Mike Bell • Choosing Lenses

What lenses do I need for landscape photography? Does this sound like a familiar question? There is no simple answer to this but, as Mike Bell explains, there are a number of factors to take into consideration

Landscape photographs can be taken by almost any camera but most keen beginners soon get themselves a DSLR. Their next question, and the one I am most frequently asked on photographic workshops, is “what lenses do I need for landscapes?”

The first thing to consider is what kind of scenes you like to photograph. Are they big vistas with a lot of sky or more intimate images conveying the feel of a place via a careful selection of small details? Take a look at the images made by photographers you admire. Books and magazines often tell you the lens or focal length used but remember to note which camera model was used and correct for the crop factor. Wide-angle on 35mm film or a full frame DSLR is generally considered to mean 16-35mm. On a DSLR with an APS-C sensor wide-angle means 10-22mm, and on the four-thirds system it means 8-18mm. For online images you may need to use some Exif viewer software or a browser plugin to see this information.

Another recommendation is a period using the kit lens that comes with your DSLR to help you decide what works for you. After a while, use your ...

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About Author

Mike Bell

Mike is a landscape photographer based in Perthshire, Scotland where his photographs have been used by Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust, Visit Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland and local tourist associations.

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