Landscape Photography is one of the most popular forms of photography, and for good reason! Who wouldn’t want to explore breathtaking locations and capture the raw beauty of nature?
However, landscape photography also happens to be one of the more challenging genres of photography. Sure, there are plenty of amateur photographers and even phone camera photographers out there. But everyone will agree that no matter how hard you try, without the proper skills and equipment, you simply cannot capture nature in its purest form. Even if you’ve bought a good quality DSLR for your expeditions, you will still need a suitable lens if you want to make the most of your trip.
Without a good quality lens, even the best DSLRs will not give you satisfactory results. But with so much variety to choose from, where does one even begin looking for a lens! And which lens features should one look for to capture landscapes in stunning detail? Although there are numerous lens and DSLR companies in the market, we’ve chosen to focus solely on Canon for this article.
Canon is a photography giant that is currently leading the world of camera equipment. However, even Canon has a wide range of landscape lenses. To help you make the right choice when it comes to lenses for landscape photography, we’ve made a list of some of the best Canon lenses for landscape photography for you to choose from.
1. Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 (Budget Winner)
Canon’s EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is an excellent all-around lens that doubles as a great landscape lens as well. The lens provides outstanding image quality over a wide range of focal lengths. The lens features an Electronic Focus (EF) and an Ultra Sonic Motor (USM) for fast and silent autofocusing.
However, there is also an option for manual override focusing. Built-in Image Stabilization with four stops provides well-focused pictures despite camera-shake. Superior Optics are ensured through the use of 17 lens elements that can be divided into 12 groups. These include three aspherical elements and one Ultra-low Dispersion glass element as well. The lens also has an internal focus and a pumper zoom.
The all-new wide-angle Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is one of the best budget Canon lenses for landscape photography. Its closest focusing distance is 11 inches (0.28m) and it has a full-time manual focus as well as a powerful ring-type ultrasonic motor (USM) for silent and fast autofocusing.
The lens supports 77-millimeter screw-in filters and gel filters (up to three). A rounded seven-blade diaphragm provides a beautiful bokeh effect, which helps to achieve exceptional results if you’re using photography techniques such as selective focus and shallow depth of field. The lens ensures superior optics with the help of various lens elements, three aspherical, and one super ultra-low dispersion (UD) glass element.
This combination of lens elements provides excellent sharpness, color rendition, and contrast, even when the lens is set to the widest setting. The lens also has optical coatings and features a weather-resistant, durable build that is usually only found in high-end cameras. The closest focal length of the lens is 1.15 feet (0.35), which is as good as any top quality macro lens.
An excellent upgrade to the classic Canon lenses, the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II provides enhanced image quality and functionality in its popular tilt-shift lens. The lens features elements with high-precision, including aspherical elements and Ultra-low Dispersion glass elements. These help to keep chromatic aberrations at bay and provide high-resolution, glare-free images.
Its sub-wavelength construction (SWC) and super-spectra lens coatings keep flare and ghosting to a minimum. The tilt-shift lens has an angle view of 74 degrees, and its new Tilt-Shift revolving option allows users to easily combine shifting and tilting in the +/- 90 degrees range.
The lens also contains an enhanced movement range of +/-8.5 degrees and an ergonomic design with an easily operatable shift and tilt knobs. The circular aperture helps to create beautiful bokeh, and it is made entirely from lead-free glass.
Another excellent lens in the Tilt-Shift lens category of Canon lenses for landscape photography is the 17mm f/4L TS-E Tilt-Shift Lens. This lens provides excellent, high-resolution, low distortion images. It does so by using large-diameter molded glass aspherical lens elements. Chromatic aberrations are kept to a minimum with the help of four ultra-low dispersion glass elements.
The Sub-Wavelength structure (SWC) and supra spectra coatings cushion the light passing through to minimize ghosting and lens flare. The lens also has a circular aperture, which helps to create a beautiful, slightly out of focus, soft background. At the same time, the independent tilt and shift rotations allow the depth of field and perspective to be controlled individually.
Another fan favorite of Canon lenses of landscapes is the EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM. This high-end, ultra-wide-angle lens produces breathtaking results with a constant and fast maximum aperture of f/2.8L. This gives images shot through the lens an excellent depth of field, which is maintained all across its zoom range. This feature is especially useful for shooting in low light conditions.
The lens also features a new optical design with two Ultra-low dispersion glass elements for improved sharpness, depth, color rendition, and clarity. These optical elements also help to reduce chromatic aberrations and image distortion in all inner and outer corners of the image.
The Subwavelength Coatings (SWC) and the Air Sphere Coatings (ASC) help to resolve any issues of light reflection, lens flare, and ghosting. A non-stick Fluorine coating and dust and weather-resistant coatings help the camera bear any bad weather conditions one might experience while outdoors.
Canon’s EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS II USM is the perfect combination of superior construction, excellent resolving power, and cutting-edge technology that is perfect for landscape, wildlife, and sports photography.
The lens features a circular aperture with nine-blades to produce beautiful and soft bokeh. It also has a three-mode Image Stabilizer with four stops of image correction to reduce camera-shake. The inner AutoFocus system ensures fast, accurate, and silent focusing.
The lens has superior optical elements, one fluorite and one super ultra-low dispersion (UD) glass element for increased contrast, sharpness and color rendition and reduced chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range.
The Air Sphere Coating (ASC) helps to minimize lens flares and ghosting while the dust-free and fluorine lens coating at the front and back surfaces help to keep it clean and smear-free. Last but not least, the lens is robust and rugged with excellent weatherproofing, allowing you to carry it with you in harsh outdoor conditions.
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is among the few top Canon lenses for landscapes of all time. This lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8L, which is both fast and constant, resulting in bright images, even in low light conditions. The eight-blade circular aperture helps to produce images with a beautifully soft bokeh effect.
The autofocus system is fast and silent. This is due to the inner focusing ring Ultra Sonic Motor system with AutoFocusing algorithms and a high-speed CPU that generates well-focused and precise images.
The image stabilization system of this lens has a shake reduction of up to 3.5 stops to eliminate any distortions produced by camera-shake completely. The lens is also dust and water-proof and has a fluorine coating on both front and rear surfaces to prevent smears and smudging.
8. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM (Overall Winner)
A standard focal length zoom lens, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, features a large diameter aperture of f/2.8L, which is constant across its entire focal length. This lens employs cutting edge technology in its optical design and contains two Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) elements and a single Super Ultra-low Dispersion lens element.
These lens elements help to increase contrast, sharpness, and color rendition while keeping chromatic aberrations at the peripheries to a minimum. Two aspherical lens elements are also utilized to reduce any spherical aberrations over. Lens coatings help to reduce ghosting and lens flares, and a circular nine-blade aperture produces gorgeous soft backgrounds.
The ring-type Ultrasonic motor with AF algorithms and a high-speed CPU enable fast, silent, and precise autofocusing. The lens is built to withstand the rigors of the great outdoors and has dust and water-resistant coatings along with a fluorine coating to prevent smudging and smears.
Final words On Canon Lenses for Landscape Photography
Landscape photography, though one of the more difficult genres of photography, is also the most rewarding. However, to be able to fully capture the glory of nature in all its stunning detail, you need to have exceptional skills, a good camera, and great equipment.
If anyone of these factors is missing, you will be unable to produce outstanding landscape images. Use our guide of Canon lenses for landscapes to choose a lens that fits your photography needs the best.