10 Must-Have Canon Lenses for Landscape Photography (Updated for 2018)

Canon Lenses for Landscape Photography Landscape photography is a difficult art to perfect. No matter how stunning the view, replicating it on a camera can be tricky and frustrating. There are certainly a few elements that need considering; depth of field, a focal point, the use of a tripod, weather, and lighting to name a few. The correct lens is also important. It’s often assumed that a wide angle lens is all that’s needed, where in reality there are other options and many types of lenses available. Below we’ve compiled a list of the best Canon lenses for landscapes.

Best Wide Angle Canon Lenses for Landscapes

A good wide angle lens could be all you need if you’re starting out with landscape photography. They’re the perfect match; the depth of field they have across apertures is second to none, making it possible to frame a point of interest whilst still having a sharp background. They also draw the focus into the picture and make the horizon seem further away. You can fit so much in the frame with a wide angle lens, but be aware of creating a fisheye effect at wider zooms. Here are some of our favourite wide angle lenses:

1.  Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens (Full Frame)

Why it’s great:

  • Canon’s best ultra-wide zoom lens.
  • Image stabilization makes hand-held shooting possible.
  • Weather-sealed for adverse conditions.
  • Compact and lightweight design.

As far as must-have Canon lenses for landscapes go, this is our top pick. The ultra-wide angle captures a whole lot, without compromising on quality. Even at the edges of the frame, the image will be sharp and clear. The image stabilization of the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM makes it possible to shoot accurately without a tripod. When taking this lens out and about, you’ll not need to worry about the conditions you’ll be photographing in; the weather sealing protects it from the elements. It’s a well-constructed but lightweight model that justifies its price tag and its position as the best wide angle canon lens for landscape photography.

Buying considerations:

  • The cost may be a little too much for those just getting into landscape photography.

2.  Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens (Full Frame)

Why it’s great:

  • Wide f/2.8 max aperture is ideal for low-light photography.
  • Fast and accurate focusing.
  • Weather-sealed, high quality design.

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens is a similar lens to the cheaper f/4 version detailed above. It’s far costlier and doesn’t have the image stabilization of the f/4, but it does have a wider aperture and sharper image quality. It’s as fast to autofocus and is also weather sealed, but it has a greater advantage when shooting in low-light situations. This makes it perfect not only for evening landscapes, but a host of other settings.

Buying considerations:

  • It’s far more expensive than the f/4 model.
  • There’s no image stabilization, making hand-held shooting difficult.

3.  Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens (Full Frame)

Why it’s great:

  • Widest rectilinear lens available, excellent ultra-wide capture without barrel distortion.
  • Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for quick and quiet autofocusing.
  • Constant f/4 aperture throughout zoom range.

This is an impressive lens to say the least. The ultra-wide angle can take some incredible photos, fitting so much in the frame without distorting straight lines. The quality of the images is consistent throughout the focal length range. The USM technology makes autofocusing quick, accurate and almost silent. This is an excellent lens for landscape and architectural photography.

Buying considerations:

  • The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens comes at a steep price.
  • It’s one of the heavier wide angle lenses available.

4. Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L USM Fisheye Lens

Why it’s great:

  • 180° angle of view possible.
  • Excellent image sharpness.
  • Interesting fisheye effect.

A 180° angle of view is pretty incredible, and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L USM accurately captures just this. If you can get used to the slightly odd fisheye effect, you can take some really stunning images with this lens.

Buying considerations:

  • It’s not an inexpensive lens, probably in the realms of only the serious photographer.
  • The fisheye effect can become tiresome after a while.

5. Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens

Why it’s great:

  • Ideal for crop-frame cameras.
  • USM autofocus is fast and near-silent.
  • Construction is light and sturdy.

For crop frame cameras, the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM is probably the best landscape lens out there. Image quality is consistently good throughout the zoom range, even at the 10mm ultra-wide end. It’s an affordable lens that is convenient to carry around.

Buying considerations:

  • The f/3.5 aperture drops off towards the 22mm end.

6.  Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

Why it’s great:

  • Affordable wide angle lens for crop frame cameras.
  • Super spectra coating reduces lens flare and chromatic aberration.
  • STM autofocusing technology is fast and quiet.

Although the EF-S 10-88 doesn’t have quite the range of the 10-22mm above, it’s definitely more affordable. For the beginner or amateur looking to get into landscape photography, this is a solid choice. Image stabilization will help with hand-held photography, as will the STM autofocusing.

Buying considerations:

  • The design is features a lot of plastic, meaning it’s not the sturdiest of lenses.

Best Standard Canon Lenses for Landscapes

The benefit of using a standard lens for landscape photography is that you can also photograph other subjects. A standard lens allows you to have a bit more focus when shooting landscapes. You can crop out unnecessary objects and pull out more specific details. Once you’re done with the landscape, you can then go on to photograph something else without having to switch lenses. Some good standard lenses for landscapes are highlighted here:

1. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II Lens

Why it’s great:

  • One of Canon’s flagship lenses, excellent image quality and sharpness.
  • Superb build quality and performance throughout.
  • Performs well in nearly all situations.

Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II is a highly crafted piece of optical perfection. It performs flawlessly in most situations and produces the highest-quality images. It totally justifies the high cost with its many features and level of construction. When taking landscape photographs, the EF 24-70mm performs excellently, delivering sharpness and high amounts of detail.

Buying considerations:

  • This top-of-the-range lens has a price tag to match.

2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens

Why it’s great:

  • Compact and well-made lens with wide f/1.8 aperture.
  • Superior clarity, sharpness and contrast.
  • Versatile and desirable.

This lens appears on many lists which is a testament to how versatile it is. Many beginner photographers swear by it, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s such a convenient lens to carry around, and performs well in so many settings. For the amateur photography the EF 50mm is perfect as a general photography lens, and that includes landscapes. It’s an affordable way of trying out different ways of shooting.

Buying considerations:

  • As a prime lens, there’s no zoom functionality. This can make framing the desired area a bit difficult.

Best Telephoto Zoom Canon Lenses for Landscapes

A telephoto zoom lens is a good way of creating a sense of distance between the viewer and the subject of the photograph. They’re also very useful for getting up close to a particular element or detail of a landscape that may not be reachable otherwise. As having a wide aperture isn’t so important, you don’t necessarily have to throw down big bucks on a telephoto lens. Some good choices are:

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

Why it’s great:

  • Versatile, producing excellent image quality.
  • Huge focal range.
  • Relatively lightweight and sturdy.

The long range on this lens will mean it’s possible to pick out even the finest details of a landscape. The image stabilization of the Canon EF 1-400mm f/4.5-.6L IS II USM makes it possible to shoot straight from your hands, assisted by the USM autofocus.

Buying considerations:

  • It’s an expensive lens that, although justified, is only in the realms of the serious photographer.

2. Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 IS USM lens

Why it’s great:

  • Optical quality is very good.
  • Weather sealed, light and portable. Ideal for travelling.
  • Effective focus and image stabilization.

Although this lens doesn’t have the range of the 100-400mm above, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 IS USM still boats its quality as a landscape lens. It captures sharp and clear photos even when shooting without a tripod. The sturdiness of the lens makes it a great addition when travelling, ideal for chasing landscapes.

Buying considerations:

  • Occasional mis-focusing noticed.

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