The 18mm focal length of the popular zooms is a moderate wide angle, equivalent to 27mm on a full frame camera or 35mm film. This is a good wide angle range for people pictures but not wide enough for landscapes in my opinion.
I love wide angles and always buy Nikon lenses so I have the 10-24mm which I use frequently. I would recomment this lens for landscapes or a 3rd party lens with a similar zoom range.
"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong." --Yvon Chouinard
Welcome to Nikonians! What lens or lenses do you have now? When you get a few minutes, fill in the Equipment tab in your User Profile. It will help us provide better answers to your questions. Thanks in advance. Keep in mind that even the kit 18-55mm is an excellent for landscapes. Do you have a budget in mind? Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
Fri 12-Oct-12 11:52 PM | edited Sat 13-Oct-12 12:05 AM by J_Harris
I use the Nikon 10-24 with my D7000. It is a very nice and useful lens. Like all super wide zooms it has some distortion, especially at 10mm. A lot of people will not notice it (except at 10mm ), but if it bothers you it can easily be removed using software, e.g. Nikon Capture NX2, Photoshop, etc.
Below is a picture I took of the Missouri State Capital Rotunda using the 10-24 @ 11mm with the D7000 (no flash and hand held). Not really landscape, but the second picture gets a little closer to it . The EXIF information has not been removed.
Sat 13-Oct-12 12:05 PM | edited Sun 14-Oct-12 10:40 AM by WD4MLA
Welcome to the Nikonians!
Most people will tell you that you should get something starting at 10mm to do landscape photography. I am not a fan of super wide landscapes because when I look at most of them, my first thought is... That was taken at 10mm, rather than to appreciate the scene. I admit that I am in the minority here.
I have shot landscapes for years and have never shot wider than 16mm. I used my kit lens, an 18-135mm for a couple of years before that and got great results.
My advice is to use your kit lens and see what you think and base your decision on your own results. Many people like the very wide and you may or not fit into that category. When your kit lens will not give you the results you are seeking, it is then time to look into another lens.
Good luck with your new hobby.
Jerry Jaynes Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina
I also have a D5000 and I'll second what the other members have said about the 18-55mm kit lens. It's a remarkably good lens considering its price. So far, I haven't found myself needing to go much wider than the 18mm (DX) for my landscapes, but your needs may be different.
What I found was the kit lens was actually much better than my camera technique and as my technique improves, so do my landscape photos. Going from hand-held to using a tripod and cable release made a big difference for me. So did switching on the lens distortion compensation on the D5000 (Shooting Menu -> Auto Distortion Control - On). Prior to that I was getting a lot of barrel distortion on the horizon line at the wide end of the range.
As the others have said, the most important thing before upgrading lenses or adding to your equipment, is to analyze what you are trying to improve with your landscape photos. Are you not able to "get the whole scene in"? (need something below 18mm) Are your images not "sharp enough"? (maybe better camera support). Clearly defining the problem in your own mind will help point you in the right direction to a solution.
Looking forward to seeing the photos in your gallery!
---------------------------------------------------- "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."
Thank you Jerry. Ive been using my D5000 lens kit and I was happy about it until the distortion interests me. Though I wanted a cheaper one, I can probably get it on Ebay Im just not sure which one would work perfect for my body.
Let me say that I agree with others that the 18-55 is a a good lens and a great learning tool, and that using an ultra-wide lens is not always appropriate and certainly requires some skill to do well. That said, given your interest in landscapes, you'll eventually (soon) want a wider lens.
You'll also need a good tripod, ballhead, and remote control. In fact, I'd put those in priority over a wide lens.
For ultra-wide lenses, these are my recommendations: Best overall: Nikkor 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 Best low light/handheld: Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 (low light/handheld should not be a priority for landscape, but this is a nice lens) Best ultra-ultra-wide: Sigma 8-16 (personally I'd find this too wide, but I've seen some remarkable shots taken with it) Best on a budget: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6
The strength of the 10-24, besides being the sharpest of all these, is its extended zoom range will greatly reduce your need to change lenses in the field. All the others on this list are so wide that you'll find the too wide for many situations.