Are you a photographer or videographer who often finds yourself shooting in low-light conditions but don’t know what lens to use? Here is the best lens for low light that will up your camera game.
Low light can be tricky, but with the right knowledge and tools, you’ll be able to capture beautiful scenes even in dark settings.
Today we’re sharing our list of the best lenses for low-light photography and videography that will help you get stunning shots no matter how dim.
You’ll learn everything from focal length ranges and apertures to autofocus performance to pick the perfect lens for your needs.
What Lenses Are Suitable for Low-Light Photography?
When looking for a lens to use in low light, you’ll want to focus on two main criteria: aperture and focal length.
The aperture is the size of the opening that determines how much light enters the camera.
The larger the aperture, the more light it can gather, resulting in better performance in low-light conditions. A good lens for low-light photography should have an aperture of at least f/2.8.
Focal length is the distance between the focal point and the lens, measured in millimeters (mm).
Generally, lenses with shorter focal lengths are better for low-light conditions because they can gather more light than longer lenses.
1. Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8
Capture life’s most important moments with the powerful Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS.
It is one of the best telephoto lenses you can buy, and expect it to deliver in low-light environments.
This lens offers superior image quality through its design – featuring two aspherical elements, one XA (extreme aspherical) element, and two ED (extra-low dispersion) glass elements.
You can also benefit from Sony’s Nano AR (anti-reflective) Coating II to subdue any unwelcome glare or ghosting effects for clearer imagery in diverse lighting situations.
With an impressive maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range and all focusing distances, this lens is ideal for videographers and photographers wanting to shoot with high levels of detail in low-light environments indoors or at night. Get ready to turn your creative vision into a reality with the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS.
2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E
Stay ahead of the competition with the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E lens.
Boasting a fast constant f/2.8 aperture and an electromagnetic diaphragm, this lens is designed to deliver sensational image quality and sharpness with virtually no distortion in any light setting.
It is perfect for professional videographers and photographers who need a lens that can handle low-light conditions.
Its minimum focus distance ranges between 35 and 50 millimeters, allowing you to get up close and personal with your subjects for more detailed shots.
The 4 stops of Vibration Reduction make shooting handheld photos or videos easy and smooth.
In contrast, the nonstick glass coating makes it easier to wipe off water and dirt from the surface of the lens without harming it in any way.
With superior performance features like these, you don’t have to worry about missing the best shots again.
3. Sony FE 50mm F1.2
Introducing the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 – the perfect lens for any videographer or photographer needing high-quality images in all settings, regardless of light conditions.
This compact prime lens offers awe-inspiring G Master resolution and bokeh, making your photos effortless and artful.
Featuring an F1.2 max aperture, this lens allows a shallow depth of field that will make your images stand out from the crowd, creating an eye-catching focus even in dimly lit environments.
In addition, you’ll be amazed by the three XA Extreme Aspheric elements that contribute to broader shutter speeds and stunning image resolution—a serious plus if you’re shooting in low-light settings.
If you want to go for low-light shooting, this is among the best prime lenses you can consider buying.
The 11-blade circular aperture ensures impressive bokeh that adds polish to even the most straightforward shots.
This compact, lightweight design makes it ideal for both full-frame and APS-C sensors, making it easier to take quality pictures at any time or place.
This is among the best low-light lenses, with good manual focus.
With its top-of-the-line features, incredible speed, and beautiful aesthetics, the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 sets a new standard for videographers and photographers searching for an excellent lens in low-light settings while still providing stunning results.
4. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8
The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 lens offers photographers and videographers revolutionary image quality in low-light settings.
With an impressive F1.8 maximum aperture and 0.23 optical zoom, this unbelievably fast lens will surely bring out new levels of precise detail in any shot.
The lens aperture gives you an impressive bokeh effect. That is why you will find it in the back of many photographers.
With an innovative ring-type ultrasonic AF motor with full-time manual focusing, photographers have the control they need over their subject matter.
You will get minimal image noise with the lens, which is also affordable.
The minimum focusing distance of 28 cm/ 11.0 inches allows users to get up close to the action while still coaxing out crisp images.
The lens has a fixed focal length and can work with a full-frame camera.
The zoom lens is one of the best zoom lenses out there and is excellent for night photography.
The wide-angle lens is priced reasonably fair, which is why many photographers and videographers use it.
When paired with a USB dock or an MC-11 adapter, photographers can quickly and efficiently apply firmware updates to maximize performance and efficiency when shooting with this robust lens.
It is a great lens that can be used on Sony and Canon cameras.
Compatible with Canon EF (EF-S), Sony Alpha (dot), and Nikon f (DX) mounts, this lens allows for maximum versatility to fit any camera body as well as post-production applications so you can fully customize your shots without having to sacrifice sharpness or clarity of color saturation.
Give your photography the edge to take it to the next level with Sigma’s 18-35mm F1.8 lens – your one-stop shop for versatile low-light imagery.
5. Sigma 16 mm f/1.4
Sigma has always been about producing exceptional, high-quality lenses, and the Sigma 16 mm F/1.4 is no exception.
With an image quality that rivals our Art line lenses, this camera lens is perfect for videographers and photographers who want to ensure they never miss a shot.
The Stepper Motor inside the Sigma 16mm F/1.4 ensures progressive and quiet autofocus making it suitable for stealthy outdoor shoots – so you can capture the image you want without any distractions from nearby noise.
It’s designed with a dustproof and waterproof construction that gives you peace of mind to shoot confidently in all sorts of environments.
Its unique design minimizes flare and ghost images, ensuring your photos look crisp and clear every time.
The Sigma 16mm F/1.4 gives you all the features you need to take amazing photos or videos without breaking the bank – get yours today.
6. Samyang 12mm F2.0
Introducing the Samyang 12mm F2.0! This lens is perfect for videographers and photographers looking for a tool to shoot great images in low-light conditions.
It has an unbeatable angle of view of 98.9°, ensuring users get sharp photos with virtually no distortion.
The fast maximum aperture of f/2.0 benefits working in low-light conditions, while the Nano Coating System (NCS) provides extra protection against glare and reflections.
To top it off, this lens uses 12 high-precision glass lens elements, including 1 Hybrid Aspherical (H-ASP), 1 Aspherical (AS), and 1 Low-Dispersion (ED) element to give you sharp images every time you take a picture or video.
Plus, with a minimum focal length of just 0.2m, your photos will benefit from the increased depth and focus accuracy, making them look even better at any distance or angle.
This will work fine if you want something other than a zoom lens. The focal length is significantly impressive, and it delivers good image quality.
So if you’re a videographer or photographer needing great low-light results, the Samyang 12mm F2.0 is precisely what you need.
7. Canon EF-M 22mm
The Canon EF-M 22mm is designed to give you the creative freedom and quality you need.
It is the same size as most kit lenses and has a wide aperture.
With an equivalent 35mm full frame, it’s a moderate wide-angle lens that allows the flexibility to capture different perspectives without distorting the subject’s proportions.
Plus, the built-in stepping motor ensures smooth and quiet autofocus when shooting video.
What’s more, a circular aperture constructed of seven blades provides beautiful, soft background for your shots.
One aspheric element for low light performance plus a bright f/2.0 lens also helps you take perfect photos even in dimly lit areas.
And with a minimum focusing distance of 5.9 inches/0.15 meters, you have the ability to get close enough to get exceptional detail and perspective from your subjects.
In addition, this superb lens is not zoomable, so you can always count on accurate framing with just one shot – every time.
Get ready to capture stunning photos with incredible detail using the Canon EF-M 22mm today.
Are prime lenses better for low light?
Yes, prime lenses are generally better for low-light photography than zoom lenses.
This is because prime lenses usually have wider maximum apertures, allowing more light and providing better image quality and faster shutter speeds.
Prime lenses also tend to be lighter than their zoom counterparts, making them easier to handle in low-light situations.
Additionally, prime lenses have fewer elements and a more straightforward design than zoom lenses, which helps them produce sharper images in low light.
Overall, prime lenses are usually the best choice for low-light photography because they outperform zoom lenses in terms of aperture size, image quality, and portability.
Having the right lens for low-light photography is essential to capture fantastic images.
For videographers and photographers, the Samyang 12mm F2.0 provides a wide angle of view with virtually no distortion and fast autofocus for sharp images in any lighting condition.
The Canon EF-M 22mm is a good all-around lens with a fast aperture, an aspheric element for improved low-light performance, and a built-in stepping motor for smooth autofocus.
Prime lenses are generally the best choice for low-light photography because they offer wider maximum apertures, better image quality, and faster shutter speeds than zoom lenses.