Selecting the best low-light lens for Canon involves numerous considerations starting with compatibility. A burst of brightness is not enough, and you need other features like the right focal length to get an option that’s good for real estate photography.
Below are the best lenses for Canon cameras suitable for low-light photography. Diverse in price points, focal lengths, maximum aperture, and more, there should likely be something for your taste.
While not having the smallest f/stop number amongst our selections, the Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III packs undeniable features for superb low-light shooting. At f/2.8, it lets in adequate light to picture subjects better without being overly bright.
Although the difference may be negligible compared to the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8, having the smallest focal length on the list matters a lot. Landscape and real estate photographers have something to give them dramatic and well-lit photos thanks to its ultrawide angle.
Added to its ability to photograph many details in tight spaces, the unit also comes with image stabilization. Whenever too close to the subjects or shooting quickly-changing action, the stability and precision are commendable.
Canon doesn’t have many excellent full-frame ultrawide angle lenses, and that is why this unit is unique. Their Canon 14mm f/2.8, for instance, is expensive yet with a limited focal range, and the images are not sharp enough.
If you want something that goes beyond supporting low-light photography to offer you fabulous features and versatility, then our best low-light lens for Canon may suit you.
Our only complaint with the Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III is the exorbitant pricing. Going for over ten times the price of our cheapest option, it isn’t something for just any pocket.
Being the second most expensive option we picked, you might be curious to know what makes the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II special.
Its aperture distance is similar to all our low light zoom lenses for Canon apart from the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8. It is still impressive, though, letting in much light while providing fast, shorter speeds and opening up night photography and video work.
Picture quality at f/2.8 is superb at the center, with some blurriness experienced at the corners. While f/4 offers a bit better definition on the edges than f/2.8, it still isn’t the best. f/5.8, however, is quite impressive, with much clarity seen all around the image.
The lens’s zoom ranges from 24-70mm, transcending from a vast angle to short close-ups is ideal for many usages. From architecture shots to portrait work, the lens can serve various niches in dimly lit situations.
What can hesitate your hand beside the price is the absence of image stabilization for precision in quick capturing. With its massive size and pretty hefty weight, the lack of optical stability is a letdown for handheld videography.
The first thing you notice about the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 is compactness and light mass.
We particularly like how at 125g, this pancake lens is the lightest and smallest lens on our list. If you want to carry two lenses without a bag, you can slide it in your pocket and have the other lens on the camera.
How is its low-light performance, though? Its maximum aperture is similar to our best option, the Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L. It lets in relatively the same amount of light, though much goes into the final picture quality beyond this attribute.
Pictures corners may not be so defined at f/2.8, while at f/5.6, the sharpness is quite remarkable.
It has a fixed focal length of 24mm, which is a fantastic wide-angle length. Giving you the bigger picture while not being too wide, the lens ensures you don’t lose the emphasis on the main subject.
It isn’t only a good choice for architecture and scenery shooting as it works fine for general-purpose photography.
Being an EF-S lens, it only fits on Canon’s less expensive APS-C cameras. If you love to get a little while spending less, this may be a great pair to suit your low-light photography needs.
Our biggest disappointment was the lack of image stabilization. If you like fast-paced, handheld shooting, the outcome may be less than desirable.
While having a similar focal length to our cheapest option, the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L takes its aperture game a notch higher. At a maximum aperture of f/1.4, it ties with the Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 to offer the broadest maximum aperture amongst our top picks.
Besides letting in immense light amounts at f/1.4, the lens also features chromatic aberration correction for brightness and accuracy.
The sharpness at the edges may not be the best at f/1.4. Switching to f/2.8 is ideal when you need all-around sharpness in dim lighting. While unsuitable for low light, f/4 provides very sharp corners.
On a full-frame camera, 24mm is a vast angle. Your picture images may end up stretched at the edges, and the subject may recede into the picture, emphasizing your background. The length, however, offers a standard wide-angle on APS-C cameras.
Unlike the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8, it fits both full-frame and APS-C cameras. If you are a camera collector, this is a fantastic choice to carry more cameras with fewer lenses. The price is, however, pretty high.
Though you can switch it between your cameras, it is pretty heavy and tedious during extended handheld photography. Another less impressive aspect is the lack of image stabilization, so you may find it a bit challenging in handheld shooting.
Breaking our otherwise monotonous Canon line-up is the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8. Parked with multiple impressive specifications, the unit delivers just the right juice to knock out some top Canon contenders.
Right off the bat, the lens draws you in with the f/1.8 aperture, a first of its kind amongst zoom lenses. It may not offer the widest aperture on our list though it is our top zoom lens for Canon with the widest aperture.
The aperture is fast, letting in loads of light for low-light indoor shooting and videography applications. To give you some perspective, the f/1.8 lets in twice as much light as f/2.8. You can see how useful this lens is in poor lighting.
The f/1.8 aperture means you can use a much lower ISO than smaller apertures to ensure better video quality.
The 18-35mm zoom range isn’t very long, so don’t expect to shoot far off subjects. For real estate and landscape photographers, though, this wide-angle is an absolute gold mine.
Portrait shooters may also benefit, more so with the f/1.8 aperture providing you with twice as intense bokeh as the f/2.8 counterparts.
Designed for APS-C cameras, the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 presents solid attributes to mid-range spenders. You can attach it to a full-frame camera though the amount of vignetting even at 35mm is sadly unacceptable.
On an APS-C camera, the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 may be a much more suitable selection than the Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L, which offers a standard wide-angle in this case.
With its zoom range being the second most extensive on our list, the unit offers more flexibility. You can fully zoom out for a wide field of view in architectural or landscape images. The 55mm range can draw in your subjects during portraiture and offer a very appealing out-of-focus background.
Paired with the extensive zoom range, the f/2.8 aperture provides ample lighting for night shoots. The constant aperture of the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 ensures you maintain impressive brightness levels as you alter the focal range.
At f/2.8, image centers are sharp as expected for most lenses. Though a bit blurred, there is nothing to complain about the edges apart from some chromatic aberration. Sharpness increases progressively as you switch to f/4 and f/5.6, though aberration remains.
Akin to lenses like the Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L, it includes image stabilization. Focusing on a subject is a cinch, and it eases accuracy in handheld videography.
Like the highly affordable Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8, it can only fit APS-C cameras and therefore unsuitable for full-frame options. Although designed for a smaller sensor, the lens is pretty big and heavy, especially compared to kit lenses or smaller alternatives like Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8.
Typical for most prime lenses apart from a few like the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II, the Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 comes at a budget price. Being our second most affordable lens, consider trying it out if you are into budget-prized prime lenses.
Sharing the top spot with the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L in offering the widest aperture on our list, the Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 lets in vast amounts of light. It is a highly convenient choice for nighttime photography and getting pleasantly blurred backgrounds.
The 32mm focal length is a full-frame equivalent of 51mm, so you are getting a standard focal length with this unit. It is wide enough to capture the bigger picture while remaining tight enough for slight subject emphasis.
Although not as light as the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8, it still is very compact and comes at second place on our list in terms of ergonomics.
Bear in mind that the Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 lacks image stabilization. You would therefore want to use it with a tripod for videography purposes.
The Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III is our favorite choice though photographers looking for a more versatile full-frame option are better off with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II.
With the comprehensive comparisons highlighted, we believe you can still select from the rest of the options and meet your requirements.