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Photo Gear | 18-200mm | Travel

Wide angle lenses are generally used for landscape photography. The wide angle lens that I use is a lens by Tamron. If you look in my camera bag you will see a Tamron 18-200 mm zoom lens.

The Tamron 18-200mm

The fact that the lens can zoom from 18 mm all the way to 200 mm creates a wide range of options for using this particular lens. But for me personally in my photography it has one main purpose and that is landscape photography. It might be the one most single use lens that I have despite its capabilities.

In my style of landscape photography with this lens I really do mainly focus on the wide angle aspect of landscape photography. I love a grand larger than life feeling sweeping landscape. As a result I am mostly shooting landscape photos at or near the 18 mm range of the lenses zoom capabilities.

When I want to have a more narrow view of the scenery I simply choose a different lens. (More on that in a future article)

Subjects I Photograph with the 18-200mm

I really love this lens for when I am out exploring in the mountains. It really excels at showing the sweeping vistas you get to see on those days. I don’t live in the mountains so photographing mountain scenes are not what I focus on with this lens most of the time.

Mountains of New Hampshire: Created using Tamron 18-200mm lens.

Most of my landscape photography happens locally. My subjects often include lakes. I mean, of course it does, I live in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. I love other types of wide open spaces like state parks and nature centers as well. Waterfalls are also great subjects to photograph with this lens.

Using the Zoom

There is one way that I do take advantage of the zoom capabilities of this lens in my landscape photography. Sometimes I will be photographing a wide open scenic view but one smaller aspect of that scene catches my eye. That one small feature may not stand out much in an expansive 18 mm wide angle photo. But I can make it stand out more by zooming in on it and creating a tighter composition or highlight it all on its own by zooming all the way in on that one small feature of the landscape.

The way I use this technique most often is in photographing waterfalls. Most waterfalls are not just giant gushers of water flowing over the cliff. Don’t think Niagara Falls. Think more like the stream of runoff in the woods at your favorite park.

Get Close Without Getting Close

There are amazing photographs to be had by zooming out and capturing that majestic image of a waterfall in all its glory. I know. I have taken many of those. But, next time you see a waterfall stop for a second and look at it in all its complexity. There are often several smaller components that make up the waterfall or are a little off to the side of the largest part of the waterfall.

Waterfall. Zoomed in to 200mm with the Tamron 18-200mm lens.

I like to seek out these smaller areas of the waterfall. They often have a unique look and feel to them. There is often more detail to be seen in both the water and the rocks creating the falls. Capturing that image just right is a great feeling. That is where the full 200 mm zoom capabilities of this lens really shine for me.

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