You may not always be able to get physically close to your subject, as it may be dangerous, or they may notice you if you get too close. That’s why a telephoto lens with a focal length of 300mm or above is generally used for wildlife photography, as this will offer a good amount of magnification, so you can keep your distance from your subject, yet still fill your frame. However factors such as the size of the animals you are photographing start coming into play, for example, if you’re trying to photograph a small bird then you are going to need a much larger magnification to capture its detail, something closer to 600mm.
When photographing fast moving animals, such as cheetahs or birds, you will want to have the fastest shutter speed possible. By selecting a lens with a fast aperture you will be able to utilise more of the available light, helping you freeze your subjects motion and capture a sharp image. A telephoto lens with a wide aperture, such as the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, will make the most of the available light and still enable you to freeze action.
When you’re trying to capture wildlife in its natural habitat, such as in the desert or on safari, then you might find yourself in some extremely harsh conditions where you need to know that your gear will perform, no matter what you throw at it. In these instances a lens from Canon’s L-series would suit you best, along with a camera body that provides some weather sealing. With weather and dust resistance you can have the confidence to stay out and capture images in the harshest of conditions. L-series lenses also have the added benefit of using Canon's most advanced optical designs and technologies for groundbreaking performance.
Macro lenses are a great choice for capturing insects, and other small wildlife creatures. These lenses allow you to keep a large enough distance between you and your subject (so you don’t disturb them), but allow you to fill your frame. A macro lens with Image Stabilizer such as the EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens, allows you to shoot hand held in conditions that would normally require a tripod.
The longer the focal length the more likely the need for a tripod will arise, as any shake from the camera body is exaggerated more and more the higher the focal length you use. Buying a lens with Image Stabilizer will dramatically reduce the need for a tripod by reducing shake. However, if you are waiting for a long time, you may have to keep the camera and lens in a fixed position. In this situation having a tripod or monopod available can be handy.
This high performance L-series lens with 4 stop Image Stabilizer, is renowned for its ability to achieve amazing levels of sharpness, colour, contrast, even when a teleconverter is used to increase the telephoto magnification, whilst remaining unbelievably sharp.