12 Best Lenses for Car Photography: 2021 Buyer’s Guide

This is a guide covering the best lenses for car photography.

In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:

  • Best overall lens for car photography
  • Best budget lens for car photography
  • Best Canon lens for car photography
  • Best Sony lens for car photography
  • Best Nikon lens for car photography
  • Best Fuji lens for car photography
  • Pros and cons
  • Price
  • Important features
  • And more

Let’s dive in.

car photography

12 Best Lenses for Car Photography

Click/tap on each lens name to jump to that section. At the end of each section, there is also a link to jump back to this table to make it easy for you!

In a hurry? Check out our top pick!

1. Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
– Sharp and vibrant colors
– Wide aperture
– Beautiful bokeh
– Versatile

Serious car photographers need to have the right gear to get the job done. Apart from having the right camera, you also need the right car photography lens.

We’ll feature some of the best lenses for car photography coming from different brands. Our list will cover lenses from some of the best brands including Sony, Nikon, Canon, and Fuji.

Our goal is to give you the options to get the best results in your work either as a serious or a hobbyist car photographer.

1. NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
BEST ALL-AROUND
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
– Sharp and vibrant colors
– Wide aperture
– Beautiful bokeh
– Versatile
2. NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
BEST BUDGET LENS
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G
– Superb sharpness
– Great range of focal length
– With vibration reduction
3. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
BEST CANON LENS
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
– Durable construction
– Superior zoom precision
– Perfect for shooting from afar
– Takes sharp photos
4. Sony SEL2470GM FE 24-70 mm F2.8 G
BEST SONY LENS
Sony FE 24-70 mm F2.8
– Sharp lifelike results
– Great range
– Wide aperture
5. NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E
BEST NIKON LENS
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8
– Sharp and vibrant photos
– With AF lock
– Great performance even in low-light situations
– A great range for shooting subjects from afar
6. Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8
BEST FUJI LENS
Fujinon XF55-200mm
– Fast and accurate AF
– Sharp results throughout the zoom range
– Wide range of focal length
7. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
– Beautiful bokeh
– Sharp and vibrant images
– Wide aperture perfect for low-light conditions
8. Panasonic LUMIX G II 100-300MM
PANASONIC LUMIX G II Vario Lens 100-300MM
– Great range
– Suited even for videography
– Lightweight and durable design
– Vibrant colors
9. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8
– Durable construction
– Warmer colors and sharp results
– Superb autofocus
– Great range
– Performs well indoors
10. Panasonic Lumix G 45-200mm F4.0
Panasonic Lumix G II Vario Lens 45-200mm
– With optical image stabilization
– Great quality shots and vibrant colors
– Durable construction
11. Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm F4.0
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0-5.6
– Great range
– Silent focusing capability
– Vibrant colors
12. Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF 28mm f/2.8
– Vibrant colors and sharp photos
– With built-in stabilizer
– A wider perspective allows you to easily photograph entire car

What is the Best Lens for Car Photography (Overall)?

1. NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

If you are going to look into some of the best lenses for car photography, it is still hard to match the value of 50mm prime lenses. These are highly versatile lenses that can bring amazing results to the table.

With a wide aperture at F1.8, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.8G lens can give you high quality shots whether you need to focus on a small area of the car or when you need the entire car on the frame.

Plus, it can create beautiful bokeh which can be practical when shooting parts of the car.

Nikon’s optics is known for vibrant colors and sharpness. This lens can do justice to whatever car you are trying to shoot. However, the only downside is that the results are a bit softer when the aperture is wide open.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G example image – Source
Pros
  • Sharp and vibrant colors
  • Wide aperture
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Soft when the aperture is wide open

→ Jump Back to Table

What is the Best Budget Lens for Car Photography?

2. NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G

Not everyone is willing to invest a lot on the best lenses for car photography.

If this is the case, you might consider having the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED zoom lens.

It comes with a wide range of focal lengths to choose from whether you need a wide-angle lens to capture the entire car, or you want to zoom in close to some of the smaller details.

It means that it can also minimize the lenses that you are going to bring in your bag. If asked to just bring one lens, this could be your go-to lens.

It features vibration reduction that minimizes wasted shots when you don’t have a tripod. Plus, it produces sharp results with vibrant colors.

What’s not to like? Shooting without flash indoors can be tough with this lens.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED example image – Source
Pros
  • Superb sharpness
  • Great range of focal length
  • With vibration reduction
Cons
  • You will need flash to get decent shots indoors

→ Jump Back to Table

What is the Best Canon Lens for Car Photography?

3. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L

The Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens is the best pick for photographers who need to shoot cars on race tracks.

It allows the photographer to shoot from afar and get superb results. This L-series telephoto lens is a compact lens designed for different types of scenarios including both wildlife and sports photography.

It comes in with an improved torque adjustment ring that gives you the right amount of tension when zooming in and out. Plus, the rotation-type zoom ring lets users experience precision when capturing moving subjects such as cars in high-speed races.

This lens is also equipped with New Air Sphere Coating that can reduce the flaring and ghosting.

Plus, it is also highly resistant to both dust and water perfect in different scenarios.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II example image – Source
Pros
  • Durable construction
  • Superior zoom precision
  • Perfect for shooting from afar
  • Takes sharp photos
Cons

    → Jump Back to Table

    What is the Best Sony Lens for Car Photography?

    4. Sony SEL2470GM FE 24-70 mm F2.8 G

    Sony FE 24-70 mm F2.8

    Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8G Master Full Frame Zoom Lens is a favorite among professional photographers.

    If you’ll compare the shots of the other lenses we’ve featured side by side with the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8G Master Full Frame Zoom Lens, you’ll notice that this lens stands out.

    It comes in with superb and sharp lifelike results. The reason for this is the super E glass elements used in this lens. The Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8G Master Full Frame Zoom Lens is also popular for its Nano AR Coating that improved its clarity and contrast.

    This lens comes in handy whether you want to take a photo of the entire car or you simply want to focus on its parts.

    Also, it feels a bit heavy perhaps because of its sturdy construction.

    Sony FE 24-70 mm F2.8
    Sony SEL2470GM FE 24-70 mm F2.8 G example image – Source
    Pros
    • Sharp lifelike results
    • Great range
    • Wide aperture
    Cons
    • Heavy construction

    → Jump Back to Table

    What is the Best Nikon Lens for Car Photography?

    5. NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E

    Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8

    Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR Len takes the spot as the best Nikon lens if you plan on venturing on car photography.

    It is a great choice if you are going to take photos or even videos from afar. At f2.8, it gives users the versatility that they need even when shooting in low-light conditions.

    This is a favorite among many professional photographers for a reason. Its optics provides sharp and vibrant images as expected from Nikon.

    The six ED glass elements, Flourite, and High Refractive lens elements all guarantee that you don’t see distortion or glare on your shots when using this lens.

    If you are shooting rally races or other exciting car events, this lens comes in handy since it has four focus functions right at the barrel.

    You can also engage the AF lock in case you want the lens to shoot in one location.

    You are getting your money’s worth since it is a contender for the best car photography lens.

    NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8
    NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E example image – Source
    Pros
    • Sharp and vibrant photos
    • With AF lock
    • Great performance even in low-light situations
    • A great range for shooting subjects from afar
    Cons

      → Jump Back to Table

      What is the Best Fuji Lens for Car Photography?

      6. Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8

      Fujinon XF55-200mm

      We pick the Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens as the top Fuji lens on our list of best lenses for car photography.

      It is a great choice not only for shooting photographs but even for shooting videos thanks to its image stabilization feature.

      It is dubbed by many Fuji users as the best lens for car videography considering steady shots that it could produce. On top of that, it offers a great range that allows users to shoot subjects from a great distance.

      It also delivers superb AF performance when tested either on cars that are parked or cars that are moving. As for the quality of the shots, its high-performance lens elements give users sharp and vibrant results throughout the zoom range.

      However, when shooting indoors, you might want to bring your flash.

      Fujinon XF55-200mm
      Fujinon XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 example image – Source
      Pros
      • Fast and accurate AF
      • Sharp results throughout the zoom range
      • Wide range of focal length
      Cons
      • Doesn’t do well in indoor scenarios without flash

      → Jump Back to Table

      7. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

      Canon EF 85mm f/1.8

      The Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM Medium Telephoto lens is considered by some as the best car photography lens by Cannon when it comes to low-light scenarios.

      It creates great bokeh allowing photographers to focus on small details of the car especially when shooting the interiors.

      This is also the type of lens that can come in handy if you are dealing with a car from around 10-15 feet away.

      Though it is a fixed lens and you have to go near or far from the car you are trying to shoot, it is still a great choice for most car photography enthusiasts.

      Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
      Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM example image – Copyright “Roberto Santini”
      Pros
      • Beautiful bokeh
      • Sharp and vibrant images
      • Wide aperture perfect for low-light conditions
      Cons
      • Fixed lens

      → Jump Back to Table

      8. Panasonic LUMIX G II 100-300MM

      PANASONIC LUMIX G II Vario Lens 100-300MM

      Considered as one of the best lenses for car photography if you have a micro four-thirds camera, the Panasonic Lumix G II 100-300mm Vario Lens offers superior quality shots and the freedom to shoot from afar to its users.

      Its 300mm focal length is equivalent to a 600mm lens on a full-frame lens. This makes it a good choice if you are dealing with cars from a distance.

      You can take their photos even without going near the subject. Plus, these are lightweight lenses that are not too tiring to use when you don’t have a tripod.

      You can also expect sharp results with realistic colors. And since there is a growing number of people who also love shooting videos, this lens is also a good pick for those looking for the best lens for car videography. It comes in with a standout AF that captures the subject fast.

      The only drawback is that it doesn’t do well indoors. With an F5.6 aperture, it isn’t exactly the best choice for those who don’t use flash.

      PANASONIC LUMIX G II Vario Lens 100-300MM
      Panasonic LUMIX G II 100-300MM example image – Source
      Pros
      • Great range
      • Suited even for videography
      • Lightweight and durable design
      • Vibrant colors
      Cons
      • Doesn’t do well indoors

      → Jump Back to Table

      9. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN

      Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8

      The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens for Sony E Mount is the only third-party lens on our list of best lenses for car photography.

      Though made by Sigma for Sony, this lens is a top contender based on its performance and construction.

      This Sigma lens with its wide F2.8 aperture is perfect whether indoors or outdoors. The quality of the image is also a standout based on its lively colors and sharp results.

      One of the most unique features of its results is its warm hues.

      It also offers a great range regardless if you want to take a photo of the entire car or you simply want to take close-up shots of the vehicle. Plus, this lens comes in with superior quality construction designed for different situations.

      And let’s not forget that it comes with a fast AF.

      Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8
      Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN example image – Source
      Pros
      • Durable construction
      • Warmer colors and sharp results
      • Superb autofocus
      • Great range
      • Performs well indoors
      Cons

        → Jump Back to Table

        10. Panasonic Lumix G 45-200mm F4.0

        Panasonic Lumix G II Vario Lens 45-200mm

        A lot of people don’t have the money to spend on multiple prime lenses. If you are a micro four-thirds user who wants to carry just one lens, then you might want to check the Panasonic Lumix G II Vario Lens 45-200mm F4.0-5.6.

        As long as you are shooting outdoors, you won’t see any issues with this lens. It offers high-quality images with vibrant colors and a powerful range that will allow you to shoot photographs of cars even from afar.

        It is also well-made considering that it has dustproof and splashproof construction.

        And even if you are not using any tripod, this lens is easy to use with its built-in optical image stabilization technology.

        Panasonic Lumix G 45-200mm F4.0
        Panasonic Lumix G 45-200mm F4.0 example image – Source
        Pros
        • With optical image stabilization
        • Great quality shots and vibrant colors
        • Durable construction
        Cons
        • Not as good indoors as it is outdoors

        → Jump Back to Table

        11. Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm F4.0

        Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0-5.6

        Good range, easy to use, and performance savvy—these are things that make some of the best lenses for car photography.

        All of these characteristics can be seen in the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0-5.6 R Zoom Lens. Just as long as you are shooting photos of cars in broad daylight, you won’t be getting any problem with this lens.

        It is also lightweight not to mention it produces great results on micro four thirds. And lastly, you get to enjoy silent focusing which means that it can also shoot videos without any issues.

        Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm
        Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm F4.0 example image – Source
        Pros
        • Great range
        • Silent focusing capability
        • Vibrant colors
        Cons
        • Doesn’t do well indoors

        → Jump Back to Table

        12. Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM

        Canon EF 28mm f/2.8

        If you want to take photos of cars including a good amount of background in your photos, then you should be looking into the Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM Wide Angle Lens.

        This is a handy pick if you prefer a slightly wider perspective on your shots. This means that you get to include the entire car in your photos without any problem.

        This lens produces superb quality photos with its trademark vibrant colors and sharpness. It also has a built-in stabilizer minimizing blurred shots.

        However, if you are going to use it to shoot videos, you might notice its autofocus motor to be too noisy.

        Canon EF 28mm f/2.8
        Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 example image – Source
        Pros
        • Vibrant colors and sharp photos
        • With built-in stabilizer
        • A wider perspective than 50mm allows you to easily take a shot of the entire car
        Cons
        • The motor is too noisy

        → Jump Back to Table

        Final Remarks

        Car photography involves different styles. Whether you are a budding photographer or someone who does car photography for a living, better find the lens that fits your style and your needs. Consider the pros and cons along with your budget before you decide to buy these lenses.

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