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Looking for the right lenses for your landscape and other photography?

Cameta Camera has the real deal for you:

Cameta Camera

The Best Focal Length Lenses
For Landscape Photography

By Amy Renfrey & Dan Davenport

Please Note: For more information and specials related to lens selection, place your cursor over the double-underlined links (information supplied by Kontera.com.)

As landscape photographers, we have one overarching goal - show a wide expanse of the land and sky in front of the camera. And to do this, a lens that encompasses a wide view is the right tool for the job. Lenses are selected by Focal Length - a measure of how close - or far away - the lens appears to bring the subject. And though today's digital cameras use shorter lenses to achieve photos, we will use 35mm focal length equivalents that are in common use today. Most digital cameras today incorporate a zoom lens that makes it easy to compose your photo right in the viewfinder rather than correct composition errors on the computer later.

For most photographers, investing in many expensive lenses may not be in our immediate plans. But, investing in a moderate wide angle in the 28mm to 35mm range (or a zoom lens that includes that range) is the best choice for great landscape photographs. These lenses allow for tight compositions and easy filter use, which in the end can provide a tremendous number of photographic options and flexibility.

Gay Head, Martha's VineyardWider angle lenses (lower focal length numbers) will provide a more expansive view of your subject - like this photo, taken with a 21mm lens, of a beach on Martha's Vineyard, Massachussets (USA) - Gay Head in the background.

And longer focal length lenses can sometimes provide an exciting new perspective for landscape - and cityscape - photos by "compressing" the foreground and background of the photo... like this photo of the Reuss River and Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Here is a more "normal" perspective from street level of this famous bridge.

An excellent educational and experimental project to see how perspective changes with focal length is to use different focal lengths both from the same distance (zoom in) and from varying distances that produce the same image size. For example, while standing in one position, take images at 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 70mm. Then, take a similar series of photos, but change your distance from the subject and keep the main feature of the photo at the same size. When you review the results, you will be startled to see how the different focal lengths create dramatically different photos. Small changes to create big results.

Along with lens selection, a basic rule of photography is that the steadier you hold the camera during exposure, the larger you can make prints to display. And for landscape photos, where you really want big prints, this is especially important. And the right way to take the sharpest photos is using a tripod. If you will be hiking or walking around town and taking pictures, definitely look for a lightweight carbon fiber tripod. Another interesting tripod that is VERY portable, though not as stable as a tripod that stands on the ground, is a Table Top Tripod. Here is an interesting article about how to use mini tripod as chest pod to steady your photo when you don't have a table handy or feel like carrying a full sized tripod.

You will also want to make sure you have good Composition in your photos. Here is a great article on The Top Three Photographic Composition Tips.

And another article tells you how to hold a camera vertically and horizontally for the sharpest photos when you aren't using a tripod.

So the best tools for landscape photographers are a wide angle lens and a tripod. For variety, longer lenses can be used, but the wide angle lenses (or wide angle settings on a zoom lens) will give you the photos that you will want to hang on your walls and proudly display.

Subscribe to Amy Renfrey's monthly, Focus eMagazine. Each month she packs a bunch of just the "how to" info that you're looking for. It's chock full of bright and intelligent knowledge... everything in clear, easy to understand English. Your day in and day out photo questions are answered.

This is how you get the advantage over other photographers who haven't, "caught on" yet.

And this is where you can, "get" complex topics like High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. You'll even get a video tutorial on fascinating photo techniques each month, and since Amy writes all the material, it's straight from the photographer's mouth.

You'll enjoy it and learn from it so Sign Up Today!

Amy Renfrey Issue 16b

Here is a great book to start you on your way in Landscape Photography. Kajo Merkert takes you and your camera through the steps to help you get exciting and beautiful landsacpe photos to decorate your home. By all means get this book and start taking the amazing landscape photos you have always wanted to take.

We have partnered with several great resources to use for making the large prints to hang on your wall, plus several other interesting ways to display your landscape photos:


MVOL Martha's Vineyard Online
Martha's Vineyard Info24/7


And talk about unique.... our partner Cafe Press has been, for years, one of the great places to get your pictures and ideas onto tee shirts, mugs, calendars - all sorts of stuff. Check it out!!!

CafePress.com-Custom Gifts-250x250 banner

Dan Davenport has been involved in photography for more years than he cares to think about. He worked for Minolta Cameras for over 30 years and taught photography as well as developing the Minolta School of Photography which evolved into The Maxxum Experience photo education seminars. He wants photographers to take the best photos they can and encourages them to proudly display their work for all to see.

Amy Renfrey is the author of two major successful ebooks "Digital Photography Success" and "Powerful Landscape Techniques". She is a photographer and also teaches digital photography. Her educational ebooks take the most complex photography terms and turns them into easy to understand language so that anyone, at any level of photography, can easily move to a semi-professional level of skill in just a very short time. She’s photographed many things from famous musicians (Drummers for Prince and Anastasia) to weddings and portraits of babies. Amy also teaches photography online to her students which can be found at her websites.

© 2010

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