11 Best Lenses for Landscape Photography in 2020

By Ann Young 4 days ago Photography Gear

Choose the best lens for taking stunning landscape shots.

 top 3 best lenses for landscape photography

Before choosing the lens for landscape photography, you should decide what focal length you may need: telephoto 50mm+ or wide 18mm? You definitely need a fast (f/4 or below) landscape lens for shooting distant nature landscapes and isolating subjects.

If you want to upgrade your kit lens or look for a new camera-lens combination or just need a better glass, this list will help in your buying process.

11 Best Lenses for Landscape Photography

  1. Nikon 50mm f/1.8G - Our Choice
  2. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L – Best wide angle lens for landscapes
  3. Sony-E 10-18mm f/4 - Best optical stabilization
  4. Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 - Landscape lens for FX cameras
  5. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L – For long distances
  6. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 Art – For amateurs
  7. Sony 35mm f/2.8 – Budget and light
  8. Sigma 24-105mm f/ – For landscape lovers
  9. Leica SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 – For high-resolution landscape photos
  10. Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 – For night landscape
  11. Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 - For distant landscapes

Here is the list of lenses: wide-angle models to extend a captured scene and telephoto lenses to photograph smaller elements in detail when you are far away. Let's have a look at each lens and think about how, why, and when we might use that lens and how that will affect your landscape photography.


1. Nikon 50mm f/1.8G

FixThePhoto editors’ choice

1/3
  • nikon 50mm best lens for landscape photography
  • nikon 50mm best lens for landscape photography

    Size: 5.12 x 6.93 x 5.12 in | Weight: 6.53 oz | Minimum focus distance: 1.48 ft | Angle of view: 47°

    ⊕ Small size
    ⊕ Amazing sharpness
    ⊕ Multi-layer coating
    ⊕ Affordable
    ⊖ Not found

    Nikon 50mm f/1.8 is positioned as a portrait lens. Nevertheless, it wonderfully copes with landscape photography. I like this lens for its compact size and amazing sharpness that lets you take great shots even at f/5.6.

    Its focal length makes Nikon 50mm f/1.8 one of the best lenses for landscapes, especially if you like creative experiments.

    In case you need to photograph, for instance, a small part of a tree, like leaves or branches, together with a blurred sunrise background in one picture, the lens is capable of doing that. Moving around and experimenting with angles and styles is also possible.

    best lenses for landscapes example

    One more advantage of this intuitive and universal lens is its flawless operation in various lighting conditions. The model’s Super Integrated Coating lowers ghosting and flare, and, as a result, provides improved contrast and accurate color in poorly lit and bright locations.


    2. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

    Best wide-angle lens for landscape photography

    1/3
    • canon ef 16-35mm best lens for landscape photography
    • canon ef 16-35mm best lens for landscape photography

      Size: 5 x 3.5 x 3.5 in | Weight: 1.74 lbs | Minimum focus distance: 0.92 ft. | № of diaphragm blades: 9

      ⊕ Completely weather-proof
      ⊕ Sturdy build
      ⊕ Subwavelength & Air Sphere Coatings
      ⊕ Remarkable sharpness
      ⊖ High price

      Many landscape shooters call Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III one of the best landscape lenses and one of the most popular models in this genre. The lens allows capturing plenty of background and foreground, preserving incredibly clear and sharp details.

      With this zoomable model, it is possible to shoot a scene in a variety of ways. Thanks to the maximum f/2.8 aperture, a photographer can fully manage the depth of field and maintain that aperture for the entire zoom range. This will especially come in handy when you take pictures outside in twilight or bad weather.

      On the whole, the model can withstand all kinds of harsh weather conditions and still work stably.

      best lenses for landscapes example

      The lens boasts Air Sphere Coatings for lowering flare and ghosting along with Subwavelength Coatings for preventing reflections. As a result, you get a clear shot with decreased aberrations from reflected light.


      3. Sony-E 10-18mm f/4 OSS

      Best lens for landscape photography with optical stabilization

      1/3
      • sony-e 10-18mm best lens for landscape photography
      • sony-e 10-18mm best lens for landscape photography

        Size: 2.52 x 2.76 x 2.76 in | Weight: 7.94 oz | Minimum Focus Distance: 0.82 ft | Magnification: 0.1x

        ⊕ Small size and weight
        ⊕ Support for front filters
        ⊕ Sturdy metal build
        ⊕ Optical stabilization
        ⊖ Distortions

        Sony 10-18mm f/4 G OSS is a lens with the widest zoom that you can get for APS-C Sony cameras. Many travel and landscape photographers are pleasantly surprised by the results the lens provides.

        It doesn’t weigh a lot and can be easily carried around. Besides, the model boasts remarkable stabilization, which is important if you don’t have a tripod with you.

        best lenses for landscapes example

        The lens is praised for an internal focus design that contributes to the flexible and fast autofocus. Thanks to the constant f/4 maximum aperture, the model operates stably in the entire zoom range.

        Photographers can also fully manage focus position when shooting with shallow depth of field. Working with selective focus, it is possible to get stunning bokeh thanks to the rounded seven-blade diaphragm.


        4. Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 ED AF-S

        Best landscape lens for FX cameras

        1/3
        • nikon 24-70mm best lens for landscape photography
        • nikon 24-70mm best lens for landscape photography

          Size: 5.24 x 3.27 x 3.27 in | Weight: 2.36 lbs | Minimum Focus Distance: 1.2 ft | Magnification: 0.27x

          ⊕ Sturdy construction
          ⊕ Remarkable AF system
          ⊕ Constant f/2.8 aperture
          ⊕ Multi-layer-coating
          ⊖ Heavy

          In case you use an FX camera, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED will be the best lens for nature photography. However, it isn’t suitable for DX cameras as it is way too long for a wide-angle model.

          Nikon 24-70mm is quite bulky but it is so versatile that the disadvantage of weight becomes insignificant. The model offers 15 lens elements in 11 groups. They include super low dispersion glass elements that successfully decrease chromatic aberrations and boost the sharpness of the shot.

          best lenses for landscapes example

          The construction is ultra-sturdy and can withstand the roughest weather conditions. Due to the presence of a Super Integrated Coating and a Nano Crystal Coat, the model reduces ghosting and flare, providing better contrast and more accurate color.


          5. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

          Best long landscape lens

          1/3
          • canon ef 100-400mm best lens for landscape photography
          • canon ef 100-400mm best lens for landscape photography

            Size: 12.3 x 7.3 x 7.25 in | Weight: 56.1 oz | Minimum Focus Distance: 3.22 ft | Magnification: 0.31x

            ⊕ Incredible sharpness for the entire zoom range
            ⊕ Optical stabilization
            ⊕ Fast focus
            ⊕ Dust- and weather-proof
            ⊖ barrel distortion at 100mm

            This lens is generally perceived as a wonderful option for shooting wildlife and sports. But it offers some features that make the model a good landscape lens as well.

            EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS II enables photographers to show nature scenes differently, concentrating on separate elements or areas, for instance, a group of trees.

            The lens combines remarkable performance, praiseworthy resolving power, incredible sharpness, and small size, especially considering its maximum focal length. Photographers can make use of extra reach up to 400mm.

            best lenses for landscapes example

            I like the model’s Zoom Touch Adjustment ring that lets shooters tweak tensioning for the zoom depending on the subject they are photographing.

            Another advantage of the lens is the Image Stabilizer of up to four stops. This feature is necessary for the cases when you photograph with a tripod in an open area located at a high point, in particular, when it is very windy.


            6. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 Art

            Most versatile landscape lens

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            • sigma 14-24mm best lens for landscape photography
            • sigma 14-24mm best lens for landscape photography

              Size: 3.8 x 9.2 x 5.3 in | Weight: 2.5 lbs | Minimum Focus Distance: 0.91 ft | Magnification: 0.14x

              ⊕ Remarkable sharpness
              ⊕ Bright aperture
              ⊕ Fast and noiseless autofocus
              ⊕ Splash- and dust-proof
              ⊖ Vignetting and distortions

              Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 Art boasts a sturdy construction that guarantees a stable performance even in harsh weather conditions. The provided picture quality is also on point. Combined with speedy autofocus, it can become a reliable companion in all your adventures.

              The lens is pretty versatile and is compatible with a number of systems as it includes Nikon, Sigma SA and Nikon mounts. It is possible to adapt the lens for Sony with the MC-11 as well.

              best lenses for landscapes example

              Moreover, the model impresses photographers with a fantastic sharpness in the center of the shot across the entire zoom range and aperture. The edges of the shot look great too.

              This universal wide-angle lens is capable of capturing breathtaking landscapes and all kinds of natural phenomena during the day and at night.

              As for drawbacks, the lens may produce vignetting and distortions.


              7. Sony 35mm f/2.8 ZA

              The lightest landscape lens

              1/3
              • sony 35mm best lens for landscape photography
              • sony 35mm best lens for landscape photography

                Size: 1.46 x 2.44 x 2.44 in | Weight: 4.23 oz | Minimum Focus Distance: 1,15 ft | Magnification: 0.12x

                ⊕ Exceptional sharpness
                ⊕ No distortions
                ⊕ Small size
                ⊕ Sturdy construction
                ⊖ No optical stabilization

                If you are serious about photography, you definitely need to invest in 35mm and the 50mm lenses of any brand. Sony 35mm f/2.8 is probably one of the best lenses for landscape photography due to the exceptional sharpness of the shot and fast operation it offers.

                To neutralize aberrations and provide remarkable resolution and contrast all over the frame at all apertures, the lens features three double-sided aspherical elements. Besides, the model boasts the Carl Zeiss T* (T-Star) coating necessary for eliminating flare, internal reflection and scattered light that is often present at glass-to-air surfaces.

                best lenses for landscapes example

                Sony 35mm f/2.8 is water- and dust-resistant. That’s why, don’t be afraid to use this lens in tough weather conditions, especially if you have a weather-proof camera.

                In case you use a polarizing filter, you will appreciate that the filter thread at the front of the lens isn’t rotating.

                This model catches the eye with its small size, so you can take it with you wherever you go.


                8. Sigma 24-105mm f/4

                Best landscape lens for beginners

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                • sigma 24-105mm best lens for landscape photography
                • sigma 24-105mm best lens for landscape photography

                  Size: 4.29 x 3.5 x 3.5 in | Weight: 1.95 lbs | Minimum Focus Distance: 1.48 ft | Magnification: 0.22x

                  ⊕ User-friendly
                  ⊕ Decent sharpness
                  ⊕ Optical stabilization
                  ⊕ Full-frame coverage
                  ⊖ Distortions across the entire zoom range

                  Sigma 24-105mm f/4 pleases photographers with the remarkable picture quality, optical stabilization and sharpness at any focal length. The high price is explained by lens versatility.

                  best lenses for landscapes example

                  Being the best lens for landscapes, it lets you photograph a river, then immediately switch to photographing riverbanks, then take a macro shot of the running water. No need to bring any extra lenses and change them while shooting.

                  A drawback of Sigma 24-105mm f/4 is that it produces a barrel distortion of approximately 2.9%. Also, straight lines become slightly outward curved, which you can fix at the picture post-production stage.


                  9. Leica SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH

                  Best landscape lens for professionals

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                  • leica sl 24-90mm best lens for landscape photography
                  • leica sl 24-90mm best lens for landscape photography

                    Size: 9.3 x 6.4 x 6.3 in | Weight: 2.6 lbs | Minimum Focus Distance: 0.98 ft | Magnification: 0.26x

                    ⊕ AquaDura coating
                    ⊕ Sharp optics
                    ⊕ Splash- and dust-resistant design
                    ⊕ Optical stabilization
                    ⊖ Very high price
                    ⊖ Bulky

                    The most notable feature of Leica SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH is universality. Its zoom range coverage is bigger than of other wide zoom lenses that start at f/2.8. Considering that it is a zoom lens, the model produces rather clear shots, provides close focus and causes almost no distortions. At wider angles, fall-off tends to darken corners, which can be fixed during picture editing.

                    best lenses for landscapes example

                    The high price of the lens isn’t surprising, not just because of the high picture quality but because the Leica brand is known for its high price tags. This model has no serious drawbacks other than being rather bulky.


                    10. Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8

                    Best landscape lens for night photos

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                    • zeiss batis 18mm best lens for landscape photography
                    • zeiss batis 18mm best lens for landscape photography

                      Size: 0.39 x 0.39 x 3.74 in | Weight: 0.73 lb | Minimum Focus Distance: 0,82 ft | Magnification: 0.1x

                      ⊕ Very sharp in the center
                      ⊕ Durable construction
                      ⊕ Lightweight
                      ⊕ Splash- and dust-proof design
                      ⊕ User-friendly
                      ⊖ Poor internal autofocusing mechanism

                      Zeiss is a manufacturer from Germany that has been producing optical systems for almost two centuries. Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 is a universal and portable ultra-wide lens.

                      I really like handling this model without distracting buttons, controls or rings, only a nice OLED info window and a focusing ring. Thanks to such a minimalistic design and straightforward operation, photographers can fully focus on the shooting process.

                      best lenses for landscapes example

                      Since the model is lightweight, you can take it on all kinds of trips and it will assist you in various shooting conditions.

                      Zeiss states that Batis 18mm f/2.8 is meant for astrophotography so it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to shooting stars and other night sky objects.

                      According to user reviews, with this lens, the camera’s auto-focusing motor tends to get stuck on focusing and produces a constant sharp motor sound.


                      11. Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

                      Best landscape lens for distant landscapes

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                      • Fujifilm xf 100-400mm best lenses for landscape photography
                      • Fujifilm xf 100-400mm best lenses for landscape photography

                        Size: 11.4 x 7.7 x 5.2 in | Weight: 4.2 lbs | Minimum Focus Distance: 5.74 ft | Magnification: 0.19x

                        ⊕ Exceptional optics
                        ⊕ Weather-proof design
                        ⊕ Noiseless and fast autofocus
                        ⊕ Incredibly sharp
                        ⊖ Too much plastic in construction

                        I can’t name any drawbacks of Fujifilm Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR other than heavy weight. The top-grade optical construction consists of 21 elements in 14 groups, including five ED lenses and one Super ED lens, which lower chromatic aberrations that are often produced by telephoto models.

                        best lenses for landscapes example

                        The lens is distinguished by the most robust image stabilization system present on the market – 5.0-stop. So the photographers get clear shots without any shake even at the maximum telephoto setting of 609mm.

                        The front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels dirt and water, making the model even more functional and durable.


                        List of the Best Lenses for Landscape Photography

                        Image Name Features  
                        Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
                        Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
                        OUR CHOICE
                        • Small size
                        • Amazing sharpness
                        • Multi-layer coating
                        Check PRICE
                        Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
                        Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
                        WIDE-ANGLE LENS
                        • Absolutely weather-proof
                        • Subwavelength & Air Sphere Coatings
                        • Sturdy build
                        Check PRICE
                        Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
                        Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
                        BEST TELEPHOTO
                        • Incredible sharpness
                        • Optical stabilization
                        • Dust- and weather-proof
                        Check PRICE
                        Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 Art
                        Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 Art
                        VERSATILE LENS
                        • Remarkable sharpness
                        • Fast and noiseless autofocus
                        • Splash- and dust-proof
                        Check PRICE
                        Sony 35mm f/2.8 ZA
                        Sony 35mm f/2.8 ZA
                        LIGHTEST
                        • Exceptional sharpness
                        • No distortions
                        • Sturdy construction
                        Check PRICE

                        How to Choose the Best Lens for Landscape Photography?

                        If you don’t know how to choose landscape lenses, you are sure to get lost in a wide variety of available options.

                        Focal Length and Lens Sharpness

                        best lenses for landscapes focal length and sharpness

                        Focal Length. Pay attention to this factor in the first place. You may think that landscape photography requires only a wide-angle lens. However, the scenes of this genre are quite varied and call for the use of four main lenses:

                        • 14mm f/2.8: A wide-angle, wide-aperture lens for astrophotography
                        • 16-35mm f/4: Meant for the most important range of wide-angle pictures
                        • 24-70mm f/4: A lens for regular focal lengths
                        • 70-200mm f/4: Perfect for photographing landscapes and smaller elements in detail at a distance

                        Lens Sharpness. This factor is important not only for the center of the frame. The edges should be sharp as well. A lens may produce blur off-center or lees sharp edge (min and max of the zoom range). Try f/8 – f/11 for the subjects located closer and at a distance. Examine center and off-center. After that, try f/2.8 and do the same. The center is still supposed to be super sharp.

                        Sensor Compatibility and Filter Radius

                        best lenses for landscapes sensor compatibility and filter radius

                        Sensor compatibility. DX lenses aren’t compatible with full-frame cameras. The projected shot turns out to be smaller than the sensor. As a result, you don’t get a full shot but a shot in a circle inside a black rectangle. There is always a possibility of cropping it; however, you will be a waste of the potential of your expensive full-frame sensor. FX lenses are compatible with FX and DX cameras equally.

                        Filter Radius. If you are going to actively use filters when photographing landscapes, pay attention to the filter radius and check if it fits the desired filters. A chosen lens may be so wide that it requires a certain filter and a specific holder, which will cost quite a lot.

                        Weather Protection and Distortions

                        best lenses for landscapes weather protection and distortions

                        Weather protection. When shooting outside, your lens should be prepared for weather changes and rough conditions, like a strong wind, heavy rain, humidity or very high temperatures. So the best lenses for nature photography are those with weather-resistant design.

                        Distortions. Check whether the lens doesn’t produce distortions, such as vignetting, chromatic aberration and barrel distortion. If you photograph in RAW, you can easily get rid of them. However, in case the amount of distortion is too high, don’t even consider such a lens.


                        Ann Young

                        Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

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