The Best Canon Lens for Landscape Photography [2019]

best canon lens for landscape and portrait

Author: Jessica Palmer - Professional Photographer

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Behind every great landscape photograph is a good wide-angle lens that allowed the photographer to capture the grandeur of the scene before them.  

Whether the scene is the sun rising behind a lone tree against a calm lake, or the red heart of Australia surrounded by the desert wildflowers in spring, a wide-angle lens will allow you to capture the scale of the scene in all its glory.


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PRODUCT
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OUR #1 RATED

Canon EF 16-35mm F/4L IS USM Lens (Top Pick) 

  • Canon L Series Quality
  • Weather resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Built-in image stabiliser
  • Ultrasonic motor for fast autofocus
  • 3 aspherical elements and 2 UD elements


Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USMLens,Black(EF24-70LIIU)

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens 

  • Canon L Series Quality
  • Weather resistant
  • Zoom lock lever for transport
  • Ultrasonic motor for fast autofocus
  • 3 aspherical elements, 1 super UD element, 2 UD elements


Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon Mount

  • Multi-layer anti-reflective coating
  • Hypersonic motor for fast autofocus
  • 1 aspherical element and 1 SLD glass elements


Sigma AF 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Canon Mount Lens 

  • Built-in optical stabiliser
  • Hypersonic motor for fast autofocus
  • FLD and SLD glass element


Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens 

  • Canon L Series Quality
  • Weather resistant
  • Ultrasonic motor for fast autofocus
  • 3 aspherical elements and 2 UD elements

Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Landscape Lens

What is Wide Angle?

A wide-angle lens is a lens that has a focal length of wider than around 35mm.  The wider the lens, the lower the number will be. So, an 18mm lens is wider than a 50mm lens and will allow you take in more of the scene.  

However, it’s not as simple as just going out and buying any lens with a wide focal length.  Here are a few important things to consider before you make your purchase!

Lens Mount and Compatibility

When talking about DSLR cameras, Canon has three common types of lens mounts, EF, EF-S and EF-M. The easiest way to tell what lens will fit on your camera is to carefully remove your camera lens from the body and check out the lens mount.  

One red circle indicates your camera will accept lenses with an EF type mount, a red circle and a white square shows it will accept EF-s lenses as well.  If you see only a white circle, only EF-M lenses will fit.

Canon has a great explanation with pictures here.

Consider the Weather

If you plan to use your lens in inclement weather conditions, a lens with a weather-sealed design should be a top priority.  A weather-sealed lens will usually be ok in sea spray, snow, sand and light rain. Please don’t take it swimming though!

Full Frame vs APS-C 

A full-frame camera body utilises a sensor measuring 36 x 24 mm (the size of a single frame of traditional 35mm film). Most people start out with a cropped sensor size camera body (known as APS-C) as in general, they are more affordable.  

APS-C and full-frame cameras can sometimes share the same lenses however, the APS-C sensor is smaller and covers less of the image projected by the lens.  This is referred to as the crop factor.

A 24mm lens on a full frame camera is viewed as a 24mm lens, but on a Canon APS-C camera, a crop factor of 1.6x comes into play. This means that a 24mm full frame lens will actually capture the view of a traditional 38mm focal length (24 x 1.6 = 38).

This crop factor can effectively turn your wide-angle lens into a standard lens!

Weight 

Weight is an important consideration If packing light for travel or activities such as hiking. If you plan to be hiking, you might like to consider a lens that zooms into a standard range, thus avoiding the need to carry two lenses.

Jessica Palmer
professional photographer

“If I’m taking lots of photographs on the go, I tend to wear the camera around my neck rather than utilise the camera bag. With this is mind, I will gladly pay a little more for a lighter lens as comfort can make or break your trip.”

Jessica PALMER
professional Photographer

Canon Landscape Lens Reviews 

#1 ​​Canon EF 16-35mm F/4L IS USM Lens

TOP PICK

BUY AT camera pro

The red signature ring you see on this lens indicates that it belongs to Canon’s L series.  This means the lens features superior build quality and top of the line performance compared to standard lenses.

Whilst this full frame lens is a versatile 16 – 35mm, it will also work on APS-C format EOS DSLR’s with a focal length increase to approximately 25mm – 56mm.  

An optional 77mm protective filter can be fitted to the lens to make it dust and weather resistant.

Lens mount: Canon EF

Dimensions: 82.6mm x 112.8mm

Weight: 615g

Max & Min Aperture: f/4 and f/22
Jessica Palmer
professional photographer

“This lens is my top pick due to the Canon L Series quality, the light weight and the ability to make it weather resistant. At f/4, the maximum aperture is not great but being that tripod use is synonymous with landscape photography, I personally don’t find this an issue. If planning to upgrade to a full-frame camera later, there will be no need to replace this lens.”

JESSICA PALMER
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER
Pros
  • Canon L Series Quality
  • Weather resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Built-in image stabiliser
  • Ultrasonic motor for fast autofocus
  • 3 aspherical elements and 2 UD elements
cons
  • Max aperture not as wide as other featured lenses

#2 ​​​​Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens 

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USMLens,Black(EF24-70LIIU)

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This full frame lens also belongs to Canon’s signature L series, but the extra features come with a heftier price tag. This zoom range is incredibly versatile and able to be used in many more applications.

Great low light performance can be achieved due to the constant f/2.8 aperture featured throughout the zoom range.

Shooting in poor weather is achievable as the lens is both dust and drip proof and there is a fluorine coating on both the front and back lens surfaces.

Lens mount: Canon EF

Dimensions: 88mm x 113mm

Weight: 803g

Max & Min Aperture: f/2.8 and f/22
Pros
  • Canon L Series Quality
  • Weather resistant
  • Zoom lock lever for transport
  • Ultrasonic motor for fast autofocus
  • 3 aspherical elements, 1 super UD element, 2 UD elements
cons
  • Expensive
  • Not useful as a wide-angle lens on an APS-C sensor camera body as the increase in focal length pushes it into standard range                                                                             

3. ​​Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon Mount 

best value

BUY AT camera pro

Designed specifically for APS-C sized sensors, this lens manages to reach a large aperture of f/1.8 across the zoom range.  The 18 – 35mm range translates to around 27mm – 52.5mm on a full frame camera.

This large aperture is great for getting creative with selective focus.

Lens mount: Canon EF-s

Dimensions: 78mm x 121mm

Weight: 810g

Max & Min Aperture: f/1.8 and f/16
Jessica Palmer
professional photographer

“This lens is ideal for someone starting out as its more affordable than some of the other featured lenses. The narrower end of the range ensures the lens is suitable for not only landscapes but portraits and snap shots, whilst the wide aperture will allow you to get creative with selective focus. If you also want to take photos of friends and family on the trail, this lens is ideal.”

JESSICA PALMER
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER
Pros
  • Multi-layer anti-reflective coating
  • Hypersonic motor for fast autofocus
  • 1 aspherical element and 1 SLD glass elements
cons
  • Not weather resistant                             

#4 ​​Sigma AF 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Canon Mount Lens 

BUY AT camera pro

This lens is designed for full frame cameras but will also work with APS-C sensors with an increase in focal length. The focal range is highly versatile if wanting to shoot more than landscape.

An Optical Stabilizer to compensate for camera shake is a feature of this lens.

Lens mount: Canon EF

Dimensions: 88.6mm x 109.4mm

Weight: 885g

Max & Min Aperture: f/4 and f/22
Pros
  • Built-in optical stabiliser
  • Hypersonic motor for fast autofocus
  • FLD and SLD glass element
cons
  • Not useful as a wide-angle lens on an APS-C sensor camera body as the increase in focal length pushes it into standard range.
  • Maximum aperture is not as wide as other featured lenses.
  • Not weather resistant.

#5 ​​Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens 

BUY AT camera pro

This L series full frame lens is designed for the serious enthusiast and professional and has a price tag to match. This is the type of lens to invest in if you are wanting to get serious!

The weather-resistant construction is highly resistant to dust and water.

Lens mount: Canon EF

Dimensions: 88.5mm x 127.5mm

Weight: 790g

Max & Min Aperture: f/2.8 and f/22
Jessica Palmer
professional photographer

“Lenses featuring the L series red ring represent the best in Canon quality and features. If you are willing to pay more for the best of the best and are ready to get serious, this lens is ideal.”

JESSICA PALMER
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER
Pros
  • Canon L Series Quality
  • Weather resistant
  • Ultrasonic motor for fast autofocus
  • 3 aspherical elements and 2 UD elements
cons
  • Expensive                                                  

verdict

The lenses in this review will satisfy a wide range of enthusiasts from the ‘just getting started’ to the ‘ready to get serious’. However, when travelling or getting about outdoors, a light weight lens that can withstand the elements and has a versatile focal range is generally ideal.

Our top choice in this review is the Canon EF 16-35 IS USM Lens. This lens combines Canon’s outstanding L series quality with a surprisingly lower price tag than others in the same series. The 16-35mm focal range is versatile, even when used on an APS-C format camera body where it increases to 25 – 56mm. This narrower end of the range ensures you don’t need to change lenses to take photos of your family and friends, or even that beautiful flower you just passed on the trail.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jessica Palmer

Photographer and Writer


A photographer and writer who has a somewhat constant urge to escape the mundane, Jessica travels regularly overseas and within Australia.

As a writer, Jessica writes for a variety of sites and magazines and is also the founder of www.familyholidaydestinations.com, a site dedicated to family travel.