6 Best Nikon Landscape Lens (DX & FX)

Are you looking for the best Nikon landscape lens but are unable to decide which is the best Nikon landscape lens? You have come to the right place. We have gone through several of Nikon’s lenses and shortlisted the 6 best Nikon lens for landscape.

Best Nikon Landscape Lens

The legendary Ansel Adams had once described landscape photography as the supreme test of a photographer’s skills. And with it the supreme disappointment. There are many reasons for that. But we are not going to go deep into that. Despite the challenges, landscape photography remains the most popular type of photography.

Quick Answer – Best Landscape Lenses for Nikon DSLRs

Tamron DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5

BEST WIDE ANGLE DX LENS

Nikon DX, Filter Diameter: 77mm, Weight: 440g/15.5oz, Size: 83.6 x 84mm (3.3 x 3.3″)

Nikon 16-80mm f/2.8-4

BEST MID RANGE DX LENS

Nikon DX, Filter Diameter: 72mm, Weight: 480g/17oz, Size: 80 x 85.5mm (3.1 x 3.4″)

Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3

BEST SUPERZOOM DX LENS

Nikon DX, Filter Diameter: 67mm, Weight: 539g/19oz, Size: 75 x 99mm (3 x 4″)

Nikon 24-120mm f/4G

BEST MID RANGE FX LENS

Nikon FX, Filter Diameter: 77mm, Weight: 710g/1.6lb, Size: 84 x 103mm (3.3 x 4″)

Nikon 16-35mm f/4G

BEST WIDE ANGLE FX LENS

Nikon FX, Filter Diameter: 77mm, Weight: 680g/1.5lb, Size: 82 x 125mm (3.3 x 5″)

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8

BEST MANUAL FOCUS FX LENS

Nikon FX, Weight: 530g/1.2lb, Size: 87 x 94mm (3.4 x 3.7″)

What to Look For When Selecting the Best Nikon Lens For Landscape

Selecting the Right Focal Length

The best thing about shooting landscape photography is that any lens will work. It does not always have to be an expensive wide-angle zoom. You can shoo with a standard prime, a mid-range zoom or even a telephoto lens.

The holy trinity of Nikon lenses is the 14-24mm, 24-70mm and the 70-200mm. Some well to do photographers prefer to pack all three of them. Which is kind of needless redundancy. You just need one good lens that covers the sweet spot. The focal length that you use the most to make your images.

Wide-angle lenses, especially the wide-angle zoom lenses, are the best when it comes to shooting landscapes. These are lenses that offer the largest angles of view. In other words, you can capture a much larger slice of the scene with these lenses.

Large depths of field is of paramount importance when it comes to shooting landscapes. Because at the end of the day you want to capture an image that has a lot of detail in the frame. From corner to corner. And that can only happen when you use an aperture of f/8 or less.

Wide angle lens is a cornerstone of landscape photography

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations are a challenge for every landscape photographer. They happen mostly on cheaper (and old technology) lenses. This happens because the lens is unable to bring all the wavelengths of light to converge on the same image plane after focusing.

More expensive lenses come with special elements – Low Dispersion, Ultra-low Dispersion and Nano coating that takes care of these particular type of chromatic aberrations. And in the process produce sharper and high contrast images.

Apart from using lenses that have anti-CA elements built-in to them, you can use this simple technique to produce higher contrast images. Never shoot with the sun in front of you.

Full-frame vs APS-C Lenses

Full-frame lenses (FX) capture a wider angle of view compared to APS-C lenses (DX) all things remaining the same. The reason is these lenses are designed for the large sensor cameras. These larger sensor cameras are known as FX cameras. These sensors are about one and a half times larger than their APS-C counterparts. APS-C sensors are also known as DX cameras.

Technically, you could use a lens that has been designed for an FX camera on a DX camera. But it will automatically reject the image from the periphery of the lens and use the image only at the center of the lens. The effect is that the image will appear slightly zoomed in.

How much the image will appear zoomed in is calculated using a formula known as crop-factor. For DX cameras that is 1.5x.

Ideally, if you are going to use a cheaper full-frame lens, try and use it on a DX camera because it eliminates the imperfections at the periphery and retains the best bits which are at the center.

Important. The best possible results, however, will come when you use a DX lens on a DX camera and an FX lens on an FX camera.

Weather Sealing

Outdoor photography is a supreme test for the photographer. And a part of that test comes from Mother Nature. Mother Nature, is unpredictable at times. Despite your best planning and homework, you could find yourself stranded in bad weather. It is imperative, thus, to have gear that is weather sealed.

Weather sealing is a relatively new addition to photography. It was a novelty just a few years ago and has now become a necessary pre-requisite in the present day scenario when more and more new photographers are picking up a camera for the first time.

Weather sealing does have some negative aspects too. Firstly, it adds to the overall weight of the lens. The second thing it adds to the price tag of the lens. But given the choice between a weather-sealed lens and its non-weather sealed counterpart, I would recommend the former.

But choosing a weather-sealed lens to go with a non-weather sealed camera makes no sense. So, make sure that your camera is weather sealed as well.

Autofocus Lens vs Manual Focus Lens

Manual lenses don’t have a focusing motor built into them. There are some obvious benefits of using an autofocusing lens. Focusing is fast and accurate. But that said manual lenses are both cheaper and lighter. Two main reasons why people still use manual focusing lenses for landscape photography.

Another use of manual focusing lenses is that you can use them for astrophotography.

Zoom vs Prime Lens

Both zoom and prime lenses are suitable for landscape photography. It all boils down to what your vision for the ultimate landscape photo is, your budget and convenience.

But if you were to ask me I prefer one wide zoom lens, something like the 16-35mm or the 14-24mm that more than serves my purpose.

Best Nikon Landscape Lenses (DX & FX)

Best Nikon Landscape Lenses (DX) for Crop Sensor Cameras

1. Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5

Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II VC HLD Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Nikon APS-C Digital SLR Cameras
  • Mount: Nikon DX
  • Filter Diameter: 77mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 9.4″ / 24cm
  • Weight: 440g / 15.5oz
  • Size: 83.6 x 84mm (3.3 x 3.3″)
  • Price: Check the latest price here

Tamron’s 10-24mm is a budget choice for a majority of amateur and beginner photographers. If you are using a crop sensor camera this is a fine choice that you can look at. The 10-24mm focal length translates into a 15-36mm lens (35mm format equivalent), because of the crop factor. Note the Moniker Di II. This suggests that the lens is designed for smaller crop cameras. So don’t bother using this lens on a full-frame Nikon DSLR. But if you are on a crop body then this is one of the best Nikon lenses for landscape.

What I Like

  • The lens has a number of anti-distortion elements and a BBAR coating which produces sharp results throughout the aperture range and focal length
  • Comes with built-in Vibration Compensation with effectively four stops of compensation applied
  • Features Tamron’s HLD autofocus motor. The motor is fairly quiet in practical usages. Though it must be said that the lens is not completely silent.
  • Weather sealed and moisture-resistant construction.
  • Works with all of Nikon’s crop DSLR cameras manufactured in the last 5 – 10 years.

What I Don’t Like

See the Tamron 10-24mm


2. Nikon 16-80mm f/2.8-4

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Mount: Nikon DX
  • Filter Diameter: 72mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.15′ / 35cm
  • Weight: 480g / 17oz
  • Size: 80 x 85.5mm (3.1 x 3.4″)
  • Price: Check the latest price here

This little beauty of a lens comes as a kit with many of the up-market crop DSLRs that Nikon sells. But having said that this is quite pricey, costing above US$1000. This lens has been optimized for the smaller image circle of Nikon’s crop DSLR Therefore the effective focal length becomes the equivalent of a 24-120mm lens mounted on a 35mm camera.

What I Like

  • The construction of the lens includes 4 ED elements and 3 aspherical elements and suppresses chromatic and spherical aberrations very well.
  • The lens also features Nano crystal coating and super integrated coatings. These help suppresses flares and ghosting especially when shooting in wide apertures and when zoomed out.

What I Don’t Like

See the Nikon 16-80mm


3. Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3

Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC PZD All-In-One Zoom for Nikon DX DSLR Cameras
  • Mount: Nikon DX
  • Filter Diameter: 67mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 15.3″ / 39cm
  • Weight: 539g / 19oz
  • Size: 75 x 99mm (3 x 4″)
  • Price: Check the latest price here

On a DX-format camera the lens will offer a 35mm format equivalent focal length range of 24-450mm which pretty much offers one of the highest zoom range in the budget segment. Needless to say, this is one of the best landscape lens Nikon crop DSLRs could have.

The lens is extremely versatile. With its optical range, it can shoot landscapes, portraits, and birds with equal élan. And it does a bit of macro photography as well with its maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2.9 at a minimum focusing distance of 15.3”.

What I like

  • The lens is reasonably well constructed. The construction includes one Hybrid Aspherical element, three Molded-glass elements, and one Extra refractive Index element. It also includes two LD elements.

What I Don’t Like

  • At its longest optical range, the lens is not the fastest in the business when you compare it with true blue superzoom lenses. Technically, f/6.3 is much slower than even the budget superzoom lenses manufactured by Nikon.

See the Tamron 16-300mm


 Best Full Frame Lenses for Landscapes

4. Nikon 24-120mm f/4G

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Mount: Nikon FX
  • Filter Diameter: 77mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.5′ / 45cm
  • Weight: 710g / 1.6lb
  • Size: 84 x 103mm (3.3 x 4″)
  • Price: Check the latest price here

The 24-120mm probably finds its place as a kit lens with a number of the entry-level full-frame Nikon DSLRs. But that should not confuse you into thinking that this is a lens that you will quickly grow out of.

The 24-120mm covers an excellent focal length range and works in a number of photography situations. It is quite versatile and comes with a fixed aperture of f/4 across the focal length. But where it probably going to work most is in shooting landscape photography. So, is this the best Nikon landscape lens for budget photographers? It is very close to the 16-80mm f/2.8-4 we discussed above in that regard.

What I Like

  • I definitely like the focal length range. As I prefer traveling with one lens, lenses like this are my favorite.
  • The VR gives you an added bit of space to explore your hand-held shooting skills. Especially when you have left the tripod back in the car.
  • Comes with Nikon’s Nano Crystal coating for greater suppression of flares and ghosting.
  • Auto-focusing speed is quick and performance is satisfactory at most times and in changing lighting conditions. However, don’t expect it to perform at the same speed as something like the 24-70mm.

What I Don’t Like

  • Optically not the sharpest lens across the focal length.
  • No weather sealing on this lens. Build quality, however, is acceptable.

See the Nikon 24-120mm


5. Nikon 16-35mm f/4G

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Mount: Nikon FX
  • Filter Diameter: 77mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 11.5″ / 29cm
  • Weight: 680g / 1.5lb
  • Size: 82 x 125mm (3.3 x 5″)
  • Price: Check the latest price here

The preferred choice for any landscape photographer. The 16-35mm f/4G is the entry-level wide-angle zoom for Nikon’s FX system cameras. You can use this lens on a DX camera too, with the associated crop factor. That makes the lens slightly zoomed in at 24-52mm when used with a DX-format camera.

The overall performance of the lens is excellent. It produces good contrast and a good amount of detail. Definitely one of the best landscape lens Nikon has made for its full frame camera system.

What I like

  • Excellent performance throughout the focal length
  • Focusing is accurate
  • Manual focusing override
  • Stays focuses even when zooming after focus
  • Comes with Nikon’s Nanocrystal technology for suppressing flares and ghosting

What I Don’t Like

  • Distortion wide open and fully zoomed out
  • Bokeh is difficult to achieve

See the Nikon 16-35mm


6. Rokinon 14mm f/2.8

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Ultra Wide Angle Fixed Lens w/ Built-in AE Chip for Nikon
  • Mount: Nikon FX
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.9′ / 27cm
  • Weight: 530g / 1.2lb
  • Size: 87 x 94mm (3.4 x 3.7″)
  • Price: Check the latest price here

The Rokinon (Samyang) 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC is a fixed focal length wide-angle lens ideal for shooting landscapes. The lens is designed for Nikon’s full-frame DSLR camera systems. But that said you can also use the lens on compatible DX-format (crop sensor) cameras as well with the associated crop factor.

The fastest aperture possible on the lens is f/2.8 which is something that one would rarely use considering that the lens is meant for landscapes mainly and you need everything to be tack sharp.

The construction of the lens includes two aspherical elements. It also has three high refractive index HR elements. As a result spherical aberrations and distortions, something that wide-angle lenses suffer from quite a bit, are suppressed.

The lens is a very popular choice for astrophotography.

What I like

  • The wide focal length is perfect for shooting landscapes, architecture, and interiors.
  • The lens comes with an array of glass elements for suppressing distortions and aberrations.
  • It also has Multi-coating applied to suppress lens flares and ghosting.

What I Don’t Like

  • The lens is a manual focusing unit.
  • There is no image stabilization on the lens

See the Rokinon 14mm


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