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7 Best Nikon Lenses for Street Photography [2022 Update!]

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Best Nikon Lenses for Street Photography

 

Street photography is one of the most popular styles and that means you need to get the best Nikon lens for street photography.

Overall, you want a great 35mm prime lens like the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G lens or the Z-Mount version for street photography. That’s an essential lens that every street photographer should have. After you get that one, you should pick up something that adds more versatility to your style.

Here Are The Top 7 Nikon Lenses for Street Photography!

If you want to know what is the best Nikon lens for street photography for YOU, then read on!

1. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G Lens

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 35mm f 1.4G Fixed Focal Length Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 35mm f 1.4G Fixed Focal Length Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

The Best Nikon Lens for Street Photography

Bottom Line: Street photography starts with getting a 35-millimeter prime lens. This is easily going to be one of the best purchases you make when it comes to street photography.

Pros

  • Fairly affordable
  • Bright f/1.4 aperture
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System

Cons

  • Only one optical element
  • More high-tech options are available

Why We Picked It

This is the best Nikon lens for street photography.

When it comes to shooting street photography, there are a few very important things you want to find in a lens. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G has everything that we look for when it comes to an all-in-one photography lens.

The first thing that we need to talk about is the bright aperture of this lens. It’s perfect for people who are looking to get into street photography and also want to shoot in more dimly lit situations. This easily handles street photography during the night as well as stepping into events, clubs, and bars which are often very dimly lit.

This lens also has great rounded 9-blade diaphragms. This is ideal for getting some smooth bokeh in your street photography photos. You can even use this lens to get some crisp and clear portraits while you’re walking through a busy city street.

This lens is a mid-range option from Nikon. You can find much more expensive versions of this lens, but there are also cheaper versions available. We picked the mid-range option for the best overall choice because it’s a good choice for the everyday photographer.

Sometimes you want to go do some street photography, but you don’t want to be carrying a few thousand dollars of photography equipment with you. This lens is a great compromise for getting high-quality photographs without having to carry a $2,000 lens around your neck the entire time.

35 mm is also the classic focal length for street photography. 35 mm started at all during the film photography days, and it’s still one of the most versatile and ideal focal lengths for shooting on the street.

Who It’s For

This land is going to make a great choice for photography students as well as professionals who are looking for a flexible and affordable 35 mm lens.

Beginner photographers are going to love this lens for its bright aperture and near-professional features. It’s a great choice for hobbyists who are looking to get into street photography and hit the ground running with a strong lens.

This is also the best Nikon lens for night street photography. That ultra-bright f/1.4 aperture means you’ll be able to shoot in even the darkest of city streets without having to compromise on the quality of your photos!

Students and people looking for a flexible lens are also going to love this lens. It’s great for street photography, and it can even handle portraits, events, and a variety of other styles including landscape photography. If you’re looking for a lens that has a lot of flexible potential, this is the one for you.

2. Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S Lens

NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f4 S
NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f4 S

The Best Nikon Z Lens for Street Photography

Bottom Line: The Nikon Z Mount format is for their new mirrorless cameras. We picked this lens because its the most versatile lens of the Nikon Z Trinity Lenses.

Pros

  • Three ED and Three Aspherical Elements
  • One Aspherical ED Glass Element
  • Multi-Focus Stepping Motor AF System
  • Three Coatings
  • Weather-Sealed
  • Programmable Control Ring and L.Fn Button

Cons

  • Challenging f/4 Aperture
  • Other options available

Why We Picked It

If you want the best Nikon z lens for street photography, you need to pick up the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S Lens.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret when it comes to street photography. This involves a quick look at the history of the format and why things are starting to change.

Street photography started off in the early days of photography. Prime lenses were the most popular and the 35 mm format was the default for countless photography and film styles. However, digital photography with modern lenses has changed the game entirely.

We picked this lens because it lets you do everything from a wide, 24 mm landscape style to a 120 mm telephoto picture. This means you can get as creative as you want to be when you are exploring your city streets.

This lens is also packed with professional-grade page features. Of course, it’s weather-sealed, but it also has multiple programmable buttons. It also has several optical elements and 3 coatings designed to protect the lens and your images.

Ultimately, what sets this lens apart from the competition is just how flexible it is. You can use this lens to handle just about anything as long as you’re willing to work around the slightly dim aperture.

Who It’s For

This lens is perfect for a photographer who wants to step outside of the box of their style. This land is going to open up all new kinds of approaches to street photography.

This lends itself to a great choice for someone who’s into travel photography. There’s a lot of strong overlap between street photography and travel photography styles. If you’re on the road, and you want a single lens kit, this is the lens that you need to be carrying with you on your next vacation.

We would say that this lens could double for professional work, but the aperture is a little lackluster. Yes, you can overcome this with sufficient skill and adjusting of your settings like the ISO, but there are alternatives to this lens that you can check out when it comes to taking pictures on a Nikon camera.

Ultimately, this is a jack-of-all-trades lens for someone who is just getting into shooting on mirrorless cameras from Nikon. It’s also a great choice for people who want a single-lens photography kit, but who don’t want to sacrifice any of the most commonly used focal lengths.

3. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F

Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Nikon
Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Nikon

The Best Budget Lens for Street Photography

Bottom Line: Sometimes the best choice for a Nikon street photography lens comes from a third-party brand like Sigma. This lens is going to get you nearly professional quality features but at a fraction of the price charged by the name brand.

Pros

  • Bright Aperture Range of f/1.4
  • 7 Optical Elements
  • Sigma’s Floating Elements system
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor
  • Great feature at a budget price

Cons

  • Not a name brand lens
  • Only F-Mount and FX-Format

Why We Picked It

If you want a budget lens for street photography, you might need to shop from a third party.

Street photography is one of the most flexible formats and styles of photography. You can really flex your artistic capabilities when it comes to street photography. This means that we’re not always stuck buying the most expensive lens to get the crispiest and cleanest photographs.

Sometimes, the budget alternative is exactly where you need to be when it comes to street photography. You’re out there capturing the gritty realism of city streets, so why not shoot on a lens that has that same ethos?

This budget lens from Sigma is very far from the bottom of the budget barrel. In fact, the art lenses from Sigma can compete with some of the best high-end lenses from big-name brands. This gives you all of these high-performance features, but at a budget and more people can afford them.

When it comes to features, this lens has everything you need to handle just about everything a city street can throw at you. It has an ultra-bright aperture which is great for handling the inconsistent lighting of city streets. It has seven optical elements which is more than the name brand. It also has a Hyper Sonic Auto Focus motor which is fast as well as quiet.

Who It’s For

This Nikon street photography lens is for the photographer who wants pro-level features, but doesn’t want to pay the pro-level price!

We picked a budget lens because we didn’t want you to have to compromise on quality while still saving a lot of money. This lens is going to let you take professional-quality pictures but will save you some cash along the way.

This makes a great choice for professional photographers who are looking to break out of their usual styles and try street photography. It’s also the perfect choice for beginners who want a budget option, but who aren’t interested in compromising on the quality of the pictures that they can take.

Finding a budget lens is all about striking that balance between features, image quality, and price. This lens is the perfect choice for a good balance of all three.

4. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Nikon F

Sigma 24-70mm f 2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Nikon F
Sigma 24-70mm f 2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Nikon F

The Best Nikon FX Lens for Street Photography

Bottom Line: Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens is a great choice for people shooting on a Nikon FX camera. This lens lets you do street photography, but also gives you plenty of flexibility for your full-frame camera.

Pros

  • Flexible focal lengths
  • 7 optical elements
  • Hyper Sonic Motor AF System
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • OS Image Stabilization

Cons

  • Third-party lens
  • Zoom features not for everyone

Why We Picked It

Nikon FX cameras full-frame format. These cameras are typically designed for professional photographers and serious artists who are looking to get the most out of the images they capture. Since you have a bigger frame to work with, you need a lens that can make the most out of these high-quality images.

We picked a zoom lens because street photography is far more flexible than many photographers think. You’re not just stuck with 35 mm lenses. You can use just about any focal length you want, but it’s going to change how you approach this particular style.

We picked the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art lens because it allows you to stay flexible while still getting the most out of street photography. Since you got a full-frame camera, you might as well enjoy just about everything that you can when it comes to photography.

This lens lets you mix it up and change between street photography, portraits, and even some landscape work. You’re no longer stuck zooming with your feet on a prime lens, but now you can zoom with the lens itself.

The stats for this lens are also pretty great. It’s got a Hyper Sonic autofocus system as well as built-in image stabilization.

This lens is also full of optical elements and special coatings which help to reduce the distortion on the images you catch.

Who It’s For

This is the best Nikon street photography lens for photographers who have a full-frame format camera and who also want to be more flexible when they are taking photos.

If you’re looking for a lens that offers you a lot more flexibility, this is the one for you. Because this is a zoom lens, you can dial it into 35 mm for classic street photography, but you can also change it up to take a wide angle or a lot tighter for a portrait.

Working photographers are also going to love this lens. This is perfect for doing some street photography before a portrait shoot or as in one lens kit for shooting at a wedding.

5. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f 1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f 1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

This is the Best Nikon DX Lens for Street Photography

Bottom Line: Nikon DX cameras are designed with a crop sensor. This makes the camera smaller, more affordable, and ideal for beginners and students. This lens is the perfect choice for someone looking to get into street photography who also has a crop sensor camera from Nikon.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Essential features for street photography
  • Solid aperture
  • 7-bladed diaphragm
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System
  • One Optical Element
  • One Coating

Cons

  • 52.5mm FX Equivalent

Why We Picked It

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens is the best Nikon DX lens for street photography.

Crop sensor cameras are still extremely popular. They’re often way more affordable than the full frame alternative which makes them the perfect choice for people who have a tight budget or someone who is just getting started with photography.

You can still take great photos on a crop sensor camera. We’d go as far as to say that if you build up enough skill, you can even take professional-level photos with a crop sensor camera.

All that a crop sensor means is that the size of the physical sensor inside of your camera is smaller. This does two important things to your photographs. The first is that it does reduce some of the quality of your images and the second is that it has a magnifying effect on the lens.

This means that this lens is about a 50 mm equivalent. This is going to be a little tight for some street photographers, but there are street photographers out there who argue that 50 mm is actually the best choice for street photography.

This lens has a solid aperture, a 7-bladed diaphragm, and one of Nikon’s best autofocus motors. It’s also got some basic optical elements and coatings which are going to help improve the quality of your images.

This lens has also been built for the crop sensor format. You don’t have to worry about shooting on a lens that doesn’t quite match the camera that you have.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with this lens as your pick for a Nikon DX-format camera and the street photography style.

Who It’s For

We picked the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens as the best Nikon lens for street photography if you own a DX camera.

First up, this is absolutely the correct lens to pick if you are shooting on a Nikon DX camera. A crop sensor camera is the perfect pairing with a crop sensor lens.

This lens is also a great choice for people who are extremely budget-conscious. The cost of this lens comes in as being a bit cheaper than our pick for the best budget option. Yes, you do sacrifice a lot of features, but if the price is the deciding factor this canvas lens can’t be beaten.

You’ll still be able to get high-quality street photography pics with this lens. You’ll have to build up a lot stronger skills if you want to go pro, but this lens is good enough to be by your side while you’re working your way towards much more lofty goals.

6. Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens

NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f2.8 S Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f2.8 S Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

Our Pick For the Best Zoom Lens for Street Photography

Bottom Line: The Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens is our pick for the best zoom street photography lens. This lens is dialed up to 11 when it comes to high-end features and is perfect for zooming in on street action!

Pros

  • ARNEO and Nano Crystal Coatings
  • Programmable Control Ring
  • OLED Panel
  • Programmable button
  • Weather-Sealed Design
  • Multi-Focus Stepping Motor AF System
  • Multiple elements and coatings

Cons

  • Aperture not as bright as a prime lens

Why We Picked It

We picked the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens as the best zoom lens for street photography because it really does have everything you need when it comes to zooming in on street photography scenes.

Who says that street photography and zoom lenses are incompatible?

Zoom lenses allow you to do so much more than just capture the standard 35 mm shot. You can zoom in on anyone you’re looking to take a picture of as well as zoom out to capture landscape-style approaches to street photography.

The lens itself also has all of the latest high-tech features. It’s got programmable buttons, weather sealing, and even an OLED information panel that shows you the lens’s current settings.

This lens is also packed with optical elements and specialized coatings. If you’re worried about chromatic aberration or ghosting in your images, this lens is ready to take care of all of those problems.

The only downside of this lens is that it is not as bright as a prime lens. However, you’ll be able to overcome this minor difference in aperture with enough skill and photography know-how.

Who It’s For

This lens is the perfect choice for someone who’s looking to enjoy all the benefits of a zoom lens, but still stay out and about on the street. You can keep things at the 35 mm focal length if you’re looking for your traditional street photography, but then you can also zoom in or out for something a little bit more creative and unique.

This is also a pro-level lens. Serious artists, aspiring students and hobbyists, and even working photographers are going to be able to make great use out of this piece of glass.

7. 7artisans Photoelectric 35mm f/5.6 Pancake Lens for Nikon Z

7artisans 35mm f5.6 Full-Frame Manual Focus Ultra-Thin Lens for Nikon Mirrorless Camera Z6 Z7 Z50
7artisans 35mm f5.6 Full-Frame Manual Focus Ultra-Thin Lens for Nikon Mirrorless Camera Z6 Z7 Z50

The Best Nikon Prime Lens for Street Photography

Bottom Line: The 7artisans Photoelectric 35mm f/5.6 Pancake Lens for Nikon Z is an ideal lens for someone who wants a prime lens that never has to come off their camera. This turns your camera into an ultraportable picture-taking machine!

Pros

  • Extremely Compact
  • Ultra Budget Friendly
  • 2 ED Extra-Low Dispersion Lenses
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 11.8″

Cons

  • f/5.6 Constant Aperture
  • Manual Focus Only

Why We Picked It

The 7artisans Photoelectric 35mm f/5.6 Pancake Lens for Nikon Z is the best Nikon prime lens for street photography.

This lens is what photographers refer to as a pancake lens. This is an ultra-compact lens that functions as a body cap for your camera.

You can essentially leave this lens on your camera, and you’ll always be ready to capture some street photography. This lens also hardly weighs more than your camera’s plastic body cap which means it’s perfect for someone who wants to throw their camera in their bag and head out the door.

This lens is also extremely budget-friendly. There’s almost a new photography budget that can’t afford to pick up this lens.

With that said, this lens also has more optical elements and features than some of the other options on her list that can cost up to 5 times more.

Who It’s For

When it comes to Nikon lenses for street photography, you can’t go wrong with the 7artisans Photoelectric 35mm f/5.6 Pancake Lens for Nikon Z.

One of the most important things about doing street photography is being discreet. You want to capture people as they are without distracting them or alerting them to your presence. This means using a lens that isn’t going to shout that there’s a photographer taking people’s pictures nearby.

This lens is also a great choice for someone who isn’t worried about taking professional quality lenses with them everywhere they go. This lens is light, compact, and ultraportable. It’s the perfect choice for someone who isn’t worried about all of the bells and whistles but wants to be ready for pictures at a moment’s notice.

We’re going to go as far as to say that this land is actually for everybody. Because it doubles as a body cap, you can leave this lens on your camera and always be ready for some street photography action.

You can switch up to your professional lens if you have time to set up for the shot, but if you want to capture something right at the moment, you need a lens that’s always on your camera and always ready to go.

Conclusion – The best Nikon lens for street photography

Still wondering what lens to use for street photography?

If you’re looking for some good lenses for street photography, you want to get some different options for your kit. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G Lens, or its Z-Mount equivalent, is easily the best choice for street photography.

You should also pick up a solid zoom lens like the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens and a versatile pancake lens like the 7artisans Photoelectric 35mm f/5.6 Pancake Lens for Nikon Z. Having options means being able to take a wider variety of shots while you’re walking through busy city streets!

Which lens is your go-to pick for street photography? Let us know and make sure to check out our other articles on the best lenses for Nikon cameras!

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AUTHOR
Hey there, my name is James and I am the creator and editor of this site. I have been photographing for the past 20 years and my mission is to simplify this misunderstood art of taking and processing photographs I love.

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