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Author Topic: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)  (Read 7439 times)

NancyP

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #20 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.
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NancyP

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #21 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.
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giancoli

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #22 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.
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scooby70

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #23 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.
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Codger

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #24 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.
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stever

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #25 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.
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NancyP

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #26 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
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #27 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

capital

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #28 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.

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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #29 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

giancoli

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #30 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

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.


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capital

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #31 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.




« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 09:37:13 pm by capital »
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capital

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #32 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.
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Dr Tone

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #33 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

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.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 11:54:19 pm by Dr Tone »
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mjrichardson

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #34 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
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #35 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

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.

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #36 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).



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
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 05:30:01 am by BernardLanguillier »
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Hulyss

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #37 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.
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giancoli

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #38 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
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Ajoy Roy

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Re: Help in choosing good landscape lens (and camera)
« Reply #39 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.

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