7 Great 70-200mm Zoom Lenses Perfect for Portraits and More

70-200mm zoom lenses
The 70-200mm zoom lens is incredibly versatile and should be in every photographer’s camera bag.

There are quite a few lenses that can be considered the swiss army knives of the photography world. Lenses that spring to mind include 24-105mm lenses, 24-70mm lenses, and when it comes to primes the 35mm focal range is one that works in just about every genre of photography. There is, however, another lens that is equally as versatile as those previously listed. 70-200mm zoom lenses are fantastic in that they can be used for event work, portraiture, photojournalism, landscape photography, sports photography, and even documentary work. In this roundup, we will take a quick look at seven of our favorite 70-200mm zoom lenses.

Captured with the Tamron 70-200mm Di VC USD G2

It’s effortless to throw the word versatile around, but we genuinely mean it when it comes to 70-200mm zoom lenses. Many photographers believe this particular focal range to be for portrait photographers only, but we’re here to tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth. There have been many times in my own career where I have used 70-200mm lenses for everything but portraiture. When it comes to landscapes, you can use them to isolate a specific feature of the area you’re in. These lenses are must-haves for event and sports photographers too. You can’t be everywhere at once, but the zoom range allows you to get close to the action that may be happening further away from you.

Captured with the Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS USM II

Yes, they are excellent for portraiture too. You can go from 3/4 body shots to head and shoulder shots in a split second, and if you have an f2.8 version, you can create gorgeous background separation. This, when coupled with the compression effects of the lens, can produce beautiful portraits. Both f4 and f2.8 versions of this lens are fantastic. All of the 70-200mm zoom lenses listed here are very well built, they have ultra-fast focusing speeds, most offer weather sealing, and the optics will not leave you wanting more. Check out our seven favorites below.

 

Tamron 70-210mm F4 Di VC USD

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Nice build
  • Small
  • Very good image stabilization
  • Good colors
  • Pretty good image quality, but we’ve seen better from Tamron

Cons

  • Autofocus can be a little wonky

Buy now Canon EF ($599): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($599): Adorama

 

Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2

 

70-200mm zoom lenses tamron

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Good for skin tones
  • Delivers lens flare nicely
  • Sharp output
  • Fast autofocus capabilities
  • Weather sealing
  • Fairly lightweight
  • Image stabilization built-in

Cons

  • While we like the lens flare, others may complain about it

Buy now Canon EF ($1,199): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($1,199): Adorama

 

Canon 70-200mm F4 L IS USM II.

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Sharp output
  • Fast and accurate focusing
  • Beautiful colors
  • Lightweight
  • Small, can be stuffed in a bag attached to the camera with ease
  • Weather sealing

Cons

  • Honestly, not a thing

Buy now Canon EF ($1,299): Adorama

 

Captured with the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 OSS G Master

Pro Tip: All of the 70-200mm zoom lenses that we have listed here sport amazing build qualities, and because of that, they can add some significant weight to your gear overall. If you plan on using one of these 70-200mm zoom lenses while mounted on a tripod, make sure your current tripod is rated to be able to handle the extra heft of these lenses. Also, be sure to attach the lens to the tripod using the included tripod mount, that way the extra weight won’t put a strain on your cameras lens mount. If you need a new tripod that can handle the extra weight of this lens and your camera body check out this one. It’s durable, sturdy, will hold any of this gear with ease, and it’s very affordable.

 

Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 PRO (Micro Four Thirds)

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • You get an 80-300mm f2.8 lens in the size of a standard 24-70mm f2.8 from other manufacturers
  • Very sharp wide open
  • The retractable lens hood is very convenient, but if you want to use the lens without the hood, you essentially need to remove it

Cons

  • Focusing ring can be accidentally switched back for manual focusing

Buy now ($1,299): Adorama

 

Sony 70-200mm F4 OSS (Sony FE)

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Superbly sharp wide open
  • Optical stabilization works like a charm even with an older camera body
  • Fast-focusing abilities, again even with an older camera
  • Creamy bokeh
  • Internal zooming
  • Fairly compact size

Cons

  • Only f4; at the time of publishing this review Sony has yet to offer an f2.8 constant aperture telephoto zoom lens for the FE mount cameras

Buy now ($1,398): Adorama

 

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 (Fujifilm X Mount)

 

70-200mm zoom lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Internal zooming keeps things reasonably compact
  • Wonderfully sharp images
  • Very nice bokeh, if that matters to you
  • Tripod collar makes for a good grip
  • Weather-sealed

Cons

  • Prepare to drop serious cash. This lens ain’t cheap
  • The focusing ring moves a bit too slowly

Buy now ($1,599): Adorama

 

Captured with the Olympus 40-150 f2.8 Pro

Pro Tip: One of the best things you can do for your cameras and your lenses is clean them regularly. We harp on about this a lot, and for a good reason. These 70-200mm zoom lenses will represent a significant investment on your part, and you’re going to want to make sure they stay in tip-top shape for years to come. Wipe down the body and the front and rear elements before every use, and give them a more thorough cleaning at least once every two weeks. You don’t need an expensive kit to clean your gear. This one has everything you need, and it’s dirt cheap.

 

Sony 70-200mm F2.8 OSS G Master (Full Frame E Mount)

 

70-200mm zoom lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Nice bokeh
  • Fairly compact for a 70-200mm f2.8 lens
  • Good build quality
  • Can focus pretty fast with the latest cameras

Cons

  • Pretty pricey!

Buy now ($2,598): Adorama