70-300mm Lens Uses – Detailed Telephoto Lens Guide


Just like how a set of brushes and paint tubes mean to a painter, a camera lens means the same for a photographer. They differ in their utility but serve the same inherent purpose to act as mediums of creativity.

However, no two brushes or paint are the same. Similarly, no two camera lenses serve the same purpose.

Amateur photographers make a common mistake of picking up the first lens in their sight and use it for any photography.


However, there is a wide range of photography techniques and different lenses for different subject matters. Therefore, it is advisable to understand the know-how of different camera lenses.

One of the most misunderstood camera lens is the telephoto lens. If you are an avid wildlife photographer, you will know that a telephoto lens comes in different focal lengths. And the most popular focal length in this category is 70-300mm. 

In this article I will not only speak about the uses of a 70-300mm lens but also give you a brief explanation on the different types of telephoto lenses.

telephoto lens Guide

What is a Telephoto Lens?

Did you ever wonder how wildlife photographers take majestic close-ups of lions going about their day or how sports photographers take close-ups of football players scoring a goal? Do they run along with the football players or walk up close to the lions? Not really.

They simply grab a telephoto lens to take their shot. A telephoto lens is a piece of useful equipment utilizing long-focus technology. This is the lens that will allow you to capture a subject that is far away.


What are Telephoto Lenses used for?

There is a good reason why telephoto lenses are precious to most photographers out there. Some of the notable reasons are:

  • It brings your subjects closer

It is a common reason why beginners buy a telephoto lens in the first place. A telephoto lens will easily allow you to capture the peaks of lofty mountain ranges or the cautious deer sitting near the lake. A telephoto lens will bring out the best of your camera's potential.

  • It is great for taking portraits

Not interested in taking landscapes? No problem! A telephoto lens will help you click flattering portraits of others. Such a lens can make one's facial features look more proportional and appealing.

  • It helps you to defocus backgrounds

Do you wonder how photographers achieve that cool bokeh while keeping the subjects intact and defined? They often use the telephoto lens. It not only helps you to achieve this effect but also emphasizes blurred backgrounds in general. This helps you take perfectly crisp shots of your subject against a fully blurred background.

Three types of telephoto lenses based on the focal length

As discussed in the beginning, a telephoto lens comes in different focal lengths and each of them has unique features. Generally, they can range from short to long lenses. Changing the focal lengths can dramatically influence your camera's field of view. Some of the most popular telephoto lenses are:

  • Short Telephoto Lens

It has a focal length of 85-135mm. The short lens is great for taking portraits and long-distance subjects in wildlife, weddings, or during sports events.

  • Mid Telephoto Lens

They range between 135-300mm. A medium telephoto lens is usually too heavy for handheld shooting but they are perfect for sports and wildlife photography.

  • Long Telephoto Lens

These lenses have a focal length of over 300mm. They have a shallow depth of field and are perfect for taking shots of distant animal subjects.

What is a 70-300mm lens used for?

Even though there are different ranges of focal lengths, the most popular choice of focal length is the 70 300mm lens category. But what does mm mean for lenses? It is simply the focal length which is the angle of view and the magnification.

However, most lenses are expensive and it takes time to create a complete set of lenses.

However, 70-300mm lenses can work up magic if you are looking for an optimal lens distance. But before buying a 70 300 lens, you should know what is 70 300mm lens used for. Without further adieu, let us explore some of the popular 70-300mm lens uses.

First of all, let us understand what does 300mm lens mean and how far is 300mm.

A 300mm telephoto lens is a long lens that gives you a huge amount of magnification.

I am not going to get into any technical jargon so just keep in mind that the longer the lens is, the further your camera lens can zoom in to capture the subject. You might ask "Why can't I just buy a 200mm lens instead?"


The difference between 200mm and 300mm lens lies within its zooming capacity. A 300mm lens magnification is superior and therefore has a better reach when compared to a 200mm lens.

Hence, in a battle of 200mm vs 300mm zoom comparison, we all know who would win. 

Now, coming to the second part of the question, it is difficult to show how far a 300mm camera lens can shoot.

Technically, all lenses can capture images to infinity. The main question is just how large the subject will appear in the frame.

By using a 300 mm telephoto lens, you can take extremely close shots of band members on a stage while sitting approximately 60-75 meters away.

Then again, if longer lenses are better for portraits, why not just pick up the longest lens in the market? That's because with longer lenses comes increased distance between the subject and the photographer. 

A 70mm lens on the other hand requires a lesser distance from the subject. Now imagine getting both the features of 70mm and 300mm telephoto lenses. It is indeed the best of both worlds!

Using a 70 to 300mm lens, you can get maximum versatility. The wide focal range lets you use it for different kinds of photography like wildlife, sports, astronomy, traveling, portrait, and more.

Moreover, these lenses are not as heavy as a 600m lens so if you value portability, this is your shot. If you are a traveler, you wouldn't need to carry separate lenses with you, if you have a 70-300mm lens. I hope that covers most of the 70-300mm lens uses.

Difference between zoom and telephoto lenses

Just because a telephoto lens is known for its great magnification capacity, it does not mean that it is the same as zoom lenses. With a zoom lens, you merely change the apparent magnification so that the subject either seems near or further away.

Whereas, a telephoto lens is designed to cover distant subjects in a frame. It makes the distance seem closer than it is. For a clearer explanation, let's compare between 18-55mm vs. 70-300mm lens and 55-300mm vs. 70-300mm lens.


An 18-55mm lens is a wide-angle lens with a standard zoom. It has a shorter reach than a 70-300mm lens and can be ideal for landscapes and cityscapes but does not fare well when it comes to isolating the subject matter in a picture.

Moreover, the latter delivers crisper images than the former. On the other hand, the difference between 55-300mm and 70-300mm lenses is remarkable since the latter gives you faster autofocus, sharper images, and better performance under low-light conditions.

Our Winner of the Best 70-300mm lens

There are so many 70-300mm lenses in the market right now. All of these lenses are equipped with the latest technology. Canon, Fujifilm, and Nikon are among the top big giants in the photography world.

But Nikon has something up its sleeves to take the industry by storm! Among the various 70-300mm lenses, the Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR Lens takes the spot for being one of the best 70-300mm lenses available!

Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • F-mount lens/DX formatfilter-attachment size: 58mm, (p = 075 mm)
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.22x. 105-450Mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Aperture range: f/45-63 to F/32


The Nikon AF-P is a 70 to 300mm lens. If you are looking for a lens that is budget-friendly, versatile, and feature-rich, then this is the one for you! Let's talk about its core features first.

The Nikon 70-300mm lens combines a lightweight design with a powerful zoom technology. Bring the action closer in different events without being burdened by its weight.

This is indeed one of the best Nikon telephoto lens for wildlife photography because Nikon’s high-end image quality never fails to bring your pictures to life with its deep contrast, minimal distortion, and rich colors.

If you look forward to taking award-winning pictures of birds and animals, this is your go-to camera lens.

But what if you want to take stunning videos? This lens has got you covered! The Nikon 70-300mm lens comes with Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization coupled with fast autofocus.

These will not only give you sharp images but also allow smoother transitions from one subject to another with minimal drive noise. Additionally, VR technology also improves your camera's low-light capabilities. So go ahead and capture breathtaking shots of the night sky with the Nikkor zoom lens 70 300mm.


Designwise, it looks the same as your average entry-level DSLR lens, with its plastic body, black finish, and golden accents. You will find a rubber finish around the zoom ring which makes it easy to hold and turn. It is largely compatible with various models such as D7500, D5500, D5300, D3300, D500, and newer models.

The best part of the design is its ultra-portable and small body. Most of the lenses of this focal range are bulky and not suitable for hand-held shooting.

The Nikon 70-300mm model weighs as little as 415 grams, making it highly lightweight. This is due to its plastic body and mount.

Nikon 70-300mm Design

The lens comprises 14 elements in 10 groups with a 4.3x zoom, which is quite surprising for a 70-300mm lens of this price range. The zoom ring is easy to handle since it occupies most of the lens barrel.

The focus ring is placed at the front and is compact enough to keep the camera operations smooth. One striking characteristic of the design is the absence of mechanical switches. That does not create any issues since you can switch back and forth between automatic and manual by simply rotating the focus ring.


For a lens of this price, this product is one of the best 70 300mm lens in the market. It gives an impeccable performance and you will understand that if you explore the features, part by part. Firstly, I am in love with the autofocus feature in this lens.

It uses a quiet pulse motor technology while the lens focuses. It is so quick yet silent that you might find it slightly unnerving if you are used to the high-pitched noises that most AF-S lenses make while focusing.

The lens delivers high-end performance when it comes to lens sharpness and contrast. At 70mm, the sharpness of the image in both the centers and corners is excellent.


The best part? The sharpness remains intact even at 300mm! Coming to its VR image stabilization, I must say that it's a lifesaver to both photographers and videographers. You can now get sharper images even at slow shutter speeds.

If you are someone who wants to take their cameras to different travel locations without the hassle of packing a tripod, then what can be better than the Nikon 70-300mm lens? This feature makes hand-held photo shooting or video recording a walk in the park!

We have discussed earlier what is a 70 300mm lens used for and we found that it is excellent for bokeh. Well, the Nikon 70-300mm does not disappoint. With this lens, you can capture surprisingly smooth and enchanting photographs. Want to capture the essence of urban nightlife with its neon signboards and distant street lamps?

This lens will surely give you the creamy bokeh that you are looking for! Finally, the lens delivers a commendable performance when it comes to dealing with optical distortions.

You will hardly find any ghosting or flaring in any images, even when they were taken under direct light. Other than that, the Nikon 70-300 AF-P does a great job at keeping chromatic aberrations under control.


By now, you might have understood the different 70-300mm lens uses and how Nikon remains one of the best telephoto brands at the moment. It is intriguing how a mere change in the lens can magically alter the image output.

If you are someone set upon being a wildlife photographer, then the telephoto lens will be your lifelong friend! So get ready to embark on your journey as a shutterbug and fulfill the endless possibilities that you can achieve with a versatile and flexible Nikon 70-300mm lens!


Hey, this is Stefan. I love filmmaking gadgets because I have been working as a cinematographer for more than ten years. So I have good experience working with almost all filmmaking gadgets. I can help people who are looking forward to buying these gadgets with my review articles. From my articles, you can find amazing products in the market.

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