Have you ever considered purchasing the best lens for event photography?

If you are a commercial photographer or an enthusiast who wants to be noticed on social media, the chance is high that you have.

Venue or event photography is becoming increasingly popular as people get glimpses of what it looks like to be immersed in such experiences, thanks to advanced photographic or video work.

image for event photography lenses guide

Despite all of that, the internet still doesn’t offer many useful guides, making the job of obtaining high-end optics easier for photographers.

Since I love observing events behind the safety of a viewfinder, I have decided to make a comprehensive guide that would enable fellow photographers to get rock-solid optics tailored to their needs.

Best All-in-one
Nikon 24-120mm f/4G Lens
3.5
$1,099.95 $320.00

Nikon 24-120mm f/4G performs great in most situations, while still being compact, having fast autofocus and decent build quality.

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02/09/2023 12:52 am GMT

Nikon 24-120mm f/4 has an optical design of 17 elements in 13 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 84° to 20° 30′, with a minimum focus distance of 1,48 feet, and a maximum magnification of 0,24x. The lens also has VR II (i.e., optical image stabilization), which complements a relatively narrow aperture of an f/4 in ensuring good quality in lowlight situations.

The key reason:

why I put Nikon on the best event photography lens list is the incredible sharpness that is showcased throughout the zoom range. Although it isn’t a prime lens, it has a great zooming capability that ensures overall sharpness at all focal lengths, with a good number of preserved details.

Another key point regards the focus system. During the testing, I didn’t have problems nailing the shot. A bonus goes to the VR II which certainly helps in low-light settings.

The autofocus is smooth and accurate while remaining relatively silent. It comes in handy when you want to capture moving crowds or if you want to use it for video recording. The versatility of focal length is what I like. With the lens, I was able to capture wide-angle shots at 24mm while retaining the telephoto capability at another end.

The noise control is also well managed. I raised ISO values for quite a few shots, and the result was clean in all cases. Although it’s relatively heavy, it has a robust and sturdy design which is worth the compromise.

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Design
  • Sharpness
  • Fast focus

Cons

  • Narrow aperture

Best Wide-Angle
Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens
5.0
$629.00

During the testing, I first noticed that the lens provides a high level of detail while retaining an excellent color balance.

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02/09/2023 12:55 am GMT

The best canon lens for event photography offers an optical design of 13 elements in 10 groups, with six rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 107° 30′ to 63° 30′, with a minimum focus distance of 9,45 inches, and a maximum magnification of 0,17x.

Unfortunately, Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 doesn’t come with optical image stabilization, but the circular aperture works on creating natural-looking highlights as a means of compensation, and the lens has a superior autofocus performance, along with a full-time manual capability.

The main reason:

why I included it on the best event photography lens is its ability to capture wide-angle shots. I was impressed by the number of preserved details and the color vibrance at both focal lengths ends. The next positive point relates to the autofocus system. I didn’t face problems with missed shots or focus hunting. It is silent and quite accurate. The wide range of shooting makes me disregard the lack of OIS or fast aperture.

On the other hand:

I have noticed barrel distortion at 10mm, but it goes away at another focal length. The chromatic aberration is nonexistent, and it is possible to shoot directly to the light source without causing too much flare. Design-wise, it is relatively heavy, especially when you consider the lack of OIS or if you consider focal length. I didn’t have issues with using it for a long time, but I highly recommend getting a hand strap or a tripod.

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Color transmission
  • Fast autofocus

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Best Prime
Sigma 35mm f/1.2 Lens
5.0
$1,199.00 $1,099.00

The combination of the fast aperture and fast autofocus is a guarantee of high-quality shots even in situations where the light is scarce.

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02/08/2023 02:24 am GMT

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 has an optical design of 17 elements in 12 groups, with 11 rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 63.4°, with a minimum focus distance of 11,81 inches, a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:5.1, and a maximum magnification of 0,19x.

The lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization, but it is equipped with a fast aperture that ensures an extraordinary performance in low-light situations. The key factor that has influenced me to put it on the best event photography lens is the amazing bokeh it creates.

The subject separation, with clear and sharp lines, is nicely isolated from the creamy background blur, making this Sigma an excellent portrait lens. The second vital point is the focus system.

It is incredibly responsive and accurate, without jamming issues. The combination of the fast aperture and fast autofocus is a guarantee of high-quality shots even in situations where the light is scarce or where subjects are frequently moving.

The point of focus sharpness is excellent at all focal lengths, and generally, I only used the maximum opening to control the depth of field. If you shoot landscapes or shots that demand the whole frame to be focused, you may notice corner distortion. However, the extent of it is easy to mitigate in post-production. The only objection regards the design. It is a quite heavy and big lens, which could be the reason why some photographers will think twice before the purchase.

Pros

  • Bokeh
  • Fast aperture
  • Fast focus
  • Overall sharpness

Cons

  • Lack of OIS
  • Heavy

Best Prime
Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4R Lens
4.5
$899.95 $749.00

The image quality is impeccable. It gives sharp results across the frame, with a stunningly realistic representation of colors.

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02/08/2023 02:15 am GMT

The Fujinon sports an optical design of 11 elements in eight groups, with seven rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 63.4°, with a maximum magnification of 0,1x, and a minimum focus distance of 11,02 inches.

The Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization, but the fast aperture compromises by delivering awesome results under low light conditions. The main factor that influenced my decision to put it on the best lens for event photography is the optical solution in combination with the design.

The Fujinon has a wide aperture, packed in a small package since it is made for the Fuji X-mount system. Practically, it means that you get a high-grade performance for much less space and weight. Moreover, it is made from glass and metal, which adds to the style and robust design. The image quality is impeccable. It gives sharp results across the frame, with a stunningly realistic representation of colors.

Due to the wide aperture, it is easily possible to create a shallow depth of field, realistic in dreamy bokeh. The focus system is also rock-solid, with excellent response and accuracy. It is relatively silent, so it is possible to use the Fujinon even as a videography lens.

The lack of image stabilization does spoil the impression, but not so much because the already mentioned aperture and fast focus do a phenomenal job even under dim conditions. The only drawback regards the price, since purchasing this lens does require a solid amount of money.

Pros

  • Wide aperture
  • Color distribution
  • Compactness
  • Fast focus

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Best Wide-angle
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 Lens
3.5
$2,198.00

The Sony lens has a solid build and a top-notch quality, smooth bokeh and a high resolution images while also being weather sealed.

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02/07/2023 10:15 pm GMT

Sony packs an optical design of 16 elements in 13 groups, with 11 rounded diaphragm blades. It has an angle of view of 107°–63°, and a minimum focus distance of 11,02 inches, with a maximum magnification of 0,19x.

Although it lacks optical image stabilization, the fast aperture ensures a strong low light performance. The first among many reasons that have put this Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 on the best lens for event photography regards the outstanding GM design, with top-notch materials that have been used in the making process.

Moreover:

the lens is quite light, which is impressive when one considers the presence of a fast aperture and the weather-sealing option. The bokeh effect is the next outstanding feature. The f/2.8 aperture allows for creating a shallow depth of field that results in fine subject isolation in contrast to smooth backgrounds. During the testing, I didn’t notice any distortion issues, and they were present exclusively at extreme focal length ends.

The color distribution is quite good, and colors feel natural, yet vibrant with strong contrast. I also like the fact that the focus system is responsive and precise, with a relatively silent motor. An additional plus is the 82mm filter thread for photographers who like using filters. However, if you use one it is possible to notice slight vignetting. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 is also the best lens for indoor event photography.

Pros

  • Fast focus
  • Wide aperture
  • 82mm thread
  • Weather-sealed

Cons

  • Lack of OIS
  • Price

Verdict

Buying the lenses for event photography is of utmost importance for commercial success or to captivate the energy of any event and present it to third parties. Since there are many photography styles and preferences, I tried to cover all the bases with my least choice.

No matter what your style or brand preferences are, if you pick any of the lenses outlined above, your event photography will get due recognition.

Make the best decision you can now and choose the lens that will work best for your needs. We recommend this lens for you.

I suggest reading our articles for the 5 best lenses for night photography and the 5 best lenses for boudoir photography if you want to get better at taking pictures.

Disclaimer: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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These Are 5 Best Lenses For Event Photography in 2023
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These Are 5 Best Lenses For Event Photography in 2023
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Discover what are the 5 best lenses for event photography that will drastically boost your image quality in 2023. Read now to learn more!
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