Capturing an entire vista is a worth and enjoyable photography challenge, but what are the best lenses for landscape photography? Most beginners assume they’ll just need a wide angle lens to capture landscapes. While a wide angle lens certainly has a large place in landscape photography, having a few different lenses at your disposal will get you a variety of different shots and help step up your composition. So what are the best lenses for landscape photography? Here are a few of our top recommendations.
A Note on Aperture
The best most expensive lenses allow photographers to use wide apertures of f/2 or even wider. These are great lenses and they come in handy for creating soft backgrounds and shooting in low light. But most of the time, landscapes are shot with wide apertures. If landscape is pretty much all you do, you can save some cash by picking up a lens that doesn’t go quite as wide—since landscapes aren’t shot wide anyways. However if you shoot landscapes and also snap portraits or photos indoors, you’ll get more mileage out of a single lens if you purchase the version that has a wide maximum aperture, or low f-number.
Ultra-Wide & Wide angle
Wide angle lenses capture the entire scene, including more of the view in the shot. It’s a popular lens option for landscape photographers, and for good reason. Wide angles snap extensive views. Be careful though, too wide and you’ll get a fisheye effect, where the image distorts at the edges—that usually occurs at 18mm or lower. The best landscape lenses include the ultra-wide perspective and wide in one, for more versatility when you compose your shot.
If you can only afford one lens for landscape photography, make it a good wide angle lens. Other lenses certainly have their place in landscape photography, but if you are limited to one, make it a wide angle.