Best Landscape Lenses For Nikon

There are many important factors when you’re photographing the great outdoors, and the type of lens you’re using is essential. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a budget or have thousands of dollars to spend. After taking a close look at the lenses in this category, I found that the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 is the best landscape lens for Nikon. Let’s take a look at all of the lenses in this category and the most crucial things amateur landscape photographers need to keep in mind when shooting.

Top Pick | Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G

Top Pick

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G

Choice of professional landscape photographers.

This lens is the best of the best among DSLR users. There is a reason that this lens is in the bag of the world’s top landscape photographers that shoot Nikon.

  • Lens Type: Zoom
  • Focal Length: 14-24 mm
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F (FX)
  • Max Aperture: F2.8
  • Min Aperture: F22
  • Minimum Focus: 0.28 m (11.02″)
  • Length: 970 g (2.14 lb)
  • Weight: 132 mm (5.18″)

Out of all of the available lenses that work well with a Nikon, the Nikon 14-24mm is the best of the best. This lens has been on the market for over a decade and still produces stunning images.

NOTE: This is a DSLR F-mount lens. If you’re shooting Nikon mirrorless, check out the even more impressive Z-mount version below.

In fact, it’s the lens that most landscape photographers pick over others. You can’t go wrong with an aperture wide open at f/2.8 but of course, you can always adjust that for more traditional shots.

One thing I will add is you’ll want a special filter system on your camera in order to use filters on this lens. It has a large front element that sticks out so standard filters won’t work. I use filters often with landscape photos so this was a big deal for me and made me go with the Tamron below.

But, if you don’t use filters, this shouldn’t be an issue and the image quality is hard to beat.

The images are razor sharp without adding any distortion, excessive vignetting, or flares. If you’re shooting in extreme conditions, the Nikon 14-24mm is very durable and reliable.

It’s weather-sealed, making it safe to use in snow, rain, or even sandstorms. The metal exterior makes it tough, yet still looks great on the camera body.

Runner-Up | Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD


Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4

Versatile and affordable.

This lens offers almost equal quality as the top pick but at a much more affordable price and with the ability to attach standard screw-in lens filters.

  • Lens Type: Zoom
  • Focal Length: 17-35mm
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF and Nikon F (FX)
  • Max Aperture: F2.8-4
  • Min Aperture: F16-22
  • Minimum Focus:0.28 m (11.02″)
  • Length: 93 mm (3.66″)
  • Weight: 460 g (1.01 lb)

Coming in at second place is the Tamron 17-35mm ultra-wide-angle zoom lens. One of the reasons I added this lens to the list is how unbelievably lightweight and compact it is.

Plus, this lens makes it easy for beginners to learn how to use it. You can use the wide lens to shoot a mountain range or zoom to 35mm to focus on a single subject without compromising the background.

Another reason this Nikon lens made the cut is that it’s wildly versatile. If you shoot more than just landscapes, such as weddings or concerts, you’ll want this lens.

It’s powered by Tamron’s iconic Optimized Silent Drive mode, making it whisper quiet. The only complaint I have about it is that the autofocus is slower than other lenses, but not slow enough that I wouldn’t use it. Like other Tamron lenses, it has a sleek matte black finish.

Budget Pick | Tokina 17-35mm f/4 Pro FX Lens

Not everyone has several hundreds of dollars to spend on a new lens and that’s where the Tokina 17-35mm comes in. It provides an ultra-wide-angle focal range while keeping a fixed max aperture.

Click below to compare prices and check availability…

If you’re shooting a lot of landscapes, you’ll prefer the f/4 version of this lens, compared to the f/2.8 and save some money. This lens is lightweight and can be paired with standard filters without adding an extra connection piece.

Even though it’s compact and affordable, it’s still durable and reliable.

The low price tag does come with a couple of things to note. For starters, there are better lenses available when it comes to image quality. That being said, it still produces very sharp images without compromising the photo.

The autofocus could be improved as well, but again, not a major deal to most photographers. The zoom ring moves effortlessly and is perfectly positioned. Overall, the Tokina 17-35mm is a solid choice if you’re on a budget.

  • Lens Type: Zoom
  • Focal Length: 17-35mm
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF and Nikon F (FX)
  • Max Aperture: F2.8–4
  • Min Aperture: F16–22
  • Minimum Focus: 0.28 m (11.02″)
  • Length: 93 mm (3.66″)
  • Weight: 460 g (1.01 lb)

Crop Sensor Pick | Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR

For those of you working with crop sensor cameras, it’s important to pay close attention when shopping for a landscape lens. The Nikon Nikkor 16-80mm is one of my favorites because the f/2.8-4 aperture is surprisingly fast.

Click below to compare prices and check availability…

You can easily soften backgrounds or foregrounds while keeping your subject perfectly in focus. This lens has just about everything you need to shoot jaw-dropping outdoor photos.

The VR image stabilization makes it perfect for those shooting in windy or unstable areas. The Nikkor 16-80mm is the world’s lightest 5x zoom lens available. If you already have a heavy gear bag, this won’t make a dent.

It also works great with video if you want to capture that as well. It has a Nano Crystal Coat which eliminates glare and color aberration, while enhancing contrast and sharpness.

  • Lens Type: Zoom
  • Focal Length: 16–80 mm
  • Image Stabilization: Yes (4 stops)
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F (DX)
  • Max Aperture: F2.8–4
  • Min Aperture: F22–32
  • Minimum Focus: 0.35 m (13.78″)
  • Length: 86 mm (3.39″)
  • Weight: 480 g (1.06 lb)

Z-Mount Pick | Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z 14-24mm lens represents the next generation of landscape lenses for Nikon. The color game and contrast is unmatched compared to any other lens here and it has flawless edge-to-edge performance.

You can also check out my breakdown of all the best landscape lenses for Nikon Z cameras.

Click below to compare prices and check availability…

Like almost all of the new Z-mount lenses, the image quality is impeccable. This is one of the few wide angle lenses out there that surpasses the 14-24mm that topped our list.

The feature that excites me the most about this lens for shooting landscapes is that even with a 14mm wide field of view, it doesn’t have the massive front element sticking out that is common on this zoom range.

That means that you can use 112mm screw-in filters with the included HB-97 lens hood. So while you may need some larger filters, there’s no need for one of those bulky filter holder systems and unwieldy square slide in filters.

In addition to the image quality and usability that is important to landscape photographers, this is comparatively compact for a lens of this aperture and quality. At 650 grams, it comes in at only 67% of the weight of the DSLR counterpart above.

The one downside to this Z-mount lens is the price tag. Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coating helps to make up for these downsides and provides stunning photos by reducing flare and ghosting.

It also has a dust and moisture-resistant body that’s incredibly durable. If you’re becoming more serious about landscape photography, this isn’t just a great option, it is legitimately good enough to be a compelling reason to switch to the Nikon Mirrorless Z-mount system.

  • Lens Type: Zoom
  • Focal Length: 14-24mm
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Lens Mount: Nikon Z
  • Max Aperture: F2.8
  • Min Aperture: F22
  • Minimum Focus: 0.28 m (11.02″)
  • Length: 125 mm (4.92″)
  • Weight: 650 g (1.43 lb)

What To Look For When Choosing A Landscape Lens

When you’re shopping around for a landscape lens, there are certain factors you’ll want to keep in mind.

Landscape lenses offer different capabilities than other gear options on the market. Here’s what you’ll want to be on the lookout for when comparing one lens to another.

Overall Image Quality

For starters, the overall image quality of any lens should be one of the main reasons why you spend your hard-earned money on it.

If you shoot sunrises over the ocean or wildlife in the evening, you’ll want something that works well in low lighting and that has a larger aperture. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for a wide ISO setting.

This makes it easier to control the light and shoot on a lower ISO to keep the visual noise to a minimum. Having a fast shutter speed can also contribute to your image quality, especially when shooting animals. Lastly, consider image stabilization, as it can help for those who aren’t using a tripod.

Build Quality

Whenever you’re photographing the great outdoors, you’ll want to consider your surroundings. If you’re taking photos in a wide open field or shallow valley, you may not worry about the build quality of the lens too much.

But for those of us that enjoy photographing landscapes in areas that are a bit more rigorous, it’s important to make sure our gear can handle the surroundings. If you can, opt for a lens that’s made of metal, instead of plastic.

You’ll also want to get a lens that has some sort of weatherproofing or resistance to dust or water.

Focal Length

Landscape photography works with four main types of lenses. There are prime lenses, telephoto lenses, standard zoom lenses, and ultra-wide angle lenses. Which one you’ll want depends on what exactly you’re shooting. Most photographers like using a standard zoom lens for their everyday landscape shots.

If you need something that can capture large areas like savannahs or mountain ranges, you may want an ultra-wide angle. Telephoto lenses are great for those shooting objects that are far off in the distance.

For people shooting the moon or animals in their natural habitats, you’ll want a telephoto lens. Lastly, a prime lens is also known as a fixed lens. It doesn’t zoom but is great for shooting the night sky during a meteor shower!

Ability To Use Filters

The last point I want to touch on is getting a lens with the ability to use filters. As a landscape photographer, whether you’re professional or amateur, you may want to play around with lens filters. This may also be a must-have factor, depending on your shooting environment.

Having a camera that makes it easy to twist on a filter and start shooting is great.

Some lenses require an additional piece of gear to add onto your lens before being able to put on a filter. This can be more work and ultimately more expensive, but it will still get the job done.

As long as you know what you want out of a lens, you’ll have no problem picking the perfect one for your needs! Happy shopping and always remember to have fun when you’re shooting!

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