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The best Canon wide-angle lenses in 2022: wide-angle for EOS DSLRs, EOS M and EOS R

The best Canon wide-angle lenses

Here, we've picked out the best Canon wide-angle lenses for all mounts. Whether you use Canon DSLRs or mirrorless cameras with EF-M or RF mounts, we've collated the lenses that will give you superb results when you want a wider perspective. Wide-angles tend to be used for architecture, landscape and interior photography, but really they can be useful in all sorts of capacities. 

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A wide-angle can be great for travel photography, for instance, allowing you to accentuate the drama and scale of tall landmarks or dazzling interiors. They can be used to great creative effect, letting you recede the backdrop of an image and dramatically separate the main subject in the foreground. Short focal lengths also introduce a large depth of field, which lets you keep the whole image plane as sharp as possible. 

We've picked out the best wide-angle lenses for all Canon systems. Naturally, DSLR users with the EF and EF-S lens mounts will have the most choice, as the ranges for EOS M and RF mirrorless cameras are a lot less expansive. Also, users of EOS M or APS-C DSLRs (EF-S) should be aware that the crop factor will affect the perspective of the lens, and if you use a full-frame wide-angle lens on an APS-C camera, you'll lose some of the effect; a 17-40mm full-frame EF lens will behave like a 27-64mm lens on an APS-C camera. 

For this guide, we've made sure to pick out lenses for a range of budgets. So, while you've got some of Canon's premium optics in the mix, there are also plenty of more budget-friendly alternatives from third-party manufacturers like Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Laowa. So, here are the best Canon wide-angle lenses for both APS-C and full-frame DSLRs, EOS M mirrorless cameras, and the flagship EOS R series…

Best Canon wide-angle lenses in 2022

Canon EF-M

(Image credit: Canon)
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1. Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

A little lens for Canon EOS cameras that has a BIG angle of view

Specifications

Mount: Canon EF-M
Elements/groups: 12/9
Angle of view: 102-63 degrees
Autofocus: Stepping motor
Stabilizer: Yes
Min focus distance: 0.15m
Max magnification: 0.3x
Filter thread: 55mm
Dimensions (WxL): 61x58mm
Weight: 220g

Reasons to buy

+
Compact retractable design
+
Good build quality and performance
+
3-stop image stabilizer

Reasons to avoid

-
No weather-seals
-
Lens hood sold separately

Think ultra-wide-angle zooms and you’re probably thinking of big, hefty lenses that are expensive to buy. This lens for EOS M-series mirrorless cameras is the polar opposite. Just a couple of inches long and weighing in at just 220g, it’s extremely compact and lightweight, with a retractable design and a 55mm filter thread. With an ‘effective’ zoom range of 17.6-35.2mm in full-frame terms, it has a generous maximum viewing angle, along with an impressively short minimum focus distance of 0.15m. This enables you to get in really close and create exaggerated perspective effects. The lens boasts 3-stop optical image stabilization but, while build quality  feels very good, it’s not weather-sealed and the petal shaped hood is sold separately.

Canon EF-S

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A top choice for APS-C Canon EOS DSLRs – it even has image stabilization

Specifications

Mount: Canon EF-S
Full-frame compatible: No
Autofocus type: High/Low Torque Drive
Stabilizer: Yes
Minimum focus distance: 0.24m
Filter thread: 77mm
Dimensions (WxL): 84 x 85mm
Weight: 440g

Reasons to buy

+
High-performance autofocus system
+
Effective optical image stabilizer
+
Weather seals and fluorine coating

Reasons to avoid

-
Rather pricier than its predecessor

A major revamp of Tamron’s original 10-24mm wide-angle zoom, this edition has a new optical design with enhanced aspherical and LD (Low Dispersion) elements. It also gains a new HLD (High/Low toque-modulated Drive) autofocus system and VC (Vibration Compensation) stabilization, which were absent in the original lens. Autofocus is faster, quieter and more accurate, and offers improved handling – this is because the focus ring no longer rotates during autofocus, while there's also now full-time manual override. Build quality is very good, with a full set of weather seals and a keep-clean fluorine coating on the front element. Sharpness is excellent across the entire image frame, throughout the whole zoom range, which is always a challenge for ultra-wide zooms, and there’s very little barrel distortion at the shortest focal length. All in all, it’s a star performer.

Best Canon wide-angle lens: Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF

(Image credit: Tokina)
This APS-C Tokina has a modest zoom range but a constant f/2.8 aperture

Specifications

Mount: Canon EF-S
Full-frame compatible: No
Autofocus type: Electric motor
Stabilizer: No
Minimum focus distance: 0.3m
Filter thread: 82mm
Dimensions (WxL): 84x92mm
Weight: 555g

Reasons to buy

+
High-quality optical and mechanical build
+
Fast and constant f/2.8 aperture

Reasons to avoid

-
Zoom range isn’t particularly generous
-
Push-pull focus ring can be switched accidentally

Tokina’s first ATX 11-16mm was something of a trailblazer, bringing ultra-wide viewing to APS-C format Canon DSLRs, coupled with a fast and constant f/2.8 aperture. It came with a solid construction, typical of Tokina’s high standards of build quality. The Mark II edition of the Canon-mount lens had minimal changes to the multi-coatings, but the latest ‘atx-i’ edition looks and feels rather different. The ‘i’ stands for ‘interactive’ mutual communication between photographer and lens. It certainly looks more modern but retains Tokina’s usual ‘One-touch Focus Clutch’ mechanism. This gives you the option of switching between autofocus and manual focus modes simply by clicking the focus ring forwards or backwards. It works well on the whole, but you have to be careful not to nudge the focus ring accidentally. As with the previous editions, image quality is very good in all respects, although the overall zoom range is pretty modest.

This Sigma wide-angle for APS-C Canon DSLRS is great value

Specifications

Mount: Canon EF-S
Full-frame compatible: No
Autofocus type: Ultrasonic (ring-type)
Stabilizer: No
Minimum focus distance: 0.24m
Filter thread: 82mm
Dimensions (WxL): 87 x 88mm
Weight: 520g

Reasons to buy

+
Constant-aperture design
+
Ring-type ultrasonic autofocus

Reasons to avoid

-
Large 82mm filter thread
-
No weather seals

This Sigma has a constant-aperture design, although it’s a modest f/3.5. Even so, it has the same advantage for manual exposure mode shooting, in that the aperture remains fixed throughout the zoom range. Optical attractions include two ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) elements and an SLD (Special Low Dispersion) element – considering the budget price, the inclusion of posh glass along with a fast and whisper-quiet ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system is a very pleasant surprise. Sharpness is excellent throughout the zoom range in the central region of the frame, but drops off a little more than usual in the corners. Barrel distortion at the minimum focal length is fairly minimal, as is colour fringing throughout the zoom range. This lens has been on the market for almost a decade now, and predates Sigma’s ‘Global Vision’ lineup, but it’s unbeatable value at the price.

Best Canon wide-angle lens: Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

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Canon's own APS-C ultra-wide is a lightweight – in a good way!

Specifications

Mount: Canon EF-S
Full-frame compatible: No
Autofocus type: Stepping Motor
Stabilizer: Yes
Minimum focus distance: 0.22m
Filter thread: 67mm
Dimensions (WxL): 75 x 72mm
Weight: 240g

Reasons to buy

+
Very compact and lightweight
+
Good autofocus and stabilization systems

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic mounting plate
-
Lens hood sold separately

We prefer this new Canon STM lens to the veteran EF-S 10-22mm, and not just because it’s only about a third of the price. The 10-18mm is wonderfully compact and lightweight for a wide-angle zoom – it’s actually less than half the weight of the competing Sigma APS-C format lenses, so ideally suited to travel photography. The weight saving is partly due to the mounting plate being made from plastic rather than metal, but the lens still feels reasonably robust. The STM (Stepping Motor) autofocus system is fast for stills and ideal for video capture, delivering smooth focus transitions and being virtually silent in operation. Another advantage over the Canon 10-22mm is that this lens adds image stabilization, which is great for indoor or twilight shooting.

Canon EF

Best Canon wide-angle lens: Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM | A

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This is our favorite wide-angle zoom for full-frame Canon DSLRs

Specifications

Mount: Canon EF
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Autofocus type: Ultrasonic (ring-type)
Stabilizer: No
Minimum focus distance: 0.26m
Filter thread: None
Dimensions (WxL): 96 x 135mm
Weight: 1,150g

Reasons to buy

+
Superb build quality and performance
+
Virtually no distortion

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite large and weighty
-
No filter attachment thread

Sigma has really gone to town with wide-angle zooms in its Global Vision lineup, but this lens is the latest and greatest. It has a slightly more modest maximum viewing angle than the 12-24mm Art lens below, but a faster aperture rating; both are practically identical in size and weight. High-tech glass includes an ultra-high-precision moulded glass aspherical front element, combined with three FLD (Fluorite-grade Low Dispersion) and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements. The lens is immaculately engineered and has a full set of weather seals instead of just a sealed mount. A fluorine coating is applied to repel muck and moisture, while the built-in lens hood gives physical protection to the protruding front element, as well as helping to reduce ghosting and flare. Sharpness and contrast are very impressive even when shooting wide-open at f/2.8, and this lens is virtually distortion-free. Colour fringing is also negligible, even around high-contrast edges towards the extreme corners of the frame. It’s an absolutely stellar lens in every respect.

Best Canon wide-angle lens: Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

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Canon's full frame 16-35mm f/4 is relatively compact and has a stabilizer

Specifications

Mount: Canon EF
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Autofocus type: Ultrasonic (ring-type)
Stabilizer: Yes
Minimum focus distance: 0.28m
Filter thread: 77mm
Dimensions (WxL): 83 x 113mm
Weight: 615g

Reasons to buy

+
Relatively lightweight and manageable
+
Great autofocus and stabilization performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Maximum viewing angle is comparatively modest
-
Sharpness drops off in the corners of the frame

If money’s no object, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM is an f/stop faster than this lens, and a darling of the most demanding pro photographers; however, it’s bigger, heavier, lacks image stabilization and costs twice the price. For an own-brand Canon wide-angle zoom for full-frame cameras, this lens is our favourite. It’s relatively compact and lightweight, has a highly effective 4-stop image stabilizer, and maintains a very high standard of build quality and performance throughout. Like most L-series lenses, it’s robust and weather-sealed, with excellent handling. Optical highlights include two UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) elements and Super Spectra coating. Fluorine coatings are also applied to the front and rear elements. Centre-sharpness is spectacular, although it drops off a little more towards the extreme edges and corners of the frame. Colour fringing is controlled particularly well, and there’s fairly little barrel and pincushion distortion at the short and long ends of the zoom range respectively.

Best Canon wide-angle lens: Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM | A

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This full frame Sigma ultra-wide lens is almost as wide as you can get

Specifications

Mount: Canon EF
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Autofocus type: Ultrasonic (ring-type)
Stabilizer: No
Minimum focus distance: 0.24m
Filter thread: None
Dimensions (WxL): 102 x 132mm
Weight: 1,150g

Reasons to buy

+
Immense maximum viewing angle
+
Half the price of the Canon 11-24mm

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly big and heavy
-
Only the mounting plate is weather-sealed

The upgraded ‘Art’ edition of Sigma’s 12-24mm lens goes head-to-head with the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM (opens in new tab) (not listed here because it costs so much!), but only costs about half the price. It has a constant-aperture design, generally preferred by enthusiast and professional photographers, and the optical path incorporates an extra-large-diameter aspherical element and five premium FLD (Fluorite-grade Low Dispersion) elements. Fluorine coatings are applied to the front and rear elements, and the mounting plate is weather-sealed. The uprated ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system is faster than before, though this Art lens is rather bigger and heavier than the older edition. Sharpness and contrast are excellent, and sharpness doesn’t drop off too much even at the extreme corners of the frame, despite the ultra-wide maximum viewing angle. Overall, it’s the best-buy zoom on the market for full-frame DSLRs, if you want maximum viewing width.

This Tamron full frame lens has an f/2.8 max aperture and stabilization

Specifications

Mount: Canon EF
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Autofocus type: Ultrasonic (ring-type)
Stabilizer: Yes
Minimum focus distance: 0.28m
Filter thread: None
Dimensions (WxL): 85 x 145mm
Weight: 1,110g

Reasons to buy

+
Combines a fast f/2.8 aperture with stabilization
+
G2 edition has significant upgrades

Reasons to avoid

-
Rather pricier than the original edition
-
Typically, it has no filter thread

This Tamron gives a maximum viewing angle that’s midway between that of the Canon 16-35mm and Sigma 14-24mm. It shares the fast and constant f/2.8 aperture of the Sigma, while adding the bonus of a highly effective 4.5-stop optical stabilizer, so it's a great all round compromise. One drawback is that the Tamron is nearly twice the weight of the Canon 16-35mm, but that’s the price you pay for the faster f/2.8 aperture rating. High-quality optics include a specially developed XGM (eXpanded Glass Molded Aspherical) element and several LD (Low Dispersion) elements, and the G2 features a newly developed coating, which is used in addition to the previous lens’s mix of nano-structure and conventional coatings. Image quality and handling are highly impressive and, even though the G2 is a third more expensive than the original edition, it’s still good value at the price.

Canon RF

Best Canon wide-angle lens: Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM

(Image credit: Canon)
The current top-spec ultra-wide zoom for EOS R mirrorless cameras

Specifications

Mount: Canon RF
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Autofocus type: Nano USM
Stabilizer: Yes
Minimum focus distance: 0.28m
Filter thread: 82mm
Dimensions (WxL): 89x127mm
Weight: 840g

Reasons to buy

+
Premium image quality and handling
+
Filter thread with detachable hood

Reasons to avoid

-
Typically weighty for an f/2.8 zoom
-
Very expensive to buy

This is a big lens that feels less well matched to a slim-line mirrorless camera body, but the Canon lens certainly goes large on features and handling. The main reason for its price and size is that it’s an f/2.8 constant aperture zoom. As usual for a Canon L-series lens, it has tough, weather-sealed build quality of a pro-grade standard. Handling bonuses include a 5-stop optical stabilizer, a customisable control ring and a detachable hood, which enables the fitment of 82mm filters or filter holders. Image quality is gorgeous, although corner-sharpness could be a little better when shooting wide-open at the short end of the zoom range.

Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6

(Image credit: Rod Lawton)
A solid if unremarkable budget option for Canon RF users

Specifications

Mount: Canon RF / Leica M / Sony E / Nikon Z
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Autofocus type: None
Stabilizer: No
Minimum focus distance: 0.15m
Filter thread: 77mm
Dimensions (WxL): 69.4x84mm
Weight: 497g

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value for money
+
Can take regular filters

Reasons to avoid

-
Restrictive f/5.6 aperture
-
Lacklustre optical performance

There aren't a lot of budget options for RF users (yet), so if you're looking for a relatively low-cost lens, this manual-focus optic from Laowa is worth a look. The Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6 has no image stabilizer, or any ability to communicate with a camera at all (its 'dumb' design means you're on your own), but it does provide an effective wide-angle perspective at a much cheaper price than Canon's own-brand RF lenses. Also, its moderately convex front element means you should be able to attach regular filters, which is not exactly common for wide-angle zooms. 

In our review, we found the Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6 to be optically somewhat lacking. It does well at the widest settings, producing images that are crisp and clear, but when we zoomed in to 24mm, we noticed a distinct lack of sharpness. The f/5.6 maximum aperture can be a little restricting too. As long as you are aware going in that you're not going to get the crystal-clear sharpness of a lens with a four-figure price tag, this is a solid budget choice. 

How we test lenses

We test lenses using both real world sample images and lab tests. Our lab tests are carried out scientifically in controlled conditions using the Imatest testing suite, which consists of custom charts and analysis software that measures resolution in line widths/picture height, a measurement widely used in lens and camera testing. We find the combination of lab and real-word testing works best, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics.

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