The reason why 35mm Is Great for Landscape Digital photography (+ 4 Tips)

The reason why 35mm Is Great for Landscape Digital photography (+ 4 Tips)

Why 35mm Is Great for Landscape Photography

Should you use a 35mm lens for landscape photography ? Or even are you better off with other cup, such as a wide-angle zoom (e. g., a 12-24mm) or perhaps a telephoto lens (e. h., a 70-200mm)?

I love 35mm surroundings photography. In this article, I clarify why 35mm is such a specific focal length, and precisely why I encourage everyone to give it a try, no matter their own skill level. I also offer a number of 35mm landscape photography guidelines, so that – when you do get your hands on a 35mm lens – you can hit the ground working.

Plus, of course , I share plenty of 35mm landscape photo good examples along the way!

Let’s dive right in.

a few reasons why 35mm is perfect for scenery photography

When you have never used a 35mm lens for landscape digital photography, you’re missing out! Here are just some of the many reasons 35mm is an excellent landscape focal length:

1 . The field of view feels wide yet natural

Every single focal length corresponds to some field of view – that is, the amount of the world that it captures.

Now, ultra-wide lenses offer a really wide field of see, but while that’s ideal for capturing expansive scenes, a good ultra-wide lens makes the entire world appear, well, wide . Use a 12mm lens, for instance, and the world will recede; individual details will look tiny, and you will feel like the whole world is situated before your face.

Telephoto lenses, on the other hand, give a really narrow field of view. They’re good for shooting details, and they’re great for faraway landscape scenes, but they exclude so much from the frame that you’ll struggle to really catch the essence of a location.

But 35mm lenses…

On the full-frame camera body, the 35mm lens offers a slightly wide field of watch. It’s a little wider compared to eye sees (not taking into account peripheral vision), but it still feels pretty natural, meaning that you’ll feel very comfortable rapidly, and you’ll be able to catch beautiful compositions without a good deal of mental gymnastics.

Plus, the wide-angle effect is good for taking entire landscape scenes. To obtain a sense of the 35mm industry of view, check out the following image:

Rice fields 35mm landscape photography
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/13 | 1/125s | ISO 100

Note that, to achieve the same field of view on a crop-sensor camera, you’ll need a shorter focal length (generally around 24mm). If you use a 35mm lens on an APS-C camera, you’ll get an effective 50mm focal length, typically decent for landscape shots but doesn’t offer the expansiveness of a 35mm lens.

2 . 35mm lens feature limited distortion

Many photographers like to use their widest zoom lens and photograph as much of the particular landscape as possible. But wider focal length lenses are plagued by distortion , which gives rise to varied problems, including tilted trees and curved horizons.

Unfortunately, every landscape becomes distorted by a lens, you’ll need to make corrections using editing software program. And if corrections aren’t produced, or aren’t well made, the photographs will look a little odd. (Sometimes a lot odd. )

Yet while 35mm lenses do give a wide field of view (see the previous section! ), they’re not so wide that distortion gets to be prevalent. In other words, 35mm is an excellent focal length if you need the wide-angle effect but you do not want distortion to get in the way.

You might be wondering:

Can I use a lens longer than 35mm to avoid distortion? Indeed, you can, but lenses with a focal length of around 70mm or longer often result in compression; in other words, they make components in your frame appear abnormally close together. Sometimes this is effective in landscape photography, however it can be problematic if you want your photos to look as realistic as possible.

Main point here: A 35mm lens provides a wide enough angle of view, yet it doesn’t risk major distortion. It’s a win-win.

Rice shack 35mm landscape photography
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/14 | 1/125s | ISO 400

3. The particular tighter perspective is helpful when capturing distant landscapes

There is no one best focal length for scenery photography. When you shoot, you must match the focal duration to the location and the issue, which means that you will come across scenes that need an ultra-wide field of view; you will also come across moments that require a tight telephoto industry of view.

But in my experience, 35mm works great for all kinds of subjects. In particular, it fits well with the style of landscape photography I prefer.

You see, at 35mm, I could capture enough of a scene without having to crop in post-processing – whereas when working with a wider lens, I often get too much of the scene in my composition, and I’m required to crop later.

Plus, there are times when you can’t get close to your landscape picture. Maybe you’re shooting from a bridge or the edge of the precipice and you cannot move any closer. In such situations, a 35mm focal size is your friend, because it provides you with a field of view that is wide, but not too broad.

Big sky over rice fields
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/11 | 1/800s | ISO four hundred

35mm landscape photography suggestions

Walking home in the rice fields
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/7. one | 1/250s | ISO 200

If you’re seriously interested in 35mm landscape photography and you also want to take your photos to the next level, then read on meant for my best tips:

1 . Don’t use your widest aperture

Most 35mm lenses offer wide apertures , and when you are just starting out, you may be tempted to open that aperture right up – just because you can.

But resist that temptation, even in low light . Whilst shooting at f/1. 4 might give you faster shutter speeds , it’ll give you an extremely shallow depth associated with field , and panorama photos generally look greatest when most of the image will be acceptably sharp.

So instead of using an ultra-wide aperture, stop down your lens to f/8 or so. And if you’re unable to get a fast-enough shutter quickness for a sharp shot, place your camera on a tripod or boost your ISO . That way, you’ll keep the entire landscape razor-sharp, from foreground to background.

The exemption to this advice, by the way, can be when you include an interesting downroad element in your composition. With a powerful foreground subject, you can widen the aperture and let the background blur – though I still wouldn’t suggest shooting at your lens’s widest aperture.

Dog in the rice fields
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/5 | 1/400s | ISO 800

2 . Take landscaping photos in portrait orientation

Landscape picture taking is often understandably captured in landscape orientation…

…but if you’re after distinctive 35mm landscape shots, then simply why not try to mix up a bit? Instead of shooting constantly in landscape mode, reverse your camera and take some portrait-orientation images.

Aim to include a fascinating foreground subject, or at least take when the sky is particularly spectacular. And look for tall elements that may fill the entire portrait body!

My local landscape features tall, slim palm trees. I find that writing with my camera held vertically gives a very interesting result:

Palm tree and chedi in the landscape
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/11 | 1/250s | ISO 400

3. Consider various compositions while looking through the viewfinder

When you’re on a landscape picture outing, do you take the initial shot you notice, then move ahead? Or do you stick around, trying out different scenery compositions , looking for different angles, and shooting five, ten, or even twenty structures?

My suggestion? Always shoot more than the obvious shot. You might immediately spot a great vista and think you’ve found the best composition, but there are likely other, superior compositions – you just haven’t found all of them yet! So if you notice an excellent shot, sure, go ahead: stop and take some photos.

But then, with your 35mm lens still on your camera, walk around and consider the scene from different angles.

A lot of zoom lens users are prone to standing in the same place, taking a few shots at different key lengths, then moving on. They don’t walk around enough , and that is a mistake.

So test out different compositions. Explore many options from a variety of angles. You’ll often end up being surprised by how many other great points of view you discover.

rice planting 35mm landscape photography
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/5. 6 |1/250s | ISO four hundred

4. Experiment with the rules associated with composition

Once you find a landscape you think will work well with your 35mm zoom lens, stop and consider the guidelines of composition. You do not want to take a casual snapshot; instead, you want to create a powerful image that engages the viewer and takes all of them on a journey through the frame.

So think about compositional rules, and use any tools you have available. Are there strong lines so that you can work with? Can you position your camera so one or more ranges run diagonally across your frame ? Try out different angles (see the previous tip! ) plus don’t stop until you look for a composition that’s truly satisfying.

The rule of thirds is also helpful for 35mm landscape photography. Try placing the horizon so you have got two-thirds land and one-third sky; this often creates a well-balanced composition. But don’t stop there! Look for an element that will body the scenery. Frame-within-a-frame methods work great, and they can make even a bland landscape look interesting.

looking through a structure at the rice fields
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/9 | 1/125s | ISO 400

35mm landscape photography: final words

As should now be obvious, I love my 35mm lens regarding landscape photography! In fact , it is so versatile that it’s often the only lens We carry.

So the next time you’re out capturing landscapes, try using a 35mm lens. You’ll quickly arrived at appreciate the natural field of view and its incredible potential!

Now to you:

Do you plan to use a 35mm lens for your landscape picture taking? Share your thoughts in the feedback below!

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Kevin Landwer-Johan

Kevin Landwer-Johan

Kevin Landwer-Johan is a photographer, photography instructor, and author with more than 30 years of experience which he loves to share with others.

Check out his e-books and his website .

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