18 Jun 2012

A "Normal" focal length Prime Lens as a Landscape Lens

Somehow someone has convinced an aweful lot of us that we need a really wide angle lens to take landscape photographs. Who was that, and why? I find, increasingly, that I am using my AF-S Nikkor 35mm f1.8G DX as my go to lens for landscapes and architecture. Remember this shot of the Turning Torso Building in Malmö? Taken with the same lens! And this detail shot of the same building was taken with the same lens.

The photo above of the Krönetorps Mölla in Arlöv Sweden was taken with this little gem of a lens, and the one below as well.

Instead of taking my bigger, heavier zoom lens and standing in one spot zooming around to get the pics I want, I pop my teeny 35mm on the camera and take a nice leisurely walk in the fresh air and sunshine. Leaving the zoom at home is good for my health! The Surgeon General should give his/her stamp of approval to prime lenses on the basis that they will ultimately produce slimmer, healthier, fitter photographers! Haha!

The other benefit is that the primes often have a lot less distortion problems than zooms and are sharper as well! To match the quality of a good prime with a zoom you will have to start spending the value of a small car to get one! I would rather have a small car.. oh, I already have one. Great! Now I can afford another prime! WooHoo!

The AF-S Nikkor 35mm f1.8G DX is the second cheapest lens that Nikon makes and I think it represents fantastic value for money. The only cheaper lens is the "nifty fifty" 50mm f1.8D which sells for less than a meal in a restaurant for a family of five. Seriously! I took this portrait with the fifty.

All the major camera makers have these cheap primes in their line-up and they are all great, so please don't email me that your particular favourite is better than mine because I don't want to hear it. ;-)

Have a great day!


  1. Wow... what a gorgeous view! Love these pics, especially the first.

    1. Thanks Dominic! There is so much to photograph in this place, Sweden really is beautiful!

      On another note, it's also safe enough to walk around openly with a camera here, very refreshing!

  2. Maravillosos paisajes.
    Me encantó.

    Un abrazo

  3. Small tripod like Velbon Ultra - less than 100$, less than 1kg. Small pano head for less than 50$. Small bracket for (also) flashguns - to change rotation point from below camera to center point of lens - less than 10$. Free Hugin for panorama stiching. Who cares of lot of ground or lot of empty sky, horizontal panoramas are great, especially with sharp primes :)

    Btw great light on first :)

  4. Love the bright grass and looming clouds on the horizon...that has all the makings of a summer thunderstorm!

  5. Me personally, My normal that I shoot with is the Voigtlander 40mm/F2 pancake lens. Crazy sharp corner to corner and gives me more space than a 50mm. I would never sell that lens...