Sam Kacey

Sam's expertise is in Landscape, Portrait, and Travel photography. He and his team also review the best Cameras and Lenses on the market in 2022 for B&H Photo.

Taking photographs when there’s limited or low light can be tricky since photography’s foundation is light, adjusting in low light can take a lot of practice and time for any photographer. The challenge is in striking the right balance between the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed isn’t as easy as it may seem. You need the best low light lens for Canon to capture perfect images to achieve a fair balance that significantly enhances your photos’ overall look and feel in low light.

Shooting with low light lenses can make a world of difference, and some of the best ones in the market are Canon low light lenses. In general, lenses with a wide maximum aperture are excellent for photography in low light. There’s a massive selection of the best low lights for Canon available in the market, and based on your budget and needs, you can easily find the best low light lens for your camera.

picture of water using the best low light lens for Canon

If you shoot in low light conditions frequently, you must find the best low light lens for Canon cameras to ensure top-notch image quality. Whether you’re into sport, outdoor, street, or landscape photography, you will comfortably find top quality Canon low lights lens.

To make things easier, we have reviewed the best low light lenses for Canon in 2022, so you can get the right lens for low light conditions. Or you can jump straight to our number one pick here.

What Should You Look for in the Best Low Light Lens for Canon?

You can find the best low light lens for Canon cameras that are inexpensive and of excellent quality, but some people claim that low-priced lenses aren’t worth it because of their inferior quality. However, that’s not always the truth. You can find Canon low light lenses that have fantastic performance and are affordable as well.

To clear out your confusion about price and quality, we have reviewed some of the best low-light lenses for Canon. They produce bright and sharp photos and are resistant to humidity, water, and dust. The best part is that you can use them for various types of photography, and they will provide superior results in well-lit places.

However, shopping for the best low light lens for Canon isn’t easy because hundreds of options are available on the market. You can’t buy the first lens you see, as you must consider several essential things. Here’s what you should look for when buying a quality Canon low light lens that is affordable as well.

photo of tree using Canon 85mm lens for low light

Criteria #1: Shutter Speed

The closing or opening speed of the lens shutter is a vital factor when selecting low light lenses for Canon cameras. The shutter speed will dictate how much light is entering the lens, and faster shutter speeds don’t let much light enter your camera.

Therefore, when shooting in low-light environments, lenses with higher shutter speeds are the best choice. It also prevents image defects caused by camera shake, but a prime lens has a larger aperture, making it a good choice for shooting in dim light.

Criteria #2: Image Stabilizer

Lenses with image stabilization systems perform exceptionally in low-light environments. They minimize chromatic aberrations, deviations, and color defects caused by camera shake. The image stabilization system enhances the lens performance by allowing you to take sharper and higher-quality images.

Criteria #3: Auto and Manual Focus

Focus is the central part of any lens, and a Canon low light lens offers you both auto and manual focus. In low-light environments, you want a lens with an efficient and fast technique for focus. You can get sharp and accurate pictures of any subject with autofocus. On the other hand, you can make adjustments based on your needs with manual focus control.

Here’s How We Determined the Best Low Light Lens for Canon

It’s impossible to take the best low light photography pictures without a high-quality Canon low light lens. In low light conditions, you need to be especially careful about the lens you use. You need to consider its features and abilities before using them to ensure they suit your photography needs and requirements.

We know hundreds of excellent Canon low light lenses on the market today, which can overwhelm and confuse people who have never bought Canon lenses. That’s why we have compiled a list of the best low light lenses for Canon that can give you the best results when recording videos or shooting videos in low light conditions.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into our reviews for the best low-light lenses for Canon in 2022.

#1: Canon EF 85mm Lens for Low Light (Best Value)

The Canon EF 85mm lens is considered one of the best short-telephoto prime lenses around for shooting portraits, thanks to its perspective, which is slightly compressed and helps achieve phenomenal results. The lens also has an f/1.8 bright maximum aperture that helps isolate subjects and can work with shallow techniques for depth of field. It’s also excellent in low-light environments.

The Super Spectra coating on individual elements helps you in achieving high contrast and color fidelity, which minimizes ghosting, reflections, and lens flare effects. In addition, a USM in right-type is used for delivering silent and fast performance during autofocus and full-time control during manual focus.

This portrait-length, short-telephoto prime lens is designed for Canon full-frame DSLRs with EF-mounts. However, you can use APS-C camera models where you can expect a 136mm focal length.

Canon lens for low light photo of feeding chickens

Reason #1: Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor (USM)

The Canon EF 85mm lens employs a ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) to deliver fast, precise, and quiet autofocus performance and full-time manual focus override. Additionally, the front of the lens doesn’t rotate during focusing to better permit working with polarizing and graduated filter types.

Reason #2: Rounded Eight-Blade Diagram and Super Spectra Coating

The eight-blade rounded diagram offers fantastic out-of-focus quality and allows you to have better control over selective autofocus and shallow techniques for depth of control. On top of that, individual elements have a Super Spectra coating that minimizes ghosting and flare effects for greater color neutrality and contrast when you’re working in strong lighting environments.

#2: Sigma 18-35mm Low Light Lens for Canon (Best for Art)

The Sigma 18-35mm low light lens for Canon has a versatile design and is exceptionally fast, and can cover focal lengths from standard to wide-angle. It’s part of the art-series zoom lenses from Canon and is different from other low light lenses for Canon because of its constant f/1.8 bright maximum aperture.

That allows you to use the lens in any lighting environment and achieve impressive control over the depth of field while zooming in or out. The optical design has incorporated several aspherical and SLD elements that are helpful in achieving higher sharpness and clarity by suppressing distortion, aberrations, and color fringing.

The lens elements are coated with a Super Multi-Layer that allows you to control ghosting and lens flare effects and achieve enhanced color accuracy and contrast. The optics of the lens are balanced by a cutting-edge Hyper Sonic Motor aiding an internal design for focusing that allows you to achieve precise, fast, and silent performance during autofocus.

#3: Canon 35mm USM Lens (Best for Wide Angle)

canon 35mm USM lens for low light

The Canon 35mm USM lens is a wide-angle prime lens that is incredibly flexible wide-angle prime, and its focal length versatility, sophisticated capabilities for autofocus, and image stabilization make it a great choice. The F/2 bright maximum aperture allows you to work in low-light environments and have excellent depth of field control to isolate your subjects.

There is a single aspherical element in the optical design, which reduces distortion and spherical aberrations and ensures higher sharpness. The lens elements have a Super Spectra coating which suppresses ghosting and lens flare effects and allows better color accuracy and contrast.

photo of bird using Canon 35mm lens for low light

The image stabilization system minimizes camera shake by four stops and allows you to shoot sharper images when shooting handheld. The USM is ring-type and enables fast, smooth, and quick performance during autofocus and full-time override for manual focus.

#4: Canon 24mm USM Lens (Best Premium Lens)

Canon 24mm USM lens for Canon cameras

The Canon 24mm USM lens blends the popular focal length for wide-angle lenses with a maximum aperture that is bright. The lens is part of the L-Series from Canon and has an optical design that is sophisticated construction that is physically robust. The two elements for ultra-low dispersion are excellent in controlling color fringing and chromatic aberrations.

You can also pair these aspherical elements for reducing distortion and spherical aberrations and achiever higher clarity and sharpness. A Sub Wavelength coating features on the individual elements for suppressing ghosting and lens flare effects and offering enhanced color neutrality and contrast in any lighting environment. The lens also has an f/1.4 fast maximum aperture that affords excellent depth of field control and can work in low-light environments.

low light lenses for Canon

In addition, the lens also has a USM that is ring-type and ensures silent and fast performance for autofocus and full-time override during manual focus. You can also maintain image quality consistently in the focusing range with the floating mechanism that enhances internal focusing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Most people aren’t familiar with camera gear, and definitely don’t know which lens they should purchase when shooting in low-light environments. If you have questions related to the best low-light lens for Canon cameras we have the answers. Here are the frequently asked questions that other people have asked about Canon low light lenses.

How Do I Choose the Best Low Light Lens for Canon?

A wide-aperture prime lens is the best choice in low light as it will collect the greatest amount of light. The low f-stop ratings on these lenses also work well on portraits. The deliberate use of a shallow depth of field can be striking in natural light portraits.

What is Considered Low-Light Photography?

Indoor photography where there isn’t any or extremely low ambient light (like the lighting inside our homes), and light that you can’t visibly see, is low-light. When you’re shooting at dawn or dusk, the light gets low and dull, making it harder to focus on the subject, which is the true definition of low-light photography.

What is the Best Shutter Speed for Low-Light?

Set your shutter speed to a fraction of the focal length to take crisp, blur-free photos in low light. So, if you’re using a 50mm lens, choose a shutter speed of 1/50 a second. If you’re using a 30mm lens, go for 1/30 a second.

What Makes a Camera Good in Low-Light?

Like large sensors, lenses with large apertures are excellent when shooting in low-light environments. You can then control the blur using the fast shutter speeds, or control noise by lowering the ISO settings. When photographing in low light, you should always use lenses with fast shutter speeds because they can compensate for the blur you get when focusing if the camera isn’t stable.

Verdict: Your Best Low Light Lens for Canon

We understand how difficult it can be to make a final decision on the best low-light lens for Canon cameras in 2022. However, we have thought of that little complication as well and believe that our final verdict will clear all your doubts. Even with so many options around if you asked us to pick the three best Canon low light lenses on the market today, we would recommend the following options.

If you’re looking for the best value Canon low light lens, go with the Canon EF 85mm USM.

The prime lens is a short telephoto, renowned for offering excellent portraiture shots. It manages to achieve exceptional results thanks to its compressed perspective. The bright maximum aperture of f/1.8 also allows you to work with shallow techniques to control the depth of field and isolate subjects. You can also shoot in low-light conditions and get excellent results.

If you want the best Canon low light lenses for art photography check out the Sigma 18-35mm.

The lens features a versatile design and is surprisingly fast. It can cover everything from regular to wide-angle focal lengths, and its standout feature is a bright maximum aperture that remains at a constant f/1.8. That makes it one of the best lenses for use in low-light environments and the zoom range provides you with impeccable control for depth of field.

If you’re looking for the best wide-angle Canon low light lens, get the Canon 35mm USM.

The prime, wide-angle lens is flexible and combines sophisticated capabilities for autofocus with a focal length that is incredibly versatile. When you add image stabilization and the maximum aperture of f/2, which is exceptionally bright, you learn why it is one of the best lenses for use in difficult light. You also get better control when isolating subjects and playing with the depth of field.

There aren’t many instances where you will want to shoot in low-light or fading light conditions, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. If you’re an outdoor photographer who has to shoot an event when light is fading, you must get your hands on the best low light lens for Canon in 2022. We believe the options shared above will do you justice.

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