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9 Best Lenses for Fine Art Photography in 2024

Last updated: January 18, 2024 - 9 min read
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Fine art photography has a very loose definition so choosing the best lens for fine art photography can be a tricky task.

But because the definition is loose, it can be the perfect genre for almost any photographer.

With the right lenses, you can produce high-quality fine art photos.

Read on for our top choices for the best lens for fine art photography. But first, here’s our top choice.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Lens For Fine Art Photography
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
 

The Best Lens for Fine Art Photography

And before we look at choosing the best lens for fine art photography in detail, here’s a round-up of all the lenses in this review.

Amazing Value Allrounder
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
  • Very cheap for high quality optics
  • Fast f/1.8 maximum aperture
  • Very quiet STM AF motor
  • Very compact and light
Best Premium Canon Standard Lens
Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
  • Incredibly sharp wide-open
  • Fast and silent AF
  • Maximum aperture of f/1.2 is great for low-light
  • Solid 'L' series construction and weather sealing
Best Standard Lens With IS
Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
  • Quick, silent AF performance
  • Fast f/1.8 maximum aperture
  • Soft, creamy bokeh
  • Image stabilization
Best Compact Lens for Canon
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Prime Lens
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Prime Lens
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Prime Lens
  • Canon's smallest EF lens
  • Super-sharp optics
  • Always-available manual focus
  • Great value
Best Soft-Focus Lens
Lensbaby 56mm f/1.6 Prime Lens for Nikon F-Mount
Lensbaby 56mm f/1.6 Prime Lens for Nikon F-Mount
Lensbaby 56mm f/1.6 Prime Lens for Nikon F-Mount
  • Unique combination of sharpness and softness
  • Fast f/1.6 maximum aperture
  • Maximum 1:2 magnification for close-up work
  • Manual focus
Best Allround Nikon Zoom
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5G ED VR
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5G ED VR
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5G ED VR
  • Great price for an all-round lens
  • Focal length range can span a number of genres
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Sharp and clear optics
Best Speciality Lens
Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 35mm f/2.8 Fujifilm X-mount
Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 35mm f/2.8 Fujifilm X-mount
Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 35mm f/2.8 Fujifilm X-mount
  • Specialist 'soap bubble' lens
  • Available in ten different mounts
  • All-metal construction hand-made in Germany
  • Unrivalled bokeh
Best 85mm Lens
Sigma 85mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM for Canon EF
Sigma 85mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM for Canon EF
Sigma 85mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM for Canon EF
  • Excellent optical quality
  • Great value at the price
  • Solid build quality
  • Smooth, attractive bokeh
Best Nikon 35mm Lens
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F/1.4G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F/1.4G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F/1.4G
  • Fast maximum f/1.4 aperture
  • Good bokeh for a 35mm lens
  • Always-available manual focus
  • Fast and quiet AF
Best Standard Zoom for Canon
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
  • Super sharp at all apertures and focal lengths
  • Constant, fast f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • Weather sealed for lens durability
  • Always-available manual focus
 

10 Best Fine Art Lenses Ranked

Fine art photography doesn’t have any specific requirements.

Many photographers agree that fine art is something that makes you feel. It’s something you’d want to hang on your walls. Fine art tends to have perfect compositions and thought-provoking subjects.

Fine art covers a wide variety of genres. No matter what you like to photograph, you can create fine art.

It’s important to note that almost anyone can be a fine art photographer. It’s all about perspective. You can have the cheapest equipment and still be capable of creating stunning photographs.

However, the more advanced your equipment, the more creative possibilities you’ll have.

Fine art is all about breaking the rules and redefining your version of creativity. Because of this, you might find it helpful to experiment with some of the best fine art lenses in the market.

 

1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
Canon keeps it simple with this lens, delivering great sharpness at a low price.

Most camera companies have a 50mm f/1.8 lens. This lens is one of the cheapest and best prime lenses out there.

The 50mm f/1.8 is extremely versatile for its price. It works well in nighttime conditions and creates soft bokeh. This versatility makes it the ideal lens for every photographer out there.

If you want to create high-quality fine art on a budget, this lens will likely serve you well.

 

2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.2
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
A solid, pro-level 50mm with a very fast maximum aperture.

With a maximum aperture of f/1.2, this lens offers brilliant focusing and bokeh opportunities. This is a robust little lens that’s ideal for photographers who travel a lot. It works well in harsh weather conditions.

It has a Super Spectra coating that’s meant to avoid lens flares and ghosting.

Because of these capabilities, it can be a useful lens for fine art landscape and travel photographers.

 

3. Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
Brand
Brand
Tamron
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
45 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
With a fast maximum aperture and image stabilization, this is perfect for demanding light conditions.

The Tamron 45mm f/1.8 promises to create high-quality and atmospheric images. Like other f/1.8 lenses, it can create soft and creamy bokeh. You can get closer to subjects than with a standard 50mm lens.

This is perfect for fine art photographers who want to zoom in and out often.

The 45mm f/1.8 is very quick and silent. You can use it easily in nighttime conditions without having to worry about compromising the quality of your photos.

 

4. Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Prime Lens
Brand
Brand
Canon
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
40 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

Canon’s 40mm f/2.8 lens is a pancake lens. Pancake lenses are tiny and light. This size makes them ideal for photographers who travel often.

It shoots very quietly, making it the perfect tool for fine art street photographers. The maximum aperture is f/2.8, so you won’t be able to create incredibly soft bokeh with it.

However, it can be an excellent tool for people who want to capture more atmospheres and details in their fine art photos.

 

5. Lensbaby 56mm f/1.6 Velvet

Lensbaby 56mm f/1.6 Prime Lens for Nikon F-Mount
Brand
Brand
Lensbaby
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.6
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
56 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
The Velvet range of lenses brings a dreamy, unique look to your pictures.

The Velvet 56 is one of Lensbaby’s many creative lenses. It’s one of the best lenses for fine art photography because of its versatility.

You can use this lens to take dreamy and surreal fine art photos of people, landscapes, food, and even insects. The lens has macro capabilities so that you can get extremely close to details.

This lens is excellent for photographers who enjoy taking soft and cinematic photos.

 

6. Nikon AF-S FX 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 ED VR

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5G ED VR
Brand
Brand
Nikon
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 4.5
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
24-85 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
Sharp reproductions and ease of use make this a great choice.

Nikon’s 24-85mm lens may not be your standard fine art photography lens, but it seems to do its job perfectly. Famous fine art photographer Alessio Albi uses this lens to take detailed photos of people.

The lens provides excellent clarity. It captures colors very well. Like the 40mm f/2.8, it won’t create the creamiest background possible. If you like photographing details in your fine art, you’re likely to love this lens.

 

7. Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma 85mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM for Canon EF
Brand
Brand
Sigma
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.4
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
85 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
Super sharp optics and overall quality, at an attractive price.

Sigma’s 85mm lens is one of the sharpest lenses out there. Its primary use is in portrait photography, but you might find it very useful in all genres of fine art photography.

It’s one of the cheapest 85mm lenses in the market.

The 85mm f/1.4 works immensely well with colors and details. It’s ideal for fine art photographers who want to include people in most of their work. You’ll be able to photograph perfect skin tones with this lens.

An important thing to note is that this lens is weighty. It’s not ideal for light traveling. The lens itself is also quite large. This size might be a problem if you often use lens filters.

 

8. Nikon AF-S FX 35mm f/1.4

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F/1.4G
Brand
Brand
Nikon
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.4
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
35 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
Lovely, fast maximum aperture and clear optics.

All major manufacturers make a 35mm f/1.4 wide-angle lens. You can create story-oriented and atmospheric images with wide-angle lenses. Focus on your subject and harmoniously capture its surroundings.

A lens like this Nikon is perfect for both indoor and outdoor fine art photographers. Even if you shoot in a small space, you’ll be able to take atmospheric fine art photos.

Extra tip: Wide-angle lenses can create distortions. Unless that’s the look you’re going for, don’t get too close to your subject.

 

9. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
24-70 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
What makes this a great Fine Art lens?
Solidly built with a fast maximum aperture and lovely, sharp optics.

Even though it was released many years ago, the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L is still a fine art photography favorite.

It was discontinued a few years ago and replaced with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. Both have similar capabilities, but the updated version promises to have fewer distortions.

Fine art photographers like Robert Woodcox have used this lens. It’s versatile and perfect for all kinds of shooting conditions. You can zoom in to create an intimate feel or zoom out to capture more of the surrounding details.

If you take photos of different subjects (e.g. landscapes and people), you will likely enjoy using this lens.

 

Conclusion

You can take your fine art ideas to the next level with these lenses.

Don’t be afraid of experimenting with unusual techniques and equipment to make your fine art look outstanding.

And there’s no better place to start with choosing a lens than our top choice.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Lens For Fine Art Photography
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM
Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013 for Nikon F
 

Common Fine Art Photography Questions

What is the best camera for fine art photography?

Almost any camera works well with fine art photography. Some of the best fine art cameras are the Canon 5D Mark IV, Sony A7 III, and Nikon D750.

What is an art lens in photography?

Art lenses are high-quality lenses that create very sharp photos. They usually have large apertures, like f/1.2, to create soft backgrounds and sharp bokeh. These lenses are perfect for fine art and portrait photography.