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03-13-2019, 03:04 PM   #1
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Lens suggestions for landscape photography

Good suggestions.

This looks as good as any place to throw out a question. I shoot primarily landscape/nature. Yet, I have always be back and forth on the best mm range to use for landscape. My gear:

Pentax K-3 Limited Premium Silver Edition
Pentax SMC 15mm f/4.0 DA ED AL Limited Wide Angle
Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG RF Aspherical Wide Angle
Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6. DC Macro HSM

I really like my Sigma 20mm for night stars; takes great shots and good on the landscape general. I recently had me Sigma 18-250 take a dive off a hill and it died badly in the fall. This leaves me with deciding to replace the 18-250 or start going more with prime lenses. While a longer mm range zoom is great to avoid carrying a lot of gear, the overall quality is not as good as a prime lens. With that in mind, like to hear what you or others recommend for landscape shots.


I'm in such places as Zion, Arches, Grand Tetons, Anza Borrego. I read how many opt for a prime 35mm or 50mm, some go with a smaller mm range.


Thanks

---------- Post added 03-13-19 at 03:12 PM ----------

One other question I forgot to touch on; any recommendations on lens hoods. My Sigma 20mm does not come with a hood, Sigma doesn't make one for it, not even a screw mount, so will have to go with an add on, possibly rubber. Any one have good feedback on any particular brand.

03-13-2019, 04:24 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Posse96 Quote
Good suggestions.

This looks as good as any place to throw out a question. I shoot primarily landscape/nature. Yet, I have always be back and forth on the best mm range to use for landscape. My gear:

Pentax K-3 Limited Premium Silver Edition
Pentax SMC 15mm f/4.0 DA ED AL Limited Wide Angle
Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG RF Aspherical Wide Angle
Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6. DC Macro HSM

I really like my Sigma 20mm for night stars; takes great shots and good on the landscape general. I recently had me Sigma 18-250 take a dive off a hill and it died badly in the fall. This leaves me with deciding to replace the 18-250 or start going more with prime lenses. While a longer mm range zoom is great to avoid carrying a lot of gear, the overall quality is not as good as a prime lens. With that in mind, like to hear what you or others recommend for landscape shots.


I'm in such places as Zion, Arches, Grand Tetons, Anza Borrego. I read how many opt for a prime 35mm or 50mm, some go with a smaller mm range.


Thanks

---------- Post added 03-13-19 at 03:12 PM ----------

One other question I forgot to touch on; any recommendations on lens hoods. My Sigma 20mm does not come with a hood, Sigma doesn't make one for it, not even a screw mount, so will have to go with an add on, possibly rubber. Any one have good feedback on any particular brand.
I think a problem for anyone reading that, Posse, is that anyone recommending will do so without knowing your shooting style.

Do you have a link to your portfolio or similar?

The DA16-85 gives you a versatile WR lens that would work well at landscape apertures - f8-f11.
03-14-2019, 04:17 AM   #3
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Moved to a new thread, in order to keep the other one on topic
03-14-2019, 05:11 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Posse96 Quote
With that in mind, like to hear what you or others recommend for landscape shots.
You have a fine lens with the DA 15. My prime of choice on APS-C was the DA 21, the 15 has a comparable rendering.

That being said, by far my most-used lens on APS-C has been the Pentax 16-85. It's a fantastic lens, reliable, WR, superb IQ. I only replaced it after 18 months with the K-1, I've kept it and used crop mode before that. It's that good. I would not hesitate to replace your 18-250 with it, the shorter reach more than balances with the IQ, WR and wider angle.

You could look at the 18-135 also, pretty good lens in itself, more compact than the 16-85, not quite as good optically but certainly leagues ahead of the 18-250.

QuoteOriginally posted by Posse96 Quote
any recommendations on lens hoods
Get a rubber one out of eBay.

03-14-2019, 05:59 AM   #5
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Blindly recommending without all the facts...

55-300 PLM version would be a great replacement for the long end. It also gives you 55mm ttyl let you experiment with that length.

50-135 DA* lens is superb. The screw drive only converted versions are dirt cheap. This is an excellent portrait and telephoto landscape lens.

16-85, 16-50, 17-70, 18-55, 16-45, 20-40... The list goes on. All good lenses. Some better than others.

Primes... How long?

---------- Post added 03-14-19 at 09:01 AM ----------

All of my rubber hoods are old many no longer made.
03-14-2019, 06:20 AM   #6
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I'm a big fan of the 18-135. The 16-85 might get my nod *not based on personal usage* but either of those seem like good options. The 20-40 might also be good for this. You have both the DA 15 and the 20 EX DG to anchor things on the wide end which let's the 20-40 and the Tamron 17-50 work. I wouldn't bother with the 16-50 Pentax. The 16-45 seems like a great, cheap option. The older Sigma 17-70 was a great landscape lens as well and those are dirt cheap, relatively speaking.
03-14-2019, 06:28 AM   #7
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2 suggestions

1 since you live in the US, take advantage of the ability to rent equipment and do your own testing before buying:


Information on Businesses that offer cameras and lenses for rent - PentaxForums.com

2 you have the option of buying new or " experienced " equipment

I have had good experiences buying from members through the forum's market place " buy/sell " and you can sort the list by showing where the equipment is located:

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses (United States) - PentaxForums.com

there are other options where you might find used gear as well


KEH.COM

Adorama.Com

bhphotovideo.com
03-14-2019, 07:03 AM   #8
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Your DA 15 Limited is a great lens for ultrawide shots. I suggest picking one of these for medium and longer focal lengths:

18-135: It's a very lightweight and versatile lens. Image quality will be a step above your 18-250.


16-85: A further improvement in image quality compared to the 18-135. The 2mm on the wide end might not seem like much but can be significant at the wide end. However, you already have a 15mm prime to cover ultrawide.

16-50: Similar image quality to the 18-135. The main feature of this lens (compared to the prior 2) is it can go to f2.8 for low light or thin depth of field, but for landscapes most people stop down and use a tripod. If you don't need the f2.8 there's no need to carry the extra weight.


QuoteOriginally posted by Posse96 Quote
...I have always be back and forth on the best mm range to use for landscape...
There's no "correct" focal length to use for landscapes. The same scene can be photographed with different lengths for different feels. Weather and lighting conditions also play a big part; ultrawide with a lot of sky is good when clouds are interesting, but not good for an all-blue or all-gray sky.


QuoteQuote:
...While a longer mm range zoom is great to avoid carrying a lot of gear, the overall quality is not as good as a prime lens...
Modern primes are quite good and competitive with primes. You're uunlikely to notice a significant difference unless crop, view on a *huge* screen, or print large.

03-14-2019, 11:22 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Modern primes are quite good and competitive with primes. You're uunlikely to notice a significant difference unless crop, view on a *huge* screen, or print large.
That's true, and then it's not. The DOF control of primes is often better (faster aperture), they can be more compact than zooms, their faster apertures means AF has more light to work with, and zooms do not offer constant performances across their range.

At F8-F11, most lenses are indeed pretty good. As soon as you demand more from your lenses, you'll begin to see differences.

With some primes, like the Limited, colour rendering is pretty unique and unmatched by most zooms.

Lastly, some lenses, mostly primes (the 15 is a fine example) have small perks like the ability to create beautiful starbursts.
03-14-2019, 11:28 AM   #10
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DA 18-135 does some pretty decent starbursts. Not quite SMC DA 15 or Sigma 28 EX good but not bad.

You kind of can't lose on this one as long as you find the focal length you want or need.
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