Choosing the Best Lens for Car Photography (1)

As with any photography genre, car photography requires some special considerations when it comes to lens selection when it comes to stunning car shots.  You are lucky to have seen this guide, which will show you how to choose the best lens for car photography to help you get the right lens.  So don’t panic, read on.  

1. How to choose the best lens for car photography?  

With the right equipment, car photography can be a lot of fun.  With the right lens, you can get what you want more directly from every possible Angle.  That’s why it’s so important to find the best lens for car photography.  

Car photography

(1) Prime lens and zoom lens  

It’s much easier to use a zoom lens if you’re making a scroll wheel.  You’ll want to be able to zoom in and out, depending on how close you are to the action, and you can’t always direct the car to move as you want.  

Prime lenses are good for taking close shots of cars, such as badges, and for blowing away the background to make the car pop out.  But I found that shooting cars at an aperture below 2.8 did throw the rear half out of focus.  

(2) Focal length  

The focal length you use can have a huge impact on the composition of car photos.  Therefore, you must consider what type of car photos you want to create.  Do you plan to photograph small details of the car, including the interior?  Maybe you’d like to take a picture of the whole car in a different background setting?  

For vehicle photos, it is best to use a 24mm or 35mm lens of equal focal length.  These lenses allow you to properly frame the car and contain a fair amount of background.  

If you want a more compact cropped photo to emphasize the car, a narrower focal length (say, 50mm) might be better.  

Finally, for small details, or close-ups of different parts of the car, a telephoto lens with a focal length of 75mm or more is a better choice.  

(3) Aperture  

The aperture describes how much light a lens can consume.  It is represented by “F” numbers such as F /2.8, F /4, or 1:4.  When taking pictures of cars, a lens with a smaller number concentrates lighter than a lens with a larger number.  They are usually better for night photography, but lack clarity.  

(4) Full frame or APS-C  

You also have to consider the camera’s sensor when looking at the focal length.  Camera sensors are full-frame, APS-C, or miniature three-quarters.  In this article, we will focus only on full-frame and APS-C.  The focal length of the full-frame lens is described earlier.  

By contrast, APS-C lenses have a focal length clipping factor of 1.6.  So if you use the same 35mm lens on a camera with an APS-C sensor, the effective focal length will be 56mm (35 x 1.6).  

As you can see, this can completely change the functionality of the lens and the types of photos it can produce.  If you have an APS-C camera, you must consider the clipping factor when viewing the focal length.  

Car photography

2. Car photography skills  

(1) Use different lenses  

If you want close-ups, choose an 80mm telephoto lens on a full-frame camera.  For ultra-wide angle lenses, use a 20 mm wide-angle lens.  Prime lenses are suitable for situations where there are insufficient lines of light because they have a larger aperture setting than zoom lenses.  So, if available, try f2.8 primes.  

In addition, you can move more cameras as you take a picture without having to walk back and forth.  Also, it can be useful to use zoom lenses when photographing cars, especially older cars, which may need to be repositioned several times after each shot to get the best composition/lighting, etc.  

(2) Tripod  

Tripods work especially well for car photography, especially in long focal lengths or low light conditions.  Of course, your ability to get clear photos depends on the type of camera and lens you have.  But for me, a tripod is an essential accessory for my SONY A6000.  In other words, it helps produce a consistently sharp image.  

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