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12-10-2013, 02:07 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Whatever lens does well for landscapes will likely to do well for snow. Per usual with landscapes, you want excellent flare control, microcontrast, color rendition. My personal favorite is the FA 20-35: simply outstanding in landscapes, especially those with snow.



If it's sunny outside after it snows, it can help to use a polarizer filter as well.

12-10-2013, 03:40 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I took this with the 18-135mm WR. It was snowing at the time so the camera/lens got nice and wet.


Nice shot.
12-10-2013, 03:47 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Whatever lens does well for landscapes will likely to do well for snow. Per usual with landscapes, you want excellent flare control, microcontrast, color rendition. My personal favorite is the FA 20-35: simply outstanding in landscapes, especially those with snow.



If it's sunny outside after it snows, it can help to use a polarizer filter as well.
Thanks for sharing. I am in northern Minnesota without mountains, but the Itasca Morraine rises 200+ feet above the local terrain. with the right spot, I think I can create mountains. I have some locations in mind.
12-10-2013, 05:01 PM   #19
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When snow is still falling I won't use an ultra wide lens because they have shallow hoods to avoid vignetting and are therefore prone to getting snow on the front element. On a post-snow sunny day, flare resistance and CA become issues to consider. My 18-55 has seen the most use during snow because it was my first WR lens. Nowadays, I'd probably use my 16-50 during snow, with the FA43 or Tamron 10-24 or Samyang 14mm coming out after the snow stops. Or maybe the 55-300 or Sigma 50-500 for wildlife in the snow.

Shooting in DNG or DNG+JPG is IMO more important than lens choice for snow. It's very easy to get blown highlights or weird white balance that can be remedied with a little DNG processing. Depending on the lens and lighting, set the camera to underexpose a bit to avoid the blown highlights; dark shadows are easier to fix than blown highlights on most cameras.

12-10-2013, 06:52 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
When snow is still falling I won't use an ultra wide lens because they have shallow hoods to avoid vignetting and are therefore prone to getting snow on the front element. On a post-snow sunny day, flare resistance and CA become issues to consider. My 18-55 has seen the most use during snow because it was my first WR lens. Nowadays, I'd probably use my 16-50 during snow, with the FA43 or Tamron 10-24 or Samyang 14mm coming out after the snow stops. Or maybe the 55-300 or Sigma 50-500 for wildlife in the snow.

Shooting in DNG or DNG+JPG is IMO more important than lens choice for snow. It's very easy to get blown highlights or weird white balance that can be remedied with a little DNG processing. Depending on the lens and lighting, set the camera to underexpose a bit to avoid the blown highlights; dark shadows are easier to fix than blown highlights on most cameras.
I agree about under exposing a snowy scene. But white Balance is critical. If shooting jpg, I will take a test shot and chimp the image to check WB. Minus EV works as well. Auto WB does not satisfy. "Coudy" makes the snow slightly blue. Snow is difficult. Here in Minnesota, we have four months or more,of snow. I still do not have exposure nailed.
12-10-2013, 07:07 PM   #21
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Heck, even the lowly kit lens can give you decent results.


12-10-2013, 07:38 PM   #22
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Thanks for the responses, and thanks for the pics… just more of a thought experiment than anything else. Give NYC snow a day or two and it becomes immediately unphotogenic, anyway..
12-10-2013, 09:03 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by waterfall Quote
I agree about under exposing a snowy scene. But white Balance is critical. If shooting jpg, I will take a test shot and chimp the image to check WB. Minus EV works as well. Auto WB does not satisfy. "Coudy" makes the snow slightly blue. Snow is difficult. Here in Minnesota, we have four months or more,of snow. I still do not have exposure nailed.
I used to worry about blue snow until someone here pointed out that it is supposed to be blue. It's reflecting the blue sky. Getting rid of that color cast is like making a candle flame perfectly white.

12-10-2013, 09:25 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I used to worry about blue snow until someone here pointed out that it is supposed to be blue. It's reflecting the blue sky. Getting rid of that color cast is like making a candle flame perfectly white.
Snow is never blue except at dusk, when the sun's rays are at a low angle. I personally like blue cast on snow pics and use WB settings to achieve the look. This works at high noon, or what passes for it in a Minnesota winter. Today it,was -25F morning. My K 30 preferred indoor macro shots of a salt shaker. I concurred.
12-11-2013, 12:55 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I used to worry about blue snow until someone here pointed out that it is supposed to be blue. It's reflecting the blue sky. Getting rid of that color cast is like making a candle flame perfectly white.
Good point. I once showed a snowy print to an experienced painter of watercolors - and she gave me this long instruction on how snow can have tints - and how important it was that those tints be incorporated. As a dutiful digital photographer - i'm used to making snow white which perhaps is naive :-) I spend most of my time when taking photographs, trying for interesting compositions - and probably the least amount of time looking at the colors.

Regarding best lenses - i'd just add to the comments about best lenses when snow or precipitation is coming down. The 50-135 has one of the longest hoods i've seen, and is really useful because it keeps snow and rain off the outer lens element. Nothing can spoil pictures faster than unnoticed rain drops on the outer lens element. Just don't point it in an upward direction when its snowing :-)
12-11-2013, 01:03 AM   #26
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Any lens will do, really. Just watch white balance and, like others stated, exposure. But it's all very personal off course: For me, it would be a lens that is both fast and wide, because snow means that I and my gear will be inside. Water is supposed to be liquid.
12-11-2013, 07:41 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by waterfall Quote
Snow is never blue except at dusk, when the sun's rays are at a low angle.


I'd have to disagree about snow always being blue at twilight. It really does depend upon the scene.


12-11-2013, 08:43 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
I'd have to disagree about snow always being blue at twilight. It really does depend upon the scene.


Cool picture!

I may be wrong, but that doesn't appear to be twilight. Twilight is after sunset and finishes with dusk. Shadows are typically not seen. Good example of snow not being white - yellow tint.

Twilight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
12-11-2013, 11:17 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
that doesn't appear to be twilight
Technically, this was about 15 minutes before sunset, but this time of year at northern latitudes, the transition from sunset to darkness is pretty rapid. In July, we get several hours of twilight/dusk.
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12-11-2013, 12:12 PM   #30
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Should snow be white or blue? Pff, I prefer it purple myself: 500px / Sign of snow by Stolpulus II

(think I used the CTE white balance to make snow look less boring. I could probably squeeze more out of that shot by playing with the curves a little.)
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