What’s the Best Wide Angle Lens for Canon?

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5 Best Canon Wide Angle Lenses

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If you’re a Canon shooter who likes to get the most expansive shot possible, this guide to the best Canon wide angle lenses will help you choose the right one.

Canon offers the largest prime lens and zoom lens selection of any camera manufacturer. Lenses for Canon cameras have always been the most revered among photographers, especially their L-series (red ring) lenses.

Their selection of wide angle lenses is no different, but today we’ll be looking at both Canon-branded lenses as well as third-party options.

Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent wide angle lenses produced for the Canon EF mount here in 2021.

This means that with a little expert photography knowledge under your belt, you can save some money by choosing an excellent lens from brands such as Sigma or Tamron.

Of course, sometimes it’s the native wide angle lenses that stand above everything else, so we’ll be recommending the top Canon options too.

Let’s dive right in!

Best Canon Wide Angle Lenses 2021

1. Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM

Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM

Sigma is a reputable brand that produces renowned, high quality lenses for multiple different camera bodies. The ability to purchase a Sigma lens with a mount for your Canon or Nikon is one of many reasons why this brand is so well-known.

The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM lens is available in Canon, Nikon F (FX), and Sigma SA Bayonet mounts.

Each lens mount is fitted with a moisture resistant rubber gasket and the lens also has water-repellent coatings on its front and rear lens elements. This makes it a fantastic wide angle lens for anyone working outdoors in adverse weather conditions.

This durable lens is constructed to be dust and splashproof. The glass of the lens is coated with fluorine for protection against the elements and for easier drying and cleaning.

It is also fitted with a built-in lens hood to prevent as much unwanted lens flare as possible.

This is Sigma’s widest of their wide angle lenses, with a 12-24mm focal length. For a moderate price of $1,599, it’s a cheaper option than Canon’s equivalent, which is priced at $2,199.

And yet, it still maintains its reputation as a high quality lens that delivers similarly reputable images.

With this wide angle of view, the lens is best for landscape and architecture photography where a wider view is either essential or extremely desirable. Ultra wide angle lenses have the ability to capture a lot more elements in one image than other lenses.

The upgraded autofocus system is quieter than ever, and with ring-type Ultrasonic Focusing, the autofocus of this lens is also impressively fast.

The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM lens has a closest focusing distance of 0.24m.

One of the reasons we consider this to be one of the best wide angle lenses for Canon is for its lower cost and lighter weight. This lens weighs 2.54 pounds and is also slightly smaller in size than its Canon counterpart.

A lighter, smaller lens is often more desirable, particularly for landscape photographers who need to travel longer distances and rougher terrain with all of their equipment. It may not be a huge difference between the lenses, but there are times when every little bit counts – particularly for travel.

This Sigma lens is one full stop brighter than the previous model and has a focal range of f4-f22.

All in all, this is a fantastic wide angle lens that is equipped with high speed AF, a reputation for its excellent performance, and a very reasonable price tag considering all that you’re getting. A sturdy lens like this one, designed for outdoor use, is always a great option to keep in your bag.

2. Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM

Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM

This high quality lens is part of Canon’s distinguished red ringed L-Series. It is also considered to be the world’s widest rectilinear lens!

With an impressive focal range of 11-24mm, that’s as wide as you can get before your ultra wide angle zoom lens becomes a fisheye. Fisheye lenses are characterized by their unique, noticeably barrel-distorted perspectives.

Although fisheye lenses can be fun to use, this particular lens belongs with all the other amazing ultra wide angle lenses on this list. There is very minimal distortion for this gear.

At $2,999, you would expect great things – and this lens doesn’t disappoint.

The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM is the equivalent to the lens we just reviewed, but when it comes to focal lengths, this lens’ 11mm 126° angle of view is noticeably wider than Sigma’s 12mm’s 122° angle of view.

This lens is slightly larger and heavier as well, but when placed on a full-frame like a Canon 5D Mark V, it balances well.

It is easier to compose images using the 24mm focal length because ultra wide angle lenses are notorious for being difficult to compose. A wide angle lens shows much more of the background than a telephoto lens would, so it can be harder to compose a shot with that in mind.

That said, you can get really creative with your compositions to capture a truly stunning, unique image.

This wide angle lens is amazing for landscape and cityscape images because of the extremely wide field of view it provides.

This lens is also admirable because of its ability to work in tight spaces. For that reason, this lens is sought after by many architecture and real estate photographers who need to capture a certain portion of a space in one image with as minimal distortion as possible.

The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM is a really great lens for capturing an image of large groups such as wedding parties as well. Usually, ultra wide angle zoom lenses are not used for portraits, since the closer subjects will appear much larger, but for large group shots the distortion is not as bad as it is for closeup portraits.

One of the reasons why this is one of the best wide angle lenses for Canon is because their lenses are optimized for use on Canon bodies. In this instance, this EF lens is made for use on a full-frame sensor body.

The image quality for this lens is impressively sharp at all apertures. There is minimal distortion and reduced lens flare, as well as better performance in low-light conditions.

3. Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 DI VC USD

Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 DI VC USD

The Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 DI VC USD is a fast ultra wide angle zoom lens.

Ruggedly built, this touch lens was built with durability in mind. Its moisture resistant construction makes it ideal for those shooting in different weather conditions.

This lens is ideal for landscape photography and for photographers looking to capture a wide field of view or for those working in low light conditions

This Tamron lens is large, sturdy, and weighs a solid 2.42 pounds. This may sound quite heavy, but when attached to a full-frame camera like the Canon 5D Mark V, it will feel perfectly balanced.

The glass of the lens is coated in fluorine for easier cleaning and drying.

This lens is characterized by its bulbous front element, which moves back and forth when you are changing between focal lengths.

Tamron offers this lens with either Canon or Nikon mounts with a reasonable price for what this lens offers. This lens costs $1,299 for its models equipped with Canon and Nikon mounts.

What makes this lens so appealing to Canon users in particular is its integrated rear filter holder for drop-in gel filters. Gel filters are commonly used for colour correction and this feature is very helpful for anyone using gel filters in any capacity.

The Canon mount also has a built-in lens hood for preventing flare. Tamron’s optical coatings perform well in preventing flare/reflection as well.

Because of the built-in lens hood, you won’t be able to use screw-on filters, but that’s fairly normal for ultra wide angle zoom lenses anyway so you don’t have to worry about that.

The zoom ring for Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 DI VC USD is surprisingly wide, providing a secure, ridged rubber grip for easier handling. The inner focus ring is built in the same way, though thinner, and has a good amount of resistance for manual focusing.

Ultrasonic Silent Drive helps this lens stand out with fast, quiet autofocus. This lens even has a built-in focus scale with feet and meter markings.

Overall, this lens is a multifunctional item that belongs in every camera bag. Built to last and endure every condition, it pays for itself over time with its versatility and durability.

4. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM is another ultra wide angle zoom lens that features amazing image stabilization (IS), a rarity among wide angle zoom lenses.

This lens is great for landscape photography, but also for shooting interiors, real estate, architecture, as we’ve mentioned in this article.

It’s a good quality lens for weddings with large parties and for photojournalism as well.

A more unique aspect of this lens is that this full-frame wide angle lens has one of the best focal lengths for underwater photography. It allows you to get closer to your subject, reducing the amount of image degradation caused by water clarity problems so you can get a clearer final image.

Shooting underwater is very fun, so if you’re considering trying something new and different, this is definitely a lens to consider.

This Canon 16-35mm lens is best known for its amazing autofocus and overall sharpness. The image quality is amazing.

This is not a cheap lens, but you definitely get the high quality results that you would expect from a lens of this calibre.

The maximum aperture for this lens is f4 and is consistent with all focal lengths.

One of the unique qualities of this lens is its image stabilization.

Image stabilization (IS) is rare among wide angle lenses, but since its not always realistic or practical to have a tripod with you, IS can be very helpful – just remember that if you do decide to use a tripod, you need to turn off your image stabilization or it will hinder the quality of your image.

Wide angle lenses can create unique and beautiful views, despite the fact that composing with these types of lenses can also be more difficult. Keep in mind that wide angles do emphasize the closest focused subjects, so you will want to use a different lens for those closeup portraits.

5. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

The ever-popular, red ringed L-series is well-known for a reason. They are among the best lenses out there, which is why several of them have made an appearance on this list.

This is a faster ultra wide angle zoom lens. The faster the glass, the more expensive it is likely to be, but despite this lens’ hefty $1,899 price tag, it is definitely worth it – especially for those who often shoot in low light conditions.

The Sub Wave length Coating (SWC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) are internal coatings that help to significantly reduce flare and ghosting. This will be most apparent if you shoot backlit subjects.

The lens, like others in the L-Series, is coated with fluorine for protection. It is easier to dry and clean, and we suggest using a microfibre cloth to do so.

It is also dust, water, shock, and vibration resistant.

This lens is built with high quality glass and a sturdy polycarbonate casing. It’s all-black appearance is a characteristic of its L-Series status – gray is a colour reserved for the telephoto lenses of this brand.

While it is definitely possible to use this lens on a smaller, APS-C body, it will lose its ultra wide angle focal length, becoming more like a standard zoom lens with a 25-56mm equivalent angle of view.

The weight of this lens also wouldn’t balance as well with a crop-sensor body as it’s optimized for a full-frame camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark V.

The focusing ring is impressively wide, with ridged rubber for enhanced grip. This lens has an incredibly fast focusing performance, which helps it live up to its red ring standards.

Chromatic abberrations are wonderfully controlled in all areas of the frame.

This Canon 16-35mm lens has a detachable lens hood and comes with a protective, soft drawstring lens case.

This is a high quality lens that performs as well, if not better, than expected. It may be a pricier option, but it’s an amazing lens that is well worth the price.

Do you have a favorite wide angle lens for Canon? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today. You can read more about Jeremy at his bio.

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