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Best Lens For Birding With a
Canon EOS Rebel SL3

by Shelley Hlymbicky
(Ontario Canada )

Canon SL3 camera
The Canon Rebel SL3 For Bird, Wildlife, and Action Photography


I have what is considered an entry level camera but would like to get another compatible lens besides the 75-100 to photograph birds. What lens is best?"

Hi Shelley,

Thanks for asking about choosing a good lens for photographing birds with your Canon SL3. Although not considered a "Pro" DSLR, the SL3 is more than robust enough to get some great photos of birds.

It has a burst rate of 5 frames-per-second and will focus quickly because of the nine dual pixel focusing points. Note also that the SL3 has a 24 MP sensor.

If you can't quite get close enough to those sometimes elusive birds (or other wildlife), you have enough resolution to do some post-capture cropping without a significant loss of image quality.

I'll try to answer your question, but I'm not 100% sure I know what lens you're already using. Your question mentioned a 75-100mm.

Canon SL3 Lens Choices For Bird Photography

One nice advantage you have with your SL3 for deciding on a bird lens is that you can choose from both EF or EF-S lenses. The Rebel SL3 has the smaller "crop" sized sensor, so you can use either the full-sized pricier EF lenses or the smaller more economical EF-S lenses.

1. CANON EF-S 55-250mm IS STM This lens is loved by Canon "crop" sensor camera owners. It's absurdly affordable and has 2.5x more reach than a 100mm lens does.

2. Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Also in the very affordable group, this lens has a little more reach and can fit on a full frame Canon body, in case you ever want to upgrade to a Canon with a larger sensor.

3. TAMRON (or SIGMA) 150-600. Both are a remarkable value because you're getting a lot of magnification for the price tag. The biggest drawback is that they are a little slow--->their maximum aperture is not very wide, so they aren't so great for shooting in low light situations.

I had the Tamron version and just wasn't thrilled with the sharpness. With that said, I know many Tamron 150-6000 owners that love them. Perhaps I just had a bad copy.

4. CANON 400mm f/5.6. I had one of these for a while and loved the sharpness, even wide open at f/5.6. It was my first "bird lens." It's also very light for a 400mm lens. It is categorized as a specialty lens because it's non-zooming feature limits its versatility at times.

5. CANON 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM. I upgraded to one of these in 2017 and really like it. Here's my post on that lens. The 100-400 lens is a big jump in price, but it's a solid choice if you want to do serious bird and other wildlife photography.

The very best bird lenses (professional) are big and heavy. They have longer focal lengths and wider maximum apertures, so the more glass used, the better the lens is for shooting birds. Unfortunately, the prices are sky high on them, so I'm not recommending those pro bird lenses that range in price from $6,000-$25,000.

Shelley, please email me the specific lens you are using and I can edit my answer to your question. bruce(at) or just add a comment to this post.

Thank you,

Canon Lens Line-up
Fast Canon Lenses

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Canon EOS Rebel SL3

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Zoom for Bird Photography
by: Anonymous

My main Len’s has always been the [Canon] 100-400 listed above. It is a super Lens. I wouldn’t recommend the 1.4x adapter with it because I never get crisp focus.
I have the newish 600 mm Lens which is super but it’s an enormous beast.

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Author Bruce Lovelace
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