Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography – 2019 Ultimate Review

The breathtaking sunset over the vast expanse of water. The mesmerizing waterfall creating a vibrant rainbow. The majestic mountains capped with beautiful white snow.

Landscape photography is epic, beautiful, and downright inspiring. We have all been there, awed by the beautiful sights offered by nature and wanting to capture even 1/10th of its beauty to share with the world.  

Capturing the perfect landscape photo is not that easy. You may have the best camera and the perfect accessories, but what about the lens? You need to attach a good landscape lens to your Nikon DSLR so you can get that perfect shot. If you want to find the best landscape lens for your Nikon, then read on as we review some of the top picks available.

Comparison of the Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm

  • Silent Wave Motor provides quiet and fast autofocus
  • Well-suited for nature, landscape, and interior photography
  • Best overall product from Nikon as it ensures reduced chromatic aberration and superior sharpness
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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

  • Fast prime lens available at an affordable price
  • Autofocus compatible with D40, D40X, and D60
  • Runner-up product on our list as it captures awesome pictures with a cool bokeh
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G

  • Designed with the latest optical design technology to help capture truly remarkable images
  • Best for the money as it allows you to capture mesmerizing pictures without putting a burden on your budget
  • Ultra-wide-angle lens offers maximum visual impact to help create striking portraits with beautiful and natural background bokeh
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Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116

  • Nine diaphragm blades produce soft out-of-focus backgrounds
  • Specially designed for cameras with CCD sensors or APS-C-size CMOS
  • Sharp results and exceptional performance make it the best landscape lens for Nikon DX
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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G

  • Perfect wide-angle lens able to capture stunning landscapes
  • Compact and lightweight product which is easy to carry around
  • Superior image quality and ultra-wide focal length makes it the best Nikon D3300 landscape lens
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Can Any Nikon Lens Be Used For Landscape Photography?

A global leader in digital optics and imaging, Nikon is trusted by millions of photographers to provide high-quality, durable lenses. There are various series' of lenses by Nikon that attest to their relentless pursuit of perfection and cutting-edge innovations. However, the best lens for landscape photography belongs to the Nikkor series.      

Whether you are traveling to faraway exotic destinations or taking a stroll along the cobbled street in the town’s center, the Nikkor lens allows you to capture stunning pictures with exquisite detail. It is lightweight, which provides you with the flexibility to shoot all day without the added burden of a camera bag.

What Makes a Great Landscape Lens?

When choosing a landscape lens, make sure to keep the following features in mind:

Low-Light Performance

If you are going to be shooting in low-light conditions, it is better to invest in lenses with wider aperture instead of those with low aperture. A lens with a maximum f/1.8 aperture or lower will help you shoot clear, sharp pictures, even in the absence of a strong light source, while a maximum f/5 aperture will not be effective in poorly lit conditions.

Focal Length

The focal length determines the level of zoom a lens is capable of. A fixed focal length helps produce higher quality images because there is no room for error in the movement of the glass. Typically, it is better to have a lens with a variable focal length, as you do not want to buy a separate lens for every viewing angle. When choosing a lens for landscape photography, it is best to choose one between 10mm and 45mm.

Lens Distortion

Distortion is when a straight line looks bent in a photograph. Wide-angle lenses usually suffer from distortion. However, if you invest in a well-known brand, you will be able to get better results. Zoom lenses produce more distortion than prime lenses, however, with wide-angle lenses, it is difficult to avoid natural distortion.

It is simple to take care of light distortion with Photoshop or Lightroom, but if you are going to shoot geometrical patterns or architecture on a regular basis, you should choose a lens with minimal distortion.

Quick Take - Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography

Before we dive into our review, here are the best Nikon lenses for landscape photography:

  1. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm
  2. ​Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
  3. ​Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G

Review of the Best Nikon Lenses For Landscape Photography

Here, we have discussed some of the best Nikon landscape lenses available. Read on to find out the features of these particular lenses and choose the one that best suits your requirements:  

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

PROS

  • Flower-shaped lens hood minimizes stray light effectively
  • Enhanced optical formulas render outstanding image integrity
  • Internal Focusing allows focusing without changing lens barrel length
  • Weather-sealed to protect against moisture, dust, and tough weather conditions
  • Super Integrated Coating and Nano Crystal Coating drastically reduce flare and ghosting

CONS

  • Is a bit heavy, which makes it difficult to carry around

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers find the ultra-wide-angle lens of this camera perfect for low-light photography such as star trails, astrophotography, Milky Way, light painting, night sky, and much more. They find this lens truly remarkable as it is able to produce sharp images, even wide open at f/2.8. Not many lenses are able to deliver such high contrast and edge-to-edge sharpness. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR is an excellent camera, and deserves all the accolades it receives.    

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Nikon lens is a true piece of art. You can only appreciate its true craftsmanship after using it to produce vibrant and sharp pictures. This lens has set a new record in zoom lens performance with regards to contrast and sharpness. It is the first 14mm ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, which is characterized by a constant f/2.8 aperture. The optimal performance of this camera can easily rival the quality produced by other prime lenses.

Who Will Use This Most

This Nikon lens is perfect for a number of wide-angle photography needs – from architectural photography to landscape and from press photography to fashion. It makes use of Nikon's advanced optical technologies and performs beautifully on both cropped (DX) and full-frame (FX) sensors. The Nano Crystal Coat allows for greater color accuracy and contrasts, even if you have to shoot in harsh lighting and backlit conditions.     

Bottom Line

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR is one of the heaviest wide-angle lenses and is built like a tank. Its effective weather sealing allows photographers to use this product in hot, humid, or rainy conditions. It is perfect if you want to shoot pictures with a high degree of clarity, sharpness, and accurate rendering.  

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Creates soft and blurry backgrounds with f/1.8 aperture
  • Lens hood helps to prevent flare by shading the front lens element
  • Innovative design for Nikon-mount DSLRs featuring APS-C-sized sensors
  • 1.5x crop factor allows it to perform similarly to a 52.5mm lens on DX bodies
  • Compact and solid build does not occupy much space in your photography bag

CONS

  • May make a terrible sound while trying to focus
  • Operating the focus ring on the lens may be difficult

What Recent Buyers Report

Both beginner and expert photographers are completely satisfied with their purchase, as they can now shoot pictures they have always dreamed of. They were very impressed with this lens, as it takes super-fast photos even in dim light. According to them, this camera is liberating as they are able to fit more details into their pictures. Recent buyers totally recommend this camera to those who want to own a good, quality camera without spending too much money.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We are satisfied with the performance and build quality of this Nikon lens. Although it is a lightweight product, there is no compromise in its construction. The barrel is made from hard polycarbonate, while the lens mount is metal. It features a Silent Wave Motor, which ensures near-silent auto-focusing. It is very easy to use with the manual focusing ring easily accessible in the front. 

Who Will Use This Most

The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor is a fine choice for those Nikon owners who want a standard-angle, bright lens for low-light photography, general-purpose imaging, and shots with a shallow depth of field. It is a compact and lightweight camera lens that gives a unique look and feel to images taken with zoom lenses. Moreover, the dimensions are perfect for landscape shooting and discrete snapshots with a picture angle that imitates that of the human eye.

Bottom Line

The AF-S DX Nikkor is a modern-day equivalent of 50mm prime lens for Nikon owners. Its angle of view is similar to a full-frame 50mm, while the bright f/1.8 aperture makes the viewfinder brighter in dim light and effectively blurs the background. This camera lens is a strong overall performer available at an affordable price.   

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED Fixed Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • AF-S lens enables fast and whisper-quiet auto-focus capability
  • Nano Crystal Coat helps to reduce instances of flare and ghosting
  • High-quality lens which is resistant to flare from bright light sources like the sun
  • Shoot brilliant pictures in challenging light because of a maximum aperture setting of f/1.8
  • 94-degree angle of view makes it ideal for wide-angle landscape, architecture, interiors, and creative group portraits

CONS

  • Not as completely weather-sealed as other Nikon lenses
  • Coma of bright point sources may become highly apparent

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are truly impressed with the extraordinary level of sharpness provided by this lens. It allows photographers to express their creativity with a strong visual impact. Many buyers claim that this lens has become their favorite for astrophotography, as it allows them to shoot breathtaking landscapes at night. This lens has a very low weight and small size without compromising its solid construction. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm is a lightweight, compact, and affordable ultra-wide-angle prime lens. It boasts a Silent Wave Motor for quiet focusing, a Nano Crystal coating to help reduce reflection, two extra-low dispersion glass elements, and the closest focusing distance of 0.2m. Its maximum aperture helps to increase the separation between the background and the subject. We find this lens perfect for events such as concerts where the venue is dark, and you want a shot with the whole crowd in it.     

Who Will Use This Most

This Nikon lens is perfect for astrophotography and anything, in general, which requires a wide field of view combined with a shallow depth of field. Its 7.8-inch close focus ability allows you to get close to your subject and enables you to work in tight spaces. With this lens, you can capture pictures of breathtaking panoramas and get wide, expansive vistas easily into the frame. 

Bottom Line

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G has proven to be a fantastic performer when it comes to image quality considering its weight, size, and large aperture. There is no distortion or ghosting, which allows you to take pictures that are truly unique and amazing. If you want to add an excellent wide prime lens to your collection, then this is the lens to go for. 

Best Landscape Lens for Nikon DX:
 DX Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116

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

PROS

  • Able to focus as close as 11.8 inches to the subject
  • Auto-focus zoom lens with a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • Multi-layer coating improves optical performance by minimizing light reflection
  • Internal silent focusing motor helps to engage auto-focus on Nikon cameras that are not equipped with AF motor and gear drive
  • Excellent contrast, minimal chromatic aberration, and sharpness as a result of two aspheric elements and two super-low dispersion glass elements

CONS

  • Focus point in some shots may seem blurry

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers claim that this lens is a keeper because of its ability to produce outstanding photos. They all agree that this lens is up to the task of taking professional-grade shots. The result of this lens has motivated them to invest more time in night sky photography. They are also very happy with this lens's unbeatable price.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the best things about the Tokina 11-16mm is its One-Touch Focus Clutch Mechanism, which allows users to choose between manual focus and auto-focus by simply pushing the focus ring. Its f/2.8 aperture guarantees minimal blur, fast shutter speeds, and active auto-focus in low light situations. This lens is well-built and has an ultra-wide-angle that produces good overall image quality.

Who Will Use This Most

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 is perfect for photographers who love to choose a close subject and capture it in a vast, striking, in-focus scene while making use of its deep depth of field. In addition to landscape photography, this lens is also ideal for automobile and architecture photography. Moreover, the aperture advantage makes it the primary choice for capturing the action in low light.

Bottom Line

The Tokina is a strong performer optically with less distortion and vignette than other lenses available. This multi-purpose lens is perfect for night sky photos, low-light photography, and wide-open panoramic shots. It has received high recommendations on several photography forums, thus making it a vital addition to your kit bag.

Best Nikon D3300 Landscape Lens:
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Features three aspherical and two ED glass lens elements
  • Ultra-quiet and ultra-fast Silent Wave Motor ensures high-speed auto-focus
  • Seven-blade rounded diaphragm helps to give the photos natural blur effects
  • Gives photographers the freedom to frame any scene without moving their camera
  • Internal focusing system ensures that the lens barrel length keeps the same during focusing

CONS

  • Ability to focus is not so good

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very impressed with the super-sharp images generated by this lens right to the edges. It allows them to capture unique perspectives that are not possible with other lenses. With this lens, they have been able to achieve peak performance. They encourage other photographers to invest in this product, as it provides complete value for money.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The outer casing is made up of plastic, which gives this lens a number of durable properties. It also ensures that this product is lightweight but still feels surprisingly solid in one's hands. This is a versatile lens that is ideal for shooting photos of interiors, landscapes, architecture, cityscapes, and much more. It is designed to capture the depth and expansiveness of the world around you in perfect clarity.  

Who Will Use This Most

The Nikon lens boasts superior image quality and the low chromatic aberration makes it not only perfect for architecture and landscape photography but also ideal for other genres, such as portrait photography, fashion, and food. This lens is particularly beneficial for people who have to shoot in tight locations. With the help of its ultra-wide-angle of view of 10mm, it is easier to capture the whole scene, even if there is very little space to set up the camera.

Bottom Line

If you want to try landscape photography, then having a camera with a wider angle of view helps to express your creativity better. This Nikon lens is just right for photographers who wish to take their photography to the next level with their D3300 camera. It is a versatile and compact product with which you can create unforgettable memories.   

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying a Lens?

The following are some considerations to help you choose the best Nikon lens according to your requirements:

Aperture Range

Aperture range refers to the amount of light that passes through a contactable and expandable opening. A lower aperture is ideal for brighter lighting photography, while a higher aperture range will help you take exceptional pictures, even in low- light conditions. For landscape photography, you can use a lens with an aperture range that falls between f/8 and f/11, as this range keeps the entire landscape in focus.   

Weight of a Lens

There are hundreds of lenses available with varying weights and sizes, which can be a deal-breaker. Typically, zoom lenses are more versatile than prime lenses, as one zoom lens may be substituted for three or more prime lenses of the same focal length. Consider your purpose and how you will store the lens before deciding on a model.

Focus

Photographers who are going to shoot fast-moving objects require a lens with auto-focus. However, if you are going to be shooting landscapes or are interested in astrophotography, you do not need to invest a lot of money in a lens equipped with auto-focus. You will find that a manual focus lens is better for you due to its superb focus rings.

Conclusion

People find it fairly difficult to choose the best lens for landscape photography. It is vital to choose the best possible lens according to your requirements as they greatly influence the creative side of your photos. Therefore, we have covered everything related to the best lens for landscape photography in this article to help you make an informed choice.  

People Also Ask

Landscape photography is a difficult art, and it takes a lot of work to get the best pictures. In addition to the features and buying guide for the best lens for landscape photography, the following questions help to eliminate the common concerns in people's minds:

Is the Nikon 18 55mm Lens Good for Landscape?

The Nikon 18 55mm lens is fine for everyday use, but it lacks the features of higher quality lenses. It has a relatively small aperture and no image stabilization, thus making it unsuitable for landscape photography.

Can I Use Prime Lens for Landscape?

Prime lenses have typically large apertures, which makes them ideal for photographing landscapes, particularly in low-light situations. They are also sharper than zoom lenses, that is why you can take clearer and more detailed photos with a prime lens.

Are Wide-Angle Lenses Good for Landscape Photography?

Wide-angle lenses are ideal for landscape photography, as they help you capture more of the scene in your shots. This can be particularly helpful in photographing vast expanses. These lenses have a larger depth of field than other lenses at any given aperture. Thus, you can keep more area of the scene in sharp focus. Wide-angle lenses also incorporate foreground into your shot.