6 Best Nikon Super Telephoto and Superzoom Lenses in 2023!

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Best Nikon Super Telephoto and Superzoom Lenses

Serious wildlife, birder, and sports photographers will tell you that the best Nikon super telephoto lenses help them capture award-winning pictures.

The single best super telephoto lens offered by Nikon is the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens. It’s an unrelenting powerhouse for sports and wildlife photographers that want maximum range with no compromises.

1

BEST OVERALL SUPER TELEPHOTO LENS

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E Lens

Nikon

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2

BEST SUPERZOOM LENS FOR SPORTS AND WILDLIFE

Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G lens

Nikon

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3

BEST BUDGET SUPER TELEPHOTO LENS

Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E Lens

Nikon

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4

BEST NIKON Z SUPER TELEPHOTO LENS

Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron

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5

BEST SUPERZOOM LENS FOR NIKON DX

Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Lens

Nikon

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6

BEST SUPER TELEPHOTO LENS FOR TRAVEL

Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR Lens

Nikon

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Let’s get started with the 6 best Nikon superzoom lenses and super telephoto lenses!

1. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR Lens

The Overall Best Super Telephoto Lens For Nikon

Bottom Line:

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens is one of the most powerful and effective super telephoto lenses we have ever seen. Period.

Pros

  • Vibration Reduction, Sport, and Tripod Modes
  • Comes with a 1.25x teleconverter
  • The longest lens offered by Nikon
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System
  • Nano Crystal and Super Integrated coatings
  • Two Fluorite elements
  • Two ED elements

Cons

  • This costs more than a used car—literally
  • It’s massive and weights a ton
  • Due to its size and complexity, only compatible with some Nikon cameras

Why We Picked It

The lens is easily the best super telephoto lens made by Nikon. There really is no competition.

There’s so much to talk about the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens and why we picked it as our number one super-telephoto lens for Nikon cameras.

The first thing that we have to look at is the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens has some seriously impressive glass. The coatings and optical elements will help to reduce distortion and ghosting which is especially important when working with a telephoto lens this big.

It also has several vibration reduction modes which can compensate for up to 4.5 stops of light.

The silent wave motor autofocus system is especially useful when trying to focus this beast of a lens. It’s quick and responsive even when it’s working with something so large.

The included teleconverter upgrades this lens to over 1,000 mm of focal length range.

Who It’s For

The only downside about the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens is that this is really for professional photographers only. Unless you have a huge recreational budget for your camera lenses, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens just might be out of range of most photographers.

It’s also a little difficult to haul this lens around. You’ll have to dedicate some serious space and your luggage, hiking backpack, and life in general to accommodate a lens this big.

With that said, you’re not going to be able to find a technically superior lens anywhere in Nikon’s catalog.

If you’ve got the money, this is the best Nikon super-telephoto lens for sports, wildlife, and pretty much anything else you could use this focal length for.

When it comes to camera lenses, you get what you pay for. In the case of the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens, you’ll be getting just about everything.

2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens

The Best Nikon Superzoom Lens For Sports and Wildlife

Bottom Line:

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is a superzoom lens that still retains a bright aperture making it ideal for sports and wildlife.

Pros

  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • VR II Image Stabilization
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System
  • f/3.5 aperture

Cons

  • Not as fast as a prime lens

Why We Picked It

Superzoom lenses are their own animals and often come with unique trade-offs. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens manages to deliver the superzoom focal length while still being able to compete with traditional zoom lenses.

This lens gives you some pretty impressive focal length options from 28 mm all the way up to 300 mm. This means you can quickly snap some landscapes before getting back to zoom in on wildlife or athletes.

The rounded nine-blade diaphragm is perfect for getting some smooth bokeh in your images. The updated image stabilization is also ideal for making sure that the images you capture are clear and smooth.

The biggest highlight of this lens has to be the aperture. You’d expect the aperture to be much slower, but it’s surprisingly bright given the focal length of this lens.

Who It’s For

The best Nikon superzoom lens for wildlife is really for everyone looking to have a versatile lens that is ready for everything from animals to athletes.

This lens is a favorite of ours when we’re out on the road and traveling. It’s perfect for throwing in your bag when you don’t know if you’ll be taking pictures of mountain ranges or birds.

The flexibility of this lens makes it great for nearly every photographer. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is perfect for a single lens travel kit, and it’s also a great choice for someone looking to quickly switch between close-ups and wider angle shots that establish the scene.

3. Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR Lens

The Best Budget Super Telephoto Lens Nikon

Bottom Line:

The Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR lens is going to be the go-to lens for anyone who wants to save money while still capturing a wide range of focal lengths.

Pros

  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism
  • Highly affordable
  • VR Image Stabilization

Cons

  • f/4.5 is a bit dim

Why We Picked It

It’s time to save you some money on a lens. The Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR lens is the best budget super-telephoto lens for Nikon for so many reasons.

Budget lenses always come with trade-offs. You have to be willing to let go of some features in order to save some money.

Thankfully, the Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR lens only does cost-cutting where your skills can make up for the difference. You’ll quickly notice the slightly dimmer aperture and slightly dated features of this lens.

That’s nothing that you can’t overcome by simply increasing your exposure time or by working with a tripod.

All of the core features of this lens are right where you need them. It’s got high-quality glass, good image stabilization, and a diaphragm mechanism that can create some smooth bokeh.

This lens might be a little expensive if you are comparing it to the ultra-budget options that you can get with prime lenses.

However, if you want to see the type of lens that this budget option is lining up with, just scroll back up and check out the price tag of the best possible lens in this category.

Who It’s For

The best superzoom lens is, first and foremost, for anyone looking to save money.

Let’s be honest for a second, photography is an incredibly expensive art whether you’re a beginner or a working professional. The cost of gear can be more expensive than you’d like to pay, so there’s no shame in looking for a budget option.

The Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR lens is going to be right at home in the hands of a star student or serious hobbyist. The wide range of focal length options means that you can explore virtually every style of photography without having to break the bank.

Experienced photographers are going to have more than enough skills to compensate for the trade-offs that come with a budget lens. That balanced trade-off makes this, honestly, an even better option for pro photographers who are looking for a jack-of-all-trades lens.

4. Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD Lens for Nikon Z

The Best Super Zoom Lens For Nikon Mirrorless

Bottom Line:

The Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD lens for Nikon Z offers superzoom capability for Nikon’s mirrorless cameras.

Pros

  • BBAR Broad-Brand Anti-Reflection Coating
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • RXD Stepping AF Motor

Cons

Why We Picked It

The Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD lens for Nikon Z is the best Nikon super zoom lens for anyone with a mirrorless Nikon camera.

Mirrorless cameras have been around for a few years now, but plenty of photography companies are still playing catch up when it comes to their catalog of lenses.

You’ll notice that superzoom lenses are often missing from mirrorless camera lens catalogs. Third-party lens companies like Tamron and Sigma have been quick to fill in the gaps and create lenses that companies like Nikon haven’t gotten around to.

Nikon still doesn’t have their own mirrorless superzoom lens, so the winner of this round goes to Tamron.

Despite being a third-party lens, this feels like a high-end first-party option. It’s got a moisture-resistant sealing which is perfect for the lens that’s very likely to spend a lot of time on the road or in the woods.

For a superzoom lens, this model is also very light. That’s ideal when you’re going to be connecting it to those featherweight mirrorless camera bodies.

Who It’s For

Discussing who the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD lens for Nikon Z is an ideal lens for is an interesting predicament.

The obvious answer is that this is going to be the right superzoom lens for anyone using a Nikon mirrorless camera. Digging a little bit deeper into this question will turn up some familiar answers.

The Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD lens for Nikon Z is the right lens for students looking for focal length flexibility, professionals who want a single-lens kit, and anyone traveling who wants to keep things light.

Really, if you’re using a Nikon Z Mount camera and any of the reasons for owning a super zoom lens that we talk about in this article work for you, get the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD lens for Nikon Z.

5. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Lens

The Best Super Zoom Lens Nikon DX

Bottom Line:

Nikon crop-sensor camera owners will love Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens for its near-professional quality and flexible focal lengths.

Pros

  • 27-300mm 35mm equivalent focal length range
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System
  • VR II Image Stabilization

Cons

  • Not weather sealed

Why We Picked It

Crop sensor camera owners don’t need to feel left out when it comes to rundowns of the best available lenses. As it turns out, there are actually plenty of superzoom and super telephoto lenses available for crop sensor cameras.

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens has some excellent features for DX-format cameras.

The glass on the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens is impressive with several optical elements and multiple coatings protecting the final quality of your images. With focal lengths this long, it’s great to see image stabilization on a lens that’s designed for budget-friendly cameras.

Crop sensor cameras are often viewed as being inferior to full-sized sensors. However, you can still get amazing images if you’re using the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens on your camera.

Who It’s For

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens is one of the best superzoom lenses for Nikon crop sensor cameras. That’s the basics of who should pick this lens up.

If you have a DX-format camera, then the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens is right for you.

The cost of this lens also gives our budget pick a run for its money. Both of these lenses are very flexible when it comes to pricing which means they’re often on backorder.

Here’s a little inside tip for saving some extra money. You can pick up the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens, or our budget pick, used, or open box to save even more money on your lens.

6. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR Lens

The Best Nikon Super Telephoto Lens For Travel

Bottom Line:

Let’s hit the road and go on an adventure with the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens. This is the right choice for photographers who are always putting miles on their cameras.

Pros

  • VR Image Stabilization
  • 27-450mm at 35mm Equivalent
  • Super Integrated Coating
  • Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm

Cons

  • DX format

Why We Picked It

Taking photographs while traveling is all about being ready for whatever jumps in front of your camera. You could be snapping some pics of a cityscape or a horizon when you need to quickly zoom in to a new subject.

This is why the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens jumps out as a great option for travel photography. It’s flexible enough to allow you to catch the widest angles while still being able to handle sports or wildlife photography.

You don’t have to carry thousands of dollars of lenses with you the next time you go on vacation. The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens makes a great lens for anyone who is a little uncomfortable carrying that much expensive equipment with them while adventuring in new places.

The specifications on this lens are also very impressive. You’ve got image stabilization, a flexible focal length range, lens coatings and optical elements, and a great diaphragm.

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens is also designed for DX-format cameras. These cameras are often cheaper which also makes them great options for taking on the road where wear and tear are higher.

Who It’s For

You want the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens because it’s one of the best super-zoom lenses for Nikon when traveling.

Travel photography means taking a wide-angle photo of a beach one minute and having to zoom in on an interesting street scene just a few minutes later.

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens has an impressive set of features that are able to give you that kind of performance.

Traveling to new places also comes with some risks. You don’t always want to take your most expensive camera equipment with you. It’ll be a much softer blow to your wallet if a DX super zoom lens gets lost by the airport.

Travel bloggers, YouTubers looking to capture great b-roll, and even a working travel photographer that wants to experiment with new focal lengths can all pack this lens and their luggage.

All of these features come together to make the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens the one and only best Nikon superzoom lens for people who love to travel.

How To Find The Right Nikon Super Telephoto Lenses For You!

What Is A Super Telephoto Lens?

A super-telephoto lens is going to have the longest focal length out of any other type of lens. Super telephoto lenses often have focal lengths of 300 mm or longer. These can either be super telephoto zoom lenses or prime lenses.

What Is A Superzoom Lens

A super zoom lens is slightly different from a super telephoto lens. A super zoom lens has complex optical elements that allow it to achieve 10x, 12x or even 18x zoom. These lenses often go from extreme wide angles to super telephoto focal lengths.

What Is The Largest Telephoto Lens For Nikon

The biggest super-telephoto lens for Nikon is the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S. This is the largest commercially available lens made by Nikon. You could make this lens even larger by adding a Nikon extension tube to effectively increase the focal length by 2x or more.

Are Superzoom Lenses Worth It

Superzoom lenses have a few trade-offs that you should consider before buying, but they are absolutely worth it. A super zoom lens allows you to do everything from wide-angle landscapes to super telephoto wildlife and sports photography all in a single lens. They’re a great choice for people who only want to carry one lens while traveling.

Are There Any Super Telephoto Crop Sensor Prime Lenses

Nikon does not make any prime lenses that are both super telephoto and designed for their DX crop sensor cameras. However, you can find some third-party options like the Tokina SZX 400mm f/8 Reflex MF lens that give you super telephoto focal lengths designed for APS-C cameras.

Which Lens Is Best For Wildlife Photography

The best Nikon lens for wildlife photography is going to be the lens that gives you the focal length coverage that you were looking for to capture stunning images of wildlife. You could go with the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens for more flexible focal length options or the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens for the best possible images.

What Is The Disadvantage Of Telephoto Lens

There are a few noticeable disadvantages to telephoto lenses. The first thing you’re going to notice is that a telephoto lens is bigger, heavier, and more expensive than normal focal lengths or even wide-angle lenses. They also have a very shallow depth of field that’s great for isolating subjects, but can struggle to capture wider scenes.

Conclusion – The Best Nikon Super Telephoto And Superzoom Lenses

That’s a wrap on our list of the best Nikon super telephoto lenses!

If you’re serious about long-range photography, and you’ve got a wheelbarrow full of cash to spend, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens is the single best option you have.

More cost-effective opinions like the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD Lens for Nikon Z for mirrorless cameras and the Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR lens for budget photographers are still ready to take the image of a lifetime!

Did we miss your go-to superzoom or super-telephoto lens for Nikon? Sound off in the comments about your pick for the best Nikon super telephoto lens and don’t forget to check out our other guides on Nikon cameras!

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Hey there, my name is James and I am the creator and editor of this site. I have been photographing for the past 20 years and my mission is to simplify this misunderstood art of taking and processing photographs I love. I invite you to say “hey” on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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