Have Nikon 3400 and 3500 and take photos of D1 football player. Can only take in a 6” lens and want to know what would be best Lens to get max magnification.

  • If you were a Canon shooter the EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS would be your lens. It's only 4.25 inches long when set at 70mm. It does go just past six inches at 300mm, reaching 6.5 inches. This is accomplished using diffractive optics. As far as I know, Nikon has no equivalent lens.
    – Michael C
    Aug 5 at 8:58
  • 6" when stored or 6" at maximum extension?
    – xenoid
    Aug 5 at 13:04
  • 1
    If you don't mind me asking. Why the specific limitation? A security issue?
    – Rafael
    Aug 5 at 16:29
  • @Rafael Lens length is an attempt by the promoter to limit quality of images by unlicensed photographers (i.e., spectators). This was the case in a F1 race I attended, but the angry backlash pushed the F1 promoter allow any lens type within reason (ref: COTA, Austin, TX, 2013). No videos was still in the spectator rules, but I have a funny picture of a guy with a GoPro strapped to his head.
    – qrk
    Aug 5 at 18:00
  • @xenoid. When stored. As long as it is 6” or shorter as I carry it in, they allow it. And it is to keep spectators from taking photos to sell. Aug 6 at 2:11

2 Answers 2

  1. Go to a shopping website or camera store that has a comprehensive selection of lenses and where you are happy to shop. B&H might be a good choice.

  2. Narrow your search to Nikon-F-mount telephoto or telephoto-zoom lenses.

  3. Starting with the lens that has/covers the highest focal length, check the physical length of the lens. Note that some lenses extend and change length when zooming in - probably the 6-inch requirement is applied to the unextended lens.

  4. Repeat for the lens with next highest focal length, and so on, until you find one less than 6 inches long. That's your lens.

I doubt there are dozens to go through, so the search won't take too long.


The Nikon 300mm f/4 PF is 5.8" long. And it takes teleconverters very well; but that would make it more than 6" long ;>)

IMO it is an excellent choice for this subject, but it isn't cheap.

  • I will check this out. Thanks so much. Aug 6 at 2:09

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