Imagine standing at the edge of a majestic landscape, feeling awe-inspired by the beauty before you. As a photographer, you want to capture this natural wonder in all its glory. But to do so, you need the right lens.
Finding the best lens for landscape photography can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But fear not, because we’ve done the research for you.
In this post, we’ll take you on a journey through the top landscape photography lenses available in 2021. We’ve scoured the internet to bring you the crème de la crème of lenses that will help you capture the sweeping vistas and stunning natural beauty that makes landscape photography so special.
Whether you’re a professional or just starting out, we’ve got you covered. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s explore the best lenses for landscape photography.
- There are many options for interchangeable lenses for landscape photography, and it can be overwhelming to choose the best one.
- When finding suggestions for the best landscape lenses, factors such as price, durability, reliability, online reviews, compatibility, optical performance, and real-world results are considered.
- Prime lenses come with several advantages for landscape photography, including superior image quality, super-high sharpness, lower levels of aberration, and fewer issues like discoloration and image noise.
- The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens For Leica/ Panasonic L-Mount is an ultra-wide view prime lens that performs well for landscape shots, with vivid colors, razor-sharp details, and strong performance across a broad range of lighting conditions.
- The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM is a ‘nifty fifty’ prime lens that offers a wide enough angle with stunning optical performance, weatherproofing for outdoor nature shoots, and anti-glare coating technology to mitigate glare and ghosting issues.
- The Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 is an excellent all-round option for nature photography thanks to its sharpness, anti-vibration and anti-aberration features, and weatherproof design.
- The Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens is a powerful telephoto lens that is great for capturing dynamic wildlife shots and offers phenomenal reach, but it comes with a steep price tag.
- The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art and the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM are both fantastic zoom lens options for landscape photography, providing flexibility in framing and composition.
- Tamron AFF017C700 Macro Lens for Canon Cameras is a great lens for macro nature shots with excellent weatherproofing and electromagnetic image stabilization.
- Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens is a reasonably priced lens that is perfect for landscape shots with super-fast autofocus and brilliant optical performance.
- Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens is the best Nikkor Z option for landscape shots, offering an ultra-wide angle and reasonable zoom range with great weatherproofing and a 4-year limited warranty.
- To find the best lens for landscape photography, you should consider your individual requirements, such as your budget, the weatherproofing of the lens, and the viewing angle of the lens.
- The price range for a good landscape lens can vary from $400 to over $2000 depending on your needs and whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional photographer.
- Weatherproofing is an essential factor to consider, especially if you’re taking landscape shots outdoors, and it’s important to look for water, dust, and dirt-resistant coatings on any product you consider.
- Wide-angle lenses are ideal for landscape photography, and they can provide greater versatility if they come with a reasonable zoom range.
- Prime lenses can also work well for landscape shots, but they have a fixed focal distance, so you’ll have to physically move closer to your subject if you want to zoom in.
- Portability is crucial when choosing a landscape lens, as you’ll likely be taking your gear outdoors, so you need to ensure the lens is lightweight and compact enough to carry with you.
- Always check the compatibility of the lens with your camera’s mounting bracket before purchasing.
The section below contains our top picks in 2021. We cover options to suit most use cases, budgets, and form factors. If you’re still unsure after checking out our recommendations, have a read through our buyer’s guide further down this page.
It’s packed full of our tips and tricks and is designed to help you identify a high-quality lens when shopping. Knowing how to avoid the duds can save you a lot of money!
There’s almost too much choice out there when it comes to interchangeable lenses. The same is true of websites reviewing them. We want to produce recommendations that are genuinely useful and full of the information you actually need.
We consider the following when finding suggestions for our pages:
- Online reviews and general reception
- Optical performance
- Real-world results
Starting off our recommendations is our selection of the best prime lenses for landscape photography. While they’re not perfect for every scenario, prime lenses come with a number of distinct advantages.
In general, these advantages include:
- Superior image quality
- Super-high sharpness, even in wide shots
- Lower levels of aberration
- Fewer issues like discoloration and image noise
If you can afford the investment, primes can serve you well for your landscape shots.
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens For Leica/ Panasonic L-Mount(Best Prime Lens for Landscape Photography)
The ultra-wide view of this Sigma lens means it performs very well for landscape shots. Some people are quick to dismiss primes for landscape photography, citing their lack of zoom functionality. This 14mm powerhouse stands as testament to how wrong they can be.
The viewing angle of this 14mm shooter gives users the power to get super close to their subjects while still fitting a huge background into their images. In the right pair of hands, this lens is capable of some truly stunning shots.
As a full-frame product, this thing gives you a ton of room to capture landscape scenes in all their glory. Sigma has put a lot of work into perfecting their designs over the past several decades and the results are definitely noticeable.
Expect vivid colors, razor-sharp details, and strong performance across a broad range of lighting conditions. At over $1500, this is far from a budget option but it will deliver the results that many professionals expect.
- Ultra-wide view
- Anti-aberration design
- Full-frame lens
- Automatic performance isn’t amazing
As a general rule, 50mm primes, or ‘nifty fifties’ as they’re sometimes affectionately called, can be great candidates for landscape photography. They offer a lovely ‘sweet spot’ that combines a wide enough angle with the optical performance you’ll need.
This standard Canon EF lens is no exception. It’s a little pricey, but it packs quite the punch. Expect gorgeous still shots with vivid details, sharp focus, and brilliant color accuracy. When used in tandem with Canon’s legendary image processing, these lenses are capable of some truly astonishing results.
This particular lens from Canon features above-average weatherproofing for your landscape nature shoots. This kind of feature can come in handy if you work a lot outdoors. Spending money on an expensive lens only for it to degrade on you after a short while sucks – trust us.
Depending on when you shoot, ghosting and glare can become huge detriments to your work, especially when outdoors. The anti-glare coating and other technologies used in this lens do a fantastic job of mitigating these issues.
Your photos will have significantly less noise and will represent colors with a high level of accuracy.
- ‘Nifty fifty’ sweet spot
- Stunning optical performance
- Nice and sharp
- Great compatibility with Canon systems
- No zooming possible
This full-frame prime lens is available in both Nikon F and Canon EF variants and it gets a whole lot of things right. In fact, it’s probably the best lens for landscape photos on this list if you insist on using a prime.
While we love some of the zoom options further down this page, we’re huge fans of this one too. Its roomy wide angle, fast aperture, and stunning overall image quality make it a boon when taking landscape photos. Just make sure you don’t need a setup that can zoom in and out.
As you’re likely already aware, prime lenses, by design, are fixed at a single focal point. In 2021, Sigma has comfortably over 50 years of lens making experience. The result is products that consistently deliver the performance, reliability, and value for money you deserve.
This 24mm shooter is no exception. A combination of premium FLD and SLD glass elements, anti-aberration technology, and overall engineering brilliance make this lens an absolute beast in a broad variety of lighting environments.
Whether you’re shooting the night sky, capturing a city at dusk, or working in bright summer sunlight, this thing shouldn’t let you down no matter how hard you push it.
- Available for Canon and Nikon (F/EF)
- Sigma’s legendary engineering
- Great low-light performance
- Perfect for astrophotography and landscape images
- Autofocus could be better
- Minimum focus distance of 7.1
- Carrying case, lens hood, front & rear caps
- Best optical preformance in its category
- Angle of view (35mm equivalent) :84.1°
- English (Publication Language)
This standard zoom Nikkor lens is a spectacular all-rounder for those who can afford its considerable price tag. Its rugged design and crisp image quality should serve you very well as you capture your nature subjects.
The sharpness of this lens in particular stands out to us. You’ll have practically no distortion to deal with whatsoever. Nikon has achieved this by leaning hard into technologies geared toward anti-vibration and anti-aberration. If you’re not familiar with these terms, it basically means that this thing captures the outside world in astonishingly vivid detail.
Thrown into the mix for good measure are a speedy aperture, weatherproof glass, and gorgeous color accuracy. All in all, this is a brilliant lens for nature photography.
- Brilliant performance and sharpness
- Anti-vibration features
- Rugged, weatherproof design
- Very expensive
Listen, this one won’t be for everyone. At well over $5000 no matter where you shop for it, this lens is way out of most people’s budgets. That said, we’ve included it for the professionals out there who need something with exceptional levels of performance.
One of the most common subjects people choose when taking nature photos is wildlife. This powerful telephoto comes with a suite of features that make it a great tool when shooting animals and other dynamic subjects.
While it’s considerably bigger than some other options on this list, it’s actually fairly compact for a lens in this category. The speed of this shooter is what makes it such a beast when taking nature photos.
Even if wildlife is hurtling past at break-neck speeds, you should have little trouble capturing it if you know what you’re doing. For other outdoor images, the phenomenal reach provided by this thing’s 400mm focal length should serve you well.
- Great for dynamic wildlife shots
- Very powerful lens
- Incredibly sharp
- Relatively compact and lightweight
- Way out of many budgets
Another excellent candidate for best nature photography lens is this option from Sony. At a little over $1000, it’s a far more affordable model than some others listed above. This is one of Sony’s legendary lenses that uses a Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* coating.
While the Carl Zeiss marketing language can be misleading, the results are really quite something. In short, the T* coating dramatically improves overall optical performance by reducing image noise and other distortions.
Nature photography can throw a ton of unpredictable lighting scenarios at photographers, so this kind of technology can really come in handy. The 70-200mm focal range of this model should give you a fair bit of room for zooming in on your subjects.
When compared to prime lenses, this can give users a considerable amount of extra versatility. All things considered, we’re big fans of this one.
- Top-notch Carl Zeiss performance
- Reasonable focal range
- Relatively lightweight and compact
- Affordable for the results
- Build quality could be better
Not all nature photography is about sweeping landscapes. There’s an incredible amount of beauty to be found with macro subjects. Whether it’s exploring the details of wild flowers or capturing local insects in all their glory, this Tamron lens will stay razor-sharp while you work.
The three-coil electromagnetic VC image stabilization system on this model does a fantastic job of keeping your smaller subjects sharply in focus. It provides a 3.5 stop advantage so even the most finicky shots should be no problem. Features like this make this lens one of the best around when it comes to macro nature shots.
The construction of this offering from Tamron is both dust and water resistant. While it’s hardly the only lens in the world to offer weatherproofing, the results here seem to surpass a good chunk of the competition.
Your gear will stay dry and dust-free for many years to come. When shooting outdoors especially, this will provide the protection you need.
- Excellent weatherproofing for outdoor use
- Top-notch macro results
- Three-coil electromagnetic image stabilization
- Autofocus could be better
While we’re not big on brand loyalty, Canon has been producing some incredible lenses for several years now. This reasonably priced beast is no exception. It combines a super-wide angle and decent zoom range with a price that you might actually be able to afford.
The ultrasonic monitor (USM) of this lens results in autofocus results that are blisteringly fast and also whisper-quiet. When shooting landscape images outdoors, you’re likely to encounter more movements, lighting changes, and unpredictable elements than a studio shoot.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to go with a versatile lens that can keep up with these dynamic changes. Fortunately, this Canon shooter should have no trouble adjusting to your environment on the fly. It gets a big thumbs up from us.
As with many of the recommendations on this page, this lens comes with a strong level of both water and dust protection. As you’re probably aware, it’s important to pick lenses that will stand up to the elements for many years to come.
Cheaper models can be appealing but they often break down much sooner than the competition.
- Great for nature photos and landscape shots
- Super fast autofocus
- Brilliant optical performance
- Reasonable low-light results
- Could have a little more reach
For the Nikon users out there, this is the best Nikkor Z option out there for landscape shots in our opinion. It doesn’t come cheap but it works hard to earn its price tag. For those concerned about longevity, this model comes with a 4-year limited warranty provided you register upon purchase.
Add this to the dust, water, and dirt safeguards incorporated into the design of this lens and you’re looking at an accessory that will continue to serve you well for years to come. The combination of an ultra-wide angle and reasonable zoom range will be exactly what some landscape photographers are looking for.
You’ll have all the room you need to fit in your glorious cityscapes and mountains while keeping the zoom functionality that makes these lenses so versatile. If you’re a Nikon user looking for a z-mount option, this is the one to go for in our opinion.
- Best ultra-wide Z-mount lens
- 4-year limited warranty
- Great weatherproofing
- Awesome landscape results
- A touch expensive
So you’ve read through our recommendations above and have started to narrow down your search. The thing is, there’s tons of options out there that a single article just won’t be able to cover in sufficient detail.
This section is designed to train you up as a landscape lens connoisseur. You’ll leave knowing how to identify a great lens when shopping. The last thing you want to do is waste your money on a subpar model. Get clued-up now to avoid disappointment!
Before going any further on your hunt for the best nature photography lens, it’s worth closely considering what you actually need your camera upgrade to do for you. The best option available will be different for everyone – it’s all about your individual needs.
The clearer you are about what your needs are as a photographer, the easier it will be to find a product that fits the bill.
This brings us to our next point – price. Once you have a clearer picture of what you expect out of a lens, you’ll find it much easier to filter out products that are either too expensive or not premium enough.
If you’re a hobbyist who wants a decent upgrade but doesn’t take photos professionally, somewhere between $400 and $1000 might be reasonable. Remember that price isn’t everything and individual feature sets should be assessed closely.
If you’re a professional, you can easily spend more than $2000 on a new lens. As a pro, though, you likely already understand what you’re looking for.
A huge proportion of landscape shots take place outdoors. Whether it’s lush valleys or sweeping skylines you’re capturing, it’s important to make sure your lens can stand up to the elements.
Look for water, dust, and dirt-resistant coatings on any product you consider. Dust hoods and protective cases are another welcome bonus.
Everyone’s needs are different, but we feel that wide-angle lenses perform exceptionally well in this context. Capturing bigger landscapes in all their glory is all about using a lens with a broad enough viewing angle.
Plenty of wide-angle lenses also come with a reasonable zoom range. This can lend some welcome versatility to your setup. The ability to zoom in closer to far away subjects can come in handy when thinking on your feet.
Many people overlook prime lenses for landscape shots but they can do a fantastic job if you know what you’re doing. If you’re a newbie, the important thing to remember is that you’ll be dealing with a fixed focal distance.
This isn’t necessarily a problem – it just means you’ll have to physically move closer to your subject if you want to zoom your image in.
As a good chunk of landscape photography takes place outdoors, it’s important to make sure any lens you consider will be lightweight and compact enough to take with you. Consider the heft of your existing lenses, camera, tripod, and other accessories. Will your gear be able to handle the added weight of that new lens you’re looking at?
This might sound like a no-brainer but you’d be amazed how many newbies overlook this one. Always check the mounting bracket used by your camera’s interchangeable lens system before pickup up a new product.
Amazon features a handy compatibility checker on many of their lens listings. Simply type in the model number of your camera and get immediate confirmation about compatibility.
As you can see, choosing the right lens for landscape photography can be a daunting task. However, by understanding the features and capabilities of different lenses and considering your own needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision. We hope the recommendations we’ve provided have given you some helpful insights and made your decision-making process a little easier. So go ahead, pick a lens that suits you best, and start capturing those breathtaking landscapes!