Six Reasons Why the 100-400mm is a Great Lens for Landscape Photography

Landscape photographer and YouTuber Mads Peter Iversen has put together a video that’s bound to spark some discussion: it’s his ode to the 100-400mm lens, which he considers “the best telephoto zoom lens for landscape photography.”

Iversen has spent much time in the past touting the benefits of keeping a long lens in your landscape photography kit. He even has an entire course dedicated to the 70-200. So why is he suddenly touting the benefits of a 100-400mm lens, calling it his favorite, and saying that “you should own one for landscape photography”?

In a word: versatility. In more words, here are the six reasons that Iversen lists throughout the 11-minute video:

  1. Macro(ish) Capabilities – These long lenses often allow you to get macro-like results at the long end, zeroing in on details to capture beautiful abstract shots.
  2. Simplification – Even more-so than the 70-200, a 100-400 lens allows you to cut everything else out of your frame and focus in on specific elements, simplifying your composition.
  3. Reaction – Because of its wide focal range, Mads claims that this is a great lens “if you need to react to something fast” when you’re out shooting.
  4. Compression Effect – This one is pretty self-explanatory, and a well-known benefit of telephoto lenses
  5. Versatility – Already implied above, the large focal range allows you to use this lens to capture a wide variety of compositions.
  6. Image Stabilization – A fringe benefit that makes it easier to use this lens hand-held or in windy conditions.

Here are some sample images that Iversen has captured either with this lens, or in this focal range:

As a bonus for optics nerds, Mads goes on a bit of a (very calm) rant about the term “lens compression,” because it doesn’t actually have anything to do with the lens. He also touches on whether or not you would want to use this lens with a 2x extender. Both interesting and useful bits of information.

He also ends the video with an outline of the cons, which is important since there are definitely downsides to using a lens this large.

In the end though, Mads gives you plenty of reasons why he thinks you should have this telephoto zoom lens into your landscape photography kit. Check out the full video up top to hear all of his thoughts on the subject, and then feel free to share your take on long-zoom landscape photography in the comments.

Image credits: All photos by Mads Peter Iversen and used with permission.