How to Choose the Best Focal Length in Landscape Photography

Tutorial

Getting started in landscape photography and not sure what focal length lens to use? Here’s a 26-minute video by photographer Nigel Danson on how to go about making that decision.

Over the course of the video, Danson slowly steps from an ultra-wide focal length of 14mm all the way up to a telephoto focal length of 200mm, explaining how and when he chooses each focal length/range (with examples of photos shot with them).

Here are the timestamps of when each range is discussed:

06:06 Ultra-wide 14-18mm
10:00 Wide-angle 18-24mm
12:36 Mid-Range 30-60mm
18:34 Telephoto 70-200mm+

After crunching the numbers on the photos that make up his portfolio, Danson was surprised to learn that his most used focal length is around 24mm (rather than wider). He believes that this is likely due to how difficult it is to capture a “keeper” when shooting at an ultra-wide focal length like 14mm.

“In terms of my favorite, I think my favorite is either end, so 14mm or 200mm,” Danson says, “because I think you can create something a little bit more dramatic, a little bit more creative, and I think it’s more fun to shoot at those far ends of it, but I don’t think it’s easier…”

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