Do I need a new lens for landscape photography as a beginner?

Lerato Nketsi

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Apr 21, 2021
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Hey everyone, I am a beginner and I have a canon 4000d. I have been using it for sometime now and I am happy with the pictures, but every time I shoot landscapes I do not become satisfied. My lens is EFS18-55 mm. Do I need a new lens?
What aspect of the shots are you not satisfied with?
Exposure is not satisfying and I cannot zoom further when I am far!
Do you want to zoom in, or zoom out? I’m unclear what you are wanting. Exposure isn’t so much a function of the lens as it is the automatic settings in the camera. Try bracketing your shots, or if your comfortable with manual, take over and set the exposure manually. Another tip that will help intensify the colors on certain shots is to add a polarizing filter. It will only help on shots that are at right angles to the sun, but when it works, the colors are intensified by eliminating the reflections from lraves, water and just about anything that directly reflects the light.
not sure about the exposure part, you may need to post a photo as an example. but if you need more reach check out a longer lens. 70-200mm (or 70-300mm) might be more what you're looking for.
Just my personal view, but I think Landscape is less 'lens dependent' than other genres.

You don't need (or want) super-wide apertures and you don't really need very long telephoto lenses. You can often hike a bit to get closer to your scene, or find another viewpoint, rather than needing a longer zoom. And by stopping the lens a bit, most will give sharp results.

Landscape is more about choosing the right time of day for the best light, the right place and the best exposure. Plus investment in a sturdy tripod may be a better option than a new lens. Also, a good bag for your gear so you can hike to the best shots, and a waterproof jacket.

Landscape is not my speciality - but I have friends who excel at it, and they have a methodical approach to finding the best location and the ideal time of day to create wonderful images. They often go back to the same place many times to find the ideal location and time ..... but they seem to be less gear obsessed than portrait, bird or sports photographers who tend to push their equipment to the limits.
Ok. There are some aspects being missed here and not to downplay anyone, I think needs some info.
landscapes are a tricky thing unlike what many think. When your doign landscapes you have to deal not only with the light, but the atmosphere.
NO lens of ANY make or cost can sidebar that element. if you have a thick and hazy day, or if shooting in mid day, the colors will be typically bland.

now everyone will have an opinon so here is mine. (mine alone btw.)

Filters are key here for certian shots and moreover if your not using a tripod i would suggest such.
slower speed is far better than shooting at say 400 or 800 ISO.
Your camera has all the pre-loaded profiles atop the body including the landscape option. OK, that will do fine, but more time in planning and moreover setting the camera to a 100 ISO will greatly help.
The 18-55 is a low end budget consumer lens and though not the highest quality will work.
The core however is that the APS sensor will need some level of higher degree of lens quality to maximize the effect.

This would then be something along the lines between 20-50mm typically, because anything over that limits the field of view and anything under that starts to cause distortion that is unmistakable in such lenses.

Looking at KEH for starters, a 28-70 L series would run over $400 USD. So if looking for something under the $200 USD range the 28-135 which is a very common lens or a 28-105 will do the trick. if a prime lens, then anything around the 35-50mm range will work.

But such lenses typically are a bit more expensive.

yes a 20mm will work. or even a 17-35mm, but most are typically Quantaray lenses.

it really depends on the amount you want to spend.
No, you don't. The ones you've got are considered standard lenses. If you check online, you'll see that most beginner cameras come with an 18-55mm range.
One can certainly take landscape images with the 18-55 and I've gotten results with it on a crop sensor that exceeded my expectations. So I agree and would tell a beginner to shoot away with it. Eventually you will figure out what types of landscape shots on an 18-55 / crop sensor you can and cannot get. Then you can decide if you want get a full frame camera and/or perhaps a better lens. But, shoot away with what you have and experiment.

Also, many think of landscapes as taken with wider lenses but I've shot many with the 70-200 and a few with 300+mm. So, if you also have the 70-300 kit lens, you might find some interesting landscape opportunities with it that involve compression.
Hey everyone, I am a beginner and I have a canon 4000d. I have been using it for sometime now and I am happy with the pictures, but every time I shoot landscapes I do not become satisfied. My lens is EFS18-55 mm. Do I need a new lens?
Lerato, welcome to TPF.
First I feel that Landscape is probably the MOST lens heavy of all genres! I shoot pretty much all genres and a few of them professionally and use the best glass I can afford. I also use 50 MP cameras where detail is needed and high fps for sports. I use only L lenses for a reason.
IF your lens cannot resolve the detail it doesn't do much good to go with more MP. Landscape has tiny details such as a field of flowers or trees with leaves or blades of grass not to mention details that might be far away such as rocks or birds.If you print your photos for sale, the details will be just small blobs of color if your lens cannot resolve them which will limit the size of your prints. That's why so many landscape pros shoot 4x5 film instead of small digital snsors, to resolve all those small details and they show up clearly in a large print.
I that not everybody can afford very expensive pro gear but it's the EXACT same amount of work to use pro equipment as beginner equipment to produce an image. Consider that we NEVER know when we will take the BEST image we will ever take! To that end I would really regret that my best image I will ever take will be taken with a cell phone!
Also consider that we never know what post-process technologies are around the corner.
If that technology works miracles to high resolution files but doesn't do anything worthwhile for low resolution images, I would much prefer to hedge my images and be as ready as possible for the future!
I'm including, assuming it works, a link to The Digital Picture's comparative tool where you can plug in any Canon camera and any Canon lens and many other lenses as well to see the difference in resolution.
Good luck in you photographic journey!!
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens Image Quality
Personally, I would look at getting a good tripod and a nice set of filters. I would study everything landscape photography. I am no expert but I love to watch YouTube videos on the subject and those two things are normally in them. I think composing landscapes maybe one of, if not the hardest skills to master in photography. I think it also takes the user to be in good physical condition. Often times we can chase gear thinking it's going to change our imagery but I can tell you from experience, it doesn't. I believe the skill is between the ears in landscape photography.
Until you identify, specifically, what the issues are with your current lens, I wouldn't bother looking for another one.
Over the years I've used everything from a 180° field of view (fisheye) to tighter than a 4° field of view (extreme telephoto) for taking 'landscape' shots. The vast majority would be from a much reduced range of focal lengths, often simply using the kit zoom (like your 18-55), but these extremes have been useful sometimes.

You say your 18-55 doesn't satisfy you, that could be due to it being a consumer grade lens, which has adequate but not exceptional quality, it could be that it doesn't go wide enough for the views you want, of that it's not long enough to capture more distant parts. It could also be down to your compositional or technical skills & be nothing to do with the lens!
Exposure is not satisfying and I cannot zoom further when I am far!
I'd guess the exposure part is down to your technical skills (try adjusting exposure compensation) while 'zooming further when you are far' suggests you might want a longer focal length. See if you can borrow or rent a telephoto zoom something like a 50-200 might fit the bill to give you more ability to pick out distant subjects. Simply cropping your images will give you a idea of what the image might look like but will be lower in resolution...
18-55 is a decent range for landscape. Depending on exactly what you are trying to accomplish, especially if you want longer than the 18-55 can do, you might want to look at an 75-300 as a secondary lens. They can be found pretty cheap. Or if you want a single lens that's still wide angle and has a bit more reach, 24-70 or a 24-105. I would recommend studying landscape photography if that is what you are wanting to get into.
I think composing landscapes maybe one of, if not the hardest skills to master in photography.

Agreed, I agonize over composition in post. The best glass the highest resolution can't make up for poor composition. In fact I think a well-composed image is sometimes like magic drawing the eye away from some of the technical flaws.

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