Using prime lens for landscape photography

If you asked me two or three years ago about using prime lenses for landscape photography, I would have been sceptical. Since situations often change very quickly when you’re outdoors, giving you just a few seconds to catch the image you want before it’s all gone, I thought that the flexibility of a good zoom lens was an important part of photographing scenery.

However, when I spent three days at the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland in the summer of 2012, I had a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G lens sitting in my bag so I could shoot some portraits at a later stage.

Just out of curiosity though, I mounted it on the camera and started snapping a few shots of the sea, when sunlight began to come through the clouds in really interesting ways. I had no time to put the zoom lens back on the body, but I was really surprised how quickly I adjusted to the lack of zoom on the 35mm. I didn’t even notice that something was missing; I stood around for about 30 minutes capturing images of some really amazing display of light over the Atlantic Ocean.

The clarity and the level of detail on the full resolution files is quite remarkable, it’s the kind of quality that’s normally associated with prime lenses especially if you live in APS-C world. Because the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G can be acquired at a very low price compared to most other lenses, I think it’s a must-have for all

Nikon DX users around. There are only a few budget lenses around that work so well and produce such great results. If you are a full frame FX user however, all of the above applies to the Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G, which will practically give you identical focal length and quality on any of the full frame models with the added bonus of the wider f/1.4 aperture. The 50mm Nikon is still very much in the affordable category and I actually think that having a prime lens in the bag is essential – even for landscape photography.

Both the Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX and AF-S 50mm f/1.4G lenses are available in both our Burgess Hill or London stores, with our team on hand to offer any advice you need. Alternatively, visit www.ParkCameras.com, or call a member of our team on 01444 23 70 70.

If you already have a prime lens at this focal length, why not head out and see what results you get. If there’s any you’re really happy with, why not share them with us on our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages. We’d love to see them.

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