Long Lens Landscapes

Landscapes naturally tend to lend themselves to being photographed with wide-angle lenses. I am very fond of shooting landscapes at 14mm, and I love how landscapes look with such a wide view. Often there is so much you want to include to capture an amazing scene in front of you. My Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 lens is my primary landscape lens, even when hiking. The other landscape lens in my bag is the Nikon 24-120 f/4 VR lens. (Canon has a similar 24-105 f/4 IS lens). It's not the sharpest lens in the world, but I absolutely love the versatility of the zoom and it pairs beautifully with the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8. On hikes I use these two lenses only, and with the Nikon D810 camera I can crop into the frame during post processing if the 120mm is not sufficient. In the future I hope to add a 70-200 f/4 lens to my arsenal.

Recently, I have been experimenting a lot with the 24-120 f/4 lens, not at 24mm but zoomed in a lot more. I enjoy isolating different aspects of landscapes with the longer focal lengths and I enjoy the challenge of finding compositions to fit this different perspective. The 24-120 f/4 lens is an absolute necessity in my camera bag. If you are lucky to own a 24-120 or 24-105 lens, I highly encourage you to try shooting landscapes at these longer focal lengths and perhaps you may develop a new style to add to your portfolio.

A few important tips to remember when shooting at long focal lengths,

  • Shoot from a tripod. Make sure to eliminate any vibrations or camera shake as the long focal lengths will compound flaws in stability. Use a cable release.
  • Check your depth of field. At longer focal lengths your depth of field will minimize, use small apertures or shoot a sequence of focus stacked images for blending together later in post processing.
  • Focus on isolated nuances of the landscapes when looking for compositions.
  • Use longer focal lengths to simplify a complicated scene.

Below are some of my favourite "long lens" images captured over the past 6 months and their respective focal lengths.

Focal Length - 120mm

Focal Length - 120mm

Focal Length - 120mm

Focal Length - 120mm

Focal Length - 65mm

Focal Length - 65mm

Focal Length - 50mm

Focal Length - 50mm