Home > Camera Lenses > Zoom Lenses

Top Zoom Lenses by Consumer Reviewers

For landscape, portrait, wildlife or multipurpose use, zoom lenses are your best bet. If you are looking for a great optical zoom lens for your digital SLR camera, IntelliReview can help. It can be hard enough to figure out what all the confusing numbers associated with zoom lenses mean, let alone make sure you get a good price for top quality equipment. To help you, we have formed a list of only the very best zoom lenses in the market by looking at countless reviews on the social web. Given this information, we then calculate the product ranking based on the number of positive and negative reviews. This enables us to provide you with a very accurate and intelligent look at the top zoom lenses for your digital SLR camera. Whether you just need to get a little closer to the action or you want a giant image stabilized zoom lens that will give you a clearer view from far away, we can help. Here at IntelliReview, you can browse knowing you are only picking from top quality digital and optical zoom lenses no matter what type of digital SLR camera you have.

Ranking Updated: August 2016
TIPS
  1. A good thing to look for when scouting for the best zoom lens is if it has the option to switch between manual and automatic autofocus systems.
  2. A solid image stabilization (IS) feature is another plus point, especially for telephoto models where camera shake is magnified. The IS compensates for the movement and allows you to take blur-free images even at slower shutter speeds.
  3. Models with focus motors will allow you to hone in on your subject quickly. Look for lenses with either USM or HSM technology to be sure that this feature is available.
  4. Finally, lenses with plastic bodies may be lighter, but metal-body lenses offer greater durability.
  • Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Telephoto Zoom Lens (Image Stabilization)

    Pros: Compatible with Nikon DX format digital and 35mm film cameras, Able to simulate picture angle of equivalent 105-450mm lens attachment, Vibration reduction feature
    Cons: Plastic casing makes it feel too lightweight, Difficulty with Autofocus at 300mm range, High price

    Review: If you're looking for an everyday lens for your digital Nikon SLR, a promising addition to your photography kit would be the Nikon 70-300mm Zoom Nikkor Lens. This high power telephoto zoom lens, which is compatible with both Nikon DX format digital and traditional 35mm film cameras, measure 5.6 inches long and 3.1 inches in diameter, and has an aperture range of f/4 to 5.6. Its performance makes it a perfect fit for shots requiring the use of a telephoto lens, like sports events or nature photography. Combine it with a Nikon DX format digital SLR and you can even simulate the picture angle allowed by using an equivalent 105-450mm lens attachment. At the heart of this lens are two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements that deliver higher contrast and resolution, performance-wise. Nikon's Silent Wave motor drives the rapid Internal Focus system. This feature offers reliable autofocus at high speeds and tight distances up to 4.9 feet. Some users have noticed, however, that the Autofocus tends to get difficult around the 300mm range. Additional features of this particular lens include Nikon's Vibration Reduction (VRII) technology which allows you to shoot sharper images while setting slower shutter speeds. Two sub-modes in the VR automatically compensate for camera shake either while holding it steady or in motion. With regards to construction, it feels deceptively lightweight, probably due to the plastic casing instead of the usual aluminum, but it is actually a sturdy lens suited for your everyday pack. Its F mount even has a gasket that provides good basic protection against the elements. The bigger issue about the Nikon 70-300mm Zoom Nikkor Lens, though, is that it does command a particularly high price, being essentially two lenses in one.

  • EF 2751B002 70 mm - 200 mm f/2.8 Telephoto Zoom Lens (77 mm Attachment - 0.21x Magnification - 2.8x Optical Zoom)
  • 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens (0.24x - 70mm to 300mm - f/4 to 5.6)

    70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens (0.24x - 70mm to 300mm - f/4 to 5.6)

    1069 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Moderately popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $169.00  See It
  • AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Zoom Lens (0.22x - 18mm to 200mm - f/3.5 to 5.6)
  • AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8G ED Wide Angle Zoom Lens

    AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8G ED Wide Angle Zoom Lens

    653 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: See Site  See It

    Pros: Superior image quality, Sharp, Fast, Versatile, Excellent performance in all lighting conditions
    Cons: Large, Heavy, High price

    Review: While it is definitely larger, heavier and more expensive than most midrange zoom lenses, the Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED proves to be worthy of its weight and price. It is compatible with 35mm film, Nikon DX and FX digital SLRs and armed with Nikon's Silent Wave Motor and Internal Focus for accurate, fast and ultra-quiet focusing. DX-format cameras has a minimum Angle of View of 22°50' and a maximum of 61° while FX-format cameras has a minimum of 34°20' and a maximum Angle of View of 84°. There are three focus modes: Auto, Manual and Manual/Auto and it is also embedded with a M/A focus mode switch which permits quick transition from auto to manual and vice versa. This zoom lens is made dust and moisture resistant. It is consists of 15 elements in 11 groups and has 9 Diaphragm Blades for better bokeh. Build quality is excellent considering it is not made of cheap materials and doesn't look or seem fragile compared to other lenses. In addition to its Super Integrated Coating, it boasts an Exclusive Nano Crystal Coat that cuts down on annoying and unnecessary reflections. It also combines three Extra-low Dispersion elements with PGM aspherical lenses in order to provide impressive color reproduction and contrast as well as enhanced sharpness. The Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED zoom lens is a must have for passionate photographers who want to take sharp and breathtaking images, especially in low-lit conditions. It comes complete with a semi-soft case with belt loop, a front lens cap, a rear lens cap and an HB-40 Bayonet Hood. Although it cannot be considered as a walk around lens, it is very versatile and its image quality and sharpness remain superior across the board. It performs well in all lighting situations and is in fact, one of the best lenses you'll ever own, notwithstanding the product's weight and size.

  • A014 Super Wide Angle Zoom Lens (f/3.5 to 6.3)

    A014 Super Wide Angle Zoom Lens (f/3.5 to 6.3)

    812 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: See Site  See It
  • EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens (f/3.5 to 5.6)

    EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens (f/3.5 to 5.6)

    809 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Moderately popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $384.99  See It
  • - 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR DI-II B.I.M. (Built-in Motor) LD Aspherical (IF) AF Zoom Lens with Macro, for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras - U.S.A. Warranty
  • EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens (f/4)

    EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens (f/4)

    596 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $1,163.99  See It

    Pros: Image stabilizer, Quiet auto-focus mechanism
    Cons: Large dimensions

    Review: Designed for the Canon EOS line of SLR cameras, the EF 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom lens incorporates a four-stop image stabilizer with two distinct modes that allow for crisp, perfect freeze-frames while holding the camera steady or even taking a picture while panning horizontally. Focusing with the lens can either be manual or auto, with the latter being enhanced with the ring-type ultra-sonic motor (USM) that provides quick and quiet auto-focusing. The focal length of between 70-200mm makes the lens perfectly suited for the demands of either everyday photographic work or even, with its wide 34 to 12 degrees of view angle, long-distance wildlife or landscape photography. A steady and wide f/4 aperture simplifies the tricky guesswork common in taking pictures at dusk or dawn. The zoom function of the lens operates very well. In fact, it only takes a light nudge to turn the zoom rings, which rotates without any noticeable resistance at all. The EF Telephoto makes a good compromise between performance and construction, as its weight of 1.67lbs, 3-inch diameter, and length of almost 7 inches seems almost justified when looking at the superior image quality of the photos that this powerhouse of lens provides. Compatible with 67mm filters, the model comes with a screw-on full lens hood and a leather carrying case.

  • AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens (f/2.8)

    AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens (f/2.8)

    579 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $1,896.95  See It