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12-08-2010, 02:13 PM   #1
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Best Landscape Lens

I'm looking to figure out what is the best landscape lens, two requirements I have are wide angle and sharp.

So I ask please post your favorite Landscape shot with which lens you used,

Thanks All


12-08-2010, 02:42 PM   #2
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I did a three weekend landscape photography workshop this fall. I typically used my DA*16-50, Samsung 12-24(rebranded Pentax), Tamron 70-200, & DA 17-70 on my K10/K20. I have the results here in a set on flickr. The later ones in the series are, in my opinion, the better ones. I would use any of those lenses again and if I had to choose two of them, it would be the DA 17-70 & the Tamron 70-200 for various reasons.

Landscape Workshop with Lance - a set on Flickr
12-08-2010, 02:44 PM   #3
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If there were a simple answer to this question, I'd give it to you- but there are many great lenses out there, each that is slightly different but can be used for landscape.

My two recommendations would be the FA 31mm Limited and FA* 85mm F1.4 (landscape != wide-angle)

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12-08-2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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Check the similar threads at the bottom of the page.

12-08-2010, 03:03 PM   #5
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If you look at collections of published landscape photos, you'll see that they're taken at all focal lengths. But most fall within an APS-C range equivalent to 18-55mm, with smatterings of panoramas and long-tele shots. Wide to ultrawide is often not good for classic 'scapes because distances are pushed away. If that's what you want, a 16-45 should suffice. I use a Zenitar 16/2.8 to make nearby stuff big and faraway stuff small. I use a Lentar-Tokina 21/3.9 or Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 or Soligor-Tokina 28/2.8 or Super-Takumar 35/3.5 for general 'scapes.

But I'm not shooting 'scapes that will be blown up hugely. If you're serious about this, look at the 645D and its lenses. That system is made for hi-res oversized 'scapes. Or for a cheaper alternative, get a bargain Bronica system and a good neg-scanner. Even a twenty-buck 6x9 folder with slow film will vastly outperform any digital gear.

Or just get the 16-45. Have fun!
12-08-2010, 03:08 PM   #6
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DA 15mm Limited.
12-08-2010, 05:57 PM   #7
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Ok I'll yo all a little more detail, I like the look of the utrawide lens, sorta like a good friend of mine, Evan, but he shoots Nikon.
12-08-2010, 06:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Wide to ultrawide is often not good for classic 'scapes because distances are pushed away. If that's what you want, a 16-45 should suffice.
In my experience, this is very true. Most of my favorite landscapes were shot at 28mm, but 18mm is nice too. Those extra MM don't hurt at the wide end, but you will likely be shooting between 20 and 35 for the most part. 16-45 is a swell deal, too.

12-08-2010, 07:05 PM   #9
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There is no specific focal length for landscapes as suggested. The framing and the individual subject dictate what lens to use.

However, the 12-24 is a mighty nice lens, and at the wide end gives flexibility where every millimeter matters.
12-08-2010, 07:07 PM   #10
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DA 15mm
12-08-2010, 08:06 PM   #11
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Today I was asked to downsort from thousands of landscape shots (of a very specific geographic location) to about 35 of the best for a client presentation tomorrow. So it gave me the very real and useful exercise of determining which lenses serve me best in that way.

Bottom line: DA Ltd 21mm; followed by the DA 12-24mm; DA Ltd 35mm Macro, and an emerging favorite is the DA Ltd 15mm.

I had some issues with distortion from the DA 21mm and the DA 15mm, but the gods were kind today releasing the new Lightroom release which has built-in corrections. The improvement is tremendous, and I'm sure it will be even more apparent when enlarged to a few feet. So it feels like I obtained new and improved lenses today as well.

Prior to obtaining the DA Ltd 15mm, I thought the DA 12-24mm was the best at wider FLs. While the latter is still a good lens, the 15mm is just sharper and provides more artful color rendition. And now the distortion is a non-factor. Plus you can stick it in a pocket. Along with the 21mm and the 35mm. Might as well take the 70mm too.

So that's what I would recommend.

12-08-2010, 08:47 PM   #12
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By far and away from all the WA lenses I've had and used, the DA 12-24 does the job beautifully. The ultra wide angle perspective at 12mm with its sharpness, colour and texture details are nothing short of impressive. Pentax AF lenses I haven't tried yet in that range are the DA 21 and FA* 24.
12-08-2010, 08:52 PM   #13
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What RioRico said.
12-08-2010, 09:21 PM - 1 Like   #14

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I find I use my 15 ltd, 35 ltd and 55-300 equally for all sorts of landscapes. If I were missing any of these, I would find my creativity and compositional options severely limited.

The 15 is great for sweeping vistas, and its rendering (especially with the sun) is just amazing. The 35 is excellent for normal perspectives, giving a real sense of scale to objects (in addition to being easily the sharpest lens I own). The 55-300 is great for shooting targets miles away, and especially for being creative with perspective. And as a bonus, they're lightweight, so I can carry them hiking for miles without feeling strain. Sure, the 55-300 is not exactly the sharpest telephoto lens around, compared to say the DA* 60-250, but that lens is a monster that I wouldn't want to carry up mountains.

Anyone who says "UWA and be done with it" is limiting their creativity. You need a wide range of focal lengths to get the most out of landscapes.

DA 15 ltd:

DA 35 ltd:

DA 55-300:

Last edited by Cannikin; 12-08-2010 at 09:36 PM.
12-08-2010, 11:10 PM   #15
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SLRPhotography: I'm looking to figure out what is the best landscape lens, two requirements I have are wide angle and sharp.

Hi Sam:

Well, there are many lenses which will do that for you, but I chose the Tamron 17-50mm and have not looked back. It is wide and it is surely sharp. I have taken about 15,ooo shots with it, and like it more as I use it more. Here are a few with my Tammy:


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