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What are your Go-To landscape lenses?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:14 am    Post subject: What are your Go-To landscape lenses? Reply with quote

I'm in the process of switching from APSC to Full frame, and I'm finding some of my favorite landscape lenses are now way too wide on the A7R. I just sold off my Rokinon 12mm, and I'm looking for a replacement, specifically manual lenses (Legacy or otherwise). So I'm just here looking for ideas, what are your favorite lenses for landscape? My widest lens is not a Pentax-K 28 2.8, so time will tell if thats wide enough on a full frame.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:59 am    Post subject: Re: What are your Go-To landscape lenses? Reply with quote

Kawana87 wrote:
I'm in the process of switching from APSC to Full frame, and I'm finding some of my favorite landscape lenses are now way too wide on the A7R. I just sold off my Rokinon 12mm, and I'm looking for a replacement, specifically manual lenses (Legacy or otherwise). So I'm just here looking for ideas, what are your favorite lenses for landscape? My widest lens is not a Pentax-K 28 2.8, so time will tell if thats wide enough on a full frame.


For me, a 28mm is great, but I often want wider. I used to have a Nikkor 28/2 AI. Wonderful lens that I took with me everywhere. Was stolen along my truck and other gear. I haven’t replaced it yet. I’ve looked at two, and neither were in good enough condition.

But my other favorite wide angle landscape lenses for full frame are:

Nikkor 20/3.5 AIS. Almost unknown legacy lens. Great wide-angle perspective without being too wide. I’ve been using it for about 15 years. This lens is excellent for close up foreground, and it’s small and light.

Voigtländer 20/3.5 Color Skopar SL-II Aspherical. A recent acquisition, it is everything the Nikkor 20/3.5 is, but better at everything. It’s even 30g lighter. Costs more though, and now harder to find since they stopped making it.

Another lens that is no longer made, the Carl Zeiss 25/2.8 Distagon T*. A very recent acquisition. This one tests terrible on flat test charts, but produces gorgeous images of 3D subjects. It also focuses extremely close (0.17m) for some truly interesting pictures.

Those are my favorite wide-angle landscape lenses. The Zeiss is the quirkiest.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Historically some of my best landscape lenses were wides, predictably enough. But not always very wides.

One of my all-time favorites is Canon's FL 35mm f/2.5. My copy is sharp from corner to corner, it has great contrast and color. True, it's not all that wide, but with proper framing it can work well.

An ultra wide I used to own was another Canon FL lens -- the 19mm f/3.5. That was a wonderful old lens. These days, I use Tamron and Vivitar 17mm f/3.5 optics. Both have given great results. The Vivitar suffers a bit from barrel distortion, but it isn't all that noticeable with landscapes.

For less wide scenes I have a few 24mm lenses: a Canon FD 24mm f/2.8, a Nikon 24mm f/2.8, and Tamron 24mm f/2.5. I like the Canon and Tamron 24s better than the Nikkor. The Nikkor tends to be soft in the corners.

One of my favorite zooms is the old Vivitar Series 1 28-90. I've shot quite a few landscapes with it at its widest setting.

I have also used telephotos for landscapes. It's all about the distance to the subject. But if its far enough away, 500mm and 600mm can do well.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in my days of film, my "favourite go-to lens for landscapes" was my Sigma 21-35mm. A chunky old hunk of metal and glass at 400gm and well worth the effort if you can find one to fit Smile


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kypfer wrote:
Back in my days of film, my "favourite go-to lens for landscapes" was my Sigma 21-35mm. A chunky old hunk of metal and glass at 400gm and well worth the effort if you can find one to fit Smile


For “modern” lenses, 400g would be considered svelte!


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Landscapes present in a variety of ways.
Dunescapes usually need a wide wide lens, while other scenes need something tighter.
If you were happy with your 12mm on APSc, then a 20mm will be good choice on FF.
My go-to for this is Nikkor-UD 3.5/20
Others that I use most are 24,28 and 35mm - but often I will compose the shot to suit whatever is on the camera at the time, and do a lot of moving myself around to accomplish that.
Tom


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to use a Tamron SP 24-48mm.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8. Amazingly sharp, perfectly corrected, works marvelously on the a7 series cameras. I had one but had to sell it to buy an AF for underwater use. I will buy another when I save up some money.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
Historically some of my best landscape lenses were wides, predictably enough. But not always very wides.

One of my all-time favorites is Canon's FL 35mm f/2.5. My copy is sharp from corner to corner, it has great contrast and color. True, it's not all that wide, but with proper framing it can work well.

An ultra wide I used to own was another Canon FL lens -- the 19mm f/3.5. That was a wonderful old lens. These days, I use Tamron and Vivitar 17mm f/3.5 optics. Both have given great results. The Vivitar suffers a bit from barrel distortion, but it isn't all that noticeable with landscapes.

For less wide scenes I have a few 24mm lenses: a Canon FD 24mm f/2.8, a Nikon 24mm f/2.8, and Tamron 24mm f/2.5. I like the Canon and Tamron 24s better than the Nikkor. The Nikkor tends to be soft in the corners.

One of my favorite zooms is the old Vivitar Series 1 28-90. I've shot quite a few landscapes with it at its widest setting.

I have also used telephotos for landscapes. It's all about the distance to the subject. But if its far enough away, 500mm and 600mm can do well.


I have the Vivitar series 1 28-90 as well, but I haven't had a chance to put it through its paces on my A7R yet, I'm hoping it will do well, as its a nice general use focal range for me. I've always been weary of the non 'Series 1 Vivitar lenses. I've had several that have been complete garbage. Do you know if there are certain years that are supposed to be worse than others? Because I've seen a few other members here comment on their vivitars as being decent lenses.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you also consider panorama stitching almost every lens will qualify for landscape photography.
Sometimes it's far better to shoot a couple of pictures with longer focal lengths and compose/assemble the final picture later on the PC.
This offers many additional options with very different perspectives and it's very easy these days with many software solutions available.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
If you also consider panorama stitching almost every lens will qualify for landscape photography.
Sometimes it's far better to shoot a couple of pictures with longer focal lengths and compose/assemble the final picture later on the PC.
This offers many additional options with very different perspectives and it's very easy these days with many software solutions available.


This is a great idea. Of course, the best results will come from a properly leveled tripod.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arninetyes wrote:
This is a great idea. Of course, the best results will come from a properly leveled tripod.


With a little practice free hand shooting is more than good enough. I do that quite frequently when e.g. the angle of the lens with me doesn't meet my requirements.
That's the logical solution if you neither want to use zoom lenses nor want to carry too much. Wink


PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well there is this thing:

http://gigapan.com/


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Large format camera lens with scanner back

https://petapixel.com/2014/12/29/medium-format-camera-made-using-parts-epson-scanner/

Does stitching provide the same dof as in single image of equivalent angle of view lens?


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
If you also consider panorama stitching almost every lens will qualify for landscape photography.
Sometimes it's far better to shoot a couple of pictures with longer focal lengths and compose/assemble the final picture later on the PC.
This offers many additional options with very different perspectives and it's very easy these days with many software solutions available.


There must be a reason why rotating a single lens around its nodal point has been given so much importance in shooting panoramas.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me the Minolta MD 35-70mm f3.5 is perfect for landscapes. Sharp, cheap and versatile - what more could you want ?


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hemeterfilms wrote:
For me the Minolta MD 35-70mm f3.5 is perfect for landscapes. Sharp, cheap and versatile - what more could you want ?


There is a pleasing quality to the colours.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

e6filmuser wrote:
There must be a reason why rotating a single lens around its nodal point has been given so much importance in shooting panoramas.


Most probably some software solutions have difficulties when the horizontal alignment isn't perfect.

From my practical experience there are very good solutions which don't care about. Therefore the worst case is that you loose a little bit of the total picture height when you crop the assembled picture finally if you didn't manage to keep the same horizon manually. There are other differences as well. E.g. my older Lightroom Version 6.14 suffers if you try to assemble many pictures but has no problems with something up to 6 pictures. I don't know whether this has been improved in the newer versions.
The biggest Panorama I did up to now consisted of 12 single pictures with a short 75mm tele lens shot free hand on APS-C. I used a software called "Panorama Studio" for that and it worked perfectly well.

Here is the small downsized version:



PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
e6filmuser wrote:
There must be a reason why rotating a single lens around its nodal point has been given so much importance in shooting panoramas.


Most probably some software solutions have difficulties when the horizontal alignment isn't perfect.


Actually, it's about horizontal parallax, the very opposite of the situation for shooting stereos.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hemeterfilms wrote:
For me the Minolta MD 35-70mm f3.5 is perfect for landscapes. Sharp, cheap and versatile - what more could you want ?


Well, the desired ouput size certainly plays an important role. For the A7R from the OP with a potentially very big output size I wouldn'd really recommend an older Zoom lens although your Minolta/Leica-R lens is one of the better ones.
At least I would never use any Zoom for landscapes on my A7R II, not even a present Sony one. But that's certainly a matter of personal taste and requirements.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an unorthodox suggestion. I don't shoot many sweeping landscape shots with wide angle lenses, but I do enjoy landscape shooting with longer focal lengths - generally 85 and up.

Over the past couple of weeks I'd been comparing my 100s and 105s, and I found one that really stood out: the Isco 100mm Isconar 4.5.

I was really surprised because it's a triplet, and I've always had an idea that triplets are typically not sharp and thus would not be preferable for landscape shooting. The Isconar 100 is extremely sharp. In fact, my subjective opinion is that it's the sharpest of my 100s and 105s. It seems to be a bit sharper than my even my Super Takumar 105 or my Orestor 100. This is after I removed the elements and cleaned off some light fungus (even though it's in fine condition generally).

It also shares with my other old Isco lenses an excellent quality of blue rendition, particularly the pale blues you often find in sky colors.

For landscapes f/4.5 is no hinderance either, since you're going to be closing down the iris anyway.

It's also really small, really light, and very inexpensive.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hemeterfilms wrote:
For me the Minolta MD 35-70mm f3.5 is perfect for landscapes. Sharp, cheap and versatile - what more could you want ?


wow, thats a great shot, and great IQ. What camera was that shot on?


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KEO wrote:
I have an unorthodox suggestion. I don't shoot many sweeping landscape shots with wide angle lenses, but I do enjoy landscape shooting with longer focal lengths - generally 85 and up.

Over the past couple of weeks I'd been comparing my 100s and 105s, and I found one that really stood out: the Isco 100mm Isconar 4.5.

I was really surprised because it's a triplet, and I've always had an idea that triplets are typically not sharp and thus would not be preferable for landscape shooting. The Isconar 100 is extremely sharp. In fact, my subjective opinion is that it's the sharpest of my 100s and 105s. It seems to be a bit sharper than my even my Super Takumar 105 or my Orestor 100. This is after I removed the elements and cleaned off some light fungus (even though it's in fine condition generally).

It also shares with my other old Isco lenses an excellent quality of blue rendition, particularly the pale blues you often find in sky colors.

For landscapes f/4.5 is no hinderance either, since you're going to be closing down the iris anyway.

It's also really small, really light, and very inexpensive.


Do you have any sample images I could see?


PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

on a whim, i brought my vivitar series 1 VMC 28-90mm on a trip up north a few weeks ago, and was totally blown away by the results




PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kawana87 wrote:


I have the Vivitar series 1 28-90 as well, but I haven't had a chance to put it through its paces on my A7R yet, I'm hoping it will do well, as its a nice general use focal range for me. I've always been weary of the non 'Series 1 Vivitar lenses. I've had several that have been complete garbage. Do you know if there are certain years that are supposed to be worse than others? Because I've seen a few other members here comment on their vivitars as being decent lenses.


I've been sorta leery of non S1 zooms, but I've had good luck with non S1 primes. I mostly look to see if they were made by the three best makers: Kino Optics (S/N begins with 22), Komeni (S/N begins with 2Cool, and Tokina (S/N begins with 37). I have three worth mentioning. One is the Vivitar 17/3.5 that i mentioned above. It was made by Tokina. Very sharp. Another is the 35mm f/1.9, which has become a cult favorite in recent years. I don't recall offhand who the maker is, but it is an incredibly sharp lens. And the last one of my favorites is the Close Focus 135mm f/2.8 with 62mm front filter. The CF is the only Vivitar 135 with a 62mm front filter. An exceptional macro lens. I don't recall offhand who made that one either. But it was one of the three best makers. Vivitar also sold a 90mm macro, made by Tokina, that's also a top-notch lens.