In photography, after the camera, the most important piece of equipment is the lens. With the passage of time, serial lenses fall short on our cameras. Everyone (or almost everyone) has seen us take a big picture of a magnificent landscape and thought: my camera doesn’t do that, why? That is where the need for a new lens arises. In other words, we want new optical experiences and the best way to do this is by changing our lens. A wide angle is an interesting option to start capturing all kinds of landscapes, architecture, interior scenes and even portraits (although not as common). However, today we aren’t here to tell you what a wide-angle lens is, what it’s for or how to use it. This post is here to list some of the best targets for landscape photography.
NIKKOR AF-S 14-24mm f / 2.8G ED: Nikon’s best wide angle zoom
We can almost certainly say that it’s the brand’s best lens. Even with its variable focus capability it maintains impressive sharpness at the corners using very wide openings. Many experts claim that 14mm and f/2.8 is still the Nikon’s best fixed focal length lens. In short, it’s excellent for full frame and APS-C cameras (with trim factor).
Its viewing angle of 114º at 14mm allows it to capture large portions of the scene and always maintaining optimum quality. We’re talking about a Nikon G-series lens, with nanocrystalline coatings and impressive sharpness.
With all these wonders, there are a couple of points in which this lens suffers. The first is that it’s very big and heavy. The second is that, like almost any good wide angle, it does not allow the use of filters, but instead requires a system of special size filter holder which is very expensive. The third, although understandable, is its price: 1896$.
Canon EF 14mm f / 2.8L II USM: the trophy of the Canon Wide Angles
The first version of this 14mm was already excellent, and Canon wanted to reach for the stars with the second, correcting some of the sharpness aspects. Belonging to the Canon L series, it’s a lens designed for professional photographers with magnificent potential.
According to Canon, this lens offers "a perspective superior to human vision," referring to its 114º viewing angle. A wide range accompanied by aspherical lenses and low dispersion to minimize any aberration. It also features an optimized focusing engine and the brand’s excellent Super Spectra coating.
For its part, it suffers from the same ‘disease’ as the Nikon 14-24mm, it doesn’t not allow filter coupling to protect such a costly lens, something that’s scary for any photographer. Its price is 2,099$.
Irix 15mm f / 2.4: Blackstone and Firefly: premium quality at a price
If there’s something to emphasize about the Irix 15mm lenses it’s that their features and specifications are those of a premium lens that normally exceeds 1500 dollars. It’s one of the things that’s surprised the many users of Irix. Contrary to what you may think, this series of advantages and innovations is showcased in the 600$ Blackstone version and the tempting 400$ Firefly version. They are available for Canon, Nikon and Pentax; And there’s a Canon adapter for Sony E on the way.
In contrast to other lenses of the same type and others on the market, the Irix 15mm incorporates innovations not seen in others: focus locking ring, rear filter slot, 95mm thread for circular filters, UV reflective marks. and special sealing, among others.
Without going further, in the prestigious magazine Digital Camera, in a comparison of 10 other wide-angle lenses, it was awarded the best price-quality award among all lenses, including Zeiss, Sigma, Tamron or Samyang and other prestigious lenses.
Samyang 14mm f / 2.8: rough polished quality
The Samyang 14mm f / 2.8 is like a teenager who wants to grow up quick. While it has great quality and value for an angular lens, it still lacks some aspects to be able to be labeled ‘premium’. It is, in fact, a very good alternative for its price and its characteristics, but its performance is far from the previous lenses, especially the Irix 15mm, whose price is practically the same.
The great advantage of the Samyang 14mm is its value for having such good features, such as its f/2.8 aperture or its ability to use almost any camera mount (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Samsung, etc.).
Obviously, there are many other lenses for landscape photography, we didn’t want this to become an innumerable list but rather to highlight some for their value for the money. With the arrival of spring time, we are some of the many who go out to look for the new colors and sensations that springtime landscape photography has to offer. We hope that one of these lenses has inspired you.