Camera hunting isn’t easy but finding the perfect lens can be even more challenging. If you’re looking to try your hand at long exposure photography, a new lens is in order. But how do you know which long exposure lenses are the best for your needs?
Long exposure photography is based on taking still shots that span over a range of time; typically, anywhere between 5-30 seconds is ideal. Long exposure shots do not require a fast lens, but one that supports a focal range between f/8 and f/16. However, even greater flexibility in the focal range is always appreciated.
When looking for long exposure lenses, certain things need to be kept in mind. Firstly, you will need a lens that offers maximum glare reduction and clarity, and also a device that has extreme image stability.
Second, look for a lens that’s durable and resistant to harsh weather because lots of long exposure photography is done outdoors. You should also look for a lens with prime nighttime shooting, meaning that it supports photography in low-light conditions as well as in regular lighting.
Once you’ve understood what you need in a lens, you can start looking for the best long exposure lenses afforded by the market. To make this easy for you, we have compiled a list of the best long exposure lenses:
This fantastic lens by Venus weighs just under 1.1 pounds and has a fantastic compact design, making it easily portable and great for traveling with. The Venus Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D sports an excellent optical design with 12 elements in nine groups with a 72mm filter thread allowing for a quick-fix when it comes to screw-on filters.
This lens has a maximum aperture of f/2 with a minimum focal length of 15cm. The Venus Laowa Zero-D lens has an ultra-wide angle, making it great for long exposure photography, especially for landscape shots. It also supports low-light shooting thanks to its ultra-wide angle.
This device maintains almost zero distortion to such a great extent that it easily beats other cameras within the same category. It has ultra-stable shooting, which is another great feature for long exposure photography. It also comes with a handy aperture switch and is great for videographers. It is compatible with Sony E-Mount cameras.
The Sony Alpha FE 12-24mm f/4 G allows maximum coverage thanks to its full-frame wide-angle technology. Its autofocus system is one of the best ones on the market, which is no surprise for a Sony device. It is lightweight, easily portable and great for on-the-go shots, whether it’s still photography or dynamic videography.
The Sony Alpha FE 12-24mm f/4 G’s zoom range extends from 12mm to 24mm. It has four aspherical elements in a fantastic optical design that helps suppress any aberrations that are often seen in wide-angle lenses.
This lens offers brilliant image quality with maximum sharpness. This device has a sturdy, robust outer frame that is resistant to dust and moisture. It contains a lens mount seal that maximizes its resistance towards harsh environmental conditions. It also comes with a focus hold button and an internal focus to help maintain dimensions.
There are very few long exposure lenses that can compete with the Sony Alpha FE 12-24mm f/4 G lens because of its merely brilliant design and professional features. To top it all off, the lens comes with Super ED and ED glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration. Additionally, it has a 7-blade circular aperture that allows for flattering bokeh photography.
Zeiss lenses have always been a force to reckon with, and the Batis 25mm f/2 is no exception. This device is lightweight at just 0.74 pounds and can be taken anywhere quickly without weighing you down. It has a fantastic wide-angle function that allows for excellent landscape photography. It is an E-Mount lens and compatible with all Sony products that contain the E-Mount.
This lens’ aperture range is f/2 to f/22 with a Distagon optical design, four double-sided aspherical elements, and a floating element system. Its anti-reflective coating ensures that there are no distortions during photography, especially under harsh sunlight. The device’s outer casing is dust and moisture resistant, making it immune to adverse weather conditions.
The Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 AS UMC is compatible with both full-frame and APS-C DSLR cameras. It is composed of 13 elements in 12 groups with a striking aperture range of f/1.8 to f/23, accompanied by a minimum focusing distance of 0.66 feet. What’s great about this lens is that it contains Ultra Multi-Coated (UMC) glass to protect from sunlight-related disruption or unwanted glare, hence allowing for great photography experience.
The Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 AS ED UMC lens has an intuitive manual focus design with enhanced optical construction. The lens contains two aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements that are handy in cutting out the effect of spherical and chromatic aberrations, hence allowing for improved sharpness, impressive clarity, and minimal distortion.
As always, Zeiss devices never fail. The Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Boigon T* flaunts a moderately wide-angle that allows for an array of professional photography options. This lens offers an extended field of view, which is brilliant for landscape photography, making it an ideal long exposure lens.
The Boigon T* contains a mirrorless, full-frame system that still maintains the timelessness of “classic” and “traditional” photography. Its unique DeClick feature allows for smooth aperture adjustment with a lens so wide that you can capture virtually anything through it. It contains excellent color correction and image stabilization, making it a unique lens for long exposure shots.
6. Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS CS (Budget Winner)
This lens by Rokinon has a prime super wide-angle lens designed to support Micro Four-thirds mount cameras with APS-C sized image sensors. The optical construction is as follows: 12 glass elements in 10 groups.
The Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS CS contains a 35-mm equivalent focal length of 18mm and a broad 98.9-degree angle of view-the perfect combination to provide an excellent, professional-level shooting experience. This lens is particularly brilliant for interior, landscape, and architectural photography. It has an f/2.0 maximum aperture that is particularly good for low-light shooting and nighttime photography.
This is a lightweight, compact device with a nano-coating system that allows for maximum light transmission while blocking out unwanted glare and haze. It works just as well for indoor photography as for outdoor shoots.
Sigma never fails to impress. The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN has an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens that supports even the trickiest of shots. It contains an updated Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) that allows for fast, brilliant, and accurate autofocus.
Alternatively, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN also has a manual focus option, allowing for the utmost flexibility when shooting. The lens has a dust-resistance and splash-proof exterior, allowing it to withstand the trials of any climate.
This lens is not too heavy, weighing 1.75 pounds, and can be carried relatively easily. Its minimum focus length is 14mm, and the maximum rests at 24mm, alongside a photo filter thread size of 55mm.
8. Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Overall Winner)
The Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD has a smart mirrorless design that allows for vibrant photography with soft, defocused blurring when desired. It is lightweight and easy to carry around and travels with. This lens is treated with Tamron’s signature BBAR technology (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection), so all images produced to come out with virtually no unintentional blur or haze.
This brilliant device also contains an RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) motor to help with focus and orientation without distracting you from your photography experience. It is also excellent at muting out background noise. This lens’s maximum focal length is 75mm, and the minimum focal length is 28mm. It is a powerful device and excellent for landscape photography.
Final Words on Long Exposure Lenses
There are many amazing long exposure lenses available on the market, and every year manufacturers release new ones. However, there are still some classic lenses that are timeless and unbeatable.
When purchasing a camera lens, make sure to go over all of its specifications and features so you can find one that works best for your personal needs. Some long exposure lenses are better for certain things than others, and it is vital that you first prioritize the features you want in a lens and then decide which one to buy.
All in all, these are unarguably some of the best lenses for long exposure. With brands like Zeiss, Sigma, and Tamron, you’re sure to find one that you’ll love!