📸 5 Best Lenses for Lifestyle Photography In 2024 [Guide]

Jan 12, 2024 | Buying Guides

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

If you nodded in agreement, you are probably either a commercial photographer, a social butterfly, or someone who wants to take their lifestyle photography to the next level. 

Lifestyle photography is general and falls into its category, but it usually requires a wider focal length, depending on the image size.

image for lifestyle photography lenses guide

There are also many variables that one needs to consider, so it is disappointing that the internet doesn’t offer many valuable guides to help photographers navigate the market.

With that idea in mind, I have decided to use my knowledge to prepare a comprehensive buying guide to help fellow photographers pick suitable lifestyle photography lenses.

Editor's Choice
Best Runner Up
Best Budget

Nikon 85mm f/1.4G Lens

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Lens

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Lens

Unleash creativity with unrivaled precision, capturing moments in breathtaking detail with this remarkable lens.

Unleash your vision with remarkable clarity, this lens lets you capture stunning shots that leave a lasting impression.

Unleash your creativity without breaking the bank. This lens delivers exceptional quality at an unbeatable price.

5.0
4.8
4.6
Editor's Choice

Nikon 85mm f/1.4G Lens

Unleash creativity with unrivaled precision, capturing moments in breathtaking detail with this remarkable lens.

5.0
Best Runner Up

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Lens

Unleash your vision with remarkable clarity, this lens lets you capture stunning shots that leave a lasting impression.

4.8
Best Budget

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Lens

Unleash your creativity without breaking the bank. This lens delivers exceptional quality at an unbeatable price.

4.6
Nikon 85mm f/1.4G Lens

This is an ultra fast lens with an edge to edge sharpness that performs great in any situation and has great colors and beautiful bokeh.

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Nikon offers an optical design of 10 elements in nine groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 28° 30′, with a maximum magnification of 0,12x and a minimum focus distance of 2,79 feet. It doesn’t have optical image stabilization but packs a fast aperture that ensures a solid low-light performance. I mainly put Nikon 85mm f/1.4G on the lifestyle lens list because of its gorgeous bokeh. Also, Nikon 85mm f/1.4G belongs to the group of modern lifestyle lenses.

Subjects are isolated quite beautifully, and the defocused backgrounds look incredibly dreamy, with a “circular” bokeh effect. The color transmission is beautiful, with a subtle palette and strong contrast. The sharpness is excellent even at the maximum opening; naturally, it is better once you step down.

I didn’t notice any distortion issues, no matter the aperture range. The chromatic aberration is present at an f/1.4 but negligible, and the problem is easily mitigated in post-production. 

Vignetting at the maximum opening is also not a big issue and is easily removed. Focusing is relatively fast, but it is accurate and quite silent, and the speed (along with a fast aperture) helps in low-light situations, making a compromise for the lack of image stabilization. Design-wise, the lens is relatively lightweight and compact, and the finishing process is sound, with excellent materials, and it feels good to hold.

Pros

  • Fast aperture
  • Solid focus
  • Design
  • Image quality

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4R Lens

The bokeh effect is beautiful, with a distinction between the subject in focus, and defocused backgrounds. The general image quality is outstanding.

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Fujifilm offers an optical solution of eight elements in six groups, with seven rounded diaphragm blades and an angle of view of 44.2 degrees. The minimum focus distance is 11,02 inches, and the maximum magnification sits at 0,17x.

Fujifilm XF, 35mm f/1.4R, doesn’t have optical image stabilization, but the fast aperture makes a compromise to ensure picture quality under low lighting. The critical factor why Fujifilm made the best lens for lifestyle photography is the excellent portrait capability at the maximum opening. 

I tested the lens on the XT-2, and it produces exquisite results at 1/32.000th of the electronic shutter speed. It matters because the lens allows a lot of light to enter the sensor, so it is possible to shoot at the maximum opening, no matter the strength of the external light. The bokeh effect is beautiful, distinguishing between the subject in focus and defocused backgrounds. The general image quality is outstanding, and during the testing, I didn’t face any issues regarding distortion or vignetting (even at the maximum opening).

I noticed traces of chromatic aberrations, but the amount was negligible and a reasonably easy fix. The focus system is not the fastest on the market and tends to be slower, depending on the lighting conditions, but it is pretty accurate and silent. Design-wise, the lens is a standard, well-built product that fits everyday needs. Also, the Fujifilm KSF 35mm f/1.4R lens is excellent for outdoor lifestyle photography.

Pros

  • Fast aperture
  • Bokeh
  • Image sharpness,
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Lack of OIS
  • Slow autofocus

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Lens

Capture life's brilliance with Canon's RF 35mm f/1.8 lens; exceptional low-light performance, beautiful bokeh, and razor-sharp detail.

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Canon has an optical design of 11 elements in nine groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 63 degrees, with a minimum focus distance of 0,56 feet and a maximum magnification of 0,5x. The macro reproduction ratio is 1:2, and the Canon 35mm f/1.8 comes with optical image stabilization that ensures up to five stops of shake correction. The focal length of the given Canon is why it made the best lens for lifestyle photography. 

The 35mm is relatively small (compared to 50mm prime or other zooms), but at the same time, it offers a reasonably wide aperture and macro capabilities. The bokeh effect is next so spectacular, with sharp subject isolation and defocused backgrounds.

Due to its aperture, it is best used for lifestyle photos or personal style images, making it a less suitable candidate for professional studio single-person shots. Color rendering is another vital point of the lens. 

I have always liked Canon’s color palette; this lens is no exception, with natural and vibrant tones. The focus system is solid, although an STM plays on the “silence” card rather than “fast.” It is not to say that it is not responsive and accurate.

On the contrary, it does a great job and could be utilized for videos. For stills, however, I would rather have a faster USM. From a design point of view, the lens is phenomenal, with a professional build and excellent material choice.

Pros

  • Versatile focal length
  • Fast aperture
  • OIS
  • Design
  • Bokeh

Cons

  • USM focus would be more suitable

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Lens

The maximum opening of an f/1.4 is quite handy during darker hours, and the lens is able of producing great shots under those circumstances.

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Sigma has an optical construction of 15 elements in 11 groups, with 11 rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 28.6 degrees, with a minimum focus distance of 2.79 feet and a maximum magnification of 0,12x. The lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization, but the fast aperture makes a compromise and helps in creating stunning low-light images. The Sigma 85mm f/1.4DG lens also has a dust and splash-proof construction, making it a suitable choice for challenging environments. As with any Sigma “Art” type of lens, the one I had has excellent design and outstanding optical quality. 

The main reason:

I put it the best lifestyle lens because of its remarkable bokeh effect. The separation between the subject and background is clear and visible, with a defocused experience. The maximum opening of an f/1.4 is quite handy during darker hours, and the lens can produce great shots under those circumstances. There is a distortion issue that can be noticed throughout the aperture range. 

However:

The problem is an easy post-production fix, so it is not a deal-breaker. The Focus system is electronic, so video lovers might object due to decreased ability to do a follow focus. On the other hand, it offers much more precision for stills. In terms of design, it is an outstanding piece of glass with weather protection that has proven worth the investment.

Pros

  • Fast aperture
  • Wide focal length,
  • Fast focus
  • Bokeh

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Best Prime
Tamron 85mm f/1.8 Lens

The bokeh effect is truly mesmerizing, and it is fairly easy to create a strong visual impact with this lens.

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The last contender has an optical design of 13 elements in nine groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 28° 33′, with a minimum focus distance of 2,62 feet and a maximum magnification of 0,14x. Tamron, 85mm f/1.8Di, also has optical image stabilization that, combined with a fast aperture, offers incredible low-light performance. 

The key factor:

That made me put Tamron as the best lens for lifestyle photography: the incredible optical performance at a fraction of the cost (compared to the lenses of the same class, with the same options). The bokeh effect was the first thing I noticed, and it was truly mesmerizing, and it is relatively easy to create a strong visual impact with this lens. At the maximum opening, images are tack-sharp, and I was surprised by how good they did come out. 

I am also a fan of optical image stabilization since it allows me to produce sharp images even at longer shutter speeds (i.e., 1/30th and 1/60th of a second).

I didn’t have problems with chromatic aberrations or fringing, and the focus system is accurate and responsive without hunting or jamming issues. The manual override in autofocus allows a precise and selective focus, which is convenient for portrait shots. The color palette is also spot-on, while all that comes in a relatively compact and lightweight body.

Pros

  • Wide focal length
  • Fast aperture
  • OIS
  • Fast focus

Cons

  • The lens mount could be stronger

Verdict

As the article above shows, it is essential to buy the best lens for lifestyle photography if you aim to rise above the commercial competition or if you want to elevate your photographic games.

It is noticeable that there are many variables one should consider, but it is also true that it is possible to buy these types of optics, no matter what manufacturer or brand you prefer. If you opt out of any of the lenses from the list, your lifestyle photos will be recognized as valuable memories.

Now is the time to make the right decision and choose the best lens for your needs. If you are unsure which lens is best for you, we recommend this lens.

You can check out some of our other guides: best lenses for vlogging  and best lenses for event photography.

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

Stacy WItten

Stacy WItten

Owner, Writer & Photographer

Stacy Witten, owner and creative force behind LensesPro, delivers expertly crafted content with precision and professional insight. Her extensive background in writing and photography guarantees quality and trust in every review and tutorial.

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