12 Best Nikon Lenses for Landscape Photography (2021)

Tori Rhodes
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If you are into photographing landscapes, you probably know how tough it can be to find the right lens.

Not every lens performs the same in every situation.

Some perform best in low light conditions. Some perform best when mounted on a tripod. Some are better for wildlife photography, while some are better for landscapes.

Without going into too much detail in this post, I’m going to review some of the best Nikon lenses for landscape photography.

These 12 lenses are great all-around options for landscapes. They are professional quality, reasonably priced and best of all, give you incredible image quality.

NameCategoryProduct
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G EDBest OverallNikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Tokina AT-X PRO DXBudget PickTokina AT-X PRO DX
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR LensUpgrade PickNikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens

1. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

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Pros:

  • Has a metal mount
  • Available in a variety of lens sizes
  • Nano Crystal Coating reduces flare and ghosting significantly
  • Internal Focus System means faster and quieter auto focus
  • Allows great edge-to-edge sharpness

Cons:

  • Manual focus only
  • Some reviewers felt it was difficult to use manual focus and keep the camera in focus.

As the widest full-frame lens made by Nikon, this 14-24mm f/2.8 lens can take some serious shots. The wide angle lens sets it apart from other lenses.

This lens is largely for professional photographers.

In addition to its unique wide-angle capability, there are some other features that make this lens stand out.

2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens

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Pros:

  • Versatile range
  • Silent wave motor focusing
  • Stunning build quality
  • Weathersealed
  • VR II stabilization
  • Ultrasonic focusing motor
  • Nano Crystal coat
  • Internal focusing
  • Swivel/tiltable tripod mount
  • Money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Some image quality issues at 200mm
  • Purple fringing
  • Very expansive and expensive

The Nikon 70-200mm F/2.8E FL VR ED is one of the best portrait lenses for Nikon DSLR cameras. This lens is specifically developed for the modern Nikon FX format DSLRs and comes with many novel features that make shooting easier and more rewarding.

The lens is constructed of a vacuum-magnesium alloy, which makes it ultra-lightweight and sturdy.

The lens is weather sealed and will perform as advertised even in extremely harsh conditions.

3. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED Fixed Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED Fixed Lens

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Pros:

  • Tack-sharp
  • Super compact
  • Small and lightweight
  • Sweet auto focus motor
  • Reasonably priced
  • Great color and contrast
  • Makes a fantastic 24mm equivalent on a DX body

Cons:

  • Plastic lens mount
  • Not exceptional at night
  • Won’t work on film cameras

The 20mm f/1.8 lens is a fantastic lens for shooting in low light conditions and also for capturing a great urban landscape. It boasts Nikon’s advanced Silent Wave Motor, which enables super-fast focusing, a first in its class.

The lens is super compact, weighs only 6 oz, and takes up very little space in your camera bag. This is a very affordable lens for Nikon DX (crop) cameras, and is a great choice if you are a casual photographer looking to get into a wide-angle landscape shooter.

Just be aware that you won’t be able to attach this lens directly to a full frame camera like the D800. This lens doesn’t have an autofocus motor. It relies on camera sensors to focus the lens, so attaching it to a full frame body like the D800 will result in a “defocused” shot.

4. Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens

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Pros:

  • Amazing value for its cost
  • Great if you want to go for the unique look of shallow depth of field
  • Can take beautiful images at F1.4 that are full of character and mood
  • Sigma’s Art line is known to be the best available in terms of quality for its price

Cons:

  • Heavy at 1.1 lbs
  • Only F1.4

The Sigma 35mm F1.4 is one of the most popular lenses out there, and a great option for landscape photographers. The 35mm focal length is very versatile since it’s regarded as the classic all-around travel lens when using traditional film cameras. It’s nice and wide without being too wide or too long. It’s the goldilocks focal length.

Many photographers prefer the 35mm as an all-around lens because it has become the staple. Photographers can use zoom lenses, but there are certain scenes that just call for a 35mm lens. It’s an ideal lens for landscapes.

Sigma has created a lens that will offer you amazing photos at F1.4. Which is clearly the most notable advantage of this lens. It’s a high quality lens with a lot of value for how inexpensive it is.

5. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens

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The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens is truly an amazing lens specifically for landscape photography. If you'd like a lens that can get you the most possible capture for fitting everything into the frame possible, this is the best lens for you.

Don't have a Nikon DSLR? You can make due with Sigma's newest zoom lens offering for Canon DSLRs, the Sigma 12-24mm F4 Art lens.

If you're a Nikon user, however, we do highly recommend the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens as it offers the best possible image quality at f1.8 for a better price than Nikon's. However, if you're primarily a landscape photographer, Nikon's 16-35mm f/4 VR is still great at f/4 and has a little more zoom, and Nikon's 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 is cheaper and could potentially suit you better in the rare circumstances where f/1.8 isn't necessary.

6. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Price
  • 24-70 mm (35 mm equivalent)
  • 2.8 Aperture
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Great low light performance

Cons:

  • Creeping aperture
  • Front element rotates on focus
  • Minimum focus distance is 1.4 feet

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR is a solid upgrade to the popular 24-70mm f/2.8G lens which was released in 2007. The lightweight professional grade lens features an improved vibration reduction system and a more robust construction compared to the previous 24-70mm model (it has a tougher magnesium body) and the updated VR system is one of the best that Nikon has designed for their lenses in the last decade.

The 24-70mm f/2.8 is a phenomenal FX portrait lens with an equivalent 35mm focal length of 38-105mm, with a Silent Wave Motor which is one of the quietest autofocus motor systems that Nikon has included in a professional lens of this type.

The VR system gives you the opportunity to shoot at up to four stops slower than normally recommended when shooting hand-held, making it possible to capture some stunning landscape shots while still being 100% handheld. The lens is also great for shooting video, making it an excellent 2nd lens behind a classic wide angle.

7. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Ripcord
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Excellent build quality

If you are looking for an ultra wide angle lens for your Nikon DSLR, look no further than the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras. This lens is a great blend between inexpensive and great quality.

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras will fit all Nikon DSLRs with a DX sensor.

The lens is incredibly light weight and can be used for landscapes or architecture photography. The lens is fully compatible with the Picture Control system and allows you to dial in your preferred look.

8. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • A solid pick by many landscape enthusiasts
  • Can be used for portraits as well as video from its silent autofocus
  • Great close focus
  • Sharp, high quality image
  • Compact, with a tight seal on your DSLR
  • Well Priced

Cons:

  • Lower quality than higher-end lenses in the line
  • Closer distances are obstructed by lens
  • The lens that originally came with the Nikon D5300 kit provided better image quality

This is a bestseller for its great value, and it has the complete range for focal length, from wide to telephoto, that can be utilized to capture landscapes from a far. Due to it’s great price, many landscape enthusiasts use it as their go-to lens. It’s different from most lenses in that it has dampened vibration reduction rather than a hard-iron stabilization system.

Many reviewers note that the 16-80mm has great features, and is the best all-around lens for someone starting out. They’re easy to utilize, and are quite practical as the lens is sharp and has great zoom. It’s fantastic for taking portraits, and works well with a teleconverter or 1.4 converter.

9. Tokina AT-X PRO DX

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tokina AT-X PRO DX

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Pros:

  • Incredible sharpness in the center
  • Impressive color reproduction
  • Excellent price/ value

Cons:

  • Vignetting is present when wide open
  • Some chromatic aberration is present
  • Comparatively poor corner sharpness

This lens has quickly become the standard amongst nature photographers thanks to its stabilized wide angle capabilities. The F/2.8 aperture improves performance in low light, and the super-fast autofocus is also a winner.

The Tokina 11-20mm is a great choice for Nikon shooters looking to have the option of capturing landscapes with a wide focal length.

This lens also offers a non-rotating front filter attachment and a fully moisture resistant design.

10. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Fixed Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Fixed Lens

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Pros:

  • Guide number of 10
  • Distortion is kept to a minimum (of 0.11%)
  • Comes with a 3 year limited warranty
  • Video-mode
  • Focus and aperture control rings are close to the lens mount
  • Good price
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with large and capable lens hood

Cons:

  • A little soft wide open
  • Sharpness drops off near the corners on 1.6x crop bodies
  • No quick-shift focus for switching from autofocus to manual focus
  • No weather sealing
  • Requires lens correction profiles to use on bodies such as the D3100

This is one of the newest lenses to enter the FX line up of lenses offered by Nikon. Although, a 24mm might not sound like a wide angle lens, it’s wide compared to other lenses from the company. It’s my top pick for Nikon lenses for landscape photography.

Overall the lens is versatile enough to shoot with portraits and landscapes. The sharpness is phenomenal out of the centre. This lens has been tested on a wide range of camera models. The 24mm f/1.8g is capable of delivering sharp and colourful images at maximum aperture.

11. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Great for a wide variety of landscape photography applications
  • Fast, professional-quality autofocus speeds
  • Perfect for photographers looking for a 24-70mm size range
  • High-quality build is lightweight yet durable
  • Ultra wide angle zoom
  • Has a VR Image Stabilization feature to reduce motion blur
  • Provides vibration reduction up to 3.5 stops
  • Closest focusing distance is 0.38m
  • Fast at f/4, yet delivers great background blur
  • An excellent price for a pro level 18-35mm f/4 or f/2.8 size lens

Cons:

  • Heavy for a smaller camera such as mirrorless
  • Doesn’t have a “Macro Mode” like the similar 17-35mm f/2.8 lens
  • Doesn’t come with a lens hood
  • Not ideal for sunrise or sunset photography
  • Autofocus is sometimes noisy

12. Tamron AFA012N700 SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Wide-Angle Lens

Our rating: 6 / 10

Tamron AFA012N700 SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Wide-Angle Lens

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Pros:

  • Low dispersion glass lens elements
  • Vibration compensation stabilizes image quality
  • The lens body provides a superior rigidity
  • Nikon Autofocus (AF-S) and 3D Focus System
  • Minimum focusing distance of 0.28m (11in)
  • Slim and lightweight design

Cons:

  • AF can be sluggish in low-light conditions
  • Bokeh might not be as beautiful as that of a prime lens

(Nikon Mount)

For outdoorsy folks, the Tamron SP 15-30mm is the widest superzoom lens for Nikon cameras on the market. It’s a relatively affordable lens for all its features, and offers a versatile field of view.

Superzoom lenses aren’t known to have great image quality, but this lens has received some great reviews on its sharp and crisp output, with many reviewers stating it’s a better lens than its closest competitor, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which Nikon lens is best for landscape photography?

As is the case with most photography choices, there are no magic answers. It depends on your situation and your preferences.

Since landscape photography is so specific, it may be tempting to try and get the most expensive gear you can. However, it’s worth taking a step back to see what’s really needed. Keep in mind you can always upgrade or upgrade your gear later.

There are a few categories of Nikkor camera lenses that work well with landscapes. However, in the end, the Lens flexibility is more vital than the actual lens that is being used. Point and shoot cameras can take amazing photos, so don’t get caught up in the images you see cameras and lenses make. Technology moves pretty fast in this department.

Even at lower levels of sophistication, interchangeable lenses can produce very good landscape shots, but you need to understand all of your options.

What lens is best for landscape photography?

The best Nikon lens for landscape photography is the Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8G

This lens is a favorite among photographers for a number of reasons. It is relatively light in weight, taking up just over a pound on its own. In addition, this lens has a very nice focal range from 24-70mm, which will allow you to do everything from tight close-ups to wide views of the entire landscape. This focal range won’t leave you wishing for something different.

Another huge plus for this lens is its price. It is an affordable option. Despite the cost, it comes with a lot of great features including:

  • Extra low dispersion glass
  • VR image stabilization
  • Multi-layer coating
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Internal Focus (IF)
  • Water and grease resistance
  • No need for a special lens shade

What is the best all around Nikon lens?

This is a great question that I will leave for you to answer for yourself as we go over the list. It depends on your budget as well as your long-term plans. In the end, all of these lenses are worth owning, so you can own them all, one, or none.

Note: All of these lenses are compatible with both the Nikon DX and FX format cameras.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens

If you’re looking to take great pictures of friends, family, and even pets without spending a ton of money, this is a wonderful place to start. It’s not something you’ll be using for weddings or events work. It is wonderful for capturing everyday life in a beautiful way.

Conclusion

Landscape photography requires a variety of lenses, each suited to a specific job. Selecting the best lens for your kind of landscape photography requires some thought because no single lens will allow you to achieve all the results you are after.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G EDBest OverallNikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Tokina AT-X PRO DXBudget PickTokina AT-X PRO DX
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR LensUpgrade PickNikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens