*** Note : £1 = $1.31 (correct at time of post)
If you want to climb a mountain, take a wander around a lake or fancy a woodland walk with your camera kit, a wide-angle lens is a must-have item for your camera bag. However, wide-angle lenses, tend to be on the expensive side and while that’s OK for some, not everyone has over £500, or even £1000, to spend on a lens so we’ve had a look through our review section for excellent scoring lenses that are a bit better priced.
Here, you’ll find wide-angle lenses which have all scored 4 or more stars and, at the time of writing, are priced under or around the £300 mark (some are slightly over).
If you have a favourite landscape lens that’s reasonably priced but isn’t featured it’s either because it’s slightly out of our price range, we’ve not reviewed it or it’s simply not scored high enough.
– ‘Editor’s Choice’
1. Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 FE
We seem to have gone full circle and classic prime lenses, once the only choice, are seemingly being rediscovered and once again becoming highly sought after. Compact, high quality and reasonably priced, it is not difficult to see why. The optical designs have in some cases benefited from modern technologies and glasses and they can comfortably surpass the performance of their predecessors.
This is where we find the Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 lens – superb performance, compact size, excellent price and a compelling focal length to use. There’s nothing to dislike, everything to like and an obvious Editor’s Choice.
2. Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE
Some lenses are a real pleasure to use, and the Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE falls into this category. The technical quality is excellent, the AF is fast and accurate and the results look punchy with superb colour rendition.
In terms of value, it’s hard to argue with such a modestly priced lens when it performs so well. Weather resistance would be nice, as would full-time manual focus in AF mode, but apart from that the lens pretty much hits the spot. It is certainly an excellent match for the Sony mirrorless range for which it has been designed.
– ‘Highly Recommended’
3. Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
The Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is an inexpensive, light, compact and fantastic lens to use. Handling with the Nikon D7500 is just spot on, so the lens is a really attractive proposition. The focal length range is extremely versatile and the images are bright, sharp and punchy. ‘Highly Recommended’, an ideal travel lens.
4. Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS
Those looking for wide aperture lenses for the APS-C or smaller format camera need not continue looking at full frame lenses, that generally cost and weigh more now this lens is available. Although some photographers may find manual focusing off-putting, spending a little time practising and getting used to how the lens behaves will pay dividends in the long run. This is especially true when considering how little this lens costs for what you get.
The Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS lens performs excellently and is very good value for money.
5. Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS MFT
Overall, the Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS MFT is an excellent optic that produces images with excellent sharpness, low distortion and low CA. Also, what makes this lens especially interesting is the low price. The lack of autofocus may put some people off but, it shouldn’t as this is an excellent optic.
6. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
It is quite amazing that budget lenses like this are able to deliver image quality that’s so impressive. This lens delivers excellent sharpness, low CA and reasonable distortion, which is fantastic for a lens costing under £300.
If you don’t require a fast maximum aperture for your ultra-wide angle shots with your APS-C Canon DSLR, then the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM should be more than adequate, while keeping some of your hard earned pennies in your wallet, pocket or purse.
7. Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 II
The Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II with a redesigned styling and metal parts and this gives a very slight improvement in resistance to flare, as well as a slight improvement in contrast. The redesign has very slightly improved the position of the surrounding plastic closest to the lens, which results in a very slight improvement in shielding light from hitting the lens at oblique angles.
The improved build quality should make the lens last longer, although unfortunately there has not been an improvement in focus speeds with both the old and new lens giving the same focus speeds in our testing. With the same excellent image quality, reasonable value for money, and compact size, this new model should be just as popular as the original and is an excellent choice for Micro Four Thirds users. The new colour options also better match the new cameras from Panasonic and Olympus.
8. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Those looking for a compact companion for their EF-S camera body need look no further than the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens. The 38mm equivalent field of view this lens provides is only a little wider than a standard lens, which will make it suited for a wide range of subjects. The compact size and light weight make this ideal for travel or any other time that you may wish to keep things compact. The price is also very reasonable given how this lens performs also.
9. Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 Lumix G
Overall, the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 Lumix G lens is capable of producing excellent quality images and given its keen price and miniature size, it is sure to find many fans amongst Micro Four Thirds system camera owners. Although it can be quite prone to flare with a strong light source in the frame, this is a small negative when the excellent sharpness, low CA and good build quality are taken into account.
10. Sony NEX E 20mm f/2.8
The Sony NEX E 20mm f/2.8 Pancake lens provides reasonably good performance, but that certainly isn’t its main selling point. As it is currently the most compact lens for Sony NEX system cameras, it is perfect for those who want to keep the system as pocket-friendly as possible.