I’m often asked by photographers interested in starting to shoot landscapes if they need only a wide angle lens for shooting. It makes sense right? Great big vistas captured in a perspective your eyes can’t replicate. It creates drama and excitement in a photo. But what people sometimes fail to realize is that while shooting super wide is cool, sometimes the image becomes so “big” that you lose details that could add interest. Case in point. The image below was shot at 9mm using the Olympus 9-18mm.
Pretty dramatic right? This was a self portrait and I wanted this massive feel to it. But what if you wanted a more intimate feel to the shot? You could walk to re-compose, or you could zoom. I prefer zooming myself if possible.
There are a lot of options out there for a landscape photographer using µ4/3 when it comes to telephotos! You can go with a wide zoom like the Panasonic 7-14mm or Olympus 9-18mm that was used above. Or you can go with something longer like the Olympus 12-50mm or the Panasonic 12-35mm. An example of where the “longer” zoom would come in handy is the shot below. I was out chasing down a storm when I saw the light just turn this corn field and sky into a painting in front of me. The only problem I was going to have with composing the shot I wanted was that there was an irrigation canal keeping me from the edge of the corn field. I swapped out my wide angle lens for the Olympus 12-50mm, zoomed out to around 30mm which was enough to “put me in the corn” and I made my photo.
So for any readers looking to add to their landscape photography kit do not forget that wide is awesome, but zooms really have their place!!!
Take care, and as always feel free to ask questions or leave comments below.
Jamie A. MacDonald