Do I need a wide angle lens?
I need some landscape photography tips – when I see a great landscape, I find that my camera seems a bit too zoomed in, even when I zoom back as far as I can – what can I do? Phil, Chatsworth
It may be that your lens is just not really wide enough for landscape shots that are involving. The standard kit 18-55 lens that many cameras use actually takes pictures at 27-29mm on a Nikon or Canon crop-sensor camera (that’s everything except the really expensive D4 or 5D cameras with huge sensors).For crop sensor cameras, a wide-angle lens is a useful purchase, this is the best of our landscape photography tips
Above: It looks like 18mm on a kit lens, but actually 27mm on a Nikon
Below: 10mm on a Tamron 10-24mm, actually 15mm on a Nikon
Wide angle lenses can be frighteningly expensive, but the Tamron/Sigma/Cosina ones work pretty well and are nearly half the price of the Nikon/Canon version. We especially like our Tamron 10-24mm f3.5-4.5, just over £300 on Amazon – the Nikon version is £600 or so. Canon users are lucky, there is a fairly cheap 10-18mm lens that you could consider – it’s a bit plasticky but cheap and works well for most people.
We often find that people who used to use film cameras find that digital cameras don’t take such good landscapes. This is because even using the same lens on a crop sensor camera, the angle is not as wide as it was a film camera. So that giant wide panorama that you used to get with an 18 mm lens on your film camera is not what you will see with a 1.5 or 1.6 crop sensor giving 27 mm or 29 mm. The solution is usually to get a wider lens. Certainly one of our landscape photography tips would to be to consider buying a wide-angle lens.