6 Best Lens for Night City Photography: (2021 Guide & Reviews)

Today we’re talking about how to shoot night city photography, and it’s not as scary as you think it is.

Now you see, for a lot of photographers and myself included, this is something that I struggle with the second the sun goes down.

I don’t really enjoy going out with my camera at night; it’s just more work, it’s more the settings they’re confusing and sometimes just doesn’t work, how I want it to work all of the time so I don’t go outside at night with my camera fact now.

Lately, I’ve been going outside a little bit more, shooting with my partner different people downtown, and I’ve kind of started to like it.

I’ve kind of been like, wow, this is actually really interesting; basically, what I’ve really been enjoying about shooting at night city is everything feels different.

It’s almost like all the rules, for being comfortable shooting outside, out the window, gone.

It’s a whole new ballgame. It’s a whole new world.

The city empties itself that gets really quiet, it’s dark, it’s just you and your camera, and there’s lots of fun experimenting with how to get the unique angle and the unique light.

So, if anybody here hasn’t shot at nighttime before or you’re planning to or want to work something that you’re kind of unfamiliar with, then this article is for you.

I am reviewing the 6 best lenses for night city photography that might work for you perfectly at night.

Let’s drive-in:

Which is the Best Lens for Night City photography?

Here are my recommended top 6 best lens for Night City photography:-

Canon 24-70mm F2.8: (Best lens for Night video & portrait photography)

This is definitely the one lens to rule for so many reasons.

24-70 sits right in the middle between a wide-angle and telephoto lens covering some of the most important focal lengths when typically us as photographers.

This makes it a very versatile piece of glass for everyday use that handles pretty much everything you throw at it.

That gives you that really nice depth of field, making it a great choice for portraits.

Or any other subject you want to isolate is an F 2.8 lens, which means it’s very fast; the aperture opens up nice and wide.

Letting lots of light in throughout its entire focal range at F 2.8 gives you incredible brocade, and low light performance is superb.

This is especially important to me because of the constant photography I do.

I’ve literally covered entire corporate dimensions using only this lens, and that also made it my number 1 lens in terms of return on investment pretty fast.

Unfortunately, f 2.8 lenses are always bigger; they are heavier and cost more money.

This lens provides not only applies to image photography still but also to videography.

Canon 24-70mm F2.8: (Best lens for Night video & portrait photography)

  • Sharpness.
  • Versatile lens.
  • Great for portraits.
  • Fast aperture.
  • Superb low light performance.
  • Big & heavy.
  • Bit Pricey.
  • No stabilization.
  • Some distortion.

Canon 24-105mm f/4L: (Best Low light lens for Night City photography)

It is one of the most versatile lenses you can buy because it has the most amazing focal length, the 24 105.

24-150 F4 is one of the most versatile lenses that you can get, and you’re able to do everything with it.

The only reason you would choose one or the other if you’ve got to go is that you’re shooting in a super low-light environment.

For me, weddings, or you just you’re looking for that dreamy, creamy, diffuse out of focus background and really pulling in your subject to create this 3d fact that is very popular.

I think everyone loves to shoot at a certain level, I myself included.

There’s really nothing that can be an amazing prime lens such as this when it comes to ultimate low-light performance.

24 105 I say that it is a low light monster, absolutely.

I still believe it’s one of the most versatile lenses.

That you can really speak up because you can really use it anywhere.

Canon 24-105mm f/4L: (Best Low light lens for Night City photography)

  • Low light monster.
  • Amazing focal length.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Sharpness
  • Versatile lens.
  • Some distortion & vignette.
  • Bit Pricey.

Canon 50mm 1.8: (Best lens for Night Street photography)

So, this lens is a very good lens for everything.

It’s very sustainable, so it’s a 50 mil is this fragment so that you can zoom in or out it’s straight strictly the same focal length.

I’m going to go through the points of why I recommend it for beginner photography, amateur photography, and even professional photography.

I’ve used this couple of times at weddings; I’ve mainly used this for street photography, and also, I’ve used product photography and Full Frame Options everything.

So, that’s pretty cheap compared to most lens, and its quality is amazing.

It’s a standard portrait lens that works with a full-frame and crop sensor.

Perfectly, it comes in 160 grams, so it’s a very versatile lens.

The actual build quality is amazing, and it comes with great metal. The minimal amount for that cheap as well it’s great.

The focus ring, it’s quiet, it’s it does the job, it’s not the best thing in the world doesn’t like when you’re using manual focusing.

I’ve used this for street photography, product photography, portraits like all this. On the Canon 50 mil one, we noticed the autofocus is actually fantastic.

It was very sharp, and it is quite a sharp lens. If you use it properly, It’s actually quite a good lens to work with.

The only issue with this lens is chromatic aberration if you took a picture and struggled with the dynamic range.

So, if you take a picture with a really bright background, it’s going to be like little bits of purple or green.

So yeah, chromatic aberrations are a pretty dodgy issue in this camp, this lens, but if you use it properly, you’re aware of that, then you can work with that and then fix it.

Now, this is absolutely fantastic; this is like my main lens for street photography.

What is recommended? Well, first of all, it’s cheap. So, I mean like it’s going to be non-stressful.

Bear with kindness around your mini bag. It’s sold; it’s built like a tank.

It’s got the metal ring in the middle of the mouth, nice solid plastic, so it’s not going to feel crappy.

I mean, the focus ring, a little bit loose, but it’s well I recommend this argument, this lens because it’s just a great all-around lens.

So overall I think that you should buy one of these if you haven’t got one yet.

You’re going to need, whether you’re doing street photography, product photography, portrait photography, event photography, or landscape.

This is a great thing for the landscape as well.

CANON 50 1.8 STM: (Best lens for Night Street photography)

  • Quite a sharp lens.
  • Amazing build quality.
  • The focus ring is quiet and smooth.
  • Fantastic autofocus.
  • Pretty cheap.
  • Some barrel distortion.
  • A lot of chromatic aberration.

Sigma 35mm F1.4: (Best Sony lens for Night City photography)

My new favorite lens and I will talk about what I love about it, what I don’t love about it, and whether or not you might want to purchase this lens.

The Sigma 35 millimeter F1.4 art lens is specifically made for the Sony e mount system.

First things focal length; when I’m talking about focal length, I constantly get asked by people, what’s the first prime lens that I should get, or get one prime lens, which one should I get.

And I constantly recommend to people to actually get a 35-millimeter equivalent lens.

So if you’re shooting on the Fuji system or an APS C system, it’s probably going to be a 23 or 24-millimeter lens.

If you’re shooting on a full-frame camera, it’s going to be a 35-millimeter lens.

I say this, and I recommend this to people because I genuinely think it’s the most versatile focal length for anybody to use.

It’s a perfect middle ground between being too wide or too tight to shoot just about anything.

It’s perfect for shooting things like landscapes or cityscapes when you need a little bit of a wider angle of view.

It’s also perfect for getting up closer to people and isolating a subject for portraits or street photography or things of that nature.

I always give this advice; I really liked that focal length because it allowed me to get a little bit tighter to isolate my subject a bit more and get a blurry background.

But because now I’m shooting on a Sony full-frame camera, I’m able to use a little bit of a wider focal length and still get that same subject isolation and that same bokeh.

So to speak, we’re able to blur out the background just about as much as I was with that other lens.

But also have a little bit of a wider angle of view; the thing that really defines that 35-millimeter f 1.4 lens is its unique ability to give you a little bit of a wider angle of view but still isolate your subject in the foreground.

Because of its f 1.4 aperture, you’re able to take a picture of your subject and give some context in terms of what the scene is like what’s going on in the background.

What’s going on in the foreground, and what does the environment look like.

But also, at the same time, because of that fast aperture, you can completely blur out that background and make sure that your subject is isolated and stands out as the subject of the photo.

In terms of sharpness, this lens is razor-sharp, every aperture including f 1.4.

I almost exclusively shoot this thing at F 1.4, because quite frankly, that’s what I spent the money on, and that’s what it’s made for.

I know that no matter what the aperture is, I will always have a tack sharp image.

So when I’m shooting portraits and F 1.4, as long as I now autofocus on the eye or the face of my subject, I know it’s going to be tack sharp.

I always know that this lens is going to be just about as sharp as possible. There’s not a ton of lenses out there that can be sharper than this one.

So this lens was originally designed for DSLR cameras like Canon or Nikon, or I think they made it for the Sony DSLR system as well.

But what sigma did was they actually built an adapter into the lens itself that allows it to work natively with all of Sony’s autofocus functions.

So when I’m shooting with this lens, I’m always shooting with either the face or the highest action when shooting portraits and just things and other people.

This lens is so good at autofocus it’s honestly just about as good as any of the other native Sony lenses.

I haven’t had any autofocus issues with it whatsoever. It’s super quick, super snappy, and super accurate.

The autofocus on this thing is fantastic, and not only is it a high performer but it’s also built like a tank.

This thing is a solid metal throughout, I feel like I could probably beat somebody over the head with this thing, and it would still work completely fine.

It is also one of the only Sony lenses that has a true manual focus ring.

So it has a manual focus switch, where you can switch the autofocus on or off.

And instead of being a fly-by-wire mechanism where you’re kind of electronically controlling the focus.

So if you’re a person that likes using manual focus for your photos, your videos, or whatever, this, in my opinion, is a much better solution than a lot of Sony’s native lenses.

Overall, the build quality of this thing is fantastic, and it’s just as good if not better than any of Sony’s native glass.

However, a side effect of this thing being built like a tank is that it’s big and heavy.

If you’re a person in the market for a 35-millimeter wide-angle prime with a super-fast aperture, I genuinely think this is the lens for you.

There are many alternatives out there, but most of them are so much more expensive and quite frankly.

The build quality and the image quality will not be much better than this lens; this lens is a rock star.

It’s a killer lens, and I am so happy with it; I’ve been loving all the pictures that I’ve been getting with it.

100% recommend this lens, and if you’re in the market for something like this, this will be a good move for you.

Sigma 35mm F1.4: (Best Sony lens for Night City photography)

  • Razor-sharp lens.
  • Superfast aperture.
  • Fantastic build quality.
  • Versatile focal length.
  • Wider angle of view.
  • Nice bokeh.
  • Autofocus is super quick & accurate.
  • Killer lens.
  • Great value for money.
  • Big & heavy.
  • Manual focus.

Canon 35mm F1.4: (Best Canon lens for Night City photography)

This lens came out initially in 2015, I’ve used it for several shoots over the years, but in January 2019, I decided to pick one up for a wedding I was shooting.

This is a lens for many photographers, especially stills photographers, because it covers so many different areas, has 35 mils you’re perfectly in between 24 mil and 50 mils.

This means if you are shooting portraits, you can get a fair amount in the background to tell many stories.

If you’re filming a video, you can use this for establishing shots.

This is an F 1.4 lens, which means not only is it great in low light, but it also means that it has an absolute beastly shallow depth of field.

This thing makes anything pop from the background; I love it personally for portraits and full body shots because it just makes the subject stand out completely from the background.

Because of the width and the shallow depth of field, you can separate your subject really easily, and it gives a really cool effect.

As I said, it’s just inside that natural scope when it comes to actual focal length.

In terms of the build quality of this lens, it is awesome. It feels like pretty much every canon L series lens it’s got that really nice, solid body.

My favorite feature of this is actually the focus ring; if you are doing video work, it will be easier for you to find that focus ring.

Another great thing about the focus ring is, it’s actually not too quick. Like a lot of lenses, as you turn them, they just focus really quick.

You can use manual focus with your hand and not need to use a follow focus without stretching too much or without the kind of doing it.

It’s also weather-sealed, which means you’re going to have no issue taking this out in harsh weather conditions.

And trust me, I have taken about in some of the harshest conditions, and it’s held up just fine.

I said ergonomically, this lens feels great, it’s not too heavy, not too light when you’re using it, it feels awesome it balances on the camera really well.

It’s F1.4, which means that you are getting a really awesome shallow depth of field; it’s amazing in low light.

It’s also an L series lens using an ultrasonic motor which means that the actual detail in the images is second to none.

Obviously, it’s one of the best on the market for this price point, you can get away better lens, but you will be spending a lot more money.

I use this lens; as I said, it’s very versatile in its ability to shoot very shallowly and at night, but it’s also super sharp and really, really great for products portrait and weddings.

It’s awesome for video; it’s great for pretty much everything, and at that 35 mils focal length, as I said, you’re getting more in the shot to be able to tell more of a story.

I can get a lot more in the frame, fill the frame with background and important information to help tell a story.

I absolutely love this lens; it is awesome for pretty much everything. If you’re a landscape photographer, I’d probably suggest you go a little bit wider, but something like this would do a great job.

This is one of my favorite portrait lenses, especially if you’re doing either a full body or half body shot.

You can get some really nice background separation because of the F 1.4 aperture, and it’s just the shallowest of the depth of fields.

Another thing that I absolutely love about this lens is that it’s super quick.

35 gives you that nice clean ground, everything from the ground up just massive, it’s an awesome crop, it’s an awesome size, and it’s just a really great lens.

It’s going to get very minimal vignetting, and because of that crop, you’re not going to worry about it even if you did get it.

It’s a great lens in an APS-C camera because you’re still going to get a very familiar and nice-looking photo.

Canon 35mm F1.4 ii: (Best Canon lens for Night City photography)

  • Beastly shallow depth of field.
  • Sharpness.
  • Awesome build quality.
  • The focus ring is quick.
  • Weather sealed.
  • Amazing in low light.
  • Awesome for the video.
  • Super quick.
  • Very minimal vignetting.
  • Good value for money.
  • Manual focus.
  • Bit pricey.

Which Nikon lens is best for Night photography?

Nikon 14-24mm f2.8: (Best Nikon lens for Night City photography)

It’s the new Nikon 14 to 24-millimeter f 2.8 s. It is only for Nikons news mirrorless cameras; it covers a full-frame image circle.

So, let’s see whether this new mirrorless camera version of Nikon’s classic professional lens can hold its head higher than the competition.

That zoom range of 14 to 24 millimeters means that this lens is wide-angle all the way, 14 millimeters being particularly extreme.

So it’s not the only lens you’ll want for general shooting. Still, the zoom range is pretty useful anyway, particularly for getting shots inside buildings of all sizes or landscape photography.

The byte maximum aperture of F 2.8 meters could also be useful for event photography and nighttime photography.

So you’re at least getting a very flexible optic for your money.

This lens’s build quality is really spectacular. The lens is a metallic solid feeling and too tightly assembled and looks incredibly cool.

This lens is not image stabilized, although most Nikon cameras nowadays have image stabilization built-in.

It weighs 650 grams, about 1/5 pounds, so it balances quite well on the Nikon cameras.

The lens is dust and moisture-resistant, and there’s a decent sealing gasket on the rear mount.

Then, there’s a customizable metallic control ring at the rear, which many people might set to control that aperture, and you will see the display changing accordingly as you turn it; it turns smoothly, without clicks.

Then we get a rubberized zoom ring, which also turns fairly smoothly, and at the very top, we get a rubberized manual focus ring, which worked with the focus motor putting responsively in my test.

This is, of course, an autofocus lens. Now autofocus speed is hardly a top priority on an ultra-wide-angle lens. Still, its autofocus motor is reasonably fast and accurate and makes a very quiet, wearing sound as it works.

However, if you’re shooting in video mode, it slows, right down, that becomes completely silent. As a result, meaning that you won’t hear any motor noise on a soundtrack from your camera’s internal microphone.

This lens comes with two different hoods. Firstly, a smaller one made of plastic and an excellent quality flocked inside lets you put on a normal lens cap.

And secondly, an extra-wide hood with its own extra-wide lens cap allows you to use 11 12-millimeter filters, which is awesome.

Overall, the lens has absolutely fantastic build quality here in every way, with some ingenious options for people who want to use filters.

With the widest angle of 14 millimeters and the brightest aperture of F 2.8 Right away, the sharpness and contrast in the middle of the image are absolutely incredible.

And over in the corners of really brilliant performance, they’re not quite as sharp, but very impressive.

At 2.8, that image quality is simply astonishingly good in the middle and over in the corners.

Overall, this lens’s level of resolution and contrast across the entire zoom range is consistent, brilliant; it’s just about the sharpest ultra-wide-angle zoom lens I’ve ever tested.

The Nikon lens is supremely dominant, if only over rather a small playing field. This lens could be useful for nighttime and Astrophotography.

And finally, Bokeh, despite its fairly bright aperture of F 2.8, this lens is ultra wide-angle in nature means that it won’t be anyone’s first choice for getting out of the figure’s backgrounds.

When you get them, they’re fairly soft, although difficult backgrounds may look a bit edgy.

So, the conclusion I’m reaching about this ultra-wide-angle zoom lens is that it is more or less the best I’ve ever seen so far.

It’s only real problems, distortion, and vignetting when shooting in far, but those are normal for this class of lens and easily corrected.

Its price is pretty excessive, though, to say the least. Is it a good value for money?

Because they’ll always be a market among photographers, professional photographers for the very best money, no object choices.

The Nikon lenses are a bit sharper, although I can’t say for sure, and the Nikon lens also has far superior build quality; if it’s within your budget, then it’s a dream, and it certainly comes highly recommended.

Nikon 14-24mm f2.8: (Best Nikon lens for Night City photography)

  • Super wide-angle zoom lens.
  • Sharpness.
  • Nanocrystal coating.
  • Great autofocus.
  • Best colors and contrasts.
  • Some distortion.
  • No weather resistance.
  • Big & heavyweight.

How do you photography city lights at night?

How do you shoot street photography at night?

We’re talking about low-light photography at night.

I want to share with you 5 tips for shooting at night because I know it’s a little bit difficult when you’re shooting outside in the city and its low light.

What are you doing, how can you achieve it for the best results? Well, let’s get started.

My tip number 1 is to observe your environment, first and foremost, even if you don’t have a good camera, you don’t have the best gear, it doesn’t matter if you’re able to find a good source of light in your city, could be a bus stop, could be a building, could be a bank and ATM anything that casts a nice light, someone, then you can use it for great portraits, or simply to light up the scene of someone passing by.

So that’s a quick tip, but I think it will change your photography if you apply a zip code.

Tip number 2 is going to be shooting as wide as possible. That might seem obvious, but it’s something super important to remember when you’re going to shoot the wide aperture, you’re going to have a lot more light, get into your lens, which means you can lower your ISO, you are going to have less noise in your shot, you know look better. You’re going to have more focus.

So, you’ll only have advantageous doing that, and if your lens doesn’t go to 1.8 or 2.8, well try with 3.5. But if you can invest in a 50 F1.8, I highly recommend it. It’s going to change your life.

Tip number 3, we’re going to be faster to drag your shutter speed. Make it as low as possible. But remember, if you have to freeze the subject, make sure you can. I will sacrifice noise over sharpness and every single day just make sure I’ve survived or frozen, so when I shoot at night. I’m usually around 180 of a second, and if people are moving really fast, I’m going to be around 125.

If people are not moving, or if I’ve seen that up very, very still, and if I want to do light throughout, obviously, we’re going to go way below. That’s a quick tip, trying to limit your shutter speed as much as you can train really trained and not being super stealth when you take good shots to guys.

Tip number 4, If you can get a bit closer when you’re shooting, you’re going to love it; super simple, super easy to do. I’m telling you, if you bring it that close, it is going to look good.

Tip number 5 is simply; I wanted to keep it super compact and, please, get out there and shoot; no video will ever replace that, get out there and go shoot try something different. Try something new, practice, practice, practice, practice.

What is the best ISO for Night photography:

So a bunch of people asked me for tips about night photography.

We’re just going to go over the settings or the basics of setting up your camera for photography.

So, generally speaking, your goal is to keep your ISO setting as low as possible because those higher ISOs always add a lot of noise into your photos and quickly start looking very unprofessional if it’s too high.

Especially if you’re using an older camera or a cheaper camera, the easiest and the most obvious way to give your eyes so low is to use a long shutter.

For this, you’ll obviously need a tripod. When you get your shutter open for several seconds at a time, you lost your camera to capture a lot of light, and it allows you to keep your ISO as low as possible, and you get minimal amounts of noise.

My recommendation would be about 100 milliseconds or slightly faster for street photography.

Another way and perhaps a better way even to lead more light into your camera is using a wide-open aperture, and in fact, what I’m doing in street photography, the first thing I change is to make sure I’m shooting wide open.

This is also why I recommend people to ditch their zoom lenses ditch their kit lenses, and get up, get a really nice prime lens to again open your aperture as wide as possible but let as much light as possible.

So just an example for settings, let’s say you’re shooting with a 50-millimeter f 1.8 at nighttime, on the streets. I would set my aperture just to f 1.8, and I would set my shutter speed at 100th of a second.

And then hopefully, I would get away with shooting whatever is almost necessary to fill up the exposure to a good enough point on my Sony the highest possible ISO that I’m comfortable using without getting too low in quality is about 6400, but that depends on the camera.


Alright, guys, so that concludes all the lenses we’re going to talk about today in this article.

Do you guys have any experience with these lenses? What are your thoughts on them?

Which is your best lens for Night City photography?

Is there a lens that I didn’t mention in this article that you love to use for night city photography?

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

Related posts:

10 Best Sony Lens for Night Photography:


Leave a Comment