Best Nikon Lenses for Landscapes

When searching for purpose-specific tech, sometimes it’s best to go with the tried and true brands that everybody has heard of.

That’s why you’ll find that most of the lenses in this article are manufactured by Nikon, the exception being a compatible, third-party lens that will work with your Nikon camera.

Quick Navigation

We’ve compiled these lenses so that you can find the best landscape lens, so we’ve also written out their pros and cons and expanded upon them with product descriptions.

There’s also a buyers’ guide so you can learn which features make lenses better or worse for landscape photographing performance.

By reading this you can find your own landscape lenses, whether they’re Nikon-branded or not.

In a hurry? This is our winner!

Our rating:
Sale
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
416 Reviews
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
  • Focal Length Range : 14 -24 mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance 0.9 ft.( 0.28 m), minimum f/stop 22
  • Lens construction 14/11 (2 ED glass elements, 3 aspherical lenses and 1 Nano Crystal Coat)
  • Angle of View : 114° - 84°

If you need to get your landscape lens as soon as possible, you can find our favorite lens right here.

We picked the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Lens, a high-end Nikon product that contains a lot of the wide-angled, light management tech that’s best for landscape photography.

See these features in more detail:

  • This lens is a versatile and compatible model that can be used with DX and FX sensors, and also feature Super Integrated Coating and Nano Crystal Coating on them to limit light flare and image ghosting effects.
  • The lens remains the same length because of its Internal Focusing mechanism, making it an easier model to handle. At the end of the lens is also a flower-shaped hood that reduces light straying.
  • The lens body is sealed and weatherproof, so it can stand against dust and moisture very well, and so is great for use in humid or rainy conditions.

Best Nikon Lenses for Landscapes – Comparison Table

Best Nikon Lenses for Landscapes – Reviews

Our Pick
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Our rating:

We think the best landscape lens that Nikon offers is the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G Lens, a relatively compact lens that stays compact thanks to its Internal Focusing feature, which keeps it the same length no matter your focus level.

The lens benefits from two sets of multi-coating that are specific to Nikon’s own brand, the fairly standard Super Integrated Coating and the internal Nano Crystal Coating, which both work towards stopping light flare and ghosting effects in your image capture.

It also features a flower-shaped lens hood that stops light from straying, so your landscape shots won’t suffer from inconsistent light levels across the shot.

The body of the lens itself is sealed and weatherproof, meaning that it’s water-resistant, dustproof, and won’t suffer from internal moisture buildup when used in foggy or humid environments.

The lens is a densely constructed one, however, and so can be heavy to carry around by hand all day.

Nikon’s optical tech allows it to be compatible with both cropped DX and full-frame FX sensors, so this is a great option for those who want a lens that can work with a wider variety of camera bodies and types.

Pros
  • Lens multi-coating stops flare and ghosting.
  • Lens stays the same length thanks to Internal Focusing.
  • Flower-shaped lens hood stops reduces light straying.
  • Weather-sealed and resistant to moisture and dust.
  • Nikon optical tech means it’s compatible with DX and FX sensors.
Cons
  • The lens is heavy, so it can be a chore to carry around.

Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S
Our rating:

The second Nikon lens we have for your consideration is another of the NIKKOR range, the NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S Lens. It’s their first 14mm ultra-wide zoom option that accepts 82mm filters, an unheard-of combination that is great for landscape photography.

It’s more versatile than our number one option, which would require adapters to use most front filters, and it’s also lighter too.

The fact that it’s part of Nikon’s NIKKOR Z range just means that the lens is designed with next-dimension optical performance, allowing more data transfer between the lens and the body for sharper and less distorted wide-angle shots.

The lens itself is kitted out with rounded aperture blades which improve circular rendering, ensuring all or most of your shot stays in focus, which is great for capturing wide and deep environments.

Inside the lens is Nikon’s own STM (Stepping Motor) that makes autofocusing fast, smooth, and, most importantly of all, quiet. The entire lens can also collapse down to only 3.5 inches, making it a compact and easily carryable piece of kit.

At 14mm there can be some barrel distortion that may require some stitching afterward, so you may need to put some extra effort into finalizing your images.

Pros
  • Innovative 14mm ultra-wide zoom lens that takes 82mm filters.
  • Z lenses provide next-dimension optical performance.
  • Rounded aperture blades keep the entire shot in focus.
  • Nikon Stepping Motor makes autofocusing fast and quiet.
  • Lens collapses to just 3.5 inches for easy packing.
Cons
  • Barrel distortion can occur at 14mm that may need stitching.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras,2183,Black
Our rating:

Third on this list is the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens, the budget option for those of you on the hunt for Nikon lenses that can take on landscape photography without breaking the bank. It features the lowest aperture on this list at f/1.8 which is great for softening backgrounds for landscape shots that have more depth to them and require foreground focus.

The fact the lens has a 1.5x crop factor means that it performs like a 52.5mm lens when used on a DX body, giving you a much higher-end performance than you’d expect for the budget price tag.

The front lens element is also shielded by a lens hood that keeps intruding light out, preventing flare in the images that you take, which is welcome when working with a lot of space in your viewfinder.

We’d recommend that you use this lens on Nikon-mount DSLRs for the best experience with it, since it has APS-C size sensors designed specifically to work with these camera models.

Speaking of its construction design, it’s also a compact lens that fits well in most bags and won’t take up too much of your space.

Pros
  • f/1.8 aperture creates softened backgrounds for focused landscape.
  • 1.5x crop factor performs like a 52.5mm lens on DX bodies.
  • Lens hood shades the front lens element to prevent flare.
  • APS-C sized sensors designed for Nikon-mount DSLRs.
  • Compact build makes it easy to carry around.
Cons
  • The focus ring can be difficult to use.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Our rating:

At the fourth spot on our list is the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G Lens, a lens that exists at a mid-range price point that’s ideal for those who want to save some money but can go for more than Nikon’s budget options.

They’re a reliable investment where lenses are concerned, featuring aspherical lens elements that reduce lens aberrations no matter which aperture you have these lenses set at.

They feature a seven-bladed round diaphragm blurs the results of your image capture for a more natural look to them, too.

When focusing, you don’t need to worry about a sluggish or noisy process thanks to Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor which smoothes your autofocusing, taking a burden off of your mind when you’re looking for the right shot.

When finding that shot, you won’t have to contend with a lens barrel that keeps extending since this model, like our number one option, uses Internal Focusing to stay the same length all of the time.

Pros
  • Aspherical lens elements eliminate lens aberrations at all aperture levels.
  • Seven-blade rounded diaphragm blurs photos naturally.
  • Silent Wave Motor ensures fast but quiet autofocus operation.
  • Internal Focusing keeps the lens barrel length consistent.
Cons
  • The lens can be heavy to hold.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Digital Zoom Lens (AF-S Motor) (for Nikon)
Our rating:

The final option isn’t so much a Nikon lens as it is a third-party lens with a high degree of compatibility with Nikon camera bodies. We’re talking about the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Lens, another budget option that’s also a safe investment since it’s protected by a three-year Tokina warranty if you’re based in the States.

It’s the smallest focal range on this list, but still provides admirable landscape results if you can reconcile this shorter range.

It has two aspheric elements with two other low dispersion glass elements that keep chromatic aberrations low, so you don’t need to contend with light flares when taking wide landscape shots.

The low f/2.8 aperture of this lens isn’t only great for the price, where branded Nikon lenses of a similar aperture often cost more, but the faster aperture is better for low-light landscape photography.

If your Nikon camera lacks autofocusing, then these lenses can also bring silent autofocusing functionality to your camera.

Pros
  • Two aspheric elements and two super-low dispersion glass elements minimize chromatic aberrations.
  • Low f/2.8 aperture is great for low-light landscape photography.
  • Internal motor brings silent autofocusing to Nikon cameras that don’t have them.
  • Three-year warranty protects against problems with workmanship.
Cons
  • Smallest focal range on this list.

Best Nikon Lenses for Landscapes – Buyers Guide

How to find the best landscape lenses

If you want to find the best lenses for landscape photography, then you should focus on such aspects as the lens type, the lens aperture, focal length, whether they’re automatically or manually focused, and how they handle.

Lens Types

Here we’ll outline the different lens types and how they perform for landscape photography, those types being wide-angle lenses, medium lenses, long/telephoto lenses, and super telephoto lenses.

Wide-angle lenses are best for expanding your shot, hence their name. Your viewing angle is expanded to fit more in, and this also has the effect of creating a sense of depth, which can be great for highlighting foreground details.

That makes this the best option if your photography takes you to particularly wide, open, and often natural landscapes that need the absolute maximum coverage that you can achieve.

Medium lenses are your 50mm lenses, give or take a few millimeters either side. Consider them a middle of the road option that can capture natural landscapes at a similar perspective to human vision.

Long or telephoto lenses are designed to perform at longer ranges, bringing certain details of an image capture closer and more in line with the foreground.

This is a relatively narrow lens for landscape photography, but it can be suitable under certain conditions, like when you need to focus on a particular element of a landscape you’re capturing.

Lastly, super telephoto lenses are telephoto lenses that go above and beyond what the usual telephoto lens is capable of. This means they’re best for when you’re capturing environments but want to get close to, and focus on, very specific details like a landmark or a piece of architecture amongst that landscape. T

hey bring far away details closer and help stack them in the foreground.

Aperture

Aperture refers to the lens speed and how much light can pass through the lens when it’s opening up, and this dictates a few different lens properties. It’s described by F-stops, and smaller F-stop values mean that they let in more light.

This is the main feature you should be concerned with when looking for landscape performance since you’ll want a camera that can make great images even when operating in low-light conditions.

This means that you should opt for the lower aperture values if you need to perform in low-light conditions, which is always a handy thing to be capable of when planning to shoot landscapes.

That said, landscape shooting is best done with apertures from f/5.6 to f/16, so if you know where and when you’ll be shooting and low-light capability isn’t an issue, then this will usually be where you’re operating.

This range will give you the depth of field you’d want to capture the most detail.

Focal Length

The focal length is the zoom range of your lens and comes in either fixed or variable versions. The fixed focal lengths are sturdier and less likely to suffer from errors that can be caused by movements of the glass in the lens.

That said, we’d argue a variable focal range is better since it allows you to cover more distances, with 10mm to 45mm is the optimal range for landscape photography.

The best lenses for landscape photography are usually telephoto lenses or otherwise extremely wide-angled. Wide-angled are the more popular versions used since they capture so much of whatever you point them at.

For reference, those seeking a wide-angle lens should look for lenses with a focal length under, or capable of being under, 20mm.

Telephoto lenses, on the other hand, are better for if you’re shooting landscapes but want some focus on specific objects within those landscapes, like landmarks or animals.

This is its own sub-category of landscape photography but, if that’s your style, then you should look into one of these.

Be careful of 1.5x crop factors since they’ll change the practical focal length that you’re working with, so much so that it can take your lens out of the range that makes them a wide-angled one.

Fortunately, Nikon made some of the above lenses ultra-wide for use with DX cameras, where the crop factor doesn’t change the functional focal range so drastically.

Autofocus V Manual Focus

Your lenses will focus either automatically or manually via a turning ring that you need to move. Using tripods or other stabilization methods is common with landscape photographers, in which manual focusing tends to be the preferred option.

Otherwise, autofocus won’t be too important to have but is a good capability to have if you ever get caught without a means of stabilizing your camera.

Lens Distortion

When focusing or zooming with wide-angle lenses, your captures will usually suffer from some kind of distortion. This can be lessened by buying from well-known brands, but you’re already a step ahead where that is concerned if you’re only buying Nikon.

These distortions are just a natural effect of using these lenses and often require some post-production with editing software to correct. You can handle more distortion if you’re photographing natural landscapes as opposed to architecture or other rigid patterns that need to be captured with high fidelity.

Handling

Whether you’ll be shooting with them from hand or just carrying them from place to place, you want your cameras, and the lenses on those cameras, to be easy to carry and ergonomically comfortable to hold.

How compact these lenses are made is the main factor in this. Any compact lenses can stay compact if you opt for a model with Nikon’s Internal Focusing mechanism, making them easy to hold and store. The weight of a given lens is often heavier with the higher-end models favoring metal construction components over plastic.

If you are leaning towards a manual focusing camera lens, you also want to make sure the focusing ring is easy to use. It should be as large as it can be on the lens body so you can easily reach and manipulate it for maximum focus control.

If you’re planning on relying on Nikon’s autofocusing tech then this won’t be as important a feature to consider.

Last Updated on 2020-10-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates

Scroll to Top