Which Nikon lens should you choose for landscape? Shooting landscape from 14mm to 280mm

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If you are thinking to get a lens but can’t decide which one, check out this post “which lens should you choose” where I have listed the recommended lenses for the different shooting occasions.

In the post, I recommended the Nikon 14-24mm/Nikon 17-35mm and Nikon 24-70mm for shooting landscape.

Some people ask,  Is it true that you need a use a wide angle lens to shoot landscape? The answer to that is “Generally yes, but depends”

The idea of using wide angle lens is that so you can fit more in the frame. You must also need to know that wide angles lens tends to push everything back a distance in order to fit more in the frame.

Human eyes  tend to have the same magnification of a 50mm to 85mm lens but a Field of View (FOV) similar to a 20mm. So if you are using a lens that is <50mm, you can expect the subject to look further away than what you are seeing with your eyes.

Now if you apply this concept to the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and 24-70mm f/2.8:

If you shoot at 14mm, you can expect the FOV coverage to be more than what your eyes can see (i.e. covering wider angle than your eyes), but the subject(s) will look much smaller (i.e. appear to be more distance away). You will find shooting at 14mm can be quite tricky.

If you shoot at 20mm, you can expect the FOV coverage to be similar to what your eyes can see, but the subject(s) will still look  smaller.

If you shoot at 50mm, you can expect the FOV coverage to be narrower than what your eyes can see, but the subject(s) will  look the same size. So a 50mm lens is like capturing the centre part of what your eyes are seeing.

For more details, here is a post showing the difference between 14mm, 20mm and 24mm.

So back to the topic “Which Nikon lens should you choose for landscape?” I recommend anything that starts from 20mm or 24mm and up to 70mm. My choice of lenses  are of cause the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 combo. But if I want to travel light, I will replace the 14-24mm f/2.8 with the 20mm f/2.8. While wide angle lenses are used more often for landscape shooting, there is no rule as to which lens you must use to shoot landscape. Experiment and practice to find out which focal length suit your style the most.

For myself, I have actually used  all the lenses  below to shoot landscape, ranging from 14mm to 280mm. Check out some samples below.

Is this all you ever need from Nikon ? 

14mm  (Nikon 14-24 f/2.8)

20mm (Nikon 20mm f/2.8)

20mm (Nikon 20mm f/2.8)

20mm (Nikon 20mm f/2.8)

24mm (Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8)

24mm (Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8)

32mm (Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8)

38mm (Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8)

50mm (Nikon 50mm f/1.4)

50mm (Nikon 50mm f/1.4)

85mm (Nikon 85mm f/1.4)

200mm (Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII)

200mm (Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII)

280mm (Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII + TC-14E)


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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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Comments and Feedback? Fire away !

avatar Anonymous says:

Your shots are great, no heavy lens reviews and no nonsense. I though have a question, with regards to long term investment value, which would you go for, Nikon 35mm f/1.4 prime or a more versatile but not truly needed 24-70mm f/2.8?

In regards to investment value, I would say the Nikon 35mm will probably hold its value better. It is a newer lens, a brilliant lens for street photography and wedding.

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