The Challenge of Landscape Photography With Prime Lenses

A lens like a 16-35mm f/2.8 is often the workhorse of choice for landscape photographers, but have you ever tried heading out with nothing but prime lenses? This interesting video shows you some of the benefits of doing so. 

Coming to you from Craig Roberts of e6 Vlogs, this great video follows him as he shoots some landscape photos on a foggy day using just prime lenses. None of this is to restart the same old primes versus zooms debate. Rather, I think Roberts highlights an interesting benefit of primes. With a zoom lens, when you find an angle or position you like, you can simply adjust the focal length to get the framing just right. That is not possible with a prime lens, of course, and you might find that even promising compositions aren't possible due to not having the right focal length available. That sounds like a downside, and sure, it can be frustrating, but it forces you out of habitually making the same compositional decisions over and over due to the convenience of a zoom, and you might find new, creative ways of framing scenes that you would have never discovered otherwise. Check out the video above to see Roberts in action. 

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3 Comments
Paulus van Aken's picture

when I started taking photo's, around 1961, there were no zoom lenses, only primes, so the first 22 years of my career I had nothing else.
Never thought that it was a challenge. And I took quite a lot of landscapes......

Timothy Gasper's picture

There were nothing but primes in 1960 when i first started out in photography. Yeah....they made zooms, but they were questionable at best in those days. Since then technology has grown exponentially with zooms and many of them even exceed some primes. We were used to moving in or out and changing angles with the primes. And most any good reputable photographer had at least the 3 prime combo needed for their work. Now it's so much easier to just slap on a high-quality fast zoom and stand in one location to rap off a plethora of beautiful images. Still appreciate the primes though and it's not about which is better. Point is.....we worked with what we had at the time, even now. Enjoy your journey regardless of what you choose to use. Hell...just shoot the damn thing and smile.

Antonius Lecuona's picture

Started of with primes in the 80's with a Contarex, experienced the thrill of zoomz with Nikon in late 90's, lost my creativity and went back to primes with Fuji with energized creativity. QED.