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

Jan 12, 2024 | Buying Guides

Have you ever wondered what owning the best lens for street photography would be like?

If you love roaming around the city or if you are a fan of exploring urban places while traveling, the chance is relatively high that you have.

With the expansion of travel, modern cameras have become the equipment without a substitute for a good vacation.

image for street photography lenses guide

People like taking photos on the go, and unfortunately, the internet doesn’t come close to offering many helpful buying guides to ease the process of buying optics.

Since I love taking photos while traveling and highly appreciate the light and compact lenses, I have decided to create the ultimate guide with the sole intention of helping fellow photographers upgrade their gearboxes with high-quality lenses suited for street photography.

Editor's Choice
Best Runner Up
Best Budget

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L Lens

Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4R Lens

Sony 35mm f/2.8 Lens

Unlock breathtaking depth and exquisite bokeh with this top-rated lens. Capture stunning portraits and low-light scenes effortlessly.

Elevate your photography game with this impressive lens. Crisp details, versatile focal length, and beautiful background blur await.

Discover affordable brilliance. This compact lens delivers sharpness and versatility, making it perfect for everyday shooting and beyond.

5.0
4.9
4.7
Editor's Choice

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L Lens

Unlock breathtaking depth and exquisite bokeh with this top-rated lens. Capture stunning portraits and low-light scenes effortlessly.

5.0
Best Runner Up

Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4R Lens

Elevate your photography game with this impressive lens. Crisp details, versatile focal length, and beautiful background blur await.

4.9
Best Budget

Sony 35mm f/2.8 Lens

Discover affordable brilliance. This compact lens delivers sharpness and versatility, making it perfect for everyday shooting and beyond.

4.7
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L Lens

Pictures are incredibly sharp even at the widest opening. Canon 50 mm comes with an ultra-silent motor that ensures nice and smooth operation.

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  • Lens Type: Normal
  • Mounting Type: Canon EF
  • Focal Length Range: 50mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance:  0.45m
  • Weight: 1.28 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 3.39 x 3.39 inches

Canon offers an optical design of eight elements in six groups, with eight rounded diaphragm blades. It has an angle of view of 46 degrees and a minimum focus distance of 1,48 feet. The maximum magnification is 0,15x, and the lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization.

One of the reasons why it made the best lens for street photography is its excellent weather-resistance feature. It allows one to explore dusty cities or stormy evenings in urban areas without worrying about glass damage.

The first thing I noticed was a mesmerizing, creamy bokeh that blurs out the background while retaining sharpness and detail on the subject. The focus system is the art in itself, with reliable responsiveness and accuracy levels, although you will need to spend some time to master focusing at the maximum opening.

The general image sharpness makes the quality optics, and this one can boast the maximum quality without distortion or vignetting issues.

It offers an extraordinary dynamic range and works without flaws in capturing angles in urban environments. Manual focusing is also great; I preferred using it for many situations during the test phase.

The focal length is fixed so that you won’t have the option of zooming, but it leaves more space for creativity, which is crucial in urban photography since it offers much room for exploration. The Canon 50mm f/1.2 is the best Canon lens for street photography and has an exceptional design from the premium range.

Pros

  • Wide aperture
  • Excellent design
  • Overall sharpness
  • Fast focus

Cons

  • No zoom
  • No OIS

Best All-in-one
Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4D Lens

The aperture range is sufficient to captivate high-quality images even during blue hours and with the lack of optical image stabilization.

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The best lens for street photography Nikon, comes with an optical design of 15 elements in 11 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 84° to 28° 30′ with a minimum focus distance of 7,87 inches and a maximum magnification of 0,5x. The macro reproduction ratio is 1:2. The Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4 lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization, but it compensates for the lack of it by providing a solid aperture range.

I included Nikon as the best street photography lens thanks to its solid optical performance and fast focus system that didn’t make jam or hunt. It was pretty reliable and accurate in most situations.

Moreover, I overlooked issues with the lack of OIS, even during darker night hours. The focal range is compact and can cover most urban and street photography photographic scenarios. It is pretty versatile and does a phenomenal job in every day shootings.

Moreover:

It sports zoom and macro capabilities, so it is a strong candidate for every day and walk-around lenses. The overall image quality is reliable with reasonable sharpness, and the distortion and chromatic aberrations that lurk in the edges are easily corrected in post-production. The aperture range is sufficient to captivate high-quality images even during blue hours and with the lack of optical image stabilization.

Pros

  • Fast focus
  • Solid design
  • Versatility
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Sony 35mm f/2.8 Lens

The autofocus of the given Sony is extremely silent and unbelievably accurate, so it is great to use.

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The best lens for street photography, Sony offers an optical design of seven elements in five groups, with seven rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 62 degrees with a minimum focus distance of 1.15 feet and a maximum magnification ratio of 0,12x. The weather-resistant body doesn’t have optical image stabilization and lacks zooming capabilities.

One of the critical factors:

Of these optics, it made the best lens for street photography because of the standard street photo focal length with the addition of fast and reliable focus capabilities. I like using manual focus whenever possible, and I have done so with the given lens. However, the autofocus of the given Sony 35mm f/2.8 is exceptionally silent and unbelievably accurate, so it is excellent to use.

I tried using the lens for both images and videos, and the results were excellent in both cases, so it is another reason to use it as a walk-around. The overall image sharpness is exquisite, with incredible detail preservation and virtually no distortion issues around the corners of the photo.

Furthermore, it can create a portrait-like bokeh effect while remaining quite sharp on the subject. In the design compartment, it is worth every praise since it packs a solid performing package in a compact and lightweight body.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Weather resistance
  • Fast focus
  • Focal length

Cons

  • Price

Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4R Lens

The image quality achieved at a maximum opening is next to amazing, with crispy and sharp details, with no distortion or vignetting.

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Fujifilm has an optical design of eight elements in six groups, with seven rounded diaphragm blades. It has an angle of view of 44,2 degrees, the minimum focus distance is 11,2 inches, and the maximum magnification is 0,17x. Although Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 doesn’t feature optical image stabilization, it has the aperture of an f/1.4 which contributes to creating unique images.

It is the key reason:

Why it made the best street photography lens, the image quality achieved at a maximum opening is next to excellent, with crispy and sharp details and no distortion or vignetting. I did spot a flare when shooting directly at the sun or another light source, but it didn’t have any problems.

The combination of a fast aperture and a reliable focus system that is entirely accurate and reliable is excellent for capturing fast-moving objects (cars, people, motorcycles) in an urban area, and the 35 mm of focal length is the ultimate solution for city exploration. Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 is one of the best Fuji lenses for street photography.

Moreover:

An f/1.4 is fantastic for producing a beautiful bokeh, and the images are tack sharp even at the widest opening. Speaking of the overall quality, the lens delivers strong results at an f/1.4, but if you stop a couple of notches, it gives even better outcomes. The design is also on point with weather resistance features, so it is a solid investment in the long haul.

Pros

  • Focal length
  • Wide aperture
  • Solid focus
  • Weather resistance

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Lens

The image quality offers a substantial-quality, even under difficult lighting conditions, thanks to the combination of a wide aperture and the VC feature.

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Tamron has an optical design of 10 elements in 9 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. It sports an angle of view of 63° 26′ and a minimum focus distance of 7,87 inches, with a maximum magnification of 0,38x. Another excellent feature is the vibration compensation (OIS) system, one of the critical factors that put Tamron 35mm F/1.8 on the best street photography lens list.

It also has a fluorine coating on the front element, essential in stopping fingertips and water from damaging the glass. I thought that Tamron’s colors were among the best on the lens market, and it indeed came to life with this test.

It showcased urban street colors without excessive saturation while remaining vibrant. The overall image quality offers a substantial rate, even under difficult lighting conditions, thanks to a wide aperture and the VC feature.

It produces sharp images without distortion and chromatic aberrations issues. The wide opening is sufficient for creating beautiful pictures under dim lighting without the excess noise due to ISO value. It is also capable of creating a solid bokeh, which is pretty helpful as a portrait lens.

The focus system is accurate and fast, although not the fastest in the class. The manual focus ring is lovely, and the overall design is excellent if you intend to use the lens under demanding conditions since it offers weather resistance.

Pros

  • Fast focus
  • Wide aperture
  • Weather resistance
  • Color rendering

Cons

  • No zoom

Verdict

Shooting in the city is becoming one of the predominant photography styles, so it is paramount to get the lens for street photography to remain competent on the market.

Luckily, it is possible to get solid optics at reasonable prices with a bit of searching and know-how-to.

Despite the lack of internet content on the subject, if you choose any of the lenses from the list, your photographic portfolio will pop out in no time.

We hope you enjoyed and learned something new, but now it’s time to make the final decision and choose the lens that will improve your photography. We recommend this lens if you’re still unsure which lens is best for you.

Make sure to read our other articles, such as our real estate lens guide and vlogging lens guide, if you want to improve your photography skills.

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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