Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Landscape & Nature Photography => Topic started by: biker on January 31, 2016, 07:49:36 am

Title: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biker on January 31, 2016, 07:49:36 am
Hi,
many years ago, I used to take a 37mm equiv. compact camera (my only camera at that time) to my landscape explorations with me.
Now I'm using zoom lenses (24 - 120mm is my favourite range that suits me for most situations) for about 10 years.
My objects of interests are trees, plants, lakes, lakes with swans, old bridges, rails, little castle ruins, sunsets... taken mostly for joy.

I'm thinking of getting a fixed lens compact camera (28mm or 35mm ?) because of its size and weight and the great image quality at the same time. Something like Fujifilm X70 (http://www.dpreview.com/products/fujifilm/compacts/fujifilm_x70) might be a choice for me.
But... is there a way back after so many years with zoom lenses? Does anybody have a similar experience with such a camera or using only one prime lens with a DSLR for landscape photography? Thanks.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: luxborealis on January 31, 2016, 08:51:53 am
It's all a matter of approach and mindset. Yes, quitting your zoom lens "cold turkey" in favour of a fixed lens will cause you some "missed-shot" anxiety in the beginning. However, if you are a thinking photographer (as opposed to one who just reacts), you will quickly become more keenly aware of how best to approach a scene given the constraints of a fixed lens. You begin to see the world as your lens sees it and compositions become more natural.

There is something about imposed constraints that brings out the best in us. You should have a read of A Lesser Photographer by CJ Chilvers. Parts of it are quite good (other parts are pithy aphorisms with a sprinkling of what sounds like disgruntled wanna-be talk, although he doesn't seem to be a wanna-be).

As he points out through a quote of Orson Welles, "The enemy of art is absence of limitations."

The book is available through craftandvision.com (http://www.craftandvision.com) or you can read Chilvers blog at alesserphotographer.com (http://www.alesserphotographer.com). And, no, I do not get kick backs from this.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: HSakols on January 31, 2016, 08:56:31 am
You might want to consider a micro 4/3 body with a prime lens.  Something like an Olympus EPL7 and a 17 mm lens would cost only little bit more than what you are looking at at.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Ranger Rick on January 31, 2016, 09:32:26 am
You might take a look at the Panasonic LX100, which I find an excellent tool for such work.  It has a zoom (24-75-ish IIRC), m43 sensor, very compact.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biker on January 31, 2016, 10:48:12 am
@luxborealis: I like your tips, thanks! I think the Orson Welles quotation hits the nail on the head.
I might try to "lock" my zoom lens with a duct tape first to find out if I manage or not. And whether 28mm or 35mm.

@HSakols: Thanks but I'm afraid there is no value added in doing so. There are fixed lens compact cameras with an APS-C sensor (or even full-frame ones such as Sony RX1/R/II or Leicas but these are too expensive for me). That mirrorless would be a choice if I wanted to change lenses. Otherwise, it's just an annoyance with dust on the sensor.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: petermfiore on January 31, 2016, 10:58:45 am
You should look at the canon G1x II. it has an ASP sensor and I believe a 24-105 lens. I have the first version, G1X, and Love it for landscape. Hand held I have gotten wonderful results down to 1/5 second. Very compact and portability never a issue...

Peter
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biker on January 31, 2016, 11:35:12 am
You should look at the canon G1x II. it has an ASP sensor and I believe a 24-105 lens. I have the first version, G1X, and Love it for landscape. Hand held I have gotten wonderful results down to 1/5 second. Very compact and portability never a issue...

Peter
Yeah, I was considering this one for some time. It's 1.9x crop factor (so almost APS-C) and it's pretty soft on low apertures. At f=8 it's acceptably sharp. It lacks a viewfinder but you can optionally buy external one (not very cheap IIRC).
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: sdwilsonsct on January 31, 2016, 12:21:12 pm
Does anybody have a similar experience with such a camera or using only one prime lens with a DSLR for landscape photography? Thanks.

In the 70s and 80s I shot entirely at 50 mm because that was all I could afford. I don't think it hurt my photography too much. The X70 looks good, and you can always stitch if you need wider.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on January 31, 2016, 12:57:06 pm
I'm thinking of getting a fixed lens compact camera (28mm or 35mm ?)

Maybe look back at your favourite photos from the last year or two, and count them into focal-length buckets: say <50mm, 50<85mm, >85mm. Then check if there's been a focal length you've used much more than the others.

Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biker on January 31, 2016, 04:35:13 pm
In the 70s and 80s I shot entirely at 50 mm because that was all I could afford. I don't think it hurt my photography too much. The X70 looks good, and you can always stitch if you need wider.
Thanks for encouraging! Yeah, I've looked at sample shots and was quite impressed. I'd almost be satisfied with a 1:1 crop displayed at an 100dpi screen, so here goes the "zoom". :) But I'm not decided yet. As for stitching - yes, I've stitched literally hundreds of panoramas in Hugin (a few in MS Composite Editor or another software) but I often run into problem with choosing the proper projection. The "Equirectangular" one isn't the right choice for all cases.

Maybe look back at your favourite photos from the last year or two, and count them into focal-length buckets: say <50mm, 50<85mm, >85mm. Then check if there's been a focal length you've used much more than the others.
Is there a software to help me with that task? Might not be big such a problem to write one as .NET/WPF has got API for reading EXIF info.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on January 31, 2016, 05:54:00 pm
Is there a software to help me with that task?

That is an interesting question.

My suggestion would be ExifTool (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/) and I just stumbled over a helpful blog post (http://thatpixelgeek.com/2008/10/using-exiftool-to-find-your-most-used-focal-length/).
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biker on February 01, 2016, 02:15:38 pm
My suggestion would be ExifTool (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/) and I just stumbled over a helpful blog post (http://thatpixelgeek.com/2008/10/using-exiftool-to-find-your-most-used-focal-length/).
That's a perfect answer! Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 01, 2016, 03:29:33 pm
It'll be interesting to hear what you find out.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biker on February 01, 2016, 03:31:47 pm
Interesting statistics. It shows (for my 18-55mm lens x1.5) the same phenomenon that Ivan - from the discussion below the second link (and others) discovered: Most of shots are either on the min. or max. position of the zoom lens (see the attachment).
The same results for my 28-112mm and 24-120mm lenses.
So it's not a big help for deciding whether 28mm or 35mm. :(
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: luxborealis on February 01, 2016, 07:13:54 pm
Is there a software to help me with that task?

I can see you've already found a way, but for others who may not be aware, it is built into Lightroom (Library > Filter by Metadata). I use it at the end of each year as a useful way of evaluating my shooting habits. What focal lengths am I frequently using (comfort zone)? Where could I be working to expand my vision outside of my comfort zone?
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: NancyP on February 01, 2016, 07:28:45 pm
Do you have a favored focal length range for landscape photography? The exiftools program counts all sorts of photographs, portraits, landscapes, street, etc.

I tend to like the 35mm to 40mm range for the landscape subjects that I shoot - I get great mileage from the little Canon 40mm pancake lens, even though it is a PITA to manually focus, being focus by wire. The lens that is with you is better than the lens at home, and when I might be shooting primarily macro or telephoto, the Shorty Forty fits in a pants pocket and weighs less than my energy bar snack.

Different landscape subjects may call for different FLs.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: luxborealis on February 01, 2016, 10:44:28 pm
Interesting statistics. It shows (for my 18-55mm lens x1.5) the same phenomenon that Ivan - from the discussion below the second link (and others) discovered: Most of shots are either on the min. or max. position of the zoom lens (see the attachment).
The same results for my 28-112mm and 24-120mm lenses.
So it's not a big help for deciding whether 28mm or 35mm. :(

Actually it is... You can't go wrong with a 28mm or 24mm (equivalent.). Often, if you are shooting a lot at your widest focal length, it is indicating you are ready for even wider (or stitching 2 or 3 28mm shots together to get that wide perspective when you need it).

And, if, as Nancy points out, you can determine which focal lengths you use most for landscapes only, then you're golden.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Nelsonretreat on February 02, 2016, 12:20:10 am
I'm curious to know why you have decided to ditch the zooms? It seems from the EXIF data that you will find difficulty not having that flexibility.

I would counsel you to pay less attention to the size of the sensor than the quality of the image it produces. I have no experience with the Fujifilm camera you are considering but I know that the Fujifilm S3Pro sensor has a very different characteristic than the Nikon sensor. I use it for the extraordinary delicacy of the colours you can get which, to date, I have not been able to match on a Nikon sensor. Might be my technique of course!
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AndyS on February 02, 2016, 07:46:11 am
Hi,

For about the past year I've been using exclusively the Fuji X100T. I've cheated a little by purchasing the WCL and TCL adaptors, so have ended up with 35mm equivalent focal lengths of 28mm, 35mm and 50mm.

I don't tend to swap them when I'm out about very much - just pick one for the day and go with it.

Rather than finding this restrictive, I've actually found that using just 1 focal length for the day is strangely liberating, and helps me think a little more creatively to get the shot. Once you've used a focal length for a while your brain also knows what's going to be in/out of your composition before you even put the camera to your eye.

I'm happy with the current 16Mp XTrans sensor. Out put up to certainly 24"x16" is fantastic. Lightroom isn't the best at processing the raw files, but does OK with careful sharpening settings. I use Capture One now and am delighted with the IQ it provides.

If you look at my blog (link in signature), then the recent images have been shot with this combination. The images in the 'Latest Images' gallery on my website are also with the X100T.

I do sometimes miss being able to go wider for some landscapes. I think the X70 starts at 28mm equiv, and there are noises about there being a wide-angle adaptor.

Hope this helps, happy to answer any other queries about using this system.

Regards,
Andrew.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 02, 2016, 12:38:53 pm
Often, if you are shooting a lot at your widest focal length…

biker is also shooting a lot at the narrowest focal length, and biker is also shooting a lot in-between ;-)
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 02, 2016, 01:05:02 pm
So it's not a big help for deciding whether 28mm or 35mm. :(

I asked about the focal lengths you tended to use, in-order to make more concrete what you'd give up.

I use 52mm and 127mm (equiv) and stitch for width (handheld or tripod), and focus-stack for dof (tripod).

Does anyone sell an 85mm fixed lens compact camera? :-)
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biker on February 02, 2016, 05:08:02 pm
Do you have a favored focal length range for landscape photography? The exiftools program counts all sorts of photographs, portraits, landscapes, street, etc.
You're 100% right. The chart posted is from 2013 holiday in Sweden/Norway and those 55mm x 1.5 shots are in most cases reindeer that weren't willing to come closer. :)

I'm curious to know why you have decided to ditch the zooms? It seems from the EXIF data that you will find difficulty not having that flexibility.
The main reasons are at the start of this thread. Compact size and a great IQ at the same time.
I would add nostalgia reasons and preventing flattened zoomed shots because of my laziness.

Does anyone sell an 85mm fixed lens compact camera? :-)
Sigma DP3 Merill (http://www.dpreview.com/products/sigma/compacts/sigma_dp3m)? It's 75mm equiv., sorry. ;)

Thank you all for other tips!
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: luxborealis on February 03, 2016, 12:00:30 am
biker is also shooting a lot at the narrowest focal length, and biker is also shooting a lot in-between ;-)

You are correct, to a point. There are some in between (in fact in a relative sense, few) as would happen with a zoom, but, with the vast majority at either end, it is likely (though not definite) most of his landscapes are made at the wider end. But only he can confirm that.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biker on February 03, 2016, 04:35:51 pm
Is that what you do?

Yeah, it looks so (according to the statistics). And there aren't included source shots for panoramas that would make it even more pronounced.

I'm adding two more charts from (basically) the same place:
2007 - 35mm - 210mm equiv. (ultrazoom)
2015 - 28mm - 112mm equiv.
I'm shooting also different landscape types, of course. But the wide end seems to be more or less prevailing.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: luxborealis on February 03, 2016, 06:59:51 pm
Did you count?

It depends what you choose as the boundaries between wide, normal, tele -- but with that data you'll probably end-up with 200 normal and 400-500 at each end.


Is that what you do?

It's not about me, Isaac. It's about landscape photography. :D

I'm going out on a limb here, but I think it's safe to say that most landscape photography is done with focal lengths in the wideangle range. You may be itching to argue the opposite, and certainly, at times,  many of us use normal and telephoto for landscapes as well, but I don't think I'm too far off the mark in recognizing the predominance of wideangle use for landscapes.

Hence my recommendations, which appear to be born out in the OP's recent post.

Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 04, 2016, 12:17:49 pm
Yeah, it looks so (according to the statistics).

You haven't turned the data into statistics yet ;-)

Choose some buckets to aggregate the data (<35 / 35<70 / 70<135 / >=135)  and then look.


And there aren't included source shots for panoramas that would make it even more pronounced.

Let's not confuse a wide composition with the need for a wide-angle lens.


2007 - 35mm - 210mm equiv. (ultrazoom)

I'd suggest that 2007 is only interesting as a way of seeing what you no-longer do.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AreBee on February 04, 2016, 12:43:30 pm
Terry,

Quote
There are some in between (in fact in a relative sense, few) as would happen with a zoom...

Why would using a zoom necessarily return few images, in a relative sense, between the upper- and lower-bound focal lengths of the lens?
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 04, 2016, 12:45:19 pm
It's not about me, Isaac.

No, it's not about you. I think we often recommend others do as we do -- hence my question.


…most landscape photography is done with focal lengths in the wide angle range. You may be itching to argue the opposite…

Near-far one-shot composition is done with wide-angle to exaggerate perspective. I don't think that's the be-all and end-all of landscape photography.

fwiw On a regular basis, a newbie will ask on one of the forums…”What wide angle lens should I get for landscapes“? … Of course, the reality is that landscape photography is seldom done (https://luminous-landscape.com/make-it-long/) with a WA lens.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: luxborealis on February 04, 2016, 07:10:50 pm
Terry,

Why would using a zoom necessarily return few images, in a relative sense, between the upper- and lower-bound focal lengths of the lens?

Rob, if I truly thought you didn't know what I was talking about, I'd actually address your question. I don't have time for crap like this.

Frankly, this is not what I'm on the forum for. If you and Isaac have the time to nitpick every statement without actually moving the discussion along, then I truly feel sorry for you. You should spend more of time out photographing.

biker asked for a suggestion. Suggestions were provided. Disagree with those suggestions and counter-offer better suggestions, but don't start playing lawyer with semantics.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 04, 2016, 09:40:55 pm
Why would using a zoom necessarily return few images, in a relative sense, between the upper- and lower-bound focal lengths of the lens?

It wouldn't necessarily.

However, I think as a result of my lack of skill with zoom lenses, and a desire for both more stretch and more reach; I did use the ends of the range more, even though I know the IQ is better mid-range.

Happily I took note, and traded in the zoom for my two fixed focal-length lenses. (I did buy another zoom lens, but only because it was a cheap way to have something that kind-of worked at 300mm equiv)
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: ned on February 05, 2016, 01:40:17 am
My idea of a compact landscape camera is the Fuji Gw690iii. Beautiful 6x9 negative.  Compared to my 4x5 it's very compact.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AreBee on February 05, 2016, 04:39:29 am
Terry,

Quote
...if I truly thought you didn't know what I was talking about, I'd actually address your question. I don't have time for crap like this. Frankly, this is not what I'm on the forum for.

Quote
There are some in between (in fact in a relative sense, few) as would happen with a zoom...

I personally don't understand why using a zoom "would" return few images, in a relative sense, between the upper- and lower-bound focal lengths of the lens, but then I'm not the one who wrote it - you are.

When I don't understand, I ask. What I try to not do is disagree (or agree, for that matter) without first clarifying what was meant.

If I've missed something obvious, then by all means help me to understand your meaning. However, if you are unable to defend what you have written without becoming defensive when questioned on it, then simply do not write it.

Instead of being perturbed that someone has questioned you on what you have written, consider that some people closely read and carefully consider your every word.

Quote
If you and Isaac...

Thank you for your compliment.

Quote
You should spend more of time out photographing.

Of that there can be no doubt.


Isaac,

Quote
...I think as a result of my lack of skill with zoom lenses, and a desire for both more stretch and more reach...

The latter I can understand, but not the former. What skill is required with a zoom lens, more so than with a prime?
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Chairman Bill on February 05, 2016, 04:59:32 am
I use a Fujifilm X100s when I don't want to carry my DSLR & a number of lenses. It does me just fine.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 05, 2016, 12:49:05 pm
What skill is required with a zoom lens, more so than with a prime?

I assume that others, more skilled, easily and quickly adjust both their position and the focal length. With a prime I seem more likely to take the photo quickly enough because the focal length is fixed, so I must adjust my position. One less variable.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: SZRitter on February 05, 2016, 02:12:31 pm
I think there is an issue with zooms that people don't often talk about, but I have heard a few skilled photographers speak of.

Many people don't understand when to use what focal length or conceptualize where in the range they want it. A lot of people will walk up to the scene, zoom near to far, and then settle at one of those ends. Maybe move around a bit, and maybe use the zoom to compensate for walking. What they don't do is walk up to the scene and say "I want a 35mm because it will do {insert desired effect} to my shot". I feel like shooting with a prime or a bag full of primes really forces you to choose a lens for a certain reason, and enforces that even when you move back to zooms.

I, of course, guilty, do both. Sometimes I think about it, and sometimes I just want the quick grab shot or can't move. And a lot of the time I only have one focal length with me, very liberating.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 05, 2016, 03:55:30 pm
…when to use what focal length or conceptualize where in the range they want it.

In the moment, I would fail to apply that understanding ;-)

(Jack Dykinga mentioned this issue in one of his books (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=73133.msg793480#msg793480).)

For me, it's a matter of accepting that I invest so little time learning what to expect from the different focal lengths that 2 focal lengths are already at the limit of what I will successfully learn and retain. Even now I still almost feel surprise when I switch between 52mm and 127mm (equiv); but slowly I am becoming better at deciding how I'm going to approach a scene with the tools I have.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: luxborealis on February 05, 2016, 06:13:17 pm
If I've missed something obvious, then by all means help me to understand your meaning. However, if you are unable to defend what you have written without becoming defensive when questioned on it, then simply do not write it.

I was truly surprised by your ignorance on this topic, Rob. And, just to be clear, I never feel compelled to defend any position I may have on a discussion forum as this is a discussion forum, not a court of law. While that could be translated as "I can say whatever the h*** I want", it's not the tact I choose to take. Reasoned thought, I find, is most productive here. Boring for some who like to unnecessarily stir the pot, but helpful to the vast majority here who come to learn and not be pounced upon as it seems I did, quite unintentionally, to you. So, to answer your query....

It may sound pedantic, but what sometimes happens with photographers using zoom lenses is they choose specific focal lengths that match their vision of the scene, often based on focal lengths they may be familiar with through prior experience; e.g. 35mm or 50mm on a 24-85mm zoom. This would show up as a predominance of photos taken at specific focal lengths.

In the OP's case, he is using the zoom primarily at extremes. This, too, is not unusual and accounts for the dearth of photos at in-between focal lengths. The use of extremes may also indicate a user who would benefit from wider or longer focal lengths than the lens allows.

SZRitter points out a different use of zooms which results in a different profile of focal lengths. Someone who stands in one place and zooms to crop will have, perhaps, more photos between the two extremes and at more random focal lengths.

Of course, one can use a zoom in any number of different ways and completely ignore this over-analysis. Being completely free of the constraints of focal length is one of the advantages of zooms, but as I quoted in my original post from Orson Welles, "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations."
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AreBee on February 05, 2016, 07:21:33 pm
Terry,

Thank you for clarifying what was meant.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 05, 2016, 08:43:29 pm
for my 18-55mm lens x1.5

476   < 35mm

408   35mm < 70mm

426   70mm < 135mm

0   >= 135mm
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AreBee on February 08, 2016, 06:45:54 am
Nancy,

Quote
I tend to like the 35mm to 40mm range for the landscape subjects that I shoot...

Given your use of a Canon 6D (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=107134.msg885301#msg885301), perhaps you tend to perceive the landscape literally as your eye observes it.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AreBee on February 08, 2016, 12:09:46 pm
All,

Further to this (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=73133.msg793480#msg793480) link provided above:

Quote from: Jack Dykinga
Often, while teaching workshops, I find that when I tell students to tighten up a composition, they simply zoom their lens. By doing so, they negate the effect of the focal length they originally selected. It's far better to keep the focal length (for its desired effect) and move the entire camera -- and the photographer -- either forward or back.

I would be grateful if someone will explain how zooming negates the effect of the focal length originally selected.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biglouis on February 08, 2016, 12:27:11 pm
Hi there. This is my first post, so please be gentle with me.

I have been using fixed lens cameras for some time for landscape photography.

My two leading cameras are the Sigma DP2M (Merrill) and the DP3M - which give a equivalent fov of about 40mm and 75mm.

I use a Lee System 7 filter system with the cameras and they work well together.

One benefit of a single lens camera is that it definitely slows you down and makes you think whether or not you are using a tripod.

I do have access to other cameras and in fact my walk around kit has become a Leica Q for 28-35-50 and the Sigma DP3M for 75-90-135, as both are considerably 'croppable'.

LouisB

Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 08, 2016, 12:57:53 pm
… how zooming negates the effect of the focal length originally selected.

I guess you're bothered by the phrasing? Is it too charitable to read that as -- zooming deselects the focal length originally selected and consequently deselects the effect -- zooming from 28mm to 200mm deselects foreground stretch and selects foreground midground compression instead.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: SZRitter on February 08, 2016, 01:00:54 pm
All,

Further to this (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=73133.msg793480#msg793480) link provided above:

I would be grateful if someone will explain how zooming negates the effect of the focal length originally selected.

It all depends on objectives of your photograph, and it is a very real issue I deal with when I take photos for my workplace.

I'll start with a small description of where I work. I work at a resort company (ski and golf) in Michigan. The two resorts I work at most of the time have a vertical of 500' to 600' (ish, don't remember exactly). This means the powers that be can be a little bit picky about how we make it look, and want a mountain, not a mole hill.

Now, take two objects, let's say a person and the mountain, where the person is obviously standing in front of the mountain, and they stay constant/similar size in the frame. If I use a wide angle, the mountain will look really small, but if I use a normal or longer length, the mountain will look pretty large. Makes sense, right? So, just zooming alters this relationship of near to far objects produced by FOV (as it is dependent on focal length/sensor size/distances).
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 08, 2016, 01:01:42 pm
My two leading cameras are…

To be helpful, we need to push you into saying which of those fixed-lens cameras you would choose -- if you could only use one camera for the next 2 years?
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AreBee on February 08, 2016, 01:42:49 pm
Isaac,

Quote
I guess you're bothered by the phrasing?

No.

Quote
...zooming from 28mm to 200mm...

...changes field of view alone. It has no effect on the relative size of objects that featured in the previous field of view.



SZRitter,

Quote
...take two objects, let's say a person and the mountain, where the person is obviously standing in front of the mountain, and they stay constant/similar size in the frame. If I use a wide angle, the mountain will look really small, but if I use a normal or longer length, the mountain will look pretty large. Makes sense, right?

If you move location, yes.

Quote
So, just zooming alters this relationship of near to far objects produced by FOV...

If you remain in the same location, no.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: SZRitter on February 08, 2016, 01:49:58 pm
SZRitter,

If you move location, yes.

If you remain in the same location, no.

Funny, I was just about to reply to you when you added this. Basically, yes. It's a question of the purpose of the photo. I often have an object I am highlighting, so I need to pay attention to how it is rendered in relation to the background.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 08, 2016, 02:03:35 pm
...changes field of view alone. It has no effect on the relative size of objects that featured in the previous field of view.

Yes, and when I change focal length I'll change position to keep the same objects in the field of view, and that will change perspective.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AreBee on February 08, 2016, 02:28:57 pm
Isaac,

Quote
...when I change focal length I'll change position...

That's not what Jack Dykinga advises to his workshop students.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 08, 2016, 03:04:39 pm
That's not what Jack Dykinga advises to his workshop students.

It is true that I did not take "when I tell students to tighten up a composition" to mean keep the same objects in the field of view.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AreBee on February 08, 2016, 04:22:17 pm
Isaac,

Quote
...I did not take "when I tell students to tighten up a composition" to mean keep the same objects in the field of view.

Neither does Jack Dykinga:

Quote
It's far better to keep the focal length (for its desired effect) and move the entire camera -- and the photographer -- either forward or back.

If focal length is fixed then a change in location will change field of view.

Quote from: Jack Dykinga
Often, while teaching workshops, I find that when I tell students to tighten up a composition, they simply zoom their lens. By doing so, they negate the effect of the focal length they originally selected. It's far better to keep the focal length (for its desired effect) and move the entire camera -- and the photographer -- either forward or back.

By zooming, workshop students negate the effect of the focal length they originally selected. It is far better to keep the focal length (for its desired effect) and move the entire camera -- and the photographer -- either forward or back. Changing location changes perspective.

What is the "effect" of a focal length?
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: kencameron on February 08, 2016, 06:21:38 pm
Maybe look back at your favourite photos from the last year or two, and count them into focal-length buckets: say <50mm, 50<85mm, >85mm. Then check if there's been a focal length you've used much more than the others.


"Favourite" is an important qualification here, which I am not sure has been followed in subsequent illustrative posts, and it would be particularly interesting if there were to be a difference between the results of assessing all photos and favourite photos.


On cameras, my Ricoh GR (APSC/28mm equivalent) produces more than its share of my favourite landscapes but with the current availability of good stitching software I think I would choose a longer fixed focal length if I could only pick one.



Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: kencameron on February 08, 2016, 06:33:12 pm
I'll start with a small description of where I work. I work at a resort company (ski and golf) in Michigan. The two resorts I work at most of the time have a vertical of 500' to 600' (ish, don't remember exactly). This means the powers that be can be a little bit picky about how we make it look, and want a mountain, not a mole hill.


I regularly find myself reducing mountains to mole hills by photographing them. Lacking suitable foreground objects to establish relativities, a jet pack, or teleportation skills, would be helpful. Lightroom's Lens Correction manual controls, or the warp filter in PS, can increase the proportion of the image occupied by the mountain to something like its predominance in the mind, at the expense of sharpness. Other solutions?
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: SZRitter on February 09, 2016, 10:19:41 am

I regularly find myself reducing mountains to mole hills by photographing them. Lacking suitable foreground objects to establish relativities, a jet pack, or teleportation skills, would be helpful. Lightroom's Lens Correction manual controls, or the warp filter in PS, can increase the proportion of the image occupied by the mountain to something like its predominance in the mind, at the expense of sharpness. Other solutions?

The more you increase your distance from the subject, the smaller it will be in proportion to it's background. So you have to step back and use a longer focal length to compensate for stepping back. If I wasn't lazy, I could draw the principle behind it fairly easily. Not sure my description is making it work right...

Although, your issue may be less about the size of the mountains, and more about framing them right at the time of capture...

Edit: Would a tilt do this? I can't remember what all the movements do.

Why do you need a jet pack when you can use a drone? None of that pesky falling to your death issues with drones....  :P

And for the record, I think many of us grew up thinking of this "effect" as a product of the focal length, not distance. So it may be what many of us call "effect" of lens is actually products of other things, but because the lens is the object we are using, we attribute it to an effect of the lens.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: Isaac on February 09, 2016, 11:36:00 am
"Favourite" is an important qualification here…

Maybe not as-much-as I first thought - there are too many other factors wrapped-up in "favourite".

When it's like this, we're going to be giving-up something and that'll probably be more comfortable if we choose up-front what to give-up:

476   < 35mm
408   35mm < 70mm
426   70mm < 135mm
0   >= 135mm


… but with the current availability of good stitching software I think I would choose a longer fixed focal length if I could only pick one.

Me too, with the understanding that by doing so I'll give-up the possibility of wider shots when movement is an important element in the scene.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: NancyP on February 09, 2016, 02:25:13 pm
I find that the woodlands landscapes often frame well with a near-normal lens. I pull out the ultra-wide for dramatic sky use in portrait format. The skyline itself isn't usually very interesting due to the lack of dramatic features. I have to find a decent isolated tree for sky interest, if the sky itself isn't knockout gorgeous.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: kencameron on February 09, 2016, 10:25:44 pm
The more you increase your distance from the subject, the smaller it will be in proportion to it's background. So you have to step back and use a longer focal length to compensate for stepping back. If I wasn't lazy, I could draw the principle behind it fairly easily. Not sure my description is making it work right...

Although, your issue may be less about the size of the mountains, and more about framing them right at the time of capture...

Edit: Would a tilt do this? I can't remember what all the movements do.

Why do you need a jet pack when you can use a drone? None of that pesky falling to your death issues with drones....  :P

And for the record, I think many of us grew up thinking of this "effect" as a product of the focal length, not distance. So it may be what many of us call "effect" of lens is actually products of other things, but because the lens is the object we are using, we attribute it to an effect of the lens.


I have a drone on order and am looking forward to experimenting with it as a camera platform, always assuming they are still legal when mine arrives, or it doesn't get shot out of the sky on its first outing. I live in hope of a jetpack - maybe for my grandchildren.


The mountains (often mountain ranges) I diminish when I photograph them are generally in the distance and I am making stitched panoramas with a telephoto lens. The problem is that they look relatively smaller on screen or paper than in reality. The issue is how they look in relation to their foreground. I have always supposed that this is because the brain has tricks of attention which make what interests it look relatively large out there in the world, but don't work with small paper rectangles, particularly long thin ones (I find that changing the aspect ratio of the pano helps). I don't know anything about tilt lenses, but conjecture that the "vertical" slider in LR's Lens Correction Tab may do something like what they do.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: kencameron on February 10, 2016, 12:13:16 am
Maybe not as-much-as I first thought - there are too many other factors wrapped-up in "favourite".

When it's like this, we're going to be giving-up something and that'll probably be more comfortable if we choose up-front what to give-up:
476   < 35mm
408   35mm < 70mm
426   70mm < 135mm
0   >= 135mm
Certainly. And, thinking about it, I do delete images I don't like, so the raw numbers will end up being a good guide.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: AreBee on February 10, 2016, 06:05:04 am
Ken,

Quote
I don't know anything about tilt lenses, but conjecture that the "vertical" slider in LR's Lens Correction Tab may do something like what they do.

With respect to camera movements, tilt is the term commonly used to describe application of the scheimpflug principle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheimpflug_principle), in which the plane of focus is no longer parallel to the film/sensor plane.

The effect would not resolve your issue.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: biker on February 15, 2016, 05:14:41 pm
Purchased the 28mm eq./APS-C Nikon Coolpix A (http://www.dpreview.com/search/?query=nikon%20coolpix%20a&product=nikon_cpa) compact camera. As it is from 2013, they offered it for an affordable price.
I'm going to give a try for a few weeks. I'm curious what the fixed lens landscape pictures will be like.
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: maddogmurph on February 19, 2016, 05:48:12 pm
Hi,
many years ago, I used to take a 37mm equiv. compact camera (my only camera at that time) to my landscape explorations with me.
Now I'm using zoom lenses (24 - 120mm is my favourite range that suits me for most situations) for about 10 years.
My objects of interests are trees, plants, lakes, lakes with swans, old bridges, rails, little castle ruins, sunsets... taken mostly for joy.

I'm thinking of getting a fixed lens compact camera (28mm or 35mm ?) because of its size and weight and the great image quality at the same time. Something like Fujifilm X70 (http://www.dpreview.com/products/fujifilm/compacts/fujifilm_x70) might be a choice for me.
But... is there a way back after so many years with zoom lenses? Does anybody have a similar experience with such a camera or using only one prime lens with a DSLR for landscape photography? Thanks.

You're opening a huge can of worms mate.  But I'll give you my experience.  I carried nothing but a 24mm, and a 70-200mm on my d810 for a few months in New Zealand. I didn't miss a single shot. That being said I would have missed one shot in Nepal with that set up and was happy to have my 50mm there when I needed it.  Out of those two lenses I carried 66% of my shots were on the 24mm.  So if I had to carry just one camera with a fixed lens, I'd probably strongly consider the Leica Q.  But I'd miss 44% of my shots...
Title: Re: Fixed Lens Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Post by: sarrasani on February 19, 2016, 06:32:58 pm
fixed lens , landscape?
No doubts, the superior Foveon rendition.....dp1 or dp1 quattro.  Avoid the zooms, and avoid the autofocus.
Sandro