Best Nikon Lenses for Landscape [2021 Review]

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Landscape photography is one of the many genres of photography that can capture the beauty of the subject, whether it be wildlife, nature, or events, and it can fit all of the important details in one image. 

In order to get the outcome that you desire, you will need a special type of lens, and one brand that stands out when it comes to landscape lenses is Nikon. The best Nikon lenses for landscape photography come with a wide range of focal lengths that lets you bring your viewers into the scenery. 

Our Top Nikon Landscape Lenses Reviews 

Landscape photographers want nothing more than to capture the grandeur of nature fully. Each image tells a story of how beautiful the outdoors is, and behind every incredible landscape photo is a good lens. 

The best Nikon lenses for landscape photography are equipped with advanced techniques, high-quality focusing motors, and sleek design that produces incredible image quality and reproduction. 

Best Overall Nikon Landscape Lens: Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S

The Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S covers a full-frame sensor, and it has high-quality optics in its metal barrel. The images are sharp throughout its focal length of 14-30mm. 

NIKON NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

The lens measures 3.35 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches and weighs 1.07 pounds. It is heavier than the Nikon AF 35mm f/1.8G, Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, and the Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8D. 

The Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S has a retractable design, and when you are ready to start taking pictures, the lens extends by an inch. It has internal seals to prevent moisture and dust from damaging the lens, and it is coated with fluorine, so it is scratch-proof, and it won’t crack easily. 

Fingerprints and water droplets can be cleaned easily, a feature that the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G, Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8D, and the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E does not have. 

The lens is equipped with silent autofocus, so it does not make any noise when you zoom in on your subject. Instead of the usual manual focus ring, it has a built-in control ring that lets you switch from aperture control, manual focus control, or autofocus mode smoothly. 

Unfortunately, the control ring is sensitive, and if you are not careful, you may accidentally change modes mid-shot. Also, since it does not have aspherical elements, flaring and vignette are visible on the images. 

The lens is also not equipped with an image stabilization feature, and distortion may appear on the images, so it must be attached to a tripod or a stabilizer instead of handheld for clear photos. 

Pros:

  • The internal seals protect the lens from moisture and dust build-up 
  • The autofocus feature is silent and fast
  • The lens is light and small enough to carry it with you anywhere

Cons:

  • It has a sensitive control ring that does not lock on a mode properly
  • Vignetting and flaring appears on images if the lens is not at the right angle

Best Nikon Landscape Lens for the Money: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR 

The Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR has ultra-wide angles, so it is great for landscape photography. It includes an image stabilization system that prevents distortion from affecting your images while using it handheld. 

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Measuring 4.92 x 3.27 x 3.27 inches and weighing 1.5 pounds, it is heavier than the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G, Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, and the Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8D. 

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR’s barrel is made of hard plastic, and the gasket placed around the lens’s mount helps prevent dust and moisture from entering the body. 

Turning the focus mode on and off is easy, fast, and smooth, thanks to its rubberized control rings. Its Silent Wave Motor or SWM system enables silent focusing, and it has a Nano Crystal Coat that minimizes ghosting and flares on images. 

However, the edges come off blurry due to its narrow aperture of f/4, which is not ideal for capturing images in low light areas, unlike the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G that has a wide aperture. Distortion is also visible at 16mm, however, that can be fixed through processing software. 

Pros: 

  • The barrel is made of strong plastic materials, so you don’t have to worry about cracks or scratches
  • It is dustproof and prevents moisture from getting into the lens’s body
  • It has an image stabilization system to assist for handheld use

Cons: 

  • Soft edges are visible because of the f/4 aperture 
  • The distortion appears when the focal length is at 16mm

Best Cheap Nikon Lens for Landscape: Nikon 35mm f/1.8G

The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is adequate for landscape photography. Since the lens’s aperture of f/1.8 is wide, it is ideal for taking pictures in the dark, and it beautifully blurs out the background of your subject. 

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras, 2183, Black

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G measures 2.09 x 2.76 x 2.76 inches and it weighs 7.1 ounces, making it lighter than the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, Nikon 20mm f/2.8D and the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E. 

The barrel is covered with polycarbonate, while the lens mount is built from metal. It has a built-in Silent Wave Motor or SWM that enables smooth, silent, and accurate autofocus, so it won’t startle your subjects when you take pictures of them. 

The lens is equipped with an Aspherical lens element that can minimize the appearance of chromatic aberrations and flaring, further improving the image quality. With its Nikon Super Integrated Coating or SIC, the lens offers ghost-free and color-consistent results. 

Unfortunately, the lens does not have an image stabilization feature, unlike the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR and the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E.

The lens is best attached to a tripod to prevent distortion when filming or capturing images. The lens is also not weather-sealed. 

Pros:

  • The barrel is made of high-quality materials
  • It is equipped with Silent Wave Motor, so the lens does not produce any noise when you zoom in on your subject
  • The lens has a Super Integrated Coating that prevents ghosting on images

Cons:

  • No image stabilization, distortion is visible if the camera shakes
  • The lens is not weather-sealed; best to cover it up when using it outdoors for protection

Best Ultra Wide Angle Nikon Landscape Lens: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is a wide-angle lens that professional photographers use for landscape photography. It produces a field of view that is equivalent to a 15-36mm lens, which means the lens can stretch out and capture the full background behind your subject. 

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

The lens is lighter than the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, and the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E as it measures 3.43 x 3.27 x 3.27 inches and weighs 1.01 pounds. 

As for its build quality, it is solid and sturdy, and the lens mount is made of metal, and the barrel is made of polycarbonate. The rings for both the manual focus and the zoom adjustment are rubberized for a smooth and comfortable operation. 

The lens has the Silent Wave Motor feature to ensure a silent focusing process. It also has the Super Integrated Coating feature to reduce the appearance of flares and ghosting on your photos. 

Unfortunately, distortion appears if the camera shakes because the lens does not have an image stabilization feature to prevent it, unlike the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR and the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E. 

Also, the aperture of f/3.5 is too narrow, so the edges of the images suffer from blurs, unlike the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G that has a wide aperture. 

Pros: 

  • Solid build quality
  • Rubberized manual focus and zoom rings
  • It is equipped with Super Integrated Coating and Silent Wave Motor features for silent autofocus and flare-free images

Cons: 

  • The lens has no image stabilization, tripod, or stabilizer is needed to prevent distortion
  • An aperture of f/3.5 is too narrow, not ideal for nighttime photoshoots

Best Fixed Zoom Nikon Lens for Landscape: Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8D

The Nikon 20mm f/2.8D is a fixed zoom lens developed for landscape photography. The optics are made from the finest materials, and it has a 94-degree picture coverage that ensures sharpness from all edges. 

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8D Fixed Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

The lens measures 1.69 x 2.72 x 2.72 inches and weighs 9.5 ounces, making it lighter than the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, and the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E. 

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8D is equipped with a Close-Range Correction or CRC feature that ensures high performance at every single focusing distance. 

To enhance the overall performance of the lens, Nikon adds a multiplayer lens coating that can minimize flares and ghosting on the images. 

The lens also has a Super Integrated Coating that minimizes reflection throughout the wavelength range, and it promotes color balance on your pictures. 

However, the lens does not have an image stabilization feature, which means that a slight camera shake will cause distortion and blur on your images. 

Also, the lens is not weather-sealed, and water and moisture may reduce its quality, a feature that the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, and the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED. 

Pros:

  • It has a wide coverage of 94-degrees, so the edges of the images are clear
  • It has a Close Range Correction feature that does not change the quality of the image no matter what focal length you use
  • The lens is equipped with a Super Integrated Coating to prevent flares, reflection, and ghosting 

Cons:

  • The lens does not have image stabilization; a tripod or a stabilizer is needed to make sure that there is no distortion 
  • The lens is not weather-sealed

Best Telephoto Nikon Lens for Landscape: Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E lets you capture the important moments from a distance and snap landscape photos with the complete background. 

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens

The lens measures 7.97 x 3.48 x 3.48 inches and weighs 3.1 pounds. It is heavier than the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Nikon 35mm f/1.8G, Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED and the Nikon 20mm f/2.8D. 

With a built-in internal zoom design, the physical length of the lens does not change along with the focal length when you zoom in on your subject. The barrel is covered with polycarbonate, so it is scratch-free. 

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E produces clear and sharp images. It is equipped with six ED of Extra-Low Dispersion glass elements, HRI or High Refractive lens elements, and FL or Fluorite elements that prevent flare, ghosting, and chromatic aberration. 

However, the lens is not weather-sealed, so it is best to use the bag that it comes with for protection, unlike the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, and the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED that are all weather-sealed.

Also, the lens is heavy and not ideal for carrying around your neck. You can use a tripod for assistance when shooting or filming. 

Pros:

  • It comes with an internal zoom feature for quiet and fast zooming without the lens changing its length
  • It has special glass elements such as Extra-Low Dispersion, High Refractive, and Fluorite to ensures clear and crisp pictures
  • The lens is solid, made of high-quality materials. 

Cons:

  • It is heavy and can be exhausting to carry
  • It is not weather-sealed 

Features to Consider in Nikon Lenses for Landscape

The concept of landscape photography is broad; it spans from abstract images to panoramas. In order to successfully master landscape photography, you will need the right lens to assist you. 

The best Nikon lenses for landscape photography have the focal length to fit all of the wonders of nature into one image. We’ve listed other features to consider when choosing a lens for landscape. 

Hand holding a Canon lens that is perfect for shooting landscape images

Aperture

Taking pictures of nature is unpredictable as the lighting, and the weather changes constantly. This is the reason why, when it comes to landscape photography, you will need a lens with a wide aperture that can get enough light in to make sure that your image won’t be blurry or distorted. 

Lenses with wide apertures, ranging from f/1.2 to f/1.8, are enough to let you capture images at night. The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G is the lens on the list that has the widest aperture, so you can snap photos all day long, no matter what time it is. 

Autofocus

Landscape photography does not require you to be fast in taking photos since your priority still subjects, unlike sports photography and wildlife photography. However, it is still worth investing in a lens that has a built-in auto focus feature as you might need to stop using manual focus from time to time, especially when shooting handheld. 

Autofocus lets the lens lock in on the subject for you using the camera’s sensor, so you won’t have to consistently adjust the focal length just to get a good view. The Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Nikon 35mm f/1.8G, and the  Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED have a fast autofocus feature. 

Image Stabilization 

Landscape photography requires shooting handheld most of the time, and if you are not steady enough, your images may come out distorted and blurry due to unwanted camera movements. Getting a lens with a built-in image stabilization system is the solution to this problem. 

The image stabilization technology reduces the effects of a shaky camera. This can be very useful during windy conditions as well. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR and the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S are both equipped with image stabilization. 

Weather Resistance

Taking images of landscapes means that you will be spending most of your time outdoors, and the weather can be very unpredictable. In order to make sure that your lens does not get affected by the rain or moisture when you are outside, it is best to get a lens that is weather-sealed and is made of durable and high-quality materials.

The Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, and the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED are all weather-sealed. 

Weight

Since landscape photography will require you to be outdoors, you will need a lens that won’t be difficult to carry. Doing landscape photography will push you to go hiking, walking, and even traveling just to capture that beautiful image of the scenery. 

The last thing that you need is a heavy lens that will contribute to your exhaustion. Not to mention, you will need to attach the lens to your camera, and your camera’s weight is something that you need to consider as well, which is why the overall weight of your lens is important.

The Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8D is the lightest lens on the list, followed by the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G. So if the lens’s weight is a factor that you want to focus on, you can consider these two. 

Person using his zoom lens to shoot landscape photos

Special Elements

As landscape photography covers mostly nature and other beautiful sceneries, you will need a lens that is equipped with special elements such as Nano Crystal Coat, Fluorine, Extra-Low Dispersion, and Aspherical glass elements to help prevent the formation of flares, chromatic aberration, and ghosting on your images. 

These elements are developed to ensure that images are clear. These layers of special glass filter out the effects of unnatural light and uneven angle that affects the images, so the outcome are incredible photos that have refined details. 

The Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Nikon 35mm f/1.8G, Nikon 20mm f/2.8D, and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E all have special elements. 

Internal Focus

Although landscape photography rarely involves a live subject, it is still better to have a lens that has an internal focus mode in case you will need it. You won’t know when your next photoshoot will involve wildlife and insects, and to be able to capture them without startling them is by being as quiet as possible. 

An Internal focus feature ensures that your lens is absolutely quiet the whole time you are zooming in and out of the subject. The Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, and the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED are all equipped with this feature. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Does the F Stand For in Lens Aperture? 

The F in Lens Aperture stands for focal length. When the focal length is substituted into the fraction, it solves the diameter of the aperture blades in the lens. 

Aperture is written as a fraction, which is why an aperture is written with the number. For example, the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S has an aperture of f/4 as the fraction 1/4 or one-fourth, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G has an aperture of f/1.8 as the fraction 1/8 r one-eight. 

What Makes Telephoto Lenses Different from Wide-Angle Lenses?

What makes telephoto lenses different from wide-angle lenses is its purpose. Telephoto lenses let you focus on your subject from a distance, while wide-angle lenses help increase your horizontal scope. 

Both of these lenses are great for landscape photography, and the decision in choosing between the two all boils down to what type of landscape image you would want to capture.

Conclusion

Picking the best Nikon lenses for landscape photography can be overwhelming and challenging. The type of lens that you select will affect the outcome of your images, and they influence your creativity more than any other camera equipment. 

If you stick to a certain style of landscape photography, whether it be wide scope or subject-focused style, the right lens choice will be clearer. 

Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 SNikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VRNikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8GNikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G EDNikon AF FX NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8DNikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E
Image stabilizationNoYesNo NoNoYes
Aperturef/4f/4f/1.8f/3.5f/2.8f/2.8
Weather-sealedYesYesNoYesNoNo