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08-02-2013, 09:18 AM   #16
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Da 16-45.

08-02-2013, 09:35 AM   #17
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OH btw, if you are taking landscape photos, an easy way to increase the IQ is a lens hood. You can get cheap rip-off hoods for the 18-55mm online (those that fit the bayonet). Or the lens hood that you screw in into the filter ring. Just make sure its not too tight at 18mm, if it is, it can cause severe vignetting (darkening of corners). You can get one of those three-stage rubber hoods, so you can adjust it according to the zoom/FoV. But a lens hood should improve overall contrasts and reduce flare.
Another thing to do is to get a good quality polarizer filter. There are many threads on these. Just make sure it fits on your lens (52mm or 49mm, the number is probably on your lens somewhere next to ∅ (diameter)). Polarizers can really improve how the sky, water, and foliage look. Linear or circular, both should work, but circular is usually the one they recommend for digital cameras, something to do with AF. Be careful if you buy it online, make sure its from a reputable store, because people have gotten really low quality knock-offs in the past. Most brands also produce a couple different quality tiers of polarizers, and you usually want to avoid the cheapest one, since any filter can also reduce overall IQ. At 18mm you probably won't need a super slim filter, but if you plan on buying a wider lens, you might need a slim type filter.
You dont need UV filters, though. And with the kit lens, you probably want to shoot between f8 and f14. Maybe use a tripod, low ISO, and 2 sec timer. This is how to maximize the quality of your lens, and the results should be pretty good. Shoot raw and use raw editing software (many threads on this) to squeeze the absolutely most out of your photos. Good luck, and I hope you post a photo in the photo section eventually
08-02-2013, 10:28 AM   #18
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There are many ways to improve landscape photography with ANY lens.

1) Use a tripod
2) Shoot at the right time during the day (or night) when the light is optimum for the situation
3) Stop down the lens to its optimum f-stop, usually F8
4) Use the lowest ISO
5) Use a hood
6) Focus carefully, preferably manual focus with Live View
7) Use the 2sec timer for DSLRs to turn off SR and to avoid mirror shake
8) Use filters only when absolutely necessary; CPL to remove reflections from water and boost saturation on vegetation and ND to use a slower speed for special effects
9) ALWAYS shoot in RAW format
10) Do proper Post Processing, correcting for lens issues, increasing micro contrast, set proper white balance and boost sharpness among others.

Getting a new lens will not automatically improve the quality of your landscapes. With proper use and post processing, even the cheap kit lens can produce spectacular results.
08-02-2013, 10:50 AM   #19
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As others are hinting at, it kind of depends what you mean by "wide". Do you want to go wider than the kit lens or not? At 24mm, I can heartily recommend the Sigma 24mm Super-Wide II F/2.8. Beautiful lens, great walkaround prime, IMHO. In MF, can be easily purchased around $175, and if you hunt around can be had for less. In AF version, it's more likely to reach the mid 200s, and is hard to find. (I'm still on the hunt.) If you want wider than the kit, then, as others have mentioned, the Samyang (Rokinon, etc) 14mm F/2.8 is also a beautiful lens. Very wide though, and with a fair amount of distortion, but very sharp, and pretty fast. Should be findable in your price range. Other options (like a 10-20ish zoom) tend to be more around the $400 mark...

Last edited by Doundounba; 08-02-2013 at 11:14 AM. Reason: typo
08-02-2013, 10:55 AM   #20
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I am agreeing with most of the posts in this thread. 40 years ago, any lens for a 35mm SLR wider than 28mm was outside most amateur photographer's budget. That means there really are not that many vintage lens available that are wider than 28mm.

Moving into the era of the APS-C crop factor, the comparable field of view is the 18mm focal length; and I think you can see where I am going with this, it means things haven't really changed much in the past 40 years. If you want to go wider than 18mm with even comparable image quality, start saving your pennies.
08-02-2013, 12:06 PM   #21
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At the wide end 16-20 the DA 16-45 is really nice, but I agree you should get a hood, use a tripod and try to get the most out of your kit lens. I'd also keep an eye on the marketplace with key words like 16-45, 15mm, 20mm etc. just to get an idea of the costs involved.

I will still use the 16-45 for situations like arboretums etc. where I know I want wide to eye-vision angles.

The other thing you might consider is a polarizing filter.

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