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Best lens for low light photography

Updated on May 6, 2013

Lenses to improve your low light photographs

As you are already aware, low light photography is difficult and you need to ensure you have the right equipment in order to capture the types of images you are after. Some camera bodies are better than others in low light photography, however the type of lens you use will have the biggest impact and it is this that can "make or break" your low light photography shots. If you use the best lens for low light photography your images will vastly improve.

So, what is the best lens for low light photography? Hopefully, this article will answer this problem and help you find the perfect low light photography lens that will improve your shots and take your photography skills to the next level.

Best lens for low light photography - Prime lenses up to 35mm

Lenses up to 16mm are considered to be ultra wide angle and lenses from 17mm - 35mm are considered wide angle. These lenses are excellent for situations where you want to fit a lot in to the frame, such as when photographing interiors. Wide angle lenses often distort the subject, which means they are not good for portrait work however they can be used for other types of photography.

One of the best things about using such short focal lengths is the fact that you don't need super fast shutter speeds to prevent camera shake, therefore they are great for low light photography.

Canon 24 1.4

If you want a fast prime lens up to 35mm there is a lot to choose from, however the Canon 24mm is a very good choice. 24mm is wide enough to capture sweeping landscapes and cityscapes, but not so wide as to create distorted images. The Canon 24mm lens is tough, durable, weather sealed and built to last. The image quality is second to noe with sharpness throughout and bright colours that aren't too saturated.

Nikon 24 1.4

If you shoot a Nikon and are in the market for a wide angle, but not ultra wide angle lens you won't go far wrong with this 24mm lens. This lens is bullet proof and will provide years of service. With centre to edge sharpness throughout, and bright and vivid colours the image quality is spot on as well. This lens is a top purchase.

Best lens for low light photography - 50mm Prime lens

There are plenty of 50mm primes lenses for all brands of camera therefore you won’t have any problems finding one for your particular camera. There are many third party manufacturers of 50mm lenses, such as Sigma and Tamron, and whilst these lenses are good I would always recommend sticking to the 50mm lens manufactured by the manufacturer of your camera. So, if you shoot a Canon buy one of the Canon made 50mm lenses, if you shoot with a Nikon buy one of the Nikon made 50mm lenses, and so on.

50mm lenses show what we see with our eyes therefore many people consider 50mm focal lengths the best to use. 50mm prime lenses are very versatile and can be used for capturing many different genres, although they are superb for head and shoulder portrait shots.

Nikon 50 1.8

If you shoot a Nikon and want the best value 50mm prime lens then check this out. This is another top quality lens that is tough, durable and built to last. Best of all, the image quality is simply superb. This is one of Nikon's top selling lenses, which is pretty understandable.

Canon 50 1.8

If you shoot a Canon and want a cheap and cheerful 50mm prime lens that is capable of capturing some stunning images then look no further than the Canon 50mm 1.8. This is an awesome lens that gives a lot of bang for the buck. It is also Canon's top selling lens and after you have seen what this lens can do you will soon see why.

Best lens for low light photography - 51mm – 85mm prime lens

Most photographers use lenses in this focal length for portrait photography, where you can get nice and close for head and shoulder portrait shots, or move further back for full body portraits. As with the 50mm lenses, there are many manufacturers that make lenses in this focal length range although I would strongly recommend sticking to the lenses manufactured by the manufacturer of your camera.

Nikon 85 1.4

If you want a slightly longer focal length Nikon lens that is still within 85mm check this out. This is another top quality lens from Nikon that is well made and built to last. Sure it may be a bit pricy, but when you see the image quality you will soon see it is worth every cent.

Canon 85 1.2

If you want a fast Canon prime lens that is slightly longer, but within 85mm check out this lens. Like all Canon branded lenses it is well built, tough and durable. The image quality is also excellent and it is possible to capture some awesome images.

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