Wide-angle zooms are incredibly fun to shoot with. The main reason being that they make you see the world around you in new and exciting ways. Photographers who jump into the world of wide-angle zooms quickly find that they can produce immersive images that make jaws drops.
The great news is that every major mirrorless platform now has fantastic wide-angle zooms available. Wide-angle zooms have a slight learning curve, but once you get used to them, they will provide you with a way to capture stunning landscapes and cityscapes. They can also be used for astrophotography, real estate and architectural photography, environmental portraits and more.
Here, we’ll take a quick look at five of our favorite wide-angle zooms for modern mirrorless cameras that will leave a lasting impression on you.
Wide-angle zooms — Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art
Sigma’s 14-24mm DG HSM was a hit for DSLRs. Now, their 14-24mm DG DN for mirrorless is taking all the plaudits for good reasons. This fast wide-angle zoom is pretty affordable compared to others in this space but it doesn’t make any compromises. Bryan Esler took it for a spin and said:
“To say the lens produced beautiful results would be an understatement. The wide-angle photographs I took were crisp and showcased all of the details well. I also experienced very little lens flare — a rarity for using a wide-angle lens on a sunny day.”Bryan Esler
This lens is available for both L mount and Sony E mount cameras. It’s ridiculously sharp, it produces nice colors, it’s fast to focus, and it can use drop-in gel filters. Distortion is kept to a minimum, it’s weather-sealed, and a Nano Porous Coating has been applied to the elements to prevent flares and ghosting. It’s a stunner that won’t totally destroy your bank account.
Panasonic Lumix S Pro 16-35mm f/4
If you’re an adopter of L mount cameras, have no fear, there’s a wide-angle zoom for you too. The Panasonic Lumix S Pro 16-35mm f/4 might not best the fastest out of the wide-angle zooms listed here, but it is one of the sharpest, most well-balanced out of the bunch.
I’ve used this lens on my Panasonic Lumix S5 and I was blown away with the images that I was able to create. Wide-angle distortion is kept under control. The manual focus clutch is a nice touch, and the double-magnet linear motor makes autofocusing blisteringly fast. As you would expect, the colors are gorgeous, and Panasonics weather sealing is superb.
Wide-angle zooms — Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR
While the Fujifilm XF8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR isn’t cheap, it is definitely a must-have if you’re a landscape, real estate, architectural, or astrophotographer. This lens is seriously stunning in every way. Its pro-grade build quality and its exceptional image quality made Darren Miles say this in his full review:
“In my experience, distortion is very well controlled even at 8mm. Flare is an issue, but it’s no worse than most wide-angle lenses I’ve used. Most important to me though is edge performance, which is outstanding.”Darren Miles
If you’re a working photographer who can justify the price of this lens, it’s a no-brainer. There are simply no options better than this for photographers who use Fujifilm cameras. You’re going to get great weather sealing, the Fujifilm colors we know and love, and images that will be razor-sharp across the entire focal range.
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
I had the pleasure of using the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 S for an extended period and I have to say that it is the best out of all the wide-angle zooms I have used. Nikon hit it out of the park with this lens. Darren Miles agrees. In his review he said:
“I’ve had the pleasure of utilizing two of the best ultra wides in the business; the Fujifilm 8-16mm and now the Nikon 14-24mm S. Both are truly amazing, but I’ll say it right now, the new Nikon 14-24mm S sets a new standard in wide-angle lens performance for full frame cameras. It’s that good.”Darren Miles
The optics in this lens are second to none. They’re simply incredible. The build quality is beyond amazing. Autofocus performance is rapid, the fact that it comes with two lens hoods so that you can use filters is great, and its weight of just 1.4lbs means it isn’t a burden to carry around. It’s simply stunning.
Wide-angle zooms — Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
Another cracking lens I’ve had the pleasure of owning and using. The Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is professional-grade across the board. The build quality is outstanding. The optics are nothing short of stunning, the focus clutch makes it easy to switch between manual and autofocus, and the nice natural colors are superb. Darren Miles took this one for a spin too, and said:
“Stylish, lightweight, great weather sealing, silky smooth focus and zoom rings and snappy AF — but how are the optics? I think they’re sublime!”Darren Miles
If you use micro four-thirds cameras and you’re in the market for wide-angle zooms, well, you need to check out this option from Olympus. We simply cannot recommend it enough. This is a must-have lens for micro four-thirds photographers.