Landscapes with Longer Focal Lengths

Daybreak in the Rockies, Cottonwood Pass, Colorado. Image captured with a Nikon D800e and 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS G VRII zoom Nikkor lens.
Daybreak in the Rockies, Cottonwood Pass, Colorado. Image captured with a Nikon D800e and 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS G VRII zoom Nikkor lens.

When you go out to photograph landscapes, what’s the first lens you reach for? For many of us, it’s a midrange (24-70mm) or wide (16-35mm) zoom lens. Those lenses are great, but there are lots of times when a longer focal length is ideal, even in wide-open spaces. By using something like a 70-200mm zoom, you can make some really compelling images.

Why should you use a telephoto zoom for landscape photography?

  • Telephoto lenses help you isolate the subject and cut out distracting elements from the scene, especially empty foreground space.
  • Telephoto lenses create subject isolation by softening backgrounds, especially when used with wide apertures.
  • Telephoto lenses compress the scene, enhancing the look of layers in a landscape and adding depth.

With all these creative benefits, it’s no wonder that my 70-200mm lens is something I find very enjoyable to use on my landscape photography trips.

Here are some more landscape images I captured with my 70-200mm lens:

Odell_20130109_3240-Edit Odell_20130721_6151-Edit Odell_20130605_5938-Edit Odell_20130110_3549-Edit

2 thoughts on “Landscapes with Longer Focal Lengths”

  1. Jason, I shot this using a Nikon 18-200mm at 200mm on a D300. When I posted this photo in my Facebook group everyone was baffled (myself included). The Empire State Building can be seen from the lake in North Hudson Park in northern NJ but not like this. It is much farther away from the lake than it appears in tihs photo. I was shocked when I saw how close the Empire State Building looked. I even went back to the lake to see how the scene looked without the camera. The only explanation can be that the telephoto lens compressed the background while making the foregroud look normal. And the Empire State Building did not move 10 miles to the Nortern Manhattan 🙂
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7185088@N07/8944884676/in/set-72157621891054105

  2. Dear Jason,
    Another beautiful rocky landscape that reminds me when I was a young geologist, now a 76 year old retired senior state geologist.

    Many thanks for your e-mail.
    Goeran

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