When it comes to landscape photography, it is often normal to have many questions lingering on your mind, as missing a few technical details could mess up what would have otherwise been a great shot.
It takes a lot of precision to develop an awesome landscape photograph, which is why you don’t want to subject it to cheap trial and error.
Getting a good image outcome, first of all, begins with your choice of lens. The best lens for landscape photography would have features that afford the photographer wide-angle views, perfect subject isolation, and excellent close-ups. The focal length of the lens won’t, of course, be left out, as it happens to be a major determinant of what your pictures would look like.
Before we proceed, a yellow caution – Don’t for one second believe every lens a manufacturer advertises would serve your landscape photography fantasy.
It wouldn’t, which is why you need to pay detailed attention as we walk you down how to select one that fits your needs.
What Lens Do Most Landscape Photographers Prefer?
Wide-angle and ultra-wide angle lenses seem to be top of the chart regarding the most preferred lens for landscape photography.
Ask any landscape photographer about which out of wide-angle, standard zoom, telephoto, and a prime lens, their preferred option for landscape photography is, and they immediately go off about how wide-angle lenses allow them to capture so and so due to their large range of view and a field depth that spreads really wide.
You wouldn’t want to have them talk your head off on why they’ll pick it over the rest of the lens, which is why once they’ve hit the most important detail, which is a range of the focal length, you can ask them to stop.
Yes, the focal length is of undeniable importance when it comes to landscape photography.
Their focal lengths are usually around 14-35mm for wide and ultra-wide lenses. This isn’t to say you can’t find anyone less wide than this. There are also focal lengths between 10-12mm.
Still, wondering why landscape photographers adore the ultra-wide? Well, who wouldn’t, for a lens that allows you to capture and immerse the viewer in a large range of view and depth of field.
This is basically what many photographers giggle about. With these two image qualities, you’ll end up creating shots with consistently sharp focus, starting from the foreground to the background.
What mm Lens is Best for Landscape Photography?
As stated earlier, many landscape photographers prefer shooting with wide-angle lenses due to how well it allows them to capture the landscape.
To put a number to it, anything between 8mm-35mm serves this purpose quite well. It simply allows you to get everything or almost everything you want in the frame.
However, like anything else, the widely admired choice wouldn’t always be right for you, or more precisely stated, wouldn’t be right in every shooting condition.
Hence, having different mm options in your camera bag is wise.
Best Lens for Landscape Photography
01. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
If you’re a full-frame Canon DSLR user, this lens is an excellent choice. It carries the L-series label and features a sharp image quality and incredible focal range.
It is dynamic, fast, and has an ultrasonic focus system, with its minimum focusing distance being 11 inches.
02. Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM
For a photographer looking to give his image a professional look, the right lens for you is the Canon EF 15-35mm f/2.8.
Also, mirrorless users of the Canon brand would find this lens undependable.
Besides having an edge-to-edge sharpness, its image quality and fast autofocus make it the lens of dreams.
03. Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
For users of full-frame Nikon, this is one of the best landscape lenses you can find. It offers you wide-angle perspectives and is very durable.
A lens with a focal length like this allows you to shoot amazing near-far compositions with results that come out top-level. It is also lighter than what is commonly obtainable for f/2.8 zooms.
04. Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S
This was the first ultra-wide-angle lens Nikon produced for Z-mount cameras, and even now, it still remains one of the best landscape lenses for full-frame Nikon mirrorless cameras.
It is lightweight and also very portable. Filters can be attached directly to the front of the lens. This enhances the possibilities for different kinds of creativity.
It is also dust and water-resistant and features amazing optics for sharp shots.
Best Telephoto Lens for Landscape Photography
01. Canon EF 70-300mm
The counterpart Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM has a sharper image production than the 70-300mm. The downside is, however, its weight and size.
On the other hand, I’d more compact the 70-300mm, making it a better choice for landscape photography. It is also cheaper.
- Compact and easy fit in the camera bag
- Image stabilization
- Decent value for the price
02. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
Its performance in terms of sharpness is unparalleled. The contrast and color production are also excellent. Also, it is very durable and resistant to weather, making it an excellent option for telephoto landscape photography.
- Fast aperture
- Great for low light conditions
- Vibration reduction
- Good for handheld shooting
- Quiet autofocus
03. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS
The Sony FE, 70-200mm f/2.8, is a telephoto lens that features built-in image stabilization and amazing image quality.
While due to its weight, it can be hard to take along for hikes. Sony EF is quite sharp and performs excellently well when used for landscape photography.
- Fast aperture
- Great bokeh
- Dust resistant
- Moisture resistant
04. Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
Tamron SP 70-200mm is a great telephoto lens that any landscape photographer would find very useful.
It is sharp with a performance just as great as other lenses manufactured by the main manufacturers of the camera.
- Comes in Nikon, Sony, and Canon mounts
- Vibration compensation lowers camera unsteadiness
- Fast and quiet autofocus
Best camera for landscape photography
01. Nikon D850
This camera has an amazing 45.7-megapixel resolution and a very impressive dynamic range. Simply put, the D850 in its full-frame is hard to beat.
Nikon D850 camera will capture extraordinary detail for any landscape photographer and boasts excellent ISO performance. It also features a 153-point AF system.
The juicy part? It has a maximum burst rate of 9fps!
02. Canon EOS 5DS R
Featuring an outstanding resolution of 50.6 megapixels, Canon EOS 5DS R is, at the moment, at the top of the DSLR chart regarding pixel count.
It features a weather-sealed body, which many landscape photographers would find very useful, as Canon EOS allows them to shoot in a different climate or weather.
Canon EOS has a features of low-pass cancellation filter designed to improve the variety and produce sharp results.
03. Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 5D is a full-frame camera that has a resolution of 30.4 megapixels. It also boasts a speedy burst rate of 7fps.
This model is unique in that it serves almost every need a photographer has in his mind, making it a worthy number 3 in this review.
04. Nikon D780
This camera is equally an all-rounder and has a full-body frame. Its sensor is 24 megapixels, with an AF system of 51 points.
Nikon D780 comes with a 2.36M-dot touchscreen with easy handling. It has a dual card slot that makes operation very easy for the user.
What Kind of Camera Should I Get for landscape Photography?
Despite what most people believe, landscape photographs can be captured in any camera today.
However, the most popular options seem to be DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) and mirrorless camera. Let’s have a look at both of them.
01. DSLR Camera
This seems to be the most popular camera for landscape photography. Besides being versatile, they provide the user with outstanding ergonomics.
They feature a mechanical mirror and a pentaprism built to channel light from the lens to a viewfinder.
Also, triggering the shutter causes the mirror assembly to swing upward; the aperture also narrows to the selected f-top, enabling the shutter to open to allow enough light to pass through the lens, thereby exposing the sensor.
The process may take less than a second, with some models remarkably fast at capturing 13 or 14 fps. Speed, however, is not what most landscape photographers particularly find appealing.
When shooting, landscape photographers don’t usually want to shoot a long progressive burst.
Instead, they work with a slower shutter speed because they have selected smaller apertures that allow them to get front-to-back sharpness.
DSLRs can be customized and allow different lenses, accessories, and filters to be interchanged.
02. Mirrorless Cameras
Many landscape photographers are now finding mirrorless cameras exciting to use.
Fuji, Sony, and Olympus are currently leading the revolution, churning out a range of high-performing mirrorless models that stand toe-to-toe with the traditional DSLR.
As the name suggests, they don’t feature outdated reflex mirrors.
Alternatively, light directly moves through the lens to the sensor. This provides a more streamlined design. Images are composed through either an EVF or LCD screen at the rear.
The sensor size can range from very small to big. Photographers who use mirrorless cameras benefit from focus peaking and better video production.
With a quality that can’t be overlooked easily, the biggest advantage of the mirrorless camera is its size and weight.
They are usually smaller and handier than DSLRs, and with weight being a serious consideration for landscape photographers, the mirrorless cameras serve well in this regard.
Is Prime Lens Good for Landscape Photography?
Landscape photography often demands a variable number of focal lengths to be able to obtain a certain output variety. But is prime lens good enough for this?
The first thing you should know is that the focal length of prime lenses is fixed.
When contrasted with zoom lenses that provide the photographer with varieties of focal lengths, you observe that the view angle cannot be altered with prime lenses.
The only way, therefore, of magnifying your subject or bringing in more details in your shot is by getting closer to the object by yourself.
This often makes many people wonder what use then are prime lenses in landscape photography? If it has less to offer, why should one use it for landscape photography?
The answer to this lies in the fact that typically, landscape shots need either wide or ultra-wide-angle lenses with a focal length of 12mm-35mm.
This fact alone settles or quells whatever doubt there is about the inefficiency of prime lenses for landscape photographs.
Another downside of a prime lens for landscape photography is that it places limits on your shot options.
Read More Questions (FAQs)
What aperture do I need for landscape photography?
For a huge number of landscape photographers, their preferred aperture is somewhere around f/8, f/11, and so on.
This doesn’t mean you necessarily don’t have to bother yourself about affording exotic pro lenses or even an f/2.8 zoom.
The goal is to get the sharpest images that you can when your aperture is closed down. These days, an f/4 zoom is portable enough would serve this purpose.
What is the best Nikon lens for landscape photography?
The Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 has an almost flawless image quality. The optical design of this lens is so perfect that the front element is not large at all.
It is also ultra-light, making it a suitable lens for extended landscape shooting sessions. Also, expect a great image output when you stop down to around f/11.
What is the best Sony lens for landscape photography?
Currently, it isn’t easy to knock out Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN. It is well crafted and offers a user flawless image quality that can serve both exotic and decent budgets.
With this lens, you would not have to worry so much about capturing plenty of your intended subjects and still having the picture retain excellent quality.
Landscape photography requires plenty of details, ranging from aperture size and lens type to focal length.
Luckily for you, we have shown in clear terms how this applies practically to what your shots would look like and is the best option for excellent landscape photography.
We hope this serves as a reliable guide and reference manual on your journey to making awesome landscape photographs.