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12-21-2007, 08:09 AM   #1
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Lenses for Architecture + Landscape

Hello,

I have a K100D Super and I am trying to find some good lenses for shooting landscape and architecture as that is what I mostly focus my photography on.

12-21-2007, 12:27 PM   #2
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Hi jcleary47

Re your query:
QuoteQuote:
I am trying to find some good lenses for shooting landscape and architecture
In an ideal world, the best lens for the purpose of photographing architecture would be what is often referred to as either a 'shift' or 'perspective correction' lens. Such lenses are usually very expensive (due to the small numbers sold), as they are optically engineered to compensate for the widely-known phenomenon of 'converging verticals'. If you point a conventional wide-angle lens parallel to a tall building, chances are that you will not be able to see the top of the building in the camera's viewfinder.
However, as you gradually tilt the lens backwards in order to include the entire building in the eyepiece, the top of the building will appear to narrow at the top of the picture: i.e. the vertical elements of the building appear to 'converge' or 'meet' at a point.
Regrettably, not one single manufacturer of the current range of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) bodies featuring APS-C sized sensors has seen fit to make such a 'perspective correction' lens. To the best of my knowledge, the only DSLR bodies which function correctly with a 'shift' lens are Canon's ultra-expensive full-frame professional 1DS Mk11 & cheaper 5D, which have recently been joined by Nikon's full-frame professional D3. These three DSLR bodies all include a full-frame 36 x 24mm sensor, enabling photographers to use the respective 'shift' lenses these makers produce to work with either their old 35mm film bodies or newer digital equivalents. The 'cheapest' digital solution is currently Canon's 5D DSLR body + 24mm Tilt & Shift lens, whose combined cost amounts to approx 2,300.00 or US $4,600.00 !!!!! Ouch.....
In my opinion, the neatest solution to your particular dilemma is to obtain one of Sigma's superb 10-20mm wide-zoom HSM lenses, which produce a staggeringly good 'rectilinear' image that is excellent for photographing both architectural interiors and exteriors, as well as for capturing fantastic landscapes. There may well be occasions when you need to tilt this lens backwards slightly, unavoidably inducing slight 'converging verticals' in an image, but this visual anomaly can easily be cured with many of today's reasonably inexpensive digital photographic software editing packages on a computer. Hope this info helps somewhat in your decision making process ?

Best regards
Richard

P.S. Just out of interest, there are some pictures of a Pentax 28mm Shift lens here, just scroll down the page to see them all:
PENTAX 28mm SHIFT LENS PENTAX SHIFT 28mm LENS - (eBay item 360005976379 end time Dec-24-07 14:02:43 PST)

P.P.S. Here are three superb images taken with the Sigma 10-20mm. Just click on the blue 'links' below:

Emerald Pond on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Die ganze Welt on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Perurail on Flickr - Photo Sharing!


There is also a 'shed-load' of useful and interesting info about the Sigma 10-20mm lens here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122665-post2.html

Last edited by Confused; 12-22-2007 at 07:03 PM.
12-21-2007, 01:56 PM   #3
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there have been others post similar questions in the past.

Aside form the tilt and shift lens, you should look at pas postings comparing the pentax 12-24mm, and sigma 10-20mm

Both perform well, and with perspective correction in many photo editors, a tilt and shift is not an absolute necessity.

Some people have asked about the 10-17mm fisheye, but that gives barrel distortion (curved lines) that are not always desireable in archatecture, although I have not really heard the same complaint for landscape.

Also for landscape, some people promote using multiple exposures and splice them together for panoramics. It is all a question of how much time in post processing, and how much detail you need for the size of the print.
12-22-2007, 11:56 AM   #4
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Hartblei might be an option:

They make TS lenses for Pentax K mount and a lot of other mounts.

They come in 35, 65, 80, 120 mm.
Not cheap as I recall though.

Should be great for architecture, check HARTBLEI | Tilt-Shift Lenses & Medium Format Cameras, as I recal there is an ebay seller DVDtechnik or something that sells them a bit cheaper.

For landscapes primes like the DA21limited and DA14 are hard to beat.
IMHO the DA21limited is among the best landscape lenses I have seen for pentax, the rendering qualities are amazing.

12-22-2007, 12:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
there have been others post similar questions in the past.

Aside form the tilt and shift lens, you should look at pas postings comparing the pentax 12-24mm, and sigma 10-20mm

Both perform well, and with perspective correction in many photo editors, a tilt and shift is not an absolute necessity.

Some people have asked about the 10-17mm fisheye, but that gives barrel distortion (curved lines) that are not always desireable in archatecture, although I have not really heard the same complaint for landscape.

Also for landscape, some people promote using multiple exposures and splice them together for panoramics. It is all a question of how much time in post processing, and how much detail you need for the size of the print.
I must second your opinion of recommending the DA 12-24. Albiet, I shoot almost exclusively landscape, I've been able to get some amazing shots with that lens, truth be told, the only time it leaves my camera is when I need telephoto, or macro. For almost everything else, the 12-24 is my favorite lens. I can't really speak about the structure photography, but for landscapes, it's literally a blast to use.

Here's a few samples I've got posted on my flickr stream:
Flickr: Dr_Watso's photos tagged with da1224

Note that I tend to creatively use whatever angle distortion I introduce, and none of those shots have been distortion-corrected.
12-22-2007, 02:16 PM   #6
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Hi Duplo

Re your suggestion:

QuoteQuote:
Hartblei might be an option
I should read this post first:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/137599-post10.html

Taking into account the Focal Length Magnification Factor involved (in conventional 35mm film terms) when using these Hartblei lenses with an APS-C DSLR sensor like those found in the PentaxK10D/100D/Super, then:

35 x 1.5 (FLMF) = 52.5 mm
65 x 1.5 (FLMF) = 97.5 mm
80 x 1.5 (FLMF) = 120 mm
120 x 1.5 (FLMF) = 180 mm

Not very useful focal lengths for photographing either landscapes or architectural exteriors/interiors, I think you'd agree ?

Best regards
Richard
12-22-2007, 03:26 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
Hi Duplo

Re your suggestion:



I should read this post first:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/137599-post10.html

Taking into account the Focal Length Magnification Factor involved (in conventional 35mm film terms) when using these Hartblei lenses with an APS-C DSLR sensor like those found in the PentaxK10D/100D/Super, then:

35 x 1.5 (FLMF) = 52.5 mm
65 x 1.5 (FLMF) = 97.5 mm
80 x 1.5 (FLMF) = 120 mm
120 x 1.5 (FLMF) = 180 mm

Not very useful focal lengths for photographing either landscapes or architectural exteriors/interiors, I think you'd agree ?

Best regards
Richard
Yes something wider would have been nice, but IIRC then it is the only TS lenses in production for Pentax K mount.

I have used the 31 and 35 for quite a bit of landscapes and they do excellent for certain types of landscapes, but yeah I normally prefer something in the 14-25mm range for landscapes
12-22-2007, 09:12 PM   #8
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How does the 16-45 mm lens fare compared to the 12-24 and others for landscape?

12-22-2007, 09:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxtic Quote
How does the 16-45 mm lens fare compared to the 12-24 and others for landscape?
It's not as wide, but 1/2 the cost.
12-23-2007, 02:39 AM   #10
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Well, I'd recommend ultra wide angle with good correction. Not fisheye, or you'll have to deal with the distortion.
So I'd narrow the choices down to:
DA 16-45 - cheapest but not very wide
Sigma 10-20 - widest and OK price
DA 12-24 - most expensive, reportedly excellent lens
DA 14 - reportedly superb IQ
good luck choosing
12-23-2007, 11:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcleary47 Quote
Hello,

I have a K100D Super and I am trying to find some good lenses for shooting landscape and architecture as that is what I mostly focus my photography on.
One way of shooting architecture without a shift lens is to use an extreme wide angle. Take the photo from a distance that allows the entire building to appear without distortion, and crop out the extra coverage.

The second way, already mentioned in the forum, is to use perspective correction in post processing.
12-23-2007, 06:35 PM   #12
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Hi Canada_Rockies

Re your comment:

QuoteQuote:
One way of shooting architecture without a shift lens is to use an extreme wide angle. Take the photo from a distance that allows the entire building to appear without distortion, and crop out the extra coverage.
In an ideal world, "taking the photo from a distance that allows the entire building to appear without distortion" would be a desirable option if only that were possible, but unfortunately this scenario is often completely impractical especially in many historic European city centres, where cramped & ancient street plans simply prevent such things from occurring. Unless you can gain access to an ideal vantage point in a tall building overlooking the subject you are attempting to photograph in all it's magnificence, picture-wise you are basically "stuffed" ! Modern skyscrapers and gothic Cathedrals possess an infuriating tendency of reaching skywards beyond the confines of conventional viewfinders !
Whilst thoroughly agreeing with your general sentiments, I reluctantly find myself being forced down a particular route in order to address perspective correction issues by adopting the clumsily inconvenient and time-consuming method of utilising software editing packages. However, if Pentax had originally 'taken the bull by the horns' and begun to manufacture a proper shift-lens to work correctly in conjunction with their APS-C sensor bodies, it would have saved today's generation of photographers an inordinate amount of additional hassle when post-processing images of architectural interiors/exteriors taken with either wide or rectilinear lenses. Anyone listening at Pentoya HQ ???

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 12-23-2007 at 07:56 PM.
12-23-2007, 07:31 PM   #13
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perhaps this will help...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/16679-lens-lan...tml#post136162

Cheers,
Marc
12-23-2007, 10:42 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
Hi Canada_Rockies

Re your comment:



In an ideal world, "taking the photo from a distance that allows the entire building to appear without distortion" would be a desirable option if only that were possible, but unfortunately this scenario is often completely impractical especially in many historic European city centres, where cramped & ancient street plans simply prevent such things from occurring. Unless you can gain access to an ideal vantage point in a tall building overlooking the subject you are attempting to photograph in all it's magnificence, picture-wise you are basically "stuffed" ! Modern skyscrapers and gothic Cathedrals possess an infuriating tendency of reaching skywards beyond the confines of conventional viewfinders !
Whilst thoroughly agreeing with your general sentiments, I reluctantly find myself being forced down a particular route in order to address perspective correction issues by adopting the clumsily inconvenient and time-consuming method of utilising software editing packages. However, if Pentax had originally 'taken the bull by the horns' and begun to manufacture a proper shift-lens to work correctly in conjunction with their APS-C sensor bodies, it would have saved today's generation of photographers an inordinate amount of additional hassle when post-processing images of architectural interiors/exteriors taken with either wide or rectilinear lenses. Anyone listening at Pentoya HQ ???

Best regards
Richard
Agreed. I bought a 28/3.5 Pentax shift when I was in Chicago for four years. I was still film body (MZ-S), and it worked, but even there it was sometimes difficult to get the whole building in in the city that invented the high rise.

I no longer have the shift lens. Mountains look ok even with some distortion, and the pine trees are never more than 100 feet tall.
12-24-2007, 01:03 AM   #15
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a lot of personal preference goes in to this so there is no 'right answer'. IF you step up to the edge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona they don't make them too wide. In many circumstances
with the digital---something in the 16-18mm focal length is usually wide enough.
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