What is the Best Camera and Lens for Landscape Photography?
- Best Camera and Lens for Landscape Photography Dreams
- Best Landscape Photography Camera
- Best Landscape Photography Lens
- A Super Tripod
- Excellent Filters Make a Difference
- The Best Landscape Photography Bag
- Other Really Nice Landscape Photography Gear
- Best Camera and Lens for Landscape Photography Epilogue
- Follow These Simple Tips for Beautiful Fall Photography
- Essential Camera Accessories
- Best Time of Day for Outdoor Photography
- What to Look for In a Good Camera Strap
- How To Pack Your Camera Gear
- Hiking with Camera Gear? This Bag Is for You
Photo by DieterMeyrl via iStock
As you all know, my first love photographically is landscape photography. I enjoy all of the other genres of photography I do, portraits, the occasional wedding, sports, wildlife, street views, architecture, real estate, small products, astrophotography, and a fair amount of videography. But it’s capturing landscapes that really gets me going.
Table of Contents:
Best Camera and Lens for Landscape Photography Dreams
Photo by Chalabala via iStock
Like many of you, I started in film photography, switching to using mostly digital once the Full Frame format digital sensors surpassed the resolving power of Kodachrome. For 35mm film, Kodachrome was my primary film of choice.
I have to admit, I also had quite a thing for medium format film cameras and the occasional 4x5” outing as well. It was all about capturing the best detail in my images, which is why I gravitate to higher MB sensors and the Full Frame format.
As a thought exercise, I got to thinking about what I would use as the best camera and lens for landscape photography if I didn't have to worry about a budget. I did think about a completely unlimited budget, but knowing me, I would spend the equivalent of an entire first-world nation’s GDP, so I went for a high but reasonable budget.
I’ll reveal the “Why” part of my choices for best camera and lens for landscape photography so that anyone reading this can adapt those thoughts to their own needs, preferences, and real-world budget.
The best camera and lens for landscape photography are only part of the dream. I also have to add in some other high-end landscape photography gear, such as the perfect tripod, a great filter system, an incredible landscape photography bag to hold it all, and some accessories to make the photo outing more comfortable and enjoyable.
Best Landscape Photography Camera
In my high-budget dream wish list of best landscape photography camera and lens, I decided on a digital format larger than Full Frame format, Fujifilm’s GFX format. Specifically the 102MB Fujifilm GFX 100 camera.
Sensor size is 43.8 x 32.9mm with a diagonal measurement of 55mm. It’s about as much larger than Full Frame format as Full Frame is larger than APS-C. By way of comparison, Full Frame is 36 x 24mm with a diagonal of 43mm. 102MB is a lot of resolution power. In the larger format, the individual pixel sizes are also large enough for good low-light performance.
This is a mirrorless camera, so there are less moving parts than a DSLR. For medium format, the size and weight difference between DSLR and mirrorless is quite significant. This camera is not much larger than a classic 35mm pro camera such as the Nikon F2 or Canon F1 with motor drives.
Fewer moving parts also mean more ruggedness. The camera body is enhanced by being made of magnesium alloy for lightweight and extreme strength. It is weather sealed for moisture and dust and also has a nice texturized covering for easy and secure handling.
Speaking of handling, the GFX 100 has in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and a generous-sized dual handgrip for horizontal and vertical shooting orientation. It even has shock absorbers for the shutter mechanism.
Some Full Frame format contenders with similar specs are the Nikon Z9, Canon EOS R5, and Sony Alpha 7R IV.
Best Landscape Photography Lens
Much of the time, we would probably opt for a wide-angle lens as our preference for a landscape photography lens to round out our best camera and lens for landscape photography. For my work, sharpness is more important than a fast maximum aperture, but some pro-style lenses are both super sharp and rather fast, especially in regards to zoom lenses.
My first choice isn’t actually for sale yet, the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/5.6 Tilt-Shift wide-angle lens. Tilt and shift lenses are wonderful to work with for landscape photography. Since it’s not available yet, let’s use the Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4.0 R LM WR wide-angle to normal zoom lens.
Using a reverse crop factor, we find this lens has a Full Frame format equivalence of 25-51mm focal length. This is a fair amount of wide-angle (81 degrees coverage) up to normal for this format. An aperture of f/4.0 seems a little slow, but for our purposes, it’s just fine.
Like the camera body, this landscape photography lens is weather and dust-sealed and very rugged. It operates smoothly at all temperatures and is also extremely sharp, making it a nice addition to our best camera and lens for landscape photography dream list.
If opting for any of the three Full Frame format cameras listed earlier, my lens choices would be the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II, Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, and Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM.
A Super Tripod
Next on the agenda is a tripod for my best camera and lens for landscape photography. I chose the carbon fiber Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263CT, because Vanguard is a premier maker of some of the best tripods available for photography and videography.
The carbon fiber legs are both lightweight and durable to stand up to the rigors of landscape photography. With three leg sections and four position angles that range from 20 degrees to 80 degrees, this tripod gives you tons of positional versatility. That versatility is enhanced with Vanguard's Multi-Angle Center Column (MACC) that provides virtually limitless shooting angles from low-angle macro shots to eye-level photos of the landscape ahead.
A landscape photography tripod should also be rock-steady, and this tripod certainly fits the bill. The large rubber feet provide good grip while the canopy suspension loop allows you to hang a weight to pull the tripod towards the ground, enhancing its surefootedness.
Setup is a breeze, too, thanks to the twist leg lock system that allows for quick deployment and takedown of the tripod.
At just 3.6 pounds, this is an ideal tripod for photography adventures that require hiking. With a folded height of just 24.6 inches, it can easily be stowed in a backpack or strapped to a backpack for easy access.
There's room for all your gear, too, because this tripod has a load capacity of over 15 pounds - more than enough for even a DSLR and a telephoto lens!
Excellent Filters Make a Difference
In their M10 filter hold systems, Haida Red Diamond filters are among the best filters for landscape photography. A C-POL filter is a virtual necessity for landscape photography. With this filter holder system, a landscape photographer can stack several of these optical quality filters such as a GND or ND filter along with the C-POL.
When using extremely high resolution cameras and super sharp lenses, you want to match the quality of that gear with the highest quality filters possible.
The Best Landscape Photography Bag
Photographing landscapes often requires long hikes to get to the shoot location. In those instances, you want a bag that can accommodate all your gear and do so comfortably. The f-stop Shinn DuraDiamond Adventure and Cine Camera Backpack is a perfect fit!
With 80 liters of capacity, you can take all the camera gear you need (and then some!) for your landscape photography outings. At 27.6 inches high, 14.9 inches wide, and 13.4 inches deep, this is a big bag. Yet, it weighs just 5.2 pounds empty, which is a feat considering how big of a bag it is.
Inside, you'll find a cavernous main compartment that accommodates a Cine Master Camera Bag Insert or a Pro XL Camera Insert. In either case, these inserts keep your gear protected and neatly organized. Smaller items like memory cards and batteries can be kept safe in one of a number of smaller pockets.
The bag's exterior is made from DuraDiamond material - which is proprietary to f-stop - and is lightweight, highly durable, and weather resistant. These features are must-haves for landscape photographers who might get caught in a sudden rainstorm or snow shower.
Another notable feature is the BLOOM algae-based shoulder straps. These foam straps are supremely comfortable and give you the ability to carry a ton of gear without feeling the strain on your neck and shoulders. The BLOOM hip belt and aluminum frame assist in that endeavor by shifting the pack's weight to your hips.
Other features include plastic and T6 aluminum hardware, multiple access points for easy access to gear, and weather-resistant zippers. f-stop also provides a 45-day risk-free trial and a 20-year warranty on the bag.
I've had a variety of f-stop bags over the years, and a couple of things are common to them all - impeccable design, beautiful craftsmanship, and insane durability. The Shinn is no different!
Other Really Nice Landscape Photography Gear
What else might I want to include in my gear to accompany the best camera and lens for landscape photography? A compass, a water bottle with a filtration system, a great pair of hiking boots, and some excellent sunglasses come to mind from my experience.
Best Camera and Lens for Landscape Photography Epilogue
Photo by Philip Thurston via iStock
Admittedly, the items in my dream list of best camera and lens for landscape photography, plus some necessary accessories, are not all cheap. The point of my exercise was to envision what I would most enjoy using if I had the budget for it and to extrapolate the features and benefits revealed for whatever gadget we might have.
Why not tell us what gear you would include in your own list? Post it on our forums and have fun discussing all of the different items we could want.