I find one of the best things about travelling is seeing different landscapes and cityscapes, and if I am on the coast seascapes too. Consequently, my travel photography primarily comprises capturing photos of the landscapes and vistas I see, which of course requires a wide angle lens.
My experience of other travellers shows I am not alone in my passion for landscape photography when I am on my travels. If you are like me and want to capture the best possible images of the landscapes and seascapes you witness on your travels below you will find a selection of lenses that will help you achieve this:-
CANON EF 16MM - 35MM F4L IS
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 16mm - 35mm/ 25.6mm - 42mm/ Aperture:- 4 - 22/ Min focus:- 11"/ Dimensions:- 3.25" x 4.44"/ Weight:- 21.7 oz/ Image stabilization:- Yes/ Price (approx.) $USD/£GBP:- $1,000.00/£820.00
Many photographers consider the 16mm – 35mm focal range as the ideal for landscape photography, and I have to say that I share this opinion. The field of view at 16mm is vast and it will encompass a lot of the scene. It is worth pointing out that on an APS-C camera the effective focal length is 25.6mm – 42mm. 25.6mm is still considered wide, but it isn’t really ultra-wide and it may not be wide enough for you. Just something to consider……….
The build quality of this lens is superb, but then given it is an L series lens this is to be expected. Likewise, the image quality is awesome. This lens is sharp wide open but if you stop it down a bit the sharpness improves, and given the narrow apertures used for landscapes the photos are going to be tack sharp. This lens produces photos that are full of contrast, bright, vivid and punchy but not over saturated.
Many photographers consider the Canon 16 – 35 f28L superior to the f4L I S version, however I think otherwise, and to argue my case here are the specs of the Canon 16 – 35 f2.8L lens as a comparison to the f4L IS:- Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 16mm - 35mm/ 25.6mm - 42mm/ Aperture:- 2.8 - 22/ Min focus:- 11"/ Dimensions:- 3.48" x 5.02"/ Weight:- 27.9 oz/ Image stabilization: No/ Price (approx.) $USD/£GBP:- $1,450.00/£1,300.00
The first thing to note about the f2.8L lens is its weight, which is significantly heavier than the f4L IS version, which is not great for travel photography, when weight is a key consideration. The other thing to note about the 2.8L version is the price, which is significantly more than the f4L IS lens.
The build quality of the two lenses is identical and the image quality is very similar, however the f4L IS lens is slightly sharper – although you will only notice this if you go pixel peeping or create very large prints.
All things considered the f4L IS version is the best choice and you can buy from Amazon.com (US citizens) or Amazon.co.uk (UK citizens)
TOKINA 11MM – 16MM F2.8 AT
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- N/A/17.6mm – 25.6mm/ Aperture:- 2.8 - 22/ Min focus:- 11.8”/ Dimensions:- 3.31” x 3.51”/ Weight:- 19.4oz/ Image stabilization:- No/ Price (approx.) $USD/£GBP:- $440.00/£450.00
If you shoot an APS-C camera the Tokina 11 – 16 f2.8 AT lens has an effective focal length of 17.6mmm – 25.6mm, which is not as wide (at the wide end) or as long (at the long end). That said, this focal length is still more than good enough to get some wide landscape shots.
The build quality of this lens is simply superb and on par with the Canon 16 – 35, which is to be expected since Tokina are renowned for making super tough lenses.
The constant f2.8 maximum wide aperture helps to keep exposures consistent throughout the entire focal range, however you don’t need an aperture of f2.8 when shooting landscapes and seascapes because the depth of field isn’t there. If your travel photography only involves landscapes and seascapes the f2.8 maximum aperture is a bit of a waste.
All things considered the image quality of the Tokina lens is very good, however it is a bit more budget than high end. Overall the Tokina 11 – 16 f2.8 AT lens is a good and capable lens however the image quality isn’t on par with the Canon 16 – 35. If you don’t want to create huge prints and don’t need such high resolution photos this lens is plenty good enough, and in these instances it may be preferable to save a little cash and buy the Tokina instead of the Canon 16 – 35.
Buy the Tokina 11 – 16 f2.8 AT from Amazon.com (US citizens) or buy from Amazon.co.uk (UK citizens).
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.