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Latest news, reviews, tips and tricks from Jack Lodge, a local photographer who specialises in capturing stunning landscape photography across Dorset and the Jurassic Coast.

Can you use a 85mm Lens for Landscape Photography?

After a busy start to 2017 and a recent road trip to the South of France, I've taken thousands of photos and have slowly started to run out of hard drive space. So, this weekend, I've been clearing out those unused RAW files and making room for more shoots! Good job too... as I was going through my Lightroom library, I totally forgot I took a few different shots with an 85mm prime lens during my last sunrise trip to Corfe Castle. 

Samyang 85mm F1.4 for Sony E-Mount

The Samyang 85mm was the first lens I purchased second hand and I must say, this thing is INCREDIBLE. Being able to pick one up for Sony E-Mount for around £250, you can't get much better for a manual focus, fixed prime lens for the mirrorless system. It's super sharp, easy to focus due to a buttery smooth focusing ring, ability to stop down to F1.4 with creamy bokeh and just perfect for getting in tight to your subject.

Here are a few of my favourite shots taken with my go-to landscape lens, the Zeiss Batis 18mm F2.8 which you may have seen shared on Facebook and Instagram a few weeks back:

1/125s at F/11, ISO100 with the Zeiss Batis 18mm

1/13s at F/16, ISO100 with the Zeiss Batis 18mm

As you could probably tell, the majority of my shots are taken with a super wide angle lens, but as the fog rolled over the castle and into the foreground, I wanted to put the viewers focus on the castle and the only way to do that was to zoom in tight! That left me with the following composition which just had to be turned into a dark, moody black and white to put the focus on the incoming fog and castle silhouette:

1/160s at F/11, ISO100 with the Samyang 85mm F1.4

1/160s at F/11, ISO100 with the Samyang 85mm F1.4

So, can you use an 85mm lens for Landscape Photography? MOST DEFINITELY! I personally think that a landscape photographer should use a variety of different focal lengths depending on a factor of things - the location, the subject and the message you are trying to get across to your audience. Therefore, from now on, the Samyang 85mm will be coming with me on all my travels to help me improve and look at subjects in a different way.

What do you think? Comment below with your favourite lenses for landscape photography and if you prefer shorter or longer focal lengths. 

Update 21.07.18 - I've since added the Sony 24-105mm lens to my collection due to its incredible versatility, although the 85mm Samyang still comes with me on all my landscape photography trips. I'm slowly beginning to enjoy shooting with longer focal lengths over a wide angle shot that gets everything into frame. It allows you to really compress your subject and give a sense of scale/depth to your composition.