Best Wide-Angle Lenses – 2019 Buyer’s Guide

Are you an avid landscape photographer? Do you need a good lens to capture the changing seasons? If the answer to both these questions is yes, then this is the right place to be. In this article, you will find the complete roundup of the best wide-angle lenses in the market.

So, if you’re interested in upping your photography game, keep on reading.

Comparison of the Best Wide-Angle Lenses

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

  • Weather protected lens with durable construction
  • 2x ultra-wide zoom ratio, making it the best overall
  • 14-24mm focal length which delivers superb performance
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

  • Three aspherical lenses and 2 UD elements
  • Runner-up best wide-angle lens for Canon full frame
  • Comes with a 9-blade diaphragm for background blurring
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Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

  • Amazing full-time manual autofocus speed
  • Circular aperture makes it better to produce highlights
  • Close focus of 9.5 inches, making it the best for the money
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Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5

  • Filter size of this lens is 82 mm
  • Two ELD elements equipped, as well as one SLD element
  • 10-20 wide-aperture of F3.5 and the best wide-angle lens for Nikon
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED

  • Nano-crystal coating for reduced flare
  • Equipped with image stabilization and vibration reduction
  • F/4 fixed aperture throughout the range and the best wide-angle lens for Nikon FX
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Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II

  • Has a multi-layer coating with 77mm filter thread
  • Designed for APS-C sensor cameras, making it the best wide-angle lens for Nikon DX
  • Equipped with two aspherical lens elements and two super-low dispersion lens elements
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Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM

  • FLD glass embedded to correct color aberration
  • Comes with one aspherical lens and two glass mold elements
  • Equipped with Hyper Sonic Motor, making it the best wide-angle lens for Canon
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Sony - E 10-18mm F4 OSS

  • Maximum aperture of f/4
  • Built-in image stabilization to eliminate blurriness
  • Strong build and good performance, making it the best wide-angle lens for Sony A6000
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Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

  • Smooth and fast autofocus
  • Stepping motor embedded for noiseless video shooting
  • Equipped with optical image stabilizer, making it the best wide-angle lens for real-estate
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What is a Wide-Angle Lens?

A wide-angle lens is designed such that it has a wider field of view than what can be captured with the naked eye. Its focal length is much smaller than the standard focal length of any other lens. In numeric terms, a lens with a focal length of less than 35 mm would be a wide-angle lens.

The main difference that you notice when taking shots with a wide-angle lens is the field of view. These lenses are able to capture a lot of scenery into a single image. They also tend to add a dramatic element to the image perspective. 

What Does a Wide-Angle Lens Do?

A wide-angle can capture a lot of the scene in a single frame. It has the ability to distort items and enhance the perspective. These eminent features of the wide-angle lens have allowed it to be useful for many different types of photography. Here’s a list of its most popular uses and how it aids in each one of them:

Wedding Photography

Weddings are events where there are huge crowds. It can be challenging for some photographers to capture the entire group in a single shot, which is where the wide-angle lens comes in. Using this lens, the photographer can easily ensure that all the members are a part of a single image. 

Landscape Photography 

When capturing the different scenic landscapes such as buildings, nature, or architecture, the sheer size can be difficult to capture using a standard lens. Using a wide-angle lens is, therefore, more popular than any other lens for landscape photography. With the help of this lens, you can explore the unique perspective and shoot your favorite scenes. 

Sports Photography

When you go to a football stadium, isn’t it huge? How can you capture the entire venue with a standard lens? Well, quite simply, you can’t. This is where a wide-angle lens comes to the rescue. Whether it is football, rugby, or any other type of sport, a wide-angle lens should be a must-have in your kit for sports photography. 

How Do I Choose a Wide-Angle Lens?

In order to choose the perfect wide-angle lens for your photography needs, you need to consider a few key factors. Here are some of the most important ones that you should look into: 

Sensor Size

To determine which lenses you should buy, you need to look at the kind of sensor that is equipped inside your camera. If you own a full-frame camera, then you should get a lens that fully takes advantage of the focal length. However, in case your sensor is small, you need to consider the trim factor while purchasing the lens. 

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

Zoom or Fixed Focal Lens

You also need to factor in what kind of photography you’re interested in to determine if a zoom or fixed focal lens suits you better. For most kinds of nature photography, experts prefer a zoom lens. In other types of situations, say social photography, a fixed focal lens is preferable. 

Weather Conditions

If you’re going to be taking pictures in a place where there is a harsh environment, then look for a lens that is weather-sealed. This will allow the lens to perform at its full capacity, even in the most challenging situations. Moreover, it will also protect the lens from being damaged easily. 

Quick Take - Best Wide-Angle Lenses

Before we dive into our review, here are the best wide-angle lenses:

  1. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G
  2. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
  3. Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review of the Best Wide-Angle Lenses

Now that you know what a wide-angle lens is and what its uses are, let’s dive into the reviews. Here is a complete buyer’s guide to finding the perfect one for different kinds of photography purposes: 

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

PROS

  • Rugged build to protect it from the harsh environment
  • Manual/Automatic switch to quickly change the autofocus
  • Internal Focus (IF) allows for a speedier yet quieter autofocus
  • Equipped with two ED elements and a PGM lens clearer images
  • Nano-crystal coat in order to get clarity and reduce ghost effects

CONS

  • Lens is super heavy to hold
  • Moderate chromatic aberration is visible
  • There is a noticeable wide-angle distortion

What Recent Buyers Report

This is the ultimate wide-angle lens that is praised by photographers worldwide. The high quality of the images and the consistent and well-balanced colors throughout the frame make it the gold standard of wide-angle lenses. It is a popular favorite among professional photographers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is the best wide-angle lens in the market because of its crystal-clear sharpness, particularly at the corners, which is not an easy quality to achieve. The sharpness is not painful to the eye; rather, the colors and the scene are hushed down in a way to make the image look absolutely beautiful.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a lens that is recommended for night-sky photography, where you can capture the stars with detailed precision. It works amazingly well for landscape and architecture photography. It can also be used for rare happenings in the sky, such as the aurora borealis. Moreover, the image quality stays consistent at any time of the day, which means it is an excellent low-light performer as well.

Bottom Line

If you consider yourself as a photography enthusiast or a professional, then this is an amazing lens for you. It is one of the best lenses out there for night sky photography and wide-angle shooting. If you can afford to spend some extra money on a lens, then do invest in this one.

Runner-Up and Best Wide-Angle Lens for Canon Full Frame: 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens - 9518B002

PROS

  • Fluorine coating in order to reduce ghosting
  • Delivers wonderful low-light images at wide-angles
  • Built for any kind of unfavorable weather conditions
  • Lens elements are designed to reduce chromatic aberrations
  • Equipped with optical image stabilizer to minimize blurring and capture sharp images

CONS

  • Some level of barrel distortion
  • Autofocus is audible, which can be a little disturbing when shooting videos
  • The maximum f/4 aperture can be a limited option for some photographers

What Recent Buyers Report

This camera lens gives you beautiful and sharp images. The image stabilization feature allows users to take the best quality images each time, no matter what kind of photography they are into. The autofocus is fast, and the image quality is supreme, which makes this lens a dream for landscape photographers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens provides four stops of correction for outstanding performance, even in dim light or low-lighting conditions. It has the most advanced features and is made up of the highest quality materials to deliver the best performance for wide-angle photography. The circular 9 blade diaphragm also lets you take the most breathtaking images by softly blurring the background.

Who Will Use This Most

The features in this lens are super versatile, which means that they can fit into any photographer’s criteria for a good quality lens. However, landscape photographers will find it to be the best as it is comprised of elements that let you take the highest quality images in any kind of light. Moreover, the images are tack-sharp.

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for one of the best lenses for wide-angle photography, then do give this one a thought. Its image quality and build are excellent, making it a really sturdy and durable lens to use in all sorts of challenging environments. It is a showstopper, and its results will not let you down.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLRs

PROS

  • Zoom range capability is extraordinary
  • Lightweight construction yet durable build
  • Has outstanding flare resistance and wide-angle view
  • Reliable and blazing fast autofocus for instant shoots
  • Tack-sharp image quality produced each time with nice colors

CONS

  • Can produce soft images at 22mm
  • No sun cap or hood included with this lens
  • Has a really noticeable field curvature at 10 mm

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens works flawlessly for taking pictures of crowds and landscapes. The super wide-angle allows you to take images of the most claustrophobic spaces. The level of detail in the images is stunning, and the colors that it brings out are also truly magical. For the money, this lens has a lot of exceptional features.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The optical quality of this lens is excellent, with super-wide coverage of the scene in a single frame. It is also surprisingly lightweight, even though the build is resistant to harsh conditions. The autofocus speed is also stellar, and it can also capture beautiful photographs by zooming as close as 9.5 inches.

Who Will Use This Most

This ultra-wide lens is a good investment for architectural photography. It allows you to capture the tiniest of details, which is necessary when you take images of buildings or such landscapes. Moreover, if you want to take pictures of narrow spaces or crowds, this is also a great lens to shoot these spots.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a wide-angle camera lens that provides a bang for the buck, then this is the one you need to consider. Its superior features and amazing specifications will attract you immediately, and the high-quality images will also leave you speechless. This is one camera lens that is the best for the money.

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon: 
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical Super Wide Angle Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

PROS

  • Quite light and easy to handle
  • Has outstanding optical quality
  • Has a constant wide f/3.5 aperture
  • Equipped with internal optic control
  • Provides excellent value for the money

CONS

  • Not weather sealed
  • Does not have image stabilization
  • Only compatible with newer DSLR models

What Recent Buyers Report

For its price point, it is one of the most amazing wide-angle lenses available in the market. With exceptionally fast shutter speed, it delivers striking clarity, which enhances the quality of the image. It also produces accurate and tack-sharp photos at each shot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens operates flawlessly under any light condition. It is equipped with a super multiple-layer coating on the lens to minimize ghost effects or any kind of flare. The four aspherical lenses embedded inside also reduce distortion and ensures that the images turn out tack-sharp each time.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera lens is quite an investment for architectural or even landscape photography. Moreover, it can also be used for interior photography or photojournalism. It is also ideal for group pictures, especially at weddings, to make sure everyone fits in the frame.

Bottom Line

If you are on the hunt for the best wide-angle lens for Nikon cameras, then this one provides the bang for your buck. The high quality and sharpness of the images taken with it are outstanding, and it’s a must-have if you are on a budget.

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon FX: 
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Nano-crystal coating handles flare easily
  • Excellent center sharpness all across the range
  • Built-in vibration reduction to eliminate blurriness
  • High optical performance for excellent image quality
  • Rugged construction and build for harsh weather conditions

CONS

  • Significant vignetting at 16mm
  • Bokeh is not as silky and creamy
  • Distortion visible at the 16-21mm focal range

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this feels like the latest generation of Nikon lenses and has a solid and smooth built to it. Its optical quality is stunning, and its night shots, in particular, are quite impressive. It also eliminates most of flaring in the images, and the VR feature helps sharpen the images, which changes them completely.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is extremely versatile and has the most advanced features embedded in it. The level of detail that you achieve when capturing images with this lens is stellar, as it has 3 aspherical lenses to sharpen the images. It also works like a dream in low-light conditions because of the vibration reduction technology.

Who Will Use This Most

Although the high versatility makes it capable of almost everything, this lens is designed particularly for landscape photography. It can capture nature and cityscapes like no other. Whether it is morning or night time, the color contrasts and the sharpness don’t waver in any shot that you take.

Bottom Line

If you want to be seriously impressed, then this is the lens for you. With its latest technological features and high-quality images, this is the strongest contender for wide-angle lenses out there in the market. If cityscapes and interior photography is your forte, then consider this lens. Its results will simply blow your mind.

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon DX: 
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Digital Zoom Lens (AF-S Motor) (for Nikon)

PROS

  • Effective manual/auto slip ring
  • Surprisingly low vignetting for ultra-wide-angle
  • Well-built and rugged construction for harsh environments
  • Gives you an ultra-wide view on a camera that has a DX sensor
  • Optical performance is superior, with high corner to corner and center resolution

CONS

  • No built-in image stabilization
  • Noticeable distortion at 11mm
  • Chromatic aberration is strong at the edges of the image

What Recent Buyers Report

This is one of the best wide-angle lenses for Nikon DX. It produces sharp images and is almost compatible with most full-frame DSLRs. There is also no lens creep, and the build is strong and sturdy in order to ensure durability in the harshest of conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens definitely provides a bang for the buck. The zoom rings on it are also easy to maneuver and has excellent sharpness at 11mm maximum aperture. The clarity of the images is also superb, and for the type of lens, the distortion level is surprisingly low.

Who Will Use This Most

Since this camera performs well at all times of the day, it is an excellent choice for night photography. It can take wide open panoramic shots as well and is great for real-estate photography. The 11mm aperture is great for shooting images in narrow or tight spaces. Overall, it has many purposes and is great for several types of photography.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an exceptional lens for your DX camera, then do not hesitate to give this one a shot. Keeping the price point in mind, it has some really impressive features that make it a strong competitor in this list. If you are on a budget and are looking for the best wide-angle lens for Nikon DX, then do consider this one.

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Canon: 
Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM

Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM FLD AF Ultra Wide Zoom Lens for APS-C sized Canon Digital DSLR Camera

PROS

  • Optical quality is out of this world
  • Gives you an extreme wide-angle view of the scene
  • Build is sturdy and durable for challenging situations
  • Multi-layer coating ensures flare and ghosting is minimized
  • Lens elements used to correct distortion and high definition images

CONS

  • No place to attach filters in
  • No weather seal on this lens
  • Some falloff at the 8mm range

What Recent Buyers Report

The feel of this lens is luxurious and expensive, and the autofocus is also accurate and smooth to touch. Its picture quality is amazing, with sharp details and consistent colors throughout the frame. It allows you to explore your creativity and potential and controls chromatic aberration really well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a one-of-a-kind lens that is designed for an APS-C sensor. The FLD glass elements help correct color aberration, and the hybrid aspherical lens corrects any sort of distortion. The HSM also guarantees speedy and quiet autofocus to take shot after shot without any lag.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a compact lens that is good for shooting landscapes and scenes, architecture, and geometric shapes such as buildings or interior for real-estate, photojournalism for magazines, etc. It is also ideal for wedding photography, crowds, and large groups. Photographers who love shooting in narrow spaces can also find the most potential out of this lens.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for the best wide-angle lens for Canon, then this is the one for you. It creates high-quality images and gives you a unique perspective on the usual subjects. If you also like taking shots at night-time, you will be thoroughly impressed with this.

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Sony A6000: 
Sony - E 10-18mm F4 OSS

Sony - E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens (SEL1018)

PROS

  • Fast and speedy autofocus
  • Ensures smoother and natural-looking defocusing
  • Metal construction is solid that protects the lens from any kind of damage
  • 4-stop image stabilization feature to reduce blurriness and produce tack-sharp images
  • ED glass elements reduce chromatic aberrations and provide consistent color contrast throughout

CONS

  • Zoom range is limited
  • Needs to have lesser distortion
  • Has a slow aperture at the wide end

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens works like a dream with the Sony A6000. There may be some vignetting and barrel distortion, but it can be resolved. The metal encasing and build ensures that it works well under harsh conditions. In addition, the in-built stabilizing feature promises sharp and clear images each time and also aids in low-light photography.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is equipped with a wide range of technological features that make it stand out as one of the best wide-angle lenses in the market. There is a distance encoder that heavily aids in flash photography, and the internal focusing features ensure fast autofocus. Overall, this lens is quite impressive.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens produces excellent results when used for exterior photography as well as interior photography. It is versatile, which can also be used to capture unique geometric shapes and architecture. It is lightweight, so it can be carried around the entire city for landscape or close-up photography.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a great wide-angle lens to work with your Sony A6000, then this is the one that you should purchase. Its impressive features and stellar image quality will leave you speechless. It gives consistent colors and contrasts throughout the image and has fast and silent autofocus.

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Real Estate: 
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

PROS

  • Has an ultra-wide-angle of view
  • Has an STM focus motor to reduce noise
  • Sharp image quality throughout the range
  • Optical stabilization embedded to eliminate blurriness
  • Compact and lightweight, which makes it easy to hold for longer periods of time

CONS

  • No hood is included with the camera lens
  • There is noticeable barrel distortion at 10mm
  • Color fringing is visible in some parts of the image

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens produces sharp corner to corner images each time, which means that it creates high-quality images. It has an in-built image stabilization feature and noiseless autofocus, which is a huge deal considering its price. The optical performance is sharp, and the chromatic aberration is well controlled, which makes users love it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens contains many different features that allow it to perform outstandingly. It is embedded with high-quality elements and has features that you will find in any expensive lens. Considering the stunning results that it provides at its price, it stands out as one of the best wide-angle lenses in the market.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is specifically designed for real estate photography. It has an excellent corner to corner sharpness and is amazing for shooting architecture. It is durable and sturdy but also lightweight, which allows you to carry this lens around for a long time. It is also a great choice for shooting landscapes and tight spaces.

Bottom Line

If you are on the hunt for the best real-estate photography lens, then this is the one for you. With high-quality features and an unbelievable price tag, it kills two birds with one stone. This is an affordable ultra-wide lens that produces excellent images and will not disappoint you.

Pros and Cons of Wide-Angle Lenses

Now that you’ve gone through the reviews, let’s discuss the benefits and the drawbacks of owning a wide-angle lens. Let’s start off with the positive aspects:

Pros

Here are some of the pros of a wide-angle lens:

Depth of Field

The most crucial aspect that a wide-angle offers that other lenses don’t is the depth of field. It can capture a lot of the scene into one frame without ruining the quality of the image, and this is one of the main reasons why professional photographers opt for it. 

Freedom to be Creative

There are so many possibilities to explore while using a wide-angle lens. A single image can be manipulated in several different ways. 

Gives Better Context for Portrait Photography

A wide-angle lens captures the subject and the background beautifully. It blurs the background in such a way that it meshes into the image perfectly and captures the subject’s environment successfully. 

Cons

Let’s take a look at the negative aspects of using a wide-angle lens:

Bokeh Rendering Isn’t the Best

Because the depth of field of wide-angle lenses is quite long, it makes it difficult for the lens to achieve the creamiest bokeh in the background of portraits.

With Good Quality Comes a Bigger Price Tag

If you want a lens that has the advanced features and the best image quality, you need to dig a little deeper into your pocket in order to afford a supreme quality glass for it. 

How to Use Wide-Angle Lens

The most important thing to make sure of when using a wide-angle lens is to fit the entire scene into the frame. If you’re a beginner, this is one of the most complex lenses to use and get a hang to. Here are the instructions to follow when using a wide-angle lens:

  1. With a wide-angle lens, it’s all about emphasizing the foreground. Pick a spot that allows you to capture the scene in its entirety. 
  2. Put on a filter in case you’re shooting in low-light, as this will sharpen the image immensely.
  3. Check the pitch of your lens and keep the camera at a certain level. 
  4. Add polarization in order to minimize the glare in the photographs. This will enhance the details of the subject and make it sharper.
  5. You can add another filter to hold back the detail in the image. 
  6. Put in the trigger in the camera 
  7. Take different photographs, each time focusing on a different point in the photograph to determine which one is better. The wide-angle lens renders objects at various distances, and it can completely change the quality or type of the image, depending on what point you focus on. 

In order to understand how to use a wide-angle in more detail, watch the following video. It will give you a better understanding of how to use a wide-angle lens. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article gave you some guidance and insight into choosing the perfect wide-angle lens. This can be a tricky task since wide-angle lenses tend to be costly, and finding the right one for your photography needs can be tough. With thorough research and the help of this guide, you can hopefully accomplish this task and get yourself a lens that you won’t regret!

People Also Ask

If you still have a few concerns or ambiguities regarding how a wide-angle lens functions or want to know more about its features, you can go through this Q&A session below. This will help you clear out any remaining queries that you may have. 

Is a 24mm Lens a Wide-Angle?

As mentioned earlier, any lens with a focal length of 35mm or wider is known to be a wide-angle lens. However, if it is 24mm and wider, it is called an ultra-wide lens. They are also labeled as fish-eye lenses as they have an intense angle of view. 

Is a 18mm to 55mm a Wide-Angle Lens?

A kit lens with a standard focal length of 18-55mm can be used as an 18mm lens or a 55mm lens. The 18mm is a mediocre or average wide-angle, which is good for shooting architecture, landscapes, or scenes. The 55mm is good for portrait or close-up photography. 

Are Wide-Angle Lenses Worth It?

Wide-angle lenses ensure a greater depth of field and sharper landscape focus than a telephoto lens. They allow you to capture as much of the scene as possible and are the best kind of lens to buy for landscape, architectural, or cityscape photography. They can give you the best quality images for these kinds of photography, and are definitely worth the purchase. 

Are All Wide-Angle Lenses Fisheye?

Fish-eye lenses fall under the umbrella of wide-angle lenses, but not all wide-angle lenses are fisheye lenses. The difference between a standard and fish-eye wide-angle lens is barrel distortion. A fish-eye lens tends to produce a circular angle of view rather than a rectangular one, which is a visual distortion made by the lens. 

How do You Know if a Lens is Wide-Angle?

Any lens that has a focal length of 35mm or below in an APS-C format is known to be a wide-angle lens. The lower the focal length is, the wider the depth of view is, and the wider the lens is. A lens that falls below 24mm is considered to be an ultra-wide-angle lens. 

What is the Best Size for a Wide-Angle Lens?

For a full-frame camera, a 50mm lens is the best wide-angle lens to capture the entire scene into one photograph. However, for APS-C or cropped sensors, in order to get the same view as the full-frame 50mm lens, the ideal size should be 35mm. This will allow you to get the same angle and field of view.