Best Canon Lenses For Night Photography – 2020 Complete Round-up

| Last Updated: January 4, 2021

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The market today is packed with advanced, versatile, and different types of lenses meant for catering to different user needs. Different subjects require different types of lenses.

For example, small subjects like insects and plants need a macro lens with a huge magnification. Similarly, for shooting good, quality images, during the night, you need particular lenses that can transmit the maximum amount of light and create sharp images.

The following article will review the best Canon lenses for night photography.

Comparison of the Best Canon Lenses For Night Photography

  • Features a maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Weighs just 5.6 ounces
  • Construction features six elements in 5 groups
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  • Equipped with a maximum aperture of f/2.8
  • Comes with a built-in image stabilizer
  • Lens is constructed with 18 elements in 13 groups
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  • Lens construction is 14 elements in 11 groups
  • Maximum aperture of about f/1.4
  • Best for the money
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  • Best Canon lens for night sky photography
  • Has a maximum aperture of f/4
  • Features Air Sphere Coating and high-speed CPU
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  • Features 9-blade circular aperture
  • Best Canon night vision lens
  • Has a maximum aperture of f/2.8
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Do You Need a Specific Lens For Night Photography?  

The most common kinds of lenses you will find in the market range from prime to zoom lenses, and wide-angle lenses to ultra-wide lenses. Each has its own application and stands out in particular types of photography. The lenses we have reviewed and selected for night photography are particularly those with wide apertures. Lenses suitable for night photography are prime lenses, such as the 50mm lens that has a wide aperture, enabling better light transmission.

Meanwhile, we have also selected wide-angle lenses for night photography. Wide-angle lenses have wide apertures, which is one of the important factors to adjust when trying to increase exposure. Increasing the ISO can create grainy images while increasing shutter speed creates blurry images. Therefore, a lens with a wide aperture is the perfect choice for night photography.

How Do I Choose a Lens For Night Photography? 

To help you choose the right lens wisely, the following section has discussed some of the important factors you can look for in a lens. 


Make sure the lens you are buying is compatible with your camera body. Moreover, the mount type should also be fully compatible. A good lens has versatile compatibility that can go with various brands of cameras and also different mounting styles. 

Focus Capabilities 

A good lens has both manual and autofocus capabilities. Moreover, it should also have a durable and smooth focus ring and STM technology that ensures silent focusing operation. 

Wide Aperture

The wider the aperture, the better it is for night photography. Therefore, when choosing a lens for night photography, make sure it has the widest aperture possible. This allows it to take in more light and create more exposure without affecting the image quality like ISO or shutter speeds do. 

Built-in Stabilizer

Built-in stabilizers are very important for night photography. You will likely be capturing the night sky and the moving elements in it. In these situations, the shutter speed needs to be suitable to match the speed of the moving stars.  

Quick Take - Best Canon Lenses For Night Photography

Before we dive into our review, here are the best Canon lenses for night photography:

  1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
  2. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II 
  3. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II

Review of the Best Canon Lenses For Night Photography

In this section, we will take a look at the best Canon lenses for night photography. All of them have particular features and qualities that make them suitable for night photography purposes. 

Best Overall:
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens


  • Features both auto and manual focus capability
  • One of the most affordable lenses in the market
  • STM system to ensure smooth and silent autofocusing
  • Compatible with both crop sensor and full-frame cameras 
  • Lightweight construction featuring a high-quality plastic body


  • Some faced durability issues
  • Dead on arrival issues reported by users

What Recent Buyers Report  

A lot of buyers report that the lens works great in low-light conditions at the aperture setting f/3 and ISO of 800 to 1600. Moreover, buyers also report that its metallic mounts add great reliability and sturdiness to the body. The focus ring is also great, smooth, and functions reliably. 

Why it Stands Out to Us  

It is hard to find a versatile lens that has a good price to performance ratio. This 50mm one by Canon, however, has a fixed focal length, which makes shooting really easy. With its STM technology and metallic mounts, it is meant to add great value to a user’s experience with its affordable, yet with excellent features, too. 

Who Will Use This Most  

We would strongly recommend this lens to beginners and people with a relatively tighter budget. It is also an equally good choice for professionals who want to capture wedding events at nighttime but also don’t want to spend a hefty sum of money. 

Bottom Line

Overall, the lens features a really smart design with reliable and sturdy mounts, along with an amazing depth of field and versatile compatibility, as well. Regardless of the type of camera you are using, you can make great use out of this affordable, yet outperforming lens. 

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens


  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Supported by a generous 1-year warranty
  • Florine coating keeps it protected from fingerprints
  • Creates soft backgrounds with the 9-blade diaphragm
  • Features dust sealing and a water-resistant construction


  • Pricey model, more suitable for professionals

What Recent Buyers Report  

A lot of buyers have been using this lens for years and have noticed no changes in performance quality. This speaks huge volumes about the durability of the product. Moreover, the impressively positive comments on this lens suggest that it is a versatile product for multiple purposes and occasions, including landscape, portrait, and even event photography. 

Why it Stands Out to Us  

We find the exceptionally sturdy construction of this lens outstanding. With its smart sealing, it is resistant to water and dust, too. This not only makes it a durable and sturdy product but also gives a huge sense of safety to the user, as it can be used in all types of harsh conditions. 

Who Will Use This Most  

We think this high-end Canon lens for night photography is the perfect choice for professional wedding photographers. It’s also a great product for landscape photographers. Its price tag might put some beginners off, but the quality of the image it produces will make up for that. 

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the lens has an exceptional design that is meant to last you a long time. It has a nine-blade diaphragm that creates soft backgrounds, making your pictures unique and innovative. Moreover, it has exceptionally versatile features that are all backed by a one-year warranty. 

Best for the Money:
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens, Lens Only


  • Features both auto and manual focus capabilities
  • USM technology allows fast and smooth focus capability
  • Wide f/1.4 aperture makes it perfect for low-light shooting
  • Compatible with both crop sensor and full-frame cameras bodies 
  • Promises brilliant results for both landscape and portrait photography


  • Lots of delivery issues reported
  • Heavier lens than other products

What Recent Buyers Report  

Buyers of this lens are professional photographers who report that it creates outstandingly sharp and high-contrast images. Many buyers are also nighttime wedding photographers who report they were able to create well-exposed, well-balanced, vivid images at the maximum aperture and ISO settings. 

Why it Stands Out to Us  

From versatile compatibility to a long-lasting and reliable, build quality, this lens stands out in the market as a well-performing competitor. It features both auto and manual focus capabilities and also is compatible with all kinds of camera bodies and mount types. Therefore, all these features make it a great product for all types of users which stands out in the market. 

Who Will Use This Most  

Buyer reports tell us this is an all-in-one package that is suitable for all types of photography. Therefore, we recommend this top-notch Canon lens to any professional photographer who wants to invest in one lens that is fit for all purposes. 

Bottom Line

Though pricey, this Canon lens surely offers a lot to its buyer. Its compatibility, along with its multipurpose functionality, make it an outstanding product for anyone who needs to capture several kinds of images. It is a good lens for daytime landscape photography and also for portraits and bridal shoots, too. 

Best Canon Lens For Night Sky Photography:
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L

Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens


  • Super UD lens ensures minimum chromatic aberration
  • Significantly reduced flare in images reported by buyers
  • Ultra-wide lens, great for landscape and low-light images
  • Full-time manual focusing feature gives photographers control over the image
  • Versatile lens clothing including ASC and sub-wavelength coating ensure good quality images


  • Expensive product that might not be affordable by beginners and hobbyists 

What Recent Buyers Report  

A huge number of buyer reports for this product tell us that people were able to create some really innovative pictures with this lens. Buyers report that it creates minimum distortion in the images and also has very sharp image results. Other than for night light photography, buyers also used it for real estate purposes and stated that it truly does not disappoint. 

Why it Stands Out to Us  

The lens construction and design are truly exceptional. It features multiple coatings, along with super UD, that minimizes flare and ghosting issues. Therefore, it is able to create top-notch quality images. The full-time manual focusing is also outstanding, which again, makes this one of the best lenses in the market. 

Who Will Use This Most  

We think this lens is an all-rounder, meaning it is suitable for multiple occasions and photography purposes. It might not be the best for beginners, considering that it quite a bit for a beginner’s budget. But for professionals, this is one of the best choices.

Bottom Line

To wrap it up, this Canon 11-24mm lens is an exceptionally versatile product that can help you create great-quality, well-lit images in the nighttime. Its low-light shooting capability is phenomenal, considering the ultra-wide quality and versatile ASC lens coating guarantee high-quality images. 

Best Canon Night Vision Lens:
  Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III

Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens, Black (0573C002)


  • ASC ensures reduced flare and ghosting
  • Equipped with dust and water-resistant parts
  • Florine coating protects the front lens from dirt
  • 9-blade aperture creates exceptionally soft backgrounds
  • Minimum reflection ensured by the subwavelength lens coating


  • Low apertures create a heavy vignette
  • Some level of distortion in images reported by buyers 

What Recent Buyers Report  

Buyers of this lens report that this model creates much better, higher contrast images compared to prior models. Professional photographers also highly appreciate the balanced saturation and vignette in the image quality of this lens. Moreover, reports also tell us this is one of the sharpest lenses by Canon. 

Why it Stands Out to Us  

The most distinctive features of this lens are its design and construction quality. It features dust and water-resistant parts that fully guarantee longevity and also make it a reliable product. Moreover, the nine-blade aperture design, along with ASC lens coating, creates really high-quality images. 

Who Will Use This Most  

Since the lens has a sturdy and water-resistant build, we strongly recommend it to photographers who are always on the go. The dust-proof quality also makes it safe for use in harsh conditions and under rough usage. Other than that, it is a multipurpose product that is fit for all kinds of photography, including night photography. 

Bottom Line

To sum it up, the lens is a top-notch, professional-level lens designed to meet the criteria of good, quality professional images efficiently. With its advanced features, such as the nine-blade aperture and multiple lens coatings, it is meant to deliver amazing performance and quality. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying 

Going through the following considerations and checking for these factors can help you invest your money in the most suitable lens. 


It’s the best practice to ask the retailer or the seller about the warranty of the product. It is important to know the specifics of your product’s warranty in order to make the most out value this warranty. 

Brand Reliability

It is important to check how reliable the brand is. Without first considering the reliability of the brand in the market, you cannot trust their product to the fullest. Therefore, check to see how long the brand has been in the market and where it stands. 

Customer Feedback

To further make sure you are investing in the right product, make use of the customer reviews found on the internet. These reviews come from real buyers and users who have invested money and used the lens. Their feedback can help create a better understanding of the product. 

Build Quality 

Some lenses come with seals that protect them from damage and hence, ensure durability. The lens should be made with either high-grade plastic or metal to guarantee durability. Plus, you can go for lenses that have water, weather, and dust-resistant construction or sealing. 


The best lens for night photography will have specific qualities and features that make it appropriate for that purpose. This does not mean it isn't good enough for other general purposes. Therefore, investing in a versatile product with various functions is a good choice, since you can make good use out of it on various occasions. Go through important factors such as warranty, build quality, water resistance, and lens elements to be absolutely sure of your choice. 

People Also Ask

For a good experience with night photography, make sure to go through the following section, which answers and solves multiple queries that many first-time buyers often have.  

Is a 50mm Lens Good For Night Photography?

50mm lens is a prime lens that comes with a fixed focal length. It does not have a zoom and only a focus ring. Prime lenses are known for their wide aperture settings that allow them to create high exposure in the images it captures. Therefore, with its wide aperture, the 50mm lens is a good lens for night photography.

What is the Best ISO For Night Photography?

We recommend tweaking with the shutter speed and aperture settings of the lens rather than the ISO. ISO is ideally kept between 100 and 200, but for night photography, you can go for 800. However, the greater the ISO, the grainier the image will be. Therefore, go for a wide aperture and decrease the shutter speed to capture high exposure pictures at night. 

What Settings Do I Use For Night Photography?

For night photography, you will need to increase the light sensitivity of your lens. This means you will have to open the aperture to its maximum so it can take in more light. If you are capturing steady subjects, you can also set the shutter speed at a lower rate, so it transmits more light. Other than that, setting your ISO to 800 can be a good way to ensure excellent exposure and image quality at nighttime.

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Hi, I’m Andy. I’ve been taking pictures for just about as long as I’ve been old enough to hold a camera. I studied photography in community college after high school but was encouraged to follow a career path that was more stable. I do gigs here and there on the side but never took the leap to focus my efforts full-time. When Pam reached out to me through a mutual friend, I jumped on the opportunity to be a writer. Favorite type of photography: macro and street.