The best landscape photography lens
Whether you are a beginner and just getting started or you are more advanced and would like to explore a little bit more in photography, there is one question that you will ask when approaching landscape photography: how many lenses do I need for Landscape Photography and which ones should I actually use?
Know this, if you are looking to buy a brand new kit of lenses, upgrading the one that you already have, or just acquire other combinations of lenses, you will find a vast offer with so many good products to choose from that it will make the selection process quite interesting.
You will go through so many different types of lenses and categories. From the fisheye lens, ultra-wide lens, wide-angle zoom, mid-range zoom, telephoto lens, and the list just continues. Remember that a lens is an investment that usually lasts a long time. It is important to ensure you buy the best quality you can afford. In many cases, the lenses are more important than the camera. You might ask yourself: what’s the point of having a great camera if you are going to use cheap lenses?
Lenses for Landscape Photography
Now, the best landscape photography lenses are the wide-angle zoom lens and the telephoto zoom lens.
The wide-angle lens is the most loved by landscape photographers. It helps frame a part of the area in front of you, more than you can see with your eyes.
When you think of landscape photography you tend to imagine grandiose and dramatic scenes that are almost exclusively captured with wide-angle lenses.
A wide-angle is fundamental in landscape photography. It’s important not to use the same lens over and over in order to avoid creating predictable or repetitive images. For this purpose, you can try experimenting with the telephoto lens. This lens allows you to create a unique and totally different perspective.
But before we get into the specifics of each lens, we will mention how the use of these two lenses affects your photography and how to become familiar with the lenses and the focal lengths that you’ll use most often in the field.
As a landscape photographer, your trips will probably involve long walks and hikes to big mountains or other wild places, so you will want to travel as light as possible. By traveling lighter you will carry a clearer mind and be able to concentrate on being more creative while shooting. Traveling lighter will help you in the creation of compelling images.
Wide Angle Zoom Lens
A wide-angle lens will give you a very different perspective of the world. This lens is capable of including a large portion of your landscape from the foreground that is right up in front of the camera to the middle ground, the background and the sky. These images are stunning because we are not used to seeing the world in that kind of panoramic view. Wide-angle lenses allow you to get very close to something in the foreground and emphasize it.
Death Valley – USA
Camera lenses are defined with respect to the field of view that the eye sees naturally. 50 mm on a full-frame or 35 mm camera on a cropped sensor camera. This is a normal focal length. Any wider angle than this is considered to be wide-angle. One of the best wide-angle options is 10mm to 20mm on a cropped sensor camera or 16mm-35mm on a full-frame camera.
Since wide-angle lenses include a lot in the frame. You need to be more vigilant to make sure there are no distractions. Remember, everything in the frame should have a purpose.
Telephoto Zoom Lens
The most common use of a telephoto lens is to bring a distant subject closer. For this reason, it is also widely used in nature and wildlife photography when, for security reasons, it is not possible to get close to the subject.
In photographing the great American landscapes and canyons, the telephoto lens allows you to photograph even a subject that goes beyond the canyon. Often a telephoto or telephoto zoom lens is the only solution to bring a distant subject to the fore. Think of it like a binocular that allows you to see something that is really far from you.
Background And Foreground
A normal lens, like a 50 mm on a full-frame camera, shows you the perspective between the foreground and the background in a very similar to how the human eye sees it.
A wide-angle lens will make the foreground larger and the background smaller, with an increase in the apparent distance between the foreground and the background.
A telephoto lens gives the largest background looming over a small foreground. So even if you can get close to the subject, you might want to use a telephoto lens rather than a wide-angle lens or normal lens to change the appearance of the image and therefore the effect it will have on the viewer.
Wide-angle zoom is a powerful landscape photography lens, but so is a telephoto zoom lens. The telephoto lens offers a unique feature, compression. Telephoto lenses tend to compress and you can use this feature to create unusual landscape shots. In this case, the point from which you shoot is fundamental. Subjects that lend themselves best are those that present a succession of planes looking towards the horizon, such as mountains or hills. Get creative by focusing on a particular area of the scene and producing an abstract effect on the image. This usually turns out to be very engaging for the viewers.
A few last words…
The two best lenses for landscape photography: A wide-angle zoom lens and a telephoto zoom lens are the most commonly used lenses for landscape photography. Use them, practice, learn to observe with them and you will have so much fun and achieve great quality results.
Remember though, studying the composition of your photographs is one of the most important steps in landscape photography because being a somewhat static subject the risk to get boring or not engaging pictures is higher. If you can take your time and study your view carefully, choose the perfect time and perspective. This way, you can create stunning and breathtaking shots.