The Wide Bunch: A Guide to Wide and Ultra-Wide-Angle Lenses


Wide-angle lenses often add depth and drama to landscapes, architectural photographs, still-life, and other genres of photography. When employed judiciously, these lenses make a great addition to the kits of sports, adventure, and wildlife photographers, and are also an important option for portraitists who wish to include an environmental context. For the casual photographer, they are indispensable when shooting groups, such as friends gathered around a table. The wide-angle view can often provide a very short focus distance, allowing the photographer to get close to the subject and still include background information.

B&H offers hundreds of wide-angle-lens options, from circular fisheyes and "ultra-wide-angles" through versatile zooms, all the way to 40mm primes, which represent the blurry line between a wide-angle and a "standard" perspective. Featured below, organized by manufacturer, is a sampling of some high-performance and interesting wide-angle lenses that are available to enhance your shooting.

Nikon Wide-Angle Lenses

Nikon produces a broad selection of wide-angle prime lenses for Nikon FX (full-frame) and DX-format (APS-C) DSLRs and five wide-angle zoom lenses. Several lenses, including the latest version of the workhorse AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR, begin at wide-angle but reach standard or telephoto lengths when zoomed.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S Lens

The AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED lens, with its very fast maximum aperture and a minimum focus distance of just 7.8", is a nice combination of size and optical performance. On a DX-format sensor, it provides the 35mm focal-length equivalent of 30mm. The older Nikon AF NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8D remains in the lineup. The AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8G ED lens and the AF Fisheye-NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D lens capture 180° of imagery for DX and FX format Nikon DSLRs, respectively.

Numerous fast-aperture, ultra-wide primes represent some of the finest glass Nikon makes, from the AF NIKKOR 14mm f/2.8D ED lens to the AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED, both staples of pro kits. The AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED is a new FX offering, joining the slightly slower AF Nikkor 24mmf/2.8D, while the PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED is a tilt-shift option for exacting perspective control. If you require a tilt-shift option wider than 24mm, Nikon also offers the new Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED Tilt-Shift lens.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Lens
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Lens

In terms of zooms, the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24 f/2.8G ED, AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, and the AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED are incredible lenses for the kind of versatility needed by working photographers and enthusiasts.

Nikon offers eight different 28mm and 35mm prime lenses, with one that's sure to match your budget and needs, including the AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED lens, AF NIKKOR 35mm f/2D, as well as the AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G, AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED, and AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G—fast prime staples.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED Lens

In addition to a vast choice of wider-angle autofocus lenses, Nikon continues to produce a selection of its all-metal, AI-S-series manual-focus lenses, which include a Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 AI-S, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 AI-S, Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AI-S, and Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 AI-S.

Totally new this year are a pair of wide-angle lenses to go along with Nikon's new full-frame Z-series lenses. They include the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S and Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S Lens

Canon Wide-Angle Lenses

This year, Canon also introduced its first full-frame mirrorless camera and, to go along with it, a pair of zooms and a fixed wide-angle macro. They are the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM, the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, and the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS STM Macro.

Canon continues to offer a wide selection of ultra-wide EF and EF-S prime and zoom lenses for its full-frame and APS-C-format DSLRs including the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM and the EF 35mm f/1.4 II USM lenses. The coolest of the zooms might be the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, which enables a full-frame DSLR to capture perspectives ranging from circular 180-degree fisheye to a 108-degree angle of view. When used on an APS-C format camera, you get full-frame 180-degree image coverage at the lens's widest setting. Canon's EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM, is a third-generation version of its ever-popular ultra-wide zoom.

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM Lens

The EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM offers a constant f/4 maximum aperture, but adds image stabilization for reduced blur in low light. Similar in speed and focal range, minus image stabilization (and about $150 less expensive), is Canon's EF 17-40mm f/4L USM. The EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is an ideal wide-angle option for APS-C shooters.

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens

The EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM, and the new Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM are all L-series, high-end prime stalwarts found in many pro bags; however, in the past few years, Canon has added the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM, and the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM as image-stabilized alternatives. Wide-angle with a compact form factor is a good way to describe the Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM. The EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens, for APS-C cameras, is a remarkably slim "pancake" lens with 38mm equivalency and a stepping motor for smooth and quiet autofocus. Canon also offers several tilt-shift lenses, including the wide-angle TS-E 17mm f/4L and TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lenses. One final zoom specifically for Canon EF-S mount cameras is the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, which is a 16 – 28.8mm equivalent lens.

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Sony Wide-Angle Lenses

Sony E-mount Fast prime lenses for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras include the Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens with weather sealing, a linear actuator AF system, and optional converters, and the Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA with the fast aperture, Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF System, and the de-clickable aperture ring. The widest of the bunch is Sony's 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye, which captures a 180° FoV.

This year, Sony also introduced a new Sony FE 24mm GM, which further expands its roster of fast wide-angle optics along with a new, image-stabilized wide-to-telephoto zoom: the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS.

Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens

The Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS lens is the perfect all-in-one wide-angle zoom. Need speed? Sony's FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM and Zeiss-designed Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II lenses buy you an extra stop of light for low-light shooting and/or narrower DoF. Also for full frame E-mounts is the Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA lens, with an internal focusing mechanism and dust- and moisture-resistant sealing.

APS-C E-mount lenses include two ultra-slim pancake lenses, the E 16mm f/2.8 Alpha E mount and the 20mm f/2.8 Alpha E mount, as well as the 30mm f/3.5 Macro lens, with 1:1 magnification, the fast-aperture Sonnar T* E 24mm f/1.8 Z A lens, the slightly longer but faster Sony 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* FE ZA, and the E 10-18mm f/4 OSS Alpha E mount lens, with 15-27mm equivalence, constant aperture, and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization.

Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens

Sony A-Mount for Sony DSLRs offers six prime and eight zoom options, including three multi-purpose zooms for APS-C format that start at 18mm on the wide-angle end. The 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens is the widest prime available for A-mount and, with ED and aspherical elements; it provides notable corner-to-corner sharpness. Ascending the focal-length ladder, there is also the recently introduced Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, the 20mm f/2.8 Wide-angle Prime Lens, the Zeiss-built Distagon T* 24mm f/2 ZA SSM Prime lens with Super Sonic wave motor, and the 35mm f/1.4 G Prime lens. Also from the Sony-Zeiss partnership is the second-generation 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II Vario-Sonnar T* lens, with a fast, constant maximum aperture, extra-low and super extra-low dispersion elements, and the Zeiss T* (T-Star) coatings.

Sony 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens

Notable for APS-C shooters is the DT 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Wide Zoom lens, with its 16.5-27mm focal-length equivalency, the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS, the FE 12-24mm f/4 G, and the DT 30mm f/2.8 Macro lens with 1:1 ratio close-up capability.

Pentax/Ricoh Wide-Angle Lenses

Pentax/Ricoh produces two lens systems, DA lenses for APS-C format Pentax cameras and FA lenses for full-frame (and APS-C) cameras. The FA series offers the smcP PENTAX FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited lens, with 46.5mm equivalency when used on APS-C cameras, a very fast maximum aperture, and a compact, durable build. The DA Limited series is the company's durable, high-end class of lenses made for digital SLR cameras, and new additions to this series include the DA 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited lens and the DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited.

The standard DA lenses include primes such as the PENTAX SMCP-DA 14mm f/2.8 ED (IF) lens, with 21mm focal-length equivalency, ED lens elements, and internal focusing, the PENTAX SMCP-DA 12-24mm f/4.0 ED AL (IF) lens, and the PENTAX SMCP-DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye lens, with a 180-degree angle of view and ultra-close-focusing capability.

If you own a full-frame K-mount camera—old school or digital, the Pentax HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR is the only wide-angle lens you'll ever need. This fast, weatherproof über-wide-angle zoom lens has a full-frame AoV range of 111 – 72°, allowing you to focus down to 11.02" for a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:5.

Pentax HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR Lens

If you own a full-frame Pentax camera or simply want a premier zoom for your APS-C model, Pentax offers the HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm f/2.8ED SDM WR lens with aspherical, ED, and Anomalous Dispersion Aspherical lens elements, a supersonic direct-drive autofocus motor and weather-resistant construction.

Sigma Wide-Angle lenses

Sigma continues to expand its well-received ART series of lenses. The widest zoom in the ART-series is the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM ART lens, which is available in Nikon F, Canon EF, and Sigma lens mounts.

The 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART lens is available for Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma SA mounts. Its impressive optical design, Hyper Sonic AF motor, and thermally stable composite material complements its wide maximum aperture. The 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM is similar in optical and physical design to the above 24mm but offers a bit wider focal length, a fixed lens hood, and has been recommended as an ideal lens for astrophotography. Like the 24mm, it is compatible with the Sigma USB dock and offers mounts for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma. New for 2018 is the Sigma 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART lens for Nikon F, Canon EF, and Sigma SA lens mounts, which further expand the range of Sigma's fast ART-series wide-angle lenses. For those who prefer zooms, Sigma also introduced the equally able Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM ART lens, which is available for Nikon F, Canon EF, and Sigma SA mounts.

Sigma 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Sigma SA

Perhaps the most interesting of the company's ART-series lenses is the 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM ART lens, a wide-angle zoom with a fast maximum aperture for Nikon, Canon, and Sigma mounts. Having used this lens, I can attest to the fact that its large form factor does not stand in the way of incredible optical performance for architectural, landscape, or wedding and event subjects.

If you own an APS-C format camera from Nikon, Canon, or Sony, Sigma, or Pentax, the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM ART lens (27-52.5mm equivalent) sports a constantly fast f/1.8 maximum aperture, 4 aspheric and five SLD Glass elements, internal focus and zoom, and a Hyper Sonic AF motor.

Sigma offers three distinct fisheye lenses: the 4.5mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Lens for APS-C format cameras only, and 8mm and 15mm lenses for full-frame and APS-C format DSLRs, both of which are available for Sigma, Nikon, Pentax, and Canon mounts. What's more, Sigma's 4.5mm f/4.5 EX DC HSM is available for Sigma, Nikon, Pentax, and Canon DSLRs, and provides a circular fisheye perspective. For full-frame DSLR owners, there's the 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye lens, which has a 180-degree angle of view and close-focusing ability, available in Sigma, Nikon, and Canon mounts; as well as the 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye lens for Sigma, Nikon, Canon, and Pentax mounts.

Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens

In addition to 19mm, 20mm, 24mm, and 28mm primes, Sigma's zoom offerings include extreme wide zooms, starting with the 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM lens (12-24mm equivalent in 35mm format) built for APS-C DSLR cameras from Sigma, Sony/Minolta, as well as select Nikon and Canon EOS models.

There is also a 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM lens designed for use with APS-C DSLRs from Pentax, Nikon, Sony, Canon, and Sigma. And, even though it reaches past the purely wide-angle domain in equivalency, the APS-C 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens is notable for its very fast, constant maximum aperture, and is available for Canon EF, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, and Sony A mounts.

Finally, for APS-C format Sony E-mount cameras, there's the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN, a reasonably fast prime lens that has inner focusing, a minimum focus of 7.9", and a linear AF motor.

Tamron Ultra-Wide to Wide-Angle Lenses

If you're looking for an ultra-wide to wide-angle zoom for your APS-C format DSLR from Sony, Canon, Nikon, or Pentax, you might want to consider the Tamron SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DI II. Featuring aspheric-surfaced elements and micro motors for fast and smooth focusing, the Tamron 10-24mm takes in an angle of view from 108° to 60° (approximately 16 to 36mm equivalent in 35mm format).

New for 2018 is the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 ultra-wide zoom, which is available for Nikon F and Canon EF DSLRs. Slightly less wide is the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD, a variable-aperture wide zoom for Nikon F and Canon EF lens mounts.

Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2

A new lens that's been getting kudos from photographers is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD, which goes from wide-to-short telephoto and is solely available in Sony E-mount.

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony E

Alternatively, you can choose Tamron's 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspheric [IF] AF lens (26-78mm equivalent), which maintains a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture across the zoom range, and is available in Nikon, Canon EOS, Sony A/Minolta, and Pentax K mounts. Additionally, a version incorporating Vibration Compensation is available for Canon EF and Nikon F mounts.

Tamron's AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspheric (IF) AF lens offers a similarly fast constant maximum aperture and a 13" minimum focusing distance, available in Canon EOS, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, and Pentax K mounts.

One of the most popular zoom focal-length ranges among photo enthusiasts and pros would have to be 24-70mm. In the case of Tamron, it's the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD, which IQ-wise, reportedly holds its own against the competition.

To compete with Sigma's Global Vision line, Tamron has released the SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lens, which is available for Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony A mounts,  and features a fast maximum aperture with VC image stabilization, specialized lens coatings, and the USD autofocus motor.

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony E

Full-frame Canon EF and Nikon F-mount camera users can pick their preference among dual versions of the SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens. Like the above primes, Tamron has pulled out the stops to create a high-performance, wide-angle zoom with Vibration Compensation image stabilization, an Ultrasonic Silent Drive AF system, XGM aspherical and Low Dispersion elements, eBAND and BBAR lens coatings, and fluorine coating on the front element to resist water, oils, and smudges. Another wide-angle option from Tamron is the SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DI II, a 15-35mm equivalent zoom for APS-C format cameras.

Tokina Wide-Angle Lenses

Tokina offers a handful of wide-angle zooms, including its most recent, the AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX lens for APS-C-format Canon and DX-format Nikon DSLRs. Three Ultra-low dispersion lens elements and aspherical elements reduce aberration and a one-touch clutch mechanism allows seamless switching from manual to autofocus.

The 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X AF DX Fisheye lens for Canon and Nikon creates an ultra-wide 180-degree field of view with dramatic curvature of field. An "NH" version of Canon and Nikon mounts is available without the integrated lens hood, which enables its use on full-frame cameras.

The updated AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX-II is compatible with Sony, Nikon, and Canon APS-C DSLRs and provides approximate 35mm focal-length equivalency of 16-24mm. A stop slower, a tad wider, and a tad longer is Tokina's 12-28mm f/4 AT-X Pro for Canon and Nikon cameras. If you tend to shoot in dim light, Tokina offers the AT-X 14-20mm f/2 PRO DX, a fast 22-4 – 32mm equivalent zoom.

Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF Lens for Sony E

For full-frame and APS-C cameras, the AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX lens is available in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts and, in addition to sharp coverage due to aspherical and super-low dispersion elements, it features a silent DC autofocus motor. Also for full-frame Nikon and Canon cameras is the 17-35mm f/4 Pro FX lens with pro features, super-low dispersion elements, and a focus-clutch mechanism for fast switching between manual and autofocus.

The Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE MF lens for Sony E-mount cameras is fast as a hoot with three Super-Low Dispersion elements, dual aspherical elements, manual focusing, and an aperture ring that can be de-clicked for smoother, quieter video capture. New in 2018 is the autofocus version of this very same lens—the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF, for those who wish to skip the manual focusing part of the equation.

Rokinon, Samyang, and Bower Wide-Angle Lenses

Rokinon, Samyang, and Bower These manufacturers offer several wide-angle focal lengths, including impressive fisheye lenses for full-frame and APS-C DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

New this year is the Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8 EF, which is specifically for Canon EF mount cameras.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 Lens for Canon EF

The Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye is available in Nikon F, Canon EF, Pentax K, and Sony E mounts, and has a short minimum focus distance of 7.9". Extra-low dispersion and aspherical elements control aberrations, and both Nano Crystal and UMC coatings improve light transmission. Wider still is Rokinon's 8mm f/3.5 Ultra Wide-angle Fisheye, which captures circular 180° image files.

Rokinon's manual focus 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC lens is available for Canon EF, Sony A, Olympus 4/3, and Pentax K mounts. Featuring aspherical elements and multi-layer coatings, this lens is compatible with full-frame and APS-C cameras and provides 21mm focal length equivalence on APS-C formats. The Nikon and Canon mount lenses also include an AE chip for auto exposure compatibility and focus confirmation. One of Rokinon's more popular wide-angle offerings is the bright-eyed 24mm f/1.4 ASPH, a very sharp, full-frame wide-angle lens which is available for Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and Pentax lens mounts.

Samyang offers a 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC Wide-Angle lens for Nikon F, Canon EF, Olympus 4/3, Pentax K, Samsung NX, and Sony A-mount cameras. This durable, manual-focus lens has a wide maximum aperture for full-frame and APS-C formats.

Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC Wide-Angle Lens

Zeiss Wide-Angle Lenses

Zeiss continues to release innovative and optically precise optics for DSLR bodies. The Milvus 15mm f/2.8, Milvus 18mm f/2.8, Milvus 21mm f/2.8, and Milvus 35mm f/2 lenses are available for full-frame Canon EF mount cameras (ZE) and FX-format F-mount Nikons (ZF.2). A manual focus lens with an updated exterior design, the Milvus utilizes the Distagon design to control distortion and produce sharp imagery with a dynamic perspective. The newest addition to the Milvus family is the Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4, a fast and sharp high-performance wide-angle lens, which is available in Nikon and Canon lens mounts.

The F mount versions provide a de-clickable manual aperture ring for enhanced use when shooting video. The 21mm pairs its ultra-wide perspective with a minimum focus distance of just 8.7". With a 110-degree field of view, anti-reflective coating, an integrated lens hood and excellent build quality, the Distagon T* 15mm lens for F-mount and EF-mount cameras is another fine example of Zeiss wide-angle glass.

ZEISS Loxia 25mm f/2.4 Lens for Sony E Mount

Zeiss For Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, Zeiss produces numerous high-quality manual and autofocus lenses. Zeiss's Batis series of lenses includes two wide-angle choices—the Batis 18mm f/2.8 (99-degree AoV) and Batis 25mm f/2 Lens for Sony E-mount (82-degree AoV)—both full-frame compatible lenses with linear autofocus motors, and the Distagon optical design featuring floating lens elements.

The Loxia line of manual focus lenses includes the Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony E-mount, the Loxia 25mm f/2.4, and the Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* Lens for Sony E-mount, both for full-frame cameras. The Loxia lenses feature the T* anti-reflective coating, an all-metal, weather-resistant barrel and a manual aperture ring that can be de-clicked.

Also available from Zeiss is the Touit line of autofocus lenses for Sony APS-C E-mount and Fujifilm X-mount cameras. Wide-angle options include the ultra-wide Touit 12mm f/2.8,which provides the 35mm focal length equivalence of 18mm. Its Distagon optical design is complemented with two aspherical elements, as well as the abovementioned T* lens coating and solid build.

Fujifilm Wide-Angle Lenses

For Fujifilm's X-mount series of compact mirrorless cameras., the newest wide is the Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8 R LM WR, a weatherproof 12-24mm equivalent zoom. Fujifilm provides five prime wide-angle lenses and one zoom. The XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens is the 35mm focal-length equivalent of 15-36mm and, with optical image stabilization and a constant f/4 maximum aperture, it is effective in low light. A stepping motor and internal focus system enable smooth and precise focus, and a macro mode can focus as close as 9.4".

FUJIFILM XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR

Prime lenses include the latest XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR with a very fast maximum aperture, weather sealing, and Nano-GI and HT-EBC coatings. Other prime offerings are the XF 14mm f/2.8 R lens, with 21mm equivalency and minimal distortion, the XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens, with its compact build, and the XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens, with a very fast maximum aperture for shallow depth-of-field control, with its 35mm focal-length equivalence. Lastly, the XF 27mm f/2.8 lens, available in Silver or Black, pushes the boundary of the wide-angle category with its 41mm focal-length equivalency. Its ultra-compact build offers a high-torque AF motor and Fujinon's HT-EBC lens coating for minimal flare and ghosting.

Panasonic Wide-Angle Lenses

Panasonic offers four wide-angle prime lenses for the Lumix G series of Micro Four Thirds format cameras, the first of which is the Lumix G 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye, which delivers a full-frame 180-degree angle of view. Panasonic's fisheye lens features ED glass elements, close focusing down to 4", a quiet AF stepping motor, and a rear slot for gel filters.

Also available is the Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH lens, with 30mm equivalency and a very fast maximum aperture. Rounding out the primes is the compact Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH lens, available in Black or Silver.

The company's wide-angle zoom offering features the Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH, a Zeiss-designed ultra-wide with two aspheric surfaces, four ED elements, and an angle-of-view range of 114° to 75°, which is equivalent to a 14 to 28mm lens on a full-frame 35mm DSLR.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens

Olympus Wide-Angle Lenses

The M.ZUIKO series of lenses for Olympus's Micro Four Thirds offerings features four prime wide-angle lenses and two true wide-angle zooms. The latest zoom is the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens, with 14-28mm equivalency, a sophisticated optical design, and weather-resistant build. The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 lens focuses to 6" and is just 1.9" long, providing 18-36mm focal length equivalency. The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12mm f/2.0 is available in Silver or Black, and provides 24mm focal-length equivalency and a fast maximum aperture. Its compact and durable all-metal construction matches well with OM-D and PEN series cameras. Two distinct 17mm lenses are also available, one with a very fast f/1.8 maximum aperture and silent MSC autofocus, the other a very compact f/2.8 version.

New to the M. ZUIKO lineup is the Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO lens, which offers a 16mm equivalent, 180-degree rectangular field of view. Its fast, maximum aperture is complemented by a silent autofocus system and a dust-, splash- and freeze-resistant design.

New from Samyang is the Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 FE lens for Sony E-mount cameras, a small, lightweight wide-angle that is very attractively priced. This same lens is also available under the Rokinon nameplate.

Samyang's 10mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens (Samsung NX-mount), which offers a 180-degree angle of view with 15.4mm focal-length equivalency. A micro-stepping AF motor enables smooth, quiet autofocus, and the iFunction button allows lens-based control over certain camera functions.

Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 FE Lens for Sony E

Leica Wide-Angle lenses

Leica offers a choice of three fixed focal length wide-angle lenses: the 18mm/f3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH, 21mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH, and 24mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH. Alternatively, there is the Tri-Elmar-M 16-18-21mm f/4 ASPH, which unlike the fluid focal length transitions of a zoom, can only be clicked into position as a 16mm, 18mm, or 21mm lens—and nothing in between.

In 2014, Leica introduced the T-System, an APS-C mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera system, and in 2015, the full-frame mirrorless Leica SL camera arrived with its L mount. T-mount and L-mount lenses will fit on T and SL cameras; however, the T-system is APS-C format.

New for Leica S-series cameras is the Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH, a high-performance aspheric super-wide.

Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH.

Also available for the SL camera is the Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH lens, with a stepping autofocus motor, optical image stabilization, and a moisture-resistant design. For the T-system, the company offers the Summicron-T 23mm f/2 ASPH lens, with 35mm focal-length equivalency. It features autofocus with manual focus override and a fast maximum aperture. Leica's wide-angle zoom offering is the Super-Vario-Elmar-T 11-23mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH lens, with 17-35mm equivalency. Four aspherical lens elements are housed in a compact, handsome metal lens barrel.

Last, but not least, if you're looking for a wide-angle option for your medium format Leica S-series camera, call B&H and order the Leica 24mm f/3.5 Super-Elmar-S ASPH , which offers an awesome 96.6-degree diagonal AoV.

Canon M Mirrorless Wide-Angle Lenses

The Canon M mirrorless system has one wide-angle prime, the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM, available in silver. With its 35.2mm focal-length equivalence and a maximum aperture of f/2, this lens is effective in low light. Its stepping motor offers smooth and quiet AF and its compact build fits well with the M camera.

Canon currently offers three options for Canon EF-M wide zooms - the EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens an (18-35mm equivalent),the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM (24-70mm equivalent), and the EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM (28.8-240mm equivalent), each of which features a built-in stepping motor AF system and Dynamic Image Stabilization.

Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens

Rokinon, Samyang, and Bower Wide-Angle Lenses for Mirrorless Cameras

Rokinon, Samyang, and Bower make numerous wide-angle lenses for mirrorless cameras, including the full-frame Sony E-mounts. The manual focus Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye Lens for Sony E-mount is full-frame compatible with a 180-degree angle of view, Nano Crystal lens coating, and an optical design that includes three Extra Low Dispersion elements and two aspherical elements.

The Bower 8mm f/2.8 Ultra Compact Fisheye Lens is available for Samsung NX-mount cameras. This lens also offers a 180-degree angle of view, with a 12mm equivalent focal length, complemented by low dispersion multi-coated optics and a built-in lens hood.

Perhaps the oddest wide-angle lens we sell is the Venus Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe, which gets down to twice life-size and contains its own LED light source. This wonderfully odd wide macro is available for Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, and PL lens mounts.

Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye Lens for Sony E Mount

Voigtländer Wide-Angle Lenses

One final group of lenses worth investigating is from Voigtländer, which manufactures extremely sharp and affordable lenses for MFT, APS-C, and full-frame mounts for (D)SLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Included among Voigtländer's wide-angle offerings are the high-speed Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 and Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 (21mm and 35mm equivalents) for MFT cameras, the Ultron 35mm f/1.7 ASPH, Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 MC, Nokton 35mm f/1.2 ASPH II, Ultron 28mm f/2, Color-Skopar 21mm f/4 P (a tiny, really sharp lens!), and Ultron 21mm f/1.8, all for M-mount cameras.

If you're into truly wide optics, Voigtländer also offers the Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5, Ultra Wide-Heliar 12mm f/5.6, and the ridiculously wide Heliar-Hyper Wide 10mm f/5.6 ASPH for M-mount and Sony E-mount cameras.

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 Lens for Micro Four Thirds

Do you have a favorite wide-angle lens? If so, let us know which lens it is, and why it's your favorite.


Don’t forget the Fujifilm XF 16 2.8!!  That new lens is a tiny little gem!!  

I know MFT is mostly an afterthought when it comes to wide angle stuff, but if y'all are going to mention the Oly 7-14mm, you've gotta at least mention the PanaLeica 8-18mm! A lot of people prefer that to the Oly because of the circular filter thread and it being substantially lighter. There's also the PanaLeica 12mm f/1.4 and the Oly 12mm f/2, but if I had to pick one omission to harp on, it would be the 8-18mm

Wonder why there's no mention of the Canon 17-55? They say how good it is, but they don't even mention it in any review.

Why is there no mention of the Irix 15mm and 11mm on this list?

Hi, which lens would be great for a real estate photography that requires a wide angle and good in low lights on an entry level DSLR (Canon/Nikon)?


I would lkie to understand the perspective of close up lenses, I want to buy a compact digital camera that will allow me to take a photo with the subject in the forground exagerated in size compared to the background but to have both in focus of around 3 meters

Why are super wide angle prime lenses for micro-43 all manual focus?

You forgot to mention the Irix 15mm f/2.4. Much better than the Samyang 14mm and about the same price.

I frequently photograph 4ft x 8ft drawings that have a white background, and often am in low-light and/or close range situations.   Which lenses for DSLRs do you recommend to get the sharpest/cleanest/least-distorted shots?  Am currently using a wide-angle Sony but resolution and graininess are a problem  (I am planning to buy a new camera with a 15-25 mp resolution) so Nikon, Canon or even Sony options would be appreciated.  Thank you!

Just ordered the Canon EOS Rebel T6i and the EFS 24mm f/2.8 STF lens.  Fingers crossed...

Hi Martha,

I apologize for us having not gotten back to you sooner over the holiday weekend. That Canon T6i and 24mm lens will be great for your task. I recommend using a tripod to maximize sharpness and, also, try to center the camera over the drawings and make sure everything is perfectly perpendicular to avoid keystoning distortion.

Thanks for reading and good luck! Let us know if you have more questions!

Any info on the Irix 11mm  f 4  for full frame Nikon DSLR's

Unfortunately we do not have any release information as of yet. 

What about Laowa's 12mm and 15mm?  

Good catch on the 15mm Laowa!

As for the 12mm - we're still waiting for the first samples to make shore... stay tuned.

Thank you Bob for listing these two fine lenses. While my article is pretty long, it was meant to provide only "a sampling" of lenses and doesn't necessarily include all of the wide-angle lenses we offer. 

What is the sharpest edge to edge or just sharp edge to edge nikon lens thats a 14mm prime or zoom that goes down to 14mm for nikon?

Hello, I currently have a Nikon D60 but I'm looking to upgrade soon to D800 or D810. I would like to buy a wide angle lens for landscape images but I'm not sure which would be compatible now with D60 and still work fully with the full frame camera when I get it. I'm looking for something with 10 - 14 mm capabilities.

Thanks, Ben.


I think the writer needs to go back through and edit.  There are a bunch of places where you say DSLR from Sigma, when I think you mean Sony.  Please go back through before you confuse us beginners!  Thank you!


Jennifer in AZ

Thanks for the comment Jennifer. I went back and checked the article and did not find a "DSLR from Sigma" that you were referring to.  In the part about Sigma lenses there are references to Sigma SA mounts, which is accurate, as they do make DSLRs and those lenses offer an SA mount version. Perhaps I missed it, so if you could point out the reference is in the article, I'll take another look and correct if need be. Thanks.


I have had the Tokina 11-16 2.8 DX for my Nikon APS-C sensor cameras for several years. When I added a Nikon D3, I found that the lens works fine, without vignetting, at 16mm (only) on the full frame D3.

The Tokina 11-16 2.8 DX does indeed work on FX/Full Frame when set at 16mm, but the corners and borders are quite smeary -- even F8 can't sharpen corner details acceptably. Love the lens for DX, despite the strong CA with backlit scenes.

Thank you for the input DS and photojon.


Hello Group,

I am an amature and very new to photography.I just purchased a Canon T5i and I am looking for recommendations for a lens to cover live performances where the musicians are moving and the lighting might not be ideal. Thank you!!

Depending on how close you can get, a Canon 135 f2 could work. Great lens.

Could anyone recommend their best pick for both a Canon T3i and a Sony Alpha 6000? Of course, will need two different lenses. The a6000 is my compact take along for parties and get togethers as well as any video. The T3i would be used anytime I go on a big trip where I would take landscapes.

I'm surprised you only included fisheyes from Rokinon/Samyang/Bower. Their 14mm f/2.8 and 24mm f/1.4 lenses are well regarded and especially for astrolandscape photography. They make a very attractive alternative to the name brand wide angle lenses, in particular since manual focus isn't particularly necessary for the subjects for which these lenses are most often used.

why the table with all the lenses has been eliminated? was very useful...

What kind of lens do you suggest i get for my cannon D40 for Wide angle to telephoto? something like 14mm to 135mm ?

Unfortunately, there isn’t an option that would go from 14-135mm.  The widest options for the Canon 40D that will go fairly telephoto would be the Tamron 16-300mm and the Canon 15-85mm.  The Canon would have the better optical quality, while the Tamron would have the larger range.

Which budget are you on? If money allows, the 15-85 and the 70-200 f4L IS together will be a phantastic duo!

Chris sorry but they are not in my budget; NOT everyone is wealthy and my camera is old; i bought back in 2009 ! 

Ha, An example of our modern age consumerism saying your 2009 camera is old. My first SLR, a Pentax SV, bought in 1963 lasted right through until I upgraded to a 1974 Spotmatic. Even then I got a good price for the SV. Your Canon D40 isn't old at all. Admittedly you wouldn't get a lot for it, but it is still worth more to you than the price you would get so is still a very useful tool. Actually, as I am not interested in shooting video with a still camera, I would sooner have a 2nd hand D40 than a brand new 1200D - compare them here.......

Similarly, I would rather have a really good 2nd hand lens for the same price I would pay for a new one. If you do go down that route though be sure to buy from a reputable dealer (e.g Jessops) with a 3 month guarantee than from someone online. You'll pay more but have a greater degree of safety in returning the goods if necessary. The lenses you should consider acquiring in the long term for your APS-C camera are: EF-S 10-18mm or 10-22mm zoom, or if you don't need to go so wide and would prefer a good walkabout lens the EF-S 15-85mm. You probably have an EF-S 18-55mm which could offset the price of the latter by trading it in. A reasonable telephoto zoom would be the EF-S 55-250mm zoom. For a great portrait/low light lens the EF 50mm f1.8 is fairly cheap at around £70 new. (Remember the EF lens has a crop factor of 1.6x on an APS-C camera such as the D40 so would have a FOV (field of view) equivalent to a 85mm lens on a FF (full frame) camera. Which brings me to another point, if you ever consider upgrading to a FF camera (eg. 6D) then remember the EF-S lenses will not be suitable for it. However, EF lenses will fit APS-C but with the crop factor effective. Hope this helps. 

You got a try the new Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM. The thing is just amazing with almost no distortion! It's even the Ultimate SLR Selfi camera now! I have also paired with my mirorless M3 and wow what a great stealth set up. Amazing images capturing the whole scene.

Thank you Victor. We got a chance to try it out and I will be doing a short review very soon. I agree with you, it's a great lens but it bent my selfie stick like a fishing pole! ;) 

I shoot with Canon, and the Carl Zeiss distagon 21 2.8 ZE lens is my most precious wide angle lens for landscape. Wonder why isn't in this article. If I need to shoot in dust, sand, harsh enviroment, then my 17-40 or the new 16-35 IS are in my bag. Nice article!

Where is the Nikon 16-35 f4 VR on this list?

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM  is not FULL FRAME as it is DC , It would have DG for full frame.. Plz update

I don't see Canon's wide tilt shift lenses, another great creative option.

That 12-24mm f/4 Tokina lens on a Nikon D90 is simply an outstanding combination. The lens is reasonably priced, solidly built and has excellent optics. Hard to beat.

Anonymous wrote:

That 12-24mm f/4 Tokina lens on a Nikon D90 is simply an outstanding combination. The lens is reasonably priced, solidly built and has excellent optics. Hard to beat.