7 Best Lens for Night Photography: Our Best Picks

Mariotama – What is the best lens for night photography? The answer is about to be revealed. You do not need to waste a lot of time in choosing the right lens for nighttime photography because we already compiled some of the best lenses on this page.

Photographers know that nighttime or low-light photography is quite a challenge especially without using the right lens. Therefore, they need to know what makes a lens great for night photography. Well, there are four points to consider when choosing the lens.

Photographers should consider the wide aperture, sharpness, low aberrations, and wide focal range. Night photography is a passion for photographers. They are always on the lookout for technical and creative advancement to reach high-quality night shots.

7 Best Lens for Night Photography

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Last updated on April 5, 2020 11:24 pm


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1. Best Price: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Best Lens for Night Photography

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
4,810 Reviews
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
  • 50 millimeter focal length and maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Great for portraits, action, and nighttime photography; Angle of view (horizontal, vertical, diagonal): 40º, 27º,46º
  • Minimum focusing distance of 1.15 feet (0.35 meter) and a maximum magnification of 0.21x
  • Stepping motor (STM) delivers near silent, continous Move Servo AF for movies and smooth AF for stills
  • 80 millimeter effective focal length on APS C cameras, 50 millimeter on full frame cameras.Lens Construction: 6 elements in 5 groups

Such an affordable lens has a wide f/1.8 aperture. This STM lens results in sharper images compared to the standard zoom lens for Canon EOS. The motion blur will be less and the need for using flash will be reduced. It is great for shooting in low-light conditions.

That is why this lens is perfect for your night photo hunting. The 50mm focal length lets you fill the subject into the frame from a comfortable distance, which is why it is great for portraits. It is a similar perspective to the human eye.

The lightweight and compact size make this lens great for everyday use. You can carry it mounted in your EOS camera easily. STM technology allows the lens to focus quickly when taking photos. Therefore, you can capture fleeting moments reactively.

The stepping motor delivers quiet and steady continuous focusing to create smooth videos. Compared to the infamous EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens of Sony, this STM lens will deliver the same stunning image quality but with a faster focus motor that is so quiet and a more robust build.

It is a great-recommended lens for you who are looking for a 50mm prime lens to be mounted to your full-frame Canon cameras. The decent wide aperture makes this lens perfect for night photography.

This Canon STM lens is easy to use, well build, and affordable too. You can use it with all Canon DSLRs without hassle.


  • It is wonderfully sharp.
  • The focusing is fast and quite near silent.
  • Such a fantastic all-around lens
  • The body is sturdy.


  • It is not that solid when it is made of plastic.
  • It has a narrow focusing ring.

2. Best Vibration Reducer: Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED

Best Lens for Night Photography

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
162 Reviews
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Fast f/2.8 constant aperture with an electromagnetic diaphragm
  • Sensational image quality and sharpness with virtually no distortion, Focal Length Range : 24 to 70 millimeter
  • Minimum Focus Distance : 35 to 50 millimeter focal length : 1.2 feet (0.38 meter) from focal plane; 24, 28, 70 millimeter focal lengths : 1.3 feet (0.41 meter) from focal plane; Dimensions : Approx; 88.0 millimeter maximum diameter x 154.5 millimeter (distance from camera lens mount flange)
  • 4 stops of Vibration Reduction for handheld and low light shooting, Nonstick glass makes it easier to wipe off water, dirt and smudges
  • Evolution of Nikon's legendary 24 to 70 millimeter workhorse.Type:Fmount, Type E AF S lens with built in CPU and F mount.Lens Elements:20

Coming in the next lens for night photography, it is a must-have lens with stunning performance and newfound inspiration. It is geared with vibration reduction image stabilization system with autofocus. This lens has some great improvements compared to its predecessor.

This upgraded lens has better sharpness, speed, control, consistency, and durability. Working with Vibration reduction technology offers stunning results. Mount this lens in your Nikon full-frame high-resolution camera; you will be able to achieve the next level of clarity and sharpness.

It is suitable for your outdoor shots, especially in the nighttime. This lens also works perfectly for both Photos and videos. The results will have such beautiful balance or soft blur effects and sharpness. You will not see any flare, coma, ghosting, and chromatic aberration.

This lens is designed for photographers who thrive on the quality of image especially night photography. You can say this lens as the go-to lens to carry in your nighttime photo hunting. Thanks to the f/2.8 constant aperture, this lens performs brilliantly in low light.

You can call this decent lens as the ultimate workhorse for nearly any situation. You can purchase this great gear on Amazon. Get it fast cause only one in stock.


  • It is great for landscapes.
  • The results are very sharp.
  • It is worth it.


  • There are still some chromatic aberrations.
  • It is too heavy.

3. Best Artistic Expression: Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens

Best Lens for Night Photography

Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Canon
779 Reviews
Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Canon
  • High speed with large aperture
  • HSM (Hypersonic motor) and inner focusing system
  • Accessories include: Lens Hood (LH730-03), carrying case
  • 35 MM Focal length, Lens not zoomable
  • 67mm filters

As many photographers know that this Brand, Sigma, is a third party lens manufacturer that’s well-known for its amazing lines of products. Sigma produces some professional-level lens that meets the various photography-levels needs.

This Sigma lens is the first one that gets into the “art lens” market category. It has a large aperture of f/1.4. That is the reason why this lens is one of the best ones for night photography. The lens can isolate the subjects from the background because of the shallow depth of field.

What is great about this lens is that you can work it on both crop and full-frame sensors flawlessly. Do not worry about the price, it is way less expensive than many other lenses with the same features from other brands.

In this lens, Sigma serves the users with the floating mechanism. It makes the close-up shooting has better focusing. The hypersonic motor causes the autofocus fast and quite. To prevent distortion, the lens has spherical elements to do the job.


  • It is incredibly sharp.
  • It focuses extremely fast.
  • The bokeh is dreamy and creamy.
  • You can perform it easily.


  • It is not well sealed.
  • It is not dustproof.

4. Best Optical Composition: Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens

Best Lens for Night Photography

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens, Lens Only
64 Reviews
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens, Lens Only
  • Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 35mm f/1.4
  • Subwavelength Coating (SWC) helps significantly reduce lens ghosting and flare.Lens Construction: 14 elements in 11 groups
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 63°
  • Focus Adjustment: AF with full-time manual
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 0.92 ft./0.28m. Increased maximum magnification (0.21x) help expand the range of expression, especially when capturing close-up subjects

It will not disappoint you as it is a standard lens with 35mm that. The lens has an f/1.4 wide aperture that includes an ultra-low dispersion element and with two spherical elements. Those features will take care of any kinds of aberrations that a wide-aperture lens might face.

For suppressing the ghosting and flares, this lens is packed with a subwavelength and a fluorine coating. It also helps increase the sharpness, saturation, and image contrast and make it better. The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 II USM lens is a gear covered with excellent weather sealing.

With that sealing, you can use the lens confidently in any weather condition. This Canon lens has a focusing system that allows you to shoot easily day and night. Check out the Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics.

This optical feature helps to refract the shorter light wavelengths that cause chromatic aberrations and color fringing to your images. All of those features become the reason why this great is the best lens for night photography.

You can also have this lens to shoot some close-up and landscape photos. You will capture the images with a lot of clarity and beautiful details. Get ready to be delighted with this lens.


  • With this lens, you can achieve critical sharpness wide open.
  • No color fringing and any aberration
  • It is less expensive compared to other lenses with the same features.


  • The price is a drawback.

5. Best Lighweight Lens: Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Lens

Best Lens for Night Photography

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
4,221 Reviews
Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Note : Autofocus system is compatible with select Nikon DSLRs that support D-type lenses, and offers quick and precise focusing performance. Autofocus is not supported by DSLRs lacking an autofocus motor, such as the D3000-series, D5000-series, D40, D40X, and D60, where the lens may be used with manual focus only
  • Lens not zoomable. Focal Length : 50 millimeter , Minimum Focus Distance - 1.5 ft.( 0.45 meter)
  • FX in DX Crop Mode 35 millimeter Film; Lens Case: CL-30S
  • NOTE: Refer the User Manual before use. Maximum angle of view (DX-format) 31°30'
  • NOTE: Autofocus is not supported by DSLRs lacking an autofocus motor, such as the D3000-series, D5000-series, D40, D40X, and D60, where the Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50 millimeter f/1.8D may be used with manual focus only.Maximum Angle of View (FX-format):46°

Look at our next pick as the best lens for night photography. It is another lens from NIKON brand. The brand itself guarantees great quality of the lens. Well, that true. This F mount lens is an all-time favorite of Nikon’s users.

This prime lens has 50mm focal length with f/1.8 wide aperture. It features an aperture ring, a manual focus ring, and a focus distance indicator. It is a great lens for beginners because it is priced economically.

If you have Nikon D700 and D3 DSLR camera, this AF FX NIKKOR lens belongs to you. It also comes with quick autofocus and amazing zoom quality. It can perform well in low-light conditions making it ideal for your night photography works.

You can mount and use it well to almost all the Nikon cameras. This traditional AF lens is a full-coverage FX lens that you can use to work on FX Digital or Film. For preventing any ghosting and flares, this lens has a super integrated coating.

The wide f/1.8 aperture comes in handy for shooting photos at night.


  • The focus can be super fast.
  • A must-have for beginners
  • It takes insanely sharp photos even in low-light conditions.


  • It has no rear lens cap.
  • It is tricky to get the focus right.

6. Best Optical Quality: Tamron Auto Focus 60mm f/2.0

Best Lens for Night Photography

Tamron Auto Focus 60mm f/2.0 SP DI II LD IF 1:1 Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Model G005E)
250 Reviews
Tamron Auto Focus 60mm f/2.0 SP DI II LD IF 1:1 Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Model G005E)
  • 1:1 Macro for extreme close up photography
  • Fast f:2.0 Aperture
  • Two LD Glass elements
  • Internal focusing design

Being a macro lens from Tamron, it comes with 60mm focal length and wide f/2 aperture. This Tamron lens is so versatile. It takes a great deal of light in the shots. Therefore, you should use this lens to shoot at close range with low light availability.

According to Tamron, this is the first APS-C medium telephoto macro lens in the industry. Here are some features available in this Tamron autofocus lens. The first one is the Super Performance (SP).

This Tamron’s series offers you with an ultra-high performance, which is designed to meet professional demands regarding image quality. That means many professional photographers are a fan of this series.

The second feature is the Internal Focus (IF). This feature provides many practical benefits. The system provides a minimum focusing distance that is much closer throughout the whole focusing range.

Another feature needs to be mentioned is the Low Dispersion (LD) technology. These glass elements are built inside the lens, which helps you reduce the chromatic aberration.


  • This lens is very sharp.
  • It has a wonderful color rendition.
  • The bokeh is sublime.
  • It is lightweight and solid.


  • Some issues with the AF
  • The quality of the Brand is still untrusted.

7. Best Performance: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

Best Lens for Night Photography

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF (321954)
239 Reviews
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF (321954)
  • The Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM Art is the latest addition to the world renowned Sigma Global Vision Line
  • It has equipped newly designed hyper sonic motor (HSM) for nimble AF control, 1.3 times better torque of its predecessor
  • This lens is compatible with Mount converter MC-11 , so Sony E-mount users can also enjoy this lens with it

It is one of the great art lenses from Sigma. It is different from the sports and contemporary series because this art lens is designed for professionals. It has the 85mm focal length and this lens is claimed as the best lens for portraits in any light conditions.

You can work with this lens for night photography because of the wide-open aperture. You will have the power to shoot images clearly during the night time. There is no need to push the ISO up or even dragging the shutter.

You can mount this lens on your full-frame camera. The f/1.4 maximum aperture of this Sigma lens ensures the ability of the lens to capture enough light even in low-light conditions. You can still get the desirably well-exposed images.

For the construction, this lens has two super-low dispersion elements and one spherical element. Do not worry about the aberrations anymore. The Super Multi-layer coating will suppress flares and ghosting you might catch. As a result, the contrast is high and the color is richer.


  • It produces sharp photos with creamy bokeh.
  • The visual quality is superb.
  • The big focusing ring is a pleasure to use.


  • The front and back focusing need calibrating.
  • It is a heavy lens.


Do you use a lens hood for night photography?

Yeah. You should keep the lens hoods on. It is not only used to cover light during the day. A lens hood is used to create a shadow on the lens. The shadow will prevent the lens flare from the sunlight. During the nighttime, the flare can come from the streetlights.

What settings are used for night photography?

There are no exact settings for night photography because it can change from picture to picture. You might need to know what settings are ideal. The ISO should be high which is starting at 1600, the open aperture like f/2.8 or f/4, the 500 o 300 rule for the shutter speed.

What is the best lens night shots using Nikon cameras?

According to many trusted reviewers, the best Nikon lens to shoot night photography would be the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8.

For night photography, is it okay to use a 50mm lens?

As it is neither wide nor narrow, 50mm lens is attractive for capturing low-light panoramas.

For low light conditions, which is the best lens?

From the seven products reviewed above, the best lens for shooting in low-light conditions would be Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. On the APS-C sensor, the lens focal length is equivalent to 80mm.

Final Thought

You can choose seven options to accompany your night photo hunting. Choose your favorite lens among those depends on your style of shooting and budget preferences. Based on the reviews above, the best lens for night photography is the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens.

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API