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.
Over the years I have used many wide angle lenses on my Canon Cameras including full-frame and cropped sensors. So here are my picks for the best wide angle lenses for Canon cameras.
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.
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:
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.
If you shoot with a tripod the Canon 17-40mm f/4 is a fantastic wide angle 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 topdeblogs.com 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.
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.
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 EOS R, 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.
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. Canon RF 14-35mm f/4 IS – Affordable RF Mount
Canon’s latest RF lens is an incredibly sharp f/4 wide angle. The Canon RF 14-35mm f/4 features a compact design perfect for real estate photography, travel, and even vlogging. Plus it has image stabilization to give you a few extra stops of light when shooting.
Additionally if you’re into using circular filters the Canon RF 14-35mm is one of the few 14mm lenses that has threading for circular filters.
7. Sigma 14mm f/1.8 – Ultra-wide Prime
One of the newer lenses on the market Sigma’s massively wide 14mm f/1.8 will get almost everything you see into frame.
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.
8. Canon 11-24mm F/4 – One of Canon’s Widest Lenses
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.
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.