Best Nikon Lenses for Landscape Photography

Article Overview

It’s a new year, and that means new lenses. Having the right lens for the job is just as important as having the right camera. So in this article we’re going to provide to you, the Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography. Each one has its own unique properties, and we describe them in vivid detail to help you make a smart purchasing decision.

‚ÄčWhat Makes a Good Landscape Lens?

Image Quality & Build Quality

As you’re surely aware, all lenses have a multitude of factors that determine what they’re best suited for. The first things to look for in a good landscape lens are the same for every other type of lens image quality and build quality. After all, if the lens can’t produce quality images, or hold up long enough to get those images, than whats the point of having it. Generally speaking, if its produced by Nikon it’s going to be good on both of these accounts apart from a few exceptions. On this list we also have included a few other lens brands with equal, or greater quality to Nikon. This way you get a better picture of whats available on the market today. In general we look for quality materials when picking out the lenses on our top lists. High quality metal, plastic, and glass are what make up a truly High Performance Landscape Lens. Glass quality is what often times determines the quality of photos produced by an image, so always make sure check that only high end glass is used in the manufacturing process.

Focal Length

Next up is focal length. This determines the level of zoom a lens is capable of, as well as a few other factors. In general, a lens with a fixed focal length is going to produce higher quality images, as there isn’t any room for error in the glass’s movement. For most of us though, having a variable focal length is a must, as you don’t want to be buying a new lens for every viewing angle.

For the most part, when it comes to landscape photography, you are going to want a focal range anywhere between 10mm and 45mm. The lower the number, the wider the angle, you will also begin to see significant visual distortion below 20mm, in most cases. This is known as an, “Ultra Wide Angle” lens or, “Fisheye”.

Some of the lenses listed here will go beyond 45mm as they are more versatile in nature, but dont let that discourage you from using them for landscape photography. Especially if you want a lens that does it all, a large focal length can come in handy.

Aperture Range

The aperture in a lens determines the amount of light that is allowed through a (usually) expandable and contactable opening. A lower aperture range will allow for brighter lighting photography, so its important to make sure the lens you get is fit for your favorite lighting situations. On the flip side, a higher aperture range will be more forgiving under low light conditions.

Landscape is fairly forgiving in this regard, as its standard to use an aperture range that falls between f/8 and f/11. This range insures that the entire landscape is in focus. So unless you’re looking for a lower aperture to get a depth of field effect, most of these lenses will fit perfectly in this range.

These factors should help you to determine what the Best Nikon Lens For Landscape Photography is for you.

Top Picks for Landscape Photography

Our picks for the Best Nikon Lenses for Landscape Photography.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G

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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm

A great landscape lens, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm is a fantastic piece of equipment. It is one of the Best Nikon Lenses for Landscape Photography, and provides a great value for the price. As well as following a relatively small form factor and weight.

 

Our Review / Overview

Overview:

Weight:

1.01 Lbs

Aperture Range:

f/3.5 – f/29

Focal Range:

10mm – 24mm

Dimensions:

3.43 x 3.27 x 3.27 in

Lens Mount:

Nikon F (DX)

Our Review:

This is a fantastic lens as it allows for both fairly standard focal ranges as well as ultra wide angle. This slight variability gives this lens a lot of versatility when shooting. A lot of unique perspectives can be captured at the low 10mm range, while at the higher 24mm you can consistently get a more standard landscape view. This product also has fantastic build quality. The glass used in this lens produces crisp images every time. Even the edges, where many wide angle lenses begin to lose quality, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm handles itself well.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II

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Tokina 11-16mm AT-X116 Pro DX II

The first of the strictly ultra wide angle lenses on this list, the Tokina 11-16mm AT-X116 produces great photos every time. The build quality is unmatched, you wont find any lens creep or physical defects on this lens. Easily one of the Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography.

 

Our Review / Overview

Overview:

Weight:

1.21 Lbs

Aperture Range:

f/2.8 Fixed

Focal Range:

11mm – 16mm

Dimensions:

4.02 x 4.02 x 4.02 in

Lens Mount:

Nikon (DX)

Our Review:

Despite this lenses extremely large viewing angle it has little, if any, distortion. Something that you wont find in most ultra wides of this caliber. You would be expected to pay far more for an ultra wide of this quality. The Images are superb. The only downsides are its bulk and short focal range for others in its class. The sharpness of this lens is consistent at every focal length. The lens flare on this lens is also fairly minimal.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED

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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm

Moving away from the ultra wide lenses, we have the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm. This lens can be used for both landscape and portrait photography. Its large focal length range gives it tremendous versatility. Despite this versatility the lens still manages to produce high quality images. Versatile and high quality this lens is a contender for Best Nikon Lens For Landscape Photography.

 

Our Review / Overview

Overview:

Weight:

1.21 Lbs

Aperture Range:

f/3.5 – f/18

Focal Range:

18mm – 300mm

Dimensions:

3.9 x 3.11 x 3.11 in

Lens Mount:

Nikon F (DX)

Our Review:

No need to swap out lenses every shot with this guy. This lens is great for travel if you dont want to pack a multitude of lenses. It’s also perfect for beginners who want a higher quality lens than was included with there camera that still has the versatility to try out different types of photography. You wont be getting ultra wide angles at 18mm but its more than enough to capture a large landscape. The aperture range is also very well suited for this form of photography, even beyond what’s necessary, which contributes to its versatility.

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX

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Sigma 10-20mm

On a more budget note, we have the Sigma 10-20mm. This lens is perfect for those who want a lens purpose built for landscape photography, without breaking the bank. Portability is one of its most appealing features. This lens is extremely light weight and small makes it one of the Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography

 

Our Review / Overview

Overview:

Weight:

0.18 Lbs

Aperture Range:

f/3.5 Fixed

Focal Range:

10mm – 20mm

Dimensions:

3.5 x 3.4 x 3.4 in

Lens Mount:

Nikon F

Our Review:

As a budget oriented lens you may be a little wary, and for good reason, some companies cut corners in order to make their budget products. However SIgma doesn’t seem to have taken that route. The build quality is superb, far beyond its price tag. Image quality is also something to write home about. With minimal distortion, even when approaching the edges, and overall very sharp images produced every time. This lens also features auto focus which is an important feature for many, and often left out on budget lenses.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G

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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm

The first fully fixed lens on our list, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm will produce images at a much higher quality than most lenses. The only draw back being the lack of zoom. So you better be happy with this focal length, because its only got the one setting. For many this wont be an issue at all, and otherwise it’s one of the Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography.

 

Our Review / Overview

Overview:

Weight:

0.78 Lbs

Aperture Range:

f/1.8-16

Focal Range:

20mm

Dimensions:

3.19 x 3.27 x 3.27 in

Lens Mount:

Nikon F (DX)

Our Review:

A light weight, and very high quality product from Nikon, this lens excels in wide angle situations. Many of the owners of this particular lens use it for low light shoots, and astro-landscape photography. Coma performance for stars is very good here. You will notice a small amount of corner distortion with this lens, but nothing too bad. It’s light weight compared to other wide angles is also a plus. The price to performance on this lens is nearly unmatched. Definitely a contender for Best Nikon Lens for Landscape photography.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G

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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm

A premium lens, the Nikon AF-S FX 16-35mm has all of the features you should expect from such a quality product. Quality is what you should look for in one of the Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography. It’s vibration reduction and auto focus are also very precise. No ghosting to be seen on this lens.

 

Our Review / Overview

Overview:

Weight:

1.5 Lbs

Aperture Range:

f/4 – f/22

Focal Range:

16mm – 35mm

Dimensions:

4.92 x 3.27 x 3.27 in

Lens Mount:

Nikon F (FX)

Our Review:

Although its a more expensive lens, the Nikon AF-S FX 16-35mm is very much worth the price it demands. Unparalleled image quality, excellent build quality, and extra features are all things you should expect from this lens. This lens can easily take the roll of 3 or more lenses on its own. You can find other products of similar quality, but what makes this one different is Nikon’s high quality glass. Something you just wont find in other brands on lenses. There’s a reason Nikon is the king of lenses.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E

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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm

Another of Nikon premium lenses, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm brings the quality of a fixed lens into an adjustable focal length form factor. If landscapes are what you focus on, this lens will work well for you.

 

Our Review / Overview

Overview:

Weight:

1.1 Lbs

Aperture Range:

f/4 – f/22

Focal Range:

16mm – 80mm

Dimensions:

3.39 x 3.15 x 3.15 in

Lens Mount:

Nikon F (DX)

Our Review:

The punch of a larger lens, in a small form factor. This lens has a wide focal range, and equally wide aperture range. With additional image stabilization and easy to use auto focus, it’s easy to get the perfect shot every time. It can be used as a standard or wide angle lens due to the previously stated focal length. As always with Nikon lenses, the glass quality is out of this world. User reviews report that the image quality is extremely sharp, and many were surprised by how well the image stabilization worked.

Nikon AF-S ED NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-4.5G

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Nikon 18-200mm AF-S ED VR II

Another of our versatile lenses, the Nikon AF-S ED 18-200mm delivers perfect shots, every time. While this is a telephoto lens, the low focal range allows it to be used as a wide angle lens as well. This contributes heavily to its versatility. Quite the quality product, and one of the Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography.

 

Our Review / Overview

Overview:

Weight:

1.25 Lbs

Aperture Range:

f/5.6 – f/18

Focal Range:

18mm – 200mm

Dimensions:

3.82 x 3.03 x 3.03 in

Lens Mount:

Nikon F (DX)

Our Review:

What this lens allows you to do, is capture any moment you wish. It’s large focal range means you wont have to miss out on wide angle shots, and its ability to go up to 200mm in focal length means you can also do portrait or zoom work as well. It’s reasonable price is also a big reason why its on this list. It’s a workhorse of a lens, and although its a bit heavy and bulky, it more than makes up for that fact in raw performance.