Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: giancoli on July 06, 2014, 04:36:14 am

Title: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: giancoli on July 06, 2014, 04:36:14 am
Hi there.

I have decided to upgrade my photography equipment....I'm probably buying a canon 5D iii
I have a hard time deciding which lens to buy..So far the two lenses that I flip back and forth on is these two:

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/lenses/ef_lens_lineup/lens_wide_pro/ef_24mm_f_1_4l_ii_usm

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/lenses/ef_lens_lineup/lens_uw_pro/ef_16_35mm_f_2_8l_ii_usm

I would appreciate any kind of opinions and arguments. My main use will be landscape photography with a tripod...so I don't care much about abillity to snap quickly things in motion, stabilization etc.
Having a wide angle is nice..but the fixed lens give sharper images and too wide give distortions. So far I have used photoshop to stitch images together to capture everything I wanted from a scenery. Using a tripod and rotate the camera all through the wanted angle...I thought I could do the same with the 24mm when it was necesarry and tus reap the benefits of it's sharper images and still be able to capture everything.

Other ideas suggestions are appreciated...I was thinking about buying the equipment on ebay. What do you think about that? Any other suggestions?

Alright, looking forward to any responses
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: ErikKaffehr on July 06, 2014, 05:40:57 am
Hi,

You should look at the new 16-35/4, it is said to be much better than the old 16-35/2.8. Other alternatives may be:

- The 24/3.5 TSE is a great lens AFAIK, but no AF
- The Zeiss Distagon 25/2 or 21/2.8 may also be worth consideration
- The 24/1.4 is great, when it is stopped down
- The Samyang 14/2.8 has horrible distortion and is "auto nothing" but has excellent sharpness at a very low price
- The Zeiss Distagon 15/2.8 is also a good option

Best regards
Erik

Hi there.

I have decided to upgrade my photography equipment....I'm probably buying a canon 5D iii
I have a hard time deciding which lens to buy..So far the two lenses that I flip back and forth on is these two:

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/lenses/ef_lens_lineup/lens_wide_pro/ef_24mm_f_1_4l_ii_usm

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/lenses/ef_lens_lineup/lens_uw_pro/ef_16_35mm_f_2_8l_ii_usm

I would appreciate any kind of opinions and arguments. My main use will be landscape photography with a tripod...so I don't care much about abillity to snap quickly things in motion, stabilization etc.
Having a wide angle is nice..but the fixed lens give sharper images and too wide give distortions. So far I have used photoshop to stitch images together to capture everything I wanted from a scenery. Using a tripod and rotate the camera all through the wanted angle...I thought I could do the same with the 24mm when it was necesarry and tus reap the benefits of it's sharper images and still be able to capture everything.

Other ideas suggestions are appreciated...I was thinking about buying the equipment on ebay. What do you think about that? Any other suggestions?

Alright, looking forward to any responses
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 06, 2014, 09:32:42 am
What equipment are U currently shooting with?

If you are already significantly invested in Canon FF lenses and/or intend to purchase a 17mm T/S lens in the next 12 months, then the 5DIII makes sense.

I cannot think of any other reason not to go for a Nikon D810 and a mix of Nikkor/Zeiss lenses.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: chez on July 06, 2014, 10:46:29 am
For landscape I would either get the 6d or better yet the A7R. Both are less expensive than the 5d3 and both are arguably better suited for landscape work.

My lens of choice for landscape is the Zeiss 21mm.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: giancoli on July 06, 2014, 11:22:36 am
Thanks for all replies guys! I'm a little confused here...
As to what I have...I only got a canon 550D and a crappy lens not even worth mentioning.
I'm been using this equipment for a long time and been heavily dependent on photoshop to make my images look good.

I do have quite a lot of cash now...so I can afford quite expensive new equipment...but I don't want to waste money off course...and I'm only a hobby photographer.

As to the sony alpha 7 I have not even considered it...guess it was a good idea to post here on the forum. I think also that I dont want to go for zeiss lenses cause I read some reviews and it seemed canon prime lenses outperformed zeiss. Hmmm lots to think about..I'm not in a hurry and I want to make a good decision.

Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: capital on July 06, 2014, 03:07:33 pm
Hi Gioncoli,

I can certainly understand where you coming from about wanting to upgrade now that you have an influx of money.

The Canon 550D is still a competent camera for taking landscapes, just look at someone like Grant Meyer on G+ who uses it to beautifully photograph the Palouse in Washington State. https://plus.google.com/+GrantMeyer/posts/

I think it is actually important to know why you want a full frame camera as opposed to getting a cropped body.

There are many hidden costs in photography that one often overlooks, such as the costs of travel, the physical costs carrying a larger system, cost of extra storage, cost of a new stabler tripod, cost of a new computer, etc. These costs should be accounted for in your purchase of new gear.

Canon has recently come out with a new APS-C ultrawide lens, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM which has been well reviewed on photozone.de. The lens has a very attractive price point of $299.

My final thought is that you apply the bulk of the funds you might apply to a really expensive full frame camera system towards a nice photography trip some place you've always wanted to go as the images you make on that trip will far outlast any new camera you buy.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Glenn NK on July 06, 2014, 03:49:10 pm
Giancoli:

About a year ago on another forum (Naturescapes) someone posted the following question/poll:

"If you had to choose one fixed focal length lens for landscape photography, what focal length would you choose".

There were options from very wide to very long in the poll.

The most common choice by a wide margin was 24 mm.

At this FL, and cost not a problem, I would suggest the TSE24 Mark II.  I have this lens, and when I'm serious about a landscape image, it's the one I use.

Keep in mind though this is with a FF body, so the 24 mm is in effect longer by a factor of 1.6 on a Canon APS-C body.

Glenn
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: capital on July 06, 2014, 04:43:26 pm
The issue with polls on photographic equipment is that we then don't press the shutter button by committee. Certainly there can be overlap in personal taste, though the choice of focal length is more how one sees the world or wishes to express it.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: HarperPhotos on July 06, 2014, 05:06:12 pm
Hello,

Totally agree with Bernardís comments.

When it comes to landscape photography the most important thing is dynamic range to capture the shadow and high light detail.

There is where the Nikon D800 series of cameras has no competition. Why invest in a Canon system which is inferior?

Cheers

Simon
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 06, 2014, 07:01:52 pm
Totally agree with Bernardís comments.

When it comes to landscape photography the most important thing is dynamic range to capture the shadow and high light detail.

There is where the Nikon D800 series of cameras has no competition. Why invest in a Canon system which is inferior?

Exactly.

And no, there are no Canon prime superior to their Zeiss equivalent in absolute terms and certainly not when used on a 5-6 years old technology 22mp Canon designed for high ISO performance, equipped with an AA filter sensor with a base ISO of 100 compared to a state of the art 36mp sensor without AA filter, optimized for low ISO image quality at ISO64.

The gap in image quality is larger than it ever was comparing Nikon and Canon top end body. The D800 was already a much better landscape camera, the D810 is increasing the gap further in landscape terms and is simply overall a superior all round body also.

The one lens that is unique to the Canon system is the 17mm T/S. The 24mm T/S is superior to its Nikon equivalent when shifted, but the gap isn't large when tilting and not large enough to compensate for the sensor inferiority.

In short, selecting a 5DIII/6D today for landscape work would not be a rationale choice unless the 17mm T/S is mandatory for your applications in the short term. Nikon has had a 17mm T/S patent available for several years, it can't be too long until the lens is released.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: chez on July 06, 2014, 07:07:01 pm
You can have your cake and eat it too. Use an A7R camera along with the TSE 17 or any other lens out there. Superb camera and sensor without restrictions on what lens to use. I wouldn't choose a D800 today as the A7R is cheaper and in many ways better than the Nikon for landscape photography.

Exactly.

And no, there are no Canon prime superior to their Zeiss equivalent in absolute terms and certainly not when used on a 5-6 years old technology 22mp Canon designed for high ISO performance, equipped with an AA filter sensor with a base ISO of 100 compared to a state of the art 36mp sensor without AA filter, optimized for low ISO image quality at ISO64.

The gap in image quality is larger than it ever was comparing Nikon and Canon top end body. The D800 was already a much better landscape camera, the D810 is increasing the gap further in landscape terms and is simply overall a superior all round body also.

The one lens that is unique to the Canon system is the 17mm T/S. The 24mm T/S is superior to its Nikon equivalent when shifted, but the gap isn't large when tilting and not large enough to compensate for the sensor inferiority.

In short, selecting a 5DIII/6D today for landscape work would not be a rationale choice unless the 17mm T/S is mandatory for your applications in the short term. Nikon has had a 17mm T/S patent available for several years, it can't be too long until the lens is released.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: MrSmith on July 06, 2014, 07:09:34 pm
As you are not wedded to a system you are in the position to cherry pick lenses, maybe decide what lenses you want and then find a suitable sensor to use them with, bodies come and go but a good lens is always a good lens (unless you drop it (sorry Bernard)) that's why I went with an A7r as it gave me the best sensor to go with my lenses that I used the most (canon 24 and 90tse) Wasn't a fan of the UI of the d800 or live view though plenty of people get on fine with them plus the equivalent nikon lenses were not stellar.
 If I was wanting super-wide I would probably go for a nikon though with the 14-24 and maybe a zeiss prime.
I have no need to go beyond 24 so I'm happy with my set-up though use a mkIII for smaller jobs or when reliable AF is needed not image fidelity, I did use it a lot for landscapes and never felt hindered by it but the sony dynamic range is nice to have. UI is not the best though.
I would hire or borrow before committing to a system.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: David Eichler on July 06, 2014, 07:14:15 pm
Hello,

Totally agree with Bernardís comments.

When it comes to landscape photography the most important thing is dynamic range to capture the shadow and high light detail.

There is where the Nikon D800 series of cameras has no competition. Why invest in a Canon system which is inferior?

Cheers

Simon

I disagree. For me, for landscape photography, the lenses would be most important. If you are really serious about maximum quality and can afford it, would suggest the Canon 17mm and 24mm perspective correction lenses and the Canon 1.4x teleconverter. If you don't want to go to that extent with prime lenses, then I would suggest the new Canon 16-35mm f:4 lens, which is significantly better than the Canon 16-35mm f:2.8 II and also appears to be a bit better than the equivalent Nikon zoom. It is really an excellent lens all around.

Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 06, 2014, 08:10:40 pm
You can have your cake and eat it too. Use an A7R camera along with the TSE 17 or any other lens out there. Superb camera and sensor without restrictions on what lens to use. I wouldn't choose a D800 today as the A7R is cheaper and in many ways better than the Nikon for landscape photography.

The shutter vibration alone makes the a7r a non starter in my book. It is just not an additional risk I would want to have to deal with for critical imaging even if many photographers seem to be able to live with it.

Lighter and more compact is definitely nice, but when you compare the benefits to the overall weight you have to carry for landscape work in the wild (including yourself), we are speaking of a difference of less than 1%. The only discipline where I agree it does make a difference is climbing photography.

Besides, the a7r system is extremely limited from a lens perspective standpoint if you need AF. I am a landscape shooter, but I am glad to have a fast and accurate AF with my 85mm f1.4, 70-200f4 and 300mm f2.8 VR to mention just 3 of the AF lenses I use on a regular basis.

So overall, I would personnally not recommend the a7r at this point in time because I looked into it very carefully for myself and opted against it. It is a nice camera in a system with great long term potential, but I have done enough beta testing in the past. It is not ready for prime time yet in my view. I do understand that it is very appealing for Canon shooter tired of waiting for sensor innovation. But that is true only for people already invested in Canon lenses, I don't think it applies to the OP's situation.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: capital on July 06, 2014, 11:43:41 pm
They say they can't include enough FOV in the shots they presently take, and wish for more native FOV in a lens w/o the need to stitch.

The assertion that OP is better served with a Nikon D8xx over the grossly "inferior" Canon overlooks the non trivial costs of upgrading to a full frame setup versus sticking with an APC-C class system or buying just a new lens for their camera they already have.

I have to question how much practical benefit and value is realized to a hobbyist photographer to upgrade to the putative best.

Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 07, 2014, 12:06:35 am
They say they can't include enough FOV in the shots they presently take, and wish for more native FOV in a lens w/o the need to stitch.

The assertion that OP is better served with a Nikon D8xx over the grossly "inferior" Canon overlooks the non trivial costs of upgrading to a full frame setup versus sticking with an APC-C class system or buying just a new lens for their camera they already have.

I have to question how much practical benefit and value is realized to a hobbyist photographer to upgrade to the putative best.

I agree with your views, but the comments in this thread are based on the initial inputs from the OP mentioning the 5DIII as his current intent.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: ErikKaffehr on July 07, 2014, 12:28:43 am
Hi,

Some view points.

I would say that a Canon 5DIII is perfectly good enough for landscape. I was shooting along with Hans Kruse in the Dolomites a month ago, Hans was shooting both Canon 5DIII and Nikon D800 and he said that both are OK. With Canon you need to expose ETTR with Nikon less so, because of the better DR. I have been quite happy with the few Canon raw images I have seen.

I am pretty sure that Nikon has the better sensor right now, but one can speculate that Canon will catch up.

Regarding the Sony A7r, I am pretty sure that the shutter vibration is there. I have seen it in both test chart shots by Lloyd Chambers and MTF data from Jim Kasson. The Sony A7 does not have the same problem. Sony is pumping out new models all the time, and I am pretty confident they will have a replacement for the A7r. I also feel that the A7r was a bit pressed rushed into market.

Sony A7 has the advantage that you can mount almost any lens on it, but far from all lenses will actually work.

I guess you could go with any lens. For me (not a Canon shooter) the obvious choice would be the 16-35/4, or one of the T&S lenses.

I can also mention that I don't feel there is something like a landscape lens. I shoot landscape with every lens I own. Fisheye, ultrawide, normal zoom, short tele, long tele. The ultra wides are probably the ones I use least. Bernard forgot about telling you to stitch, so I add that stitching is a better way to widen view than using wider lens and crop.

Best regards
Erik

Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 07, 2014, 12:38:22 am
Bernard forgot about telling you to stitch, so I add that stitching is a better way to widen view than using wider lens and crop.

What just happened?  ???

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on July 07, 2014, 04:40:20 am
I can highly recommend the Canon 6D as a great landscape camera. Yes, there are better sensors out there in terms of DR, but IMO the difference is easily overcome with a bit of care and planning. Get a high quality GND filter system, if you are so inclined, or bracket your shots in critical conditions. In real life, how often do you need to pull your shadows 3, 4, or 5 stops in a landscape shot?

The 6D is much cheaper than a D800, save money for really good Zeiss lenses. I have the 21 f2.8 in EOS mount, it's a workhorse, from landscapes to nightscapes, to star trails. Another excellent lens for landscapes would be the Zeiss 100 Macro, stunning resolution detail, I am saving up for that one:)
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: giancoli on July 08, 2014, 09:31:24 am
thanks for all the replies guys!

I'm utterly confused though....

So I learned that canon bodies aren't that good for landscapes....hence I'm deciding to not go for a canon body....so a bit closer to a decision.

Now the choice is nikon or the sony A7R. Perhaps the first comment here suggesting a sony A7R woth a good zeiss wideangle lense was a good choice for me?(I read some highly critical reviews on the zeiss lenses though..that the pictures are not that sharp..that the lenses gives a special coloring that can be tuned in photoshop anyway....but I don't really know).
It's nice with a small camera like the A7R...but it doesn't really matter that much to me and the big lense will make the camera big anyways and make it look a bit weird.
The big new thing if I went for zeiss would be that I would be dependent on manual focusing....up until now I have to be honest used autofocus a lot...
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: NancyP on July 08, 2014, 10:35:26 am
6D is a great landscape camera. It is also a great astro-landscape and astrophotography camera. As far as astrophotography goes, the Canon RAWs are less "cooked" than the Nikon RAWs - can make a difference at very low photon counts, supposedly. The added value of the 5D3 would seem to be in the AF system.

Nikon D800/D800E/new D810 is also a great landscape camera. More Pixels - but no great tilt-shift lenses, Canon has the current OEM monopoly on superb TS lenses. If one goes the third party route for TS, Nikon could very easily use a good MF lens with adapter.

Want a "pocket" landscape camera to use at low ISO and can live with fixed lens? Sigma DP Merrills in 135-equivalent 28mm, 45mm, 75mm. Just buy a handful of batteries with it.

There are plenty of good choices.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: NancyP on July 08, 2014, 11:08:23 am
Here's another thought, depending on your style of shooting.
If looking for great IQ, why not medium format? Pentax 645Z. 51 MP, and the pixels are decent sized. Camera and lenses are quite expensive, but far more affordable than MF digital cameras in the past.  However, coming from a Rebel, the size/weight difference is HUGE. Frankly, if you are coming from an APS-C older Rebel, you would be thrilled with either the Canon or Nikon full frame offerings.

I am a Canon 60D owner, and that camera is a very good choice for a first DSLR. It is still doing wildlife duty with my 400mm f/5.6L lens. I went with Canon 6D for a landscape and general-duty camera because it was "good enough", small, "feel" very similar to the 60D (enough so that I color coded the cameras by strap color), and the money "saved" by not buying the 5D3 went to its first lens, a used Zeiss 21 mm f/2.8 (I was going to try to find a good copy of the Tamron 24-70 IS, but this Zeiss was sitting in the used section of the display case....).  I am filling in the gaps with some free legacy lenses.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: giancoli on July 08, 2014, 03:46:55 pm
suppose I went for the combination of sony a7r and a zeiss 18 or 21 mm lens.....these lenses doesn't fit directly onto the camera right? If so I have to buy a zeiss lens with a canon or a nikon fit...what should I choose? Does it matter in terms  of quality? which adapter should I choose.

If I don't go for this I will go for d800..but I'm tempted to go for A7R cause it seems to be performing just as good basically and then the smaller size, weight and prize makes it look like a better choice.

I know I have changed my opinion a lot from my first post...but I have been doing a lot of internet research the last couple of days which have changed my mind. My impression is that canon is better for many people because of autofocus and other qualities which is irrelevant for landscape photography.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: scooby70 on July 08, 2014, 05:54:29 pm
Now the choice is nikon or the sony A7R. Perhaps the first comment here suggesting a sony A7R woth a good zeiss wideangle lense was a good choice for me?(I read some highly critical reviews on the zeiss lenses though..that the pictures are not that sharp..that the lenses gives a special coloring that can be tuned in photoshop anyway....but I don't really know).
It's nice with a small camera like the A7R...but it doesn't really matter that much to me and the big lense will make the camera big anyways and make it look a bit weird.
The big new thing if I went for zeiss would be that I would be dependent on manual focusing....up until now I have to be honest used autofocus a lot...

Hi,

I have an A7 (24mp is easily enough for me) and manual focus isn't a problem as you can call up a magnified view and focus very accurately. Maybe for landscape photography if time is not an issue using manual focus with a magnified view might offer advantages over auto focus.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Codger on July 08, 2014, 06:04:31 pm
I'm with Bernard on this one.  If you're essentially starting from ground zero -- with sufficient cash --  I'd only consider the Nikon D810.  At this time and for the foreseeable future, I believe it produces the finest images available in 24x36 digital capture.  Couple that with the large array of legacy lenses and the emergence of exceptional primes from Sigma, and you could easily put together a 4-5 lens kit that would produce wonderful files, capable of very large prints or artistic crops for tighter compositions.  The near absence of compatible lenses for the A7r without an ungainly adaptor should remove that system from your consideration --  at least for a year, when they might have filled in the many gaps.  Best wishes to you: this is one of those "dream" challenges/opportunities where you'll get to choose from several win-win options.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: stever on July 08, 2014, 06:09:54 pm
I hope you continue your research before making a decision - which should include renting one or more combinations of camera and lenses. In the US Lensrentals.com can supply any combination. I would also recommend a subscription to Lloyd Chamber's diglloyd including mirrorless, zeiss, and making sharp images - his standards of performance are similar to Bernard's whose opinions should also be taken seriously.

The 6D and 5D3 are perfectly good landscape cameras - the Nikon d810 is better.  The d810 electronic first curtain shutter makes it superior in operation to the d800 & d800e. Prints 17x25 may or may not show a difference between the Canons and Nikon - larger probably will (and if you're not going to print this large you need  to re-think the whole thing).  From my experience with micro 4/3 cameras, I find Bernard's (and also Lloyd Chamber's) recommendations against the Sony A7R (but not A7) should be taken seriously. The lack of lenses for the Sony is also a serious consideration - and using wide angle lenses with converters will destroy any sensor resolution advantage - at best (see lensrentals.com test of converters).

Further research should also show you that while the Zeiss 21 and 25 are superior lenses, the 18 is not.  Depending on style, wide angle lenses are necessary for landscape photography, but certainly not sufficient for most photographers.  The availability of the new Sigma 50 in Canon and Nikon mount is a consideration as is high quality 100mm and 70-200 zooms from Canon and Nikon.

Also consider the excellent warranty and repair service you can expect from Canon - even though reportedly improved, Nikon and Sony are a long way behind.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: NancyP on July 08, 2014, 07:58:06 pm
There is no one Official Landscape Photography Kit.

 People make great shots with average cameras, and make average shots with great cameras. Bernard L.'s ideal kit is wonderful, but some people may like other cameras or other emphases on spending their money for kit. One example: the little Sigma DP Merrill cameras have many annoying features but produce very beautiful files under the right conditions - at half a pound. If you are out for a fast hike in hilly territory and want to have a lightweight camera, the Sigma DPMs have a place (camera, good small tripod and pano-ballhead, filters, extra batteries!!! together under 4 pounds). Furthermore, the camera you have with you is 1000x better than the camera sitting at home in a cabinet. Don't forget ergonomics, viewfinders, quality of live view - the more pleasure YOU have in handling the camera, the more use you will get out of it. Also, size of your landscape prints can be taken into consideration. If you are unlikely to go above 13 x 17" or 16 x 20", and don't crop a lot, the added quality of more pixels or a supersharp (as opposed to sharp) lens may not be obvious. Ditto if you lean toward the "pictorial" style of landscape. Do leave some money for a good tripod and head (anywhere from ~$700.00 aluminum Manfrotto 055 legs plus Manfrotto 410 geared head plus third-party Manfrotto to Arca-Swiss-style adapter kit to ~$1,500.00 or more for carbon fiber legs and high end ball head, plus the L bracket at $130.00 and any lens plates needed at $55.00 each), a good filter set of circular polarizer and graduated neutral density filters and 6-stop or 10-stop solid neutral density filter, extra cards and batteries, a good RAW developer and post-processing utility (I have Lightroom for 90 % of stuff, but also have old Photoshop and a panorama program). Finally, if you want to shoot landscapes outside your own region, budget some travel.

Finally, remember - if you are into black and white and doing contact printing, you could be one of the ultra-large-format photographers carting along 12" x 20" view cameras and film holders and a beefy tripod.   :o
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 08, 2014, 08:06:11 pm
There is no one Official Landscape Photography Kit.

 People make great shots with average cameras, and make average shots with great cameras. Bernard L.'s ideal kit is wonderful, but some people may like other cameras or other emphases on spending their money for kit. One example: the little Sigma DP Merrill cameras have many annoying features but produce very beautiful files under the right conditions - at half a pound. If you are out for a fast hike in hilly territory and want to have a lightweight camera, the Sigma DPMs have a place (camera, good small tripod and pano-ballhead, filters, extra batteries!!! together under 4 pounds). Furthermore, the camera you have with you is 1000x better than the camera sitting at home in a cabinet. Don't forget ergonomics, viewfinders, quality of live view - the more pleasure YOU have in handling the camera, the more use you will get out of it. Also, size of your landscape prints can be taken into consideration. If you are unlikely to go above 13 x 17" or 16 x 20", and don't crop a lot, the added quality of more pixels or a supersharp (as opposed to sharp) lens may not be obvious. Ditto if you lean toward the "pictorial" style of landscape. Do leave some money for a good tripod and head (anywhere from ~$700.00 aluminum Manfrotto 055 legs plus Manfrotto 410 geared head plus third-party Manfrotto to Arca-Swiss-style adapter kit to ~$1,500.00 or more for carbon fiber legs and high end ball head, plus the L bracket at $130.00 and any lens plates needed at $55.00 each), a good filter set of circular polarizer and graduated neutral density filters and 6-stop or 10-stop solid neutral density filter, extra cards and batteries, a good RAW developer and post-processing utility (I have Lightroom for 90 % of stuff, but also have old Photoshop and a panorama program). Finally, if you want to shoot landscapes outside your own region, budget some travel.

Finally, remember - if you are into black and white and doing contact printing, you could be one of the ultra-large-format photographers carting along 12" x 20" view cameras and film holders and a beefy tripod.   :o

You are totally right Nancy.

I was pretty happy (and still am) about some of the images I was able to capture with my D2x when the world was owned by the 1Ds/1DsII. Today an Olympus OMD1 is superior in all areas to the D2x while offering even more DoF all other things being equal, and there is little doubt that excellent exhibition prints can be made from the Olympus.

So yes, there are many very interesting options today.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: capital on July 08, 2014, 08:10:31 pm

I know I have changed my opinion a lot from my first post...but I have been doing a lot of internet research the last couple of days which have changed my mind. My impression is that canon is better for many people because of autofocus and other qualities which is irrelevant for landscape photography.

Settle on what problem you are trying to over come with your current gear. It sounded like it was getting an appropriate wide angle lens?

Find the best lens for your budget, find out which camera that fits on, it may be the camera you already have.

Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 08, 2014, 08:27:44 pm
Settle on what problem you are trying to over come with your current gear. It sounded like it was getting an appropriate wide angle lens?

Find the best lens for your budget, find out which camera that fits on, it may be the camera you already have.

Personally, I am not sure I agree with this approach.

Investing in a DSLR is investing into a system or, more precisely, in a mount. My view is that the right approach is to assess globally the options available in each mount relative to one's current and future applications based on priorities. Again, if you absolutely need a 17mm T/S lens for a given application and think that there is no other way to manage that image, then get a Canon 6D. But if you need a good wide lens, then there are plenty of options in various systems with similar levels of quality and there will be more with upcoming offerings from Sigma and Zeiss that are likely to put everything else to shame from a pure technical standpoint (look is a different topic).

If you think you need a FF camera (why is it the case?), then you may consider the fact that F mount lenses can be used on Canon bodies but the opposite isn't true. I am pretty happy about the fact that my favorite Zeiss and Leica lenses will remain usable the day Canon or Sony release bodies I find superior to the D810.

Lenses come and go, bodies come and go, the mount and its characteristics remains.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: giancoli on July 08, 2014, 09:19:10 pm
Not sure yet...but I'm pretty sure d810 is too expensive for me...it doesn't seem to be worth it.

I think I go for the nikon mount on lenses...the point of nikon lenses fitting canon cameras but not vice versa makes the choice easier.

So the choice is d800, d800e or A7R.

I could go for A7R, zeiss 21mm with a nikon mount and an appropriate adapter. This option is a little cheaper and I also get a much smaller and lighter camera.

Or d800 with the same lens or maybe the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8
here's a test I read http://www.ephotozine.com/article/carl-zeiss-21mm-f-2-8-and-nikon-14-24-f-2-8-lenses-are-put-to-the-test--review-11118 (http://www.ephotozine.com/article/carl-zeiss-21mm-f-2-8-and-nikon-14-24-f-2-8-lenses-are-put-to-the-test--review-11118)

I'm only buying one lens now...but eventually maybe more lenses, but I'm only a hobby photographer so I don't think I will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on prime lenses for all sorts of purposes.

Again thanks for all the responses and sorry for my incompetence.


Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: capital on July 08, 2014, 09:35:27 pm

So the choice is d800, d800e or A7R.


One question out of curiosity, why do want full frame? The typical surcharge for full frame glass is 200% over APS-C lenses. The only exception I know of is Rokinon/Bower glass.




Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: capital on July 08, 2014, 09:49:39 pm
Personally, I am not sure I agree with this approach.

Investing in a DSLR is investing into a system or, more precisely, in a mount. My view is that the right approach is to assess globally the options available in each mount relative to one's current and future applications based on priorities. Again, if you absolutely need a 17mm T/S lens for a given application and think that there is no other way to manage that image, then get a Canon 6D. But if you need a good wide lens, then there are plenty of options in various systems with similar levels of quality and there will be more with upcoming offerings from Sigma and Zeiss that are likely to put everything else to shame from a pure technical standpoint (look is a different topic).

If you think you need a FF camera (why is it the case?), then you may consider the fact that F mount lenses can be used on Canon bodies but the opposite isn't true. I am pretty happy about the fact that my favorite Zeiss and Leica lenses will remain usable the day Canon or Sony release bodies I find superior to the D810.

Lenses come and go, bodies come and go, the mount and its characteristics remains.

Cheers,
Bernard


My humbly intended counter argument to that, is yes, we can plan for future possibilities, but how much expense are we paying upfront for flexibility down the line, that may or may not be exercised.  If one is presently befuddled with too many options, I think it may be a good idea revisit the premise of the issue.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Dr Tone on July 08, 2014, 11:40:14 pm
Not sure yet...but I'm pretty sure d810 is too expensive for me...it doesn't seem to be worth it.

I think I go for the nikon mount on lenses...the point of nikon lenses fitting canon cameras but not vice versa makes the choice easier.

So the choice is d800, d800e or A7R.

I could go for A7R, zeiss 21mm with a nikon mount and an appropriate adapter. This option is a little cheaper and I also get a much smaller and lighter camera.

Or d800 with the same lens or maybe the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8
here's a test I read http://www.ephotozine.com/article/carl-zeiss-21mm-f-2-8-and-nikon-14-24-f-2-8-lenses-are-put-to-the-test--review-11118 (http://www.ephotozine.com/article/carl-zeiss-21mm-f-2-8-and-nikon-14-24-f-2-8-lenses-are-put-to-the-test--review-11118)

I'm only buying one lens now...but eventually maybe more lenses, but I'm only a hobby photographer so I don't think I will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on prime lenses for all sorts of purposes.

Again thanks for all the responses and sorry for my incompetence.




I think I'd go with the canon adapter and try the new canon 16-35 F4 on the A7R.  I think I'd also look at a used A7 instead of the A7R to tide me over till the A7R II comes out.  Hopefully with EFCS.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: mjrichardson on July 09, 2014, 03:22:49 am
Hi

There's a kit for everyone from almost every manufacturer, in fact by far the most important thing is to point whatever you have at something nice!

As someone who owns exactly what works for me, here are my thoughts, they may help you they may not.

I own a D800, a D800E and a Sony RX1 and love them all equally but they excel in different areas. The RX1 has beautiful files but as strange as it sounds, it is just too small without a grip, going small is not necessarily linked to usability. I bought the RRS grip for the RX1 and it is now brilliant with a built in tripod mount but without it I wouldn't have kept the RX1.

On to the A7/r, I have used the R a couple of times and for me it suffers from the RX1 issue, compact it is, easy to use with bigger lenses it just isn't for me, the D800/E sized body has a decent grip and I can move around the studio or out in the field with it simply hanging from my fingers on the grip, impossible with the Sony. So for me, the Sony is a marvel of compact technology but at the expense of being practical for the type of shoots I do. My second issue with the Sony is the lack of native lenses, this may be irrational but I refuse to spend that sort of money on a body and a Zeiss 21 or a 135 and then go to a third party company who is not supported by either camera or lens manufacturer and spend a couple of hundred$ to get everything to fit together, it just goes against the whole quality of the system, there are so many threads commenting on adapters that are too tight, too loose, need a bit sanding off, need some cloth sticking inside to reduce reflections, etc. etc. the system is incomplete without native mounts, my view. But lets say I find a great adapter, I find a grip to make the sony useable with a Zeiss 135f2 or an Otus, walking around with it I'd feel as though I'd have to cradle the camera because it's so unbalanced, I know this because I tried, my 135f2 is beautifully balanced on the D800, it's a nightmare on the Sony

I will say that if you're shooting landscapes then in my experience the Zeiss 21 is just beautiful, I'm sure it would look as good on a Canon or Nikon, I don't believe you need af at all on that type of lens, it's not like you'll be doing wide open fast moving fashion with it.

I am brand agnostic, I actually own m4/3's, I have 2 Canon bodies, 2 Nikon bodies and a Sony body, I only care that it works and would jump to another system if it really offered benefits but I have never been happier than I am with the Nikon, it just works.

As long as you find something that works for you then you will be happy, try them all if you can, good luck!

Mat
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on July 09, 2014, 04:09:44 am
Not sure yet...but I'm pretty sure d810 is too expensive for me...it doesn't seem to be worth it.

I think I go for the nikon mount on lenses...the point of nikon lenses fitting canon cameras but not vice versa makes the choice easier.

So the choice is d800, d800e or A7R.

I could go for A7R, zeiss 21mm with a nikon mount and an appropriate adapter. This option is a little cheaper and I also get a much smaller and lighter camera.

Or d800 with the same lens or maybe the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8
here's a test I read http://www.ephotozine.com/article/carl-zeiss-21mm-f-2-8-and-nikon-14-24-f-2-8-lenses-are-put-to-the-test--review-11118 (http://www.ephotozine.com/article/carl-zeiss-21mm-f-2-8-and-nikon-14-24-f-2-8-lenses-are-put-to-the-test--review-11118)

I'm only buying one lens now...but eventually maybe more lenses, but I'm only a hobby photographer so I don't think I will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on prime lenses for all sorts of purposes.

Again thanks for all the responses and sorry for my incompetence.




Both Nikon and Canon are certainly excellent choices for a photographic system. If you go for Nikon, why the D800 series? You can get a D610, which is basically equivalent to a Canon 6D. If you think you would truly benefit from TSE lenses, then the Canon system is the way to go; and for sure Canon will come up with a FF high mpx camera sooner than later.

If you don't need the TSE lenses, then going the Nikon way is a safe bet, and the Zeiss 21 f2.8 lens comes with a ZF mount too:)

One other advantage for Nikon, that I think has not been mentioned yet, is the fact that you can use all the wonderful manual focus Nikkor lenses too...

For serious landscape work, I would skip the Sony A7 series for now, not enough momentum as a system for the future.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 09, 2014, 05:24:06 am
If you think you would truly benefit from TSE lenses, then the Canon system is the way to go; and for sure Canon will come up with a FF high mpx camera sooner than later.

If you don't need the TSE lenses, then going the Nikon way is a safe bet, and the Zeiss 21 f2.8 lens comes with a ZF mount too:)

That logic is only relevant in case you need a 17mm T/S right away and are not willing to use DoF stacking (which I find superior when applicable).

If you need a 24mm, then the Nikon 24mm PCE on a D800 is nearly as good when tilted as the 24mm Canon. The Canon combo will be a bit better in the corners while the Nikon combo will typically be a bit better in the middle of the frame. My copy of the Nikon 24mm T/S lens is excellent when tilted a few degrees at f8-f11, which is typically the way it is used for landscape applications (the image below is a 3 frames stitch with the 24mm tilted).

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8167/7154074598_3360e98a57_o.jpg)

The Canon may be a bit better overall, but that gap is not larger than what you are going to lose by using a 6D compared to a D800 with non T/S lenses.

Besides, Nikon will come up with better T/S lenses also (they have had a 17mm T/S patent for a few years).

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Hulyss on July 09, 2014, 07:56:27 am
If you have a lot of cash right now, just wait the D810. Take the D810 and then plug the 45mm TS on it and you are ok for a lot of years, seriously.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: giancoli on July 09, 2014, 09:28:54 am
Hi folks!
I have pretty much decided to go for the A7R camera...I will be buying the 55mm 1.8 lens together with it.
The 16-35 lens will come later this year and then I'll buy that one for wider angles.
With this equipment I have pretty much all I need...they are both zeiss lenses so they must be pretty good...
The 55mm has amazing rewievs on its sharpness....until I get a wider angle I'll use stiching in photoshop if that's needed. 55mm on a full frame captures an equivalent of a 34mm my current camera.
I think this is the best choice for me...perhaps not on professional level, but I'm only a guy enjoying this a a hobby anyways.

I'll also eventually will be buying a batterygrip, but I'll wait for my next purchase cause it's quite expensive and not strictly necessary.

I agree with bernard that the d810 probably gives better more professional pictures, but the added cost (significant) weight and size makes it less of a choice for me.

I was planning to buy the equipment on sony's official website. I include 3 years additional guaranty which includes accidents like dropping it or water damage (pretty much anything)
The total price then is 3460$ which is quite alot but this is pretty good stuff though.

Anyone think it's better to buy elsewhere? ebay, amazon or other...?
I think it's a little cheaper on ebay but I'm a little sceptical of the service, fake products or getting fooled somehow...

Cheers
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Ajoy Roy on July 09, 2014, 10:35:26 am
As you are starting from scratch why not try the least expensive option - the Nikon D3300 with its kit lens. It come to less than $550, at least in India. It has an excellent sensor, tons of DR and the kit 18-55 lense is an excellent tool for finding what focal length you will need for your landscapes. The body has no bells and whistles, but for landscape you really do not need auto bracketing, motor in the body or high burst speed. But you get no AA filter, 24MP and a DR of around 13.

Just buy it, and use it. If you find that you like the files, then start investing in good lenses - both Nikon and Carl Zeiss. Later on you can upgrade to Nikon D810 (when the price drops after a few months). If you do not like it, you can always sell it off. The loss will be a few hundred dollars, less than a good lens.

One area where Nikon scores is in the DR at base ISO. You can recover deep shadows.

(http://)
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: matoqui on July 09, 2014, 12:59:51 pm
The benefit of the 36mp in the a7r will be apparent if you print larger than 16"x24". FF will also give you shallower depth of field, but for landscapes that might be less important. Also the 36mp can tolerate quite a bit of cropping and still have adequate resolution. If your prints will be 16"x24" or less, I think a better choice is a camera with a smaller sensor. My choice would be a 16mp Fuji (x-e1, x-e2 or x-t1) because their lenses are excellent and the cameras are very nice. They also are lighter, smaller and less expensive. I have a d800, an x-e1 and an x-e2, and the fujis get a lot more use. I do use an iShoot L-bracket on the x-e2 that in my opinion improves handling substantially.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Ben Rubinstein on July 09, 2014, 01:19:32 pm
I was actually going to suggest the Nikon 14-24mm however I've just realised that (weirdly) you can buy it cheaper in the UK than in the US. As such unlike in the UK, the 16-35 f4 with Metabones adaptor is actually cheaper.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 09, 2014, 08:57:14 pm
Hi folks!
I have pretty much decided to go for the A7R camera...I will be buying the 55mm 1.8 lens together with it.

OK, enjoy the new camera.

I hope you won't run into the trouble that this gentlemen is current reporting about here at LL: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=91415.0

If I were you I would also consider the a7 instead of the a7r. You may end up with less grey hair and better actual image quality in some cases and will keep more cash for lenses (at least here in Tokyo the a7 can be had new for 1,200 US$).

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: stever on July 10, 2014, 12:54:51 am
with Nikon providing 1st curtain electronic shutter for the 810, it would be surprising if there isn't a A7R mkii pretty soon 
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: ErikKaffehr on July 10, 2014, 01:06:48 am
Hi,

I would wait a couple of months, if possible. Photokina is around the corner so I expect that a lot of new products will be released. I would think that the Sony A7r was rushed to market and it is probably due for an update. Or some other new equipment from Nikon, Canon or whoever.

Nikon D810 has electronic first curtain, which would help the A7r a lot. Keep in mind that an EFC also makes the camera much more responsive.

Most folks are happy with their A7r, although the shutter related vibration is a demonstrable problem, still many don't observe it. May be it is more measurable than noticeable. Well, on the link Bernard posted it was obviously very noticeable.

Personally, I decided against the A7/A7r. Why?

- I don't feel the system is mature
- The A7r has neither EFC, on sensor phase detecting AF or OLP filter. I definitively want all of that. The A7 has all of that.

So, I wait till Photokina and decide on long term planning when I have seen what is around the corner.

By the way, I am a long time Sony shooter, Minolta before that.

Best regards
Erik

OK, enjoy the new camera.

I hope you won't run into the trouble that this gentlemen is current reporting about here at LL: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=91415.0

If I were you I would also consider the a7 instead of the a7r. You may end up with less grey hair and better actual image quality in some cases and will keep more cash for lenses (at least here in Tokyo the a7 can be had new for 1,200 US$).

Cheers,
Bernard

Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Ben Rubinstein on July 10, 2014, 05:54:50 am
OK, enjoy the new camera.

I hope you won't run into the trouble that this gentlemen is current reporting about here at LL: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=91415.0

If I were you I would also consider the a7 instead of the a7r. You may end up with less grey hair and better actual image quality in some cases and will keep more cash for lenses (at least here in Tokyo the a7 can be had new for 1,200 US$).

Cheers,
Bernard


Macro isn't landscape. If you keep under 85mm and out of the danger zone in the shutter speeds it's not a problem. Neither should be at all a problem for a landscape shooter.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 10, 2014, 06:03:10 am
Macro isn't landscape. If you keep under 85mm and out of the danger zone in the shutter speeds it's not a problem. Neither should be at all a problem for a landscape shooter.

Great then.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: chez on July 10, 2014, 11:30:27 am
I shoot landscapes with the A7R and have zero issues with it. I find any little issue get blown out on the I ternet...many times by people that have never used the camera.

For landscape work, the A7R is a magnificent camera delivering simply superb images when used with high quality lens.

Macro isn't landscape. If you keep under 85mm and out of the danger zone in the shutter speeds it's not a problem. Neither should be at all a problem for a landscape shooter.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: MrSmith on July 10, 2014, 12:26:20 pm
the only issue i have with the A7r is battery life, it goes through them quite quickly, i put up with that as itís was the best camera to use my canon TS-e lenses on for a minimal outlay and i didnít get on with the nikon live view. that and it was a factory refurb for £1k so/if when canon release a high mp body worth buying it will be relegated to studio/tripod only use on a cambo actus.
compared to MFD these bodies are throwaway items.
Title: Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
Post by: Jack Hogan on July 10, 2014, 05:11:09 pm
Bernard's got it.  If landscapes are your thing, today Nikon is the game - with (very) few notable exceptions.  If you cannot afford a D8x0, get a D6x0.

And to the gentleman who asked 'why FF?' the answer is DR and spatial resolution, aka quality of shadows and sharpness at base ISO.

Jack