The Top 4 Canon Lenses for Landscape Photography

One of the great things about being a photographer these days is the incredible variety of cameras and lenses that are available.

Of course, that variety can also be a bit of a curse because there are so many options that it might be difficult to figure out what lens is best for the type of photos you take.

To help you narrow things down, we’ve put together this list of the top four canon lenses for landscape photographers.


Canon 11-24mm f/4 L USM EF Mount Lens

When you think of landscape photography, you likely think of wide-angle images like the one above.

One of Canon’s best zoom lenses for landscape photography to get shots like that is the 11-24mm f/4 L (which has an effective focal length of around 18-38mm on a crop sensor camera). 

The beauty of this lens is that on a full frame camera you can shoot ultra-wide at 11mm without barrel distortion that makes the image look like it was taken with a fisheye lens.

Its ultrasonic motor is also worth noting, as it’s incredibly fast and quiet, which allows the autofocus mechanism to work in your favor without causing tons of noise.

The f/4 aperture is nice as well, and will allow you to shoot in low-light situations without having to boost the ISO too far. And being that it’s in Canon’s luxury line of lenses, the image quality is excellent no matter what focal length you’re using.


Canon 17-40mm f/4 L USM EF Mount Lens

For many photographers, Canon’s L-series glass is simply too expensive. That’s not the case with the 17-40mm f/4 L, though, because you can get a brand new one for under $800 (and far less pre-owned!).

Besides being built like a tank and having Canon’s upgraded L-series optics, this lens has the ideal focal range for landscapes.

Shoot wide at 17mm to capture all the details of the landscape, then zoom in and shoot at 40mm to get shots that are a little more intimate and show the landscape roughly how we see it with our own eyes.

Throw in weather-resistant construction, excellent sharpness throughout its focal range, and a minimum focusing distance of under a foot, and you have a recipe for a versatile landscape lens for Canon full frame cameras. As a bonus, EF lenses also work on crop sensor cameras, and in this case, would operate like a 27-64mm lens).


Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM EF-S Mount Lens

If the 17-40mm lens discussed above doesn’t quite offer you enough reach, the Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 lens might suit you just fine.

Granted, this lens doesn’t have the same low-light performance offered by the 17-40mm f/4, so it likely wouldn’t be your first choice for low-light shooting among the lenses on this list.

However, with the additional reach of 85mm, you can shoot wide-angle to telephoto with a single lens. That reach is even more pronounced when you consider that this lens was developed specifically for Canon APS-C cameras. That means you get an effective focal range of 24-136mm. That’s not bad at all!

This particularly advantageous if you’re on a landscape photography outing in which you’ll be doing a lot of walking or hiking - you can cover a wide range of focal lengths with this one lens and lighten the load you have to carry. That’s especially true since this lens weighs just 1.25 pounds.

With impressive image quality throughout its focal range, this little lens could end up being your go-to glass for landscape photography.


Canon 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM EF Mount Lens

Shooting landscapes with a telephoto lens like Canon’s 70-200mm f/4 is underrated.

Telephoto lenses offer a unique view of the landscape by highlighting the small details that might otherwise go unnoticed in a wide-angle shot.

It also has excellent optics and weather-sealed construction.

As an added bonus, it’s lightweight for a telephoto lens, and with the focal range of 70-200mm (112-320mm on a crop sensor camera), it’s got quite the reach as well.

Like the other lenses on our list, this one also produces images that are clear and sharp. That’s true at the narrow and wide ends, and when shooting without a tripod as well, thanks to Canon’s image stabilization system.

Lastly, this lens is built to last, and will prove one of the more durable Canon lenses that you can buy. If you have hard treks in your future, this lens will go along for the ride without you having to worry too much about it getting damaged.

Of course, this and the other lenses described earlier aren’t all easy on the pocketbook. If you want to upgrade your lenses without blowing your budget, consider buying quality pre-owned lenses to help stretch your budget.