Featured Image by Thom Holmes on Unsplash
What’s The Best Lens For Landscape Photos?
If you want the best lens for landscape photography, you are in the right place. We know our stuff, and we know that landscape photography is a very special type of art form, and to capture the right images you need the very best in lens technology. Because you are taking expansive photos of wide panoramas and beautiful landscapes, success relies on having the proper lens.
By blending your skills as a photographer with a quality camera and a high-tech lens, you can expect the most dramatic photographs of your life. While the camera is obviously important for achieving your creative vision, the lens is the cherry on top that can add a definitive flare of professionalism to your art.
All the lenses we look at today provide something unique to enhance your landscape photography. We will check out some zoom lenses, some wide-angle lenses, and also some prime lenses. Each lens has image stabilization, advanced autofocus, and many more highly technical features.
Just keep in mind that not every lens will work with every camera, and there are some pretty hefty drawbacks to using a lens adapter. It’s generally best to use a first-party lens for your camera – meaning a Nikon lens is better with a Nikon camera and a Sony lens is better with a Sony camera.
1. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Lens
This is an oldie but a goodie. While quite a few years old by now, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Lens has not lost any of its value. One look at its current price and its initial release date will tell you exactly how well this lens has aged. It works great with older cameras and has a lot to offer with newer technology. The aperture is lightning fast, the wide-angle zoom is optimized for DX and FX sensors, and the lens comes equipped with Nikon’s special ED Glass & Nano Crystal Coating.
For landscaping, you would have a hard time picking a better lens. The quality-to-price ratio is right on point. You get full sharpness across all focal lengths. I am talking edge-to-edge sharpness with all your landscaping photographs. The unique Silent Wave Motor gives you incredibly quick autofocusing with world-class accuracy and nearly silent operation. When this lens was first released, it was one of the most powerful ever manufactured.
We could talk about the quick changes between automatic and manual focusing, about the enhanced optics that produce vivid color and stunning contrast, or about the lens’s insanely stable construction and its weather-resistant body – but why don’t you try for yourself and see?
- Extremely Fast Aperture
- High-Speed Autofocus
- Near Silent Operation
- Full Sharpness Across Focal Lengths
- Resistant to Dust & Moisture
- Large & Slightly Heavy
- Older Model
2. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
Every list needs a good wide-angle lens from Canon. This lens is relatively new, and it works like you wouldn’t believe. The lens delivers a phenomenal combination of low-light performance and wide-angle capabilities. This is one of the better landscaping lenses for taking amazing photographs of sunsets and sunrises, especially with an ocean or mountain range in the background. However, it does have a slightly slower aperture than others, and so it is not ideal for photography at night with zero light.
Still, this lens comes with L-Series optics and is great with any of the EOS cameras from Canon. The image stabilizer makes it ideal for use without a tripod, while the fluorine coating minimizes any dramatic ghosting. The 9-blade aperture gives perfect background blur, the autofocus is speedy and discreet, and the manual focus works just as it should.
Considering the reasonable price of the lens, this is one of the better wide-angle models for a Canon camera.
- Fantastic Image Stabilization
- Smooth and Silent Autofocus
- Durable Construction w/ High Resistance
- Excellent for Capturing Huge Vistas
- Reasonable Price
- Slower Aperture
- Not the Best for Night Photography
3. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Leave it to Sony to have the most expensive lens on the list. This is one of Sony’s best E-Mount lenses, and it is packed with so many technological advances in optics that you will hardly know what to do with yourself, especially if upgrading from an older model.
The lens is lightweight at only 31.3 ounces, it has a filter diameter of 82 millimeters, and it looks sleek. This is undoubtedly the best standard zoom lens for landscape photography with a Sony camera. The minimum focus distance is a very nice 0.38 meters, with a 35-millimeter full-frame format. You can make instantaneous selections between automatic and manual focusing, and the focus hold button is every photographer’s dream feature.
The Nano AR Coating keeps light transmission fully accurate to improve the quality and clarity of your photographs, while the 9-blade advanced aperture gives you a stunning bokeh effect with your pictures. There is no doubt that this is a groundbreaking revolution in standard zoom lenses. If you are a travel photographer, an event photographer, or any kind of professional who demands the best out of their zoom lens, this is the piece of equipment you have been waiting for.
The entire zoom range is blessed with unmatched resolution, that will give every corner of your image file the sharpest clarity. And if all of that wasn’t enough, the lens is resistant to moisture and dust, and it comes equipped with an internal focus that maintains its exact dimensions.
- Impressive New Technology
- Unmatched Clarity Through Zoom Range
- Auto & Manual AF + Focus Hold Button
- Eliminates Flare & Ghosting
- One of the All-Time Best Standard Zoom Lenses
- Outrageously Expensive
- Fairly Heavy to Carry
4. Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Telephoto Lens
Welcome to one of the best telephoto lenses available today. This model from Tamron is a massive telephoto lens in a small package. It comes with vibration compensation image stabilization for the clearest photos and top-of-the-line image quality. And this really is a surprisingly small lens! Lightweight, portable, and not a pain to carry on long hikes – this is one of the most recommended telephoto lenses for hikers and nature photographers.
The lens comes equipped with Tamron’s unique Ultrasonic Silent Drive Motor for lightning-fast autofocusing. It also has a single Extra Low Dispersion glass and four Low Dispersion elements to dramatically minimize any unwanted chromatic aberrations. This is a striking new design in the world of lenses, and it works amazingly to give you the highest contrast and the best resolution throughout its entire impressive zoom range.
Even though this does not come from one of the main manufacturers, don’t mistake it for a budget unit. This is an extremely expensive telephoto lens that offers better quality than some other lenses being offered by the competition. It is 100% compatible with a Sony camera, a Nikon camera, or a Canon camera through a unique mounting system
- Available for Sony/Canon/Nikon
- High-Quality Anti-Vibration
- Incredible Zoom Range
- Moisture Resistant/Great for Nature Photography
- Quick & Ultra-Quiet Focusing
- Little Bulky
- Nothing Else!
5. Samyang SY14M-E 14mm f/2.8 Ultra-Wide Lens
The final lens on the list today is not from the main manufacturers. The Samyang 14mm is a great wide-angle lens that can be used on most camera models, including the Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony Alpha, and Sony E types of cameras. While not the most impressive lens in the world, it is much more affordable than the other options on the list. It comes with 10 diaphragm blades, a minimum focusing distance of approximately 10.8”, and it uses manual focus. This is the most affordable 14mm lens around today.
For anyone looking for quality without a disheartening price tag, the Samyang is definitely worth it. You get sharp and clear photos with perfect corners, minimized distortion, full compatibility with APS-C and full-frame cameras, and an ideal piece of equipment for dramatic landscape photography and astrophotography. It comes with a special Ultra Multi-Coating that reduces flare and ghosting and is an all-around well-designed model for a reasonable price. This is a great option for beginners interested in landscape photography.
- Great Affordability
- Low Flare w/ Minimal Ghosting
- Excellent for Landscape + Street Photography
- Works w/ Many Different Models
- Exceptional for Night Photography w/ Superior Sharpness
- Small Sacrifice in Features for Affordability
- No Filter Thread
The right landscape lens depends on you. Wide-angle lenses are generally considered the best since they have excellent focal lengths and allow you to capture a massive range of view with an impressive depth of field. However, some people prefer the standard zoom lens, which can create photographs closer to what we actually see with our eyes, promoting realism and crisp pictures.
You may also want to consider a telephoto lens, which is ideal for showcasing a sense of magnitude and scale, compressing a huge scene into one stunning photograph. Then there are prime lenses with a fixed focal length. They don’t have any zoom, but they are amazing for nightly landscape shots and star-shooting.
While owning one of each lens is every photographer’s dream, the fact remains that they are expensive. Today we took a look at some of the best in each category, but at the end of the day, you will have to make your own decision on what suits your particular needs.
Leave a Reply