Capturing the perfect shot at night is an art, and the right lens is our brush.

In low light conditions, a great lens can make all the difference between a good shot and a breathtaking masterpiece.

We’ve scoured the market for the best low light lenses that promise to transform our night photography and videography.

Whether we’re shooting under the stars or in the dim corners of a cityscape, these lenses will help us capture the night in all its glory.

Best Low Light Lenses

Let’s take a look at some of the top low light lenses for night photos & videos.

1. Sigma 35mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens stands out as a prime choice for night photography enthusiasts.

It’s renowned for its exceptional low light capabilities and sharp image quality.

Known for its wide aperture, the f/1.4 allows an abundance of light to hit the sensor.

This attribute makes this lens particularly adept at shooting in dimly lit conditions.

Durability is never a question with its well-crafted build.

Photographers can confidently venture into the night, knowing their gear will stand the test of time.

Boasting a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), it guarantees fast and silent autofocus.

This feature is a boon when capturing fleeting moments at dusk or dawn.

One can expect stunning bokeh with the nine-blade rounded diaphragm.

It offers that coveted blur effect, rendering lights beautifully at night.

   

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 also exhibits minimal distortion.

Clarity is at the forefront of this lens’s design ensuring your nightscapes are captured with precision.

Professional and amateur photographers alike appreciate its versatility.

Whether it’s street photography or astrophotography, this lens performs exceptionally well.

To further underline this lens’s capabilities, consider some of its key specs –

  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.4,
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 30 cm,
  • Angle of View: 63.4°,
  • Lens Construction: 13 elements in 11 groups,
  • Filter Size: 67 mm.

Users frequently comment on the impressive color rendition and contrast.

The Sigma Art series is revered for enhancing those critical elements.

With its consistent performance across various lighting situations, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is a steadfast addition to your night photography gear.

It’s not just a tool but a gateway to embracing the night’s elusive charm.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF (340-101) Bundle + Backpack + 64GB Card + Lens Case + Card Reader + 3 Piece Filter Kit + Cleaning Set + Flex Tripod + Memory Wallet + IR Remote + More
  • Bundle Includes: 1 x Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF, 1 x Pro Sling Backpack, 1 x...
  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • One FLD Element - Four SLD Elements - Two Aspherical Elements
  • Compatibility: Blackmagic Design Cinema, 1D X, 1D X Mark II, 1D X Mark III, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III,...

2. Sony FE 50mm F/1.2 GM Lens

In the realm of low-light photography, the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens stands out as an exceptional tool.

Its impressive f/1.2 maximum aperture is a game-changer – allowing photographers to capture striking images even in the most challenging lighting conditions.

This lens is known for its remarkable sharpness and clarity.

The advanced optics and coatings used by Sony ensure that every shot is a masterpiece, with minimal chromatic aberration and flare.

Autofocus performance is another area where this lens excels.

The Sony FE 50mm harnesses a high-speed AF system that locks onto subjects with precision and speed – a critical feature for night videography where every moment counts.

   

Let’s talk about build quality and handling – this lens boasts a robust design that professionals appreciate.

It’s weather-sealed, which is crucial for shooting in unpredictable environments often encountered during nighttime shoots.

Here are the key features that make the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens a superb choice for our night photography needs:

  • Extraordinary f/1.2 maximum aperture,
  • Stellar autofocus capabilities,
  • Professional-grade build with weather sealing.

Our experience with this lens confirms that the bokeh quality is truly exquisite.

The shallow depth of field at f/1.2 creates a dreamy, out-of-focus background that adds a cinematic quality to photos and videos alike.

The Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens also supports a de-clickable aperture ring.

This feature provides a smooth, near-silent aperture adjustment that’s ideal for video work where audio capture is as important as the visual elements.

Boasting not just technical excellence but also creative flexibility, this lens allows us to push the boundaries of night photography and videography.

Whether it’s a star-filled sky or the subtle nuances of twilight, the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens captures it all with finesse.

Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM Full-Frame Large-Aperture G Master Lens Black
  • Compact F1.2 prime lens w/ awe-inspiring G Master resolution and bokeh.Maximum Magnification ratio...
  • F1.2 max aperture for extraordinary shallow depth of field
  • Three (XA) Extreme Aspheric elements for stunning resolution
  • 11-blade circular aperture contributes to gorgeous bokeh
  • Compact, lightweight design: Ideal for both full-frame and APS-C2

3. Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm F/0.95 S Noct Lens

In our quest for the ultimate low-light photography gear, we’ve turned our attention to the Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens.

   

Its design is a nod to the legendary Noct lenses, renowned for their incredible performance in challenging lighting.

Our experiences have shown that the f/0.95 aperture isn’t just a figure on paper – it’s a doorway to stunning imagery in near-darkness.

This lens pulls in light like no other, enabling photographers and videographers to capture the night in all its glory.

Complementing its aperture, this lens boasts an array of features that make it a surefire choice:

  • Ultra-high resolution and sharpness,
  • Superb control over depth of field,
  • A build quality that speaks of professional standards.

Nikon’s dedication to optical precision is evident in every shot we take with the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens.

The detail retention even at the widest aperture settings is extraordinary.

What makes it particularly suitable for videography is its focus ring.

The ring moves fluidly, giving us the precise control we need for those critical focus pulls and transitions in dim light.

It’s not just about the technical capabilities though.

The bokeh rendered by this lens is dream-like, transforming points of light into a soft, ethereal backdrop that makes subjects pop.

Pairing this lens with the Nikon Z series cameras results in a formidable setup for night shoots.

The synergy between the lens and camera body enhances overall performance and handling in the field.

4. Canon EF 24mm F/1.4l II USM Lens

When it comes to night photography, we know the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM stands out as an exceptional lens.

Its wide aperture of f/1.4 allows a significant amount of light to reach the sensor, perfect for capturing vivid images under the night sky.

The build quality of this lens is something to admire.

Durable construction paired with weather-sealing ensures it can withstand challenging conditions that often accompany night shoots.

Photographers and videographers alike enjoy the 24mm focal length – wide enough to encompass vast landscapes but still suitable for capturing more intimate scenes.

The lens provides outstanding image quality with minimal distortion, which is crucial when shooting in low light.

Here are the key highlights of the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens:

  • Wide f/1.4 maximum aperture – allows for a shallow depth of field and excellent low light performance,
  • L-series optics – guarantees sharpness and clarity across the entire frame,
  • Fast and silent autofocus – thanks to the ring-type USM motor.

This lens isn’t just about taking stills; video performance is top-notch.

The USM motor ensures our footage is always in focus without any disruptive noise.

This feature is particularly handy when capturing the subtle sounds of the night.

Bokeh produced by the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM is smooth and aesthetically pleasing.

It helps in creating that desired separation between the subject and a beautifully blurred background.

Maintaining critical sharpness while navigating through dimly lit environments is made easier with this lens.

Our experiences prove that from wide cityscapes to star-filled skies, images remain crisp and detailed even at the widest apertures.

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens (2750B002) + Filter Kit + Cap Keeper + Cleaning Kit + More (Renewed)
  • Bundle Items Includes: 1 x Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens, 1 x 77mm 3 Piece Filter Kit, 1 x Lens...
  • Blending a favored wide-angle focal length with a bright maximum aperture, the EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM...
  • Besides the optical attributes, this lens is also distinguished by its fast f/1.4 maximum aperture...
  • Key Features: EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format - Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/22 - Two Aspherical and...
  • Compatibility: Blackmagic Design Camera 6K, 1D Mark IV, 1D X, 1D X Mark II, 1D X Mark III, 1Ds Mark...

5. Rokinon 14mm F/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens

When we’re venturing into the night with our cameras, the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC lens stands out as a stellar option for photographers and videographers alike.

Its ultra-wide angle of view captures expansive landscapes and star-filled skies with exceptional clarity.

The f/2.8 aperture is wide enough to let in ample light, making it suitable for the dim conditions of night photography.

Our images remain sharp from edge to edge, thanks to the lens’s built-in aspherical and extra-low dispersion elements.

Durability is another hallmark of this lens, with its robust construction that’s built to last.

Even though autofocus is not a feature here, the manual focus is smooth and precise, allowing us to fine-tune our focus to perfection.

Video performance with this lens is impressive as the 14mm focal length adds an immersive feel to our footage.

Smooth bokeh and minimal flare are characteristic of the multi-coated optics, providing our videos with a professional touch.

For those of us keen on technical features, the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC lens includes

  • Full frame compatibility – ensuring no crop factor,
  • IF (Internal Focusing) – maintaining the lens size while focusing,
  • UMC (Ultra Multi-Coating) – reducing ghosting and flare.

With its combination of a wide angle, robust build, and crystal-clear imagery, the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens is a valuable addition to our night photography arsenal.

Our experience is enriched by the vast scenes and detailed night skies we’re able to capture and share.

Sale
Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED Super Lens with Automatic Chip for Nikon F
  • Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED MC Super Wide Angle Lens - Lens Pouch - Front and Rear Lens Caps -...
  • Special chip allows the use of camera's focus confirm, auto exposure, auto metering, auto white...
  • Ultra wide-angle 14mm lens with an approximately 90deg. angle of view using an APS-C camera, for...
  • Lens is constructed with two ED lens elements, one hybrid aspherical lens element and one glass...
  • Minimal distortion and chromatic aberrations

6. Fujifilm XF 56mm F/1.2 R Lens

When it comes to night photography and videography, the Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens stands out for its remarkable low-light performance.

The large f/1.2 aperture allows for an impressive amount of light to reach the sensor, making it ideal for shooting in very dim conditions without sacrificing image quality.

The lens is also a favorite among portrait photographers.

Its focal length is equivalent to 85mm on a full-frame camera, which is perfect for flattering portrait work.

Durability is a crucial factor we consider, and this lens doesn’t disappoint.

The build quality is solid, providing confidence in handling and long-term use under challenging conditions.

One of the key features includes:

  • Fast autofocus system – ensures sharp images even in unpredictable lighting,
  • Rounded seven-blade diaphragm – contributes to a pleasing out of focus quality that benefits the use of shallow depth of field and selective focus techniques.

Even though the autofocus capability, the lens also provides a smooth manual focusing experience.

This is particularly useful when precise focus adjustments are needed for critical night scenes or video takes.

Optical design of the lens incorporates two extra-low dispersion elements that help to reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing for increased clarity and color fidelity.

Similarly, the use of one double-sided aspherical element minimizes spherical aberrations for improved sharpness.

Incorporating the Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens into our night photography kit means embracing its blend of speed, precision, and exceptional optical performance.

It’s a lens that not only enhances low light capabilities but also adds an artistic touch to our images through its unique rendering of bokeh and depth of field.

Fujifilm XF56mmF1.2 R
  • 35mm equivalent - 85mm
  • Max aperture F1.2, Min aperture F16
  • Number of blades - 7(rounded diaphragm opening)
  • Focus Range : Normal 0.7m - ∞; Macro 0.7m-3m
  • Filter Size 62mm. Max. magnification :0.09x

7. Olympus M.zuiko Digital ED 17mm F/1.2 PRO Lens

Moving forward in our exploration of the finest low light lenses, we must shine a light on the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO Lens.

Renowned for its exceptional aperture, the f/1.2 allows for a flood of light, critical for shooting in dimly lit conditions.

The compact size of the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm belies its robust construction – it’s a solid performer that’s weather-sealed against dust and splashes.

This resilience makes it ideal for night photographers who face unpredictable environments.

Not to forget, the lens’s focal length is equivalent to a 34mm lens on a full-frame system which offers a wide field of view.

The wider perspective is ideal for capturing expansive night skies or urban landscapes bathed in artificial lights.

Also, its optical performance is nothing short of stellar.

Advanced lens elements work together to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness with minimal distortion.

The performance factors of this lens include:

  • Exceptional aperture of f/1.2 for increased light intake,
  • Weather-sealed construction for reliability in adverse conditions,
  • Advanced optics ensuring top-notch image quality.

Its autofocus capabilities are quick and precise, harnessing Olympus’s MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) technology for silent operation.

Essential for videographers, this feature ensures that the lens does not disrupt the scene’s tranquility or the video’s audio integrity.

With its professional-grade build and high-end optics, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO Lens stands as a vital tool in our night photography arsenal.

Its wide-angle view paired with its large aperture makes it a versatile choice for both stills and video, capturing the night in all its grace.

Olympus M Zuiko 17mm f1.2 PRO Lens, Black (Renewed)
  • Z coating Nano (advanced zuiko extra-low reflection optical coating)
  • Easy access custom function button
  • Weatherproof construction is splash proof, dustproof, and freeze proof
  • Manual focus clutch
  • High-Speed MSC focusing provides fast and quiet focus performance

8. Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm F/1.4 Lens

As we jump further into the world of low light photography, we must mention the Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 Lens.

This prime lens is renowned for its outstanding light-gathering ability and is a fantastic choice for night photography and videography enthusiasts alike.

Crafted for the L-mount system, its large f/1.4 aperture ensures that we can capture sharp images even in the most challenging lighting conditions.

The lens allows us to create images with stunning bokeh, drawing attention to subjects with a pleasing aesthetic quality that only a fast prime lens can provide.

The build quality of the Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 is nothing short of exceptional, featuring robust weather-sealing for those nights when the weather is unpredictable.

Its reliability under adverse conditions makes it a trusted companion for outdoor nighttime shoots.

Let’s highlight some key features that make this lens stand out:

  • Wide f/1.4 aperture for superior low light performance,
  • Rugged design with weather-sealing,
  • Fast and silent autofocus system,
  • Compatible with L-mount cameras from Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma.

Optical performance is impressive with Leica’s certification, ensuring that we’re equipped with a lens that meets high standards in sharpness and clarity.

The Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 renders images that are crisp from edge to edge with minimal chromatic aberration or distortion.

Autofocus performance is both quick and accurate, enabling us to keep up with fleeting moments in the night.

This pairs perfectly with the lens’ optical image stabilization, ensuring even handheld shots remain clear and sharp.

Investing in the Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 means investing in a piece of gear that won’t let you down when the light does.

It’s an ideal lens for photographers and videographers who regularly work in low light and desire the premium quality that the S series lenses provide.

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Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 50mm F1.4 Lens, Full-Frame L Mount, LEICA Certified, Dust/Splash/Freeze-Resistant for Panasonic LUMIX S Series Mirrorless Cameras - S-X50 (USA),Black
  • Lumix S Pro camera lens - 50mm fixed focal F1. 4 l-mount lens, Leica Certified for Lumia S Series...
  • Lens elements – 13 lenses in 11 groups; 2 aspherical lenses and 3 ED (extra-low dispersion) lenses...
  • Lens focusing – a double focus system combines a linear motor and stepping motor to achieve sensor...
  • Lens filter size – 77mm diameter filter with an 11-blade circular aperture diaphragm
  • Rugged lens design – dust/splash*/freeze-resistant design withstands use under harsh conditions...

9. Leica Noctilux-m 50mm F/0.95 ASPH Lens

When it comes to sheer light-gathering prowess, the Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH stands in a league of its own.

Boasting the widest aperture available for 35mm format photography, this lens is a true masterpiece for night photographers.

Its f/0.95 aperture is not just about brightness; the Noctilux-M 50mm lens delivers a depth of field so shallow that subjects appear to leapfrom their backgrounds.

The effect is pure magic in low light scenarios, elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Leica’s commitment to quality transforms optics into art, and the Noctilux-M is no exception.

The build is both meticulous and robust – a quintessential example of craftsmanship meeting performance.

With the Noctilux-M 50mm lens, focus becomes an intentional and critical part of the composition.

The manual focus ring is fluid, allowing for precise adjustments even in fleeting moments under the moonlight.

Enhancing your night photography toolkit with this lens means embracing the following benefits –

  • Exceptional low light capability,
  • Signature Leica bokeh for stunning visual isolation,
  • Craftsmanship befitting professional standards.

While its price tag is on the higher side, investing in the Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH is about more than just owning a lens.

It’s about the promise of capturing night scenes with unparalleled clarity and emotion.

Leica 11667 Noctilux-M 50mm/f0.95 ASPH Normal Lens, Silver
  • Even the light from one candle can be sufficient for handheld photography.
  • As the world's highest-speed a spherical lens, the Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH exceeds the...
  • State-of-the-art optics and mechanical technologies have created a noticeable increase in lens...
  • Anodized finish

10. Voigtlander Nokton 10.5mm F/0.95 Lens (for Micro Four Thirds)

When diving into the world of Micro Four Thirds systems, we can’t ignore the Voigtlander Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 Lens.

Boasting an ultra-fast aperture, this lens is a powerhouse for night photography and videography, ensuring that even in the dimmest conditions, our images remain crisp and clear.

The build quality of the Voigtlander Nokton is exceptional, resembling the robust design of vintage lenses.

With a solid metal construction and a reassuring weight, it feels like a lens built to last a lifetime.

One of the key features we love about this lens is its manual focus.

It allows us to accurately hone in on our subjects, giving us full creative control, especially in low-light environments where autofocus systems may struggle.

Here are the characteristics that make the Voigtlander Nokton stand out in night-time photography:

  • Impressive low-light performance due to the f/0.95 aperture,
  • Manual focus for precise control,
  • A wide 10.5mm focal length, perfect for capturing expansive night skies – A click-stop feature for silent aperture control, ideal for videography.

The Voigtlander Nokton also exhibits minimal chromatic aberration and distortion.

This means our night shots are not only bright but also free from common optical issues, making it a reliable option for both photographers and videographers.

In terms of the bokeh effect, the 10.5mm Nokton delivers beautifully.

The smoothness of the out-of-focus areas in our images adds an additional layer of depth and atmosphere to our work.

Although primarily designed for stills, this lens is equally adept for video.

The click-less aperture ring allows for smooth exposure transitions, which is a critical feature when creating professional-quality video content in fluctuating light conditions.

Mastering Low Light Photography & Videography

Photographing or shooting video under the stars, or capturing city lights at night, can be challenging but incredibly rewarding.

To achieve the best results in low light conditions, one must understand the interplay between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

Lower ISO settings will result in cleaner images with less noise.

But, in low light situations, boosting our ISO is a necessary compromise to avoid underexposed shots.

ISO values between 800 to 3200 prove useful but it’s essential to note that higher ISOs tend to introduce more noise.

A wide aperture – think f/2.8 or wider – is our best friend during nighttime shoots.

Lenses like the Voigtlander Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 not only allow more light to reach the sensor but also offer a shallow depth of field for that sought-after bokeh effect in our images.

To reduce the chances of blurry images caused by camera shake or moving subjects, using a sturdy tripod is non-negotiable.

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a remote shutter release or your camera’s timer to eliminate camera shake when pressing the shutter button,
  • Engage in manual focus for more precise control, as autofocus systems can struggle in low light.

Balancing shutter speed is a delicate art in these scenarios.

Slow shutter speeds can create motion blur, making them perfect for capturing light trails or the fluid movement of water.

Yet, they may not be suitable for photographing moving subjects.

Expanding our understanding of these settings complements the inherent capabilities of lenses like the Voigtlander Nokton.

It’s through this synergy of knowledge and equipment that we can push the boundaries of what’s possible in low light photography and videography.

Top Low Light Lenses – Wrap Up

We’ve armed you with the knowledge you need to excel in low light photography and videography.

Embracing lenses like the Voigtlander Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 means you’re well-equipped to capture stunning imagery even when the light is scarce.

Remember, mastering the dance of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is key to leveraging the full potential of these incredible lenses.

So grab your tripod, fine-tune your manual focus skills, and step into the night.

Let’s create breathtaking visuals that shine, no matter how dark the setting may be.