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08-30-2008, 08:12 AM   #1
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lens for landscape photography

hello everyone.
I have the K100D with the kit lens that came with it. I'm looking for a great lens for landscape photography that will make my images better. Any suggestions on what i should look at or what other people own. As far as pricing, it's not a major concern. I just looking at what I should get as if I were going to shoot professionally.

thanks

08-30-2008, 08:37 AM   #2
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Pentax DA 12-24

QuoteOriginally posted by seymop Quote
hello everyone.
I have the K100D with the kit lens that came with it. I'm looking for a great lens for landscape photography that will make my images better. Any suggestions on what i should look at or what other people own. As far as pricing, it's not a major concern. I just looking at what I should get as if I were going to shoot professionally.

thanks
Hi Seymop, welcome to the forums. For landscape photography you want something wide and sharp. Low light capability is not "necessarily" a consideration. The pentax DA 12-24 is not by anybody's stretch an inexpensive lens but it will certainly do the job for you.
Here is a link to the "LBA" post I made just after I got mine.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/19438-lba-pentax-da-12-24mm-f4-0-a.html

NaCl(wide, sharp, and minimal distortion)H2O
08-30-2008, 10:07 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by seymop Quote
I have the K100D with the kit lens that came with it. I'm looking for a great lens for landscape photography that will make my images better. Any suggestions on what i should look at or what other people own.
First step is to do enough shooting with the 18-55 you already have to figure out what focal lengths you like best. If absolutely best image quality is the concern, you'd get a prime or two in those focal lengths - the DA21, or FA31, or DA35 for instance. Or if you feel 18mm is not wide enough for you, perhaps the DA14. Or, if you cannot decide on just a few focal lengths and must have zoom, then figure out which part of the range you care about most, and get a zoom that does that range best. Some like really wide angles for landscape and would recommend things like the 12-24, but that would actually be too wide for me. I actually like my DA40 for landscape, although most would find that focal length too long. That and the old M28/2.8 do the job nicely for me, although someday I'll probably get the DA 21 too. If someone told me I had to use zooms instead of primes, the new 17-70 would probably be my choice. Or perhaps the DA* 16-50.

But actually, the 18-55 works pretty darned well for landscape in the focal lengths it covers, since you generally want to shoot landscape stopped down to f/8 at least, and the kit lens does quite well at that aperture. I'm not saying a better lens wouldn't produce even better results, but for most people who are relatively new at this, it wouldn't necessarily make as big a difference as more practice and experience, developing a better eye for composition and better photographic technique.
08-30-2008, 11:49 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
But actually, the 18-55 works pretty darned well for landscape in the focal lengths it covers, since you generally want to shoot landscape stopped down to f/8 at least, and the kit lens does quite well at that aperture. I'm not saying a better lens wouldn't produce even better results, but for most people who are relatively new at this, it wouldn't necessarily make as big a difference as more practice and experience, developing a better eye for composition and better photographic technique.
Mark is absolutely on the money with this statement- working with a lens and getting to know what your shooting style is and what focal lengths work for you is something I'm SO learning to do! I have the kit lens and find it's working out quite well for landscapes.

Case in point- I bought a cheaper Tamron 28-105mm that I find is working out well for capturing nicely composed shots of parks and in-city areas at 28mm, yet gives me that bit of reach for capturing detail or getting a portrait vibe (outdoors, of course, since it's relatively slow lens) at 105mm. I'm now starting to feel comfortable with the lens and focal length, I didn't invest a ton of money in the lens, and can see that something with a bit more reach will be good enough for the type of shooting I enjoy, yet I didn't buy a bunch of lenses to find this out!

I would be careful about stopping down the kit 18-55mm lens too far, though- I find mine works quite well between f/8 and f/11, after that I find a bit of a loss of detail due to diffraction in the lens- esp. anything above f/14.

Just my two cents worth as a fellow novice lens buyer!

08-30-2008, 11:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by seymop Quote
hello everyone.
I have the K100D with the kit lens that came with it. I'm looking for a great lens for landscape photography that will make my images better. Any suggestions on what i should look at or what other people own. As far as pricing, it's not a major concern. I just looking at what I should get as if I were going to shoot professionally.

thanks
Pentax 21mm /3.2 Limited
08-30-2008, 12:34 PM   #6
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I've only had it for about 24hrs now, but I can already see that the DA14mm would be a great choice for landscapes. The DA12-24 and Sigma 10-20 would be my next choices if I was looking to shoot landscapes.
08-30-2008, 03:55 PM   #7
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Marc has nailed it...
check what focal lenghts you are using mostly with DA18-55 and then decide...
Second point is correct too, the "kit lens" is pretty good for what it is. I took it for holiday with me last week and was amazed by the pics from it. Yes you will get some degree of barrel distortion, and maybe some wignetting, and to get best out of it you'll have to stop keep it betwenn f8 and f11 (give & take) but it's a good lens. If you decide to replace it anywa, here are some good options:
DA16-45
DA*16-50
DA12-24
Sigma 10-20
BR
08-30-2008, 05:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by seymop Quote
hello everyone.
I have the K100D with the kit lens that came with it. I'm looking for a great lens for landscape photography that will make my images better. Any suggestions on what i should look at or what other people own. As far as pricing, it's not a major concern. I just looking at what I should get as if I were going to shoot professionally.

thanks
I bet you get a lot of answers revolving around wide angle zooms. I find a short telephoto to be my most used landscape focal length. With this in mind, I would look seriously at the 40mm LTD if you want a fixed lens, or perhaps a 16-50 if you want a zoom.

08-30-2008, 05:55 PM   #9
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The 12-24mm is a fantastic lens for landscape
08-30-2008, 06:09 PM   #10
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I'm with Wheatfield on this one, a lot of people automatically reach for a wide lens for landscape shooting, sometimes even without thinking, but a longer lens can often be better.

Use the kit lens for a while, see what lengths suit you best and if you really want better landscapes get yourself a tripod and practice.
08-30-2008, 06:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlpenTak;:
330503 get yourself a tripod and practice.
Sage advice.
To add to it a bit, get yourself a good tripod.
Good tripods are not cheap, but they will improve your landscape work far more than any lens.
08-30-2008, 08:11 PM   #12
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There is lots of good advice here. I do landscape shooting and have to agree with the observation that super wide is not the only way for landscape. I really love the 17-50 range of my Tamron, along with a couple of regular-wide Pentax primes. A tripod is a must too.
08-30-2008, 08:14 PM   #13
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Sometimes you don't want a lens that is so wide to the point that you get too much foreground in your shot and you wind up having to recompose your shot and wind up with having too much sky...I think the pentax 12-24 or sigma 10-20 are good options since you can zoom in without say having to walk into water so that you can capture those mountains, sunset, cliffs, etc. off in the distance. or a prime that is greater than 16mm. I just basically traded my 14mm f/2.8 for a 12-24 f/4 though it was just a matter of preference.
08-31-2008, 02:16 PM   #14
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I shoot landscapes with either the kit lens or my 50mm f/2, then stitch them together later in software. It gets amazing resolution at a low price.
08-31-2008, 02:31 PM   #15
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Really, any focal lengths below 100mm could do landscape. Most of the time, the wider it gets, the harder to get a great landscape shot. When these landscape shots are stopped down to f8, MTF or colour or contrast are usually pretty good across the lens choices or even across the brands. The main factor to watch out is flare control and purple fringeing issue.
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