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Thread: Landscape lens

  1. #1

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    Landscape lens

    I want to get a good quality landscape lens but am quite unsure of what to invest in.
    I have looked at the Nikon 14-24 and it does look like a very sharp lens to have. The only drawback
    what I can see is that filters cannot be attached.
    I love the images taken with this lens.
    I have a 18-200 lens which is a excellent travel all rounder but I find it lacks sharpness when I want it most.
    I know it is pricey too but I'd rather invest in quality.

  2. #2
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    re: Landscape lens

    Ansie, what body do you have? if you have the 18-200 im going to assume that its a crop sensor??

    If it is a crop sensor and you want wide then think of the tokina 11-16 it comes in 2 versions one with a focus motor and one without, if you have a d7000 or above the one without the motor is fine as your body has a motor built in. this is a super sharp lens at a great price and until i went full frame a lens i used a lot.

    The Nikor 14-24 can have filters attached, lee filters do a special mount for it.

    Not all landscapes are shot wide however and a lot of people use a lens with a longer focal length so the perspective is more compressed, it depends on the look your after.

  3. #3
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    re: Landscape lens

    Hi Ansie - Mark makes very good points; if you are shooting with the 18-200mm, then you are shooting a DX camera and the f/2.8 14-24mm is not necessarily the best choice for you as it is a full-frame FX lens. I would also agree with him that the Tokina f/2.8 11-16mm is worth considering. Depending on the body you are using, Tokina offers two models; one that requires a camera body with a focusing motor and a more recent update where the focusing motor is in the lens.

    We own all three lenses so I know them reasonably well. The 18-200mm is actually my wife's "go to" lens, so I don't shoot with it that often. If you are determined to go with a full-frame lens, the f/2.8 17-35mm and the f/4 16-35mm are great performers that do take filters, but they are narrower at the short end. I looked at both before settling on the f/2.8 14-24mm lens; I went this way just to get the extra 2mm in width. I know Nikon makes a 10-24mm DX lens, but it came out after I had the Tokina, so never had a close look at it. As an aside, both my wife and I have a D90 and I have a D800. hence the mix or FX and DX lenses.

    I am aware that you can get a Lee SW-150 filter holder for the lens. but I haven't gone there yet. I am still building up my collection of Lee filters for my other lenses (the 0.6 and 0.9 Hard grads and the 0.3 ND are next on my list) and I might consider getting these filters and holder down the road. This really brings me to my second point; I rarely use my ultra-wides for landscape work; I find that they are too wide angle for this type of photography. On the D800, my go to landscape lens tends to be the f/2.8 24-70mm. I tend to use the 14-24mm more for interior shots and other special purpose shots. If one is not careful, one gets an image with too much foreground and too much background.

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    re: Landscape lens

    I second both responses you have received so far, especially Manfred's observation that 14mm can be more useful indoors than outside. Another lens you might consider for sharpness that goes wide is the Tamron 17-50 f2.8. I have this (the non-stabilized version) and I find it more than satisfactory, optically.

  6. #6
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    re: Landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Thanks for the link Andre; the comments really line up with my experience and thoughts with the trio of the Nikon Pro lenses; although I do a lot more than landscape work with them. When I look at it; I probably use the f/2.8 24-70 about 60% of the time; the f/2.8 70-200mm about 35% of the time and the f/2.8 14-24mm about 5% of the time when I shoot the full-frame D800. These virtually always sit in my camera bag when I head out to do some serious shooting.

    Of the three, the only one I usually shoot on the crop-frame D90 is the f/2.8 24-70mm, although I have used the F/2.8 70-200mm for a bit of wildlife shooting in poor lighting situation. I've never used the f/2.8 14-24mm on the DX.

    I've looked at the Nikkor f/3.5D 24mm PC-E, but have not been able to justify spending that much money on a lens I will get limited use out of it. I am looking forward to seeing the reviews of the Samyang T-S f/3.5 24mm lens when it starts shipping next month. It runs at around half the price of the Nikon and I might (just) be able to justify spending the money.

  7. #7

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    re: Landscape lens

    Yes it will help if I mention what camera I have. It is a D300. Now the 14-24 DX is apparently a better choice instead of the full frame 14-24. I suppose not being able to fit a filter is a minor problem. Can be overcome. And I actually do love the wide shots. On the list is to get eventually a longer focal lens. But thank you very much.

  8. #8

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    re: Landscape lens

    My problem with the 18-200 is that there is a "softness" that is a bother for me. I love the wide shots and the sharpness of these lenses.
    Many thanks for the reply.

  9. #9
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    re: Landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Ans View Post
    Now the 14-24 DX is apparently a better choice instead of the full frame 14-24.
    Umm - unless I've missed a new lens introduction somewhere, there is no 14-24mm DX lens that Nikon lists in their current catalogue.

  10. #10

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    re: Landscape lens

    Thanks for that Andre.

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    re: Landscape lens

    Well maybe it is more the 12-24 f4

  12. #12

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    re: Landscape lens


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    re: Landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Ans View Post
    My problem with the 18-200 is that there is a "softness" that is a bother for me. I love the wide shots and the sharpness of these lenses.
    Many thanks for the reply.
    I would ask ... Is this out of camera or after post processing ... it used to be well known that P&S cameras needed less PP than DSLRs and with the later you are expected to also PP. Even if it is just a mere suggestion at the end.

  14. #14
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    re: Landscape lens

    My problem with the 18-200 is that there is a "softness" that is a bother for me. I love the wide shots and the sharpness of these lenses.
    Many thanks for the reply.
    Unfortunately, the softness is a well known "feature" of this particular lens, especially at the longer end of the range (150 - 200mm). It has a fair bit of barrel distortion at the short end and it goes over to pincushion at the long end. There is a bit of drop-off at the corners as well, but that improves when you stop down around 3 stops. That being said, these issues are not surprising given the 11x zoom factor. For more critical work DxO Optic pro does a reasonable job fixing the issues, as do Lightroom and ACR. The D90 does a pretty reasonable job with in-camera correction if one shoots jpegs.

  15. #15
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    re: Landscape lens

    Look into the Tokina 12-24mm f/4 lens which is built for a crop camera but, can be used on a full frame camera...

    Roman Johnson's wonderful galleries were a deciding reason why I opted for the 12-24mm Tokina f/4. Many of his images were shot with this lens on a Nikon! His images of Yosemite are just super!

    http://www.pbase.com/romansphotos/yosemite

  16. #16

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    re: Landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Umm - unless I've missed a new lens introduction somewhere, there is no 14-24mm DX lens that Nikon lists in their current catalogue.
    Hi Manfred,

    Did you read the article that I linked? He gives a link to this in the article.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...D_IF_AF_S.html

  17. #17

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    re: Landscape lens

    Hi Ansie,

    You want a lens with no softness at all?
    Prime Leica lenses are about the only ones with no CA no vignetting, no moire and as sharp as a needle!
    For Nikon you do get some Carl Zeiss glass that is better than any Nikon lens. (Oops, hope this does not lead to a nasty debate.)

    If you are really looking for prime glass you will have to settle for prime lenses. All zoom lenses have an area that is not tack sharp, we simply live with a bit of softness, with zooms - as long as it is acceptable.

  18. #18
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    re: Landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Hi Manfred,

    Did you read the article that I linked? He gives a link to this in the article.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...D_IF_AF_S.html
    The 12-24mm DX I knew about, the comment was regarding a f/2.8 14-24DX. This is a FX lens (I own one).

  19. #19
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    re: Landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    If you are really looking for prime glass you will have to settle for prime lenses. All zoom lenses have an area that is not tack sharp, we simply live with a bit of softness, with zooms - as long as it is acceptable.
    I would add that this is only true on primes if you stop down a couple of stops and pushing the argument a bit, the f/1.8 or slower primes tend to be sharper than the f/1.4 and f/1.2 lens. That being said, the reason we shoot these fast lenses is often because of their shallow DoF, so in reality, we want a certain degree of "lack of sharpness", but only in areas of the image where it work compositionally.

  20. #20

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    re: Landscape lens

    Ans, the 12 - 24 F4 is a very nice landscape option. More often than not I want a larger DOF in landscape so the bottom end is not usually something I'm bumping up against. You might try to find a local retailer who will rent you one for a day to try out. You won't be disappointed. A bonus is the 77mm filters from your other lenses will fit.

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