Which lens? Choose the best lens for your DSLR

Camera lens buyer's guide

Wide-angle zoom lenses

Wide-angle zooms are as per usual zoom camera lenses, albeit with a focal range typically in the 12-24mm or 16-25mm region. The zoom capacity enables you to adjust the focal range, which adds extra versatility compared to a wide-angle prime lens.

However, these lenses are often of premium build quality and the number and type of lens elements required to counteract barrel distortion makes them an expensive purchase.

Wide-angle zooms are a favourite for landscape photographers, because the ability to adjust framing via zoom from the lens instead of repositioning the camera can make or break whether a shot is even possible.

Sigma makes the world's widest-angle zoom lens, the 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6, or its popular 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 has long been a staple lens for many landscape snappers.

Barrel distortion will cause slight bloating to the centre of the frame, however, plus horizontal and vertical lines close to the edge of the frame may not be perfectly straight. There are post-processing profiles to counter against this type of distortion, but it does come at the slight expense of sharpness.

Read our Best wide-angle lenses: 8 tested article

Typical wide-angle zoom lens examples


Camera lens buyer's guide

Nikon AF-S ED 14-24mm f/2.8G - £1,317

Camera lens buyer's guide

Canon EF 10-22mm f.3.5-4.5 USM - £643

Camera lens buyer's guide

Pentax SMC DA 12-24mm f/4.0 ED AL IF - £630

Camera lens buyer's guide

Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM - £549

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 4-14mm f/4 Four Thirds - £1,550

Sony A-mount 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 - £460


Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 Micro Four Thirds - £1,049