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Best Lenses For Street Photography (Reviewed & Compared)

Everybody is in love with those fantastic street pictures! It doesn’t matter if there’s a person in the image or if it is just the empty roads; street photography generally brings people a good feeling.

If you are planning on becoming a street photographer and you already own a camera, in this article, you will be able to find the best lens for street photography!

A Quick Look at My Favorite Street Photography Lenses

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best All-Around 
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8
8.6
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Best Autofocus
Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR
Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR
8.5
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Best Mid-Range
Sony FE 35mm F1.8
Sony FE 35mm F1.8
9.1
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Best For Low-Light
Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G
8.8
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Best Entry-Level
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
8.6
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Key Takeaways

  • All you need is a fantastic camera and unique lenses that are appropriate for street photography to be able to shoot immersive street shots.
  • To get those immersive street images, I recommend the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 if you are a street photographer and are unsure of which lens to use.
  • You may get the best images by selecting the Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G and removing any potential reflections.
  • If you want a fantastic lens, the focal length is vital, but other elements like focus, low light performance, and so on are also crucial.

Without bothering you too much, let’s get to the best street photography lenses

The Top Five Best Lenses for Street Photography

5. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 – Best All-Around 

What I Like

  • Great sharpness
  • Minimal distortion
  • Compact
  • Wide aperture

What I Don’t Like

  • Lack focus clatch

As you all know, Olympus is a great brand when they deal with cameras, they bring some of the greatest ones on a budget. Well, Olympus didn’t leave their cameras without lenses, and here goes one of them It is a lens that works perfectly with Micro Four Thirds cameras, and they include Panasonic ones as well.

Directly starting with this lens’ design, it is, in fact, very good looking! You can choose in between two colors, black, and silver. However, the measurements of this lens are 1.61 x 2.2 inches, and its weight is about 4.8 ounces. Small and lightweight; everything you need while moving around.

The number of elements added to this lens is 9, and all of them are divided into 7 groups. The most important elements stand the two aspherical ones. To this lens, Olympus also added their famous ZERO coating. It is a coating that eliminates flare, ghosting, and any reflection.

When it comes to the focal length, this lens works at 25mm; making it a standard normal lens. Therefore, the lens is a great choice when it comes to street photography. Unfortunately though, this lens does not have zooming capabilities, meaning that this is not a zoom lens.

As long as the aperture diaphragm is concerned, on this lens, you will deal with a seven-blade circular diaphragm that will help you capture pictures with the bokeh effect. The maximum aperture, in general, works at f/1.8; amazing when capturing bright environments.

The autofocus system that this lens owns is the MSC (Movie and Still Compatible), as already tells, it works properly in pictures and videos too.

Overall, it’s a great lens that works great to shoot street photography.

Why should you buy it?

This camera consists of a seven-blade circular diaphragm that will help you capture pictures with the bokeh effect.

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Sample Pictures of Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm


4. Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR – Best Autofocus

What I Like

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Amazing optics
  • Aperture ring

What I Don’t Like

  • Omits optical stabilization

From the Olympus brand, let’s move on to another one. Everybody should own a Fujifilm camera – that’s what the street photographers worldwide say! Well, they are right! If you are one of them and already have a Fujifilm camera, then let me introduce you to the best lens regarding street photography with a Fujifilm camera.

The Fujifilm prime lens is again one of those that comes in two colors; black, and silver. However, this lens measures 4.1 x 3.8 inches and weighs 5.9 ounces. What is important to mention about this lens is that it is fully weather-sealed. Just as you can notice on its name WR stands for Weather Resistant. Feel free to use this lens during rainy days while capturing street photos.

The coating that this prime lens owns is the Nano GI and Super EBC. Both of them reduce ghosting and flare. When it comes to optical construction, this lens owns 9 elements, into 6 groups. They include two aspherical elements, and they provide you with rich and sharp-quality pictures.

Differing from the Fujifilm lens, this one’s focal length is 35mm, and it is known as the most famous focal length of lenses used in street photography. What i don’t like about this prime lens is that it is not a zoom lens and it does not have any zooming capabilities.

The aperture diaphragm is nine blades, and it is fully circular; it can bring you a very smooth bokeh effect. As noticed on the lens name, the maximum aperture is f/2.0.

Unfortunately, this lens does not have image stabilization, and this might cause problems for people that do not own a camera that has image stabilization capabilities.

The focus of this lens is driven by the Stepping Autofocus Motor, which does a great job. The focus is fast and quiet at the same time. If you want great image quality, then this is the lens you should go for.

Why should you buy it?

What is important to mention about this lens is that it is fully weather-sealed, which means that you can take it with you wherever you go.

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Sample Pictures of Fujifilm XF 35mm


3. Sony FE 35mm F1.8 – Best Mid-Range

What I Like

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Good wide-open resolution
  • Dust and splash protection

What I Don’t Like

  • Pricey

Sony stands among the best-known names all around the world for cameras. They indeed bring the best ones! Besides its cameras, Sony is also known for its lenses. Here goes the Sony FE 35mm F1.8, a wide-angle one, standing as the best lens for street photography with a Sony camera.

The whole body of this lens measures 4 x 5.3 inches and the weight is about 9.9 ounces. Differing from the others, this lens comes only in one color and it is black. Its body is very robust, and the lens is fully resistant to dust and moisture in general.

This street photography lens, as Sony says, is multi-coated. But what does that mean? That can basically mean one thing – the lens fully reduces the ghosting, flare, and reflections in any way. When it comes to the elements, this Sony lens owns 11 elements which are divided into 9 groups. The most important one, as always, stands aspherical which is one.

The focal length that this street photography lens is used with is 35mm, the same as the Fujifilm lens. However, since here we deal with Sony cameras, the focal length fully varies on the camera.

The maximum aperture is f/1.8, which is, as already mentioned above, perfect when it comes to taking pictures in bright places, basically bright streets. The aperture includes a nine-blade diaphragm as well, and it is fully circular which can be used if you need the bokeh effect.

As for the focus, Sony added a Linear Autofocus Motor which provides an internal focus, but still, you can easily adjust it. That means that the focus of this lens is automatic and manual at the same time. Just like the other lenses in this list, this is not a zoom lens. I personally wouldn’t recommend a zoom lens for photographing streets anyways.

Why should you buy it?

This lens is perfect when it comes to taking pictures in bright places, basically bright streets.

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Sample Pictures of Sony FE 35mm F1.8


2. Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G – Best For Low-Light

What I Like

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Fast f 1.8 aperture
  • Solid construction

What I Don’t Like

  • Expensive

Next one, as you can already notice, I chose to review for you a lens that works in the most perfect way possible with your Nikon camera. What is better than the famous Nikorr lenses that Nikon launches? Here it is, the amazing street photography lens which is a wide-angle one.

The dimensions of this street photography lens measure 3.19 x 2.87 inches which is a quite compact size, and the weight of the lens is 11.6 ounces. The lens is a durable one, used for a pretty long time. Still, it is not quite resistant when it comes to dust or moisture.

To this street photography lens, Nikon added the famous Nano Crystal Coat and the Super Integrated Coating; both of them are Nikon’s. Those coatings are added to eliminate the reflections, that may occur during street sessions. When it comes to the elements, there are added two aspherical elements. All of them combined are able to deliver perfect color accuracy.

The focal length works only at 28mm, making the lens a wide-angle one. It captures whatever you need during street photography and all the pictures are very clear and super sharp.

There’s the aperture too! In this street photography lens, we deal with a maximum aperture of f/1.8. It is the most common aperture for street photography, just as you can notice in all of the lenses in this article. There’s a seven-blade diaphragm of the aperture, and it brings a very pleasing bokeh effect. If you want great image quality, then this is the lens to go with.

The Silent Wave Motor AF System drives the focus fully silent and very precise. The focus of this Nikon lens is known as one of the best ones.

Why should you buy it?

 The lens is a durable one, even when used for a pretty long time, which means is totally worth a purchase.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 28mm


1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM – Best Entry-Level

What I Like

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Silent and smooth video focus
  • Sharp at f/1.8

What I Don’t Like

  • Slower focus
  • Omits stabilization

Last but not least, I cannot conclude the list of street photography lenses without mentioning a lens from Canon! The EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM is Canon’s most perfectly made lens, and it works amazingly with any type of camera that Canon has ever launched. It is a standard lens.

The body of this street photography lens is very strong because Canon used metal during the making of the lens. Its measurements are 1.54 x 2.72 inches and its weight is 5.6 ounces. The lens is brought to you with an amazingly small and lightweight body, meaning that it is fully portable.

The coating that is added to this lens is the famous Super Spectra which does a perfect job correcting every type of aberration that may destroy your street photo. Along with the coating are added 6 elements into 5 groups. All the elements help the lens provide better and clearer pictures.

The focal length of this lens is 50mm, and as some of you may already know, this particular focal length is mostly used during portrait photography, and not only. This lens with its focal length stands as a great one for street photography as well, and not only.

With an f/1.8 maximum aperture, this street photography lens can be used in any light condition. It fully captures amazing pictures in low light and bright environments too. The aperture diaphragm on the other way is rounded and includes seven blades.

The focus system that it uses is the STM – Stepping AF Motor. The STM brings a near-silent and smooth autofocus and it also allows manual focus override. Note that this is not a zoom lens, and it doesn’t have any zooming capabilities.

Why should you buy it?

This lens with its focal length stands as a great one for street photography as well, and not only.

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Sample Pictures of Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM


What You Should Know About the Best Lens for Street Photography

I always mention that choosing a particular lens for any type of photography isn’t the easiest thing to do and with street photography, it stands the same. According to Here are some of the most important things that should be known when trying to find the correct street photography lenses.

Focal Length

First of all, you all should know what the focal lengths mean in lenses. It is basically the distance between the lens and the image sensor. It is measured in millimeters and always the focal length is added to the name of the lens. That way, you can notice what lens you are looking for.

Now, when it comes to the best lens for street photography, many street photographers worldwide say that the 50mm, 35mm, and 25mm lenses are the best ones to capture pictures. However, you can also use lenses that have a focal length between 20mm to 60mm.

You can use different types of lenses, but still, wide-angle ones are more relatable to this type of photography (street photography).

Low Light Ability

The streets are an interesting location when it comes to photographing. You have a super-lighted location whereas, on the other hand, you can also find yourself in total darkness.

That’s why finding a lens that has the ability to work great in low light is a major plus! You will be able to capture any type of picture in any light condition.

Focus

Without using a focus, the picture may look a bit clumsy! In this case, I would advise you to find some lenses that can be adjusted when it comes to the focus and the ones that allow you to use selective focusing.

Personally, I love selective focusing since it in a way helps me or any other street photographer “tell a story”.

Elements and Coating

Even though it may sound a bit confusing and weird, the coatings and the elements on a lens play some of the main roles in street photography specifically. Basically, the coatings and the elements that are added to lenses protect your pictures from different reflections or distortions.

Where is the most reflective area? In the streets of course, especially in front of big shops!

Check out the coating and the elements that are added to the lens you are about to buy so that you can be aware of them.

Size and Weight

Streets may be a step out of your house but streets are also in the other part of the world! What do I mean by that? Well, you should always keep in mind that a street photographer does not always shoot the streets that surround him or her in their neighborhood! You may be shooting far away from home, and that way the size and the weight of your lens come in handy.

It is always better if you go for smaller and lighter in weight lenses so that they won’t be bothering your when moving around.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I choose the best lens to use?

Everything depends on what you will use the lens for. Here, as you need a lens for street photography, you should know what type of lens to use, what focal range, and what aperture it needs.

Is a 50mm lens good for street photography?

The 50mm lens is known as the nifty fifty lens, and it is one of the most commonly used lenses all over the world by many professional photographers. In street photography, the nifty fifty lenses are also known as the ideal ones to choose and use.

What is the best aperture for street photography?

Aperture is also one of the main things that need to be known when it comes to street photography. A great aperture for street photography stands around f/5.6.

Can any lens fit on any camera?

Lenses are known as interchangeable camera accessories and are made to fit different cameras. If you ever encounter a lens that won’t fit the camera you own, the best thing to do is use a lens adapter. That way, you can make any lens fit any type of camera.

Final Words

So, here we are at the end of this article! As a concluding phrase, I would like to say that there is not only one lens that can be considered the best lens for street photography. If it was like that then I wouldn’t mention all the five picks above. However, the reason that I chose all those brands is that all of the lenses are the best for street photography when used with that type of camera from the particular brand.

I really hope that this article will help you choose the best option for your needs and help you in your journey to become one of the best street photographers out there!

Further Reading

Street photography is one of the greatest types of photography! That is my opinion because i am a street photographer myself, but still, I think that most street photographers all wound the world think like me.

Street photography is a part of the outdoor photography category in general and if you don’t need the highest end lens, but instead you are more into outdoor photography as a general type, I would advise you to check some great lenses for outdoor portraits.

You may have noticed that the lenses that I mentioned above mostly are wide-angle. If the camera that you own is a Sony a600, here are listed some of the best known wide-angle lenses for the Sony A6000 camera.

Enjoy and have fun while shooting street photography!

Michael Fortin