptional sharpness and clarity throughout zoom range
  • Fast, silent autofocus for capturing dynamic scenes
  • Durable, weather-sealed build for outdoor reliability
  • Effective Optical SteadyShot for sharp, stable shots
Best All-in-One Travel Lens
Sony FE 24-240mm F/3.5-6.3 OSS SEL24240
Sony FE 24-240mm F/3.5-6.3 OSS SEL24240
Sony FE 24-240mm F/3.5-6.3 OSS SEL24240
  • 10x zoom covers wide to telephoto range
  • Compact, all-in-one lens for travel photography
  • SteadyShot stabilization for sharp handheld shots
  • Durable design with weather-resistant features
  • Versatile for landscapes, portraits, and more
Best Extreme Zoom Range
Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | S for Sony E
Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | S for Sony E
Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | S for Sony E
  • Unmatched 10x zoom range for extreme versatility
  • Optical Stabilization for sharp images in low light
  • Robust build quality, weather-sealed for outdoor use
  • Fast autofocus with High-response Linear Actuator
  • Excellent for wildlife, sports, and distant subjects
Best Compact Super-Telephoto Zoom
Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD A057 for Sony E
Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD A057 for Sony E
Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD A057 for Sony E
  • Exceptional 150-500mm range for wildlife and sports
  • Compact design, easier handling for long shoots
  • Advanced VXD motor ensures fast, precise autofocus
  • Effective Vibration Compensation for sharp, stable images
  • Moisture-resistant construction for reliability in the field
Best Telephoto Prime
Sony FE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS SEL400F28GM
Sony FE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS SEL400F28GM
Sony FE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS SEL400F28GM
  • Unrivaled f/2.8 aperture for superb low-light performance
  • G Master optics ensure peak image clarity
  • Dual XD Motors for lightning-fast autofocus
  • Lightweight design for a 400mm prime lens
  • Professional-grade durability and weather resistance
Best Super-Telephoto Prime
Sony FE 600mm F/4 GM OSS SEL600F40GM
Sony FE 600mm F/4 GM OSS SEL600F40GM
Sony FE 600mm F/4 GM OSS SEL600F40GM
  • Unparalleled f/4 aperture for exceptional low-light shots
  • G Master optical quality for ultimate sharpness
  • Fast, precise autofocus with high-speed performance
  • Remarkably lightweight for its class and capabilities
  • Robust construction with comprehensive weather sealing
 

Our Favorite Sony Lenses for Wildlife Photography

Let’s take a closer look at our favorite Sony lenses for wildlife photography. From expansive zooms to prime lenses with exceptional clarity, there’s a perfect match for every wildlife-loving photographer.

1. Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS

Our Top Pick
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
1395 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 5.6
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
100-400 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS is the best Sony lens for wildlife photography. The vast zoom range allows photographers to capture detailed shots of animals from a safe distance. And the impressive image quality means you see each animal with glorious clarity.

The variable aperture of f/4.5-5.6 means it’s not the best in very low light. Photographers might need to increase ISO settings to compensate, which can introduce noise.

But the lens’s Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization is a big advantage, helping to keep images sharp even at long focal lengths. This is especially useful in low light or when tracking moving subjects. It gives you five stops of exposure compensation. 

The autofocus system is quick and reliable, easily locking onto moving subjects. The double linear motor makes sure focusing is fast even with such a large focal range to cover. This is critical for capturing fast-moving wildlife.

As part of Sony’s G Master series, you can expect phenomenal image quality. And thanks to the Extra-low Dispersion (ED) and Super ED elements, that’s exactly what you get. There’s very little trace of chromatic aberration. And a Nano AR coating reduces glare and ghosting. 

The build quality is solid, with weather sealing that protects against dust and moisture. The Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS is the best choice for wildlife photographers who need flexibility and high performance in tough outdoor conditions.

 

2. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS

Best APS-C Telephoto Zoom
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
625 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 6.3
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
70-350 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS is a great choice for wildlife photographers with a Sony APS-C (crop sensor) camera. Its wide zoom range lets you capture both close and distant subjects without scaring them away.

The lens’s Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization is very useful, helping to keep shots sharp at long focal lengths. This feature is especially helpful when shooting handheld in the field.

However, the lens’s variable aperture of f/4.5-6.3 isn’t ideal. But the OSS does provide some low-light compensation, helping to keep your ISO low for noise-free images. 

Weighing about 625g, it’s easy to carry for long periods and won’t weigh down your hiking backpack too much. Its build is sturdy, with weather sealing that offers some protection against dust and moisture. This makes the Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS a dependable option for wildlife photography adventures.

 

3. Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS

Best Super-Telephoto Zoom
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
2115 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 6.3
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
200-600 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS is an incredible super-telephoto zoom offering flexibility and reach. Its long focal range allows for capturing detailed images of distant subjects, which is crucial in situations where getting closer might disturb the wildlife.

Despite its variable aperture, the lens benefits from effective OSS image stabilization. This feature helps ensure sharp images even at slower shutter speeds, compensating for camera shake when shooting handheld or in low light. This helps you capture animals at dawn or dusk. 

This lens is on the heavier side but remains manageable for fieldwork, especially with its thoughtful ergonomic design. The build quality is robust, featuring weather sealing that protects against dust and moisture. This makes it reliable for use in various outdoor conditions, from dusty savannas to misty forests.

Optically, the lens impresses with sharpness across its zoom range and minimal chromatic aberration. The tack-sharp clarity is thanks to five ED elements within the lens. A Nano coating also improves light transmission and reduces glare. 

The SSWM (Supersonic Wave Motor ) AF system is quick and accurate, locking onto moving subjects with ease. It’s also whisper-quiet, helping you stay hidden when stalking animals. 

The Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS is a brilliant option for photographers who need a versatile telephoto lens with incredible magnification. It’s a professional wildlife photographer’s dream. 

 

4. Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS

Best Versatile Telephoto Zoom
Sony FE 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 G OSS SEL70300G
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
854 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 5.6
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
70-300 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS is a versatile tool for wildlife photographers. Its zoom range allows for quick framing adjustments and focal length changes. You can snap animals both near and far without changing lenses. It’s also one of the more affordable options, making it a great choice for animal lovers on a budget. 

The optical performance is strong for a lens with such a wide focal range. You might see some minor distortion at the extremities of the image. But generally, the picture quality is sharp and clean. That’s due to the two ED and four aspherical elements in the lens barrel. 

The variable f/4.5-5.6 aperture means it’s not the brightest lens available, especially at 300mm. In low light, photographers may need to increase ISO. But the image stabilization is a key feature in helping to produce sharp images even at slower shutter speeds.

A linear motor makes the lens’s autofocus fast and reliable, ensuring that fleeting moments aren’t missed. It isn’t quite silent, but the slight noise shouldn’t be a concern for most wildlife shooters. 

The Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS is relatively lightweight for its class, making it easier to carry during long treks in the wild. Its build quality is solid, with weather sealing that offers protection against the elements. This makes it a dependable choice for outdoor photography sessions.

 

5. Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS

Best All-in-One Travel Lens
Sony FE 24-240mm F/3.5-6.3 OSS SEL24240
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
780 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 6.3
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
24-240 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS is a great wildlife photography lens for beginners. With its versatile zoom range and decent magnification, it’s a great option for snapping critters in the back garden.

The wide 24mm focal length helps you shoot broad landscapes filled with nature and animals. Then you can zoom in for more detailed images of badges, foxes, or the neighbor’s cat. 

Despite its affordability, the lens is packed with high-quality glass. Five spherical and ED elements work together to keep aberration to a minimum. You get edge-to-edge clarity at most points throughout the zoom range. 

It doesn’t have the fastest maximum aperture, especially when zoomed in at 240mm. A f/6.3 does present some limitations, meaning higher ISO levels might be required. But the Optical SteadyShot (OSS) system gives you some exposure compensation, allowing you to shoot in dimmer light with better results. 

A quick and dependable autofocus system helps you capture sharp shots before the animals scarper into the bushes. 

It’s lightweight for its extensive zoom range, making it easier to carry during long days in the field. And it’s weather-sealed and protected against the elements. All that makes the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS an absolute bargain. And one beginner wildlife photographers should definitely consider. 

 

6. Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | S for Sony E

Best Extreme Zoom Range
Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | S for Sony E
Brand
Brand
Sigma
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
2485 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 6.3
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
60-600 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | S has an incredibly wide zoom range and stunning powers of magnification. Its expansive 10x zoom range allows for capturing everything from broad landscapes to detailed close-ups of distant wildlife. The price is also more than reasonable considering the max focal length.

Despite its variable aperture, the lens benefits from an effective Optical Stabilization (OS) system. This compensates for camera shake, allowing for sharper images at slower shutter speeds. This feature is particularly valuable in low-light conditions or when capturing fast-moving subjects.

This lens is on the heavier side, which might challenge handheld shooting over extended periods. However, its robust build and weather-sealing make it a reliable companion for outdoor photography adventures.

It might not be a true Sony lens, but the quality still brings the best out of the camera’s high-res sensor. And when you compare the price and the magnification level, the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | S offers the best bang for your buck.

 

7. Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD for Sony E

Best Compact Super-Telephoto Zoom
Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD A057 for Sony E
Brand
Brand
Tamron
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
1710 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 6.7
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
150-500 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is another brilliant third-party lens for wildlife photographers with a Sony camera. Its extensive zoom range allows for capturing detailed shots of distant subjects. And the image quality is strong for a lens with such a wide zoom range. 

Image quality is clear and sharp throughout the focal range. A combination of ED, low-dispersion, and Glass-Moulded (GM) aspherical elements make sure aberration and distortion are rarely visible. 

The lens’s Vibration Compensation (VC) system is helpful in reducing blur from camera shake during handheld shooting. It also helps you shoot late into the evening or early in the morning. Some animals are more active at these times. 

Despite its slower aperture, the lens compensates with sharp optics and fast autofocus. Weighing a manageable 1.8 kg, it’s lighter than many lenses with similar reach. Its weather-sealed construction adds to its appeal, offering protection for outdoor photography.

The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD stands out as an affordable way to get super-telephoto magnification for stunning wildlife photography. 

 

8. Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS

Best Telephoto Prime
Sony FE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS SEL400F28GM
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
2895 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
400 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS gives you impressive magnification with incredible picture quality. You don’t have the flexibility of a zoom lens. But the sharpness is on another scale to any of the zoom lenses we’ve seen. Unfortunately, so is the price. 

Its wide f/2.8 aperture allows for stunning subject isolation and performs exceptionally in low light, making it perfect for capturing wildlife in its natural habitat. And the beautiful bokeh created by the 11-blade circular diaphragm enhances the visual impact of wildlife shots, drawing attention to the subject with a smooth, out-of-focus background.

The lens’s fast autofocus ensures even fast animals are captured correctly. It’s quiet to help you stay undetected. And the response times are superior to most zoom lenses. 

The lens delivers outstanding sharpness and clarity with minimal chromatic aberration. This is thanks to its advanced construction containing Sony’s best G Master elements.

It is heavy at 2.8 kg. But pro shooters won’t mind the extra weight when they see the picture quality. It’s also well-balanced, meaning it sits nicely on a tripod without toppling over. 

The Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS is a valuable asset for professionals looking to capture the natural world with unparalleled detail. You’ll need a professional’s budget for this one. But it’s worth it if you can afford it. 

 

9. Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS

Best Super-Telephoto Prime
Sony FE 600mm F/4 GM OSS SEL600F40GM
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
3040 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 4.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
600 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS is another sensational prime lens for professional wildlife photographers. 

Its 600mm focal length offers unparalleled reach, bringing distant subjects into close view with exceptional clarity and detail.

And thanks to a wide f/4 aperture, it excels in low light. And when you factor in the OSS, you can shoot in low light with super sharp results. The wide aperture also gives you excellent depth of field control, allowing you to create animal portraits with a smooth bokeh background. 

Weighing just over 3 kg, it is the heaviest lens on this list. That’s inconvenient when you’re traveling to remote locations. But pros are happy to take it with them for the incredible image quality. 

The fast autofocus, powered by dual linear motors, ensures that fleeting moments are captured without fail. Whether it’s a cheetah on the savanna or a rabbit darting to its warren, this lens will catch it. 

For wildlife enthusiasts who demand the best, the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS is a formidable tool, offering both performance and reliability. It’s a major investment but one worth making if you’re a professional wildlife photographer. 

 

Conclusion: The Best Sony Lenses for Wildlife Photography

Now you’ve seen all the best Sony Lenses for Wildlife Photography. And now you know key features like zoom range, image stabilization, and autofocus speed are all important in a wildlife photography lens. All the features lenses excel in those areas, which is why we selected them. 

Our top choice is the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS, with its impressive zoom and optical stabilization. It stands out as a versatile option for wildlife photography. And it’s the perfect match for your Sony mirrorless camera if you’re a wildlife lover. 

Our Top 3 Sony Lenses for Wildlife Photography
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
Sony E 70-350mm F/4.5-6.3 G OSS SEL70350G
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G
Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS SEL200600G