Best Equipment

Best Nikon Lenses for Street Photography


Check out our best Nikon lenses for street photography. We looked at lenses from all brands and selected only those that have the best combination of high quality, good price and usefulness.

For street photography, you don’t want your lenses to be too big as you’ll attract way too much attention. We recommend prime lenses because they’re super compact, and also deliver higher quality images than most zooms, not to mention their much larger maximum apertures.

Having a large aperture means you can shoot with faster shutter speeds, allowing you to freeze subjects, almost a must for anything happening on the street (unless you specifically want it blurred). It also allows you to shoot at night or indoors without raising your ISO too much.

All lenses below have great image quality and sharpness, aren’t overpriced and they’re perfect for many different types of photography.

Best street lenses we covered:
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX
Nikon 28mm f/1.8G AF-S

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM

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Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S

nikon-50mm-18Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S replaces the old, but best selling 50mm f/1.8D that couldn’t auto focus on bodies like the D3300 that have no AF motor. This new version however, works perfectly and will also auto focus on it without any issues.

Quality wise, it’s just like the 35mm below, and also features the same aperture size. Due to a slightly longer focal length, its bokeh (background blur) looks more pleasing and makes it more appropriate if you’re really into portraits or like having a shallow depth of field on your images.

It’s slightly heavier and bigger, takes 58mm filters but is still extremely compact!

Who is this lens good for? Everyone, from extreme low light, clubs, street photography, to portraits and weddings, sports, animals, products etc. Think of it as a slightly longer brother of the 35mm.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX


The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX is small, optically great and also the most affordable Nikon lens out there.

Because of its large f/1.8 aperture, the lens gathers a lot of light and is perfect for low light situations (parties, clubs, night photography etc.). This means less blurred shots and more high quality images when shooting in dark places.

This lens is only for DX models (D3300, D7200 and such), where its field of view is equivalent to a 52mm lens.

Who is this lens good for? Street, wedding, portrait, casual, low light, indoor photographers. The focal length is actually perfect for almost everything except for wildlife, and combined with the f/1.8 the quality of your shots will look absolutely stunning.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Nikon 28mm f/1.8G AF-S


If you’re looking for something wider, the Nikon 28mm f/1.8G AF-S offers the best value for the money, as it’s a length loved by many; it’s not too wide, but not too long either.

The colors, contrast and image quality are all superb, and should be as expected from a lens its price. It’s got an f/1.8 aperture so like the other two lenses it’s appropriate for both outdoor and indoor photography. Blurring the background is possible, but it’s not as good as with longer lenses.

Who is this lens for? Street photographers who want to capture many things in the shot, but not too much either. Also good for landscape and general high quality photography.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM


The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM is sharper than the majority of prime lenses on the market!

It’s tack sharp even at f/1.4, features a Ring-type AF motor for fast, silent and accurate focusing with Full Time Manual Focus, and has a closest focusing distance of 0.30cm/11.81″.

Mounted on an DX camera, its field of view is equivalent to a 50mm lens, a length that’s perfect for almost any type of photography, especially for portrait, wedding and extreme low light photography. It fits on all Nikon DSLRs though.

Great bokeh, beautiful colors and optical quality, plus it’s built like a tank so you don’t have to worry about easily damaging it.

Who is this lens for? Often shoot in low light and/or want super sharp photographs with amazingly shallow depth of field? The 35mm f/1.4 is a dream come true for many photographers, at a highly affordable price.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSMsigma-18-35mm-1.8-zoom-lens

A couple of years ago, large apertures were only possible on prime lenses, but Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM changed that in 2013. You’re looking at an optically superb, wide-to-standard large aperture lens that could save you a lot of money and weight (1 zoom with f/1.8 instead of 3 primes with f/1.8).

Not familiar with Sigma’s terms? The lens features HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), which means the lens is very quick and accurate at focusing. You can also expect beautiful background blur thanks to 9 diaphragm blades, especially when wide open.

Besides amazing quality in still photography, the lens is perfect for videos as well, thanks to its smooth focus and zoom rings.

It weighs 1.79 pounds (810 grams) so it’s by far the heaviest lens on this list, but that’s because of the lengths it covers. 18 to 35mm on an DX camera equals a 29-56mm lens, a perfect range for street photography.

Who is this lens for? If you’re not a fan or prime lenses, or just want a zoom with a large aperture and great quality to take on trips, streets etc., you’ll love the Sigma 18-35mm.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

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