Every photographer should have a range of lenses in their bag and a wide angle lens is no exception. Canon offers over 20 wide angle lenses to choose from.
If you’ve been shooting on a kit lens or a 50mm it’s time to take your travel photography to the next level with a wide angle lens.
I have used many wide angle lenses on my Canon 5D Mark IV so here are my reviews of the lenses.
First let’s talk about what a wide angle lens is if you aren’t familiar.
What is a Wide Angle Lens?
Wide angle lenses are important for any photographer that loves to shoot landscapes, cityscapes, or even interiors. A wide angle lens is typically 35mm or less which means you’re getting more in the frame. You can also use a wide angle lens for creative portraits but it’s recommended to use a 50mm lens for portraits.
- 1. Canon 17-40mm f/4L – Budget + Quality
- 2. Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III – Best Canon Wide Angle Lens
- 3. Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 – Best for Cropped APS C Sensors
- 4. Canon 24mm f/1.4 II – Personal Favorite
- 5. Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 IS – Best for Canon RF Mount
- 6. Sigma 14mm f/1.8 – New & Unique
- 7. Canon 11-24mm F/4 – One of Canon’s Widest Lenses
If you have a cropped sensor camera (referred to as an APS-C sensor) like on a Canon Rebel, your lenses will have a different field of view. Canon cropped sensors are 1.6x cropped. So a 10mm lens on a cropped sensor will be equivalent to a 16mm.
This list is full of lenses that are primarily for full frame cameras but I have included an option for APS-C sensors.
One benefit of wider lenses are longer shutter speeds while using your camera handheld. This is because any amount of shake is significantly reduced because there is less movement in the frame if you shake.
Personally I have shot with many Canon lenses so here are my recommendations of the best wide angle lenses for Canon Cameras:
|Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens||$1,999.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens||$299.00 $212.90||Buy on Amazon|
|Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Wide Angle Lens - Fixed -...||$1,549.00 $897.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM||$2,199.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)||$1,404.25||Buy on Amazon|
|Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens||$2,999.00 $2,249.00||Buy on Amazon|
1. Canon 17-40mm f/4L – Budget + Quality
If you’re looking to get into landscape or architecture photograph this 17-40mm L lens is a great bang for your buck to get into wide-angle photography.
- Great price for an L series lens
- Great focal range
- f/4 can be limiting when handheld shooting
If you shoot with a tripod the Canon 17-40mm f/4 is a fantastic choice. You can pick one up around for around $599 which is on the lower end for an L series lens (L series is Canon’s premium line of lenses). This lens is especially good if you’re just getting into real estate or landscape photography.
The lens I shoot with 80% of the time. I love it for beautiful sunrises and capturing the entire landscape. It’s super sharp and the results are great.
One downside of the 17-40 is the fact that it has an f/4 aperture. So if you’re up late shooting at night or in low light you’ll want to bring a tripod to get full advantage of this lens.
- 3 aspherical lens elements and super UD glass element create superior optics in all conditions, Closest focusing distance : 0.9 feet
2. Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III – Best Canon Wide Angle Lens
If you’re looking for the BEST option the Canon 16-35mm 2.8 III takes some of the sharpest photos out of any wide angle lens.
- Sharp lens
- Great focal range
The Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 III is one of those lenses every photographer should have in their bag. The 16-35mm focal range is the ideal range for a wide angle lens. Great for getting everything in frame at 16mm but its 35mm focal length lets you hone in on a subject.
Photos taken with this lens just turn out incredibly sharp and distortion-free. This is my pick as the best wide angle lens for Canon full frame cameras.
- High performance L-series ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.
3. Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 – Best for Cropped APS C Sensors
Due to the crop factor on smaller Canon DSLR cameras, you’ll need a wider lens to get the full wide angle effect. The Canon 10-18mm doesn’t break the bank and will give you an ultra wide field of vision.
- Fantastic price
- Extremely light
- Only works for cropped sensors
This super tiny lens is perfect for traveling with a cropped sensor. For the price, the Canon 10-18mm is the best wide angle lens for Canon crop sensor. It also has built in stabilization which helps to reduce shake for videos and photos.
With a 4.5-5.6 aperture, it will struggle in low light situations but this can be mitigated by using a tripod.
This lens is equivalent to a ~16-30mm on a full-frame camera.
For more about converting lens crops try out mmCalc.
If you’re unfamiliar with cropped sensors check out this article from SLR Lounge which explains the differences. If you’re using an entry-level DSLR like a Canon T5 or T6i you are using a cropped sensor.
- EF S ultra wide zoom lens. Drive System Lead screw and rack system driven by stepping motor
4. Canon 24mm f/1.4 II – Personal Favorite
The Canon 24mm is a bit tight but still can get you beautiful wide photos. Its low f/1.4 aperture is great for adding depth of field to your images.
- Small & compact
- Fantastic bokeh
- Fixed focal length
The Canon 24mm f/1.4 II is shockingly fun to shoot with. The f/1.4 aperture lets TONS of light in so you can do all kinds of creative photos with depth of field. It’s a blast to use this lens for handheld night shots.
This is the lens I usually have on my Canon 5D Mark IV, the prime 24mm focal length is wide enough for grand cityscapes but not too wide for general use.
This is your best bet if you need a Canon wide angle lens that’s lightweight and easy to travel with.
- Lens not zoomable
5. Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 IS – Best for Canon RF Mount
The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 IS is one of Canon’s newest lenses for their full-frame mirrorless mount; the RF mount.
The RF 15-35mm f/2.8 packs extremely good image quality and even image stabilization. With 5 stops of image stabilization plus 1mm off the standard 16-35mm lens, this is the best wide angle lens for the Canon EOS R. One downside is the large price tag and weight of this RF lens.
6. Sigma 14mm f/1.8 – New & Unique
One of the newer lenses on the market Sigma’s massively wide 14mm f/1.8 will get almost everything you see into frame.
- Extremely unique lens
- Ultra wide-angle
- Perfect for astrophotography
- Sometimes can be TOO wide
- Unable to use traditional filters on it
The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 is an ultra wide angle lens, plus unique with its rare low aperture. This is the go-to lens for astrophotography with its extremely sharp images and low aperture. This isn’t the widest lens possible since Canon also makes a 8-15mm but 14mm is an incredible wide focal length.
On the downside, this is a pretty niche lens and it’s extremely heavy. Also, its curved glass makes it impossible to use traditional lens filters.
- Large diameter delivering f/1. 8 brightness
7. Canon 11-24mm F/4 – One of Canon’s Widest Lenses
- Sharp images
- Great focal range 11-24mm
- Very expensive
- Unable to use traditional filters on it
If you’re looking for an extremely wide lens the Canon 11-24mm is a very versatile lens. At its widest 11mm, it’s mostly overkill for any photographer and would likely be used for specific landscape or interior shoots. But if you’re a gear addict having the ability to shoot below 16mm would offer some unique perspectives.
- L-series ultra-wide zoom lens with an impressive 11mm starting focal length
Image stabilization in the lens will be important if you plan on shooting handheld or doing videos. Granted the wider your lens the less important stabilization becomes since it affects the image less.
In the end, the best wide angle lens for you will have to depend on your budget and use case.