10 Essential Zoom Lenses for Landscape Photography

In landscape photography, the phrase ‘zoom with your feet’ is more of a practical joke.

It’s not always the case, but often times when one is shooting landscape photography, they will find they are not in the exact spot to achieve their desired framing or composition. If this photographer was out and about with a prime lens they would be out of luck, or they would have to walk to another spot that better fits their vision. This is not ideal; it’s easy to miss the ideal light and moment in landscape photography and as you all know, once it’s gone, its gone – no getting it back. So it’s important to be able to adjust your position and framing at a moments notice.

In practical terms, this means shooting your landscapes with a zoom lens. This affords you the most flexibility in terms of composition and perspective without having to full-bore sprint from one spot to another in search of the best shot. So, while in many landscape posts we have talked about prime lenses, in this post we will be focusing exclusively on ideal zoom lenses for landscape photography.

Before we get into our recommendations, we are going to split this post up into two sections–wide zooms, and tele-zooms. This will allow us to better recommend lenses in each category that photographers can find value in.

Wide Zooms

Wide-angle zoom lenses – these are often the most obvious lenses that come to mind when someone is thinking about getting a zoom lens for landscape photography work. However, most serious landscape photographers probably don’t use a wide-angle zoom like this nearly as often as you probably think they do. So just keep that in mind before you grab one of these – be very sure its what you are after before you invest in one.

  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01KURGS8U’ text=’Canon 16-35mm F2.8L IS II’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’33e6807f-1012-11e8-acac-bddf6683275b’] (Review)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000VDCTCI’ text=’Nikon 14-24mm F2.8G’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3bd54c00-1012-11e8-87d2-01e69cc9b74a’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00RSQTDMA’ text=’Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4bd361e0-1012-11e8-9a39-f3e3ecd074ba’][amazon_textlink asin=’B00RSQTDMA’ text=’Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4c1091fb-1012-11e8-83df-cd4de0ec8afe’] (Review)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00NGTN25C’ text=’Sony 16-35mm F4′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5315e72d-1012-11e8-a6c1-675e7a122387′] (Review)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B0747YK76M’ text=’Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 G2′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5fd2b48b-1012-11e8-bd42-972e1cabda5a’] (Review)

Pro Tip: The life of a landscape photographer starts pretty early in the morning before sunrise and has a lot of downtime throughout the day.

Tele Zooms

Telephoto zoom lenses are actually much more common in landscape photography than the general population would expect. This is because most people assume that you want more of the landscape in the photograph, which would require a wide-angle zoom. However, as many experienced landscape photographers can attest to – often times they are using a long telephoto zoom lens to isolate an element of the landscape in front of them.

  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01L74R85W’ text=’Canon 100-400mm’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’701d8ac2-1012-11e8-9753-136cc0824232′] (Review)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B009VZOK0Q’ text=’Nikon 70-200mm F4′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’800e335c-1012-11e8-9b5d-e5b167bd2f03′](Review)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000I1X3W8′ text=’Canon 70-200mm F4′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8cd97f4c-1012-11e8-ae88-dddfba2c4734′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FYOF8X6′ text=’Sony 70-200mm F4′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9c4a22a2-1012-11e8-9bc4-655982b271ab’] (Review)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01LNSAYJ4′ text=’Tamron 150-600mm’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b7caff39-1012-11e8-b18a-0ffff4527742′] (Review)

Pro Tip: Get different perspectives whenever you can

So there you have it, some of our picks for zoom lenses that you should be considering for landscape photography. If you have any questions, let us know!

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.