I’ve been a landscape and outdoor photographer for many years now. It started off as a passion and through a very successful Instagram channel (if you haven’t seen my page you can check it out here) I have been fortunate enough to turn it into a successful career. Through these years of experience and testing I have experimented with all different lenses and cameras. Today I’d like to share with you my opinion on the best lenses for landscape photography. These are all Nikon lenses, as this is my preferred brand. There are similar lenses for Canon and other brands however. Below is a short video where I talk through the lenses and also some other items I like to always have in my camera bag.
I share weekly tutorial videos on Youtube, so if you enjoyed there, take a look at my Youtube channel here.
My camera – http://amzn.to/2o2bK83
My main lens – http://amzn.to/2EpooEq
My wide angle – http://amzn.to/2HfUynq
My telephoto – http://amzn.to/2CkSdUw
My drone – http://amzn.to/2nVZupK
My polariser filter – http://amzn.to/2ClSJ4D
My Hoodman Loope – http://amzn.to/2o5kXfa
The Holy Trinity
The lenses I have spoken about in the video above are known by Nikon uses as ‘The Holy Trinity’. This may be a bit of a cheesy name but they are the core kit of a lot of professional photographers. They cover focal lengths from 14mm all the way through to 200mm, all with high quality, fast glass. They have vibrant colours and contrast They are honestly the only lenses I use for landscape photography. I do have plenty of prime lenses in my kit, but I use them for portrait, lifestyle and documentary work.
It’s not all about price
These are expensive lenses and I know a lot of amateurs won’t be able to afford them. You don’t have to spend this much to buy lenses that work well for landscapes. Let me break down the elements that I think are important.
Lenses with large apertures often come with a high price tag, but these aren’t too important for landscapes. The two things that large apertures allow are a very shallow depth of field (blurring out the background around subjects in photos) and fast shutter speeds (as large apertures let in a lot of light). Neither of these are particularly important in landscapes, as you generally want everything to look sharp, and you can use a tripod and use slow shutter speeds. The important thing is to have good quality glass in the lens.
Focal length is important, but don’t be tempted to go for really long range focal length like 18mm – 200mm lenses. It seems tempting at first because these allow you to save a lot of money by buying one lens instead of two or three. But these require a lot of complicated mechanisms to allow for such a range and are generally poor quality.
Start off with one high quality lens (as good lenses last a long time) and add to them slowly. My Nikon 24 – 70mm f/2.8, is an amazing all round lens to start off with. If you can’t afford to go that high end then try and pick something with a similar focal length as it gives you flexibility without impacting quality. 16 – 35 mm is also a great focal length range and Canon have a particularly good one of these lenses.
There are so many lenses out there for so many brands that I can’t possible comment on them all. If you are after advice on a particular lens then you can ask in the comments below. I would recommend reading lots of reviews online before forking out large amounts of money on one.