5 Best Budget Telephoto Lens for Canon in 2021 – Expert Guide

Best budget telephoto lens for Canon

Buying new lenses can be complicated and above all, very expensive. This piece of equipment usually doesn’t come cheap. As a photographer, I know that you’ll often have to pay more for a lens than for a camera itself. In this article, I would like to help you out. Therefore I present to you the best budget telephoto lens for Canon.

Canon offers a wide selection of lenses. In fact, there are 4  basic types that the brand offers. These are EF, RF, EF-S, and EF-M lenses. This way, we are sure to find the perfect lens for us. After all, Canon is one of the best brands out there. They make sure to cover all fields of photography. However, we also need to know the difference between prime and zoom lenses. Prime lenses have fixed focal length, while zoom lenses have variable focal length. It is up to you to decide which you prefer.

Now the main problem with lenses is that more often than not, they cost an arm and a leg. In other words, they are very expensive. I was faced with this problem a while ago. Back then, I was a bit short on cash, but I was also a very passionate photographer. I needed a new lens that would be more wallet-friendly. However, I only have a Canon camera, so I had to make sure that the new lens will be compatible with my camera. I did a little research and I found my solution. From the ocean of lenses, I managed to find the perfect budget lens for me.

In this article, I made it my mission to help you solve your problem. So without further ado, I present to you my selection.  Now let’s find you a brand new lens.

Recommended
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens
Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Black Lens (4234C002)
Great deal
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens(White box, New)
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens
Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Black Lens (4234C002)
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens(White box, New)
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3,187 Reviews
22 Reviews
407 Reviews
191 Reviews
595 Reviews
$265.00
$199.00
$549.97
$599.00
$479.95
Recommended
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
-
3,187 Reviews
$265.00
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
-
22 Reviews
$199.00
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens
407 Reviews
$549.97
Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Black Lens (4234C002)
Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Black Lens (4234C002)
191 Reviews
$599.00
Great deal
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens(White box, New)
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens(White box, New)
-
595 Reviews
$479.95

Last update on 2021-08-23

What are telephoto lenses?

Telephoto lenses come to use when the standard zoom just can cut it. These lenses are usually a bit bigger and are most often found within a range of 100mm up to 600mm. Sometimes it can be even more than that.

Telephoto lenses work best for wildlife photography and nature photography. They are often used for sports photography as well and are a crucial piece of equipment when it comes to night sky photography. So if you find yourself in any of these, then a telephoto lens is an absolute must. It is one piece of equipment that you as a photographer can’t miss.

We can further subcategorize telephoto lenses into three categories, based on the focal length size. First, we have short telephoto. This one comes in a range of 85mm to 135mm and is most often used for street photography and portraits.  Second comes medium telephoto that ranges between 135mm and 300mm. This type of lens is often associated with sports, wildlife, and action photography. Lastly, we have super-telephoto, which ranges from 300mm and up. It is most commonly used for astronomy photography, sports from a distance, and nature photography.  Generally speaking, you will need this type of lens when taking photos from great distances.

The main disadvantage with telephoto lenses is that they are usually pretty big and heavy. Therefore, you may require a tripod to support them. This makes them a bit less practical than standard zoom lenses, but still, they deliver a hack of the result.

The best budget telephoto lens for Canon

When talking about the best budget telephoto lens for Canon, you must know that there is no such thing as only one right option. There are many options to choose from and we practically can’t go wrong with either of them. The only thing that we should look out for are our own preferences. So, as I already mentioned before, we must take the type of photography into account. Telephoto lenses have different ranges, so we need to keep that in mind. This goes especially for prime lenses since the focal length is fixed. With prime lenses, you will have to physically move closer, or further away. Therefore, zoom lenses can be much more convenient, since you only need to turn the zoom ring in one direction.

Personally, I prefer zoom lenses. I think that they are more user-friendly, especially if you are a beginner. They are easy to handle and also more fun to work with, as you can move within the given range. However, you need to have some idea of how far the object is going to be. The greater the focal length, the closer you can get to an object. A type of photography also plays a role in this, as it helps you determine how far are you going to be while taking photos.

The most popular telephoto lenses range between 70mm and 200mm. They are widely accepted for their universal use as they can be used for all sorts of photography, from wildlife photography to portraits. I agree with that and I often find myself using lenses of this range.


Canon EF-S 55-250mm is a highly capable telephoto lens that comes at an affordable price. It definitely has the best price/quality ratio. Thanks to its zoom ability, you can use it for any type of photography. Therefore, it is appropriate for sports photography as well as portraits and macro photography.

The lens is designed to be compact and light, which makes it very convenient. You easily pack it up and take it with you anywhere you go. Furthermore, it provides the photographer with an incredible image stabilizer and high resolution. The output photos look sharp and have decent quality.

This is one of my favorite lenses when it comes to Canon. I use it on many occasions and I am really satisfied with it. It never fails to deliver the best results. I personally believe in this lens and I do recommend it. Therefore, it comes out as the best budget telephoto lens for Canon.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
3,187 Reviews
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
  • Maximum aperture: f/4.0-f/5.6
  • Optics: 12 elements in 10 groups, UD glass element
  • Canon EF-S Mount (not compatible with full sensor DSLRs)

Last update on 2021-08-23


Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

 Canon EF 75-300mm is a popular lens among many photographers. With the wide focal length range, it is appropriate for many types of photography. It is ideal for portraits, wildlife photography, and even sports photography. This lens just offers countless possibilities.

The lens was designed to be compact and lightweight. This makes it very convenient and is just perfect for carrying it around with you. Moreover, the lens is also waterproof, so underwater photos won’t be a problem.

This lens has a superb autofocus system and will always deliver sharp images. Additionally, you can get it at a very affordable price. This truly is a perfect piece of equipment for any true photographer. Therefore, it is my lens of choice. I have been using it for a long time now, and I have to say that so far, I have been nothing but satisfied with it.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
22 Reviews
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
  • Focal length: 75-300mm
  • Maximum aperture: 1:4-5.6
  • Lens construction: 13 elements in 9 groups
  • Diagonal angle of view: 32 (at 11 feet) to 8 degrees (at 15 feet)
  • Closest focusing distance: 4.9 feet

Last update on 2021-08-23


Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens

Canon EF 70-300mm is a great choice when it comes to telephoto lenses. This piece of equipment delivers really good results and it’s still cheaper than most of the other products in this category. Two things that make this a great lens are its silent autofocus and a wide zoom range.

This lens works great. It is very fast and works very smoothly. It can really help you bring out an artist within you. All photos are further improved with an image stabilizer. Everything about this lens is designed to give the best results. Photos are high quality and they are also very sharp. Therefore, I believe this is one of the best budget telephoto lenses for Canon.

A great addition would also be a tripod. This way you will be able to enhance your photography and bring it to a whole new level.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens
407 Reviews
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens
  • Front-focusing method with helicoid ring drive
  • No deductibles or hidden fees. Free shipping on all repairs. Fully transferable.
  • Plan contract will be emailed from Asurion within 48 hours of purchase. This will not ship with your product.

Last update on 2021-08-23


Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Lens

Canon RF 85mm is a great example of a prime lens. This particular lens is just perfect for macro photography. It can also be used for portraits and street photography. However, you should know that it can’t be used for shooting objects from great distances.

This is a high-quality piece of equipment. The close-ups will look remarkable. The sharpness and high resolution are simply amazing and the image quality is outstanding. The lens boasts with impressive optical image stabilization system and very fast autofocus. In addition, it can even handle low-light photography.

This is an ideal lens that you can easily take with you on your travels.

Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Black Lens (4234C002)
191 Reviews
Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Black Lens (4234C002)
  • Bright f/2 Aperture Mid-telephoto Macro RF Lens with Beautiful Bokeh.
  • Maximum Magnification of 0.5x and Minimum Focusing Distance of 1.15 ft.
  • Optical Image Stabilization with up to 5 Stops of Shake Correction.
  • Hybrid IS Compensates for Angular and Shift Camera Shake during Macro Shooting.
  • Control Ring for Direct Setting Changes.

Last update on 2021-08-23


Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens – great deal

Canon EF-S 18-135mm is a great lens that can be used for photos and videos. This is a very reliable lens that features a great image stabilization system. I have to mention that this was also the first Canon lens to have the Dynamic IS. This ensures a smooth and steady video while shooting when walking.

The lens was carefully designed and it exceeds all expectations. They managed to achieve high-speed autofocus, mostly thanks to an Inner focusing system. The high image quality is kept over the entire range. The lens also provides high resolution and high contrast images.

This truly is a lens, worthy of the name best budget telephoto lens for Canon. It is a great choice and is highly recommended.

Sale
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens(White box, New)
595 Reviews
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens(White box, New)
  • Focal length and maximum aperture: 18 135mm, 1:3.5 5.6
  • Closest focusing distance: 0.39 metres/1.3 feet
  • Lens construction: 16 elements in 12 groups
  • Diagonal angle of view: 11 Degree 30 feet; 74 Degree 20 feet
  • Inner focusing system

Last update on 2021-08-23


FINAL THOUGHTS

With this, we come to an end of this article. Hopefully, you found my recommendations helpful. However, in the end, it is up to you to decide what works best for you. Your preferences are the key here. Only you know what you like and I hope that my recommendations meet your expectations. Just pay attention to focal length and compatibility with your camera and you should be fine.

I am sure that among this selection you will find the best budget telephoto lens for Canon. All of the lenses featured here are excellent and above all, wallet-friendly. You can’t go wrong with either of them, so as long as you stick with this selection, you’ll be fine. Now the only thing you should focus on is your photography. Become the photographer you want to be.

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