The 6 Best Wide Angle Lenses for a Canon DSLR in 2018

Best Canon Wide Angle LensesEvery 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.

What is a Wide Angle Lens?

Wide angle lenses are an 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.

If you have cropped sensor camera (referred to as a 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 is 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 17-40mm f/4L – Budget + Quality

If you’re looking to get into landscape or architecture photograph this 17-40mm lens is a great bang for your buck to get into wide angle photography.

Pros:

  • Great price for an L series lens
  • Great focal range
Cons:

  • 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 an 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 a 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.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for...
  • 17-40mm ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with f/4 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III – Best 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.

Diablo Lake Washington

Diablo Lake, WA – Shot on the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 III

Pros:

  • Sharp lens
  • Great focal range
  • f/2.8!
Cons:

  • Expensive

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 incredible sharp and distortion-free. This is my pick as the best wide angle lens for Canon full frame cameras.

If this lens is out of your budget Canon also makes two very similar lenses that are slightly cheaper, the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 II and Canon 16-35mm f/4.

Sale
Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens
  • High performance L-series ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.

Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 – Best for Cropped Sensors

Due to the crop factor on smaller Canon DSLR cameras you’ll need a wider lens to get the full wide effect. The Canon 10-18mm doesn’t break the bank and will give you an ultra wide field of vision.

Long Exposure Tunnel

Long Exposure in NYC Tunnel – Shot on Canon 70D and 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6

Pros:

  • Fantastic price
  • Extremely light
Cons:

  • 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.

I use this lens when I am vlogging on my Canon 70D, if you’re looking for a camera to vlog with check out my article on that.

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.

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Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
  • EF-S ultra wide zoom lens. Drive System-Lead screw and rack system driven by stepping motor

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.

Kogod Courtyard National Portrait Gallery

Shot on the Canon 24mm f/1.4

Pros:

  • Small & compact
  • Fantastic bokeh
Cons:

  • 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.

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.

New York City Skyline Aerial

Pros:

  • Extremely unique lens
  • Ultra wide angle
  • Perfect for astrophotography
Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Sometimes can be TOO wide
  • Unable to use traditional filters on it
  • Heavy

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.

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Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)
  • Large diameter delivering f/1.8 brightness

Canon 11-24mm F/4 – One of Canon’s Widest Lenses

Pros:

  • Sharp images
  • Great focal range 11-24mm
Cons:

  • 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.

Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens
  • L-series ultra-wide zoom lens with an impressive 11mm starting focal length

In the end the best lens for you will have to depend on your budget and uses.

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