The Best Lenses for Car Photography

Taking photos of your car – or of vehicles at an auto show – is a lot of fun. With so many types and models of cars, the diverse range of locations, and the people at events, car photography is more than just taking photos of cars.

5 Best-Selling Lenses for Car Photography

The best lens for car photography isn’t a question that you can answer with a straightforward response. Many factors need to be considered, along with the type of camera system you’re using, and your creative style, in order to maximize your car photos.

This guide will help you narrow down those aspects to choose the 5 best lenses for car photography, highlight what to look for in a new camera lens and how it can benefit your car photography.

Reviews of 5 Top Rated Heavy Lenses for Car Photography

1. Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Canon

Sigma 35mm F14 Art 3.03 X 3.03 340101
Product Highlights:
  • high speed with large aperture
  • hsm (hypersonic motor) and inner focusing system
  • accessories include: lens hood (lh730-03), carrying case
  • 35 mm focal length, lens not zoomable
  • 67mm filters

Our eyes are similar to a 35 mm camera lens in what we can see, how it can selectively focus on an object, and how fast it can respond to action. This 35 mm lens from Sigma for Canon DSLR camera systems features a fast autofocusing motor drive, a floating internal focusing system, two types of glass elements, and a maximum aperture of f/14 to make it great for low light settings. It has a filter thread size of 67 mm.

2. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 G for Nikon

Nikon AFS Nikkor 50mm 50mm F/1.8G Lens
Product Highlights:
  • fast, upgraded f/1.8, compact fx format prime lens. the picture angle with 35 millimeter (135) format is 47 degree and the maximum reproduction ratio is 0.15x
  • focal length 50 millimeter, minimum focus distance 1.48 feet (0.45 meter)
  • newly developed optical system with aspherical lens element, exclusive nikon silent wave motor (swm)
  • m/a focus mode switch, filter thread 58 millimeter, autofocus: yes. dimensions (approx.) (from the camera lens mounting flange): approximately 2.83 inches diameter x 2.01 inches
  • optimized for edge to edge sharpness on both fx and dx format d slrs

This is a prime lens made by Nikon for Nikon camera bodies. It has a fixed focal length of 50 mm and has an incredibly fast autofocusing motor drive. With a fast and wide aperture of f/1.8, it is ideal for low light conditions and for shooting your subjects with a shallow depth of field for extra clarity and focus. The lens has a non-spherical surface meaning it is slightly curved. This design allows it to capture sharp and clear images with less optical aberrations and disruptions, while also helping to correct distortion. It has a 58 mm filter thread size.

3. Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon:

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A popular do-it-all lens is this zoom lens from Canon. It is the go-to choice for many sports and wildlife photographers – and motorsport and car photographers – thanks to its fixed f/2.8 aperture and water and dust resistant design. With four lens elements, a fast autofocusing motor drive, and a 1.5-meter minimum focusing distance, this lens will take your car photography to the next level. It is one of Canon’s most sought-after lenses. It has a 77 mm filter thread.

4. Sony FE 24-105 mm f/4.0 G OSS Standard Zoom Lens for Sony

FE 135mm F18 G Lens For Sony E-Mount
Product Highlights:
  • 135mm w/ f1.8 max aperture maintains exposure and depth of field
  • g master design for extraordinary sharpness and breathtaking bokeh
  • xa, super ed and ed elements achieve edge-to-edge high resolution
  • 11-blade circular aperture contributes to gorgeous bokeh
  • four xd (extreme dynamic) linear motors for fast, quiet, and precise focus

The Sony camera systems – Mirrorless Cameras – have this fantastic 24-105 mm standard zoom lens in their collection. With a constant maximum aperture of f/4.0, it can maintain excellent levels of exposure and depth of field throughout its zoom range from 24 mm to 105 mm. This lens features a 9-blade aperture construction with 14-17 elements, and it requires a 38 cm minimum focusing distance. It also boasts a fast and quiet autofocusing motor drive and it has a large 77 mm filter thread. This lens is ideal for general car photography and will shine most for action photography duties.

5. Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon

Sigma 85mm F14 DG Nikon F 321955
Product Highlights:
  • the sigma 85mm 1.4 dg hsm art is the latest addition to the world renowned sigma global vision line
  • it has equipped newly designed hyper sonic motor (hsm) for nimble af control, 1.3 times better torque of its predecessor
  • compatible with the enthusiast aps-c nikon d7100, d7200, d500, and d3100, d3200, d3300, d5100, d5200, d5300, d5500 dslr cameras. also compatible with nikon full-frame df, d600, d610, d750, d800, d810, d4, d5.
  • minimum focusing distance-33.5inch. maximum magnifications-1:8.5. angle of view (35mm)-28.6°

A prime lens with a fast autofocusing motor drive for Nikon camera bodies, this Sigma 85 mm lens is ideal for car photography. It offers excellent resolution and the focus is tack-sharp. It boasts a constant maximum aperture of f/1.4, a curved and aspherical correction system of the lens elements, and 9 aperture blades. Taking clarity and precision focusing to the next level, this lens’ inner lens elements don’t all move when focusing: just one element moves, ensuring even faster responses for focusing. It has an 86 mm filter thread. This lens with a Nikon body is best for outdoor settings.

Buying Guide

1. Camera System

The most important factor in choosing a lens for car photography is to buy one that’s designed for your camera type. There are several camera systems available, from Mirrorless Cameras to Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Cameras, and each camera manufacturer uses a different mounting design for their lenses. So, a Canon camera cannot use a Nikon lens; a Sony camera can’t use a Canon lens; each system is an isolated ecosystem. What they regard as third-party photography equipment manufacturers, companies such as Sigma, Samyang, Tamron, Zeiss, and Yongnuo, produce lenses create lenses with mounts designed for various camera systems. For instance, Sigma produces lenses for Canon, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Pentax, and more camera systems. When selecting a camera lens, make sure it is compatible with your camera system first.

2. Setting

What sort of car photography are you looking to achieve? Are you going to take photos in a studio, a car parking lot, outside with natural lighting, or at motor sport events and such? Those factors play a part in selecting the type of lens you’ll be looking to buy. For indoor, in a vehicle showroom or a photography studio, the lens’ speed doesn’t play as much of a role as it would in outdoor and motor sport-type settings where a fast and responsive lens will capture the action and light better. Of course, the lower the f/stop, the better no matter what your setting is.

3. Subject

Are you shooting vehicles for advertising and commercial purposes, for a hobby website, or for your own collections? Those aspects will determine what sort of camera lens you’ll require. For professional car photography and such, you’ll need the best lens you can afford to capture your subject in the most pleasing way. From angles, to lighting, to the details, the right lenses will make your car photography stand head and shoulders above the rest out there.

4. Zooms and Primes

They sell most cameras in kits or bundles with a few lenses. Those lenses are most commonly zoom lenses (where you can zoom in for more detail or for a tighter crop for your image thanks to a variable focal length). In most instances, those lenses provide adequate images and quality. When you’re searching for more detail, more depth, a prime lens is unmatched. Several professional photographers use prime lenses (those of a fixed focal length) as it offers more clarity, more vibrancy, and more ambience to a photograph. A popular prime lens is a 50 mm camera lens, and it doesn’t even cost more than a $100 for a quality item, but they’re widely used for a variety of car photography settings. Decide on your needs, your settings, and your subject – and your budget – when deciding between prime and zoom lenses.

5. Aperture

Lenses with the maximum aperture produce the best photography results. The wider the lens, the more light it allows to enter the camera for brighter and faster operation. Simply put, the lower the f/stop of the aperture, the wider the lens is open.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a special lens to photograph moving cars?

No. Adjust your lens’ f/stop and your camera’s shutter speed to either fast or slower shutter speeds for a frozen or a blurred and creative style.

Are there specific filters needed for car photography?

No. You can make your photos more creative and reduce the sun’s glare with filters such as a polarizing filter or a circular polarizing filter.

Do you need different lenses for different times of the day?

No. You can adjust your camera and lens to the lighting conditions by lowering or raising the lens’ f/stop (aperture).

What is the most popular prime lens for car photography?

The most popular prime lens is a 35 mm for car photography.

How do I take photos of a moving car with the background blurred?

Panning is a photographic technique whereby you focus on a single item, such as the car, and lower your camera’s shutter speed. When your shutter speed is low, such as at 1/80th second, you need to move your camera with the subject and click the shutter button in a smooth and even manner to capture a crystal-clear shot of the subject and a blurred background.


Knowing more about which lenses and which aspects of lenses to contemplate narrows down the list of lenses you need to focus on. This information in this guide will help you make a better-informed decision on which lens is best for your car photography.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM 'Art' Lens review (APS-C & full frame, with samples)