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Seven of the best wide-angle lenses for landscape travel photography

Capturing that perfect sunset, or night sky shot is down to timing, location, and lens, These seven wide-angle lenses will give you crystal clear, sharp photos

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 November, 2017, 8:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 November, 2017, 7:11pm

Landscape travel photography is easy, right? You just put your phone into panoramic mode and drag it across the horizon. Of course, a beautiful location helps, but there are a few easy things you can do to capture a more creative shot on your next adventure. Timing is critical, for example; few landscape photographers will head out in the middle of the day, so prepare to rise early to be at your chosen location as dawn breaks, or get in position an hour or two before sunset.

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Also think about cardinal directions; if your subject landscape faces east, is there much point in getting there for sunset? Anyone who wants to take their landscape photography up a notch is going to need a manual camera and a good lens. A wide-angle lens will allow you to capture as much of the view before you as possible, while a telephoto lens will allow you to isolate distant objects, and create compelling perspective effects. Just don’t forget to take a sturdy tripod.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16mm f1.4R WR

With its X-Pro 2 and X-T2 cameras, Fujifilm has become a camera-maker to watch. Owners of those cameras should consider this wide-angle lens (/US$830) for landscape photography, not just because of its ability to capture big scenes, but also its moisture and dust resistant design. It’s also extremely light at just 375g.

Available at Big Camera, Shop 217, 2/F Interstellar City, 47-51 Hill Street, Mong Kok, tel: 2185 7791

Samyang 14mm f2.8 IF ED UMC Aspherical

If you’re on a limited budget but want as wide an angle as possible for shooting the night sky, you should consider this ultra-wide third-party lens (US$290). Although you’ll have to focus it manually (autofocus versions from Nikon and Canon cost five times as much), the results are sharp and it’s great value. Fits are available for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony DSLRs. It weighs 552g. Available at Wan Chai DC, Shop 125, 1/F Computer Area, 299 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3104 4551

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro

Compatible with Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras from Olympus (such as the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II), this fixed aperture lens (US$1,409) has a focal range that will suit both wide-angle landscape shots and close-ups.

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Weather-sealed and with image stabilisation, it weighs 561g.

Available at olympus.com.hk

Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS LI USM

One of the most versatile lenses out there, this wide-ranging focal length zoom lens (US$1,300) means you can shoot landscapes and everything else besides. Since it’s in Canon’s EF range, the lens fits onto both its crop sensor (such as the Canon 800D) and full-frame sensor (like the Canon 5D and 6D) DSLR cameras. It weighs 795g.

Available at canon.com.hk

Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 GM

Designed for Sony’s DSLRs (such as the α7R II and α9), this ‘G Master’ is big at 887g. The full-frame lens (US$2,177) goes down to f2.8 to make hand-held shots easier in low light, but its biggest selling point is its general purpose focal length range, which makes it a great candidate for those after an all-in-one travel lens.

Available at fortress.com.hk

Olloclip Core Lens Set

If you’re not prepared to travel with a bulky DSLR camera you can still prepare for capturing better landscapes with your smartphone.

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Take this clip-on interchangeable lens system (US$106) for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which allows you to switch between fisheye, super-wide and macro lenses.

Available at the Apple Store, International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 3972 1500

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8E ED VR

Super-sharp, but a heavyweight at just over a kilogram, this mid-range zoom lens (US$2,484) for Nikon cameras (such as the D4 and D5) has a fixed aperture of f/2.8 and a lens coating to reduce flare and ghosting. It also has advanced image stabilisation tech, so hand-held images stay sharp.

Available at fortress.com.hk