There are plenty of camera settings to consider for capturing the best possible landscape photos, depending upon the specific look you’re after. And one of our favorite pros insists that “aperture is most important stylistic instrument of all.”
So what’s the best f/stop to use for general use? While there is no one “best” choice for every scene you confront, you may be surprised by what this accomplished photographer recommends after watching the tutorial below.
Based in Austria, Christian Irmler is known for spectacular nature and landscape imagery and his impressive portfolio is all the proof you need. In today’s’ episode, he explains why f/16 shouldn’t always be your first choice, and when other aperture settings make more sense.
Irmler says that many photographers default to the smallest aperture on their lens because they want to maximize both depth of field and sharpness throughout the shot. The truth, though, is that small apertures can degrade image quality, and stopping all the way down is often a mistake.
The point is to help you determine the most appropriate f/stop for the task at hand, and Irmler explains why using a wide range of apertures is one secret to his success. He begins with an interesting discussion about how to achieve plenty of depth field without resorting to the smallest aperture on your lens.
Irmler also describes an important issue than many of us never consider; namely, the fact that every lens you own is sharpest at a specific f/stop, and this typically varies from lens to lens. This is why he’s tests all his lenses to determine it’s “sweet spot.” And he explains how you should do that too.
This important suggestion is just the first of many that he presents, and they’re all equally powerful and easy to accomplish. So spend 18 minutes watching this video and we promise that your landscape photos will be better than ever.
There are many more helpful tips and tricks on Irmler’s instructional YouTube channel, so be sure to take a look and subscribe.
And don’t miss the tutorial we posted earlier from another experienced pro, with 10 essential tips for shooting eye-popping landscape photos.