Best Lens for Car Photography

best lens for car photography

The best lenses used for car photography are the ones with a focal length between 35 mm and 85 mm. They are good for showing natural curves, shapes and objects, and you won’t see any image distortion. You can use them for outside as well as inside vehicle shots.

If you are a car photography enthusiast, you’d love how easy it is to take highly professional snaps of a car. You just need the right lens.

However, selecting the lens for a particular type of photography can be a tricky task. You need to consider a few things before pulling the trigger.

While it also depends on your preference, a car photography camera lens should have the appropriate focal length, good aperture size, fast and quiet auto-focus, pleasant bokeh effect, and more.

Depending on the camera you are using, we have reviewed:

  • Best Canon lens
  • Best Nikon lens
  • Best Sony lens

Let’s have a look at our top picks.

Best Canon Lens For Car Photography

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens
  • EF mount; standard zoom lens; Comes with Lens Cap E77U, Rear Lens Cap, Lens Hood EW-83F, Soft Lens Case 1219.
  • Ultra-low Dispersion glass with Fluorite elements; inner focusing ring; full-time manual focus; aspherical lens
  • 24-70mm focal length

The Canon EF 24-70mm lens is an all-purpose lens, which makes it great for car photography as well. The wide range of focal length of this lens allows you to adjust the zoom according to your liking.  

The wide capture ability of the lens allows you to capture the landscape around the car as well. And, you won’t feel any distortions in the picture either. This is mainly because the minimum focal length of the lens is fixed at 24 mm.

The Canon EF is a versatile lens. Whether you want to capture a still car or take that professional motion shot, the 24mm – 70mm wide focal length range lets you do both.

The lens offers a constant f/2.8 aperture, allowing you to capture the car with a pleasant background bokeh.

Moreover, the elements of the lens are built with fluorite material, which allows them to pass maximum light for the best results. You won’t have to worry about aberrations either, because it’s an aspherical lens.  

And, as it’s a zoom lens, you can adjust the focus until you get that perfect shot. The camera also comes with a lens cap, a rear lens cap, and a lens hood for protection.

Plus, the build quality of the camera is great, and it works quietly.

However, when the lighting is not perfect, you may face a delayed focus.

Pros and Cons

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
  • 70-200 mm focal length and 1:2.8 maximum aperture
  • Lens construction consists of 23 elements in 19 groups (1 fluorite and 5 UD elements)
  • 34-Degree - 12-Degree diagonal angle of view

The Canon EF 70-200mm offers excellent image sharpness; it’s probably one of the sharpest zoom lenses out there.

The ultra-low dispersion glass in the Canon EF 70-200mm minimizes chromatic aberrations as it lets the camera focus the light effectively.

Moreover, you get an f/2.8 aperture, which is great for car photography as you can get a blurred background with a sharp, focused car shot.

And, as the aperture opening remains constant, the entering light will remain constant and you will get a great result even when you want to take a zoomed-in picture.

The range of focal length it allows is great; you can go broad with the minimum 70mm focal length or you can focus on the details with the 200mm focal length.

Plus, fast auto-focus is a feature that was missing in the previous Canon EF lens we reviewed. But, the Canon EF 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens offers top-notch auto-focus, making your photography experience more fun.

Another great thing is that it works great under low light. So, even if you like doing car photography in the evening, it will produce good results.

However, a little drawback is that it’s quite expensive. Plus, the build of the lens is pretty heavy, and it’s not sealed either.

Pros and Cons

Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art

Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Canon
  • High speed with large aperture
  • HSM (Hypersonic motor) and inner focusing system
  • Accessories include: Lens Hood (LH730-03), carrying case

The Sigma 35mm lens is another one on our list that offers impressive image sharpness. The f/1.8 aperture is perfect for photography under low light and has a low depth of field, which helps isolate the background from the car effectively.

As far as the build is concerned, the Signa 35mm lens is quite sturdy and feels good in the hands. The metal body makes the lens great for those looking for a durable lens.

Moreover, the lens offers fast auto-focus thanks to the hypersonic motor that also keeps it quiet. The accuracy of auto-focus is also great.

The best thing is, you get a high-quality, sturdy lens at a lower price than its competitors.

And, the camera lens offers a 35mm focal length, which is great for car photography as it’s wide enough to capture the surroundings as well.

The Sigma lens for Canon cameras come with a hood for protection and a carrying bag to carry it around with ease.

But, it only offers a wide-angle 35mm focal length, so it’s not the best option if you are not looking for a wide-angle lens. Plus, it delivers a rather heavy vignette effect.

All in all, with sharp and crisp images, and wide aperture, the Sigma 35mm lens is probably the best lens out there for SLR owners.

Best Nikon Lens For Car Photography

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
  • Fast, upgraded f/1.8, compact FX format prime lens. The picture angle with 35 millimeter (135) format is 47 degree and the maximum reproduction ratio is 0.15X
  • Focal length 50 millimeter, minimum focus distance 1.48 feet (0.45 meter)
  • Newly developed optical system with aspherical lens element, exclusive Nikon silent wave motor (SWM)

If you have a Nikon camera, you can use the Nikon AF-s Nikkor 50mm with it, as the lens is compatible with all the current line of cameras from the brand.

The sharpness of the Nikon AF-S isn’t the best. But, it isn’t bad either. It’s great for the price.

The lens is quite compact and lightweight, allowing you to easily carry it with or without the camera.

The best thing for car photography enthusiasts is that the 50mm focal length of the lens is the sweet spot. You get minimum distortion and a wide-enough angle to capture the surroundings of the car. It gives your images a more natural look.

In addition to that, the Nikon’s exclusive silent wave motor makes it possible for the lens to auto-focus quickly without producing any noise.

The f/1.8 aperture allows for a wide-angle view of the car, capturing the surroundings as well as providing good background blur.

Plus, the lens is quite sturdy and is quite good for low light conditions as well. Importantly, the lens comes at a pretty impressive price point.

However, the focal length of the lens is fixed, so it’s not zoomable. And, it doesn’t offer vibration reduction and an aperture ring.

Pros and Cons

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G

Sale -20%
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens
  • F mount lens/DX format. Picture angle with Nikon DX format 44 degree
  • 52.5 millimeter (35-millimeter equivalent). Rear focusing; Manual focus override
  • Aperture range: F/1.8 to 22; Dimensions(approx.) 70 x 52.5 millimeter

The Nikon AF-S DX is a lightweight and compact camera lens that comes with a hood, and rear and front caps for effective protection. Despite being lightweight, it’s made of strong polycarbonate and metal.

The lens offers manual and autofocus. Although the manual focus ring isn’t that smooth, you can rely on the auto-focus feature.

Moreover, the auto-focus of the lens is quick and quiet. It doesn’t, however, offer image stabilization, so it would be better to use it on a tripod stand.

The sharpness of the Nikon AF-S DX is also pretty good. And, as the aperture is f/1.8, you can capture a car with surroundings and with a good background blur. It also lets you take snaps in a darker setting.

Plus, the 35mm focal length is great for all kinds of photography. It gives a more natural view of the car to the viewers.

The images produced by the Nikon AF-S DX 35mm are very sharp and have great depth. And, it’s pretty fast; you can take a picture in a snap with this lens.

However, the lens is not zoomable. And, the focus rings aren’t of the best quality.

Best Sony Lens For Car Photography

Sony FE 24-105mm F4

Sale -14%
Sony - FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Standard Zoom Lens (SEL24105G/2)
  • G-lens design with 4 aspherical and 3 ED glass (extra-low Dispersion) elements, for high corner-to-corner resolving power throughout the entire zoom range
  • Constant F4 maximum aperture maintains exposure and depth of field throughout the Zoom range
  • 9-Blade circular aperture contributes to beautifully de-focused backgrounds. Format - 35 mm full-frame. Lens Groups / Elements - 14–17

The build of the Sony FE 24 – 105mm is fairly sturdy and comes with a well-sealed body. It has a focus ring and a zoom ring. The autofocus of the lens is quiet, accurate, and fast. However, it can get bad under low light.

Moreover, this Sony zoom lens has a pretty sharp image quality. The image remains sharp almost throughout the zoom, except near the 105mm mark.

The lens is also equipped with optical image stabilization, so you can capture stable images even if the camera vibrates.

Plus, the focus ring on the lens is pretty smooth and easy to use. And, although the zoom ring doesn’t have a zoom lock switch, you won’t be needing one.

The Sony FE 24-105mm has a wide focal length range, allowing you to adjust the zoom based on your liking. So, you can land on an optimum frame width for your car.  

In addition to that, the lens is designed with aspherical and extra-low dispersion glass, which ensures minimum aberration.

What’s more, the image quality of the lens is quite sharp, making it great for car photography enthusiasts.

However, the price is on the higher end. And, the f/4 is a slow aperture.

Sony 85mm F/1.8-22

Sale -8%
Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22 Medium-Telephoto Prime Camera Lens
  • Wide F1.8 maximum aperture enables beautiful defocusing effects
  • 9-blade circular aperture creates beautiful round defocused bokeh
  • ED glass element for corner-to-corner sharpness,Minimum Focus Distance:2.63 feet (0.8 m)

It’s rare to find a premium quality lens at a low price point. This Sony 85mm lens is one of those rarities. The lens offers everything at an impressively low price point.

The lens is lightweight and has a small size, which makes it portable. Not only that, but the build quality seems adequate as well.

Moreover, the image it produces is excellent. And the motor system of this Sony 85mm lens enables fast and silent auto-focus, which will make your car photography so much more fun.

Plus, the f/1.8 aperture is wide enough to let more than enough light in. This enables you to do car photography effectively even under low light conditions.

What’s more, the extra-low dispersion glass ensures minimum aberration. And, the 85mm focal length is great for car photography as you can get the background of the automobile with a bokeh effect.

Moreover, for a moving car, the longer focal length allows you to be at a fair distance from it, maintaining a safe distance.

However, you may not find the shipment packed in safe packaging.

To sum up – no matter which camera you are using, please consider these things:

How much surrounding area do you want to capture, the sharpness of images, the bokeh, whether you want a zoomable lens or not, the build quality, the price, auto-focus feature, effectiveness under low light, and the weight of the lens are important factors to consider.

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