All decent Landscape photography is carried out with a wide angle lens? A myth!

Nikon_Josh

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This post has been inspired by some of the very bad one track advice I see being offered on alot of forums online.

The minute anyone says they want a lens for landscape shots, the immediate advice is that the person should immediately buy a ultra wide angle lens. When I was starting out in photography a few years back, I had the same advice handed to me. Making me think the only lens to use for landscape work was a wide angle lens. I was naive when I first purchased a Sigma 10-20, I thought it would allow me simply take in vast scenes. Instead the effect of ultra wide made the foreground look huge and the background look tiny as we all know which is challenging to master.

Now I know better... I know that some great wide angle shots can be made in the mid range to telephoto range and I actually find it easier to make decent landscape shots using these ranges as they simply do not always require such an interesting foreground interest.

I think ultra wide lenses are specialist lenses and you have to use skill and talent to make them work well! I think in some cases if there is no foreground interest, then a ultra wide angle lens becomes a no no.

Yes a wide angle lens allows you to take in vast landscapes and I love using mine for the perspective it offers, it is probably my most used lens. But at the same time I wish some of these of so called experts would stop claiming that you can only use an ultra wide angle lens for landscape shots and anything longer is too tight.. it is complete BS and completely ignorant. A new photographer should be encouraged to make use of all different kinds of focal lengths if they wish to take landscape/cityscape/seascape photographs.

Anyway.. rant over.. :D
 

2WheelPhoto

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TOTAL MYTH. For exampole the 70-200 is commonly used by a photographer in NC I know to "frame a lansdcape pic" with a church against a mountain that a wide angle would capture as a spec.

To think the object of every landscape shot is to "just take a pic as wide as a lens will allow" is almost funny =)
 

unpopular

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I shoot nearly all my landscapes with a 200mm lens. I like the compression.

I've never even heard this advise before.
 

Overread

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I think ultra wide lenses are specialist lenses and you have to use skill and talent to make them work well!

Honestly any lens requires skill and talent to use well, not just wide angle lenses.

Yes a wide angle lens allows you to take in vast landscapes and I love using mine for the perspective it offers, it is probably my most used lens. But at the same time I wish some of these of so called experts would stop claiming that you can only use an ultra wide angle lens for landscape shots and anything longer is too tight.. it is complete BS and completely ignorant. A new photographer should be encouraged to make use of all different kinds of focal lengths if they wish to take landscape/cityscape/seascape photographs.

Anyway.. rant over.. :D

I think its important to remember that when many people ask "I want a landscape lens" or "I want a wideangle lens for landscape" they are not putting up that much info; as a result the replies they get back are always along very similar lines and polarize toward the wideangle lenses.
Like it or not many people start out thinking about landscapes as big vistas rather than selective detail elements - as such they first want and reach for the wide angle lenses. Learning to further their understanding that landscapes are not constrained to a specific series of focal lengths is a slightly more advanced concept and one that many have to come to discover on their own - through experimentation and trial and error. A specific structured course or suchlike would also give them this direction - on the net they've got to learn to do a bit on their own.
 

martinH123

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Lol.... :D

This post has been inspired by some of the very bad one track advice I see being offered on alot of forums online.

The minute anyone says they want a lens for landscape shots, the immediate advice is that the person should immediately buy a ultra wide angle lens. When I was starting out in photography a few years back, I had the same advice handed to me. Making me think the only lens to use for landscape work was a wide angle lens. I was naive when I first purchased a Sigma 10-20, I thought it would allow me simply take in vast scenes. Instead the effect of ultra wide made the foreground look huge and the background look tiny as we all know which is challenging to master.

Now I know better... I know that some great wide angle shots can be made in the mid range to telephoto range and I actually find it easier to make decent landscape shots using these ranges as they simply do not always require such an interesting foreground interest.

I think ultra wide lenses are specialist lenses and you have to use skill and talent to make them work well! I think in some cases if there is no foreground interest, then a ultra wide angle lens becomes a no no.

Yes a wide angle lens allows you to take in vast landscapes and I love using mine for the perspective it offers, it is probably my most used lens. But at the same time I wish some of these of so called experts would stop claiming that you can only use an ultra wide angle lens for landscape shots and anything longer is too tight.. it is complete BS and completely ignorant. A new photographer should be encouraged to make use of all different kinds of focal lengths if they wish to take landscape/cityscape/seascape photographs.

Anyway.. rant over.. :D
 
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Nikon_Josh

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I shoot nearly all my landscapes with a 200mm lens. I like the compression.

I've never even heard this advise before.

Really? There was a guy on here the other month who was arguing with someone when they recommended using a 70-200 for compressed landscape shots. I think it may of even been Overread who offered the recommendation to use the telephoto?? Can't remember now.

They said that they felt a telephoto lens would be useless for landscape photography.
 

2WheelPhoto

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Just curious Josh, the person you got this lens advice from...were they a proclaimed "natural light photographer" too? =)
 
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Nikon_Josh

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I think ultra wide lenses are specialist lenses and you have to use skill and talent to make them work well!

Honestly any lens requires skill and talent to use well, not just wide angle lenses.

Couldn't agree more, I was honestly not claiming otherwise. :thumbup: My claim was that a ultra wide angle is a specialist lens as it requires more of a learning curve than using a standard lens would involve... simply because the standard lens takes photos similar to how the eye sees and the wide angle lens does not. The human eye does not see the foreground as big and the background as small for example.
 
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Nikon_Josh

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Just curious Josh, the person you got this lens advice from...were they a proclaimed "natural light photographer" too? =)

:lmao:.... Hmmmm, I will have to ask them.. What;s the saying??? Natural light photographer= Person who can't operate a flash gun or has any knowledge of controlling light! :lol:
 

Bitter Jeweler

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Seen this before too.

Lens choice for just about anything relies solely on the creative vision for the specific subject.
My answer is always "it depends", and if the questioner doesn't understand that...well.........That says something.
 

cgipson1

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Agree with Bitter! You use the lens it takes to get the shot! Sometimes it is a UWA.. sometimes a long zoom! Period! :)
 

unpopular

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I think this advice comes from classical/cliche landscapes with a foreground and background both in sharp focus. However this is better accomplished with a tilt lens or view camera than limiting oneself to a given focal length range.
 

Compaq

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All lenses can be used for landscape photography.

If you have an eye for landscapes, you'll see the subjects and which focal length is suited. Two focal lengths can capture two entirely different photos of the same scene. UWA include and "drag out distances", tele lenses cut through and compresses distances. Beauty is found everywhere, whether it's a vast landscapes or a distant mountain top in golden light. Being able to see these subjects is key to landscape photography - and a true love of the nature won't hurt either. For example, Frequency on here has an attitude toward the nature that more people should have.
 

ahcigar1

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MYTH! One of my best photo's taken to this day and has won multiple awards including photo of the year was taken with a rented 50mm on my DX camera.
 

480sparky

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I occasionally take landscapes with my 2,000mm.

Of course, the 'land' is on the Moon, but it's still a landscape.
 

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