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Best Lenses For Pet Photography in 2023 (Top 5 Picks)

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Without the proper equipment, taking a specific shot on your mind is impossible, and pets and animals are moving objects, making your job even harder.

Finding the best lens for pet photography to fit your expectations is a real deal, and I am here!

In this article, you will find the best lens for pet photography!

A Quick Look at My Favorite Lenses for Pet Photography

Best For Birds
Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L is USM

Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L is USM

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Best For Dogs 
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G

Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G

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Best For Horses
Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM

Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM

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Best Budget
Panasonic LUMIX G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH

Panasonic LUMIX G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH

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Best For Cats
Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8

Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8

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Key Takeaways

  • Pet photography is one of the sweetest types of photography, and you can find different lens choices.
  • If you want to capture pictures of your dog, you might want to check out Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G.
  • If you want to use the most amazing bokeh effect, you can find it on Panasonic LUMIX G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH.
  • There is no specific type of lens that you can use during pet photography; everything works great!

The Top 5 Best Lenses For Pet Photography

5.Canon RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM– Best For Bird Photography

Canon RF100 500mm F4.5 7.1 L IS USM

What I Like

  • Sharp Images
  • Dual Nano USM Focusing
  • Works with Many Cameras
  • Three Modes of Image Stabilization

What I Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Little Bulky

At a glance, Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L is USM is a compact lens for pet photography and weighs a little bit, but the advantageous part is that Canon made this camera lens for pet photography as lightweight as possible, so you won’t get tired until you catch the perfect shot. The durability is quite secure, it can handle a few subdued drops. Most importantly, Canon RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM will accompany you through the different weather conditions because it is dust-resistant and water-resistant.

The lens hood has a side window for better adjustment of filters. The zoom ring allows you to rotate the lens composition accurately to adjust the camera settings from smooth to tight.

Canon users have waited for a very long time for Canon to finally release RF mounting. The benefit of RF mounting in pet photography is the fact that it can be beneficial in many situations.

In case the autofocus is your main goal, the Canon RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM has a minimum focusing distance of 3.0 ft. / 0.9 m. It has quiet, and high-speed autofocus with Dual Nano USM.

Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L is USM is a Telephoto lens for pet photography with a focal length starting from 100 to 500mm. The aperture on the side is quite adjustable and it works from f/4.5 to f/7.1, while having/owning 9 blades in total.

Catching the perfect wildlife, sport, or aviation pictures is way easier now. It broadens your options by not letting you stick only with pet photography, but every fast-moving subject is perfectly caught.

Another feature is 5 stops Optical Image Stabilization which means that the lens can drastically drop the camera shake blur. It applies to videos as well, not only to pictures. In the end, you receive sharp and clear images or videos even in the highest movement of the subject. Definitely one of the best lenses for pet photography.

Why should you buy it?

This Canon lens is one of the greatest telephoto zoom lenses you can use during pet photography. With the features like image stabilization, you can freely run and take pictures of your pets without a problem.

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Sample Pictures of Canon RF100-500mm

4.Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G- Best For Dog Photography

Nikon AF S VR Micro NIKKOR 105mm f2.8G 3

What I Like

  • Affordable
  • Versatile Usage
  • Quiet and Accurate Focusing
  • Vibration Reduction Included

What I Don’t Like

  • Not Very Resistant

If you are looking for a lens for dog photography, then this one of the bet prime lenses you can get.

Nikon F-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G is your best travel buddy because it is so lightweight that can fit almost any size of your travel bag. The plus point is the affordable price of this lens for let photography. As you already know, the best lenses come at very high prices, and finding one at an economical price is a gem.

Nikon Company happily announced the F-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens for let photography which is equipped with tons of great features like Silent Wave Motor (SWM), Nano Crystal Coat, ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) Glass, and Vibration Reduction (VR) technology.

SWM system takes an awesome close-up and macro pictures, thanks to Nikon’s excellent performance that allows high-speed autofocus which is super precise and quiet in the pet shootings.

Operating at 0.31 meters minimum distance and 62 millimeters of photo filter thread size, Nikon F-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G will become your favorite lens for let photography in no time.

This telephoto lens for let photography is the closest friend of your DSLR camera. It is one of the best for pet photography because the silence won’t scare or make the animal blink, so you can take perfect portrait shots.

The Focal Length is 105 Millimeters and an f/2.8 aperture brings to life amazing pictures that will make your subject more prominent from the background.

If you have shaky hands, the VR (Vibration Reduction) lens will manage to capture your ideal shot.

Nano Crystal Coat technology in Nikon F-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G will drastically reduce ghosting and flare in pictures. So all of the pics can look crystal clear and high in contrast.

AS lens which stands for Aspherical Lens is mainly used in premium optics to create ultra-sharp images or eliminate any optical imperfections. This feature is also known as chromatic aberrations or field curvature technology.

This is a very versatile lens, that even sometimes i take it out with me when i do wildlife photography. Overall, i would say that this is one of my favorite prime lenses out there.

Why should you buy it?

If you need a great fixed telephoto lens that will bring the best out of your camera, you might want to check out this Nikon lens. It has great built-in features, and there will be no ghosting or flare when taking pictures.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm

3. Sony – FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM- Best For Horse Photography

Sony FE 16 35mm F2.8 GM 7

What I Like

  • Has Fluorine Coating
  • Bokeh Effect Included
  • 11 Diaphragm Aperture
  • Amazing Focus Accuracy

What I Don’t Like

  • Expensive

Sony SEL1635GM lens for let photography shows a high-profile quality and is not heavyweight anymore. The Sony Corporation reduced the weight of the lens to 680-gram. The compact design is used mostly in E-mount bodies (mirrorless camera bodies) and it is super portable to take basically anywhere you go.

This Sony – FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM camera lens for let photography features a fluorine coating to put a stop to fingerprint leftovers on the lens. It doesn’t make the dirt visible, plus the surface looks clear.

The aesthetic quality of bokeh gives a perfect balance of resolution because Sony – FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM is made of ultra aspherical XA. The sharpness of the image is in the scale of preferred quality specifically at the wide-angle aperture.

Speaking of aperture, the maximum range is fixed at f/2.8, and it contains 11 diaphragm aperture blades. The maximum focal length starts from 16 to 35mm which is the ideal lens for let photography if you want to involve the environment while shooting your subject pet.

Sony – FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM is featuring reach 50 Line pairs/mm resolving power. Covering ultra-wide and wide-angle photography fields is highly useful in the landscape.

Let’s talk about autofocus. The f/2.8 wide-angle zoom is the ideal size to capture the whole body of your subject pet. I have to admit that vignetting is quite low, but the Nano AR coating is a deal-breaker. The sharpness and contrast nail the taken pictures without ghosting or flare.

The Sony – FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM lens for let photography is featured dual DDSSM technology. The focus is quiet and super accurate. This feature is highly appreciated because we don’t want to scare or distract the current subject.

Why should you buy it?

As listed, this Sony lens is amazing in horse photography, and with its wide-angle focal range, you will be able to capture everything you need. There is an amazing silent focus that won’t scare the pets away.

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Sample Pictures of Sony – FE 16-35mm

2. Panasonic LUMIX G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH – Best Budget

Panasonic LUMIX G Lens 25mm F1.7 ASPH 2

What I Like

  • Budget Price
  • Great Bokeh Effect
  • Compact Form-Factor
  • No Ghost or Flare

What I Don’t Like

  • None at foult

LUMIX G Lens – H-H025K is a standard DSLM prime lens for let photography that comes in a compact design. The lens is pretty lightweight to be ported in your target shooting area.
The surprising fact about Panasonic LUMIX G 25mm, F1.7 ASPH Lens is the price point. The camera lens at this price point is an uncommon thing in this field, especially when it comes from a reliable brand.

The maximum format size in the Panasonic LUMIX G Lens is 50mm Micro Four Thirds. This mirrorless micro lens for let photography offers only 0.13x magnification where the close-up focus is about a foot (25cm) in the distance.

The autofocus operation in the lens is very fast. It will focus on your target subject in no time. While doing its job, it is overly quiet. The AF system helps you focus on action while your subject keeps moving back and forth.

Panasonic LUMIX G 25mm, F1.7 ASPH Lens contains 8 optical elements in 7 grounds, and these two elements are 2 aspherical lenses and 1 UHR lens.
It features an F22 minimum aperture where the maximum reaches to F1.7 aperture. These features make the lens an ideal tool for universal use, and low light conditions. Plus the circular diaphragm blades are 7 in total.

Panasonic LUMIX G 25mm, F1.7 ASPH lens for let photography is also featured with a Nano Surface Coating system and the reflections are minimized through the whole visual range of 380nm-780nm. As a result, you get super sharp and stunning images without any ghost or flare in the picture quality.

The focal length of the Panasonic LUMIX G is 25 mm. It is also equivalent to a full-frame 50mm. That means you get both, a micro lens for wide-view angle, and a normal standard format of the lens for general use.

For someone with a budget, this is for sure the best lens for pet photography.

Why should you buy it?

If you desperately need a lens for pet photography but don’t want to spend too much money, let me tell you that a Panasonic Lumix lens like this one will be the best choice. It is the most affordable lens you can find.

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Sample Pictures of Panasonic LUMIX G Lens 25mm

1. Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 – Best For Cat Photography

Fujinon XF16 55mmF2.8

What I Like

  • Weather Resistant
  • Strongly Built
  • Fast and Sharp

What I Don’t Like

  • No Image Stabilization
  • Pricey for Some

We cannot expect something unpleasant to come from the professional-grade Fujifilm brand. Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR has a standard lens type. To be honest, this lens for let photography is huge and heavy as heck. This lens for pet photography maybe is the Fuji X’s biggest and heaviest lens up to this date. Let’s move into the specifications a little bit.

The maximum Focal Length of Fujinon XF starts from16 to 55mm, the standard . Now your pet shootings will turn out to be just as you imagined.

If you want to catch the highest picture quality from the standard zoom, The Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 contains a twin linear motor that ensures fast and quiet autofocus ability. You can’t hear any sound while the focus motor is working. It works very well in low lighting where the shooting becomes more challenging. The lens besides being ideal for pet shootings, it also can be perfectly used in astrophotography.

The aperture made of F2.8 comes with 17 elements in 12 groups involving 3 aspherical elements to control image flare and ghosting. The aperture has 9 blades and creates circular bokeh even when in blurred background.

The super quality and smooth images with Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 can be taken under any weather condition. Being weather-resistant and dust-resistant at 14°F (-10°C) will make your shooting come out as you planned in your head without any worries.

Basically, this lens is probably the dream of every pet photographer.

Why should you buy it?

This lens is mostly made for you that own a Fuji camera, and a wide-angle lens from Fuji would be the most amazing lens you can choose and use. It brings great quality pictures of your pets.

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Sample Pictures of Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8

What to Look for When Buying a Lens for Pet Photography?

Focal Length

Focusing on Focal Length is a key role. Choosing a lens for pet photography that will fit your imaginative shot depends on the distance between your pet (dogs, cats, birds) and your chosen lens. The angle you capture is everything because sometimes the beauty of the picture stands on the angle of the shot rather than the cuteness of the model pet.

Focus on Pet Photography

cute dog behind the kitchen table 2022 02 08 22 39 25 utc 1

If you can’t decide whether or not the focus should be automatic or manual, I have a recommendation for you. Doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or professional pet photographer, it is going to be the same. Always choose autofocus because cats, dogs, birds, literally any living animal moves and you can’t manually adjust every time they move. We don’t want to miss a stunning shot, do we?

Depth of Field

How shallow is the depth of field helps you focus more on your chosen subject. It divides the background from your target pet to achieve either wide-angle or standard view of the image.

Lens Type

For dog photography, most pet photographers prefer wide angle lenses. Some prefer a zoom lens, while others prefer a macro lens. See where i’m going?

Whether you decide to go for wide angle lenses, a zoom lens or a macro lens, the choice will always depend on what you expect the outcome to be.

Let’s say a few words about each of them.

  • Wide angle lenses – These lenses can help you get closer to the pet you are trying to photograph. This will allow you to capture pictures with a wider depth of field when compared to other lenses. Wide angle lenses are usually the go-to lens when it comes to pet photography, but all pet photographers have their own choices.
  • Zoom Lens – A zoom lens is good for dog photography because they are manually adjustable, so you can create an image exactly as you like it.
  • Macro Lens – Unless you are trying to photograph bugs or other tiny pets, pet photographers don’t prefer macro lenses, because a macro lens usually comes in handy when you try to get close-ups of things.
  • Telephoto Lenses – Telephoto lenses are also not very preferred among dog photographers, because telephoto lenses, unlike normal lenses, they are very heavy and this makes it hard to carry them around.
  • Portrait Lenses – If you want to shoot pet portraits, then a portrait lens will come in handy. You can shoot pet portraits with any animal you like, and pet portraits are some of the best pictures you can take!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best ISO for pet photography?

The lens’s ISO setting always varies on the brightness of the environment. However, many photographers say that the best ISO to use in pet photography is around 100 and 400.

What is the main feature that a lens for pet photography should have?

Pets, especially cats and dogs, love to move and run around. That means that the main feature that a lens for pet photography should own is a great focusing capacity. I am pretty sure that with the lenses I mentioned in this article, you will be able to take the best pet photographs.

What is the best focal range of a lens for pet photography?

You can use any kind of lens that comes to your mind! There is no specific focal range in which you can be based and choose a lens. Zoom, wide-angle, telephoto, portrait, macro, and everything is cool for pet photography!

Final Words

In this article, you will find out which lenses are the best for pet photography. Taking a picture of moving subjects can be hard, but lenses can clearly facilitate the work.

The delicate part of the pet photography is focus, pay extra attention to that. In moving objects focusing can be a headache, if you can figure it out, the results will be beyond stunning.

The depth of field is another issue to consider, because the dog or cat that you are about to shoot needs to be in the center.

If you own a cat, and want to see what your cat is doing at all times, we have a great article talking about cat collar cameras which i think you will find interesting.

Further Reading

We have reached to the end of article, now I guess everything is clear and you know which lenses are the best ones regarding pet photography. However, if you are interested in other types of photography I would advise you to check out some of the most amazing lenses for night photography.

If you own a Sony A600 camera, then I would recommend you take a look at some of the best lenses for Sony A6000 and there you can find any kind.

Have fun while taking amazing pictures.