There may be nothing extra satisfying for a panorama photographer than capturing a picture that shows the grandeur and great thing about nature. Whether or not or not it’s sundown washing a mountain of fall foliage with a blaze of shade, a river snaking majestically by eroded canyon partitions, or a lone tree in opposition to the whispering grass and blue sky of a savannah, it’s the size of nature that helps inform the story about the fantastic thing about the outside.

That’s why behind each good panorama photographer is an effective wide-angle lens. No different photographic instrument is so necessary in capturing and conveying the grandeur of a scene, and immediately there’s an array of fantastic wide-angle lenses that weren’t even potential a era in the past. Pc-based design, superior manufacturing methods, refined focusing motors and miniaturized pc processors have all led to the event of immediately’s high-quality wide-angle lenses.

Together with the advances in lens expertise has been an total broadening of the photographic platforms accessible to the shooter. From Micro 4 Thirds to APS-C to Full Body, there’s an astounding array of cameras available on the market immediately, and whereas every have their very own wide-perspective options, the completely different applied sciences have completely different tradeoffs by way of picture replica and picture high quality.

Head over to the Outside Photographer Gear Retailer on B&H and take a look at the very best lenses for panorama images.

Angle Of View

Typically talking, wide-angle lenses are people who have a full-frame focal size of wider than round 35mm — although that’s not a hard-and-fast rule, as perspective has some bearing on what’s large sufficient in your topic. Shoot a forest from a number of yards away, and you may want a 14mm lens to cowl all the pieces. Shoot that very same forest from a number of miles away, and a 50mm would possibly do the trick. That stated, most wide-angle lenses present an angle-of-view round 114 to 122 levels, at which level you begin to enterprise into fisheye territory. Narrower than round 110 levels, and also you get into “normal” perspective lenses.

That stated, the kind of sensor inside your digicam will decide what’s “large angle” in your system. Within the basic photographic market, there are 4 main classes of interchangeable lens digicam sensors: full body, APS, Micro 4 Thirds and 1-inch, in descending order of sensor measurement. The APS class breaks down into APS-H for some Canon lenses, APS-C after which a barely completely different APS-C format utilized by Canon.

Sensor Format Magnification

Sensor Kind Magnification (Crop Issue)
Full Body 1x
APS-H (Canon) 1.3x
APS-C 1.5x
APS-C (Canon) 1.6x
Micro 4 Thirds 2x
1-inch 2.7x

For those who take a lens designed for a full-frame digicam and put it on an APS-C digicam, for instance, you’ll find yourself cropping a part of the sunshine coming from the lens. This, in flip, creates a focal size magnification. A lens that’s designed for 35mm can have a 1.3x to 1.6x crop relying on the kind of APS-C sensor. Put a 24mm full-frame lens on an APS-C sensor, and it’s equal to utilizing a 36mm lens. That focal size crop can flip wide-angle lenses into normal lenses. Whereas that crop is one thing that’s advantageous to wildlife shooters on the telephoto finish (your 300mm crops to 450mm), it’s not nice in case you’re attempting to go large.

Fortunately, there are a wide selection of lenses accessible for APS-C cameras, and loads of wide-angle lenses to select from. As a result of the sensor is smaller on APS-C cameras, focal size measurements usually are not the identical as on full-frame cameras, so producers typically listing their full-frame equivalents within the specs. The super-wide Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM lens for APS-C cameras, for instance, gives a full-frame equal focal vary of 12-24mm.

As you get to smaller sensors, like Micro 4 Thirds (MFT), the crop issue will increase. The Micro 4 Thirds sensor is half the scale of the full-frame format, leading to a 2x crop, so an 8mm lens for MFT shall be equal to 16mm, 12mm shall be equal to a 24mm, and so forth.

The 1-inch sensor discovered on cameras just like the Nikon 1 produces a 2.7x crop issue, so an 8mm lens is a 21.6mm equal in full-frame format. Identical to with APS-C lenses, producers of MFT lenses and people for 1-inch cameras listing the full-frame equal on the advertising and marketing supplies to keep away from confusion.

Lens Development

Anybody who has seemed on the costs of lenses is aware of that there’s an enormous disparity between the most affordable lenses and the costliest ones. What makes a $2,000 lens higher than a $200 lens, and does the distinction matter?

It’s a simplification to say that the value of a lens is immediately correlated to the standard and worth of the lens. Typically talking, that is true, however there are some outlier bargain-priced gems and a few high-priced canine.

Many components (each actually and figuratively) internally and externally have an effect on the picture high quality and efficiency of any lens. The development of zoom lenses and prime lenses are completely different, with a zoom lens having vastly extra parts to it.

Within the physique of a lens are a number of glass components (basically lenses, the best way you’d consider them in eyewear) that change the best way gentle passes to the sensor. Some components of a lens are designed to focus the sunshine, some components are designed to scale back negative effects like halos or chromatic aberration (extra on this in a second).

Refined processors and motors, in addition to inside stabilization techniques, contribute to the ultimate worth of a lens, with quicker processors and stabilized lenses costing extra. Climate sealing additionally impacts efficiency and worth, because it takes extra work to design a lens that retains the weather out.

When studying the specs of lenses, producers will tout the image-improving optics within the components, that are organized internally into teams. You would possibly learn a lens description reminiscent of, “comprising 14 components in 12 teams, the lens has three aspherical lenses, 4 LD lenses and two ELD lenses.”

There are an array of phrases that point out these particular optical options, they usually’re all designed to enhance gentle transmission and proper frequent optical points. The commonest phrases are LD (low dispersion), ED or ELD (extra-low dispersion), SLD (particular low dispersion) and UL (ultra-low dispersion), HRI (excessive refractive index) and ASP (aspherical). Most manufactures have their very own lens designations which may be added to the listing to indicate distinctive design processes or components.

Whereas every of those lens varieties get progressively higher, you’ll typically see them collectively in the identical lens. With teams of ED and teams of UL glass, for instance, producers can right a wide range of imaging points.

The development, high quality and worth of lenses additionally relies on a wide range of design decisions. The “quicker” a lens (the broader its most aperture) the higher … normally. When you’d anticipate an ƒ/2.Eight lens to be higher than a less-expensive ƒ/Four lens, the interior design of the weather is typically extra necessary. There have been quite a few examples of an organization’s ƒ/Four lens being sharper than their equal (and dearer) focal size lens with an ƒ/2.Eight most aperture, so design is paramount. There are two various kinds of zoom lenses, fastened aperture and variable aperture. In a set aperture zoom, the utmost aperture stays fixed throughout the entire zoom vary. With a variable aperture lens, most aperture decreases as you get to the longer finish of the vary. It’s far more troublesome and costly to create a set aperture lens.

Years in the past, earlier than pc modeling, design and precision robotic manufacturing, the standard hole between zooms and primes was a lot wider, and zoom lenses have been sometimes relegated to conditions the place travelling gentle was the best precedence. Even the lowest-end zoom immediately is head-and-shoulders above its counterparts from a number of a long time in the past. At the moment’s lenses, with their built-in microprocessors and exact focusing motors, are sometimes the unsung heroes of contemporary images.

If you find yourself capturing a zoom lens on the widest setting on a regular basis, then there’s not a whole lot of worth to the zoom capabilities, and the fee financial savings may be nice. The AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm F2.8G ED retails for about $1,800, whereas the AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED is about $750, for instance.

The selection of which wide-angle lens (or lenses) to buy comes right down to price range, anticipated makes use of and picture high quality. Fortunately, there’s an enormous array of wide-angle lenses to select from.

Large-Angle Panorama Images Lenses

Following is a number of the newest wide-angle lenses for the preferred digicam techniques.

Canon Landscape Photography Lenses
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM (left) and Canon EF-24-105mm f/Four IS II USM (proper).

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM ($2,200) and Canon EF-24-105mm f/Four IS II USM ($1,100) are nice updates to traditional Canon full-frame glass. The 16-35mm has 16 components, together with one aspherical lens, fluorine coating and a minimal focus distance of beneath a foot, with a set f/2.Eight aperture and dust- and weather-resistant housing. The 24mm-105mm lens additionally includes a fastened aperture however at f/4, maintaining the value down on this wide-ranging focal size zoom.

Fujifilm Landscape Photography Lenses
Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4R WR.

Fujifilm’s XF 16mm F1.4R WR lens is a favourite for Fujifilm cameras, with a 24mm equal focal size. The lens has two aspherical and two ED components, and a nano coating to right refraction and scale back flare and ghosting. The lens has a minimal focus distance of beneath six inches and a fast-focusing motor. Record worth: $1,000.

Leica Landscape Photography Lenses
Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 (left) and Leica SL 24-90mm f/2.8-Four ASPH (proper).

Leica up to date a legendary lens, the Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6, for its M-series digital cameras. First accessible in 1955, the lens got here with the then-current screw mount; the brand new model has been up to date with immediately’s Leica M mount and may focus as shut as Three ft. The “symmetric” optics have six components in 4 teams and a traditional vignetting, which made the unique lens so fascinating for sure seems. Record worth: $2,500.

For Leica SL shooters, the native SL 24-90mm f/2.8-Four ASPH is constructed with 18 components in six particular person transferring teams, together with 4 aspherical lens components. Eleven of the weather are made with glass that Leica refers to as anomalous partial dispersion, which reduces chromatic aberrations. Record worth: $5,000.

Nikon Landscape Photography Lenses
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED (left) and Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR (proper).

Nikon’s AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens is an replace to the corporate’s venerable zoom with its newest applied sciences, together with 4 stops of picture stabilization, an electromagnetic aperture (for constant aperture throughout bursts), newly designed ASP/ED components and a lens coating to additional scale back flare and ghosting. Record worth: $2,400. The AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED is one other lens discovered typically in panorama photographers’ luggage due to the wide-open f/1.Eight aperture and the ED and aspherical components. Record worth: $750.

Nikon Landscape Photography Lenses
Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR.

For DX (APS-C) Nikon cameras, the AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR gives a 27-83mm equal vary and has built-in picture stabilization. A brand new stepping motor means smoother, quieter autofocus. A model of this lens is obtainable with out VR however solely saves about $50, so we advocate the VR mannequin. Record worth: $250.

Olympus Landscape Photography Lenses
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.zero IS Professional.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.zero IS Professional lens has a full-frame equal vary of 24-200mm and a set aperture all through. It’s constructed of 17 components in 11 teams, and options the corporate’s Z Coating Nano optical coating and in-lens stabilization and it’s weatherproof, making it an amazing companion for OM-D sequence cameras. Record worth: $1,300.

Panasonic Landscape Photography Lenses
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm F2.8-4.zero ASPH Energy OIS (left) and Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.Four ASPH (proper).

The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm F2.8-4.zero ASPH Energy OIS lens isn’t for Leica techniques, because the title suggests, however a results of the cooperation between Panasonic and the legendary lens firm, and matches any Micro 4 Thirds digicam. The total-frame equal vary of 24-120mm provides the flexibility to adapt to completely different conditions, enhanced by climate proofing and the flexibility to work right down to 14 levels Fahrenheit. Record worth: $999.

One other Panasonic collaboration, the Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.Four ASPH for Micro 4 Thirds has a 24mm equal focal size, and the wide-open f/1.Four permits for capturing in very low-light conditions. The physique is splash and mud proof. It options two aspheric components, one ED component, two “UED” components, and has a nine-blade aperture for clean background defocus. Record worth: $1,300.

Pentax Landscape Photography Lenses
Pentax HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30mm f/2.Eight ED SDM WR.

Shooters of the Pentax Okay-1 system can flip to the HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30mm f/2.Eight ED SDM WR lens for large protection and a set f/2.Eight aperture. Constructed with ED glass components and a coating designed to restrict flare and ghosting, the fast-focusing lens works with the built-in stabilization within the Okay-1 for as much as 5 stops of correction. Record worth. $1,500.

Samyang Landscape Photography Lenses
Samyang 20mm f/1.Eight ED AS UMC.

The Samyang 20mm f/1.Eight ED AS UMC lens is obtainable in nearly each digicam mount, with a model for Sony E and A mounts, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Micro 4 Thirds and Fuji X-Mount. All fashions are handbook focus, and all have 13 components in 12 teams, with a minimal focusing distance of beneath a foot. The lens is commonly offered beneath the corporate’s Rokinon model. Value: $600.

Sigma Landscape Photography Lenses
Sigma 12-24mm f/Four DG HSM Artwork (left) and Sigma 30mm f/1.Four DC DN (proper).

Sigma’s 12-24mm f/Four DG HSM Artwork lens joins the corporate’s high-end lineup, with a model accessible for Canon, Nikon and Sigma’s personal digicam system. This lens options the biggest aspherical glass mould within the business, based on Sigma, which supplies vivid protection edge-to-edge. The weather use FLD dispersion glass for higher picture high quality and may focus as shut as 9.Four inches on the 24mm setting. Record worth: $2,000.

For Sony E-mount and the Sigma mount, the Sigma 30mm f/1.Four DC DN lens has aspherical and “double-sided aspherical” components, 9 aperture blades for gentle backgrounds, and a minimal focus distance just below 12 inches. Record worth: $339.

Sony Landscape Photography Lenses
Sony G-Grasp FE 24-70mm F2.Eight GM.

Sony’s new G-Grasp line boasts the very best decision but in 35mm-format lenses, and the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.Eight GM has a nano coating for flare and ghosting discount, an XA (excessive aspherical) component, a nine-blade aperture for clean bokeh and a silent motor. Record worth: $2,200.

Tamron Landscape Photography Lenses
Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.Three Di II VC.

Out there within the Tamron lineup since 2015, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.Three Di II VC is an all-in-one zoom with a price range worth. Out there for Canon, Nikon and Sony Alpha mounts, the lenses employs a redesigned motor for quieter autofocus, and it’s one of many lightest zooms with this large of a zoom vary. Record worth: $200.

Tokina Landscape Photography Lenses
Tokina 14-20mm f/2 PRO DX (left) and Tokina FíRIN 20mm f/2 EF MF (proper).

Tokina’s 14-20mm f/2 PRO DX lens is obtainable for both Nikon or Canon mounts. Each variations characteristic a large f/2 most aperture throughout the zoom vary and a plastic aspherical lens, which the corporate says creates extremely detailed photographs. Value: $600.

For Sony shooters, the FE mount Tokina FíRIN 20mm f/2 EF MF is a handbook focus lens with handbook controls, although electrical contacts enable the Sony physique to meter with the lens. The lens is “de-clickable” (you may both click on to apertures or slide easily between them), which makes it nice for cinema use, too. Record worth: $799.

Venus Landscape Photography Lenses
Venus LAOWA 12mm f/2.Eight Zero-D.

Comparatively unknown Venus has the LAOWA 12mm f/2.Eight Zero-D lens, which it claims has nearly no distortion. The lens has a seven-blade aperture design for clean, defocused backgrounds. The lens can also be accessible for a number of techniques, together with each Sony E-mount and A-mount, Nikon, Canon and Pentax. Value: $980.

Zeiss Landscape Photography Lenses
Zeiss Batis 18mm.

Zeiss gives numerous wide-angle lenses within the Milvus line for Nikon and Canon shooters, from 15mm by 35mm. With choices ranging in worth from $1,200 to $1,900, the corporate gives completely different fashions for Nikon and Canon, with related specs and the corporate’s legendary optics, together with their Partial Dispersion components, Distagon optical design and Zeiss T* Anti-Reflective Coating.

The Sony E-mount suitable Zeiss Batis 18mm is a part of the corporate’s line of autofocus lenses to enrich its associate, Sony. The lens is constructed with 12 components, together with 4 aspherical components, and the physique is sealed in opposition to mud and moisture. The Batis line makes use of an OLED show to indicate focus distance and aperture, advantageous when working in low gentle. Record worth: $1,500.

This text was initially printed in 2014 and up to date in 2017.

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