Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens

Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens

The wide angle lens is a staple of landscape photography. If you want to capture the vastness of the landscape in your photos, a wide angle lens will be your choice. Although other types of lenses are certainly useful as well, many landscape photographers find that they use a wide angle lens more than any other.

If you are looking for a quality wide angle lens to use with a Canon DSLR, you will fortunately have several good options. This article offers a brief review of 5 lenses that we feel are among the best options available. All of these lenses will allow you to capture high-quality photos that you can be proud of.

You may be interested in other articles in this series:


The Best Wide Angle Lenses for Canon

5. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens

Canon’s 17-40 f/4 lens is a very popular wide angle option. As a Canon “L” series lens, it meets high quality standards. It is also very affordable for an “L” series lens, and the 17-40mm focal range gives you more flexibility than any of the other lenses on this list. On the downside, it does not offer image stabilization. Although it is an “L” series lens it is not quite as high-quality as the other Canon lenses on this list, in terms of corner-to-corner sharpness.

  • For full frame or APS-C sensors
  • focal range: 17-40mm
  • aperture range: f/4 – f/22
  • image stabilization: no
  • 77mm front filter diameter
  • weight: 1.05 lbs.
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens

4. Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF

In recent years Sigma has been creating excellent lens in their “art lens” series. The 24mm prime lens is an excellent wide angle option (if you need a zoom lens, Sigma also makes a 12-24mm art lens that is quite good). This lens offers a maximum aperture of f/1.4, which can come in handy for creating narrow focal planes or shooting in low light. It is also capable of excellent sharpness and image quality.

  • For full frame or APS-C sensors
  • focal range: 24mm
  • aperture range: f/1.4 – f/16
  • image stabilization: no
  • 77mm front filter diameter
  • weight: 1.46 lbs.
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF

3. Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens for Canon EF

Possibly the best third-party wide angle lens is the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8. It offers excellent image quality and sharpness, and a nice focal range, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. And all of this comes at an affordable price. Unlike the two lenses that we’ve looked at previously, this one does offer image stabilization. It also allows you to go wider than both the Canon 17-40mm and the Sigma 24mm. Although the 2mm difference between 15mm and 17mm seems small, it can actually make a noticeable difference. On the downside, it is a heavy lens. It also has a bulbous front element, so you cannot use traditional screw-on filters.

  • For full frame sensors
  • focal range: 15-30mm
  • aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22
  • image stabilization: yes
  • no filter thread
  • weight: 2.43 lbs.
Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens for Canon EF

Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens for Canon EF

2. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens

The Canon 16-35mm f/4L is an excellent quality lens, and is our choice as the best option for the money. It is priced a little higher than the Canon 17-40mm f/4L, but offers superior sharpness and image quality. Canon also makes a 16-35mm f/2.8L, which gives you more flexibility in terms or aperture, but by all reports the f/4 is a sharper lens, and it is also cheaper. For landscape photographers the extra sharpness will typically outweigh the difference between the max apertures. Another benefit of this lens is that you can use standard screw-on filters. It also features image stabilization.

  • For full frame or APS-C sensors
  • focal range: 16-35mm
  • aperture range: f/4 – f/22
  • image stabilization: yes
  • 77mm front filter diameter
  • weight: 1.35 lbs.
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens

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

1. Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens

Our choice as the best wide angle lens for Canon DSLRs is the Canon 11-24mm f/4L. This lens offers extremely high-quality images and excellent sharpness. It also goes super wide, all the way to 11mm. The next widest lens on this list only goes to 15mm, so this one really stands out. The biggest downside of this lens is the price tag, at more than double the price of the Canon 16-35mm f/4L. The price puts it out of reach for most enthusiasts. Also, it is a very heavy lens, and it has a bulbous front element that prevents you from being able to use standard screw-on filters.

  • For full frame or APS-C sensors
  • focal range: 11-24mm
  • aperture range: f/4 – f/22
  • image stabilization: no
  • no filter thread
  • weight: 2.6 lbs.
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens

Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens

How to Pick the Right Lens for You

All five of the lenses shown here are excellent options, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. The choice comes down to your needs, and, of course, your budget. The Canon 17-40mm f/4L is the lowest-priced option and still a very good lens. If your budget is tight, it could be an excellent choice.

On the other hand, if you are able to go up in price a few hundred dollars, the Canon 16-35mm f/4L offers better sharpness and overall quality. For most amateurs the Canon 11-24mm f/4L far exceeds the budget, but if you are able to afford it, it is a top-of-the-line lens.

Aside from price, also consider the focal range. How wide do you need to go? Do you need a zoom lens, or would the Sigma 24mm art lens meet your needs?

Weight and bulkiness is another factor. If you do a lot of traveling or hiking the weight of the lens is something to consider. The Canon 17-40mm f/4L is easily the lightest option listed here. The Tamron 15-30mm and the Canon 11-24mm f/4L are much heavier than the others, and can be quite a load to carry if you are walking long distances.

Is image stabilization important to you? If so, the Tamron 15-30mm and the Canon 16-35mm f/4L are the only options listed here that come with image stabilization. If you do the majority of your shooting from a tripod this may not matter to you.

In the end, you need to see which lens fits your needs and your budget the best.

Are you a Nikon user? See our Reviews of the Best Wide Angle Lenses for Nikon DSLRs.