3 Versatile Zoom Lenses For Photowalking Under $500

Fast primes are great and all, but sometimes you just need a solid all-in-one lens to throw on your body that allows you to be versatile in your shooting without having to fumble around with switching lenses and missing shots. It’s easy to forget that the world is not just about super fast F/1.4 primes and F/2.8 zooms, and contrary to what some pixel peeping snobbery may lead you to believe, there are actually some killer all-in-one lenses out there that offer both versatility and an an acceptable level of quality – and they are fairly affordable as well.

We took a gander through our reviews index and have pulled this list of the 3 best versatile zoom options for under $500. These are just a few of what we recommend you consider if you are in the market for a good and affordable zoom for your next Photo Walk.

Olympus 14-150mm F/4-5.6 II


In our review we had this to say about this killer micro four thirds zoom…

The Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 II lens is a really good option for most photographers. It isn’t going to give you the absolute best images, but the images that it delivers are still quite good. If you need a superzoom with weather sealing and a pretty good zoom range, you can’t beat this one. Slap it into your camera and go shooting. You won’t be disappointed…

It’s on sale over on Amazon right now too, for just $399.

Sigma 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3

Kevin-Lee The Phoblographer Simga 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 Product Images (9 of 9)

We had this to say about the Sigma 18-200mm in our review…

I lived with the Sigma 18-200 f3.5-6.3 for just shy of three weeks and it easily did everything I wanted to do with it. Thanks to its extremely wide focal length range I could shoot landscapes one minute, go to 50-85mm for portraits, and then with a quick turn of the zoom ring I could go to shooting something over 100 feet way. The Sigma super-zoom is an incredibly versatile lens and you’ll love carrying it around because it’s also so light.

The Sigma 18-200mm also happens to be on sale for $399 over on Amazon, buy one here.

Sigma 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3


We had this to say about the Sigma 18-300mm in our full review…

The Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Contemporary is a lens that many of us reading this site will find very basic and will very little pizzazz at first glance. But we’d be incredibly wrong. When using artificial lighting, this lens exhibits sharpness right up there with many of the higher end options from Sigma. In fact, we’ve used this lens for product images on the site and didn’t have much of a problem with the results. On the contrary, I needed to really check my monitor to ensure that it was just as good as it was saying it was.

For those of you looking for a bit more reach than the Sigma 18-200 can offer, the slightly more expensive 18-300 offers an extra 100mm of reach. You can pick one up over on Amazon for $489.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.