Some times you don't know what you are missing until you try something new. I have always been more of a wide-angle type of landscape photographer. I typically have shot anywhere from a 15mm - 200mm point of view. I have never owned a really long lens (>300mm) before because I didn't feel I had a need for it. That was until early this month. I will be heading to South Africa in October and I decided to buy Fuji's first foray into long lenses for their mirrorless cameras. The Fuji 100-400mm (150-600mm equivalent) arrived in mid-February and I took it to Moab with me to test it out. Turns out that I love this lens.
Not only do long lenses compress the photo (compresses the foreground and the background, making them appear closer together than in real life), they also allow a photographer to take photos of smaller portions of a expansive views. Take this location for instance. The landscape at Grand View Point in Canyonlands is as expansive as it gets. When taking wide-angle shots of it, smaller details get lost in the view. There are these massive cracks in the landscape that are quite amazing. With the long lens, I was able to zoom into one of the cracks to get this shot. Just to give you an idea of size, look at the dirt road leading to the point of the crack. A car would be a small speck on the road.
I know these concepts are not new to seasoned photographers (they were not new to me), but when you start shooting with a longer lens, you begin to realize how valuable they become (and worth carrying despite their size and weight).