Taking photographs when there’s limited or low light can be tricky. Light is the foundation of photography, so adjusting to a lack of lighting takes time and practice. Getting the balance right between the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed isn’t as easy as it may seem. You need to strike a delicate balance that will significantly influence your photos’ overall look and feel.

Having the right lens can make a world of difference, and some of the best ones in the market are Canon low light lenses. Generally, having a wider maximum aperture is an excellent place to start for low-light photography.

picture of water using the best low light lens for Canon

There’s a massive selection of low-light lenses for Canon cameras available in the market, and depending on your budget and needs, you can easily find the right lens for your camera.

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 light lenses.

To make things easier, we have reviewed the best low light lenses for Canon in 2021, 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 speed at which the shutter opens or closes is one of the most vital factors that need your attention. The shutter speed tells you the amount of light that will enter the camera lens. A fast shutter speed allows very little light to go through the camera.

Therefore, when shooting in low light conditions, a higher shutter speed is desirable. It will also prevent image defects due to camera shake. However, a no zoom (prime lens) is preferred for dim lighting because it has a large aperture.

Criteria #2: Image Stabilizer

A lens with an image stabilizer provides excellent results in low light conditions. It helps minimize chromatic aberrations, color defects, deviations due to lens shakes, and other defects. An image stabilizer improves the performance of the lens by providing high-quality and sharp photographs.

Criteria #3: Auto and Manual Focus

The central part of the lens is the focus, and a Canon low light lens may offer auto and manual focus. In places with less light, you need a speedy and efficient focus technique from your lens. Autofocus helps you in getting sharp and accurate pictures of the subject. Meanwhile, in manual focus, you can adjust the lens according to your needs.

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 2021.

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

The Canon EF 85mm lens is one of the best value Canon low light lenses on the market in 2021. It is prized for portraiture, and the EF 85mm from Canon is a short-telephoto prime characterized by its slightly compressed perspective for achieving flattering results.

Its bright f/1.8 maximum aperture also enables isolating subjects and working with shallow depth of field techniques, and further benefits working in low-light conditions. You can achieve high color fidelity and contrast thanks to a Super Spectra coating to individual elements which minimize ghosting, reflections, and lens flare.

Canon lens for low light photo of feeding chickens

Additionally, a ring-type USM is employed to deliver quick and quiet autofocus performance along with full-time manual focus control. The short-telephoto, a portrait-length prime lens, is designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount DSLRs but can also be used with APS-C models where it provides a 136mm equivalent focal length.

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 rounded eight-blade diagram contributes to a pleasing, out-of-focus quality that benefits shallow depth of field and selective autofocus techniques. On top of that, a Super Spectra coating has been applied to individual elements to minimize flare and ghosting for more excellent contrast and color neutrality when working in strong lighting conditions.


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

The Sigma 18-35mm low light lens for Canon is one of the best Canon low light lenses for art photography on the market. It is distinguished by a uniquely fast and versatile design, and the Canon EF-mount Sigma lens is an art-series zoom, covering wide-angle to standard focal lengths.

Separating itself from the pack, this zoom features an exceedingly bright f/1.8 constant maximum aperture, which suits its use in difficult lighting conditions and offers an impressive depth of field control throughout the zoom range. The optical design incorporates a series of SLD and aspherical elements, which help achieve high clarity and sharpness by suppressing various aberrations, color fringing, and distortion.

A Super Multi-Layer Coating has also been applied, which controls lens flare and ghosting for improved contrast and color accuracy. Balancing the optical merits, this 18-35mm also sports an advanced Hyper Sonic Motor, along with an internal focusing design, to promote fast, quiet, and precise autofocus performance.


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

canon 35mm USM lens for low light

The Canon 35mm USM lens is one of the best Canon low light lenses for wide-angle shots. A flexible wide-angle prime, the EF 35mm from Canon pairs the versatile focal length with sophisticated autofocus capabilities as well as image stabilization. The bright f/2 maximum aperture benefits working in difficult lighting conditions and affords greater control over the depth of field for isolating subject matter.

The optical design uses one aspherical element to reduce spherical aberrations and distortion for high sharpness. A Super Spectra coating has also been applied to suppress flare and ghosting for increased contrast and color accuracy.

photo of bird using Canon 35mm lens for low light

Benefitting the optical assets is a four-stop effective Image Stabilizer, which minimizes the appearance of camera shake for sharper handheld images. There is also a ring-type USM that realizes quick, quiet, and smooth autofocus performance along with a full-time manual focus override.


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

Canon 24mm USM lens for Canon cameras

The Canon 24mm USM lens is one of the best premium Canon low light lenses you’ll see in the market. Blending a favored wide-angle focal length with a bright maximum aperture, the 24mm USM is a Canon L-series lens characterized by robust physical construction and sophisticated optical design.

Two ultra-low dispersion elements help control chromatic aberrations and color fringing, while a pair of aspherical elements reduce spherical aberrations and distortion for high sharpness and clarity.

low light lenses for Canon

Individual elements also feature a Sub Wavelength Coating to suppress lens flare and ghosting for improved contrast and color neutrality in various lighting conditions. Besides the optical attributes, this lens is also distinguished by its fast f/1.4 maximum aperture to benefit working in low-light conditions for controlling the depth of field.

Additionally, this lens sports a ring-type USM for quick and quiet autofocus performance and full-time manual focus override. An internal floating focus mechanism also helps maintain consistent image quality throughout the entire focusing range.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Whether you’re a beginner, amateur, or experienced photographer, you will have questions about what is the best low light lens for Canon on the market. That’s why we have shared some of the most frequently asked questions about them. We are confident that these questions and answers will provide you with the necessary knowledge you need about Canon low light lenses before you buy them.

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?

Indoors photography without much ambient light (as in many of our homes), as well as the light that is barely visible to our eyes at night, is considered to be low-light.

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 a larger sensor, a larger aperture is always better for low light performance. It allows you to either use faster shutter speeds to control blur or lower ISO settings to control noise. When shooting in low light, a higher shutter speed is always valuable, as it can help prevent blur caused by camera shake.

Verdict: Your Best Low Light Lens for Canon

We believe that by this time, you must have an excellent idea about the best low light Canon lenses. The lenses we have reviewed and highlighted above are all compatible with Canon cameras and can help you shoot amazing videos and capture stunning photos in low-light conditions.

There are plenty of options available in the market, and it’s understandable if you’re having trouble making up your mind. That’s why we have shared our top choices for the best Canon low light lenses here.

If you’re looking for the best value Canon low light lens, go with the Canon EF 85mm USM lens. It is prized for portraiture, and the EF 85mm is a short-telephoto prime characterized by its slightly compressed perspective for achieving flattering results. Its bright f/1.8 maximum aperture also enables isolating subjects and working with shallow depth of field techniques, and further benefits working in low-light conditions.

If you want the best Canon low light lenses for art photography check out the Sigma 18-35mm. It is distinguished by a uniquely fast and versatile design, and the Canon EF-mount Sigma lens is an art-series zoom, covering wide-angle to regular focal lengths. Separating itself from the pack, this zoom features an exceedingly bright f/1.8 constant maximum aperture, which suits its use in difficult lighting conditions and offers an impressive depth of field control throughout the zoom range.

If you’re looking for the best wide-angle Canon low light lens, get the Canon 35mm USM. A flexible wide-angle prime, the EF 35mm pairs the versatile focal length with sophisticated autofocus capabilities as well as image stabilization. The bright f/2 maximum aperture benefits working in difficult lighting conditions and affords greater control over the depth of field for isolating subject matter.

We hope this guide on the best low light lens for Canon on the market has been educational and informative for you. Our goal is to make it easier for people to find a quality low light lens for their Canon camera that fits their budget and helps them shoot and record top-notch photos and videos in challenging light conditions.

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