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The answer to the question posed in the headline of this article is probably one that will depend on who you ask.
Many landscape photographers will say no way - a 24-70mm is not the ideal landscape photography lens. Other landscape photographers will wholeheartedly agree that you can’t get much better than this lens for landscapes.
If you’re in the market for a new landscape photography lens, I’d like to argue that a 24-70 is where it’s at. Let’s explore why.
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Best Landscape Photography Lens: A 24-70mm is Versatile
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If you’re shooting with a full frame camera, a 24-70mm lens offers tons of versatility for a landscape photographer.
At 24mm, you’re wide enough to get those glorious, wide-angle views of sweeping landscapes.
At 35mm, you get images that are beautifully framed with a standard view that’s so pleasing to the eye.
Zoom in a little further to 50mm and you can start creating more intimate landscape photos that bring more of the details of the larger landscape into focus.
Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash
And at 70mm, you enter short telephoto territory that gives you enough reach to really play around with your composition and framing to create landscape images that explore much smaller vignettes.
Of course, you can do all of this with a flick of your wrist to adjust the level of zoom. It’s a super convenient way to approach landscape photography if you ask me.
24-70mm Lenses are Easy to Handle & Carry
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What I appreciate most about many 24-70mm lenses is that they aren’t at all cumbersome to use.
In fact, a 24-70mm lens is just the right size for a landscape photographer. Though it’s a zoom lens, most aren’t overly heavy (perhaps around two pounds), nor are they too long.
When you’re hiking through the forest to find the perfect spot for a shot, you don’t want to carry around a ton of heavy gear.
And as was mentioned above, you get tons of versatility with a 24-70mm lens, so not only is it easy to handle and carry, but you can often get away with carrying just this lens on your landscape adventures.
Benefits of 24-70mm Lenses: Heavy-Duty Build
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Most lens manufacturers have at least one 24-70mm lens that’s built like a tank.
Again, when you’re out and about in the elements, you want a lens that will stand up to use and abuse, a little rain or snow here and there, and some bumps and bruises along the way.
Clearly, you should take care of your gear and strive to protect them from damage.
But, generally speaking, 24-70mm lenses have a long-standing reputation as being rugged and well-built, and that’s precisely what you need when the focus of your time and energy is being outside photographing landscapes.
Learn Landscape Photography Composition With a 24-70mm Lens
photo by Oleh_Slobodeniuk via iStock
Yet another reason to invest in a 24-70mm lens for landscape photography is because they are incredibly easy to use.
That is, 24-70mm encompasses the focal lengths that most closely match the human eye, so when you shoot with one of these lenses on a full frame camera, you’ll find that the images you create lack distortion and look very natural.
photo by Wildroze via iStock
That’s a big bonus, particularly for new landscape photographers, because the familiar look and feel of the images you create will help you hone your landscape photography composition skills.
So, instead of worrying about why your images look strange due to the optics of a lens, you can start shooting right away with a 24-70mm and concentrate on more important things, like how to frame a pleasing shot, how to use leading lines to connect the foreground and background, or how to use water reflections to create a symmetrical composition.
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Still Not Convinced a 24-70mm Lens is Ideal for Landscapes?
If you still aren’t sure if a 24-70mm lens is for you, be sure to check out the video above by Nigel Danson.
Nigel is a fantastic landscape photographer, and in his video, he takes you through all the reasons why this is such a great landscape lens.
His sample images are breathtaking, and they demonstrate how varying focal lengths in the 24-70mm range can be used to maximize the visual appeal of your photos.
Have a look, and you’ll be as convinced as I am that a you need a 24-70mm lens in your landscape photography kit!