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02-17-2012, 08:21 AM   #1
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Landscape Primes

I just ordered a K-5 and am looking for recommendations on the best primes to use for landscapes. I started a similar thread a while ago that helped but was wondering if you had to start out with just 2 primes, what would you choose?

I am leaning towards the 15 Ltd and 70 Ltd for starters.

However, I might throw in the 40 Ltd which seems fairly inexpensive. If I do that, what is the difference between the 40 Ltd and the 40 pancake (besides size)?

Thanks!

02-17-2012, 08:29 AM - 1 Like   #2
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You cannot go wrong with the 15 Ltd and the 70 Ltd. They are both amazing in my opinion.

My favorite lens might be the 40 Ltd. The 40 Ltd was known as a "pancake" before the newer lens came out. I don't know much about the new one, but I believe it is designed specifically for the K-01. I will leave that issue up to Pentaxians more knowledgable on the the issue.

As usual, which lenses to purchase depends on your shooting style. But my two most used landscape lenses are the 15 and the 40 (I use the 70 primarily for portraits). If I was to start out with 2 lenses, I would choose the 15 and 40 (the 70 doesn't see as much time on the K5 due to my shooting style - which is mostly street, landscape, and travel). If budget allows, I wouldn't hesitate to get all three - it makes an awesome combo.
02-17-2012, 08:35 AM   #3
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I think your choices are very good. I use my 15 Ltd and DFA 100 most for scenic shots, mostly because of the rich contrast and colors these two lenses produce. Don't forget to try Reversal Film mode on scenic shots.
02-17-2012, 08:50 AM   #4
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Maybe a strange one to mention, but I love the DA 35 ltd. It does landscapes very well because of it's very sharp rendering.

02-17-2012, 09:09 AM   #5
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Maybe I'm an oddball, but I never use wide angle lenses for landscapes. Wide angles can be useful for dramatic near/far compositions but I find them difficult to use for scene shooting. Typically, a wide angle lens gives me too much foreground and too much sky. In the meantime, the stuff I'm usually interested in in the background seems to recede away from me and making it look much smaller. The classic example of what I'm talking about is the impressive mountain range being shrunk to a mini range while the sky and field in front of you are huge.

I much prefer normal lenses for most of my landscape shooting. They can preserve the view that I see for the most part. A short (or maybe not so short) telephoto lens can make background objects loom a bit more. If you shot that mountain range with a 100mm lens as opposed to a 15mm lens, the mountains would look much larger and impressive. I think a lot of people would be happier with their landscapes if the used a telephoto lens and backed up enough to get what they want in the field of view. Compressing depth is one of the best things telephoto do and can make for extraordinary landscape pictures.

When I get my k-01, I think my primary lenses outside will be the 35mm macro and the 55mm f1.4. I might pop for the 100mm macro at some point too. . I'll save the wide angles for when I'm inside.
02-17-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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Awesome choice, The 15, 40 and 70 is going to be a very strong line-up.
02-17-2012, 10:00 AM   #7
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How about the Pentax F/FA 50mm macro f2.8? I have the F 50mm f2.8 macro and I find it to be brilliant for shooting landscapes.
02-17-2012, 10:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by isaacc7 Quote
I think a lot of people would be happier with their landscapes if the used a telephoto lens and backed up enough to get what they want in the field of view. Compressing depth is one of the best things telephoto do and can make for extraordinary landscape pictures.
Agree!
I shoot with a variety of lenses from 14mm and up, but looking back my best landscapes are taken with 85mm, 85mm+1.7X converter (144.5mm) and 200mm.

Kjell

02-17-2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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I'd suggest the 21 over the 15 for landscape. The 21 is a more versatile focal length, great for many landscape situations, as well as group people shots. It also focuses down to about a foot, so you can shoot flowers too. So, 21 and 40 to start, and add the 70 or 15 when you can afford them. You might want to consider the 35mm 2.4 as well - quite a cracker of a lens for not much money.
02-17-2012, 10:37 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaiserz Quote
Awesome choice, The 15, 40 and 70 is going to be a very strong line-up.
QuoteOriginally posted by bilybianca Quote
Agree!
I shoot with a variety of lenses from 14mm and up, but looking back my best landscapes are taken with 85mm, 85mm+1.7X converter (144.5mm) and 200mm.

Kjell
Agree2. I have shot landscapes with all of these lenses during the same trip and have found they all do very well. I used to be a total wide angle advocate, but after taking several hundred landscape shots I found myself liking more shots from the 70 LTD then any other lens I have ever used. I liked the 40LTD but found it was not the best FL for me. I do love the 15 LTD for those close in opportunities. Great micro-contrast and very sharp in the center 3/4 of the frame, can be soft in the corners.
02-17-2012, 10:39 AM   #11
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I will echo the comments that the DA 35 is also excellent for landscape due to its sharpness, plus it adds macro ability. It is slower to focus than the 40, but that doesn't really matter for landscape. As I stated earlier, I usually bring the 40 along instead unless I think I will have some macro opportunities.

I like the DA 21, but I find it is not as wide as I sometimes need. The 21 is definitely more versatile than the 15 IMO (because the 15 is SO wide), however.

As I mentioned, it depends on your particular focal needs. You can't go wrong with any of the DA Limiteds. My most frequent trio right now is the 15/40/70 combo.
02-17-2012, 10:41 AM   #12
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My prime kit for landscapes is the 15mm and the 43mm. I love them both and wouldn't leave home without either one. I think the 15 and 70mm lenses is a great start. The only thing I'd suggest is looking at getting a 35 or 40 mm before the 70 if your preference is shooting wide. If you usually shoot at a slightly longer focal length, get the 70 and the 40 first.
02-17-2012, 11:23 AM   #13
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I am using zooms for wide to normal landscapes. The Sigma 8-16 and Tamron 17-50 produce great IQ. I switch to primes at 50mm: A50/2.8, DA70, Kiron 105/2.8. Check out the PhotoZone tests on Nikon D200 of the Tamron 17-50 [non-VC version] and the Zeiss 21mm, 25mm, and 35mm. At optimal aperture, there is little or no advantage with Zeiss, considered by many the highet IQ lenses in K-mount. The Tamron is a lot less expensive and requires less lens switching.

Flickr: civiletti's Photostream
02-17-2012, 12:48 PM   #14
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If you look at collections of published 'scapes, you'll see that most are shot within a focal range equivalent to the kit.lens on APS-C. So the Tamron 17-50 would be a find 'scape zoom. An ultrawide isn't usually good for 'scapes -- it shrinks the distant, turning mountains into molehills. I have a Tamron 10-24 and I use it at the long end for townscapes where its minor stretched distortion doesn't bother me. My favorite prime for undistorted 'scapes is a Vivitar-Komine 28/2 CFWA, and I stitch the shots into panos.
02-17-2012, 12:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
Check out the PhotoZone tests on Nikon D200 of the Tamron 17-50 [non-VC version] and the Zeiss 21mm, 25mm, and 35mm. At optimal aperture, there is little or no advantage with Zeiss, considered by many the highet IQ lenses in K-mount. The Tamron is a lot less expensive and requires less lens switching.

I use both the Tamron 17-50 A16P (non-VC) and the Zeiss ZK 25/2.8 and ZK 35/2.
While the Tamron has a more uniform resolution at f/2.8 than the ZK 25/2.8,
the Zeeks are more resistant to flare, and have a much better color rendition.
Resolution at a couple of meters (as tested by Photozone) is just one aspect of IQ.
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