Those who have been following me on this photography blog since the beginning know that I indeed have a passion for camera equipment. I’ve already talked a lot about photography equipment around here, and in direct relation to this article, I’ve already written two articles that might be of interest to you: how to choose your wide-angle lens and which lenses is the best for landscape photography. This article is kind of a new thing on the blog since I’m going into a bit more detail than usual. Today I’m talking about the best Canon wide-angle lenses available.
You’re going to tell me that most of this information is already in the two articles mentioned above and you’re right. However, I had not previously tried to present the lenses in detail with their characteristics as well as their use, interest, price, etc. So, this article is specifically about Canon’s wide-angle lenses, for both DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
Wide-angle lenses are mainly used for several purposes: to take pictures with a wide angle of vision, to increase and enhance perspectives, to give impressions of vastness and to be able to fit in, an entire scene when you are indoors for example (thus limited in space).
This article is the result of an important amount of work researching, allowing me to offer, according to my vision of things and my analysis, the best Canon wide-angle lenses today. I will of course update this article as new releases are made. For each lens presented below, you will get a visual, its main characteristics and my opinion on it. When possible, I also give the reference for the filter systems. For your convenience, I’ve regrouped my selection of lenses by sensor size (APS-C and full frame) for DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
This article focuses on landscape photography. Indeed, the use of a telephoto lens or a transtandard lens is less common in this field. However, I won’t be going into technical details about lenses such as distortion, chromatic aberrations, etc. The software programs manage these defects perfectly in post-production.
All tables in the article can be sorted. So feel free to classify them according to the characteristics you are interested in.
I won’t repeat all the extra information given in the article on how to choose your wide-angle lens, but I invite you to read it if you need to know all the details before making your choice. However, here are the main points summarized below. All you have to do is click on the scrollbar to make all these elements appear in detail (I deliberately hid it because these elements are already found in other articles, but it seemed essential to me to remind them here).
Canon’s range of APS-C sensor cameras is quite broad and extends from entry-level body such as the 4000D to the 7D Mk II, a professional-grade body. APS-C wide-angle sensor lenses have the advantage of being much lighter and more compact than their full-frame equivalent. In my opinion, these are the best lenses for Canon APS-C DSLRs.
Here are in my opinion the 4 best Canon wide-angle lenses for APS-C cameras:
- Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD
- Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
- Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX II AF 11-16 mm f/2.8
- Sigma AF 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
I have summarized for comparison the main technical characteristics of the 4 lenses in the table below.
This new version of the Tamron 10-24mm now features an integrated stabilizer (VC) that works very well. It has the widest focal range in its class of wide-angle lenses, superior to Canon’s classic 10-18mm and 10-22mm. This Tamron wide-angle lens has a solid construction with a total weight of 439g.
The maximum aperture of this lens is not excellent in itself, but the stabilization can help you in low-light situations. Sharpness tests demonstrate very good quality, especially in the center of the image and at the shortest focal lengths (between 10 and 15mm), superior to Canon wide angle lenses. The quality decreases in the angles but is still acceptable. If you are considering buying a Canon APS-C wide angle DSLR lens, I’m of the opinion that this is the most interesting lens today!
In direct competition with its little brother the Canon EF-S 10-22mm, this ultra-wide-angle lens will satisfy those looking for a good quality, lightweight, properly constructed lens. The focal range is ideal and matches perfectly with the 18-55mm trans-standard lenses.
Compared to its big brother, the sharpness is said to be better, especially at full aperture. Even though the aperture is smaller than the Canon 10-22mm, you get a stabilized lens, which will be useful in low light situations. Finally, the price remains quite reasonable. It’s in my opinion a very good alternative to the Tamron if you’re looking for an Ultra-Wide Angle (UWA) lens from Canon, in a similar price range.
With a nice f/2.8 constant aperture and a very solid construction (well beyond the two Canon’s mentioned above), this new version of the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 remains a very nice alternative when choosing your wide-angle lens.
For amateurs of photography in low light conditions, at night or for astrophotography, this is clearly a lens to consider. The sharpness is lower than the other two Canons’ in my opinion, but still very good, especially in the center of the image. The optics accepts filters without any problem, but in 77m. It shot with this lens for almost 2 years during travel and it was perfect for me.
The latest ultra-wide-angle lens for a Canon APS-C DSLR, is a good choice for people on a tight budget. This second version is much better than the first 10-20mm from Sigma. This ultra-wide-angle lens has a nice fixed aperture of f/3.5, which will help you in low light conditions.
Of course, there are other wide-angle lenses for APS-C cameras, but these are the four I would advise you to consider. You can also look at the Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 Pro Dx. Here is a summary and comparative table of the main characteristics of the lenses mentioned above.
|Brand||Model||Focal Length||Max. Aperture||Focus||Stabilisation||Filter||Dimension (D / L)||Weight||Min. focus distance||Best price|
|Tamron||10-24mm f/3.5-4.5||10-24mm||f/3.5-4.5||Auto||Yes||77mm||84 x 85mm||440g||24cm||Amazon|
|Canon||10-18mm f/4.5-5.6||10-18mm||f/4.5-5.6||Auto.||Yes||67mm||74,6 x 72mm||240g||22cm||Amazon|
|Tokina||11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X||11-16mm||f/2.8||Auto.||No||77mm||84 x 89mm||550g||30cm||Amazon|
|Sigma||10-20mm f/3.5||10-20mm||f/3.5||Auto.||No||82mm||87 x 88mm||520g||24cm||Amazon|
When it comes to wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle lenses for Canon full-frame cameras, you’ve instantly got more choices. Here is a selection of the six best lenses in this category in my opinion. However, I also present below the possible alternatives to these six lenses.
You will find below the 6 lenses that I consider to be the best for a full frame Canon camera:
- Tamron SP 15-30mm Di VC USD f/2.8 G2
- Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM
- Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM
- Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM
- Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM
- Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS USM
If you want to compare the technical characteristics of the 6 lenses and found the cheapest prices, I have summarized everything in the table below.
In my opinion today, as I write this article, it is the best wide-angle lens for a Canon full-frame sensor. According to tests and feedback from many people, this Tamron lens is directly competing with the world’s greats, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 III.
Its sharpness is simply amazing at full aperture of f/2.8, which will be perfect for astrophotography. Moreover, the lens is stabilized (which is uncommon) and people often shooting handheld or in low light conditions will appreciate this little bonus.
Finally, the price of around 1000€ appears simply perfect in my opinion compared to the competition which remains far more expensive.
Among the very high-quality optics offered by third party brands, this Sigma wide-angle lens appears to be superb. Many photographers compare it with the almost similar (in weight and size) Sigma 12-24mm f/4, but the latter has the advantage of an integrated lens hood which limits the flare, but above all, is faster (f/2.8), which is appreciable in low light conditions.
About sharpness, you’re very close to the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 mentioned above, and as soon as you zoom in a little, the Sigma offers a remarkable level of quality; especially at 24mm. The lens offers globally more sharpness than the Canon 14mm f/2.8 L II or the 14-24 f/2.8G, reference at Nikon. If you want a nice wide-angle lens to be added to your 24-70mm f/2.8, this Sigma is a superb lens.
We’re leaving the world of wide-angle zoom lenses to focus on wide-aperture fixed focal length lenses. If you’re looking for the best fixed focal wide-angle lens for your Canon full-frame camera, look no further, the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 offers simply extraordinary quality.
This lens has 9-blade diaphragm and is capable of offering a very nice bokeh at full aperture. In direct competition with the Canon 14mm f/2.8 L II and the Nikon 14mm f/2.8D, this Sigma is of much better quality on all levels (the references at Canon/Nikon are much older too). For astrophotography or interior architecture fans, this lens is really worth considering!
Sigma has done a great job by offering an aperture never before available in a wide-angle lens. If you are looking for a very nice wide-angle lens with a large aperture, take a look at this lens. The price is still decent compared to the results.
Still in the area of wide-angle lenses, Sigma offers a superb 20mm f/1.4, something that no native brand (Canon/ Nikon) has ever produced. Sigma now offers a very fast lens capable of performing well for low light photography, landscape photography and architecture photography.
Sigma has hit hard with the release of this new 20mm and for the price, this lens is an excellent wide-angle lens to consider!
Some of you might think by now I work for Sigma, but I don’t! Sigma once again offers excellent optics with a very large aperture. Its quality and sharpness are renowned above the 24mm f/1.4 Canon.
Moreover, the price offered by Sigma Art compared to the Canon (100% more expensive) is very interesting. If you are looking for a nice 24mm wide aperture lens, this Sigma is really worth considering!
Last wide-angle lens on the list, this Canon 24mm f/2.8 has a very nice image quality for an unbeatable price (less than 500€). At this price, the quality delivered is very good, not to mention that the lens is light and small.
The lens, in addition to being stabilized, has a nice f/2.8 maximum aperture which can help as soon as the light decreases. Moreover, it allows screw filters with a small diameter of 58mm, which will save you money. This is a very nice alternative to the slightly more expensive Sigma 24mm f/1.4 mentioned above. For people looking for a 24mm focal length, light, reliable, small size and at an acceptable price, this is a great lens.
In order to have a broad view of things and to compare the lenses between them as well as the characteristics, I have decided to provide you with a summary table of these 6 lenses below. You can sort the table according to the information you are interested in.
|Brand||Model||Focal Lenght||Max. aperture||Focus||Stabilization||Filter||Dimension (D / L)||Weight||Min. focus distance||Best price|
|Tamron||15-30mm f/2.8 G2||15-30mm||f/2.8||Auto||Yes||No||98 x 145mm||1110g||28cm||Amazon|
|Sigma||14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM||14-24mm||f/2.8||Auto.||No||No||97 x 135mm||1150g||26-28cm||Amazon|
|Sigma||14mm f/1.8 DG HSM||14mm||f/1.8||Auto||No||No||95 x 126mm||1170g||27cm||Amazon|
|Sigma||20mm f/1.4 DG HSM||20mm||f/1.4||Auto||No||No||91 x 130mm||950g||27,5cm||Amazon|
|Sigma||24mm f/1.4 DG HSM||24mm||f/1.4||Auto||No||77cm||85 x 90mm||665g||25cm||Amazon|
|Canon||24mm f/2.8 IS USM||24mm||f/2.8||Auto||Yes||58cm||69 x 56mm||280g||20cm||Amazon|
These are, in my opinion, the six best lenses to consider for your choice. The only concern, and it is important in my opinion, most of these lenses do not allow to accommodate conventional screwing filters or even standard 100mm filter holder system. All these lenses (except the last Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS) have a curved/bulbous front element which prevents it. So, you will have to use special expensive filter systems, most of the time a 150mm or even 180mm filter holder and adapted (expensive) filter. I have spent so much time comparing, checking and searching for all the information about filters for wide angle and ultra-wide-angle optics, that I decided to write a dedicated article about it. If you have the motivation, here are all the filter holder systems for WA/UWA lenses requiring 150mm or 170mm filter holders. The alternatives below accept most standard screw-in filters, which will delight filter lovers, especially for landscape photography.
Please note that all the lenses characteristics mentioned in the two paragraphs below are summarized in the table that follows.
Of course, not everyone will agree with the earlier selection of the best optics. Concerning the possible alternatives to the six lenses mentioned above, here are a few to consider. For a bright ultra wide angle zoom (other than the Tamron), you can of course go for the excellent Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L III. But it is much more expensive though and a little less sharp. On the contrary, it will accept screw filter, which is great ! For less expensive and those who don’t necessarily want a large aperture, the f/4 version of the 16-35mm is nicely renowned (and almost as good in sharpness). I personally bought this lens and fell in love with it. A nice alternative three times lighter than the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 mentioned above, is the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4. The latter has however a smaller aperture on its longest focal length and has no stabilization. However, the lens can be found for less than 500€, which is a perfect price for small budgets. Finally, there is only the old Canon 17-40mm f/4 left but it remains in my opinion the least interesting alternative now (no IS and lower sharpness than all the others).
Concerning wide angle wide aperture zoom lenses and as an alternative to the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM, you can look at the very good Sigma 12-24mm f/4. The equivalent Canon 11-24mm f/4 stays a very nice alternative too, offering superb image quality, but its price is still twice as expensive as the Sigma, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
Finally, for an ultra bright wide-angle lens for your Canon full frame camera, you can look at the Canon 14mm f/2.8 II even if it is still behind and is more expensive. The Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 version is in my opinion a very nice alternative with a decent quality and goes for a much lower price.
|Brand||Model||Focal Lenght||Max. Aperture||Focus||Stabilization||Filter||Dimension (D / L)||Weight||Min. focus distance||Best price|
|Canon||16-35mm f/2.8 L III||16-35mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||82mm||88.5 × 127.5mm||790g||28cm||Amazon|
|Canon||16-35mm f/4L IS USM||16-35mm||f/4||Auto||Yes||77mm||82.6 x 112.8mm||615g||28cm||Amazon|
|Tamron||17-35 mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD||17-35mm||f/2.8-4||Auto||No||77mm||90 x 83.6mm||460g||28cm||Amazon|
|Canon||17-40 mm EF f/4L USM||17-40mm||f/4||Auto||No||77mm||83.5 x 96.8mm||500g||28cm||Amazon|
|Sigma||12-24mm f/4 DG HSM||12-24mm||f/4||Auto||No||No||102 x 131.5mm||1150g||24cm||Amazon|
|Canon||11-24mm f/4L USM||11-24mm||f/4||Auto||No||No||108 × 132mm||1180g||28cm||Amazon|
|Canon||14mm f/2.8L II USM||14mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||No||80 x 94mm||645g||20cm||Amazon|
|Samyang||AF 14 mm f/2.8 EF||14mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||95mm||95.6 x 90.5mm||485g||20cm||Amazon|
|Samyang||MF 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC||14mm||f/2.8||Manual||No||-||87 x 94mm||573g||28cm||Amazon|
|Zeiss||15mm f/2.8 Distagon||15mm||f/2.8||Manual||No||95mm||132 x 103mm||730g||25cm||Amazon|
|Irix||15mm f/2.4 Firefly||15mm||f/2.4||Manual||No||95mm||100 x 140mm||590g||28cm||Amazon|
|Irix||15mm f/2.4 Blackstone||15mm||f/2.4||Manual||No||95mm||100 x 140mm||685g||28cm||Amazon|
I will mention here four models that stand out from the crowd. Zeiss offers three very beautiful references of wide angle with a constant wide aperture, the 15mm f/2.8, the 18mm f/2.8 and the 21mm f/2.8. All three optics are extremely well known and everyone agrees that they can’t be bad choices. The optics are superbly constructed, of superior quality and have excellent sharpness. The only thing you need to know is that they are non-autofocus lenses and you will have to deal with manual focusing, which between us, for landscape or architecture photography (surely the main idea to buy such a lens) won’t cause any trouble.
Finally, for people with a small budget and looking for a cheap wide-angle lens, Samyang offers a very good 14mm f/2.8 MF. According to the feedback, this lens would offer a quality close to the native Canon and Nikon 14mm lenses.By the way, I almost forgot, but recently, Irix released a wide angle lens that made a lot of noise, the Irix 15mm f/2.4. Many consider it as a very nice alternative to the Canon wide angle lenses which remains expensive compared to this “low cost” wide angle lens (less than 500€). Note that there are two versions of the lens: Firefly and Blackstone.
The number of Canon wide-angle lenses for mirrorless cameras, regardless of sensor size, is relatively limited. Here are 3 solid references, including one with manual focus.
For those with a Canon APS-C mirrorless body, the entire Canon EOS-M range, from the M100 to the M200, M50, M6 to the M6 Mk II, unfortunately you don’t have much choice at the moment when it comes to choosing a wide-angle lens. At the time of writing this article, only the Canon 11-22mm IS STM f/4-5.6 exists, with a “17-35mm” full-frame equivalent. This stabilized lens has a very good reputation and offers very good image quality. Considering its weight, dimensions and price, you have no reason to hesitate!
Regarding third party brands, to my knowledge, there are three Samyang/Rokinon manual focus lenses that might be interesting to consider if you’re looking for a wide-angle lens for your Canon mirrorless camera body: a 10mm f/2.8, the 12mm f/2 and the 14mm f/2.8. The benefit of these three lenses is that they offer a large maximum aperture compared to Canon’s “f/5.6”.
Canon’s entry into the world of mirrorless full frame camera is relatively recent. Currently, only the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM exists. However, the lens excels in its great homogeneity, fast autofocus and stabilization, which is known to be very effective. The price is still high, but the characteristics of this lens remain very good.
The only current alternative to my knowledge is the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 RF. This is a fixed focal length lens with auto focus at a much lower price (around 500€). However, it loses the flexibility of a zoom lens, so it’s not a very comparable alternative. But for the price, large maximum aperture and great reputation, you can’t go wrong here. You can however consider, via an adapter ring, to install a DSLR wide angle lens on your mirrorless camera. However, the set will be heavier and bulky, which will make you lose the interest of having chosen a mirrorless camera in the first place. But you should know it’s possible!
That’s it, I’m coming to the end of this article on the best Canon wide angle lenses for both DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Now, who said choosing a lens was simple, huh? This article will be updated frequently to incorporate any new features that may come along in the meantime. I hope you liked the article and don’t hesitate to give me your opinion on the selection of lenses presented in this article! For Nikon fans, I will write the same article to present you with the best Nikon wide-angle lenses.
See you soon,