Erich Lessing (born 1923, Vienna, Austria) is an Austrian photographer associated with Magnum Photos.
During the Second World War, Lessing served in the British Army as an aviator and photographer. He returned to Vienna in 1947. He worked as a reporter and photographer for the Associated Press and was invited to join Magnum by David 'Chim' Seymour, one of the agency's founders. He became a full member of Magnum in 1955. Lessing covered political events in North Africa and Europe, and reported on the onset of the Communist period in Eastern Europe for Life, Epoca, Picture Post and Paris-Match. His pictures of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution serve as a record of the hope and euphoria of the first days of the revolt, so soon to be followed by the pain and punishment of its brutal suppression.
Lessing later became disillusioned with photojournalism as an agent for change. From the mid-1950s he turned to art, science and historical subjects. He specialized in large-format color photography, publishing more than forty books and establishing himself worldwide as a photographer of culture.