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The Five Best Canon Lenses for Outdoor Shooting

Posted in Photography By Whitney

When you need that Pulitzer Prize-winning nature shot, there are only a handful of Canon lenses worthy of the coveted award. Whether you’ve become accustomed to the traditional Canon 35mm or by some miracle you’ve secured the coveted Canon EF 1200mm lens, you need to have some skill and expertise in the field to capture truly amazing outdoor or nature shots. Let’s review the top five Canon DSLR lenses for outdoor and nature shooting.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM

This specimen of telephoto glamour consistently produces “…high-resolution, high-contrast optical capability.” Included in this powerhouse lens is dust and moisture resistance, a wide F2.8 max aperture, silent ultrasonic autofocus motor, and optical image stabilization for slow shutter speeds—effectively capturing any shot regardless of light levels.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM

Much like the L IS listed above, this EF 70-200mm offers many of the same characteristics as the L IS. This lens also includes four UD-glass elements that minimize chromatic aberrations. Much of the same high-quality images are the result of this brilliantly built lens.


Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM


Last in the line of the EF 70-200mms comes the 4.0 L USM. This masterpiece lens uses fluorite UD lens elements to provide excellent optical performance. Coupled with water-and-dust proof construction, resolution and contrast are seemingly unmatched. Both performance and portability are ideal with this telescopic lens.


Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS L USM


The Canon EF 70-300mm takes another step up from the already epic 70-200mm series by adding phenomenal performance and a floating focusing mechanism to increase sharpness. This lens also includes an incredible feature that prevents incorrect operational procedures when tripod mounted.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM

Last in the list of the five is the EF 100-400mm L IS. Coming with factory-installed image stabilizer system, the EF 100-400mm telephoto lens offers floating system, super UD-glass elements, two image stabilizer modes, linear extension type zoom system and 77mm filter size.

Regardless of which lens you buy, although these five are easily the most magnificent for outdoor shooting, always remember that as the one behind the view finder you have the responsibility to use your training correctly. All professional photographers know full well that the secret to amazing quality photos, apart from a little bit of skill and talent, is which lens you use.

Whitney Tempton has been working in communications for almost six years. She is currently the Online Marketing Director for and is an avid photographer. She has a degree in classic literature from Northwestern, and has spent the past four years with her husband and their dog living in Aurora Illinois. She currently lives in Queens, New York, and works from home as an editor and marketer for Berger Bros.


Johanna Rivas
Johanna Rivas

The big question mark where local contrast is concerned is that almost all actual picture-taking situations allow flare and veiling glare (the latter an overall dulling or haze of the image similar to "flashing" an enlargement with a low dose of non-image-forming light, or fog) to contribute in varying amounts and varying ways. Despite lots of scientific research, there still seems to be not much way to quantify it exactly, or predict its contribution exactly with any given system ("system" meaning camera-lens/film/enlarger-lens/paper) in real-world situations. Flare is always present to at least some degree, but it is seldom present in exactly the same way in two different systems encountering two different situations.

Donovan Daniel
Donovan Daniel

DO elementsThe new EF 70-300mm zoom is the first DO lens to be released by Canon since the award-winning EF 400mm f4 DO IS USM was introduced in late 2001. Use of the new three-layer DO lens drastically reduces the overall length and weight of the lens system, increasing the refractive power of each lens element and reducing the spaces between elements. Chromatic aberrations normally associated with increased compactness are corrected by positioning the three-layer type DO lens on the front lens side. This, coupled with the correction of spherical aberration through the use of aspherical surfaces, delivers high image quality and high levels of resolution and contrast, rivalling the performance of Canon’s legendary L-series lenses.