Best Lenses For Car Photography – 2021 Top Picks Reviewed

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You must have come across this term car photography a number of times. But have you ever wondered, what is it really about? Which lens do you need for it?

There are numerous options for a lens for automotive photography available on the market.

To ensure that you make the best decision possible, we invite you to read this article, which analyzes the very best car photography lenses.  

Comparison of the Best Lenses For Car Photography

  • One of the best options for automotive photography
  • Lightweight and compact for easy portability
  • Has a telephoto lens that is ideal for capturing car images
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  • Highly compatible with several different models
  • Real macro magnificent ratio of 1:1 so the camera sensor and original size will be the same
  • A silent and swift response is given by it for outstanding results
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  • Best for the money
  • Has a focal length of 50 mm and features STM
  • Has a maximum aperture of f/1.8
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  • Best lens for car photography Canon
  • Has a focal length of 70-200mm and a USM AF motor
  • Has maximum aperture of f/2.8
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  • Best Nikon lens for car photography
  • Has a focal length of 50mm and a maximum aperture of f/1.8G
  • Allows switching from auto to manual focus
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What is Car or Automotive Photography?

A layman will see a photograph as just a photograph. Automotive photography, however, will consider every photograph in a completely unique or different layout. The shutter of the camera will give you the opportunity of capturing perfectly the purpose and personality of vehicles. 

No doubt, the art of automotive photography is a completely unique subcategory. A specialized set of knowledge and skills is required for this kind of photography. There are many challenges to the field itself. The challenges are somewhat the same as other kinds of advertising photography. It is not just as simple as pointing your camera in the car and hoping to get a perfect shot.

Can Any Lens Be Used For Car Photography?

Car photography is very interesting. Moreover, the journey turns out to be very exciting when your kit is equipped with the right gear. If you plan to capture amazing cars in your camera as a professional or a hobby, you must take into account a few aspects to turn into a first-class photographer. In order to confidently take a professional shot, all you need is a good camera and a good lens.

For shooting cars, usually, lenses of 35mm and 85mm are used. Sometimes, 24mm can be too wide. This will distort the image of the car if you get closer, particularly during the shots. Meanwhile, 85mm is a perfect option for closer captures. 

Why Did These Lenses Make Our List?

With the plethora of products available in the market, what was so special about the lenses on our list? Well, have a look at what made them stand out:

Focus Options

The majority of lenses offer both autofocus and manual focus options. Depending on the car event you are covering, you might need both the focus modes. Thus, you should have a switch at the side, so you may select between the two. 

Maximum Aperture

The extent of increasing the size of the opening side is determined by the maximum aperture. It is the point where the light passes through. Poor lighting situations can be easily managed through wide apertures. This further helps in isolating the subject from the rest of the elements in the scene. Remember that these lenses are a bit expensive. Maximum aperture is mentioned within the lens’ names. 

Image Stabilization

It may be possible that the camera you are planning to use for your lens does not offer image stabilization. So no need to worry, you can cover it with your lens. Image stabilization is particularly needed for capturing shots while you’re on the go, trying to find the perfect angle. 

Review of the Best Lenses For Car Photography

There is a wide range of lenses available on the market; this variety is bound to make you confused. Still, if you have a hobby or are a professional, then our reviews will surely help you narrow down your options. 

Best Overall:
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras, Lens Only


  • Contrast and sharpness are stunning
  • Entirely redesigned optical way
  • Autofocus system is very fast and perfect
  • All-new image stabilizer for the best shots 
  • Smaller and compact than the older versions, so they are easy to carry


  • Image quality is not as per the expectations
  • Mounting ring for the tripod can be very expensive

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, the rear and front elements of this product are fluorine-coated. The pale gray shade gives it an appealing look. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens has three switchable IS modes that are better than the two in the previous modes. It offers excellent image quality and reduced focus distance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lightweight and compact lens is power-packed with a lot of features. Surely, it is a must-buy if you are into automotive photography. It is a telephoto zoom lens that allows you to take pictures even if you’re far away. Image stabilization also makes it a perfect choice. Air sphere coating helps in reducing ghosting and flaring.

Who Would Use This Most

This compact and lightweight lens has an amazing quality of build. It has robust construction and offers various features such as weather sealing. It’s the perfect choice if you are planning for outdoor shoots. Plus, grease and moisture that are common around cars are prevented because of the fluorine-coated lens. Cleaning the lens is also an easier job. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this new and upgraded lens features high-quality fluorite glass inclusive of ultra-low dispersing elements. Surely, all of these things will help you in improving your contrast as well as sharpness. The color fringing can also be reduced. If you have a somewhat generous budget, this is definitely a superior option for you. 

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras, Lens Only


  • Perfect option for macro shooting
  • Minimum focusing distance is 11.8” for close-up photography 
  • Short telephoto is designed for Canon DSLRs and can be utilized with APS models
  • Ghosting and flaring are minimized through the application of super spectra coats individually on every element
  • Color fringing and chromatic aberration are reduced greatly due to ultra-low dispersion for color accuracy and improved clarity


  • Autofocus is not up to the mark
  • Comes in defective packaging at times

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens is the perfect choice for all users; many buyers recommended it as an excellent tool for people who take pictures of cars. Users have found all of its features to be amazing, better than before, and certainly worthy of investing in.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Many features make this lens stand out. The camera shake is minimized with the help of an optical image stabilizer. So, people can work better in places with low light conditions as well as slow shutter speeds. The effectiveness of these cameras is ready for compensation to two stops. 

Who Would Use This Most

This runner-up lens is versatile. It provides outstanding results and images in portrait as well as in handheld movie productions. It is merely due to its shallow depth of field and the beautiful bokeh it promises. It has image stabilization that is built-in, and it has a lightweight design as well.

Bottom Line

To conclude, this lens is a smart and perfect choice for all the users who are looking for an exceptional lens with good features. Its image stabilization promises great results, and the fluorite covering on the components can protect it. Be wise in your selection! It will surely exceed your expectations.

Best for the Money:
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens


  • Compact size makes it easier to carry
  • Can help you capture high-quality car images
  • Silent focusing motor to record only the surrounding sounds
  • Wide aperture reduces the use of a flashlight and produces sharper images
  • With its STM feature, you can easily focus and capture smooth car movies or pictures


  • Makes noise while autofocusing 
  • Does not support international warranty
  • Some have reported that the focus feature stops working with time

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this is a great lens for low light shooting. One customer described his experience as epic. Users are so satisfied with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM that they are suggesting that other photographers get their hands on it. It is great for portraits and close photography.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were impressed by the great focusing feature of this product. The advanced STM technology allows capturing sharp images of moving objects. With this, there is no need to use a flashlight, as it captures 8 times more light than any other ordinary lens. We love it because of its wide aperture and great focal length.

Who Would Use This Most

This Canon EF 50mm can be used by people who want to take perfect photographs of cars. It is preferable for advanced users as they can handle it with care if any problem arises with its focusing feature. It can also be used for capturing live events and advertising.

Bottom Line

This lens’ compact size and f/1.8 wide aperture make it user-friendly for the EOS camera. The silent focusing motor and STM feature can allow you to take sharp and high-quality images. There is no need to use extra light with this lens. All in all, it is perfect for everyday use.

Best Lens for Car Photography Canon:
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens


  • Waterproof and dustproof
  • 4 UD lenses to prevent chromatic aberrations
  • Eight-blade fast aperture helps to focus better
  • From the L series and shows high performance
  • Ultrasonic motor for speedy and silent focusing


  • Shows connectivity issues
  • Does not have weather protection
  • Heavy compared to other alternatives

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are quite happy with their purchase as it has a great bokeh effect. Many of them have given a positive response to their purchase because of its ability to create remarkable portraits. Some customers have even appreciated its price, calling the product cost-effective.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This stands out to us because it is one of the best photographic lenses one could buy for car photography. The 4 UD lens helps the photographer kick off chromatic aberrations and take perfect pictures. We also love it because it has an ultrasonic and silencing motor to avoid recording any motor noises.

Who Would Use This Most

The maximum aperture of f/2.8 makes this Canon lens the most likable of its kind among professionals. This is a popular zooming lens that can be used for sports and car photography. It clicks high-quality portraiture and can also be used by beginners for clicking pictures of their cars.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens is beloved because of its remarkable features. Despite some cons, it has won the hearts of many. Along with an f/2.8 aperture, it has an ultrasonic motor to ensure good quality imaging. The eight-bladed aperture gives out sharp images and helps to focus better on objects.

Best Nikon Lens for Car Photography:
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens


  • Creates a beautiful bokeh effect in pictures
  • Optical elements in the lens have a multilayer coating
  • Aspherical lens to reduce almost all kinds of aberrations
  • You can switch from manual focus to automatic and vice versa
  • Built-in silent wave motor feature to speed up the focusing process


  • Images come out soft
  • Does not fit into some cameras
  • Auto-focus feature stops working with time

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers on several sites have given positive responses to this Nikon product. People are in love with the creamy bokeh, autofocus, and smooth photography that it promises. Many of them have deemed the quality of the lens as solid and impressive. The pictures come out soft and crisp.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love this product, and it stands out to us because it can create a remarkable bokeh effect in pictures due to its wide aperture. We have included it on our list as it can click some outstanding portraits. The aspherical lens minimizes aberrations to create maximum picture perfection.

Who Would Use This Most

The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus is a wonderful choice for beginners who want to take standard portraits of their cars. Since it has a built-in background blurring feature, it makes the object look more prominent. Therefore, this is ideal for car photography. It is also great for traveling; thus, travelers can also use it for clicking pictures with perfection.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this Nikon lens is the best if you want to create a creamy bokeh effect in your pictures. This will help you to make your object stand out and blur the surroundings. Moreover, the aspherical lens further adds beauty to the pictures and removes unnecessary aberrations.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Lens

For a car photographer, there is nothing more important than selecting and picking the right fancy camera lens. No doubt, this turns out to be the most important and beneficial tool for taking the best shots. The following are the reasons for investing in a good lens. 

Impacts the Scene

Lenses are responsible for impacting the scene. The background blur, sharpness, and depth of field can be controlled easily with quick burst rates. When you are worried about the outcome that is presented to your audience, your lens is the major player in that. So, to create beautiful photography, you need to invest in a great lens.


If you want to enjoy different kinds of photography, it’s better to invest in a new lens rather than a new camera. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it’s also the better choice since a lens doesn’t get outdated as quickly as a camera does.

Excellent Shots 

With a quality lens at hand, you can take the most stunning shots. Depending on your lens, you can even take pictures in low light conditions, making a quality lens a worthy investment. 


To conclude, you may have come across several lenses we have discussed above. All are good in their own way and can provide optimal results. Any one of them will make your automotive photography a perfect and wonderful experience. Invest wisely and smartly, as this is the most important step in taking the perfect pictures.  

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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.