Don't Overlook the Power of a Long Lens in Landscape Photography

No doubt, when most of us think about landscape photography, we think about using wide angle lenses to capture a lot of a scene in one shot. However, long lenses can be quite useful for landscape work as well, and this great video explores why you should consider using one for your own photos.

Coming to you from Steve O'Nions, this fantastic video explores the usefulness of a lens with a longer focal length for landscape photography. Most of us use a wide angle lens for the majority of our landscape photographs, but a longer focal length can be a great alternative and a way to distinguish your photos from the crowd. It can be a way to pick off more intricate details to create abstract images, or you can take advantage of the increased compression to bring elements together and create a sense of size. And the great part is that since landscape photography generally does not need wide apertures, you can carry the lighter and less expensive f/4 zooms and the like. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

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Cool Cat's picture

What a great idea. Because of this video, I just ordered a set of 3 (+1, +2, +4) Tiffen 58mm Close-up Lens from B&H. They only cost $39.95 which seem pretty incredible for 20 5-Star reviews. Can't wait.

John Xantoro's picture

Tele lenses are certainly a must have for landscape photography but I personally found myself to abandon longer tele in favor of short tele (75-120 approx.). When I looked at my older photos I often wished I had captured a bit more of the landscape, to give context, framing and interest.

Long tele lenses can give you the option of nice minimal and graphic shots but it can also get boring pretty quickly, imo. I had a similar personal development in portraiture. A torso shot with completely blown out background really does almost nothing for me, unless there is a special reason (events etc.).

In general, I find myself gravitate more and more towards moderate focal lengths, between 24 and 100 or so.

RT Simon's picture

I thought they were a necessity. And not all landscapes are equal.

paul aparycki's picture

Cityscapes are a form of landscape . . . with that in mind, look up the work of Jay Maisel, a master of long lens work.