Best Budget Telephoto Lens for Nikon

For entry-level photographers who have a limited budget and need an excellent lens for their Nikon camera, they must opt for a telephoto lens which would open up wide horizons for them. Once you have bought a professional camera, you would then want to increase your shooting options and this could be done by investing in a telephoto lens. The lens is one of the most essential components of the camera and you must have complete knowledge before purchasing one.

A telephoto lens is perfect for capturing objects that are at a far distance and have a narrow-angle view. These lenses provide results in a way that the object looks closer and magnified. Typically a telephoto lens provides 105mm or more of focal length. They provide a variety of magnification and characteristics that could cater to different kinds of photography. You will be able to take outstanding close up shots because these provide minimal close-up length.

Finding a good lens that has all the essential features and falls under an affordable range is a rare combination but there do exist lenses that are economical yet feature-packed. To help you find the best budget telephoto lens for Nikon cameras we have done extensive research and shortlisted the 15 best lenses that would capably fill in your needs. If you are in a hurry, we recommend you to look at Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens which provides an internal focus length of 85mm and a minimum focus range of 0.80 with a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.12x.

Best Budget Telephoto Lens for Nikon

If you are looking for the best budget telephoto lens then you have landed at the right article. We have reviewed each lens to help you find the best one that could fulfill all your requirements. To give you an insight into the article we have made this handy comparison chart that lists down each top pick of the best budget telephoto lens for Nikon and also highlights their exclusive features.

So which one is the best budget telephoto lens for Nikon? Let’s find out…

Image Product Details   Price
Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 Sports Lens for Nikon Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 Sports Lens for Nikon 120-300 focal length, optical stabilization enabled Check Price
Nikon 300mm f-4E PF VR AF-S Telephoto Lens Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR AF-S Telephoto Lens 300mm focal length, optically stabilized, 1:4magnification Check Price
Sigma 70-200mmF-2.8 DG OS HSM Lens Sigma 70-200mmF/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens 70-200 focal length, image stabilization Check Price
Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm Camera Lens Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm Camera Lens 70-300 focal length, ultra-fast, image stabilization Check Price
Tamron AF 70-300mm f--4.0-5.6 SP Di VC Lens Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC Lens 70-300 focal length, image stabilization Check Price
Tamron SP 70-200mm F--2.8 Di VC G2 Lens Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC G2 Lens Optical image stabilization, 70-300 focal length Check Price
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f-5.6E Lens Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E Lens Optically stabilized, f/5.6 aperture Check Price
Nikon AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F-3.5-5.6G ED VR II Nikon AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Optically stabilized, 18-200 focal length Check Price
Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f-4.5-6.3G Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G Optically stabilized, 70-300 focal length Check Price
Tamron AF 18-200mm F--3.5-6.3 Di-II VC DSLR Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC DSLR 18-200 focal length, image stabilization Check Price
Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f-1.8G Fixed Lens Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens Silent wave motor, 85mm focal length Check Price
Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens Optically stabilized, 150-600mm focal length Check Price
Nikon 55-200mm f-4-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR Lens Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR Lens Optically stabilized, 50-200mm focal length Check Price
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f-4.5-5.6G Lens Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G Lens 55-300 focal length, Optically stabilized Check Price
Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f-4.0-5.6 Di LD Lens Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Lens Optically stabilized, 70-300 focal length Check Price

1. Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 Sports Lens for Nikon

First up on our list is Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 Sports Lens for Nikon which has the dimensions of 11.5 x 4.8 inches and weighs 7.5 pounds and it comes with a hood which when attached increases the height to a total of 16 inches. The main purpose to use a hood is to reduce flare and prevent it from getting any moisture or grease.

This lens offers image stabilization which prevents blurry images. It includes both autofocus and manual focus with a maximum focal length of 1.5 meters at 120mm and 2.5 meters at 300mm. at its maximum aperture of f/2.8, this lens provides 2415 lines per page which are quite impressive and its highest is at 2657 lines per image at f/5.6.

Pros

  • Wide aperture throughout the zoom range
  • Sharp
  • Minimal distortion
  • Sturdy
  • USB compatible

Cons

  • Relatively pricey
  • Large and heavy
  • Increased filter cost because of the large front element

Have a look: Wide-Angle Lens for Canon Full Frame

2. Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR AF-S Telephoto Lens

Second on the list is Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR AF-S Telephoto Lens measures 5.8 x 3.5 inches and weighs 1.7 pounds. This lens supports 77mm filters and has a few toggle free switches. This lens excellently focuses quickly and with the limiter, you can cut the minimum focus. At its peak, you can focus at a minimum distance of 1.4 meters with 1:4 magnification.

Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR AF-S Telephoto Lens offers image stabilization and efficiently captures images that are moving which do not come out blurry instead they are sharp and crisp. This lens at f/4 provides 2714 lines per picture but the maximum sharpness is focused towards the center but it improves with narrowed aperture.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • High-quality image from edge to edge
  • Optically stabilized
  • 1:4 magnification

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

3. Sigma 70-200mmF/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens

Next, we will discuss Sigma 70-200mmF/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens has dimensions of 8 x 3.7 inches and weighs 4 pounds which are relatively heavy which is because of the build quality. This lens offers 82mm of threaded filters. The front element is fluorine coated and prevents dust, water, and moisture.

Sigma 70-200mmF/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens comes with a lens hood and a carrying case. This lens offers three different manual settings including full-time autofocus, with manual override and manual focus. This lens offers optical stabilization because of which you do not get crisp images. It can focus on a minimal distance of 3.9 feet. It provides 3817 lines per page at 70mm f/2.8 aperture.

Pros

  • Weather build
  • Image stabilization
  • Internal zoom
  • High-quality images

Cons

  • Relatively sharp at this focal length
  • Distortion
  • Relatively heavy

4. Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm Camera Lens

We will now talk about Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm Camera Lens which has dimensions of 5.8 x 3.2 inches and weighs 1.5 pounds. This lens supports 67mm filters and comes with a lens hood. The build of this lens is polycarbonate. Autofocus is smooth and quiet which is done through toggle switches that are for focus and image stabilization.

Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm Camera Lens can focus on objects that are 3.9 feet away and has a maximum magnification of 1:4 but it cannot magnify minute objects. At 70mm f/4.5, this lens can capably deliver 3845 lines per picture which are focused towards the center and the edges, you get 2407 lines per picture.

Pros

  • Crisp images
  • Wide zoom range
  • Optically stabilized
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Dim corners
  • Soft edges
  • Older SLRs are not compatible

5. Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC Lens

We will now look into Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC Lens has the dimensions of 5.63 x 3.23 inches and weighs 1.69 pounds which are relatively heavy which is because of the build quality. This lens offers a maximum magnification of 1:4. The front element is fluorine coated and prevents dust, water, and moisture.

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC Lens comes with a lens hood and a carrying case. This lens offers three different manual settings including full-time autofocus, with manual override and manual focus. This lens offers optical stabilization because of which you do not get crisp images. It can focus on a minimal distance of 3.9 feet. It provides 3817 lines per page at 70mm f/2.8 aperture.

Pros

  • Weather build
  • Image stabilization
  • Internal zoom
  • High-quality images

Cons

  • Relatively sharp at this focal length
  • Distortion
  • Relatively heavy

6. Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC G2 Lens

Next on our list is Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC G2 Lens which has the dimensions of 7.6 x 3.5 inches and weighs 3.3 pounds. This lens offers 77 front filters and an internal zoom design. It has a metallic barrel and is sealed so that dust and moisture can be prevented. The fluorine-coated front prevents water or grease or thumbprints and the lens hood is also included.

Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC G2 Lens offers optical image stabilization that helps in getting crisp and sharp images. You can easily shift the mode from auto to manual for focus setting and there are options for vibration compensation available too. You can focus on objects with a minimum distance of 3.1 feet and provide a 1:6.1 reproduction rate at 200mm. 3557 lines per picture are gained at 70mm f/2.8.

Pros

  • Optical image stabilization
  • Excellent resolution
  • Budget-friendly
  • Sturdy
  • Compact

Cons

  • Dim corners
  • Decreasing sharpness at 200mm
  • Average flare resistance

7. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E Lens

We will now dig into the details of the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E Lens which has the dimensions of 10.5 x 4.25 inches and weighs 5.1. This lens accepts 95mm filters at the front element and comes with a hood, rear cap, and a handy carrying case. The zoom ring of this lens is covered in textured rubber.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E Lens has 4 toggles switched planted to adjust focus system and VR system. This lens can focus on objects with a minimum distance of 7.2 feet with a magnification ratio of 1:4.5. The image quality is such that the maximum lines per page are 2830 at 200mm f/5.6 but provides 1714 lines per picture at the periphery.

Pros

  • Optics are fairly sharp
  • The long reach of telephoto
  • Fixed aperture
  • Optically stabilized

Cons

  • Soft edges at 200mm
  • Zooms less relatively

8. Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

Next up on our list is Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II has dimensions of 4.7 x 3.3 inches and weighs 1.8 pounds. This lens supports 77mm filters and comes with a lens hood. The build of this lens is metal and polycarbonate. Autofocus is smooth and quiet which is done through toggle switches that are for focus and image stabilization.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II can focus on objects that are 1.48 feet away and has a maximum magnification of 1:3 but it cannot magnify minute objects. At 18mm f/3.5, this lens can capably deliver 2587 lines per picture which are focused towards the center and decrease to 2189 lines per picture at f/16.

Pros

  • Crisp images
  • 16.7x zoom range
  • Optically stabilized
  • Macro magnification

Cons

  • Dim and soft corners
  • Distortion
  • Relatively expensive

9. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G

Now we will look into Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G has the dimensions of 4.9 x 2.8 inches and weighs 14.6 ounces which are because of the polycarbonate build whereas the mount of the lens is plastic whereas the zoom ring has a rubber textured finish. This lens provides optical stabilization because you get crisp images.

Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G can focus on objects that are 3.6 feet away and has a maximum magnification of 1:4.6 but it cannot magnify minute objects. At f/8 this lens can capably deliver 2453 lines per picture which are focused towards the center and decreases to 2330 lines per picture at f/5.6.

Pros

  • Optics are fairly sharp
  • Optically stabilized
  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Soft edges at 200mm
  • Narrow aperture

10. Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC DSLR

We will now talk about Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC DSLR which has the dimensions of 7.6 x 3.5 inches and weighs 3.3 pounds. This lens offers 77 front filters and an internal zoom design. It has a metallic barrel and is sealed so that dust and moisture can be prevented. The fluorine-coated front prevents water or grease or thumbprints and the lens hood is also included.

Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC DSLR offers optical image stabilization that helps in getting crisp and sharp images. You can easily shift the mode from auto to manual for focus setting and there are options for vibration compensation available too. You can focus on objects with a minimum distance of 3.1 feet and provide a 1:6.1 reproduction rate at 200mm. 3557 lines per picture are gained at 70mm f/2.8.

Pros

  • Optical image stabilization
  • Excellent resolution
  • Budget-friendly
  • Sturdy
  • Compact

Cons

  • Dim corners
  • Decreasing sharpness at 200mm
  • Average flare resistance

11. Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens

Next up on the list is Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens has dimensions of 2.9 x 3.1 inches and weighs12.4 ounces. This lens supports 67mm filters and comes with a lens hood. The build of this lens is metal and polycarbonate. Autofocus is smooth and quiet which is done through toggle switches that are for focus.

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens can focus on objects that are 1.48 feet away and has a maximum magnification of 1:3 but it cannot magnify minute objects. At 18mm f/2.8, this lens can capably deliver 2938 lines per picture which are focused towards the center and increases to 3779 lines per picture at f/11.

Pros

  • Crisp images
  • Minimal distortion
  • Macro magnification
  • Wide aperture

Cons

  • Dim and soft corners
  • Lacks optical stabilization

12. Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens

Next on the list is Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens which has the dimensions of 11.4 x 4.8 inches and weighs 6.3 pounds and it comes with a hood which when attached increases the height to a total of 16 inches. The main purpose to use a hood is to reduce flare and prevent it from getting any moisture or grease.

Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens offers image stabilization which prevents blurry images. It includes both autofocus and manual focus with a maximum focal length of 1.5 meters at 120mm and 2.5 meters at 300mm. at its maximum aperture of f/2.8, this lens provides 2415 lines per page which are quite impressive and its highest is at 2657 lines per image at f/5.6.

Pros

  • Wide aperture throughout the zoom range
  • Sharp
  • Minimal distortion
  • Sturdy and weather-sealed
  • Zoom locking mechanism

Cons

  • Relatively pricey
  • Large and heavy
  • Narrow aperture

13. Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR Lens

Next on the list is Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR Lens measures 3.97 x 2.87 inches and weighs 0.74 pounds. This lens supports 77mm filters and has a few toggle free switches. This lens excellently focuses quickly and with the limiter, you can cut the minimum focus. At its peak, you can focus at a minimum distance of 1.4 meters with 1:4 magnification.

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR Lens offers image stabilization and efficiently captures images that are moving which do not come out blurry instead they are sharp and crisp. This lens at f/4 provides 2714 lines per picture but the maximum sharpness is focused towards the center but it improves with narrowed aperture.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • High-quality image from edge to edge
  • Optically stabilized
  • 1:4 magnification

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

14. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G Lens

Now we will look into Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G Lens has the dimensions of 4.84 x 3.03 inches and weighs 1.28 pounds which is because of the polycarbonate build whereas the mount of the lens is plastic whereas the zoom ring has a rubber textured finish. This lens provides optical stabilization because you get crisp images.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G Lens can focus on objects that are 4.6 feet away and has a maximum magnification of 1:4.6 but it cannot magnify minute objects. At f/8 this lens can capably deliver 2453 lines per picture which are focused towards the center and decreases to 2330 lines per picture at f/5.6.

Pros

  • Optics are fairly sharp
  • Optically stabilized
  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Soft edges at 200mm
  • Narrow aperture

15. Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Lens

We will now look into Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Lens has the dimensions of 4.61 x 3.03 inches and weighs 0.96 pounds which are relatively heavy which is because of the build quality. This lens offers a maximum magnification of 1:2. The front element is fluorine coated and prevents dust, water, and moisture.

Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Lens comes with a lens hood and a carrying case. This lens offers three different manual settings including full-time autofocus, with manual override and manual focus. This lens offers optical stabilization because of which you do not get crisp images. It can focus on a minimal distance of 3.1 feet. It provides 3817 lines per page at 70mm f/2.8 aperture.

Pros

  • Weather build
  • Image stabilization
  • Internal zoom
  • High-quality images

Cons

  • Relatively sharp at this focal length
  • Distortion
  • Relatively heavy

Conclusion

The list of the best budget telephoto lenses for Nikon comes to end here. We assure you that you have now gathered enough information with the unbiased reviews of each lens that you can choose the one that will fulfil all your requirements capably.

Finding a lens that falls under your restrained budget is very difficult especially if you do not want to compromise on the essential features. So now that you have the know-how, it is now time to buy the best budget telephoto lens for Nikon.