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Thread: My dilemma

  1. #1
    jordand's Avatar
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    My dilemma

    With landscape photography in mind and D7000 in hand Im facing a dilemma.
    Should I go wider and if so which lenses (and filters) would you recommend for a Nikon DX body.
    Or maybe I should stick to my old 18-55, stitching panoramas when needed, relying on PP.
    I understand that lens qualities as well as appropriate software are both important for the final product, but when it comes to choosing Id rather listen to those who have already walked the way before me.

  2. #2

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    Re: My dilemma

    The Tokina and Nikon 12-24mm zooms have terrific reputations. The Tokina, which I use, is considerably less expensive. Depending on the situation, you can use a circular polarizer.

    However, it's not only the short focal lengths that are appropriate for landscape photography. Many people use everything from 12mm to 300mm for landscapes, depending on the style of photo desired at the time.

    Consider buying a used lens from a reputable individual or dealer.

  3. #3
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: My dilemma

    Kind of lens you need would of course depend on the kind of pictures being taken. The lens can be any where from a 10mm to 300mm which means your 18-55mm set on 18mm would work.

    For grand landscapes, focal lengths from 14mm to 28mm are typical for full frame, and 10mm to 18 for crop sensor cameras. In the grand landscape style of shooting composing the picture consist of using two main subjects, the background and the foreground. The foreground subject draws the eye into the image and then leads it to the background. The rule of thumb is the wider the angle of the lens the closer the camera should be to the foreground subject. The foreground in the picture often dominates the background, becoming the main subject in the picture.

    Again it depends what your after. I use a Tammy 10-24mm and have been happy with it

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    Re: My dilemma

    Jordon have you tried taking your landscape images in portrait instead of landscape before stitching them together. Yes you have to shoot more images, to cover the expanse, but you capture more foreground and sky in the overal image. I use a sigma 10-20mm for alot of my stitched images, never have had a problem with the lens on my D7000. If you really get into taking images that you have to stitch you might want to look into a L-bracket for your camera and a clamp to secure it to you tripod. Check out "Really Right Stuff", their online cataloge has some very good info on shooting pans.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  5. #5
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: My dilemma

    Tokina 11-16 is waht i use on my d7k and its very good im sure the nikon equive is going to be better but its 3 x the price and i dont think it will be 3 x as good, but is youve got the cash go for the best you can afford

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: My dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Jordon have you tried taking your landscape images in portrait instead of landscape before stitching them together. Yes you have to shoot more images, to cover the expanse, but you capture more foreground and sky in the overal image.
    Additionally, along the same lines, you can use a longer focal length when shooting panos in the portrait configuraton. This will often allow you to compress distances to make the image more interesting. I like my RS L Bracket for shooting landscape panos.

    And, BTW, if you use a tripod and shoot with your 18-55mm kit lens in the area of f/8 to f/11; the image quality should be quite good. I would suggest a tripod before buying any new lenses.

    I like my 12-24mm f/4 Tokina Mk-i and have not had the flare problems which coused Tokina to release the Mk-ii model with supposedly better flare contol. OTOH, I always use a lens hood and very seldom shoot into the sun.

    I will ocasionally use a CPL on the Tokina 12-24mm but I will usually not shoot much below 17mm or so because at wider focal lengths, a CPL will often cause uneven lighting. This has nothing to do with the quality of the lens or filter, it is simply due to the angle of the sun being different across the width of the wider focal length image.

    If you want to see some really nice imagery, much of it shot with the 12-24mm Tokina on a Nikon camera, visit Roman Johnson's pBase gallery at: http://www.pbase.com/romansphotos

    Roman's work was the deciding factor in my purchase of the 12-24mm f/4 Tokina as my wide angle lens. I have never been sorry about that purchase.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 11th October 2012 at 02:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: My dilemma

    I have the Tokina 11-16mm for my D90 and the Nikkor 14-24 for my D800. Neither are "normal" landscape lenses as these are ultra-wide angle lenses. They are not suitable for "normal" landscape photography as they can give you images that have too much foreground and too much sky. On the other hand, I'm an "ultra-wide junkie" as you can get some simply stunning shots, if you understand the limitations of the lenes. I find even a few cm change in position is the difference between an average shot and one that really stands out.

    This is a shot with the Tokina at 11mm.

    My dilemma

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    Re: My dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    ultra-wide angle lenses...are not suitable for "normal" landscape photography as they can give you images that have too much foreground and too much sky.
    Absolutely, but in the right situation, it is exactly that aspect that can make those focal lengths shine. The right situation often involves scenes that have no objects that are expected to be displayed vertically when you tilt the camera downward to avoid including too much sky or tilt it upward to avoid including too much land.

    The image shown below is an example of tilting downward using the Tokina 12-24mm at 12mm on a Nikon D7000. It is not cropped. If you look closely, you'll see some vertical poles on the left side in the distance that are leaning due to the distortion caused by pointing downward. However, they are very small and there's no reason to believe that the poles couldn't have been leaning that much in reality; the leaning poles don't lessen the quality of the image for me.


    My dilemma

  9. #9
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: My dilemma

    Wide-angle lenses see the world very differently from normal-range or telephoto lenses. The differences have to do mostly with two things: perspective and depth of field. In addition, wide scenes present special challenges for exposure as well
    My dilemma

  10. #10

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    Re: My dilemma

    As noted, going too wide presents a different perspective in all the photos. I would prefer not to have to count on post processing to make a shot look the way I wanted. Going too wide and needing to spend time making corrections to every photo is not my idea of a good day at photography. It also depends on what your preferences are for landscape. The narrow twisting roads of a forested countryside wouldn't need the field of view of the vast wide open shots of prairies or high altitude horizons. On a DX camera I find the 14-24 DX lens best fits my needs. It too can be a bit wide at times but then I'm only dealing with a simple crop. Keep in mind too that if you utilize a polarizing filter, a wide angle shot that includes the sky can give you a major difference in side to side tones and colour.

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