Zoom lenses, as opposed to prime lenses, allow photographers to change the focal length of the lens elements. The focal length is usually provided in milimeters and it determines the angle of view, or how much of the scene can be captured by your lens. The shorter the focal length, the wider the angle of view and the lower the magnification, and vice versa.
The main advantage of a zoom lens is flexibility. No matter if you are shooting portraits or landscapes, you can accomplish a variety of tasks using just one lens.
The downside of a zoom lens is that they are usually more complex, heavier and more expensive than prime lenses.
Below we compiled a list of the most popular zoom lenses on the market today:
This Sony full-frame lens has a 10x zoom range from 24mm to 240mm which makes it perfect for versatile tasks. This Sony FE 24-240mm will give you the ability to quickly switch from wide angle to telephoto, so that you can shoot wide view landscapes, portrait and even wildlife without having to change lenses.
This lens comes with 5 aspherical elements and 1 ED glass element. An advanced linear motor ensures quick and precise focus throughout the whole zoom range, while the built-in optical image stabilization helps to avoid blur. It is resistant to moisture and dust.
This Fujinon zoom lens with a 55-200mm range and is especially known for its edge-to-edge sharpness. The built-in optical image stabilization (OSS) helps to counter camera shake in low-light conditions.
Two linear motors ensure fast and quiet autofocus performance. Two ED lens elements and one super ED lens element work against any chromatic aberrations, while a special coating helps to prevent flare and ghosting.
This is a full-frame zoom lens covering a 24mm to 70mm range. It features a constant maximum aperture of F4 and almost perfectly circular aperture for super-smooth bokeh effects. Thanks to ED glass (ED for Extra-low Dispersion) and aspherical lens elements Sony FE 24-70mm minimizes chromatic and spherical aberrations respectively.
This model comes with Carl Zeiss T* coating, which greatly reduces internal reflection and flare effects. It has a built-in optical image stabilization and weighs 430g. (15.16 oz)
This Sony lens has a 55-210mm range and offers a good balance of the zoom range and its compact form. It contains ED glass and aspherical glass elements to help prevent aberrations, as well as an optical image stabilization.
This Tamron lens comes in a popular 24-70mm focal length and is available in Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Nikon F (DX) and Sony Alpha mounts. It has a constant maximum aperture of F2.8 and the minimum focus distance is 38cm/15 in. The built-in image stabilization helps to avoid blurred images in low-light situations.
The Nikon 16-80mm zoom lens provides an outstanding image sharpness throughout its entire range. Whether you want to shoot wide-angle photos or portraits, this single lens is all you need. It has a fast F2.8-4 aperture and built-in image stabilization and the glass uses special nano crystal coating to prevent any glare. ED and aspherical glass elements reduce chromatic aberration and further increase sharpness. The minimum focus distance is 1.15 ft. or 35cm
This is one of the most popular wide-angle to short telephoto lenses from Nikon. It has a F/2.8 maximum aperture (constant) with electromagnetic aperture system. The revised optics include two extra-low dispersion elements, three aspherical elements, and an extra aspherical ED element to minimize color aberrations and spherical distortions. What you get as a result is edge-to-edge sharp images throughout the entire zoom range. In addition, special nano crystal coatings reduce lens flare and enhance contrast.
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E comes with a built-in optical image stabilization. (VR)
The Nikon 70-200mm was designed with professionals in mind. It is a great lens for sports, wildlife and photojournalism. It contains seven ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and nano crystal coating to provide exceptional image sharpness and clarity with dramatically reduced flare and ghosting effects.
The silent wave motor (SWM) is responsible for fast and quiet autofocusing. It has built-in image stabilization. (Nikon's VR II)
Nikon AF-S 200-500mm is a super telephoto lens designed especially for wildlife and sports photographers. It has a F/5.6 constant maxium aperture throughout the whole super zoom range, which produces beautiful bokeh effects. Nikon's VR means 4.5 stops of image stabilization in sports mode. Minimum focus distance is 2.2m/7.2 ft
The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is the revised version of a highly popular lens. Just like any L-Series lens, it features high quality optics, construction materials and delivers consistently brilliant performance. It has one super UD lens element and two UD lens elements that help minimize chromatic aberration at the edges. It also utilizes two types of aspherical lenses that help prevent spherical aberration throughout the zoom range. Special glass coatings reduce ghosting and improve color balance. The diaphragm consists of night blades and is nearly perfectly circular, which delivers beautiful bokeh effects. As expected from a high-end lens, autofocus is fast and silent. The Canon EF 24-70mm is water and dust resistant. It also has a zoom lock lever so that you can safely carry it on your shoulder while attached to your DSLR.
This is another L-Series lens from Canon, this time it's the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM."IS" stands for optical image stabilization, which in this lens provides a four stops of shake correction. The lens uses fluorite UD glass which deliver outstanding image sharpness and contrast. At 26.8oz (760g) the lens is light and highly portable for its zoom range and optical quality. It is dust and water-proof.
Nikon's NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G is a high-performance lens designed for maximum sharpness and minimal aberrations even at the widest aperture, thanks to multiple ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and aspherical lenses. Nikon's nano crystal coatings help to prevent ghosting and flare. Autofocus is accurate, fast and very quiet, from a minimum distance of 14.9 in (38cm). This lens is built with rugged materials and provides moisture and dust resistance.