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10-03-2014, 03:42 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by ghiaauto Quote
Wow, I've seen the photos you uploaded on both threads. They are absolutely amazing both 15mm and 31mm. I really wanna be able to take some photos like that too. Can you tell me what camera did you use? I have a K3, can it do like that too? and what about filters, do you use any?
Without wishing to steal Rondec's thunder, his consistently amazing images are most likely a result of careful location selection, a lot of early mornings and walking around to get the right angle, waiting for the light to be perfect, mindfully bracketing exposures and skilful post-processing. The camera, and even the lens, are minor contributors.

---------- Post added 04-10-14 at 08:20 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ghiaauto Quote
How can I know which lens has a good flare resistance? thank
Of the wide lenses I own, the DA15 and DA21 are the standard by which all others are judged. The DA10-17 is remarkably good too. The HD DA35 is OK. The FA31 does not do so well, perhaps because the built in hood is not designed for APS-C, and the DA*16-50 is the worst (but not terrible).

10-03-2014, 04:40 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by ghiaauto Quote
Wow, I've seen the photos you uploaded on both threads. They are absolutely amazing both 15mm and 31mm. I really wanna be able to take some photos like that too. Can you tell me what camera did you use? I have a K3, can it do like that too? and what about filters, do you use any?
QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Without wishing to steal Rondec's thunder, his consistently amazing images are most likely a result of careful location selection, a lot of early mornings and walking around to get the right angle, waiting for the light to be perfect, mindfully bracketing exposures and skilful post-processing. The camera, and even the lens, are minor contributors.

---------- Post added 04-10-14 at 08:20 AM ----------


Of the wide lenses I own, the DA15 and DA21 are the standard by which all others are judged. The DA10-17 is remarkably good too. The HD DA35 is OK. The FA31 does not do so well, perhaps because the built in hood is not designed for APS-C, and the DA*16-50 is the worst (but not terrible).
Thanks, Sandy.

The answer is that Sandy is right. I use a K5 II and K3 and K-01 cameras (pretty much interchangeably), mostly with the DA 15, FA 31, DA *55, and FA 77 lenses, but it really isn't about the lenses as such.

Photography takes a lot of practice. Seeing the light. There are times I go out in the morning (sunrise and sunset are the best photo times) and there just isn't much to take photos of. I commented in another thread that I live in a place that doesn't have amazing vistas, mountains or waterfalls and so my photos have somewhat a sameness, but at the same time, light is the most important aspect of a photo and it has taught me to see light better.

I think when you are starting out, pick a place that you think is promising for taking landscape photos (sea coast, field, lake, whatever) and go out there around dawn and set up your tripod and camera and just practice framing. Taking multiple different exposures and then look at your photos when you get back and try to figure out what worked and what didn't.

Use the forum too. Posting photos, looking at other's photos and asking a lot of questions are the best ways to see different ways to approach a scene.

There is beauty everywhere, I am just glad we have cameras so we can capture a little of it and share it with others.

Edit: I don't use filters, except occasionally a polarizing filter. I find they make flare worse and don't really help my images much. Expensive filters are expensive and I never really such much point in spending 120 dollars to put another piece of glass in front of my lens.
10-03-2014, 07:48 PM   #33
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Good Evening,

I am going to chime in here. I tend to gravitate to landscapes - and seascapes when I can get over to the ocean. I also have a few wide angle lenses. As was posted earlier, its the photographer that really makes the image. The equipment is somewhat secondary. For landscapes, you really do not need a fast lens. You are correct in terms of wanting sharpness - and you will sharpen up your images by stopping down the aperture - more than likely shooting at f5.6 or f8. Also, all lenses (for the most part) are much sharper, stopped down a bit. So, really anything faster than a f4 lens may be spending funds on something that you will not use that much. As other have said, you can shoot landscapes at any focal length.

The other aspect is how wide? The wider you go the more distortion you will get - especially along the sides. As Rio Rico use to point out - most commercial landscapes are shot in the mid 20mm to mid 30mm - Why? Little to no distortion from the lens. Sigma has their 8-16, 10-20, and a couple of 12-24. I have the 8-16 and its a wonderful lens, but can be too wide at times.

Another aspect of wide angle lenses is the wonderful color rendering they have, along with their contrast. This is an inherent characteristic of wide angle lenses.

Pentax has a lens - the DA 16-45/f4 that was discontinued a few years ago. Its price - used, runs around $200 to about $250. This lens is a step up from the kit lens, and use to be the go to lens before Pentax came out with the 12-24, 15Ltd, etc. It is an excellent lens. Compared to the tiny 15 Limited lens, this lens is somewhat physically larger. It produces very sharp images.The DA 12-24/f4 is a physically larger lens. Its expensive $700 to $900. It is one of my most used lenses. Its very sharp, it covers a good section of the wide angle view 90 degrees to 60 degrees wide. Its distortion is as well controlled as any. A lot of folks prefer this to the 15 Limited because its a bit more versatile being a zoom. The 15 Ltd may be a slightly bit sharper - but not by much. It does suffer from CA, but that is fixed in post processing. Its sweet spot is 18mm and does drop off in resolution a bit up to its 24mm end. I shoot this lens at f8 all day long.The FA 31/f1.8 Limited is one of the best lenses around. Its sharp, and its expensive. It is my other most used lens. If I can only take one lens on a business trip its a choice between this and the 12-24. There is another approach to consider. Its more of a in addition to, rather than an in lieu of. Stitching panoramas. You can take any lens you have and take a series of overlapping images (by about 25%) and use a post processing utility like Microsoft ICE (its a free download) to stitch them together. This is very effective with longer focal lengths.

With longer focal lengths you actually are able to capture more details in the images (which the eye perceives as sharpness). Rather than trying to fold more view into your frame (on to your sensor), you are taking multiple frames and gluing them together (actually in a way, extending the size of your sensor). Its a different way to think about landscapes. It works for a lot of situations, and does not work for others.

The 12-24 is extremely sharp and I like it very much. So years ago, I took a series of images and stitched them together - something like 5 frames to cover a view. I did the same with the 16-45 which was about 7 frames and then with the 31 Ltd - which needed something like 9 to 10 frames. Then I compared them. I was and still am very impressed with the sharpness of the 12-24. However, the 31 Ltd utterly destroyed the 12-24 in comparison - especially in sharpness. It was a comparison of apples and oranges. It was bringing a gun to a knife fight. Regardless of optical design of the lens, or the lens quality or anything else.

When you compare two lenses of very different focal lengths, the longer focal length has a built in advantage (and basically wins). For instance, the 12-24 at 12mm has a 90 degree field of view. The 31 has a 40 degree view. So, just from that - each pixel on the sensor is going to need to record a lot more information or view for the 12-24 than with the 31. The sensor's pixels will have much less view to record, thus it will inherently be viewed as a sharper image.

What would I do? Personally, I would go with the 16-45. Its a great lens at a wonderful price. Will other lenses be better - sure, but you are paying a lot more for fractional improvements. The nice thing here, is - if or when, you outgrow the lens, you can probably sell it for what you paid for it and move the funds to another lens.

The bottom line is you are the one making the decision and writing the check.

10-04-2014, 10:47 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by ghiaauto Quote
How can I know which lens has a good flare resistance? thank
Unfortunately, only through extensive use in the field. However, generally speaking, lenses with fewer glass elements (in fewer groups) with better anti-reflective coatings will perform better. The new HD DA limiteds may be among the best lenses in terms of flare control, because, as far as I know, they're the only, they are among the only slower primes that feature state-of-the-art nano coating. However, although primes lenses generally will have an advantage over zooms because they tend to use less glass, most landscape photographers shoot with zooms, because of the convenience factor. I see prime lenses for landscape use as being speciality lenses for those occasions where flare control is absolutely essentially. The fact is, many of the best landscape images are taken during the so-called golden hour, around sunset or sunrise, where you're not going to have strong, glaring light. A good mid-range/prosumer zoom lens (like the DA 16-45) can perform quite well under such circumstances. My top recommendation for a landscape lens (particularly for those who can't afford the DA* 16-50) is the DA 17-70, which is really quite good: sharp from edge to edge at most focal lengths, with very good microcontrast:



Even under more challenging light conditions, the DA 17-70 can perform well:



I would expect the DA 21 to perform a bit better (tad better microcontrast), but the performance here of the 17-70 is more than respectable.

The FA 20-35 also works well in landscape photography:



But it's hard to beat the DA 15 in landscape work:



11-22-2014, 11:31 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Landscapes (usually) are shot stopped down. To me, the most important features are that they have good colors, rendering and flare resistance. Speed (fast aperture) isn't particularly important. The Sigma is probably fine (although probably faster than is needed).

The DA *16-50 works OK (although it is more prone to flare).



The DA 15 limited is nice due to flare resistance, small size and nice colors.



If you don't need so wide, than the FA 31 limited is a great lens too.



Can you tell me what kind of filter was used to get the sky to look the way it is the first two photos?
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