How to choose the best lens for night photography.

Learn what makes a lens ideal for the low-light conditions of night photography.

What makes a good night photography lens?

Night photography is all about taking in as much light as possible, which means you need a lens with a wide aperture.

Aperture is how open or closed your lens shutter is. The wider it opens, the more light it lets in. Most night photographers prefer a lens that’s capable of f/2.8 or lower (wider). That will let in much more light compared to a kit lens with an f-stop of 4 or higher (narrower).

You’ll also need to consider focal length, which is how zoomed-in the lens is. For the most part, night photography is all about capturing dramatic landscapes or the night sky. Since the subject is so big, you’ll need a lens with a short focal length to get everything inside the frame.

What’s the best lens for night photography?

Because of its wide aperture and short focal length, most photographers prefer a 20mm f/1.4 lens for night photography.

The 20mm focal length is short enough to capture wide shots without creating an unwanted fisheye effect, and the extremely wide f/1.4 aperture will let you shoot on even the darkest nights.

In the end, it all comes down to aperture. As long as you can really open it up to let the light in, you can choose whichever focal length will give you the ideal shot for your artistic vision. In general, though, stick to around f/2.8 or wider for the best results.

Want more helpful photography tips and tricks?

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