What is the ultimate Canon full-frame wide-angle lens?
What is the ultimate Canon APS-C wide-angle lens?
Do you own a Canon DSLR camera? Our Best Canon Wide-Angle Lens recommendations page has your recommendations.
You want a wide-angle (35mm focal length or wider) or an ultra-wide-angle (24mm or wider) lens to photograph the big scene, to capture a smaller scene in a limited amount of space, or, my favorite use, to create a close-to-subject perspective that gives the viewer a sense of presence in the image.
Since most of us have at least one general-purpose/standard zoom lens that has wide-angle focal lengths built-in (a 15-45mm lens or 24-70mm lens, for example), an additional wide-angle lens is needed to gain even wider angles of view. If your standard zoom has an f/2.8 max aperture, you may also desire a fixed focal length/prime wide-angle lens to gain a wider aperture.
I very frequently encounter the need for focal lengths wider than those in my standard zoom lens and seldom go on a shoot without having the wide angles covered. Some specific subjects requiring a wide-angle lens include landscape, real estate/architecture, and interior photography. Interiors can include those of a building, vehicle, aircraft, etc.
Full frame format camera owners have many more lens options available for their wide and ultra-wide-angle needs than APS-C format camera owners. APS-C format body owners can use full-frame lenses (they will work great), but most do not provide an angle of view wider than the 17mm- or 18mm-something APS-C standard zooms.
Here is what the full-frame 15-35mm focal length range, my suggested full-frame wide-angle lens focal length range, looks like:
The Entire Package: Impressive image quality and Overall Performance, Wide Aperture, the Right Focal Lengths, Image Stabilization, Pro-Grade Build
The Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens is my go-to general-purpose zoom lens. This lens is the right choice for a very high percentage of photography needs, from landscapes to portraits and from night skies to weddings, with most needs between covered.
Few want to compromise image quality, and this L-series lens delivers greatness in that regard. Fast and accurate AF? That box is checked. Pro-grade, weather-sealed build quality? Ruggedness is built in. High-performing image stabilzation is there for you when the tripod is not.
Great image quality and Overall Performance, Compact Size, Light Weight, Great Focal Length Range, Image Stabilization, Pro-Grade Build
If the sibling RF 15-35's f/2.8 aperture is not needed, the RF 14-35 provides a longer focal length range, a lighter weight, a smaller size, and a lower price. This is a great lens to take on landscape photography outings.
3. Adapt a lens from the The Best Canon Wide-Angle Lens List
Huge Selection, Excellent Options
Addressing APS-C Wide-Angle Mirrorless Lenses
The selection of wide-angle lenses with focal lengths wider than the 14-18mm found in normal zoom lenses is somewhat limited for Canon APS-C format mirrorless camera owners. Canon has one option. Fortunately, it is a great choice.
Here is what the APS-C 10-22mm focal length range looks like:
Great Image Quality, Tiny and Light, Affordable
Canon EOS M-series camera owners have a great ultra-wide-angle zoom lens option in the EF-M 11-22mm. This compact lens is effortless to take with you, the angles of view are a delight to use, and the image quality produced is impressively good.
Visit the Canon Lens Recommendations page for more lens selection advice.