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Author Topic: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)  (Read 7411 times)

giancoli

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Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« 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
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #1 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
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #2 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

chez

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #3 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.
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giancoli

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #4 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.

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capital

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 03:17:17 pm by capital »
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Glenn NK

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #6 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
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capital

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #7 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.
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HarperPhotos

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #8 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
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #9 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

chez

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #10 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
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 07:08:35 pm by chez »
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MrSmith

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #11 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.
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David Eichler

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #12 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.

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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #13 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
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 08:34:29 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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capital

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #14 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.

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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #15 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

ErikKaffehr

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #16 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

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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #17 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

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #18 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:)

giancoli

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #19 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...
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