Wide-angle lenses are the go-to for most landscape photographers, but longer lenses are often seen as underrated. In this video, two professional landscape photographers take either end of the lens spectrum to see who can produce the best shots in the mountains of Wales.
There are undoubtedly go-to lenses when it comes to landscape photography and they typically have wide focal lengths. When I first tried landscape photography I used a 17-40mm, but I was in a small photography group with one of the best landscape photographers in New Zealand, and he surprised me with the recommendation of a 70-200mm instead. I had always seen landscape photography as synonymous with wide-angle lenses and I couldn't imagine how I would create "landscapes" with such a long lens.
While I've never become much of a landscape photographer — and I will blame where I live for that — I learned a lot from that advice about longer focal lengths in the discipline. It's easy to get wrapped up in creating the same, almost formulaic landscapes with a wide-angle lens, ensuring you have your foreground interest and compositional elements in place. However, a change of focal length to something further reaching can quite literally change your perspective. This collaboration between Nigel Danson and James Popsys, two favorites here at Fstoppers, is a great look into what can be achieved at both ends of the focal length spectrum.