Wide angle lenses are some of the most versatile lenses available. Using the best Canon wide angle lenses, you can get excellent detail in your photos and a different perspective on your compositions. You can use wide angle lenses for various purpose including epic landscape shots, street photography, and even portraits.
Canon has one of the best ranges of wide angle lenses. Regardless of the DSLR camera type, you can find a high-quality wide angle lens. For the professionals, there is the ultra-quality L-series wide angle lenses with large maximum apertures. Alternatively, for hobbyists, there is a good selection of standard EF, EF-S, and EF-M wide angle lenses that still give superb image quality.
In this guide, we have chosen eight of the best Canon wide angle lenses for different camera types. Regardless of your photography experience or level, you can find a wide angle lens here to suit!
Table of contents
- Best Wide Angle Lenses for Canon Full Frame Cameras
- Best Wide Angle Lenses for Canon APS-C Cameras
- Best Wide Angle Lenses for Canon EOS-M Cameras
- How Can I Choose the Best Canon Wide Angle Lenses?
Best Wide Angle Lenses for Canon Full Frame Cameras
The EF mount lens series contains the most comprehensive selection of wide angle lenses. Here you can find the ultimate in quality – the L-series lenses. We have included a mix of both prime and zoom wide angle lenses below for Canon full frame cameras:
1. Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
Best overall wide angle lens
This L-series lens offers the best quality and features for the EF mount system.
Our top choice for the best Canon wide angle lenses is the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM. Although this is an older lens it still remains a superb quality product. As an L-series lens it benefits from an improved build quality and lens construction.
This includes two ultra low dispersion lens elements which helps minimize chromatic aberration and other distortions. Also, this wide angle lens has the USM autofocusing system which is quiet, fast, and accurate. You can however override this and use manual focus too.
All the lens elements also have a special SWC coating which is anti-reflective and helps minimize ghosting and lens flare. This is a brilliant lens and the maximum aperture of f/1.4 offers great control too, and works wonders in low-light compositions.
2. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
If you want a lens for portraits and street photography, the EF 35mm is a solid option.
If you want something closer to a portrait lens but still wide angle, the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM is a great option. This L-series lens is great for landscapes, closeups, and portrait photography. It offers excellent image quality with minimum distortions and aberrations.
The lens construction is made from 14 elements in 11 groups and include various special glass elements to improve light transmission and color contrast. Also, the aperture blades are circular which allows you to create beautiful rounded bokeh effects on backgrounds.
As with other L-series lenses, the EF 35mm also has dust and water sealing for added protection. It also has the Canon USM autofocusing motor which if highly effective. At 760g, this lens is still quite compact, although there are other smaller wide angle options available.
3. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
Best wide angle zoom option for EF-mount
This versatile lens offers a greater wide angle focal range without sacrificing quality.
Whilst the above prime lenses offer amazing quality at a fixed focal distance, the EF 16-35mm gives greater freedom with your wide angle photography. This is a versatile lens that allows the user to experiment with different focal distances easily.
The zoom transition is smooth, and the dual textured grip allows you to twist the zoom mechanism easily. Also, the lens is both dust and water-resistant. It weighs 615g and is therefore one of the lightest L-series wide angle lenses available. It also has a decent closest focusing distance of just 0.92ft so you can still get great close-up shots too.
The lens element features two aspherical lens elements, and two UD low dispersion elements. These combine together to eliminate distortions and aberrations and provide consistent image quality. All the glass elements also feature optimized coatings. This is one of the best Canon wide angle lenses due to its versatility and quality.
4. Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM
Best budget option for EF-mount
The Canon EF 24mm standard lens still offers great quality without the larger price tag.
If you can’t quite afford an L-series lens, the Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM presents a viable alternative. This is a standard Canon EF lens but still gives solid imager quality and usability. It weighs just 280g and has an overall length of 2.69 inches which makes it a great travel lens.
Also, it has an advanced lens construction with various elements and coatings to boost image quality and light transmission. This includes aspherical lens elements and coatings that reduce ghosting and flare. The aperture blades are also rounded which helps created professional bokeh backgrounds.
Although this wide angle lens doesn’t have the same maximum aperture as the L-series lenses, f/2.8 still offers great control and means this lens can be used comfortably for low-light photography.
Best Wide Angle Lenses for Canon APS-C Cameras
The Canon EF-S range of wide angle lenses is somewhat smaller, but there is still a handful of quality dedicated wide angle models to choose from:
1. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Best wide angle lens for APS-C cameras
The Canon EF-S 24mm is a compact lens that provides consistent image quality.
For Canon APS-C sensor cameras, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is the best wide angle option. This lens is hugely portable and weighs only 125g, is also has a slim profile and can easily be transported when not in use.
The lens construction features aspheric elements to improve image quality, and coatings to help reduce distortions. The image quality remains consistent right to the edges of the photos. Also, the 7-blade circular aperture helps create professional compositions with subtle background effects.
For autofocusing, this lens has the STM stepping motor. This provides quiet and effective autofocusing. Overall, it is one of the best Canon wide angle lenses due to its incredibly small size and solid range of features.
2. Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
If you want variance in your wide angle focal distances, the EF-S 10-22mm is a great lens.
The Canon EF-S 10-22mm is an older lens but it is a good wide angle choice due to its varied focal distance. On APS-C sensor cameras the 10-22mm focal distance translates to 16-35mm. This gives you both ultra and wide angle options, and a decent portrait lens too.
The autofocusing system features the USM motor, but you can also use full manual focusing via the separate manual focusing ring. Also, the lens elements feature super-spectra coatings which help reduce distortions like chromatic aberration and ghosting.
You can expect clear and sharp images with great color contrast and depth. The only downside with this wide angle lens is that it only has a maximum aperture at 10mm of f/3.5, but this should still provide decent control over the depth of field.
Best Wide Angle Lenses for Canon EOS-M Cameras
In the Canon EF-M lens series, there is one clear winner for the best Canon wide angle lenses. Hopefully, as Canon develops this range of lenses, we should see more dedicated wide angle options appear:
1. Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM
Best wide angle lens for EOS-M cameras
The EF-M 22mm offers superior image quality and portability.
The Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM is a fantastic quality lens for the EOS-M camera system. It is one of the smallest wide angle lenses available but still provides superior image quality and usability.
For autofocusing, this lens has Canon’s STM stepping motor. You can quickly focus on objects in virtual silence. Also, this wide angle lens has a solid maximum aperture of f/2 which makes it suitable for low-light shots and artistic compositions.
The lens construction is made from 7 element is 6 groups and it features aspheric elements to deliver excellent image resolution and contrast. This is definitely one of the best Canon wide angle lenses for the EOS M mirrorless cameras.
2. Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
The EF-M 11-22mm gives extra versatility in your wide angle compositions.
If you want more versatility than the EF-M 22mm provides, the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is a good alternative. This lens offers ultra wide angle and wide angle capabilities and is still relatively lightweight and compact.
The main downside with this lens is that it doesn’t have the same maximum aperture. At 22mm, the maximum aperture is f/5.6, compared to f/2 of the EF-M 22mm. However, you should still have good control over depth of field, and be able to create bokeh effects for backgrounds.
This wide angle lens also features built-in image stabilization, and has the Stepping Motor for autofocusing. As a result, it is easy to use handheld and performs fantastically.
How Can I Choose the Best Canon Wide Angle Lenses?
Now that we have looked at the best Canon wide angle lenses, how can you choose one suitable for your circumstance? Firstly, you must obviously choose a lens that is compatible with your camera or consider purchasing a lens adapted.
We advise using native lenses for your camera type, but there is no reason why you can’t use an adapter. For example, if you really wanted the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM, but had an EOS M50, you could purchase the EF lens adapter and still use it. If you do this, you have to consider the additional cost. The following are four other factors to look at when choosing a wide angle lens:
Prime vs Zoom
Firstly, you should consider if you want a prime or zoom lens. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Prime lenses usually offer better image quality but have less flexibility. Alternatively, zoom lenses allow you to use different focal distances, but may not provide as sharp images as primes.
Next, look at what features the lens has. Does it have any built-in image stabilization? Are there any additional buttons like a focus control ring? What about the autofocusing system and maximum aperture? These are important features that dictate how you can use the wide angle lens.
Weight and Size
Portability and ergonomics are also useful. This of course depends on how you intend to use the lens. But how heavy is the lens? What is its overall length and how does it affect the overall bulk of your camera? For example, if you want a wide angle lens primarily for travel, a pancake lens could be a better choice due to its small profile and weight.
Type of photography
Finally, how do you intend to use the lens? If you want a general wide angle lens for a range of photography types, a 24mm focal distance is a great choice. However, if you specifically want a wide angle lens for sweeping landscape shots, you could benefit from a zoom lens that offers ultra wide angle capabilities too.
Paul loves traveling and photography. He is also a Lightroom and Photoshop expert and likes to test new photo software, apps, and gear. Paul frequently shares his travel photography tips on his travel blog and writes for known photography publications.
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