Photography / Buying Guide

Wide and Extreme Wide-Angle Lenses: A Guide

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The best wide-angle lens? Take two steps backward, look for the ‘ah-ha.’” —Ernst Haas

Notwithstanding Mr. Haas’s very astute comment, I have always loved wide-angle lenses. Well, more accurately, I love the inclusive, often distorted, sometimes messy perspectives they create; those of the street photographer, the documentarian, the artist. It is often noted that a 50mm lens is closest to the human eye’s perspective, but that is too narrow. My view includes what is on the periphery; this is crucial to what I see and feel, and how I interpret a developing scene. Where the frame cuts on a 28mm or 35mm full-frame perspective is what I take in with my eye and what I like my photographs to include.

Personal taste aside, wide-angle lenses are, of course, crucial to many photo applications from photojournalism to landscape to architecture work. 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.

The wide-angle category encompasses a much broader range than simply 28mm to 35mm lenses, and 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.

“Cleverness is like a lens with a very sharp focus. Wisdom is more like a wide-angle lens.” —Edward de Bono

DSLR Lenses

Nikon offers a choice of 20 wide-angle prime lenses for Nikon FX (full-frame) and DX-format (APS-C) DSLRs, and another five zoom lenses that incorporate strictly wide-angle focal lengths. Of course, there are several lenses, including the latest version of the workhorse AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR, which begin at wide angle but reach standard or telephoto lengths when zoomed.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED

The most recent comer to the Nikon wide-angle lineup is 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". On a DX-format sensor, it provides the 35mm focal-length equivalent of 30mm. 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. 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 AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Lens

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, as well as the AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G, and AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G—fast prime staples.

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.

Canon currently offers 14 wide and ultra-wide EF and EF-S prime lenses for its lines of full-frame and APS-C-format DSLRs, and seven wide-angle zoom lenses. Newest to the lineup are 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 offers two versions of the very practical 16-35mm focal length zoom. The EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM offers a fast, constant aperture and the weather-resistant build of L-series glass. 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. The EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is an ideal wide-angle option for APS-C shooters.

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

The EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM, and the EF 35mm f/1.4L 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.

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 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. 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, and the DT 30mm f/2.8 Macro lens with 1:1 ratio close-up capability.

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II Vario-Sonnar T* Lens

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.

If you own a full-frame Pentax camera or simply want a premier zoom for your APS-C model, the latest Pentax offering is 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.

Lest we forget, there’s also the Pentax 3.2mm f/5.6 Fisheye lens for Pentax Q-series cameras, which captures a 160-degree angle of view.

Pentax HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm f/2.8ED SDM WR Lens

Sigma continues to expand its well-received “Art” series of lenses. 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. Perhaps the most interesting of the company’s new 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.

Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F

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.

It’s hard not to notice the fact that 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.

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. For full-frame and APS-C DSLRs, Sigma offers a 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM II lens for Sigma, Canon, Nikon, and Sony mounts, with a moisture-resistant design. 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 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).

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.

Perhaps in an attempt to compete with Sigma’s Global Vision line, Tamron has recently released two high-quality, moisture-resistant, wide-aperture prime lenses. The SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lens and the SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens, both available for Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony A mounts, complement their wide maximum aperture with VC image stabilization, specialized lens coatings, and the USD autofocus motor.

Tamron SP 35mm Lens

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.

Tokina offers a handful of wide-angle zooms, including its most recent, the AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO FX 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.

Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX Lens

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. 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.

In a bid to capture the attention of fine art and professional photographers, Tokina has introduced a new series of lenses called “FiRIN”, and its wide-angle entry to the new club is the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE MF lens for Sony E-mount cameras. Fast as a hoot with three Super-Low Dispersion elements and dual aspherical elements, this manual-focus-only lens features support for in-camera assist functions and an aperture ring that can be de-clicked for smoother, quieter video capture.

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. The Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye is available in Nikon F, Canon EF, Pentax K, Sony A, 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. 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.

Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye Lens

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.

Zeiss With its long tradition of making outstanding lenses for a variety of cameras, it’s no surprise that Zeiss continues to release innovative and optically precise optics for DSLR bodies. The new 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 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. Other available Zeiss wide-angle lenses include the Distagon T* 18mm f/3.5 lens for Canon EF and Nikon F and the Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 lens for the Nikon F mount.

Zeiss Milvus 21mm Lens

Mirrorless System Lenses

Fujifilm For its X-mount series of compact mirrorless cameras, 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". 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.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR Lens

Sony E-Mount Sony continues to release new lenses for its E-mount mirrorless cameras, including several specifically for full-frame E-mount cameras. New for full-frame cameras is 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.

Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens

The Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS lens is the perfect all-in-one wide-angle zoom. 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 ZA 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.

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. In addition, a 14mm f/2.5 ASPH II provides 28mm equivalency, with three aspherical elements and a stepping motor in a barrel less than 1" long. 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.

Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm/F3.5 Lens

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.

Olympus 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.

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO Lens

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

Samyang has its 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.

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. Confused yet? And this does not even include the venerable M-mount, which is technically mirrorless, but for the sake of this article will be considered a rangefinder and discussed in a separate piece. For now, the only wide-angle perspective 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.

Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-T 11-23mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH Lens

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.

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 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.

Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Lens for Sony E Mount

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 Touit 32mm f/1.8 lens with a Planar optical design, T* coating, and a handsome metal barrel with large rubberized rings, and 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 above mentioned T* lens coating and solid build.

Nikon 1 This mirrorless camera system offers one prime wide-angle lens for the CX format. The 1 NIKKOR 10mm f/2.8 (White) lens provides 27mm focal length equivalency. This very compact pancake lens features spherical elements to reduce aberrations and multicoating to reduce ghosting and flare. The 1 NIKKOR 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens is an 18-35mm equivalent zoom with an internal focus system and vibration reduction for reduced blur in low light, available in Silver or Black. Three multipurpose zooms provide wide-angle capability, as well. The 1 NIKKOR 10-100mm f/4.0-5.6 VR has 27mm equivalence at the wide end and is available in White, Silver, or Black. There are two flavors of the 1NIKKOR 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (Black or White), both of which offer 30mm equivalence at the wide end and a retractable design to maintain a compact form factor. Additionally, there’s a non-retractable all-weather version, the Nikon 1 Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom. Also retractable and very compact is the 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM lens, with a Power Drive Zoom Motor.

Nikon 1 NIKKOR 10mm f/2.8 Lens

Canon 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 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- and Fujifilm X-mount cameras, while an 8mm f/3.5 Super Wide Angle Fisheye Lens is available for Sony APS-C E-mounts. These lenses also offer 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.

Bower 8mm f/2.8 Ultra Compact Fisheye Lens

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Discussion 41

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Hi

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.

Below are links to lenses which are compatible with both full-frame and APS-C Nikon DSLR cameras.  On the full-frame cameras the lenses will be super-wide, and on the D60 they will be wide-very wide.  See the links below for details on each recommendation:

Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM II Lens (For Nikon)

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Lens

Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens (Nikon F)

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.

See the links below for recommended wide aperture fixed and zoom lenses to consider for using with the T5i at concerts. 

http://bhpho.to/1e6LkZM

http://bhpho.to/1cqA0Ez

http://bhpho.to/1jlOUiD

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.

See the links below for recommended super-wide lens options for both your Canon Rebel T3i and your Sony A6000:

http://bhpho.to/1LWW4FI

http://bhpho.to/1k7TyVL

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.

Thank You for the responce !

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.......http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-EOS-1200D-vs-Canon_EOS_40D/detailed

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.

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