5 Best Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding

If you are looking for super telephoto mirrorless camera lenses for birding that are compatible with the Nikon Z mount, then you’re in the right place as I will be walking you through the best Nikon mirrorless camera lens for bird photography.

This article is a tribute to the co-founder of this website my brother Ronnie, who happens to be fascinated with birdwatching. It all started when forced lockdowns were implemented because of the pandemic that have struck us all flat-footed.

This is a proof that out of some undesirable circumstance that are maybe happening around us, a door of opportunity could also open if we only knew how to recognize it.

Who would have thought that because of the pandemic my brother would suddenly turn to become an enthusiast of bird photography (see above his sample photo). As we spoke, he is planning to add a super telephoto lens for his Nikon Z50 mirrorless camera to further elevate his birding exploration.

Notice: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases”. There are affiliate links on this page. I will get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you once you decide to buy through these links. Full disclosure.

Best Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding (Updated List)

# Overview Product Rating
1 5 Best Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding - 1Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VRBest Value Lens
2 5 Best Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding - 2Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VRBest Professional Lens
35 Best Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding - 3Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VRBest Portable Lens
45 Best Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding - 4Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VRBest Budget Lens
55 Best Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding - 5Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2Best Third Party Lens for Z Mount
Note: The above lists of lenses will only work on Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras using Nikon lens adapter FTZ!

Why You Should Invest In Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding

When you love doing something, every penny that you invest will be worth it. The same goes for investing on a lens for bird photography. If you have a Nikon mirrorless camera and bird photography is your passion, surely you will appreciate the results of your work if you have the right equipment.

You can’t compare the image output of a kit lens to a specialized or exclusive lenses. This is exactly what drives my brother on why he’s saving for the best lens for birding. His Nikon Z50 have a zoom kit lens of 50-250mm but he further desire better captures, reason he’s targeting the 500mm super telephoto lens to meet his expectation.

What To Look When Buying Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding

Everyone has preferences on what is important or not when deciding on a mirrorless camera lenses, but I want to offer my opinion on the most important things that the mirrorless camera lens should have.

Fast Auto Focus

You are buying lens for bird photography and you knew that birds are moving subjects and its really difficult to get a good shot. On that account, it only make sense that the lens you should buy must have a fast auto focus feature.

Lower Aperture (for low light performance)

I have discussed in my previous article the types of mirrorless camera lenses. I highlighted that the lower the f/stop number the bigger the aperture opening will be which in turn the lens would perform better in low light conditions.

There’s plethora of magnificent scenes in low light conditions with birds as your main subject. With a lens mounted on your mirrorless camera that is capable of capturing images in low light settings would definitely be an awesome birding experience.

Vibration Reduction (VR)

Super telephoto lens are normally huge lenses that would be difficult to handle during long period of shooting. A lens with VR feature would extremely help improve image stability due to camera shake.

Another way of minimizing camera shake is by using a monopod or a tripod. Owing to the fact that you will surely get tired by just shooting handheld with super telephoto lens mounted on your mirrorless camera.

Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens For Birding Product Reviews

1. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Auto focus is exceptionally fast, while f/5.6 aperture is constant that holds out through the zoom range and performs well in low light conditions. This is no doubt one of the best value (own) lens from Nikon.

Featured key specs:

TypeType E AF‒S lens with built‒in CPULens MountNikon F-mount
(Full-frame)
Focal length200 -500mmLens construction19 elements in 12 groups
Max. aperturef/5.6No. of diaphragm blades9 (rounded)
Min. aperturef/32Filter size diameter φ95mm
Vibration Reduction (VR)Yes Approx. dimension
(diameter x distance from camera lens-mount flange)
φ108 x 267.5 mm
Auto-focusYesApprox. weight2,300g

Notable reviews:

ProsCons
+ Good value (performance, size, cost)– Weight
+ Performs well in low light condition
2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR

Best suited for professionals as the cost of this lens indicates. A super telephoto lens that can capture very sharp and beautiful images of birds and other wildlife from a very far distance.

Featured key specs:

TypeType E AF-S lens with built-in CPU Lens MountNikon F-mount
(Full-frame)
Focal length600mmLens construction16 elements in 12 groups
Max. aperturef/4No. of diaphragm blades9 (rounded)
Min. aperturef/22Filter size diameter φ40.5mm
Vibration Reduction (VR)YesApprox. dimension
(diameter x distance from camera lens-mount flange)
φ166 x 432 mm
Auto-focusYesApprox. weight3,810g

Notable reviews:

ProsCons
+ Fast focus– Highly expensive
+ Superb lens with immensely sharp image right out the camera– A bit of load with its weight
3. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR

A prime telephoto lens that works well with bird photography from a distance as demonstrated by its single focal length of 300mm. With fast auto focus to ensure sharp image captures and a compact lightweight design for portability making it a lens of choice anywhere you go searching for birds.

Featured key specs:

TypeType E AF-S lens with built-in CPU Lens MountNikon F-mount
(Full-frame)
Focal length300mmLens construction16 elements in 10 groups
Max. aperturef/4No. of diaphragm blades9 (rounded)
Min. aperturef/22Filter size diameter φ77mm
Vibration Reduction (VR)YesApprox. dimension
(diameter x distance from camera lens-mount flange)
φ89 x 147.5 mm
Auto-focusYesApprox. weight755g

Notable reviews:

ProsCons
+ Excellent and fast auto focus– VR issue
+ Compact and lightweight– Minimum focusing distance is average
4. Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR

A good option zoom lens for bird photography and it comes at a reasonable cost. Performs well at broad daylight with quick auto focus. Works well with Nikon Z6 using FTZ lens adapter.

Featured key specs:

TypeType E AF-P lens with built-in CPU Lens MountNikon F-mount
(Full-frame)
Focal length70-300mmLens construction18 elements in 14 groups
Max. aperturef/4.5 – f/5.6No. of diaphragm blades9 (rounded)
Min. aperturef/32 – f/40Filter size diameter φ67mm
Vibration Reduction (VR)YesApprox. dimension
(diameter x distance from camera lens-mount flange)
φ80.5 x 146 mm
Auto-focusYesApprox. weight680g

Notable reviews:

ProsCons
+ Quick auto focus– Auto focus time out for older SLR models
+ Compatibility with Nikon Z– Low light performance
5. Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2

This second generation ultra-telephoto lens includes improvements that allows handheld shooting with incredible results. The added FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism allows a photographer to quickly lock or unlock zoom at any focal distance.

Two optional teleconverters (1.4x and 2.0x magnification) are also available that will yield or cover a maximum range up to 1200mm enabling you to shoot even farther subjects.

Featured key specs:

TypeA022Lens MountNikon Z-mount
(Full-frame)
Focal length150-600mmLens construction21 elements in 13 groups
Max. aperturef/5-6.3No. of diaphragm blades9 (rounded)
Min. aperturef/32-40Filter size diameterφ95mm
Vibration Compensation (VC)Yes (VC MODE 3)Approx. dimension
(diameter x distance from camera lens-mount flange)
φ108.4 x 257.7 mm
Auto-focusYesApprox. weight1,990g

Notable reviews:

ProsCons
+ Nikon Z compatibility – Need upgrade to firmware 2.0 for full compatibility
+ Fast auto focus

Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens FAQ’s

Will Nikon F-mount and Tamron lenses work on Nikon Z mount camera?

Yes, Nikon F-mount lenses and Tamron lenses designed for Z mount will work on Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras with the aide of Nikon lens adapter FTZ.

Are Full-frame lenses can be used on APS-C format camera body?

Yes, full-frame lens can be mounted on APS-C camera body but the image will be cropped. Moreover, Nikon lens adapter FTZ will also be needed.

Conclusion

So that concludes our list of some of the best Nikon mirrorless camera lens for birding on the market today that are compatible with Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras.

I would personally suggest Nikon AF-S 200-500mm and or Tamron SP 150-600mm because of their versatility and similarity in features. They also have longer coverage and comparably the best bet considering the cost.

There you have it folks, once again thank you for reading. If you have question or anything to share please leave your comment below and I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

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