The Best Lens for Landscape Photography: A Comprehensive GuideMay 13, 2022
There are many different types of lenses available on the market, and it can be difficult to decide which one is best for your needs. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of lenses and provide examples of why each one is great for landscape photography. We'll also provide a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best lens for your needs!
Why a Wide Angle Lens would be my first choice for landscape photography.
If landscape photography is your thing, the first type of lens you should consider is a wide-angle lens. Wide-angle lenses are great for landscape photography because they allow you to capture a large field of view. For example, if you're photographing a mountain range, a wide-angle lens will allow you to capture the entire scene in one photo. Wide-angle lenses are also great for capturing objects in the foreground while still including the background scenery.
A lens is considered Wide-Angle at 24mm on a full-frame camera, or, 16mm on a crop sensor camera. Anything wider than this is considered Ultra Wide Angle.
Wide-angle lenses are also very versatile, especially if you have a zoom lens that allows you to shoot wide, and then zoom in if needed. A great example is the classic 24mm to 70mm lens.
If you're looking for a versatile lens that will allow you to capture a variety of landscapes, then a wide-angle lens is a great starting point.
An Ultra Wide Angle Lens is even better for landscape photography!
An ultra-wide-angle (UWA) lens is even better for landscape photography than a standard wide-angle lens. An ultra-wide-angle lens has a field of view that is even wider than a standard wide-angle lens, which means you can capture even more of the scene in your photo. A wide-angle lens allows you to capture what your eyes can see!
90% of my images are taken with my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. This is a full-frame UWA lens and allows me to get really close to my subject while still being able to fit everything in.
While an ultra-wide-angle lens is not necessary for landscape photography, it can be a great addition to your camera bag if you want to capture the widest possible field of view.
Ultra wide-angle lenses are great for capturing vast landscapes, cityscapes, and astrophotography.
The downside of ultra-wide-angle lenses is that they can cause distortion, especially at the edges of the frame. This distortion can be corrected in post-processing, but it is something to keep in mind when choosing an ultra-wide-angle lens.
Tips on how to avoid distortion when using an ultra-wide-angle lens
It is impossible to avoid distortion completely with an Ultra Wide Angle lens. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of distortion.
- Keep your camera level. When you tilt your camera up or down, the distortion is amplified and will be harder to remove. Although, this can be a great effect if you want something different.
- Don't get too close to your foreground. The closer you get to a subject, the more it will distort. That's why Ultra Wide Angle lenses are rarely used for portraits, you simply have to get too close and the result is a very weird distorted face!
- Avoid straight lines. When composing, avoid including things that are normally straight, like light poles, signs and buildings. If you can adjust your composition to avoid having these in your frame the distortion is less obvious.
Note: It is easy to remove the distortion when post-processing your images.
Using my UWA 14-24mm Lens I am able to get close to the foreground and also capture the vast landscape.
What's the difference between a wide-angle lens and an ultra-wide-angle lens?
The main difference between a wide-angle lens and an ultra-wide-angle lens is the field of view. A lens is considered an ultra-wide-angle lens when it covers focal lengths shorter than 24mm in a full-frame equivalent field of view. This includes prime lenses as well as zoom lenses.
Zoom lenses can be classified as ultra-wide-angle lenses if the wide end of the focal range is below 24mm. For example, both the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G and Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR are considered ultra-wide-angle lenses when mounted on a full-frame camera.
What about a Fish Eye Lens?
Some of the ultra-wide-angle lenses are of fisheye type, which means that they have an extreme field of view and can distort the images. Fisheye lenses are not typically used for landscape photography, but they can be used to create interesting effects.
Fisheye lenses are available in both prime and zoom varieties.
Telephoto Lens for Landscape Photography
Another type of lens you may want to consider is a telephoto lens. Telephoto lenses are ideal for landscape photography because they allow you to zoom in on distant subjects. Telephoto lenses are often used in wildlife photography and sports photography, but they can also be used for landscape photography.
Telephoto lenses are available in both prime and zoom varieties. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, while zoom lenses have a variable focal length.
A popular telephoto lens for landscape photography is 70-200mm.
When the scenery is extremely vast and there is no real subject to shoot with a wide-angle lens, it can be a good idea to grab a telephoto lens and search for compositions that you would otherwise miss.
A telephoto lens can also be used to compress the foreground and background. When you use a telephoto lens to take pictures of landscapes, you can make the foreground and background look closer together. This can create a unique look in your photos.
The downside of using a telephoto lens for landscape photography is that they are often heavy and bulky, which can make them difficult to carry around. They also have a narrower field of view than wide-angle lenses, so you will have to be more selective with your compositions.
Using a kit lens for landscape photography
When you're starting out with landscape photography, it's tempting to go right for the expensive lenses you see a majority of landscape photographers using.
But if you don't want to spend all your money on equipment, there are plenty of reasons why a kit lens might be the perfect lens for you.
- A kit lens is often the cheapest way to get started in photography. If you're not sure whether landscape photography is for you, it makes sense to start with a cheaper option.
- A kit lens is usually lighter and more compact than other lenses, making it easier to carry around. This is especially important if you plan on hiking or backpacking to get to your shooting location.
- A kit lens often has a wider field of view than other lenses, which can be helpful when you're trying to capture a wide expanse of landscape in one photo.
- Many kit lenses come with image stabilization, which can be beneficial when shooting in low light or at long exposures.
- Kit lenses are often versatile, meaning they can be used for a variety of different genres of photography, not just landscape.
So, if you're just getting started in landscape photography, don't discount the kit lens - it might be exactly what you need to get started.
No matter what type of lens you choose, make sure it's one that will work well with your camera. Different cameras have different mount types, so it's important to choose a lens that is compatible with your camera. With the right lens, you'll be able to take your landscape photography skills to the next level!
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Even the most experienced photographers can ruin a photo with one small mistake. You spend all that time setting up your tripod and camera, but forget to check one thing and the photo is ruined.