Skip to content

The Best Nikon Lenses for Wildlife Photography in 2018

Are you looking for shooting sharp photographs of birds in the wild? Do you love documenting animals in the wild or the amazing natural scenery of the outdoors? To get the most out of your wonderful wildlife photography, you need one of the best Nikon lenses for wildlife photography. As part of my series to help wildlife photographers, I present this review of the best Nikon lenses (or as some photographers put it: the best birding lens for Nikon). Most wildlife photographers generally need good field craft skills. With your Nikon DSLR camera, you can easily attach one of these telephoto lenses to capture the subjects with great image quality without having to compromise.

Best Nikon Lenses for Wildlife Photography in 2018

1. Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Nikon

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Nikon
Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Nikon
This high-speed Sigma lens for Nikon DSLR camera is best for capturing wildlife, nature, aviation, and even racing. What I like about this Sigma lens is that it’s much cheaper option than the one from both Nikon and Canon. It will also work with APS-C sensors with an effective increase in focal length.

  • Aperture Range: f/2.8-22
  • Fast Constant Maximum Aperture
  • Optical Stabilizer
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor


  • Dust- and splash-proof construction
  • Fast, quiet, and smooth auto focusing


  • Not cheap

2. Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 VR Lens

This lens is designed for long-distance shot. For photographers who want a great lens for birding, wildlife, motorsports, events, you can consider this as an ideal choice.

  • F-Mount Lens/FX Format
  • Aperture Range: f/5.6 to f/32
  • Three Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Super Integrated Coating


  • Fast, near-silent focusing performance
  • Sharpness, clarity, and color fidelity


  • Not weatherproof

3. Nikon 300mm f/4 VR Lens

For those photographers with Nikon D500, having this Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is perfect for bird photography. Why? Outdoor and nature photographers would be amazed by the combination of the Silent Wave Motor AF system and Vibration Reduction. If you are on a budget, my choice would be the this Nikon 300mm f/4 VR Lens.

  • F Mount Lens/FX Format
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to 32
  • One Phase Fresnel & One ED Element
  • Nano Crystal & Super Integrated Coating


  • Speed, light weight
  • Maximum sharpness and clarity with virtually no chromatic aberration or ghosting


  • Inconsistencies when utilizing VR at moderate shutter speeds.

4. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED Vibration Reduction

Believe it or not, the Vibration Reduction (VR II) helps lower the effects of your Nikon DSLR camera shake, making it possible for photographers to shoot at as many as four shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible, assuring dramatically sharper images. If you want a long lens, this is the lens to buy. With a Nikon D850, this takes extremely sharp photos down to the pixel level. It also works great with a 1.4x teleconverter.

  • Quality matches the weight
  • The combination of auto focus and vibration reduction


  • Expensive

5. Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED Vibration Reduction II DSLR Lens

A fast, prime telephoto lens that wildlife photographers dream of. It’s also one of the best lenses ever created for action photography. Whether you want to shoot Judo, swimming, sailing, and cross country, you can rely heavily on this Nikon AF FX Nikkor 200mm lens.

  • Great image quality


  • Not cheap

6. Nikon releases the AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR

This is the newest super-telephoto zoom lens with a built-in 1.4x teleconverter from Nikon in 2018. This Nikon lens provides professionals who shoot action from a distance, such as for field sports, with superior agility and operation, and the latest optical performance.

Good to Know

In wildlife photography, photographers do never want to miss the best moment. Sharpness of the photos and quickness of auto-focus are the key features to look for in a lens. After getting one of these high-quality Nikkor lenses, you’ll be able to enjoy capturing birds in flight or bears on the hunt. Thanks to the accessibility of digital cameras and lenses nowadays, shooting photos of beautiful birds is another extraordinary journey.
More Reviews:

Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post contain affiliate links which help support