Without the best Northern Lights camera lens, it doesn’t really matter how good your camera is.
Photographing the Northern Lights is my passion and I’ve spent years shooting the Aurora using different camera lenses. Today, I can sum up the best lenses to photograph the Northern Lights:
1. Sony 14 mm f/1.8 GM
2. Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM
3. Rokinon 14mm f/2.8
4. Venus Laowa 15mm f/2
5. Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8 S
6. Canon RF 15-35 mm f/2.8
7. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG
8. Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD
9. Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone
10. Zeiss 18mm Batis f/2.8
Apart from having a good lens, using the best settings to shoot the Northern Lights is fundamental in capturing the best possible images. Also, don’t forget that cameras are essential in night photography, so make sure you pair your lens with one of the best cameras for Northern Lights photography.
This winning list of the best lenses for the Northern Lights only includes wide-angle lenses since these offer the best field of view to capture the Aurora. Also, all these lenses are concretely designed for Full-Frame cameras.
Nevertheless, in this guide, you’ll find a comprehensive list of the best lenses to take pictures of the Northern Lights according to your budget and preferences. I’ve included some of the best zoom and prime APS-C lenses, and the best Nikon, Sony, and Canon lenses for Northern Lights photography.
If you need buying advice, I’ve also added a section with some key things to consider when buying a Northern Lights lens.
Let’s get started with the best lenses for shooting the Northern Lights!
- Best camera lenses for Northern Lights photography
- Best APS-C lenses for shooting the Northern Lights
- Best Sony lens for photographing the Northern Lights
- Best Nikon lens for Northern Lights photography
- Best Canon lens for Northern Lights photography
- What makes a good Northern Lights camera lens?
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1. Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM – The best lens for Northern Lights photography
|The Sony 14 mm f/1.8 is the best lens for photographing the Northern Lights. The quality in low-light photography is stunning. It’s fast and sharp even in the corners, with no deformations, aberrations, and other issues commonly found in other Aurora lenses. It’s also light and compact, and the only downside is its price, but it’s worth every last penny.
As soon as I tested it, it became my absolute favorite night photography lens. The field of view and aperture are also perfect for filming the Aurora and shooting Northern Lights time-lapses.
*If you are looking for something more affordable and don’t mind compromising field of view, the Sony 20mm f/1.8 is also an excellent option for Northern Lights.
2. Sigma 14mm f/1.8 – best wide-angle lens for Northern Lights
Sigma 14mm f/1.8
- LENS MOUNT: Sigma SA, Canon EF, L-Mount, Nikon F, Sony E
- LENS FORMAT: Full-Frame
- WEIGHT:2.57 lb (1170 g)
- MAX-MIN APERTURE: f/1.8-f/16
- FOCUS TYPE: Autofocus
- IMAGE STABILIZATION: No
- FILTER SIZE: None
|This is by far the best general wide-angle lens to photograph the Northern Lights. It offers the two most important features in any lens for Aurora photography: a wide-angle field of view and luminosity. The only cons are its price and weight. Compatible with: Nikon, Sony, and Canon full-frame cameras.|
*If you are a Sony shooter, I’d recommend the Sony 14 mm f/1.8 GM instead for the reasons explained below.
3. Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 – Best cheap lens for Northern Lights photography
|This is the best affordable lens for Northern Lights photography. It’s wide, light, fast, it doesn’t have a strong comma in the corners, and the best thing; it’s fairly cheap. The only disadvantage of this lens is the lack of autofocus, but it’s always better to use the manual focus when shooting the Aurora as I explain in the focus section of my Northern Lights photography guide. Compatible with: Nikon, Sony, Canon, Fuji, Pentax.|
*Note: If you prefer a longer focal length to shoot the Aurora, the Rokinon 20 mm f/1.8 and Rokinon 24 mm f/1.4 are also great options at an affordable price.
4. Venus Laowa 15mm f/2 – best third-party Northern Lights lens
|This is one of the best 3rd party lenses for Northern Lights photography in mirrorless cameras. It’s designed specifically for night and low-light photography, and it’s very compact and light. It doesn’t require special filters, which is something to consider if you plan to use it as a lens for landscape photography. Compatible with: Sony, Nikon and Canon mirrorless cameras.|
A wider version of Laowa for Northern Lights photography is the Laowa 12 mm f/2.8.
5. NIKKOR Z 20 MM F/1.8 – Best Nikon lens for Northern Lights
|If you’re a Nikon Z mirrorless shooter, this is your lens for Northern Lights photography. It’s very fast, reliable, and offers excellent performance in low-light. I’ve tested this lens on many Aurora trips with our Capture the Atlas Photo Tour students and I think that it should be mandatory on any Northern Lights adventure.|
6. Canon RF 15-35 mm f/2.8 L – Best Canon lens for Northern Lights
7. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG – Best Wide-angle zoom lens
This is probably the best general wide-angle zoom to shoot the Northern Lights. It’s sturdy, sharp, and the glass is built with impressive quality. Compatible with: Nikon, Sony, and Canon Full-Frame cameras.