Lens focal lengths for landscapes

Zoom lenses offer a range of different focal lengths in a single lens so you can vary the field of view. Lenses with a single focal length are usually called ‘prime’ lenses and give you a fixed field of view.

More important than the focal length is the field-of-view the lens gives with your camera. Short focal lengths give a wide field-of-view. They are often recommended for landscape photography because the field-of-view takes in a wide expanse of the landscape.

Long focal lengths give a narrow field-of-view, isolating just a small area of the scene. They are less suited to landscape work, but can be effective if you want to emphasise a particular aspect of the view, or eliminate less attractive areas. The interactive demo to show how focal length affects field-of-view and the resultant image.

Canon IXUS and PowerShot cameras have zoom lenses built-in. Many models have lenses that offer 28mm* wide angle – the IXUS 210, IXUS 220 HS, IXUS 310 HS and PowerShot SX30 IS offer an even wider 24mm* lens.

For a truly panoramic view with your PowerShot and IXUS cameras use the Stitch Assist mode. This helps you take a series of photos across a wide landscape (or even 360 degrees). The previous photo in the series is shown on the screen so you can align the pictures. To join them into one panorama, use the PhotoStitch software supplied with your camera.

* 35mm equivalent.

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