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Best Lens for Car Photography in 2021 – Top 6 Picks & New Buyer’s Guide

Last Updated on April 2, 2021 by Dion Lewis

One beautiful thing with cameras is that they support interchangeable lenses providing the photographers with a variety of choices concerning the lenses they want to use. This ensures that the needs of all photographers are catered for. Therefore, you can use one camera for every type of photography. All you need to do is get the best lenses for each type of photography that you will be engaging in. When dealing with car photography, you have to ensure that you have the best lens for car photography. With the high number of lenses in the market today, as long as you are willing to invest in the best car photography lenses, you will always get one for your car photography.

Nikon Lenses for Car Photography Reviews

1. Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Lens

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

  • It should be very affordable for any car photographer.
  • It should be created to make it dustproof and moisture-proof.
  • It should be compact and lightweight.
  • It should have a comprehensive center of sharpness.
  • The lens should be very sharp.

In case you are looking for a lens for car photography that will promise you smooth photography at all circumstances, this is the best lens for you. It is also one of the best 50mm lenses that have ever been launched by Nikon. This lens features a silent wave motor and has a unique optical formula with seven elements in its six groups, including an aspherical element. The lens also has a full-time manual autofocus override and a lens mount that does not get affected during any weather since it’s weatherproof. It also features an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades.

This lens is also one of the lightest lenses which balance on the Nikon D700 digital SLR camera. It also feels very great and has an outer barrel and filter thread made of quality plastic material. Its focusing ring is sufficient, and it has ridges and is rubberized. Since the lens is a G series lens, it does not have an aperture ring. However, this does not affect photographers when taking photographs, unless they are using an old camera.

Besides, the lens also does not have a vibration reduction feature and a focus limiter. However, the only control that you can place on the barrel is the focus mode switch, which uses manual or auto and manual settings. In case you are working in a dusty environment, the lens will be safe since it is sealed, making it dust and moisture-proof. Despite the size of the Nikon camera you are using, this lens is perfect for you. Although it is very cheap, it has a wide center of sharpness, and it is very sharp.


  • It has a spherical element.
  • It is affordable.
  • It has a silent wave motor.
  • It is light and is sharp.
  • It is optimized with sharp edges.
  • It is sealed and hence moisture-proof and dustproof.


  • Does not have an aperture ring.

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2. Tamron 35mm F/1.8 Lens

Tamron AFF012N-700 SP 35mm F/1.8 Lens

  • It should have an on and an off switch to control the vibration compensation.
  • It should have a DI VC USD feature to ensure that the autofocusing is silent.
  • It should provide perfect image stabilization.
  • It should be weather sealing.
  • It should last for a very long time.

This is a lens for car photography that can be used along with any full-frame camera that is from the Canon, Sony, and Nikon brands. It has a maximum aperture of about f/18. You can always count on this lens when it comes to image stabilization since it utilizes vibration compensation technology.  It also has a promising ultrasonic focus motor that makes its autofocus operation to be very quiet.

The lens also has a fluorine coating that prevents it from getting any moisture, fingerprints, and dust when you are taking your photographs in harsh conditions. This ensures that the lens does not get damaged easily, and hence it is very durable.  Unlike most of the lenses for car photography, this lens is huge and very bulky.  It measures around 8 cms and weighs 480 grams. Therefore, the lens can only be used over very small APS-C bodies. However, it matches with the full-frame cameras from both Nikon and Canon.

Despite its weight, it is made of very quality materials, and when you are holding it in your hands, the lens feels very solid due to its metallic outer barrel and the filter thread.  This lens also features an off and an on switch that helps control the vibration compensation. This ensures that any images taken are well stabilized.  For silent auto-focusing, the line features the DI VC USD element.  It is also very cheap, and hence even a beginner can afford to buy the lens.  It also comes with image stabilization and weather sealing features.


  • It’s affordable.
  • It produces quality images.
  • It has a fluorine coating.
  • It has a silent autofocusing.
  • It is durable.
  • It has a high-speed AF with USD (ultrasonic drive)


  • It is large and bulky.

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Canon Lenses for Car Photography Reviews

3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L Lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens

  • It should have robust construction.
  • It should be lightweight and compact.
  • It should come with a lens cap, lens dust cap, lens hood, and lens case.
  • It should be a telephoto zoom lens.
  • It should have an appealing look.
  • It should be affordable.

If you are looking for one of the best lenses for car photography that will have an appealing look, this is the lens that you should buy. This lens is a telephoto zoom lens with three switchable IS modes, which makes it one of the unique lenses in the market. With this lens, you can take very quality images during your car photography with a reduced focus distance. It also has fast and perfect autofocus that makes it the answer to your car photography needs.

The lens is also very lightweight and compact but has so many power-packed features. You can take photographs of moving cars, even when you are far away without worrying about the quality of the images. Its image stabilization also makes it one of the best lenses for car photography. It comes with an air sphere coating that reduces ghosting and flaring when taking photographs. Its construction is robust and it has weather sealing features, making it a perfect lens for outdoor car photography.

It also has a fluorine coating making it a grease, dust, and moisture resistant lens for car photography. Without the dust and oil, cleaning this lens becomes one of the most manageable tasks you can ever do. When buying this lens, it comes with a lens cap, lens dust cap, lens hood, and lens case. It is also made of very quality materials that make it more durable even if you take your photographs in very harsh conditions. Its inner focusing system comes with an ultrasonic ring matter and has a manual focus. With the 5 UD and one fluorite element, you can be guaranteed high-quality images.


  • It is affordable.
  • It has a fluorite coating making it dust, moisture, and grease resistant.
  • It has an air sphere coating that minimizes flare and ghosting.
  • It takes adorable and quality images.
  • It is compact and lightweight.
  • It’s a telephoto zoom lens.
  • It is durable and can be used in harsh conditions.


  • It has a manual focus.
  • It’s mainly for outdoor car photography.

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4. Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 Lens

Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens

  • The lens should be affordable.
  • The lens should have a dustproof and splash-proof coating on the rear and the front of the lens.
  • It should be lightweight and compact.
  • It should have a decent autofocusing.
  • The focal length of the lens should effectively increase.

This is one of the best lightweight and compact telephoto zoom lenses for any car photographer using full-frame DSLR cameras.  This lens can increase the focal length depending on your needs and features a rounded 9 blade diaphragm that ensures that it creates a blur around the area that is out of focus.  The lens comes with optical stabilization and a Hypersonic motor, which helps the autofocus to function silently.  The other features that make this one of the best lenses for car photography include a zoom lock switch,  a manual override option, and a lens coating.

The manual override option can be activated using the focus ring as you use the autofocus while the lens coating prevents the lens from getting any water when you are using the lens. These coatings are found on the rear and the front of the lens. This makes it one of the safest lenses that you can have for your car photography. The lens also has a construction that is both splash-proof and dustproof.

It is very light in weight, which makes the lens very compact and best for anyone who will be having outdoor photography. When you mount the lens on a full-frame camera, it can hold on for a long time without shaking. As the name suggests, the lens extends from 100mm to 400 mm when it is zoomed. The lens also has a very exceptional build, including a high-quality plastic shell and a few parts made of quality metal and glass. This lens is one of the few that you can control that vibration since it comes with a vibration reduction feature activated using the OS switch found on the lens barrel.


  • It is affordable.
  • It is light, and hence you can carry it from one place to another.
  • Its auto-focusing is decent.
  • It has an effective built-in optical image stabilization.
  • It is dust and waterproof.
  • It is durable.
  • It has a vibration reduction feature.


  • When the aperture is wide open vignetting can be seen.

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Sony Lenses for Car Photography Reviews

5. Sony 85mm F/1.8-22 Lens

Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22 Fixed Prime Lens

  • The lens for car photography should be lightweight.
  • It should be dust and moisture resistant.
  • It should come with a double linear motor.
  • It should be of medium size.
  • It should have a telephoto zoom lens.

This is the best lens for car photography that is compact and lightweight for any photographer. The lens is a telephoto zoom lens, and hence it allows you to take any photographs of cars that are far away from you without having any blurriness. It also has perfect image stabilization, making it one of the best choices for car photography. It has a wide aperture that ensures photographers have a beautiful defocusing effect. Its aperture is also a 9-blade circular that creates fantastic round defocused images.

The maximum magnification ratio of this lens for car photography is around 0.13 and has an angle of view of 29 degrees. The best thing about this lens for car photography is that it has a double linear motor system that makes your focusing not only quiet and precise but also very fast. It also comes with a customizable focus hold button and a full and responsive focus ring. The fact that it is moisture and dust resistant makes it one of the most outstanding and versatile lenses for car photography today.

It is a perfect match for you if you are a car photographer who takes photographs during outdoor events. Cleaning this lens is also very easy, which ensures that you do not interfere with it during the cleaning. It also gives you a short time to do the cleaning. Although this lens for car photography is costly, it is worth buying since it has the quality and customizable features.


  • It is a telephoto zoom lens.
  • Its aperture creates beautiful images.
  • It has a double linear motor for fast, quiet, and precise focusing.
  • It can be used in outdoor car photography.


  • It is expensive.
  • It is mainly for outdoor car photography.

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6. Rokinon 12mm F2.0 Lens

Rokinon 12mm F2.0 Ultra Wide Angle Lens

  • It should be compatible with all APS-C Sony E Mount interchangeable lens cameras.
  • It should have a Nano Coating System.
  • It should be affordable.
  • It should capture lovely and superior images.
  • It should have sagittal lines to represent the contrast.

This is one of the unique lenses for car photography that you will find in the market today. Unlike most lenses, this lens is specially made for cameras that are mirrorless, which have compact systems and a very short focal distance without any reflex mirror. Its speed is notable and perfect for taking photos of cars moving at breakneck speed despite the distance between the car and the photographer. Its field of view is also another feature that makes this lens for car photography to be outstanding. It is almost 99 degrees and has a fast aperture of about f/2.0.

The lens is made of very quality plastic material and has a quality metallic lens mount, making it very durable. When the lens is clicked, it does so very firmly against the lens mount, and you never notice any side-to-side play but a very slight amount of rotation play. With the rear-focusing design of the lens, the lens barrel never moves when you focus, making it easier for you to take charming photographs of your cars. Apart from vehicles moving at a very high speed, this lens for car photography can also be used to capture cars moving at a slower speed.

The lens is very compatible with all the APS-C Sony E Mount interchangeable lens cameras. For increased light transmission and reduced internal reflection, the lens has a Nano Crystal System that is inbuilt. It also utilizes 2 Aspherical and 1 ED lens elements that make it easy to take quick but superior photographs. It has a manual focus, unlike the other lenses that have automatic focus.


  • It is affordable.
  • It is compatible with all APS-C Sony E Mount interchangeable lens cameras.
  • It is durable.
  • It has a Nano Coating System that increases light transmission and reduces internal reflections.
  • It captures very superior images.


  • It is for the mirrorless camera only.
  • It has a manual focus.

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Best lenses for car photography: Buying Guide

Selecting the right lens for car photography plays a very vital role when it comes to your profession as a car photographer. This is because the lens that you buy for your camera will significantly influence the type of images that you will have by the end of the day. Therefore, it is always essential to ensure that you are selecting the right lens for your car photography every time you need a lens. However, most car photographers do not know that there are different lenses and that not all lenses can be used for car photography. This makes them have inferior images by the end of their car photography session. In case you are not sure about the lens that you should buy for your car photography, it would be essential for you to ensure that you make good use of the following buying guide for car photography:

1. Consider the image stabilization of the lens

Most of the cameras that you will find today do not offer image stabilization features. Therefore, you have to ensure that you look for the lens with your camera’s will provide image stabilization. This is because when you are a car photographer, most of the time that you will be taking your images, you will be capturing them as you are moving, and hence you will have to ensure that you get the perfect angle to capture the images. Without image stabilization features in your lens, then you will not love what you capture.

2. Check the aperture of the lens

The aperture of the lens is the opening of the aperture. Some lenses have a wider opening than others. The maximum aperture determines the aperture of the lens.  The aperture is the point that allows light to pass through, and hence it plays a significant role in your car photography.

3. Find out the type of focus option

Most of the lenses for car photography that you will find today will have manual focus and autofocus options.  The type of car event you will have will be best if you have a lens with the two modes, and hence it is worth confirming when you are buying your lens for car photography.

4. Consider the size and weight

These are two essential things that you need to be careful with when buying your lens for car photography. Ensure that you purchase a lens that will not be too bulky since most of the time, you will be carrying your camera as you take photographs.

5. Consider the cost

Lenses for car photography cost differently. Some are cheap, while others are expensive. Ensure that you select the car photography lens that you will afford to buy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: What to look for when buying a lens for car photography?

Ans: The lenses are one of the essential pieces of every photographic equipment. This is because there is no camera or any equipment for that matter that will take perfect photographs without having a reliable lens. However, the availability of so many options for lenses on the market today makes it very difficult for people to select the best lens they should use in their photography. Thus, there are several factors one must consider so that they can choose the right lens. In case you are a car photographer, you have to ensure that you consider the following factors anytime you select a lens for car photography.

1. The type of lens

When selecting a car photography lens, you have to ensure that you consider the type of lens you are choosing. Mainly there are two types of lenses, which include zoom lens or prime lens. These two types of lenses can be used in car photography, but they tend to differ. For instance, the prime lenses have a fixed focal length, while the zoom lenses have a variety of focal lengths.

They also differ in size since the zoom lenses are more extensive as compared to the prime lenses. Consequently, the flexibility of the zoom lenses makes it easy for you to use them in almost every type of photograph. This is because you can zoom with it, and therefore the zoom lens does not require multiple lenses.

2. The type of sensor

The other thing that most people will forget to check is the sensor type of the lens they are buying for car photography. The type of sensor in the lens that you buy will determine the angle of view of your camera. The smaller the sensor, the smaller the angle of view. On the other hand, the larger the sensor, the larger the angle of view. This is why you have to ensure that you consider the type of sensor that your lens has before you purchase it.

3. Aperture

This is another essential feature that every person buying a lens for car photography must check. The aperture is responsible for determining the amount of light that the lens will allow the sensor. Ensure that you look at the width of the aperture of the lens that you will be buying for your car photography.

4. Image stabilization

The other thing that you have to look for when you are buying your lens for car photography is image stabilization. This is because you do not want to take images that are blurred. If you are taking photos of moving cars at any time, you have to ensure that you select the lens with a wider aperture. It will allow you to use faster shutter speeds when taking photographs of moving areas at any speed.

Q: What do you need to know about lenses for car photography?

Ans: The lens is a part of your camera that allows light to pass through to the camera sensor creating the final image. The lenses come in different sizes, shapes, and specifications, which makes them used in different scenarios.  Therefore, when you are buying your lens, you have to consider the scenarios you work in.

In case you take car photographs, you should buy the lenses that are meant for car photography. There are also lenses for travel photography, food photography, wedding photography, and product photography. When buying lenses for each of these types of photographs, you have to ensure that you know several basics to make the right selection. Some of the basics that you should know when you are buying lenses for car photography include:

 1. The types of lenses

When you are buying your lens for car photography, you will notice the different types of lenses you can buy. Some of these types of lenses include lenses with wide-angle, telephoto lenses, and prime photos.

2. Wide-angle

The wide-angle lenses are wider than 24 mm and always allow you to capture more in your images.  Such car photography lenses can capture the inside of cars and photographs with so many vehicles.

3. Telephoto

The telephoto lens is also called the zoom lens. This is because it allows the photographer to zoom into the subjects to magnify the image.  Most of the lenses for car photography that you will find in the market today are telephoto lenses, and with them, you can capture an image that is a distance away from you.

4. Prime lens

The prime lenses are the lenses that have fixed focal lengths.  This means that you can never adjust or change the focal length of these types of lenses. They also allow wide apertures, making sure that the background is blurred, creating emphasis on the cars that you are capturing.

5. Features of lenses

The other basic thing that you should know about car photography lenses is their features that make them better. Some of these features include:

  • Manual focus or autofocus.
  • Aperture.
  • Vibration reduction.
  • Dust and moisture-sealed.
  • Type of connector either plastic or metal.
  • Weight and size.


As mentioned earlier, a lens is an important accessory that your camera will always require. Therefore, always ensure that you consider your photography needs when you are buying your lens. In some cases, it will be necessary to invest in a costly lens, but it pays to have the best lens. In your car photography, your images’ quality will be determined by the quality of the lens that you buy. Ensure that as you buy, you make the right selections. The fact that there are so many types of lenses for car photography in the market today makes it hard for you to select the best lens when you are in a hurry. Therefore, take your time and consider using the buying guide provided above.

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Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

Photography is my life and I have taken it as my profession after my graduation.

I am a professional, I almost cover everything from fashion, architecture, editorial topics, and corporate lifestyle.

I have worked with clients such as CNN, Alabama State University, Steelcase, LiveStrong, and more.

I'm based in Alabama. If you need my service, just feel free to contact me.

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