Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-07-2014, 01:45 PM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Nevada
Posts: 33
Landscape Photography lens

Hi, what is the best type of lens to use for landscape photography? Will a 18-55 kit lens work?

04-07-2014, 01:56 PM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,992
QuoteOriginally posted by New 2 This Quote
Hi, what is the best type of lens to use for landscape photography? Will a 18-55 kit lens work?
It'll certainly work, but the best lenses are those without zoom, as they're sharper. If you're planning on picking up your first prime, I'd recommend checking out this lens:

SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Pentax 35mm DA L F2.4 AL Lens 21987 B&H Photo Video

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

04-07-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Marietta, GA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,048
Some people like ultra wide lenses for landscape - and they certainly can give striking results - but I agree with Adam that a "normal" focal length is a good place to start (28-38mm on APS-C sensors).
Primes are better than zooms, usually, as they give more detail and contrast to the pictures. Since your scene isn't moving, like when you're taking pictures of people, you can get closer or further back with your feet.
Having said that, some zooms can work very well, too. A few people like the SMC Pentax DA 16-45 f/4, for example, because it offers very good image quality for a zoom (but it's discontinued so you can only get it used). The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is also very popular. These are two low cost options (as is the DA 35 f/2.4 that Adam suggested - which I have and love). But if you have money to spend, there's a lot of other options out there.
Regarding the 18-55mm, it will also work - and I've seen some lovely images taken with it. In fact, landscapes might be one of its best uses - it's too slow for interior or night pictures, I think, and its AF performance - on my copy - isn't great for moving subjects. But for landscapes where you can stop and compose your shot, and maybe even use a tripod, it can work well.
In my opinion, though, once you use one of the suggested lenses, or a prime, you will find it hard to go back to the kit lens.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 04-07-2014 at 02:10 PM.
04-07-2014, 02:04 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
paulh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: DFW Texas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,480
The kit lens will definitely work, but for maximum sharpness, you'll need to stop down to f/8-f/11. A tripod will help, whatever lens you use. I agree with Adam - a prime lens is a great tool for landscapes. Anywhere from 24mm to 50mm would be good, with a lot of good/inexpensive used ones available in the 28 & 35mm focal lengths. I prefer manual focus primes, but an AF prime like the DA35/2.4 is excellent, as Adam mentioned.

04-07-2014, 02:05 PM   #5
Site Supporter
cali92rs's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 3,204
I think most people will have a hard time telling a quality zoom from a prime at f8 and smaller, where you probably want to do most of your landscape shots. A zoom is so much more flexible.
04-07-2014, 02:06 PM - 1 Like   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 3,018
Yes, the 18-55 can work; it's a reasonably good starter "kit lens". If that's currently the widest lens you own go out and shoot with it for a while. Learn the lens' quirks and what focal lengths you prefer, then if you feel limited by the lens you'll have a better idea what to look for when you shop for your next lens.
04-07-2014, 02:09 PM   #7
Pentaxian
Bob from Aus's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,080
It depends on the compositions you like. My favorite landscape lens is my 50-135. I even use my 500. But I like framing a small part of a big landscape from a distance. I almost never use my 10-20.
04-07-2014, 02:11 PM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
paulh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: DFW Texas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,480
QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Yes, the 18-55 can work; it's a reasonably good starter "kit lens". If that's currently the widest lens you own go out and shoot with it for a while. Learn the lens' quirks and what focal lengths you prefer, then if you feel limited by the lens you'll have a better idea what to look for when you shop for your next lens.
Totally agree with this ^^^

04-07-2014, 02:13 PM - 1 Like   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,417
QuoteOriginally posted by New 2 This Quote
Hi, what is the best type of lens to use for landscape photography? Will a 18-55 kit lens work?
the number one question in answering this is always, what's your budget?
number two is what is your IQ expectation?
number 3 is what's your shooting style?

for some, primes work better, for others, zooms are a must. I personally started with primes, went to zooms, back to primes and now i'm back to zooms. the higher end zooms provide 98% of the IQ of primes and allow ALOT more flexibility. my shooting style and subjects pretty much dictate I use zooms because changing lenses multiple times can be hazardous to myself and my equipment at times. but I've been shooting semi-professionally for over 10 years.

for what it's worth, my first zoom kit when I went digital consisted of a sigma 10-20, sigma 17-70 and a pentax 50-200. my budget was limited but I wanted to squeeze as much IQ out my lenses I could for the money I had to spend. I now have several lenses alone that cost as much as that kit combined, but that's what my experience and market demands have pushed me into.

my biggest objection to buying a single prime, is that you are forced to see everything through that one lens. some believe this to be the height of creativity, and that's fine. I personally think a zoom like the 17-70 gives you multiple vantage points for your creativity. you may no see the world through 35mm FOV. you may be more a 28mm guy or a 43mm guy, but you'll never know if you only have a 35mm lens.

Although I'm not a personal fan of the lens, the 18-135 might be a good option as a transitional lens as well. If you don't have a style, you need a canvas that allows you to experiment and learn what makes you tick. A single prime lens won't allow for much experimentation.

In terms of the 18-55, there's a reason it sells for around 100, and it's often the butt of jokes like "the world's most expensive body cap" etc. It's a kit lens and it's designed to give you something to shoot with until you actually start caring about what your images look like on something other than facebook. Once you start wondering if another lens would be better, or if you think you might want to hang some pictures on your wall, you've outgrown the kit lens.
04-07-2014, 02:14 PM   #10
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,331
Lots of good advice so far. To recap, yes, the kit lens can be used for landscapes, but it will start to limit you as your skills develop. Its a great place to start, though!
Swith camera to Av mode and choose f-number between f8 and f14, depending on the brightness of the scene in front of you. ISO number should be low as possible, because that means there will be very low digital noise in the photo. Shutter speed is important and must be relatively high, if you are taking the photo hand-held. If you are using a tripod, don't worry about the shutter speed and keep the ISO lowest. If using tripod, you can use the 2sec timer, which should improve sharpness a little (because even pressing the shutter button causes some vibrations).
You probably want the kit lens to be zoomed between 24mm and 35mm for optimal performance, but feel free to adjust the zoom to the composition. Usually you want 35mm or wider for landscapes, but with some creativity and skill, you can use anything from 14mm to 200mm for landscapes!
The DA 35mm f2.4 is a great lens to start landscapes, as it is significantly better than the kit lens and doesn't cost much.
04-07-2014, 02:29 PM   #11
Site Supporter
disco_owner's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sydney
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,608
For Landscape Photography as Adam Pointed out you should look at UWA Prime like Samyang 14mm f/2.8. It is an Excellent Lens.
04-07-2014, 02:34 PM   #12
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Marietta, GA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,048
QuoteOriginally posted by disco_owner Quote
For Landscape Photography as Adam Pointed out you should look at UWA Prime like Samyang 14mm f/2.8. It is an Excellent Lens.
Everyone's different. Most of my landscape pictures are taken with my Rikenon 28mm f/2.8. I take quite a few in the 35mm range as well - even when I have my 19-35mm on, a lot of times I am closer to the 35mm side.

Having said that, I wouldn't call myself a landscape photographer at all! I'm still just starting.

Everyone's different so using the 18-55mm kit lens to find what length works best for them is what most of us are suggesting. Plus, I don't know if it's a good idea to get into ultrawide before being experienced in normal and wide perspectives.
04-07-2014, 02:53 PM   #13
Pentaxian
EarlVonTapia's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vancouver
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,150
The DA 15mm Ltd (SMC version) is in the conversation for the best wide angle landscape prime for any system. It will match up quite nicely against any lens within its range.

Of course, it is only one focal length, and it should be supplemented with other primes for other lengths (or perhaps a zoom?).

Anyways, you can't go wrong with it.

I'm astounded no one else has mentioned it yet.
04-07-2014, 03:09 PM   #14
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,331
Oh, and if your camera has the Landcape mode on the mode dial, feel free to use that. It will do basically the same things I mentioned earlier, but automatically. Good place to start, but you should move up to more manual adjustments as your skills develop.
04-07-2014, 03:23 PM   #15
Site Supporter
Fries's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gauw
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,831
What sort of landscapes are you planning to shoot? A telephoto zoom lens like the cheap DA55-300mm can be used very effectively to compress a landscape. Something that works really well in landscapes with hills or mountains. A wide angle lens is good tool for landscapes, but don't discard the telephoto option.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
40mm pancake, k-mount, landscape, landscape photography, lens, pentax 50mm, pentax lens, photography, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lens for street and landscape photography v3lv3t_r0s3 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 21 10-11-2012 11:23 PM
Lens options for landscape photography in Canda CrazyNuts Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 24 07-09-2012 06:49 PM
Lens choices for landscape photography insanoff Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 23 03-11-2010 12:54 PM
lens for landscape photography seymop Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 20 09-01-2008 07:05 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:07 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top