If you’re looking for one lens that will help you capture whimsical landscapes and stunning cityscapes, look no further than wide-angle zoom lenses.
The great news is that every major mirrorless platform has fantastic wide-angle zoom lenses. These lenses might have a higher price tag than others, but you get what you pay for. It’s also worth mentioning that wide-angle zooms have a slight learning curve.
If you’ve never used one before, don’t be afraid to experiment with ways to fill your frame. You’ll quickly find that wide-angle zoom lenses will make you channel your inner creative. This is no bad thing. Soon after picking up a wide-angle zoom lens, you’ll be capturing stunning, immersive landscapes and cityscapes. So, without further ado, let’s take a quick look at six of our favorite wide-angle zoom lenses for landscapes and cityscapes.
Sony 10-20mm f/4 PZ G — A wide-angle star for Sony APS-C cameras
It can be hard to find good wide-angle zoom lenses for APS-C cameras. However, Sony nailed it with their 10-20mm f/4 PZ G. This lens is tiny, but the performance levels are massive! In our review, we said:
“Overall, the Sony 10-20mm f/4 PZ G is a solid zoom that produces pleasing images. The Power Zoom feature might be a little lost on photographers; However, this feature will delight videographers. The lens is made well, it’s not afraid to get down and dirty when the weather gets a little tough, and its small footprint makes it easy to carry around.”
Gear Editor — Brett Day
Sony did an excellent job with the optics in this lens. Distortion is controlled well. Ghosting, flaring and chromatic aberrations are nothing to worry about. The lens is sharp, and it renders very pleasing colors. The lens also features weather sealing, a power zoom for smooth zooming action, and a custom function button. At under $750, this lens is a steal.
Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR — One of the best wide-angle zoom lenses
While the Fujifilm XF8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR isn’t cheap, it is a must-have if you’re a landscape or cityscape photographer who uses Fujifilm cameras. This lens is exceptional. The Fujifilm 8-16mm features a pro-grade build quality, and its outstanding optics made Darren Miles say this in his full review:
“In my experience, distortion is very well controlled even at 8mm. Flare is an issue, but it’s no worse than most wide-angle lenses I’ve used. Most important to me though is edge performance, which is outstanding.”
There are simply no better options when it comes to wide-angle zoom lenses for photographers who use Fujifilm cameras. You’ll get great weather sealing, the Fujifilm colors and image rendering we know and love, and impeccable sharpness across the entire focal range.
Panasonic Lumix S Pro 16-35mm f/4 — Pro-grade all the way
The Panasonic Lumix S Pro 16-35mm f/4 might not the best the fastest out of the wide-angle zooms listed here, but it is one of the sharpest and most well-balanced lenses for L mount cameras.
I used this lens on my Panasonic Lumix S5, and I was blown away by the images I created. Wide-angle distortion is well controlled. The manual focus clutch is superb, and the motors make autofocusing silent and blazing fast. As you would expect, the colors are gorgeous, and Panasonics weather sealing is excellent. If you use L mount cameras and you’re looking at wide-angle zoom lenses, this option needs to be on your radar.
Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art — Sharp, affordable and easy to use
Sigma’s 14-24mm DG HSM was a hit for DSLRs. Now, Sigma’s 14-24mm DG DN for mirrorless cameras is making waves too. This fast wide-angle zoom is affordable compared to others in this space but doesn’t make any compromises. Bryan Esler took it for a spin and said:
“To say the lens produced beautiful results would be an understatement. The wide-angle photographs I took were crisp and showcased all of the details well. I also experienced very little lens flare — a rarity for using a wide-angle lens on a sunny day.”
This lens is available for both L mount and Sony E mount cameras. It’s ridiculously sharp, produces nice colors, is fast to focus and can use drop-in gel filters. Distortion is kept to a minimum, it’s weather-sealed and a Nano Porous Coating has been applied to the elements to prevent flares and ghosting. This lens from Sigma is a beauty that won’t destroy your bank account.
Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO — A M4/3 must-own wide-angle zoom
Another cracking lens I’ve had the pleasure of owning and using. The Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is professional-grade across the board. The build quality is outstanding. The optics are stunning, the focus clutch makes it easy to switch between manual and autofocus, and the lovely natural colors are superb. Darren Miles took this one for a spin too and said:
“Stylish, lightweight, great weather sealing, silky smooth focus and zoom rings and snappy AF — but how are the optics? I think they’re sublime!”
If you use Micro Four Thirds cameras and are in the market for wide-angle zooms, you need to check out this option from Olympus. We cannot recommend it enough. The 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro from Olympus is a must-have lens for Micro Four Thirds photographers.
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S — The crème de la crème
I had the pleasure of using the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 S for an extended period. I have to say that it is the best out of all the wide-angle zooms I have ever used. Nikon hit it out of the park with this lens. Darren Miles agrees. In his review, he said:
“I’ve had the pleasure of utilizing two of the best ultra wides in the business; the Fujifilm 8-16mm and now the Nikon 14-24mm S. Both are truly amazing, but I’ll say it right now, the new Nikon 14-24mm S sets a new standard in wide-angle lens performance for full frame cameras. It’s that good.”
The optics in this lens are second to none. The build quality is beyond amazing. Autofocus performance is rapid, and it comes with two lens hoods so you can use filters. This level of design is fantastic. The weight of just 1.4lbs also means this lens isn’t a burden to carry. It’s simply stunning in every way. If you use Nikon Z mount cameras and don’t own this lens, you’re missing out on the best that Nikon offers.