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3 lenses to recommend for mountain climbing

The image quality of the subject and the resistance to darkness depend on the lens.
Many people are wondering which lens to attach to the mountain or which lens to buy.

So in this article, I will introduce three types of lenses that I want to recommend for mountain climbing, along with photos taken by me.

Subject of this article

・Persons who already owns several lenses and a camera body and is wondering which lens to attach to the mountain.
・Persons who already have single-lens reflex camera or mirrorless camera and is considering purchasing additional lenses for mountaineering.
・Persons who are considering purchasing lenses with SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras.



In addition, you can deepen your understanding of this article by reading the following article.

https://mountainviewjapan.com/camera-focal-length/
https://mountainviewjapan.com/camera-aperture-fvalue/

High magnification zoom lens

The first recommended lens is a high magnification zoom lens.
A lens that can cover the focal length of the wide-angle to telephoto range is called a high-magnification zoom lens.
With a high magnification zoom lens, you can use a single lens to cover vast ridges and nearby mountains, up to distant mountains, and even shoot animals.

The biggest advantage of the high magnification zoom lens is that you don’t have to change the lens even if the shooting target changes.
You can avoid the risk of missing a shutter chance while replacing the lens.

Here are some examples taken by the XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, a high magnification zoom lens made by Fujifilm, which I love.
(This lens is a high magnification zoom lens that can cover a wide focal length up to 27-206mm in 35mm conversion.)

The ridge line of the Ura-Ginza taken by XF18-135mm. Focal length (converted) 27mm
I was able to fit a vast ridge in one piece.


Mt. Tsurugi and the snow surface at dusk taken by XF18-135mm.
Focal length (converted) 66mm.
I was able to catch Mt. Tsurugi up.


A couple of winter-haired ptarmigan at Mt. Kashima-Yari. Focal length (converted) 203mm
I was able to catch the ptarmigan which was a distance up.


Each company has released a high magnification zoom lens.
For example, in Olympus, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO is a high-magnification zoom lens. This lens covers the focal length 24-200mm in 35mm conversion.

Super wide-angle zoom lens

The second recommended lens is the super wide-angle zoom lens.
This lens is suitable for shooting landscapes such as:

  • Forest
  • Ridge line
  • Multiple mountains
  • The whole of the mountain

This lens is specialist in landscape photography.
Here are some examples taken by XF10-24mmF4 R OIS (FUJIFILM).
(This lens has a focal length of 15-36 mm in 35mm conversion, and This lens covers from super-wide angle to standard range.)

I photographed the 3,000m peak of the Southern Alps, Mt.Senjo, Mt.Kita, Mt. Ai, Mt.Notori, and Mt.Shiomi during the remaining snow season.
Focal length 15mm of super-wide angle in 35mm conversion.
I was able to fit five peaks that were far apart into one.


Take a photo of Mt. Tengu (Yatsugatake) during the severe winter. Converted focal length 15mm (super wide angle range)
I was able to fit the mountain trail in front of The Twin Peaks, the sky, and the mountain trail in front of me.


A back view of a climber aiming for the summit of Mt. Asama during the remaining snow season. Converted focal length 36 mm (standard range)


Fujifilm has released the XF8-16mmF2.8 R LM WR with a similar concept lens. This has a converted focal length of 12-24mm, which is a specification specialized for the super wide-angle side of the XF10-24mmF4 mentioned above.

The advantages of the XF8-16mm are that it has a bright F value of 2.8 and is strong for shooting at night, has a dust-proof and splash-proof specification, and that the picture that appears is just beautiful.
On the other hand, disadvantages of XF8-16mm are that the standard range cannot be used, image stabilization cannot be used, and the price is high.
(You don’t have to worry about image stabilization because the lens is bright and the shutter speed can be fast, and super wide-angle range is less susceptible to camera shake)



Each company has released an super wide angle zoom lens.
For example, in Olympus, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO is the super wide angle zoom. It is a lens that covers the focal length 14-28mm in 35mm conversion.

Bright wide-angle single focus lens

The third recommended lens is a bright wide-angle single focus lens with an F value of 2.0 or less.
Single focus lenses are not zoomable, but are often brighter instead. The This type of lens are ideal for shooting magic hours, starlit skies, etc.

Here are some examples taken by XF16mmF1.4 R WR, a wide-angle single-focal lens made by Fujifilm, which I love. It is a wide-angle lens of 24mm in 35mm conversion.

On the ridge line between Mt. Kiso-Koma and Mt. Utsugi before dawn. The so-called “Magic Hour” whose ridge lines are dyed blue and orange.


Shoot the foreground of Mt. Hiuchi and take a picture of the starry sky.


Shooting a toast in front of a mountain hut. A moment of bliss after completing the climb.


Shoot a picture of the starry sky with Mt. Kashima Yari, which is covered with residual snow, in the foreground.


From the Mt. Senjo ridge line of the dawn, photograph the mountain range dyed in magic hour.


Take a picture of the starry sky with Mt. Kita in the severe winter season in the foreground.


Each company has released a bright wide-angle single focus lens.
For example, in Panasonic (micro four thirds), the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm /F1.4 ASPH. corresponds to this lens.
Panasonic and Olympus have adopted the standard called Micro Four Thirds, and we can use each other’s lenses.
This lens covers a wide angle range of 24mm in 35mm conversion and is a bright F1.4 lens.

Introduction of detailed lens articles.

Some of the lenses introduced in this article are reviewed in the following article. I would appreciate it if you could take a look at it together.

https://mountainviewjapan.com/xf18-135mmf35-56rlmois/
https://mountainviewjapan.com/xf10-24mmf4rois/
https://mountainviewjapan.com/xf16mmf14rwr-starrysky/
https://mountainviewjapan.com/magichour/



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