Hey guys, Andrew Here!
Today I wrote a text about Landscape Photography. It is a long post but I hope you enjoy reading it just like I enjoyed writing it.
Even though I mainly photograph people today, I have always remained a landscape and nature photographer in my heart. Nature photography or landscape photography has become a real passion during my studies, and I have spent many years with it.
I am probably not an expert in the field, but I think some of my pictures have become quite acceptable and presentable.
Now to my equipment recommendations and tips for landscape photography. Everything I have written in the following is my personal opinion and only refers to my own experiences. Therefore, the contribution does not claim to be universally valid or complete.
Equipment Recommendation – The Camera for Landscape Photography
In general, the camera is overrated in digital photography, especially in landscape photography. Of course, the larger the image sensor and the number of pixels, the better the reproduction of details in landscape photos is, but physical limits are provided by the imaging performance of the lenses and the pixel arrangement on the image sensor.
Many excellent landscape photographers work with cameras with tiny sensors. In general, however, I prefer slightly larger and more robust cameras when the weight is not significant, and I use my full format or APS-C camera cases.
As long as you don’t have to earn money with landscape photography and you don’t want to make large-scale prints of your landscape photos, I recommend a reliable, stable and, if possible, splash-proof DSLR with APS-C or full format sensor from one of the big manufacturers.
That is the basis for equipment that you can use and upgrade over the years.
I can recommend Canon, Nikon, and Sony from my own experience, although the selection of lenses and accessories is probably the largest in Canon and Nikon. Test different models and manufacturers in the shop and decide what you like best regarding operation and price. Keep in mind that in a few years time you will buy a new housing rather than a new lens and save some money on the case and buy proper lenses right from the start.
If an APS-C or even a full-format camera should be too heavy or too clumsy, I can recommend a good system camera or Micro-Four-Third (MFT) system for landscape photography.
Besides my Canon EOS 5D, I also use the Fuji X Pro 1 now and then and am very happy with it.
Equipment based on a system camera or an MFT camera is the best choice for all those who want to take landscape photography with light and compact luggage, be it for hiking, climbing, mountaineering, air travel or family holidays. My complete Fuji X Pro 1 equipment for landscape photography weighs only a fraction of my DSLR equipment and fits in my small Billingham Hadley Pro camera bag.
For my DSLR equipment, I need a big backpack. And it gets packed full of all the full-size stuff in the long run. The difference in weight of the apparatus can be noticed quite quickly on a longer hike.
For all quality fanatics and professional landscape photographers, only a large-format camera or a digital medium format camera can be used as a camera. Of all 3 of the above photographers work preferably with a large format camera or medium format camera equipment.
In addition to the pure imaging performance, both systems have the decisive advantage, especially in landscape photography, that the slow working speed of the equipment forces the photographer to work much more calmly and peacefully.
For all quality fanatics and professional landscape photographers, only a large-format camera or a digital medium format camera can be considered as a camera. All 3 of the above photographers work preferably with a large format camera or medium format camera equipment.
In addition to the pure imaging performance, both systems have the decisive advantage, especially in landscape photography, that the slow working speed of the equipment forces the photographer to take pictures much more calmly and deliberately than one would do with a “fast” DSLR. That automatically improves the quality of landscape photos, as it depends very much on the skillful image design and careful working from the tripod.
Lenses for landscape photography
Most people will probably think of wide-angle lenses in landscape photography. The more extreme, the better. Yes, with wide-angle lenses, and super wide-angle lenses you can take great landscape photos. But you also get a lot of pictures and this is the significant disadvantage in our built-up civilization landscape. Also, you have to work very precisely below 35mm focal length to avoid distortion and distortion of the image.
I would, therefore, recommend a light telephoto lens as the first lens for your equipment, but maybe a standard zoom (50mm lens) with a telephoto setting is more suitable for your style.
With a telephoto lens, landscape details can be isolated very well and interfere high voltage poles, smoking chimneys, etc. can be easily hidden.
Since in landscape photography you usually fade out a long distance to get a great depth of field, we can also use cheaper lenses, e. g. A kit lens supplied with the camera. Almost every lens can be used with 1 – 2 fades.
Nevertheless, the two lenses mentioned above are my recommendation, as they are also very suitable for other motifs where one would instead work with a small depth of field. They are very robust and of high quality and can also be used with an open bezel. So you also have excellent equipment for portraits and pictures in low light (and open aperture). Who wants to photograph landscapes alone? 9
In any case, I recommend zoom lenses for landscape photography, even if many other photographers recommend fixed focal lengths because of the reduction, the quality, the “nicer” Lensflares, etc. With the zoom you are more flexible.
Think about how you should move your tripod forward or backward with a fixed focal length if you have just set up your tripod on a group of stones in a forest stream, just because the image detail is not optimal? Or you have no place behind you, or you are standing on the beach and can’t move forward.
With a zoom you can easily change the image section, zoom in or out and easily get several photos from one subject through different image sections.
I wouldn’t buy an actual wide-angle lens for landscape photography until I’ve been photographing landscapes for a while and come more often into landscapes that are interesting and unobstructed to be captured with a wide-angle view. That can be done at the seaside, for example.
The tripod for landscape photography
No tripod, no landscape photography. That applies not only to work with medium format and large format cameras but also to digital photography with DSLR and system cameras. In general, a good tripod should be included in every photographic equipment, not only for landscape photography.
Of course, you can shoot extraordinary landscapes without a tripod, but they just get better with it. First of all, you work with a tripod more quietly and concentrate very consciously on the image composition, secondly, the tripod provides the last bit of sharpness in the image and with longer exposure times or HDR pictures, you can’t even take photos without a tripod.
In addition to that, a cable release or an electric remote release for the camera and the mirror release is switched on; you always have rat-sharp pictures with static motifs.