10 Affordable Lenses for Landscape Photographers

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 first impressions photos (10 of 19)

When it comes to landscape photography, it’s a known fact that you don’t need the most expensive lenses out there. Instead, much of it is about your focusing methods. Still, photographers want some sort of decent image quality and sharpness to the lenses. Luckily, you can get all of that without breaking the bank.

We’ve gone through our database of lens reviews, and rounded up a number of great lenses from amost every manufacturer that are affordable or great prices for what the lenses are.

Looking for a high quality but cheap costing lens for your next landscape photo series? Then hit the jump!

Sony 28mm f2

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 28mm f2 lens review product photos (1 of 7)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.5

In our review, we state:

“We were quite pleased with how sharp the Sony 28mm f2 lens fairs. This has to be one of Sony’s sharper lenses and the company’s primes are what impress us the most. It’s about on par with the 35mm f2.8 if not a tad better, but both the 55mm f1.8 and 35mm f1.4 are sharper. This lens also seems sharper than the Zeiss 35mm f2, though not at all sharper than the Zeiss 50mm f2 Loxia lens.”

Olympus 14-150mm f4-56 II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In our review, we state:

“So ummmm, notice how the product shoot for this review was done in the snow?

And, you know, we put it straight up in the snow?

Well guess what, it took the abuse with no problems. Many lenses out there wouldn’t be able to do this but this lens surely had no issue with the cold–unfortunately we can’t say the same for most New Yorkers.

Indeed, the lens continued to work with no issues. We left it to air dry in the warmth of my apartment after the shoot and it only needed a bit of a wipedown afterward. So while the New York City subway system may fail you, the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II Lens surely won’t.”

ND filters are an essential for many landscape photographers. ND filters are also known as neutral density filters and come in three different types. There is the graduated ND filter, standard ND filter and variable ND filter. Graduated ND filters are very dark on one side and very light on the other side. In between the lightest and darkest areas the glass becomes accordingly darker from the light side. These filters are typically used to photograph proper landscapes. Read more at https://www.thephoblographer.com/2015/06/13/use-nd-filter-landscape-photography/#cWzyS6EPpmy7P3Cs.99

ND filters are an essential for many landscape photographers. ND filters are also known as neutral density filters and come in three different types. There is the graduated ND filter, standard ND filter and variable ND filter. Graduated ND filters are very dark on one side and very light on the other side. In between the lightest and darkest areas the glass becomes accordingly darker from the light side. These filters are typically used to photograph proper landscapes. Read more over at this post.

Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f4-5.6

In our review, we state:

“It’s definitely not a lens that you use on a daily basis, unless you’re a landscape or architectural photographer. During my summer holidays in the Alps, this was my most used lens, as I frequently found myself in situations where I wanted to capture the full extent of a landscape. So I made frequent use of the 9mm setting. When promenading through towns and villages, the 18mm setting came in handy, as it is the ideal focal length for street photography. In that regard, the focal length range of the lens proved to be ideal.”

Rokinon 14mm f2.8

In our review, we state:

“The lens also seems to control flair very well. I was essentially shooting right up into the sun for the photo above. You see a bit of the rainbow effect and some very tiny flair, but overall it isn’t terrible. It isn’t the level of control that Zeiss has though. That’s probably the best I’ve seen.”

Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 X

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X Pro 1 35mm f1.4 X Series lens review (7 of 7)ISO 1600

This lens has to be the company’s most versatile. Despite having lots of Fujifilm lenses around for review and testing, this is the lens that I always come back to for its pure performance.

In our review we state:

“Something else that should be mentioned is the color rendering. As I’ve mentioned in my Fuji X-Pro1 review, the lens works together with the sensor to render images that look very close to Fujifilm’s line of films. For love sick photogs like myself, that means that the only way to shoot my beloved Astia is through this camera.”

Samsung 16mm f2.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung 16mm f2.4 product images (3 of 5)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 2.8

In our review, we state:

“Overall image quality of the Samsung 16mm f2.4 lens is really very good. It shows little distortion although sometimes it is apparent when panning the camera from left to right and vice versa. We didn’t see very much in the way of anything bad to say about this lens overall–which is rare as many pancake lenses can be problematic.”

Be sure to check out our introduction to shooting better landscapes

Be sure to check out our introduction to shooting better landscapes

Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 product images (3 of 8)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 5.6

In our review, we state:

“There isn’t much bad to say about the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DG OC HSM. It’s a wonderful lens and if I didn’t own all full frame DSLRs, I’d even consider purchasing it.

The ergonomics of the lens are just as sweet as their art lenses and the quality is right up there to match. Indeed, Sigma’s quality is really, really astounding at this point and we’re floored by what they can do now.”

Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S VR

Yes, one of Nikon’s kit lenses is on this list–and it deserves to be here.

In our review, we state:

“Some people may like the Nikon  24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S VR. It is the economy car of lenses. I may just be overly hard on it. It does cover a decent range and some folks may find it useful. If someone is buying the D600 because it was sold to them by a greedy salesman, not because it’s what they needed, they will probably only use this lens.  Their camera will, most likely always, be set on auto and take a lot of snapshots and pictures of children. If someone is taking their photography a little more seriously, they will learn of other lens options available to them and eventually put this lens down.”

Rokinon Tilt-Shift 24mm f3.5 ED AS UMC

AbramGoglanian_ThePhoblographer_Rokinon24mmTS_ProductImages (4 of 5)

Though it’s a bit pricey, this is probably one of the most affordable tilt shift lenses that you’ll find on the market.

In our review, we state:

“Many of the staffers here at The Phoblographer are big fans of Rokinon lenses, and for good reason: they produce high quality manual focus optics for reasonable prices. Once again, Rokinon has managed to deliver a lens with impressive functionality and image quality for under $1k, and I was very, very eager to see what it could do in the short amount of time I had with it. Having previously owned some of Canon’s TS-E lenses in the past, I had high hopes but reasonable expectations of this lens. Did I expect it to surpass Canon’s $2200 24mm TS-E? No, of course not, but if it came even remotely close to the finest wide angle Canon has ever produced, then this is one heck of a bargain.”

Tamron 28-300mm f3.5-6.3 DI VC PZD

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 28-300mm product images (1 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

We had to include one superzoom in this list, and this lens is just about the most perfect one that you can get your hands on. It’s a bit pricey, but for what you’re getting you’ll have to agree that the price point is solid.

In our review we state:

“Though we weren’t stupefied by image quality from this lens, it surely had us scratching our heads and saying “This lens can do that?” Again, we’re not used to superzooms being able to render such sharp images. But for what it’s worth, we’re completely blown away.”

Want to get sharper landscape photos? A great starting point is to use Live View on your tripod mounted camera, then focus out to around 1/3rd of the way through the frame. At this point, you should use the digital zoom feature to see if you are in focus and sharp or not. They also recommend shooting at f8. But if that isn’t working then you need to make adjustments. If you’re using certain cameras and you switch to manual focus mode, your camera will give you focus peaking to help you discern whether you’re in focus or not to begin with.

BONUS: Fujifilm WCL Wide Angle Adapter

The single adapter on this list is also one of our favorites for one of the best point and shoots ever made. The Fujifilm WCL gives the Fujifilm X100 series of cameras a 28mm field of view.

In our review, we state:

“…the Fujifilm WCL is a wonderful addition to the already very good Fujifilm X100 camera. Not only is the color rendering and image quality top notch, but it remains still very small while sporting great looks.”