No matter your level of experience, if you want to capture beautiful landscape photos, you need to choose your lens carefully. After all, the lens heavily influences the quality of your image; pick a good lens, and you have the potential for crisp, clear, beautifully detailed results. But get the lens wrong, and you may find that your images are consistently unsatisfying.
But choosing the right lens for landscape photography can be tough. There are dozens – even hundreds – of options, ranging from budget kit zooms to $3000+ ultra-wide glass, each with its own benefits (and drawbacks).
Fortunately, as a professional landscape photographer, I’ve spent years working with different lens models. I know how to pick the perfect starter lens, and I know how to find lenses that’ll satisfy the most experienced professionals. That’s why I’ve written this article, which takes you through all the best landscape photography lenses you can buy today – including options for Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm, and choices at every price point.
So without further ado, here are my top landscape lens recommendations, starting with my number one pick:
If you use Canon full-frame DSLRs – or even Canon mirrorless models – then the 16-35mm f/4L IS USM is an excellent choice. It carries the prestigious L-series label and boasts a nice range of focal lengths as well as very sharp image quality.
There is an f/2.8 version of this lens, but the f/4 version gives equally stunning results and comes with a cheaper price tag. It’s a fast and dynamic model with an ultrasonic focus system and a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches (0.28 meters), so it’s perfect for capturing sweeping vistas that feature close foreground subjects. Plus, the 4-stops of image stabilization and great in-built weather sealing allow you to work handheld in all types of light and weather.
The 16-35mm f/4L is a reasonably priced option for enthusiasts (and is positively cheap compared to other pro-level lenses on this list), though beginners may wish to consider a more budget-friendly model like the 24-105mm f/4L toward the bottom of this list. If you’re a budding Canon landscape shooter – or even a professional – hoping to create stunning images of expansive scenes, then this is one of the best landscape lenses on the market in 2022.
If you’re an experienced photographer seeking the best landscape lens on the market, then the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 GM is the model to buy.
It has everything that you could want in a landscape lens, including ridiculously sharp optics that pair beautifully with the high-resolution sensors of the a7R series, incredible build quality that can handle all sorts of weather scenarios, and a surprisingly lightweight body. The lens also boasts an f/2.8 maximum aperture that’s perfect for serious astrophotography and is also essential if you hope to capture beautiful background bokeh in your wide-angle shots.
Of course, there’s also a stunning 12mm focal length, so ultra-wide shooters can capture scenes of all types with a uniquely wide perspective. Unfortunately, the 12-24mm f/2.8 GM is extremely expensive (at the time of writing, it costs nearly $3000), but if you’re a professional or you have the cash to spare, you won’t be disappointed.
The Nikon 16-35mm f/4G is one of my favorite landscape lenses for Nikon full-frame DSLRs, and it’s the perfect choice for enthusiast photographers and up-and-coming professionals in search of that beautiful wide-angle perspective.
The 16-35mm f/4G is both portable and durable, plus it packs great image stabilization for low-light handheld photography. (That said, I do recommend capturing most of your landscape photos using a tripod!) The 16-35mm focal length range is ideal for wider scenics and allows you to shoot stunning near-far landscape compositions with great results. It’s also a (relatively) inexpensive lens, plus it’s compact and much lighter than most f/2.8 zooms (at 24 oz/680 g).
The lens accommodates filters with a 77mm thread, a standard filter size that will please a lot of photographers. And the lens optics are beautifully designed to enhance sharpness and contrast, so even professionals should be satisfied.
The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L is the ultimate lens for landscape photographers looking to give their images a professional edge. It’s a great match for Canon mirrorless users, although there is a huge hike in price compared to the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L (featured above). Note also that this lens will only work on Canon full-frame mirrorless models like the EOS R5, whereas the EF 16-35mm f/4L can be used on both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras (albeit with an adapter).
The 15-35mm is a joy to use, and photographers will love its edge-to-edge sharpness, amazing image quality, and superbly silent and fast autofocus. The lens offers image stabilization of up to five stops, which is a big deal if you plan to shoot landscapes handheld in low light. Additionally, the f/2.8 maximum aperture is wide enough for sharp astrophotography, though it isn’t really necessary for non-astrophotography purposes and is one of the reasons for the eyewatering price tag.
The RF 15-35mm f/2.8L also offers a slightly wider focal length than many of the lenses on this list. And while a millimeter may not seem like much, it is noticeable in the field and is ideal if you’re looking to capture those ultra-wide, professional-style landscape images.
The Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 lens was Nikon’s first ultra-wide-angle zoom for Z-mount cameras, and it remains one of the best lenses for Nikon full-frame mirrorless cameras in 2022, especially for professionals in search of that ultra-wide perspective. It’s also surprisingly affordable for a Z-mount lens, and while I wouldn’t recommend it to complete beginners, it should certainly meet the budgetary needs of enthusiasts and professionals.
The 14-30mm f/4 is lightweight and relatively compact, so it’s plenty portable – always handy for travel landscape shooters as well as photographers who enjoy backpacking for days on end. It supports direct filter attachment to the front of the lens, which expands the creative possibilities for ultra-wide landscape photography. It’s well-designed with resistance to dust and water, which is essential for landscape photographers who work in blowing sand, seaspray, rain, or snow, and it features fabulous optics for clear and sharp shots.
You get an extra couple of millimeters on the wide end compared to the 16-35mm f/4G (above), so you certainly won’t struggle to capture breathtakingly wide compositions. And while 30mm isn’t ideal for tighter, more intimate landscape shots, it’s perfect for more wide-angle-focused shooters. Ultimately, the compact design, incredible corner-to-corner sharpness, and wide perspective make the Nikon 14-30mm f/4 a landscape lens worth considering for serious mirrorless photographers.
Do you shoot Fujifilm rather than Canon, Nikon, or Sony? The Fujifilm 10-24mm f/4 lens is one of my favorite Fujifilm X-mount lenses, and it’s an excellent landscape photography choice for a host of reasons.
Key features include enhanced optical image stabilization, an elegant design, and very quiet focusing. The barrel feels and looks fabulous, and the construction is good quality. You get a minimum focusing distance of 9 inches (0.24 meters) – so you can capture gorgeous low-angle shots – and the lens offers great image sharpness across the focal range.
Fujifilm users should bear in mind that the 10-24mm focal length converts to an effective 15-36mm, which is certainly respective and will work great for wide-angle landscape shots (even if the lens isn’t quite as wide as it initially sounds). Thanks to the beautiful field of view, the 10-24mm f/4 provides gorgeous landscape possibilities for Fujifilm APS-C users – and while it is on the expensive side, for serious landscape shooters, it’s worth every penny.
Coupled with a Sony’s E-mount camera, the 10-18mm f/4 is a wide-angle zoom lens, though bear in mind that it’s designed to work with APS-C cameras only (its focal length equivalent is 15-27mm). For most landscape shooters, that shouldn’t be a problem – after all, 15mm is plenty wide if your goal is to capture sweeping seascapes, breathtaking mountain scenes, or stunning forest views – but it won’t get you the gorgeous ultra-wide perspective of the 12-24mm f/2.8 featured above.
The superior glass provides optimal optical performance, with excellent contrast and sharp image quality even at the widest focal lengths. It is one of the best-quality landscape lenses for APS-C Sony mirrorless users out there, plus it’s small and lightweight (it only weighs 7.9 oz/225 grams), so it’s perfect for travel landscape shooting.
The Optical SteadyShot feature keeps handheld shots blur-free (though again, I do recommend using a tripod!), and the constant f/4 maximum aperture is decent enough for noise-free shooting in low light, even if you really need an f/2.8 maximum aperture for serious astrophotography. Its minimum focus distance of 10 inches (0.25 meters) and attractive zoom range let you capture expansive landscapes with precision, and the price is incredibly reasonable for a high-quality Sony lens – so if you’re a landscape photography beginner or enthusiast with a Sony APS-C camera, this is the lens to buy.
One of the biggest reasons to grab the Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 for landscape photography is its versatility – it features great build quality so you don’t have to worry when working in tough weather conditions, an excellent maximum aperture for astrophotography, and a nice range of focal lengths that span from wide angle to short telephoto (even if the 24-82.5mm effective zoom range doesn’t quite reach those prized ultra-wide perspectives).
It also offers the opportunity to capture the landscape with real accuracy; as you can imagine, optical performance is top-notch, and thanks to the f/2.8 aperture, sharp handheld results are practically guaranteed, even in low light. While most landscape photography is done at narrower apertures, the f/2.8 maximum aperture does allow for detailed astrophotography, which can certainly come in handy for the right photographer.
Bottom line: The Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 is perfect for landscape photographers in search of an all-around performer, especially those who require quality, precision, and sharpness across a wide focal length range.
Yes, it’s on the pricier side, but the greatest benefit of the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for landscape shooters is the versatile focal range offered for shoots. At 24mm, you can capture beautiful wide-angle images, while at 70mm, you can shoot intimate landscapes, close-up scenes, and more. You don’t get the same ultra-wide perspective offered by the 15-35mm or 16-35mm lenses shared above, but you do get a set of longer focal lengths that are great for more intimate landscape photos.
As I’ve discussed throughout this article, an f/2.8 maximum aperture isn’t necessary for standard landscape photography – assuming you use a tripod – but it is essential for clean, sharp astrophotography images, and it’s also nice to have if you like to experiment with shallow depth of field landscape shots.
The 24-70mm f/2.8 is also plenty sharp, and the L-lens build quality is great for lengthy outdoor adventures. At the end of the day, the 24-70mm f/2.8 really is an incredible – albeit expensive – landscape lens, and if you can afford it, buy it. For those who want to spend less cash, Canon offers a cheaper f/4 version.
If you’re a more casual photographer in need of a lens that you can keep on your camera at all times – as you shoot landscapes, street scenes, and even portraits – consider the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II. It’s a versatile lens that extends beyond the 24-70mm lens featured above, plus it’s sharp, versatile, and reasonably priced.
Thanks to the extra reach on the telephoto end, you can zoom in to highlight specific landscape features and create more intimate, even abstract images. But you can always capture standard landscapes in the 24-35mm range, and the image stabilization ensures you can shoot in lower light without a tripod.
As I mentioned above, the lens is also great for non-landscape purposes; it’s a favorite of casual street photographers, and it can handle cityscapes, outdoor events, and even portraits just fine. The f/4 maximum aperture is a bit limiting if you hope to photograph moving subjects indoors, but for outdoor shoots in good light, the 24-105mm f/4L is a stellar choice.
If you’re a Sony mirrorless shooter looking to capture tighter landscape shots, the 70-200mm f/4 G is a great choice; it’s a telephoto zoom lens with a constant f/4 maximum aperture, and it delivers great image quality with wonderful background bokeh.
While the focal length range sits squarely in the “telephoto” arena, you can use the 70-200mm to hone in on various elements of the landscape (and potentially even wildlife, too!). For instance, you can capture abstract mountain patterns, tight forest scenes, and so much more.
The Sony 70-200mm is a fast focuser and performs well in the field, especially when coupled with its image stabilization, which allows for improved performance in low light. The f/4 maximum aperture isn’t ideal for producing shallow depth-of-field shots, but it should be fine for more conventional landscape images.
The best lens for landscape photography: final words
There are quite a few excellent lenses for landscape photography, far too many to list – but I hope this article has been helpful, and that you can now confidently choose the best landscape lens for your needs.
Ultimately, the ideal lens comes down to your own individual requirements and budget, so don’t feel pressure to choose the most expensive or most popular option. Instead, think about your camera model (and its corresponding lens compatibility), as well as features such as image quality, build quality, image stabilization, focal length, and more.
Briefly, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L and the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S lenses are excellent choices for those looking for a mix of price and quality, while the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM is a top pick for professionals. The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS II and the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G are great if you love to capture a range of landscape shots from wide-angle to telephoto. Finally, for anyone looking for a budget-friendly landscape lens, the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS is a reasonable buy.
Now over to you:
Do you have a favorite landscape photography lens? Which lens on this list was your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below!