Must-have Nikon Landscape Lenses (Updated for 2021)

Michael Sand
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Want to capture your favourite places on earth with your camera?

I’m not talking about a camera phone. I mean a Nikon equipped with a telephoto lens. You know – “the best camera is the one you have with you.” I love that saying but a telephoto lens won’t fit in your pocket.

Like all cameras, the best Nikon landscape lenses are dependent on the sensor in the camera. In this case it is a full-frame sensor (FX format). For Nikon Full Frame DSLR, I recommend the 70-200 f2.8 VR lenses.

Let me reveal exactly which are the best full frame lenses you can buy right now and what you should consider when choosing your focal length and sharpness.

NameCategoryProduct
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G LensBest OverallNikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G LensBudget PickNikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Wide-Angle Prime LensUpgrade PickNikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Wide-Angle Prime Lens

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

Our rating: 9 / 10

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

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Pros:

  • Pretty sharp
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Not a rainproof lens
  • Barrel distortion

This lens is a part of the growing trend of auto focus lenses that are relatively compact. The focus motor is silent, and it has instant-touch focus. This means that you can press lightly to focus and press lightly again to stop focusing. It has a switch to turn on or off vibration reduction, and it has a very sturdy feel to it.

It’s a great lens for landscape shots. It has a very useful wide angle of view that makes it ideal for outdoor portraits and landscape shots. The good news is that this lens works very well, even at f/1.8.

The nice thing about this lens is that it can be used for landscape, travel, indoor family portraits, and even micro stock without anybody practically noticing that it’s a cheap lens. In fact, the sharpness of this lens is rarely ever criticized in any of its reviews.

2. 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:

  • It is among the top 4 FX lenses
  • Captures sharp images throughout the focal length
  • High contrast and highly detailed images
  • Provides shallow depth of field
  • Able to take full-frame ultra-wide shots (vast landscapes)
  • 100% made in the US
  • Dust and Water proof
  • It is lightweight
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Not all lenses have the same quality
  • Slightly expensive

3. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens

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Pros:

  • Cheaper than other lenses
  • High-quality lens with great zoom, focus and aperture control
  • Good for a beginner photographer
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Hable with VR, which means that it has integrated anti-vibration technology and enables sharp images even in low-light settings
  • Portrait and close-up photography

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens is a great gift for a friend or family member, especially for a photography enthusiast. It is easy to use and has excellent control of images, zoom focus, and lens aperture. It is also equipped with VR, making it perfect for low-light photography. Best of all, the lens has a wider focus-range than many other lenses for its price.

The only downside to this lens is that it takes a long time to set up because of the different parts involved in the set up of the lens.

4. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Zoom Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Excellent Normal Zoom Lens
  • Reliable autofocus
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Image Stabilization is not very effective
  • Requires full-manual mode for maximum control

This lens goes beyond the classic 18-55mm kit lens to give you a dramatic wide angle view of the world while providing a natural perspective. The f/2.8 aperture allows you to blur out the background and create depth in a photo, while the optical stabilization allows you to shoot handheld in more challenging lighting situations.

5. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Wide-Angle Prime Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Wide-Angle Prime Lens

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Pros:

  • Very sharp wide open
  • Low vignetting at wide open
  • Light weight
  • Low price

Cons:

  • Slow lens
  • Bokeh is unnatural looking
  • Not weather sealed

Includes:

Includes:

The new generation of Nikon FX format prime lenses bring together distance measurement capabilities with a powerful zoom at an affordable price. These lenses allow you to capture faraway subjects with high-resolution photography, so they are the perfect choice for environmental portraiture.

6. Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Great price
  • Incredible optical quality
  • Fast focus
  • Full-time manual focus override
  • Professional features
  • Better low-light capability vs. the 24-120

Cons:

  • No vibration reduction
  • No constant aperture

Contrary to some assumption, you do not just need a zoom lens for landscape photography. You need to choose the right one, keeping in mind your budget, the size of your camera, the type of camera you use, and also how you shoot.

7. 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:

  • Lens is significantly less expensive than its Canon counterpart.
  • Tripod collar is metal.
  • If you can live with manual focus, it is a perfect walk-around lens.

Cons:

  • No quick shift focusing mechanism
  • Plastic lens mount
  • Smallest aperture setting is f/22

This super zoom lens is perfect for almost all amateur photographer including a landscape photographer. It offers the versatility of a super-zoom lens and a low-light capability found in a much longer telephoto lens. They also said that it sturdily built and it has a handy range of zoom capabilities that approach those of a good telephoto zoom lens.

This lens is perfect for a wide variety of events such as landscape, portraiture, and sports.

This lens is also designed to have minimal distortion, as well as to give clarity and sharpness at the corners of the frame.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best Nikon lens for landscape?

There are a few different lenses that are particularly ideal for photographing landscapes:

The 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 is an excellent wide-angle lens that you can use for most of your landscape needs. The 18-35mm focal length is useful for capturing expansive vistas with lots of detail. This lens is also reasonably cheap when you consider what you get.

Most landscape photographers agree that the 24-70mm f/2.8 is one of the best medium zoom focal lengths for a Nikon DSLR. Medium zoom lenses are valuable for providing flexibility in framing your shots. In particular, medium zooms are common in landscape photography because you need some zoom to frame your shot wide, but you also need some zoom to allow for getting up close to your subject.

If you want to get even further into your landscape photographs, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is an excellent choice both for portraits and landscapes.

What is the best all around Nikon lens?

The best all around Nikon lens is the Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens. If you're in the market for a high quality zoom lens but don't have the budget for the pricier f/2.8 variant of this lens, we recommend saving money on the Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/4E ED VR Lens. It may take a step down in quantity and quality of lens coatings from the f/2.8 version, but it works pretty well. With VR active, it's not too heavy, which is also a benefit.

There are much cheaper options, but we recommend these two because they are among the highest rated lenses on the market. A zoom lens is ideal if you are a hobbyist, amateur, or professional photographer that shoots with a higher end camera.

Which lens is best for landscapes?

You may think that the best lens for someone who loves landscape photography is a wide angle lens. In fact, Canon and Nikon also think this, and they’ve made a 15-35mm f/2.8 lens with enormous variances in coverage and aperture. Unfortunately, this lens is extremely expensive, heavy, difficult to use, and not especially useful for just about anything.

Most landscape photographers use a full-frame DSLR with a 24-70mm lens (or something close). The 24-70mm lens is extremely versatile and takes up only a few inches of space in your camera bag. This is going to be a far better landscape lens than the 15-35mm.

What is Nikon's sharpest lens?

As far as glass and optics are concerned, the f4 500mm is definitely the sharpest of the group. When paired with a high-end camera, this Nikon lens offers clean, pin-cushion free, images with great color and contrast.

While a bit on the heavy side and less than portable (you’ll need a big camera backpack and a sturdy tripod), the sharpness across the frame of this beast of a lens is well worth the time and effort.

If weight and/or size isn’t an issue for you, then keep your eye on this lens. The next best option would probably be the f2.8 300mm. It’s a full-frame professional-grade optic that, while sharing many of the same features as the f4 500mm, is a lot more portable and more affordable.

The f4 500mm (or f2.

Conclusion

“Landscape photography is photography of a wide natural area. It can include rural scenery (such as mountains, valleys, and forests), as well as relatively developed areas such as a rocky shoreline or a river. Landscape photography can be recognized by its inclusion of large areas of land, its focus on the big picture, and its emphasis on natural elements such as landforms, water and sky.”

If you want to take awesome landscape photos like the great Ansel Adams, you should use the best Nikon landscape lenses. Here are recommendations to help you out.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G LensBest OverallNikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G LensBudget PickNikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Wide-Angle Prime LensUpgrade PickNikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Wide-Angle Prime Lens