6 Best Lenses for Night Photography

Best Lenses for Night Photography Image

Night photography always comes with challenges and it’s not easy to get the best form of lighting during night hours. So, what would be the best strategy for a photographer in such a scenario? You would look for a lens that allows more light to get the best shot possible.

A lens with a large aperture would do well in low light situations and it’s a basic requirement for night photography. So, let’s take a look at some of the best lenses for night photography and find which of them secures the top spot.

1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Image

One of the best-selling lenses from Canon is the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. This affordable lens is small and lightweight, weighing only 160g and measuring 69 x 39mm. Its outer shell is built with plastic and has an amazing matte finish. The focusing ring is wide and its functionality is very smooth. The older STM model had a plastic mount, which has been replaced with a metal bayonet.

The lens has a 49mm filter thread and when you focus on a subject its inner barrel extends. Its autofocus system uses a Gear-type motor which isn’t as fast as the Lead-type motor; however, the autofocus feels quite smooth. It’s been constructed with six elements in five groups and delivers outstanding bokeh performance.

2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E VR

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E VR Image

The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E VR is a popular and versatile lens. This multi-purpose unit can be used for events, portraits and landscape photography. It’s solidly made, which makes it quite durable. The lens’ barrel has been built with magnesium material and is fully weather-sealed.

This 24-70mm lens features Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which is quite useful and improves the lens’ performance while shooting in low light situations. Nano and Fluorine coating on the front and rear elements give the lens dirt and moisture resistant capabilities and make it very easy to clean when needed.

When it comes to bokeh performance, the 24-70mm f/2.8E does an excellent job, which is due to the nine diaphragm blades of the aperture. The optical design consists of twenty elements in 16 groups. Two of them are the ED elements while three are Aspherical elements, providing a decent flare resistance. The lens utilizes AF-S Silent Wave motor for a fast and quiet autofocus action.

3. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Image

Canon introduced this lens as an update of the Canon 24-70mm L lens in February 2012. Its optical design has UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) glass elements and Aspherical glass elements. The aperture includes nine rounded diaphragm blades for an amazing bokeh. It is entirely built with metal, which significantly adds to its weight, and is completely weather-sealed.

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM features a constant aperture of f/2.8 and is currently one of the sharpest lenses offered by Canon.  Diffraction may start appearing at f/11, but images still look good. At f/22, the effects may be stronger, however, the impact on image quality remains minimal.

The lens handles the chromatic aberration and corner-shading very well but sometimes a little distortion appears, which can be easily corrected via post-processing software. The autofocus uses Ultra-sonic Motor (USM), which is fast and quiet, and focus outcome can always be altered with a focus ring.

4. Nikon 14-24mm AF-S NIKKOR f/2.8G ED

Nikon 14-24mm AF-S NIKKOR f/2.8G ED Image

This is one of the best wide-angle lenses for night photography by Nikon, introduced back in August 2007. It can be used for event, architectural, and landscape photography. The lens produces beautiful background blur, thanks to the nine rounded diaphragm blades of the aperture.

The optical design of the Nikon 14-24mm AF-S NIKKOR f/2.8G ED has 14 elements in 11 groups, which includes two ED elements and three Aspherical elements. Therefore, chromatic aberrations are very well controlled and the lens ensures maximum sharpness.

Ghosting and flaring effects are minimal due to a Nano Crystal Coating and Super Integrated Coating. The body of the lens is fully weather-sealed, making it dust and moisture resistant.

A Silent Wave Motor (SWM) has been used to ensure the autofocus action remains fast and silent as well. The lens also features an M/A focus mode, which allows you to switch between auto and manual focusing functions easily.

5. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Image

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is best suitable for portrait, landscape, and travel photographers. This outstanding lens is one of the best lenses for night photography. This is because of the large aperture of f/1.4 that includes a smooth nine-bladed diaphragm.

Its optical construction includes 13 elements in 11 groups. Two of the elements are SLD (Special Low Dispersion) and FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which mean to correct chromatic axial aberrations that can significantly lower the image quality.

This 35mm f/1.4 ART lens has very high-quality construction and has been fully built with metal from the barrel to the mount. The lens has a great feel in hand. The autofocus features a Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM), which performs swift, quiet and accurate subject focusing. Even at the widest aperture, you get an extremely sharp result.

The lens also does a pretty amazing job when it comes to flaring and ghosting resistance which can be attributed to the advanced Nano-coating technology.

6. Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Image

This is another good performer from Sigma on our list of lenses for night photography. It delivers incredibly sharp results, even wide open at f/1.4, without any corner-softness. The autofocus action is handled by an electronic Hyper-Sonic Motor, which is quite fast, silent, and accurate. The chromatic aberration is kept at a minimum.

The optical design has two FLD elements and an Aspherical SLD element. It has a total of fourteen elements in twelve groups. The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is very well built. Its barrel is constructed with Thermally Stable Composite material from Sigma, giving it a great feel.

Bottom Line on Lenses for Night Photography

Many things have changed in the world of night photography but the need for some top quality shots still remains unchanged. So, when you go shopping for a perfect lens, just make sure to prioritize quality over any other factors. Our list contains some of the top quality lenses for night photography and any of these would be a best choice for your perfect night shot.

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