Telephoto Lens for Landscapes?
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Quick post today. The question that forms the title here today is one I often get, usually more of a surprised remark than a question. I get this because in case you haven’t noticed I am firstly a Landscape Photographer. Though I do other work also, primarily I shoot landscapes and people are often surprised to learn that I often opt for a long telephoto lens over a wide angle for such work. The shot above is an example of a Landscape shot on a telephoto lens.
So very briefly, heres why.
As you develop your way of seeing you will begin to understand that often there are pictures within pictures and rather than crop it later it is better to ‘zoom in’ and compose the shot correctly in the first place. This way you keep the quality by using all those wonderful mega pixels you camera has in the whole picture rather than cutting (cropping) a smaller section out later. So thats the practical reason. But, there is a creative reason too. That is that you should encourage yourself to look into the scene in front of you and pick out the interesting shot. Using a long zoom lens is ideal for this, that way you can start at the wide end, shoot, then zoom into your scene and shoot again. Same scene, different picture. Make sense?
Here are is an example. Im using a Fujifilm XC50-230mm Lens X-T1 – Black lens here with a Fujifilm X-T1 16 MP Compact System Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) camera.
The whole scene, shot at 50mm. Its, OK but looking deeper I spot a a better shot.
So, here is what I spotted. I like the way the single noble tree sits within a double sweeping scape of both the ploughed lines left and the sheep trails right. I also like the contrast of the green pasture against the darker ploughed field. Most of all I like the ghostly background trees in shadow at the back of the scene. Now If I just crop that out later it wont be good. I want to use all the camera power (pixels) so I get all the detail just in that smaller rectangle. So, I need to zoom in.
There it is, zoomed right in to 230mm on the lens … A simple, composed Landscape picked out from a larger view. And I got all the cameras resolution to play with which gives me all that detail.
Its not always practical to walk all the way over there and use a wide lens, so thats an example of why I would use a telephoto lens for a Landscape Photograph.