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Thread: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

  1. #1

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    Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    I have the 18-55 stock lens that came with my 500D but would like to upgrade to something more suitable for landscape work. Would anyone have any recommendations and/or anything sitting in a cupboard that they would like to get rid off?

    Somewhere around the 200 mark. (I'm always skint at this time of year !)

    Thanks

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    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    Hi George,

    What is it about the EF-S 18-55mm that's not meeting your landscape needs?

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    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    Absolutely nothing at all colin. But I would like a wide angle lens.

  4. #4

    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    You might want to read this http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...&cat=27&page=4

    The Sigma 17-70 has a good rating HERE but it costs 328 HERE

    To be honest, I'm not sure how much difference you are going to notice. The 18-55 is a very good lens for the money. If you want something a lot better, where you will notice a difference, I'd suggest you might need to spend quite a bit more than 200.

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    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    Wider lenses are IMO quite specialized tools for landscape photography. Again, IMO, many photographers seem to automatically slap on an UWA lens when shooting landscapes. perhaps the subliminal reasoning is that, "If I cover everything out there, something must be of interest!" However this is seldom the case.

    UWA lenses (below about 17mm for crop cameras) generally produce the most boring imagery possible when simply used to cover large expanses of landscape. The result of using an UWA lens is most often a large expanse of blank sky with a large expanse of boring foreground and somewhere in the middle of the frame, a thin line of something that might have been interesting. UWA lenses can reduce magnificent mountain scenery to the mundane and uninteresting.

    There is a use for UWA lenses but, I seldom see images with prominent interesting foreground subjects, made even more prominent by the natural distortion produced by shooting close to the subject with a wide angle lens.

    If a photographer really wants to cover a fairly large area but, desires an interesting and exciting image, panos come into play. Shooting a multi-shot pano with a longer focal length lens produces exciting and interesting, especially if the camera is in the vertical position is a great way to shoot a landscape. See: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=17572474 for a good example...

    Panos are not particularly difficult, especially single string panos. You don't need specialty equipment and often, a pano can be shot hand-held as with this shot of the Beijing "Birdcage" Olympic Venue. I did not have the time to get closer and if I shot with a UWA lens, I would have achieved an image with a lot of uninteresting foreground and sky and a small Birdcage.

    Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

  6. #6

    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    If a photographer really wants to cover a fairly large area but, desires an interesting and exciting image, panos come into play. Shooting a multi-shot pano with a longer focal length lens produces exciting and interesting, especially if the camera is in the vertical position is a great way to shoot a landscape. See: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=17572474 for a good example...

    Panos are not particularly difficult, especially single string panos. You don't need specialty equipment and often, a pano can be shot hand-held as with this shot of the Beijing "Birdcage" Olympic Venue. I did not have the time to get closer and if I shot with a UWA lens, I would have achieved an image with a lot of uninteresting foreground and sky and a small Birdcage.
    Have to agree with this. Panoramas often produce a much better result of a wide scene. Even my cheapo four-thirds Panasonic G1 does a really good job of them - in fact, I think it does a better job than my 5D. It's much easier to align the shots and keep them level due to the grid display in the electronic viewfinder. This shot was taken last week and is three shots taken in landscape mode and stitched in CS5, which, BTW, is excellent now at stitching. I rarely get a failure, and I do all mine handheld.

    Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    and THIS ONE this one was also done by the pano method

    The only problem is making sure nothing is moving too fast in the scene. But you can do a pano in about 10 secs if you practice. How wide do you want to go? For 100 you could buy a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens which is razor sharp and take shots just like the one in the last link. Mine was shot on 24mm, which on the G1 is 50mm. The 50mm lens on a 500D is equal to 80mm. Stand back a bit!

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    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by pinotnoir View Post
    I have the 18-55 stock lens that came with my 500D but would like to upgrade to something more suitable for landscape work. Would anyone have any recommendations and/or anything sitting in a cupboard that they would like to get rid off?

    Somewhere around the 200 mark. (I'm always skint at this time of year !)

    Thanks
    George:

    I had a Tokina 12-24 that I used on my 30D, and it was fine, but when I acquired a 5Dii, I had no need for it so I sold it for $350 CAD. At the current exchange rate, this would be about 220 in your currency. And it was a good deal for the buyer.

    When I acquired it three years ago, there was nothing that was as reasonable cost-wise.

    Glenn

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    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by pinotnoir View Post
    Absolutely nothing at all colin. But I would like a wide angle lens.
    Hi George,

    I wrote an article for premier filter manufacturer Singh-Ray on the subject of WA lenses as they apply to landscape; you might find it interesting reading ...

    http://singhray.blogspot.com/2009/09...-for-your.html

  9. #9

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    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    Thanks Colin, i'll have a read.

    Regards
    George

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    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    Myself I've invested in a lens especially for landscapes and some architecture. Before I used a Sigma 18-125mm for landscaping but talking about image quality this lens wasn't good at all for landscapes. So I bought the Canon 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM to do the landscapes. I believe it's (one of the) cheapest L lens there is. I bought it for €600/about 500 which is still expensive but worth the money if you want a proper landscape lens.

    So I think if you want a very good landscape lens you'll have to spend some more. If that isn't what you want, I think the 18-55 you mentioned is fine. And pano stitching will help you when you need a wider angle.

  11. #11
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    Re: Recommendations for a decent landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by JK6065 View Post
    So I think if you want a very good landscape lens you'll have to spend some more. If that isn't what you want, I think the 18-55 you mentioned is fine. And pano stitching will help you when you need a wider angle.
    Hi George,

    I agree with Jeroen's points, and you might benefit from learning better shooting* and sharpening** techniques, it'll probably make more difference, and be cheaper, than simply duplicating the lens range you have now.

    * ideas for shooting technique;
    Shoot when the lighting angle on the subject is going to assist resolution
    Keep the iso low and/or use noise reduction so you can sharpen RAW from 0 or 1 threshold
    Use a tripod when necessary

    ** it is an area often overlooked; I am not criticising your technique (which I don't know), and may already be optimal - or it may have room for improvement

    Hope that helps,

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