Simple. Landscape photography is about finding a meeting-place.
The point where an interesting piece of the world meets your artistic vision.
And, yes, it’s about having the best tool to capture that moment where landscape and artistic vision meet.
Piece of cake, right?
Getting the right lens to interpret that meeting point is crucial if you’re going to inspire people to appreciate the world around them.
Canon is an industry leader in creating cameras and lenses that can make those mind-meetings happen.
But photography’s a complex world of lens gradations, optical elements, coatings, focal lengths and build qualities. Any or all of those can change the abilities of any lens radically. So how can you know which are the best canon lenses for landscape photography?
You check the light.
We’ll bring the best Canon lenses for landscape on the market.
Yes, absolutely, that’s a Sigma lens at the top of a list of the best Canon lenses for landscape photography.
No, absolutely, we don’t care, and neither should you.
Add the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art DC HSM lens onto your Canon camera and what you do is turn Clark Kent into Superman. Tony Stark into Iron Man. Diana Prince into Wonder Woman.
It’s the add-on your Canon’s been crying out for if it has secret mechanical ambitions to take magnificent landscape shots.
Get over the Sigma-ness of it all, and we’ll tell you why.
Let’s talk apertures for a minute.
The Sigma f/1.8 is not a misprint. It’s not supposed to be an f/2.8.
Think about what that means.
It means it’s 1.3 stops wider than its nearest competitor. That means more or less twice the light reaches the camera sensor when pitted against its competitor lenses.
We’re not sure how you were raised, but where we come from, something that does a thing twice over doesn’t compete with something that does the same thing once. That’s not a competition. That’s a rout.
The f/1.8 maximum aperture is available over the entire focal length range too, and there’s no disguising the fact that it’s almost unfathomably good.
Add that to a lens that looks good, and comes in a reasonably portable handful, and what you have is a lens that will not be ignored at any price.
Can you make a case that its relatively narrow focal length terminally hampers the Sigma lens? You can, certainly, and there’s at least enough meat in the argument for it to be taken seriously.
But when you look at what the lens can do in low light environments thanks to that groundbreakingf/1.8 aperture, the argument begins to sound a little hollow and overly fussy.
Why is the lens especially suited for landscape shots? Apart from the aperture and its light-sucking consequences, the 18-35mm is short on the long end and long on the wide.
That and the aperture size means you can get a particularly appealing result very easily – picking out an object or an area, and blurring some of the background.
That makes sense to the human eye and mind, because focusing on an object amid a broad, blurred background is how our eyes work.
The f/1.8 aperture blurs more of the background and sharpens the object more than the f/2.8 you might be used to.
Result? Immensely satisfying landscape shots that instinctively make sense and make us smile.
That’s why a Sigma lens for Canon cameras makes it to the top of our list of best Canon lenses for landscape photography.
It delivers exceptional results in a way that makes intuitive sense.
The f/1.8 aperture puts the Sigma into a league of its own
Unsurpassed light capture allows for greater low light scope
Blurring of backgrounds to focus on objects makes for striking images
Shorter focal length than some lenses that deliver good landscape images
The second APS-C lens in our list is less groundbreaking that the list-leader. Instead, it’s a bright entry-level workhorse in the landscape photography game.
To more advanced landscape photographers, the introduction of another entry-level lens will bring no more than a shrug.
But for those just starting out on their landscape photography career, the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM will bring grins and an expanded camera bag.
It does a very great number of good things, and it does them well, without charging the kind of price you’d expect for such reliable results.
It’s a telephoto zoom with image stabilization that delivers clear, sharp images without too much thought or over-processing.
Also, it begins where most of the cheaper general kit lenses end, round about the 55mm mark. That makes the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM a handy tool for the completist landscape photographer as well as taking sharp images.
That doubling of purpose means it’ll be of interest to twice as many people, the completists and expansionists as well as the grab-and-go landscape photographers.
Bringing Optical Image Stabilization to the party gives you up to 3.5 stops of shake correction into the bargain. That means longer reach on crisp images, even if you use the camera as a handheld.
Longer reach with less lack of sharpness in the images makes for more dramatic landscape shots. It also of course gives you new options on which landscape shots you can take.
While it’s not by any means all about the chromatic correction, there is at least one optical element in the lens which lessens chromatic aberration too.
It all adds up to a lens trying to give you as much useful landscape photography for your money as possible – and succeeding.
Image stabilization translates to shake correction
Delivers sharp images and dramatic landscape shots
Inexpensive for the lens that it is · A great entry-level telephoto lens
Adds to completists’ collection, extending the focal range of shots at their disposal
Only compatible with APS-C format Canon EOS DSLR cameras.
APS-C lenses can sometimes make you miss out on ultra-wide angle focal lengths. That’s a feature of their smaller sensor format than full-frame lenses.
That means you sometimes miss out on the ability to capture the breath-taking broad sweeps that can give you a genuine scale of some landscapes.
It also robs you of some of the more dramatic effects of features or items within that landscape.
Result? You end up carrying a full-frame lens with you, whether you really want to or not.
Say hello to the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR, which has you – and your dramatic landscape photography needs – covered.
Some Canon L-series lenses fell down at the wide end, delivering barrel distortion and softer corners than were acceptable.
The EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR, which is notably not an L-series lens, delivers images with minimal barrel distortion.
It’s not by any means perfect, but it’s a darn sight better than you might expect of a lens with this focal range.
That might have a lot to do with the three aspherical elements in the lens, and the almost-but-not-quite-L-like UD element, which help get the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR into the realms of minimized distortion.
In terms of sharpness, the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR holds its own, though it benefits from a forgiving mindset. Remembering that at these focal lengths, details look very small, it will still give you sharper images than you might be expecting from it.
Overall, the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR is a good performer for a reasonable price, with one or two particular tricks up its optic sleeve that pull it above some others in its field.
Decent sharpness, especially given the focal range
Minimized barrel distortion
Delivers wide-angle results that sometimes feel ungettable from other APS-C lenses
Three aspherical optic elements and a UD element combined
If you’re mainly looking for a full-frame general purpose zoom lens for a Canon camera, it’s hard to see why you’d choose anything but the EF 34-70mm f/2.8L II USM standard.
It’s a lens where a lot of things happened at once to give you some peak-level performance in a handful of areas.
Sharpness? All day long and all across the frame.
Autofocus speed? Almost disconcertingly rapid at first, like a dog looking up when there’s food being opened. But it’s a speed you get used to in a hurry, and appreciate once you know it’s there.
It’s a combination that gives you options and opportunities you wouldn’t have in other lenses. It’s also a combination that will give you stunning images throughout your landscape photography career.
So how come it’s so far down our list of the best Canon lenses for landscape photography? If it’s all that and more, shouldn’t it be higher up?
Yes, it should.
And yes, it would be if it were all that and more.
As it stands, it’s all that and slightly less.
Because here’s the thing. It’s like building a time machine out of a DeLorean.
You can cram all the technology you like into a time machine, but there’s always a trade-off. In some cases, you have to face facts and realize you can only really make it out of a DeLorean.
Even if you make a time machine out of a 2001 Dodge pick-up truck, it’ll still have all the awesome cool capabilities of a time machine.
But it’ll still look like a 2001 Dodge pick-up.
In building the EF 34-70mm f/2.8L II USM standard, Canon has delivered all the cool capabilities of a market-beating full-frame general purpose zoom lens. But to make it that way, the company decided to omit image stabilization.
That’s not a regrettable oversight, it’s a fundamental of the build – to make the EF 34-70mm f/2.8L II USM standard as good as it is, Canon had to leave out the image stabilization.
What that means is that Canon built a lens that could have been an absolute giant-killer. And then made it just OK in one vital area.
Now, that said, what it does well, it does very, very well.
But the combination of rapid autofocus and no image stabilization makes the EF 34-70mm f/2.8L II USM standard a lens with which you have to be more careful than you should be.
It doesn’t entirely rob it of joy and spontaneity. But you don’t feel you can throw round corners for an adrenaline rush.
Like a DeLorean.
Or come to that, a 2001 Dodge pick-up.
Ultimately, the EF 34-70mm f/2.8L II USM standard is a lens that will do a lot of what you want it to, and will still give you that adrenaline rush when you see the results.
If you do it right.
But the lack of image stabilization forces you to up your landscape photography game, right at the point where you want to let it loose and go wild.
Extreme sharpness of image, all the way across the frame
Opens up options for shots you might not even consider with other lenses
No image stabilization
Price – this is a lens priced like perfection, while delivering at 80%
When looking for the best Canon lens for landscape photography, there are a few things to keep in mind before you click the ‘buy’ button.
How Canon Is Canon?
It’s a question you’ll always face when dealing with brands that are typically best at what they do. Is any other burger a Big Mac? Is any other smartphone an iPhone?
With lenses, you’d naturally assume that Canon makes the best lenses for Canon cameras.
98% of the time, you’d probably be right.
But as the top of our list proves, there’s always room for a confusing outlier. Always choose based on quality and delivery of the features you want, whether or not the lens is made by the people who built the camera.
Pick A Focal Length. Any Focal Length
The truth is that when it comes to landscape photography, there’s probably a best Canon lens at every convenient sub-range of focal length. Go about your search as though you’re trying to amass a collection of the best Canon lenses for landscape photography, rather than one do-everything, go-everywhere lens.
Frequently Asked Questions Is APS-C better than full-frame for landscape photography?
Better is always subjective. At the same aperture and for the same field of view, an APS-C sensor will have a higher depth of field than you’ll be able to get with a full-frame camera.
But a full-frame lens will have less in focus for a given aperture and field of view than an APS-C combination. That gives you more options for effects, but less that’s useable if you just want a clear image.
Our list shows lenses of both kinds giving outstanding results – it’s just a case of you knowing what results you want, and choosing accordingly.
Is image stabilization essential for landscape photography?
Image stabilization is not essential for any kind of photography. It can be enormously useful though.
In landscape photography, it can help reduce shake and so give you images you wouldn’t otherwise get. But again, the answer really depends what you’re pointing your camera at, and the effect you want to achieve. For long tripod use or panning, you can actually be better off without the compensations of image stabilization.
Last Updated on 2020-12-07 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates
IMPROVE PHOTOGRAPHY LLC IS A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR SITES TO EARN ADVERTISING FEES BY ADVERTISING AND LINKING TO AMAZON.COM. WE ALSO PARTICIPATE IN AFFILIATE PROGRAMS WITH BLUEHOST, CLCJ, SHAREASALE, AND OTHER SITES. WE ARE COMPENSATED FOR REFERRING TRAFFIC.