Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: Nick Walt on October 24, 2014, 11:51:06 am

Title: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Nick Walt on October 24, 2014, 11:51:06 am
Hi everyone,

I was going to get primes for the sub-100mm focal range, and an f4 zoom for the sub-200mm range. However, the physical size of the f4, while being quite light, caused me to consider other options.

I read a comment by DIGLLOYD about him being a prime shooter (even for his landscape work) and that his zooms mostly sit in the drawer, gathering dust. His view is that shooting landscapes at wide apertures with great nuanced glass can bring about some very interesting results.

I read this as I was beginning to explore the possibility of using the cheaper used Leica lenses on an A7 body and some of the great tele-primes such as the 105mm, 135mm, 150mm, and 180mm. This is quite appealing and I wanted to look at what four, or five lenses (maximum), would be like from a usability standpoint.

The focal lengths I am considering are (* are most likely):
20*
28*
50
85*
105*
135
150*
180

Is there anyone here who has moved to prime lenses for their landscape photography?

Cheers,
Nick
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: synn on October 24, 2014, 11:55:21 am
Lloyd chambers has not shot a single image worth a second glance in his life. You want pictures of a creepy doll and bicycles in a  garage, he's your guy.
There are plenty of great artists who get by just fine with zooms.

Choose what works best for your style. Primes are lighter and in most cases are sharper, but that doesn't mean zooms are crap. Carry around 3 primes that cover the 70-200 range and you've pretty much negated the size and weight advantage.

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3908/15150589039_940357a1f7_b.jpg)

I don't cosider myself as an amazing artist or anything, but this was taken with a zoom that Lloyd Chambers won't think twice about.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 24, 2014, 12:30:48 pm
Hi,

Yes and no.

I have mostly shooting zooms, since something like 1985. Zooms work well for me.

On the other hand, I have been shooting a lot with an old Hasselblad using primes  recently and that works well for me, too.

I would also add that I am a typical f/8 on tripod shooter. I change apertures if I need to but like to work with medium apertures.

Add to that, I have not really found the primes I had superior to zooms.

On the other hand, with live view on the cameras I can focus manually exactly where I want. Precision manual focus and also expected arrival of high megapixel cameras from Sony (46-54 MP) got me interested in high performance manual focus lenses.

Depending on reviews, if the new Loxia lenses from Zeiss are really good, I will probably go with one or two of them if Sony delivers a camera to my liking.

There are problem areas with zooms, my 24-70/2.8 is very sharp midrange, but has awful corners at 24 mm and not really good off center performance at 70 mm. It's still good enough, mostly. The 70-400/4-5.6 is very good at 70 mm, but quite heavy. So I may consider a Sigma 70/2.8 macro to fill in which is said to be a really excellent lens.

Earlier I used a 400/4.5, but I have found that my 70-400/4-5.6 offered similar performance. Carrying just two lenses to cover the 24-400 mm range is convenient, especially when flying.

Something to be aware of is that zooms can be worn out. This was often the case with the Canon 24-70/2.8, according to Lensrentals. Servicing them will improve the optical performance. It seems the new 24-70/2.8 from Canon is not just a better performer but also more resistant to wear.

Just my thinking.

Present kit:

Sigma 10/2.8 fisheye - a keeper (APS-C)
Sonya 16-80/3.5-4.5 - a nice lens, my favourite for street
Sigma 12-24/4.5-5.6 - Makes decent pictures but not really that sharp.
Samyang 14/2.8 - very sharp
Sony 24-70/2.8 ZA - Mostly very good, weak at 70 mm
Sony 70-400/4-5.6G - Mostly very good, need to reevalute at 400 mm
Sony 70-300/4.5-5.6G - Not as good the 70-400/4-5.6 but I sometimes use it for street shooting with APS-C

In reserve (seldom used)

Minolta 100/2.8 Macro
Minolta 400/4.5 APO (may return to first line)

To that comes the Hasselblad with five lenses.

Best regards
Erik


Hi everyone,

I was going to get primes for the sub-100mm focal range, and an f4 zoom for the sub-200mm range. However, the physical size of the f4, while being quite light, caused me to consider other options.

I read a comment by DIGLLOYD about him being a prime shooter (even for his landscape work) and that his zooms mostly sit in the drawer, gathering dust. His view is that shooting landscapes at wide apertures with great nuanced glass can bring about some very interesting results.

I read this as I was beginning to explore the possibility of using the cheaper used Leica lenses on an A7 body and some of the great tele-primes such as the 105mm, 135mm, 150mm, and 180mm. This is quite appealing and I wanted to look at what four, or five lenses (maximum), would be like from a usability standpoint.

The focal lengths I am considering are (* are most likely):
20*
28*
50
85*
105*
135
150*
180

Is there anyone here who has moved to prime lenses for their landscape photography?

Cheers,
Nick
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: NancyP on October 24, 2014, 12:34:33 pm
Me! I don't have a great normal zoom, and when I went to buy a 6D and a Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 IS normal zoom, there was a used Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 in the window, same price, the Zeiss went home with me, I use the 35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art (which I had for my crop camera), and I bought adapters and am using some Nikkor AIS all-manual primes 50 f/1.2, 105 f/2.5 (and very quickly found out that the standard screen needed to be replaced by the super-fine screen, fortunately an easy user-installable option). Also, the 14mm f/2.8 Samyang

Yes, a zoom would be more convenient, and one of these days I will get one, but I really enjoy using manual primes, both for nostalgia and for a slightly different working process. It does make me work harder, bringing two or max. three primes on an outing. Some days I just feel like a single focal length.

Good-light image quality (color, microcontrast) is likely to be just fine at f/8 in really good zoom lenses. I do use the 14, 21, 35 mm prime lenses for astrolandscape - zooms probably would not cut it for coma and sharpness wide open, and it is a treat to be able to use the Sigma Art 35 at f/1.4 (actually too much light if in Bortle orange or yellow area, I stop down to f/2 or 2.8).
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: dwswager on October 24, 2014, 02:08:51 pm
I enjoy shooting both.  It really depends if you know what you are trying to execute and the locations then primes can be simple and handy.  On the other hand, in quick changing light you can do multiple images very quickly with the zoom on there.

I shoot Nikon so at this point, the zooms are the practical equivalent of the primes from an optical standpoint except some loss of light down the longer barrel.

One thing I learned is that zooms can make you lazy if you are not careful.  Sometimes you set up and the framing isn't right and you just zoom in or out changing perspective when you should have picked up the tripod and moved.

On the other hand, there have been times when all I took was the 20mm and 35mm and the location didn't allow the framing I wanted.  It would have been advantages to have a zoom.

I'm going the other way.  While I won't be selling the primes, I have been investigating better zooms.  The Nikkor 16-35mm f/4, 24-70mm f/2.8, 24-120mm f/4 and 70-200mm f/2.8 all have 77mm filter threads for ND or polarizers so that is handy.

In a discussion over using Diopters, I mentioned having read in a John Shaw book 33 years ago using the 62mm Nikon 5T and 6T on the 80-200mm f/2.8.  Googling, I came across his gear page.  The only primes he seems to carry now are the 3 T/S lenses.  Seeing the 16-35mm f/4 on there kinda tipped the scale for me as I had been waffling on it.

 Camera bodies:

Nikon D4 and D800E bodies, with Really Right Stuff L brackets

Lenses and filters (all   Nikon):

16-35mm f/4

24-70mm f/2.8

24-120mm f/4

24mm f/3.5 PC-E Tilt/Shift

45mm f/2.8 PC-E Tilt/Shift

85mm f/2.8 PC-E Tilt/Shift

70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S

70-300mm f/4-5.6 AF-S

200-400mm f/4 AF-S

500mm f/4 AF-S

Nikon 1.4X teleconverter

Nikon circular polarizing filters

Accessories:

Nikon SB-700 and SB-800 flash units + off-camera cord

Walt Anderson’s Better Beamer flash extender

Nikon remote releases

Photoflex LiteDisc diffusers and reflectors

Macro:

I use a Nikon 200mm f/4 AF Micro, occasionally adding a 5T or 6T Nikon closeup filter, or my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 with a closeup filter.

Tripods:

My standard tripod is a Really Right Stuff Versa 24L carbon fiber model with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head complete with an Arca-style quick release (all cameras and lenses have Really Right Stuff quick-release plates mounted on them).  I use a RRS leveling base between the ball head and my tripod to facilitate my panoramic work.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: MrSmith on October 24, 2014, 02:54:53 pm
I look at your list and see 2 glaring omissions, a 24 tilt shift and a 35mm.
A 24 mm ts means you can do a left right stitch for panos if you want to go wider or shift up for more sky.
35mm is a great 'wide but not distorted wide' lens.
All IMHO.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Nick Walt on October 24, 2014, 03:10:27 pm
synn, that's pretty funny about Lloyd. I hadn't seen any of his images and I didn't know that he even shot landscapes before I read his comment.

As you say, most landscape photographers shoot with zooms, including one of my favourites, Hans Kruse. He typically uses Canon 24-70 and 70-200 and also Nikon 14-24 and 24-105.

Steve McCurry also uses a 24-70 on Nikon as his primary lens these days. Not so much for landscape but portrait, environmental and street (travel). I've been wondering about getting a standard zoom but feel that using primes at this stage in my learning might be the way to go.

Erik, thanks for your comments about zooms and some of the caveats. If I get a zoom it will likely only be the Nikon 70-200 f4 VR3.

Nancy, it's great to read about your experience with primes. I am impressed that you shoot mostly manual-focus on your 6D. I was seriously looking at the 6D and the nice Canon L glass, but after trying the D750's grip I decided to go Nikon... that is, if I don't get an A7 with manual focus primes from Leica, Voigtlander or Zeiss.

I understand your desire to have the Zeiss 21. Lately I've been more interested in the unique rendering characteristics of a prime rather than its outright sharpness.

One concern I have about primes is that they are not stabilised, except for the Nikon 105/2.8 macro and the Sigma 150/2.8 which have VR/IS.

dwswager, thanks for explaining your perspective on primes and zooms. I had been concerned about the disadvantages of primes when it comes to framing, as moving forward or backward is generally not an option when shooting landscapes. I think my thinking has been a little too constrained by finances and really I need to look at purchasing both zooms and primes to accommodate the different types of photography I want to do: street day/night and landscape/cityscape.

Photozone.de had a review of the 16-35 f4 and it didn't get a very good rating: only 2.5 stars:
http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/492-nikkor_afs_1635_4_ff

so, I'm surprised to read that you use it, as does John Shaw. Obviously you find it to be good enough. Do you have any thoughts about moving to the 14-24 f2.8? My only concern with the 14-24 is that it has no image stabilisation. Actually, that many Nikon lenses don't have image stabilisation is a concern for me. The IBIS in the E-M1 is fantastic and after being able to stabilise any prime you begin to wonder why others haven't moved up to IBIS and away from lens stabilisation. Too bad the sensor is only m43.

I checked out John Shaw and I like what he has to say. Thanks for the mention. I'll follow him from now on.

Cheers,
Nick
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 24, 2014, 03:43:52 pm
Hi,

Some observations:

Regarding Lloyd's photography I have seen mostly his tests, so I don't know what images he has on his wall. I would says that his tests are pretty interesting.

I was with Hans Kruse on one of his workshops this summer and plan to go another one in the autumn. Nice guy and he certainly knows what he is doing. He also makes great images. I carried 10/2.8, 16-80/3.5-4.5, 24-70/2.8 and 70-400/4-5.6 + two bodies. I have used both long lens and fisheye quite a lot.

Regarding moving back and forth I agree it is a problem shooting landscape. A way I found around it with primes is to stitch. So I use a lens that is a bit to long and stitch, instead of cropping.  

In a sense I would say that the way I shoot, a medium aperture manual focus lens without stabilisation makes a lot of sense.

Getting back to lens tests, I would say that most lenses outperform their users. The other factor is that lenses often are weakest in the corners and the corners very seldom contain important detail. One example is the Canon 16-35/2.8II, a lens that performs bad in tests but takes a lot of competition winners. The fact is that if you have a great image no-one is going to check the corners. But, would I have an image like below bad tree tops, I would not blow it up to 70x100 cm and put it on the wall:

This is two 120/4 Macro Planar shots with the Hasselblad, stitched. With a single shot I couldn't fit tree tops and the stone at the bottom of the image. I wish I had a little bit more space to the left. Turning the back vertical and shooting three frames would have given me more cropping options. Perhaps I get another chance next year?
(http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Landscapes/Sweden/Stendorren2/i-KVFwRbD/0/X3/20140923-CF045652-X3.jpg)

This is a long lens shot (70-400 zoom at 140 mm)
(http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Themes/Berg-dal-och-vatten/i-dpn8tDj/0/X3/20140605-_DSC4388-X3.jpg)

And this one is fisheye:
(http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Themes/Berg-dal-och-vatten/i-VqG4Mjb/0/X3/20140607-_DSC6131-X3.jpg)

Best regards
Erik


synn, that's pretty funny about Lloyd. I hadn't seen any of his images and I didn't know that he even shot landscapes before I read his comment.

As you say, most landscape photographers shoot with zooms, including one of my favourites, Hans Kruse. He typically uses Canon 24-70 and 70-200 and also Nikon 14-24 and 24-105.



I had been concerned about the disadvantages of primes when it comes to framing, as moving forward or backward is generally not an option when shooting landscapes.

Photozone.de had a review of the 16-35 f4 and it didn't get a very good rating: only 2.5 stars:
http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/492-nikkor_afs_1635_4_ff

so, I'm surprised to read that you use it, as does John Shaw. Obviously you find it to be good enough. Do you have any thoughts about moving to the 14-24 f2.8? My only concern with the 14-24 is that it has no image stabilisation. Actually, that many Nikon lenses don't have image stabilisation is a concern for me. The IBIS in the E-M1 is fantastic and after being able to stabilise any prime you begin to wonder why others haven't moved up to IBIS and away from lens stabilisation. Too bad the sensor is only m43.

I checked out John Shaw and I like what he has to say. Thanks for the mention. I'll follow him from now on.

Cheers,
Nick
Title: Re:
Post by: Torbjörn Tapani on October 24, 2014, 03:51:26 pm
I tried the 16-35 VR. For my intended use it was too soft in the corners at 16. I went with the 14-24 and have no regrets. But I will say that today I would probably get the Samyang 14 instead and another fast prime for 24 mm. No filters is not a problem, cir-pol doesn't really work with ultra wide lenses anyway. The only other filter I would consider is a ND for long exposures. I used the 24-120 with filters instead (until I unintentionally smashed it on some rocks).

The 70-200 f4 get nice reviews. If the added weight and cost of the 2.8 is a problem.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 24, 2014, 04:01:13 pm
Really nice picture, thanks for sharing!

Best regards
Erik

Lloyd chambers has not shot a single image worth a second glance in his life. You want pictures of a creepy doll and bicycles in a  garage, he's your guy.
There are plenty of great artists who get by just fine with zooms.

Choose what works best for your style. Primes are lighter and in most cases are sharper, but that doesn't mean zooms are crap. Carry around 3 primes that cover the 70-200 range and you've pretty much negated the size and weight advantage.

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3908/15150589039_940357a1f7_b.jpg)

I don't cosider myself as an amazing artist or anything, but this was taken with a zoom that Lloyd Chambers won't think twice about.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: dwswager on October 24, 2014, 04:13:47 pm
Getting back to lens tests, I would say that most lenses outperform their users. The other factor is that lenses often are weakest in the corners and the corners very seldom contain important detail.

Best regards
Erik

I about peed myself laughing at that 1st sentence because how true it is.  Almost all my 'mistakes', when I go back and check what I was doing, was on me, not my equipment or lack thereof.

I agree on the sharpness thing, especially for landscapes.  I'm surprised at the disparity of opinon on the Nikkor 16-35mm f/4.  People seem to love it or hate it.

Oh and I'll throw out another Shaw comment as this was my thinking on the D810:

"Can the Nikon D800 be used for wildlife photography?”  Well, why not?  Here are two full frame images taken last week during a short stop I made at Bosque del Apache.  Both images: D800E, Nikon 600mm, ISO400, early morning light.   FYI, I don’t have the extra battery pack for the camera so the motor drive rate is 4 frames/second.   Anyone else remember when 4 frames/second would have been considered pretty amazing?  Remember winding film with your thumb?
Title: Re:
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 24, 2014, 04:27:49 pm
Hi,

The Samyang is seriously good:

The full resolution image is here (corrected for keystone effect): http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Technical/Samyang-1428/i-J7fw6ng/O
(http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Technical/Samyang-1428/i-J7fw6ng/0/X3/20130821-_DSC2690-X3.jpg)

I tried the 16-35 VR. For my intended use it was too soft in the corners at 16. I went with the 14-24 and have no regrets. But I will say that today I would probably get the Samyang 14 instead and another fast prime for 24 mm. No filters is not a problem, cir-pol doesn't really work with ultra wide lenses anyway. The only other filter I would consider is a ND for long exposures. I used the 24-120 with filters instead (until I unintentionally smashed it on some rocks).

The 70-200 f4 get nice reviews. If the added weight and cost of the 2.8 is a problem.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Telecaster on October 24, 2014, 05:22:38 pm
I tend to be either/or re. primes & zooms when it comes to what I use on a given day, but I like to have both available when possible. Sometimes versatility is more important than absolute quality…though these days zooms are pretty darn good overall, and some are excellent.

-Dave-
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 24, 2014, 06:15:23 pm
I would be using zoom lenses for landscape if I didn't stitch. I haven't used a zoom lens for landscape for 10 years or so.

For low DoF photography the look of OoF areas is as important as the sharp ones so primes are often clearly superior. The fact that they have wider apertures helps too obviously.

For PJ work I tend to find the zoom function distracting.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Fine_Art on October 24, 2014, 06:46:05 pm
I only use primes. The basic (kit type) zooms I had turned me off them, especially at wide angles, which had lots of distortion and chromatic aberration. Art Wolfe states he uses mostly 2 zoom lenses, a something to 70 and a 70-200 Canon. So that makes me shut up about primes.

If you feel the need to get everything in one shot, use zooms. If you are comfortable with stitching go primes.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Shakyphoto (Slim) on October 24, 2014, 07:59:40 pm
I mostly use primes for anything 50mm and wider.  Not for resolution, but I find primes to have better contrast and more pop.  I sacrifice portability and carry a lot of weight on my back for this.  I also carry the 70 200 zoom canon mk ii for anything tighter.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: luxborealis on October 24, 2014, 08:02:33 pm
I am pleasantly surprised to read of the overwhelming support for zoom lenses amongst such an accomplished group of photographers. So often we hear the clarion call of primes (as I once professed as well); it's refreshing to hear the more practical side, along with a dose of "taking care not to get lazy with zooms", as is so easy to do.

I made the switch back to zooms for my landscape and nature work earlier this year with the addition of the "newish" Nikkor 18-35 f/3.5-4.5. Before buying this comparatively inexpensive zoom, I checked the DxOMark ratings and found it to be superior to the Nikkor 16-35 and my Nikkor 20/2.8 and as good as my Nikkor 24/2.8. Doing side-by-side comparison shots convinced me to sell the two primes and not look back. The 18-35 is surprisingly lightweight and far outperforms its price point.

Making landscapes using a tripod, mostly at f/11, means that image stabilisation is irrelevant, as are large apertures.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: synn on October 24, 2014, 11:01:31 pm
Really nice picture, thanks for sharing!

Best regards
Erik


Thank you, Erik. This was shot with the 16-65 VR, btw.
Why do I use it? Because there's no easier way to go to 16mm and use a standard lee filter system.

I can always sharpen the corners using capture one pro. Never bothered me too much.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: BAB on October 24, 2014, 11:38:19 pm
You can use what you want for equipment but somewhere your thoughts have to include
Quality of the light
Air quality
Clouds and/or weather in the image
WIND
Composition
And then you can get really anal and say no 35 mm camera yields an image that satisfies my end result so you get a tech or view camera and tilt, shift, swing of fall for the perfect focus points. Then you can go further and shoot 16 x 20 sheet film!
Personally my most satisfying images come from being at the right place in the right light and lucky enough to have a image with strong lines, shapes and colors. A subject that draws my eye around the frame....which isn't often enough for all the time one devotes to the hobby or the career.

For the 411 on zooms today they are great much better than zooms in the seventies. I'm sure any zoom maybe not at it's ends is close enough to primes for most prints.

Try a shot in the Canadian Rockies after a rain with a zoom and print it, hang it on a wall next to a shot from the lower 48 with a prime...then you'll get my meaning.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 25, 2014, 03:44:38 am
Hi,

I have enclosed a pair of screen dump showing one of my favourite subjects, shot a few years ago. One pair is shot on the 70-300/4-5.6G which has a bit weak corners, a couple of days later I was able to reshoot that image using a 80-200/2.8 which is a better performer across the field. In this case the intention was to make a 70x100 cm print of that image, replacing one shot using a 10 MP APS-C camera back in 2007 (or so).

In this case the first image is far to ugly in the tree tops to make a good print, but I guess the second one might do. I never got to making that print.

Often the problem with sharpness is field curvature, that is he focal plane shifts moving to the corners, normally towards the camera. So corners can simply be out of focus and respond well to sharpening. But, it can be that spherical aberrations are overcorrected, that would result in double contours which is very ugly.

I have two ultra wides, a 12-24 Sigma zoom and a Samyang 14/2.8. The Samyang is very sharp, while the Sigma is so-so. But both perform well at small sizes, but the Samyang has much better sharpness and a lot of moustache type distortion. Sigma is not very sharp but has little distortion. Don't care about colour, very likely it is just processing differences.

Now, Sony has a 16-35/2.8 lens (with a Zeiss label). I have checked out quite a few tests and test images and I don't think it is a good performer, so I skipped over it. The Samyang is a good example that sometimes less can be more.

Sigma:
Full size: http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Technical/Sigma-12-24/i-xMKXkD5/O
(http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Technical/Sigma-12-24/i-xMKXkD5/0/X3/20130821-_DSC2692-X3.jpg)

Samyang:
Full size: http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Technical/Samyang-1428/i-J7fw6ng/O
(http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Technical/Samyang-1428/i-J7fw6ng/0/X3/20130821-_DSC2690-X3.jpg)

Best regards
Erik

Thank you, Erik. This was shot with the 16-65 VR, btw.
Why do I use it? Because there's no easier way to go to 16mm and use a standard lee filter system.

I can always sharpen the corners using capture one pro. Never bothered me too much.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 25, 2014, 04:09:29 am
I agree mostly.

Regarding the DxO tests, there is a wealth of data, well beyond the pretty obscure rating. So when I check out lenses I usually do some data mining.

As an example, I was considering to replace my Sony 24-70/2.8 ZA with a Sigma Art 24-105/4, but digging trough the data I found that the Sony 24-70/2.8 performs equal or better, mostly. But, I consider adding a really good prime at around 70 mm. Sigma Macro 70/2.8, Sony 85/1.4 may be good candidates. The Sigma 70/2.8 is pretty well known for sharpness.

Than I always need to consider weight. A few grams here and there add up, fast.

Best regards
Erik

I am pleasantly surprised to read of the overwhelming support for zoom lenses amongst such an accomplished group of photographers. So often we hear the clarion call of primes (as I once professed as well); it's refreshing to hear the more practical side, along with a dose of "taking care not to get lazy with zooms", as is so easy to do.

I made the switch back to zooms for my landscape and nature work earlier this year with the addition of the "newish" Nikkor 18-35 f/3.5-4.5. Before buying this comparatively inexpensive zoom, I checked the DxOMark ratings and found it to be superior to the Nikkor 16-35 and my Nikkor 20/2.8 and as good as my Nikkor 24/2.8. Doing side-by-side comparison shots convinced me to sell the two primes and not look back. The 18-35 is surprisingly lightweight and far outperforms its price point.

Making landscapes using a tripod, mostly at f/11, means that image stabilisation is irrelevant, as are large apertures.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: chez on October 25, 2014, 08:28:47 am
i,



Getting back to lens tests, I would say that most lenses outperform their users. The other factor is that lenses often are weakest in the corners and the corners very seldom contain important detail. One example is the Canon 16-35/2.8II, a lens that performs bad in tests but takes a lot of competition winners. The fact is that if you have a great image no-one is going to check the corners. But, would I have an image like below bad tree tops, I would not blow it up to 70x100 cm and put it on the wall:



Best regards
Erik



I totally disagree with your view of corners in landscape images. It's true in most other type of images, portraits, sports, wildlife etc..., but when it comes to images such as landscapes and architecture, the corners are just as important as the middle of the image. Many of my landscape images have fibe details throughout the photo and the real beauty of making large prints is to be able to examine these fine details throughout the image...not just in the center of the print.

Sure you can make great photos with just about any lens, but I don't buy your view that corners don't matter in landscape prints.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 25, 2014, 08:39:42 am
Many of my landscape images have fibe details throughout the photo and the real beauty of making large prints is to be able to examine these fine details throughout the image...not just in the center of the print.

Indeed. This is one of the major reasons why I stitch pretty much everything in landscape.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 25, 2014, 09:18:16 am
Hi,

I think you misrepresent what I say. See below:

"But, would I have an image like below bad tree tops, I would not blow it up to 70x100 cm and put it on the wall:"

I would say that perhaps 5% of the images published on the net have fine details in the corners. I would say that I have something like 70000 images in my Lightroom database but just a few that are really demanding in the corners.

I don't say they are not important, I just say they may not be relevant.

Best regards
Erik


I totally disagree with your view of corners in landscape images. It's true in most other type of images, portraits, sports, wildlife etc..., but when it comes to images such as landscapes and architecture, the corners are just as important as the middle of the image. Many of my landscape images have fibe details throughout the photo and the real beauty of making large prints is to be able to examine these fine details throughout the image...not just in the center of the print.

Sure you can make great photos with just about any lens, but I don't buy your view that corners don't matter in landscape prints.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: chez on October 25, 2014, 11:02:57 am
Hi,

I think you misrepresent what I say. See below:

"But, would I have an image like below bad tree tops, I would not blow it up to 70x100 cm and put it on the wall:"

I would say that perhaps 5% of the images published on the net have fine details in the corners. I would say that I have something like 70000 images in my Lightroom database but just a few that are really demanding in the corners.

I don't say they are not important, I just say they may not be relevant.

Best regards
Erik



I got no idea how you can come up with a percentage of images that need good corners...seems impossible to do. I know the type of images that I shoot, I have details in the corners and when printed large, these corners need to look good as people do come up close to large prints to see the picture within the picture as they examine all parts of the photo. That's the real beauty of large prints, you can stand back and take in the entire scene and you can also come in close and take in the different details in the photo that could not be fully appreciated from a distance. Many landscapes flow throughout the photo, quite often starting in one corner and ending in another corner.

I just don't agree that corners are not important in landscapes. I can see this in portraits as quite often people use wide apertures to blur out the background and corners...but with landscapes, most often the entire scene is in focus, including the corners.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Paul Roark on October 25, 2014, 11:31:03 am
There are so many variables in an issue like this that one person's opinion is just that -- one person's opinion.  So, FWIW, here is my opinion, which really only applies to my style and objective (and note that as I get older, weight is more of an issue).

With the wall display B&W landscape prints I target, sharpness does matter.  So primes are my usual optics (though an outstanding superwide zoom -- Leica WATE for the Sony a7r -- was my last purchase).  What I saw in my first (1981) one man show was people going up to my 35mm images to see the detail and then backing off because the detail was not there.  I, personally, think that is a negative for landscape work.  I switched to medium format film immediately, but have returned to full frame "35" -- enough is enough, and I got tired of dragging around too much heavy equipment.   On the other hand, it's the composition that makes a shot great, and if you miss it because you're changing lenses, the additional detail of the prime will not help a bit.

While I want the sharpness to be throughout, it does seem to be true that people are much more forgiving of slight softness at the very corners and foreground, as long as those are not centers of interest.  We are conditioned to this.  So, for example, I often take a dual-focus shot with a non-tilt optic instead of using my tilt-shifts, and the distant focus is usually at the infinity stop (if the lens has one -- another issue that matters to me) because a sharp mountain ridge or distant detail is often where people will see the lack of sharpness most.

I sure wish my 24-105 L zoom was good enough (and lighter), but it's not for me unless I know I won't have the time to switch lenses and I know I'm going to need more than a single focal length.  

Frankly, in recent years I've found I can do so much with just a 35mm lens, that I often go with just that on the camera when I know time is not going to allow switching.  I'd rather have a few outstanding shots that are really sharp than more shots that are not quite up to what I personally appreciate the most.  My #2 most important optic is a 75mm f/2.8, and it's not used that much.  The ability so stitch makes the wider angle lenses much less important; whether my new superwide will end up being worth the weight (not to mention cost) is an open question.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com

Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 25, 2014, 03:32:07 pm
Hi,

The 5% figure is based on sample shots published on test sites. I always try to find images witch have texture in corners but perhaps one in twenty have corner details. Corners use to be sky or foreground.

I don't say corners are not important, just saying that it is difficult to find images with good corner detail. I actually care a lot about the stuff, but it is just that it is hard to find good samples, and that also applies to my own pictures.

Best regards
Erik



I got no idea how you can come up with a percentage of images that need good corners...seems impossible to do. I know the type of images that I shoot, I have details in the corners and when printed large, these corners need to look good as people do come up close to large prints to see the picture within the picture as they examine all parts of the photo. That's the real beauty of large prints, you can stand back and take in the entire scene and you can also come in close and take in the different details in the photo that could not be fully appreciated from a distance. Many landscapes flow throughout the photo, quite often starting in one corner and ending in another corner.

I just don't agree that corners are not important in landscapes. I can see this in portraits as quite often people use wide apertures to blur out the background and corners...but with landscapes, most often the entire scene is in focus, including the corners.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Hening Bettermann on October 25, 2014, 07:39:06 pm
Paul,

what is that 75mm f/2.8 lens - and how much does it weigh?

thank you!
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: allegretto on October 25, 2014, 09:09:32 pm
so true

while I have several other M-lenses, give me a 28mm and 90mm 2.0's and the others almost collect dust, unless I'm real light and then it's just the 50-cron. Works fine in almost any situation. Still bring almost all when I have the room (except the noctulux) just don't use them that much

And it's funny how different cameras make for different choices. Once I got the 6D and stumbled on the Zeiss 21mm it was as though they are somehow made for each other (right on Nancy P). Otherwise it wears a zoom.



There are so many variables in an issue like this that one person's opinion is just that -- one person's opinion.  So, FWIW, here is my opinion, which really only applies to my style and objective (and note that as I get older, weight is more of an issue).

With the wall display B&W landscape prints I target, sharpness does matter.  So primes are my usual optics (though an outstanding superwide zoom -- Leica WATE for the Sony a7r -- was my last purchase).  What I saw in my first (1981) one man show was people going up to my 35mm images to see the detail and then backing off because the detail was not there.  I, personally, think that is a negative for landscape work.  I switched to medium format film immediately, but have returned to full frame "35" -- enough is enough, and I got tired of dragging around too much heavy equipment.   On the other hand, it's the composition that makes a shot great, and if you miss it because you're changing lenses, the additional detail of the prime will not help a bit.

While I want the sharpness to be throughout, it does seem to be true that people are much more forgiving of slight softness at the very corners and foreground, as long as those are not centers of interest.  We are conditioned to this.  So, for example, I often take a dual-focus shot with a non-tilt optic instead of using my tilt-shifts, and the distant focus is usually at the infinity stop (if the lens has one -- another issue that matters to me) because a sharp mountain ridge or distant detail is often where people will see the lack of sharpness most.

I sure wish my 24-105 L zoom was good enough (and lighter), but it's not for me unless I know I won't have the time to switch lenses and I know I'm going to need more than a single focal length.  

Frankly, in recent years I've found I can do so much with just a 35mm lens, that I often go with just that on the camera when I know time is not going to allow switching.  I'd rather have a few outstanding shots that are really sharp than more shots that are not quite up to what I personally appreciate the most.  My #2 most important optic is a 75mm f/2.8, and it's not used that much.  The ability so stitch makes the wider angle lenses much less important; whether my new superwide will end up being worth the weight (not to mention cost) is an open question.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com


Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Paul Roark on October 26, 2014, 10:58:57 am
The 75mm I made reference to is the Leica Summarit.  I don't know where the new Leica PDFs are, but the one for the lens I use is copied and posted at http://www.paulroark.com/Summarit%2075mm%20f2.5.pdf

I notice Leica has a new line of these, supposedly with even better performance, although it would be hard to improve on the MTF you'll see in the posted PDF.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Paul Roark on October 26, 2014, 04:53:47 pm
Regarding Leica lens information, a good source is at

http://us.leica-camera.com/Service-Support/Support/Downloads?category=93719&subcategory=&type=&language=93871

The new Leica "Summarit" (read "about f/2.8" and relatively inexpensive) (including the 75 I use) data sheets are not out yet, but rumor has it the new 75 is the same as the old one, but with slightly closer focusing.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Hening Bettermann on October 26, 2014, 07:13:15 pm
Thank you, Paul. What made me ask is that I could not identify the lens because you had labeled it as f/2.8 rather than f/2.5. - I have been looking for a LIGHT lens in this range, and I have so far ended up with an Olympus OM Zoom 35-70 f/3.5-4.5, listed weight 190 gr (!), where the 70 mm length seems quite good at f/8. Price 90 € ...!
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Nick Walt on October 27, 2014, 04:25:55 am
...Art Wolfe states he uses mostly 2 zoom lenses, a something to 70 and a 70-200 Canon. So that makes me shut up about primes.

Thank you for the reference to Art Wolfe, FA. What an amazing photographer. Here is a excellent and just released interview with him by DPReview:
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8078588835/dpreview-live-interview-with-art-wolfe

Based on what many people have said in this thread I'm keen to experiment with both primes and zooms. Initially, I was looking at the possibility of using the A7 with primes but have now moved away from Sony and am considering Canon and Nikon, again. These two companies have a great range of both primes and zooms, so there are more options for both.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on October 27, 2014, 05:28:37 am
I always had an inclination for primes, but I have also used zooms for landscapes. It really depends on you.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Jim Pascoe on October 27, 2014, 07:34:40 am

One concern I have about primes is that they are not stabilised, except for the Nikon 105/2.8 macro and the Sigma 150/2.8 which have VR/IS.

Cheers,
Nick

Hi Nick

I just posted a brief reply to your query about camera recommendations in another thread - but it seems from this question that you may be a landscape shooter!  Not sure that stabilisation is critical for landscapes as most of the photographers you are referring to and conversing with probably use tripods.  Zoom or prime quality-wise is going to pale into insignificance compared to tripod/no tripod.

Personally I mostly use prime lenses for most of my photography (mainly people, but the odd landscape for fun) and that is just because I like using them and enjoy the self-imposed limitations.  My primes are better than my zooms quality -wise - but that is not the main reason I use them.  Here is an example - Canon FF with Zeiss 50mm f2 lens. Two seconds at f11.

Jim
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: NancyP on October 27, 2014, 12:28:37 pm
Nice images, Jim and Eric. Eric, I particularly like the dark mountains-and-clouds shot, very moody.

I think that the bottom line is that practicalities (price, weight) and personal preferences are most important in choosing lenses for landscape work. In the Canon world, there are three excellent (rectilinear perspective) Canon zooms that would be good for landscape shooters: the new 16-35 f/4 (rave reviews, I don't have one), the 24-70 f/ 2.8 II (rave reviews, I don't have one), and the 70-200 f/4 IS (very nice, very lightweight).
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Nick Walt on October 27, 2014, 04:06:54 pm
A very nice image, Jim. Is that Tuscany?

Nancy, I am very interested in those lenses. Particularly the 16-35 f4 and 70-200 f4. My interest in primes is mainly (primarily?-arf) to experiment with the rendering of different models and shoot street/travel. For me a daylight standard zoom will be for walkabout photography and so I may look at a stabilised f4.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 27, 2014, 09:30:38 pm
A very nice image, Jim. Is that Tuscany?

Nancy, I am very interested in those lenses. Particularly the 16-35 f4 and 70-200 f4. My interest in primes is mainly (primarily?-arf) to experiment with the rendering of different models and shoot street/travel. For me a daylight standard zoom will be for walkabout photography and so I may look at a stabilised f4.

This may help in your selection. DxO doesn't have data for the D750 yet, so I picked the older D600/D610, it would probably be a bit better on the D750. We also know from data on the D810 that these lenses are able to work with significantly higher res bodies and still deliver.

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-70-200mm-F4G-ED-VR-on-Nikon-D600-versus-EF70-200mm-f-4L-IS-USM-on-Canon-EOS-6D___1071_834_255_836

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/AF-S-Nikkor-16-35mm-f-4G-ED-VR-on-Nikon-D610-versus-Canon-EF-16-35mm-F4L-IS-USM-on-Canon-EOS-6D___373_915_1367_836

To say the least, these results are... close with the Nikkors a tiny bit better according to them, but the difference is probably within measuring errors. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Nick Walt on October 28, 2014, 03:00:55 am
Great links. Thank you, Bernard. I was curious about the differences between the equivalent lenses from Nikon and Canon. My initial interest in Canon came from reading about how many landscape photographers were using the Metabones Smart Adapter to mount Canon L glass on their A7R bodies.

From there I discovered the great range that Canon has, and, through Photozone.de, began to learn about the qualities of various lenses.

When the D750 was announced I explored Nikon lenses on Photozone.de (and other sites) and soon learned about the excellent zooms and the great range of f1.8 primes that could resolve enough for the high resolution of the D810.

DXO always seemed a bit confusing for me but the links your posted were pretty clear.

Cheers,
Nick
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Nick Walt on October 28, 2014, 03:41:13 am
Hi Jim,

I am very interested in capturing landscapes and want to make them a large part of my photography. It was Hans Kruse' magical landscape images that made me consider full-frame.

I recently travelled across the north of Thailand during the period when fields were being flooded with water for rice planting. The sights were beautiful and often could see huts and houses surrounded by a sea of mirrored blue waters.

Much of Thailand rural areas are hilly but don't provide sweeping vistas, so the type of framing seems to be more tele than wide angle, to pick out interesting patterns and light on the surrounding hillsides or in the shallow valleys. I found that my maximum 80mm equivalent on the E-M1 zoom I was using wasn't long enough and was considering the purchase of an expensive telephoto zoom. That was when I saw Hans' landscape images of Tuscany and I questioned any further investment in lenses for m43.

When I decided to sell the E-M1 and move to full-frame as my primary camera I wanted to explore primes in the mid-range instead of using a zoom as I did on the Olympus. This included the 20-50 range, the 85, and longer tele-range of 105, 135, and 150mm focal lengths. I wanted these for non-landscape photography and for use in lower light. Because I could either buy some of these tele-primes or a 70-200 f4 I, and not both, I was interested to know if others used primes for landscapes.

Part of the idea for this thread was the possibility of using an A7 with short-throw manual focus lenses like Leica and Voigtlander. Fast enough to focus for street and bright enough for low light. However, the size of the shorter tele-primes, 85, 105, and 135 were not suited to the A7 for street. It is just too small.

So now I am back to a small mix of primes for a DSLR and a zoom or two.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Jim Pascoe on October 28, 2014, 05:03:56 am
Hi Jim,
I am very interested in capturing landscapes and want to make them a large part of my photography. It was Hans Kruse' magical landscape images that made me consider full-frame.

Hi Nick

Firstly - yes the picture is from Tuscany.  A friend and I were running a photo workshop there ac couple of years ago and are doing the same again in May 2015.  The area is stunning and the picture you see is of a view photographed by thousands before me!  I have a dislike for repeating pictures that have been done to death - often much better than mine - but hey - I was there and could not resist! ;D

I did congratulate Hans earlier in the year when I first saw his pictures - they are truly spectacular.  Possibly a bit too vibrant for me at times - but that is what is great about photography - there is no right or wrong, just what appeals to you personally.  Hans can speak for himself but I would venture to say that most of what you perceive to be the 'magical' qualities of Hans' pictures has little to do with his equipment.  I'm sure Hans could produce similar pictures on Canon, Nikon, M43, APSC or almost any other reasonable quality system.  His pictures are down to his vision and skill and the superb use of light.  That's it.  If you need to make very large prints then you need to be worrying about the finer points of sensor size and lens resolution but really for most uses the gear is not going to make any perceivable difference.

The picture I posted above seas full frame with a 50mm Zeiss lens and I have made a biggish print which is on my wall.  It is incredibly detailed right from the beautiful flowers in the foreground right up to the buildings on the distant hills.  I do not believe my Olympus with a prime lens would be quite as good - but at most normal print sizes it would be fine.  And it all comes down to how big a camera you are happy to cart around.

Last year we went to Venice in November and I took most of my pictures on a Ricoh GR - here is one below. 

I have been a professional for 16 years and am also a keen amateur.  I still could not advise you on the best system because I am always learning and experimenting myself.  My best advice would be that whatever camera or lens you have - use it a lot and learn it inside out.  That will lead to better pictures than any amount of worrying about what camera another photographer uses.

Best wishes

Jim
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 28, 2014, 06:12:45 am
Great links. Thank you, Bernard. I was curious about the differences between the equivalent lenses from Nikon and Canon. My initial interest in Canon came from reading about how many landscape photographers were using the Metabones Smart Adapter to mount Canon L glass on their A7R bodies.

Nick,

Those are typically Canon users looking for higher res/higher DR body compared to what's availbale in Canon's line up who bought a a7r and continue to use their excellent existing Canon lenses. There are quite a few here at LL.

Few Nikon users do that, not because nobody is doing landacape with Nikon cameras (on the contrary), but because they have those sensors natively available in F mount. The only value of the a7r for landscape compared at a D810 is pretty much weight.

When comparing Nikon vs Canon lenses, the reality is that there are overall very close. With Nikon winning in some focal lenghts and Canon in others, always typically within a few % of each others. Two notable exceptions are the 17mm T/S that only exists in Canon mount and the 14-24 f2.8 only existing in Nikon mount, but both companies have been rumored for months to close these gaps with patents published last year on both sides. Some Nikon lenses are clearly due for a replacement soon, such as the 135mm f2.0 and 300mm f4.0, the same could be said of the Canon 100-400mm zoom lens,...

Then you have lenses that are unique because of their look. The Canon 85mm f1.2 II renders beautifully, but is a bit behind its Nikon equivalent in technical qualities. The Nikon 58mm f1.4 may be the best environmental portraiture lens with a very beautiful bokeh, but isn't as sharp wide open than other lenses,...

When you go beyond the typical over simplifications, you start to realize that either brand will do from a lens standpoint, but that there are some strong/weak points relative to some specific applications.

The fact that you can use Nikon lenses on Canon bodies but not the opposite makes buying Nikon lenses a very sound long term investment regardless of possible changes in sensor performance. Owning Nikon lenses makes you pretty much brand agnostic in terms of body because Nikon lenses can be mounted on pretty much anything.

But at the end of the day, the camera you have the best feel shooting with is probably the right one for hand held photography. When shooting landscape, I tend to think that "feel" is pretty much irrelevant since the camera is most of the time sitting on a tripod anyway.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Nick Walt on October 28, 2014, 12:11:10 pm
Hi Jim,

I thought I recognised that house on the little hilltop, haha. I wonder if the families that live in that area know how famous their little patch of grass is. What a place to live, hey.

Before I sold the E-M1 I contemplated using HDR to overcome the noise issue that occurs when the sensor is stressed. But in the end I just wanted the significant jump in IQ that a good full-frame sensor and lens combination will give. I just didn't realise how much a step backward a camera with an OVF feels like.

The X-Trans Fuji sensor is a significant step up in IQ from the m43 sensor and the Canon is smoother again, with the new sensor in the D750 even better.

The GR is a very nice camera. I've had a look at it a few times and contemplated getting one instead of a 28mm prime for whichever full-frame I buy.

Thank you, Bernard. I've come to appreciate both Nikon's and Canon's lens lineup. As you say, both have good strengths and some weaknesses in different areas. Nikon's f1.8 lenses are a great value option that are rated to resolve enough for the D810. Canon's trinity of f4 stabilised zooms are a great set, too.

That's a very interesting point you made about using Nikon lenses on Canon bodies. How well do they work? AF is fast? What about stabilisation? Aperture is responsive to the camera?

Cheers,
Nick
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: NancyP on October 28, 2014, 02:32:21 pm
When you use Nikon lenses on Canon bodies, the AF does not work because Canon and Nikon electronic protocols are not compatible. Now, I use a number of old Nikkors with manual aperture rings and manual focus (pre-AI, AI, AIS is the nomenclature for the earliest 1960s and early 1970s Nikkors). Metering works when the camera is set at Av (aperture fixed, shutter speed varies) exposure mode. Of course you have to remember to actually set the aperture ring at the stated f/stop. When in manual exposure mode, live view does not brighten up when you stop down, because the camera has no clue that you are stopping down. PITA, but I focus at wide open, then shoot stopped down, then chimp and check focus in the various zones I want sharp. This works fine in low light for landscape or macro on a tripod, though you should expect more battery use due to live view and chimping. EXIF shows "--mm f0.0" if you don't use a "dandelion" chip on your adapter.

I don't know how Nikkor G series lenses work regarding aperture stop-down. I do know that the adapters for G series lenses are different from other Nikkor to EOS adapters, there's an additional lever control that must activate the mechanical linkage inside the lens to stop down the lens.  http://www.16-9.net/nikon_g/

Why bother? Well, I was given some Nikkor lenses by a relative, and I like vintage lenses (all AI/AIS). I haven't yet lost hope in Canon releasing an equivalent to the Nikkor G 14-24mm lens, but if a used one at a good price crossed my path, I would be sorely tempted. Plus, I am an old fart from the all-manual film camera era, and it just seems more natural to me to focus manually if I am not in a hurry.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: synn on October 29, 2014, 07:06:21 am
G adapters have a virtual aperture ring with 0-1-2-3 etc written on it for each click. Canon cameras meter fine with them.

As a rule of thumb, you get nikons for great sensors and canons for great lenses.
Or you could get a sony A7r, a metabones EF adapter with AF, all the canon lenses you need and have the best of everything. Get th G adapter too if you want to use the 14-24.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: JohnBrew on October 29, 2014, 07:43:01 am
The only zooms I ever used were with my D200, back in the day. I've always used primes and for many reasons. As I get older I have mentally toyed around with the idea of possibly trying a zoom, especially for travel, but, imo, there are just too many compromises with them. And it may have something to do with my shooting style being more comfortable with primes and the way they balance on the camera. And my friends would counter with "oh, so that's why you are shooting that honking hulk of an Otus" ;D. Sometimes our reasons don't make sense to others but we are all individualistic in our approach to photography or I would like to think so.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: NancyP on October 29, 2014, 10:33:42 am
Hey synn, here's a great use for a Sony A7r, totally tempting if you have 4K to 5K$ sitting around: Nikkor 14-24mm on a tilt-shift adapter fitted to the Sony E mount (A7 series). HCam/ Hartblei just showed it at Photokina. http://www.hartblei.de/en/whatsnew.htm  Some lucky users are working with the betas already.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: synn on October 29, 2014, 10:57:39 am
Yep, I saw that and am very tempted. I will probably replace my nikon bodies with sony some time soon.
something tells me sony will launch an updated version with a newer sensor soon, so no harm in waiting a bit.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: Nick Walt on October 29, 2014, 03:33:27 pm
Thanks, Nancy. Manual focus on the Canon looks quite okay to me. Almost like focus peaking - where the Canon AF points on the 6D glow red when you achieve focus on that location. Much better than the Nikon implementation, I think.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 29, 2014, 04:22:48 pm
Hi Synn,

That is my expectation, too.

Best regards
Erik

Yep, I saw that and am very tempted. I will probably replace my nikon bodies with sony some time soon.
something tells me sony will launch an updated version with a newer sensor soon, so no harm in waiting a bit.
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: synn on October 29, 2014, 05:12:42 pm
Thanks, Nancy. Manual focus on the Canon looks quite okay to me. Almost like focus peaking - where the Canon AF points on the 6D glow red when you achieve focus on that location. Much better than the Nikon implementation, I think.

Nikon has an electronic rangefinder, that tells you which way to turn the focus ring and then a green dot when focus is achieved.

You obviously have a ton of questions about both systems. Why don't you go to a store and spend 10 minutes on each?
Title: Re: Moving to Primes for Landscape Work - Who has done this?
Post by: duane_bolland on October 31, 2014, 11:43:37 am
I was at an Art Wolfe seminar a few years ago and someone asked him why he uses Canon's 16-35mm as opposed to the 17mm and 24mm TSE lens which could deliver better image quality.  He said something to the effect that despite his fame, he struggles with size and weight issues while flying just like everyone else.  He said he uses the 16-35mm because it is smaller, has autofocus, takes filters, is faster to use, and is plenty good enough optically for his needs.