How to choose the BEST FOCAL LENGTH in Landscape Photography | from 14-200mm

Which lens do you get out of your bag when presented with a landscape photography scene? The focal length you choose can make a big difference to the final outcome. In this video I chat through my decision making criteria from 14-200mm. All my lenses to cover these focal lengths listed below.

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0:00 Introduction
3:30 Depth of field
6:06 Ultra-wide 14-18mm
10:00 Wide angle 18-24mm
12:36 Mid Range – 30-60mm
18:34 Longer lenses – 70-200+ mm
23:55 Most used focal length

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Current landscape camera – Nikon Z7 –
Awesome telephoto lens – Nikon 70-200m f/2.8 –
Great wide angle lens – Nikon 14-30mm f/4 –
Hiking mid lens – Nikon 24-70mm Z f4 –
Sharpest mid lens – Nikon 24-70mm Z f2.8
Amazing Bokeh – Sigma 24mm f1.4
Astro lens – Samyang 14mm F2.4 –
Very long lens – Nikon 500mm F5.6 –


Nikon Z6 –
Main film lens – 24mm f1.8 Z –
Fujifilm X-T3 –
Awesome Bokeh – Fuji XF35mm F2 –


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Great bag for hiking – Tenba 24L –
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44 responses to “How to choose the BEST FOCAL LENGTH in Landscape Photography | from 14-200mm”

  1. Hello Nigel, outstanding info. Thank you very much! I'd like your opinion if you would. I've sold my Z6 & I'm waiting on the Z6 II or Z7 II. I'm in Alaska & not having the Z6 II yet tells me that I may have to wait until Feb.-Mar. before I would see a Z7 II. I think we are on the bottom of Nikon's delivery list. ha! I do like giving my local shop business so I could have had the Z6 II through a larger outlet by now. I'm going back & forth as to which body to get. I shoot wildlife & landscapes. Would you recommend the Z7 II over the 6 II? Thanks again! Mike

  2. I have shifted to using telephoto zooms for landscapes a lot. I like the telephoto compression for the details it provides. I combine them into panoramas with many shots. When I was in Bryce Canyon NP back in Feb., I ended up with breathtaking panoramas with 100-200 shots. I wanted maximum details from the snow on the hoodoos and I wanted them up close in my photos. So I shot at 100mm.

  3. As far as I can see you'r the best in terms of explaining landscape photography. Excellent videos in every aspect and a real pleasure to watch because you concentrate on the content and not on your person. Thank you so much for sharing your valuable knowledge!

  4. THIS.. WAS A COURSE, thank you so much. This will be so helpful for me to start with. And I'm okay now just getting the kit lens for Fuji which will be the Equivalent of 27-82mm, which I guess gives me a lot to play with. Looking forward, amazing video :).

  5. So many videos are “talking heads” and ineffective educationally. Your use of explanations/concepts PLUS actual examples is quite effective. More work for you, but a great more learning for us watching. Thanks.

  6. I have learned a lot from the couple of your videos I have watched, very educational…thank you! I do have to ask though, why not take a wide angle picture and crop it? or what is the difference taking the picture with a close range length or taking the picture and cropping it afterwards?

  7. If one looks at all the photographs taken with a 50mm focal length lens there is a large percentage that contain extraneous elements on all sides of the main subject. Cropping may make these images stronger but so would a narrower view angle like that provided by 70mm to 105mm focal length lenses.

  8. Hello Nigel – first – I LOVE that you're doing 4K – please keep it up. I've recently just upgraded to a 4K color-calibrated monitor in hopes that I can better discern the subtle differences in images and video, and so I appreciate it. I also want to say that I really enjoy your content. You're a fantastic photographer and your explanation of subjects like this is fantastic. Keep it up!

  9. I’m fortunate enough to live in Scotland, about 1 hour from Glencoe and on the edge of the trossachs national park (you’d love the trossachs) As someone who is relatively new to photography I am finding your videos very accessible, informative and really enjoyable. Keep up the good work and please come back to the glens of Scotland…it doesn’t rain ALL the time, honest!! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

  10. If you remember the days of Ansell Adams in Yosemite, he used a lot of long focus to give huge compression which made the distant rock formations look massive. Love the demonstration of the various focal lengths

  11. Maybe I'm about a month to late to get a response but, im getting ready to purchase a 90d with the 18-55mm, but I'll end probably shooting landscape more then anything, and everything I've read people keep saying go wide angle. I guess when it comes to lenses, would a 24mm primary lens have any more field of view then if I were to set the 18-55mm to a 24mm focal length?

  12. It is rather expected that many shots are at the extreme long end and tele end of every single zoom lens because it is simple. If you compose(mostly run and gun) and find your current lense not wide enough/not tight enough, what's the first reaction people do? A lot of them would just start to see if they have any room to use their feet, and eventually decide if they should give up and switch lens. Because you'd leave switching off a lense as you last option in the wild. That is a huge contributing factor for lots of shots are done at 24, 70. I'm sure most landscape photographers have their planned best shots and everything else crystal clear in mind to execute on the spot. But in between those shots when they saw something unexpected in travel and want to quickly grab it, what I describbed is probably the genuine sequence of actions.

  13. A superb workshop Nigel – thank you! . We are indeed fortunate that you are prepared to share your "secrets" with us in such an unpretentious manner again. Enlightening, thought provoking and inspiring. A free masterclass from a true master. I've been snapping for many years, yet the "dark art" of focal length has alluded me over the years. In the past, choosing the right focal length for the balance of a composition has been something of an accident for me. Often I've stumbled across it rather blind. Something in my head knows that a scene lends itself to a particular lens, but I've never really nailed it down before. Landscapes had me reaching automatically for the widest lens I have. When reviewing my images later, one or two seem to have just "worked" but the reason has alluded me too. When I've asked others, the reply has been that "you just know". That is neither helpful nor encouraging.

    Quick question, as I may have missed it – the focal lengths you mention, are they with reference to full frame (i.e. is 40mm, 27mm on a cropped APSC sensor)?

  14. Great video and love the 4k.
    Do you also use even longer focal lengths (>200mm)?

    I'd like to expand my 16-35, 24-120 and 80-200mm with a longer focal length. I oscillate between the 80-400 and the 200-500mm. The latter is probably better, but it would be an additional lens, while the 80-400 would be a replacement or alternately with the 80-200mm.
    What would be your choice?

  15. I'm an outdoor wedding photographer and sometimes shoot couples really close to the beautiful rocks or mountains. Do you think the new Sony GM 12-24 lens would be good for creativity and dramatic photos… or do you think it would make the couples look weird because of the ultra wide angle? Right now, I'm using the 24-70 lens.

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