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24mm Versus 200mm Lens Landscape Photography Shootout

Wide-angle lenses are the go-to for most landscape photographers, but longer lenses are often seen as underrated. In this video, two professional landscape photographers take either end of the lens spectrum to see who can produce the best shots in the mountains of Wales.

There are undoubtedly go-to lenses when it comes to landscape photography and they typically have wide focal lengths. When I first tried landscape photography I used a 17-40mm, but I was in a small photography group with one of the best landscape photographers in New Zealand, and he surprised me with the recommendation of a 70-200mm instead. I had always seen landscape photography as synonymous with wide-angle lenses and I couldn't imagine how I would create "landscapes" with such a long lens.

While I've never become much of a landscape photographer — and I will blame where I live for that — I learned a lot from that advice about longer focal lengths in the discipline. It's easy to get wrapped up in creating the same, almost formulaic landscapes with a wide-angle lens, ensuring you have your foreground interest and compositional elements in place. However, a change of focal length to something further reaching can quite literally change your perspective. This collaboration between Nigel Danson and James Popsys, two favorites here at Fstoppers, is a great look into what can be achieved at both ends of the focal length spectrum.

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2 Comments

Jean-francois LE GUEN's picture

200mm is not quite "end of the spectrum" 300mm or even 400mm give very good landscape pictures too! Maybe some would even go for 600 or 800mm with some big moons on top of a night landscape :) but that's maybe quite extreme!

Kevin Harding's picture

As a travel. landscape and street tog I have to say that I couldn't be without a long lens in the bag, even on my month long excursions where the weight can make my legs buckle !
It used to be the 100-400 and especially in Nepal (Khumbu - Everest - region), the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and last Summer in the Italian Dolomites, that 400mm came in very handy indeed. However it's a heavy lens and the much lighter Tamron 70-180 will be coming on my next expedition as upon checking the focal lengths, mostly used in those countries, I found the majority were shot between 100 & 200mm.

Having recently reduced my pack weight a set of lightweight primes (18mm, 24mm, 35mm) and the aforementioned Tammy 70-180 will complete my landscape backpacking kit for next time out.
There are many examples of 200-400mm landscape shots (inc. panos of between 2 & 7 shots) from the above mentioned countries on my website and Instagram as thedragonsfather (links in my profile) if anyone cares to peruse them.