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11-14-2012, 08:11 AM   #1
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Crisp , in focus landscapes

Hello, I'm really making an effort just now to improve my landscape photographs. I'm trying to get as much of shot in focus as possible and have been looking at articles about hyperfocal distance . Am I right in thinking that if I want as much of the foreground as possible to be sharp I really need to be using a wide angle lens and that my 50-135mm lens is probably not going to achieve this , even at 50mm? The kind of shots I'm talking about are rolling vistas and seascapes usually with mountains in the distance .Any advice would be very welcome as I really do want to up the quality of my shots, thanks

11-14-2012, 08:32 AM   #2
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Look at the landscapes taken with the 15mm Ltd.................yes, you probably need a wider lens.....all the best

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club-335.html
11-14-2012, 08:32 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by TylerD Quote
Hello, I'm really making an effort just now to improve my landscape photographs. I'm trying to get as much of shot in focus as possible and have been looking at articles about hyperfocal distance . Am I right in thinking that if I want as much of the foreground as possible to be sharp I really need to be using a wide angle lens and that my 50-135mm lens is probably not going to achieve this , even at 50mm? The kind of shots I'm talking about are rolling vistas and seascapes usually with mountains in the distance .Any advice would be very welcome as I really do want to up the quality of my shots, thanks
you are right, that lens won't do.
To get the effect you are looking for, look for as wide as possible focal length. I have a sigma 17-70 and at 17mm it just barely does the trick...I assume you are talking about a cropped sensor?
A good manual lens would be just perfect as you can take your time focusing and the non autofocus is a lot cheaper

thanks

randy
11-14-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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if your foreground is relatively close and you're shooting at a wider aperture, then it's going to be tough to get the sort of shot you're imaging with the 50-150. However, if your foreground is far enough and you stop down quite a bit, it should be doable

11-14-2012, 08:42 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GDRoth Quote
Look at the landscapes taken with the 15mm Ltd.................yes, you probably need a wider lens.....all the best

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club-335.html
Wider and it appears a little HDR to boot. Nice shots in this thread.
11-14-2012, 08:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for the quick and helpful replies everyone. Yes slip its a K-5 I have. From what you 've all said I think I've just decided to get the Pentax 15mm, I had it on hire for a few days this summer. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to take any landscape shots but the colours were great,, very rich. Thanks again
11-14-2012, 09:02 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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I disagree that you need a wide-angle lens. Telephotos can make great landscape images. What you want to do is increase the distance between the camera and the nearest subject matter, which is actually easier with a telephoto than a wide-angle lens.

Reading about hyperfocal distance didn't make much sense to me until I looked at one of my manual focus lenses. Here's a Pentax A 50mm f/1.7:


There's the aperture ring. There's the focus ring above it. Between them is the focus scale. The red diamond shows where the exact point of focus is, in this case at about 1.9m. To either side of that are aperture markings that show depth of field estimates. F/16, in this case, lines up with 3m on the left side and about 1.4m on the right side. This tells you that all subject matter between 1.4m and 3m will be in focus at f/16.

Here's a Pentax M 50 f/2:


This lens is set for a hyperfocal distance at f/4. Note that the "4" on the left lines up with infinity above it. Everything from about 14m and beyond will be in focus at f/4.

What you need to do, if you want both near and far subjects to be in focus, is to increase the distance between the camera and the nearest subject that you want to appear sharp. If you want the waves of the sea to be sharp in the foreground as well as the hills in the background, then you need to be a good 20m away from the waves. Which is to say, you need to be aware of where you place the camera relative to the subject matter, and what subject matter is in the frame--which is something that applies regardless of what camera or lens you are using.

Note, though, that the depth of field scale on the lenses above was designed for 35mm film, and they're just guidelines for what is roughly considered to be acceptable focus. My personal rule of thumb is to adjust this number by one stop. With the second image above, I would set the lens to f/5.6 to achieve the depth of field indicated at f/4.
11-14-2012, 09:03 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Angle of view versus sense of depth

The more telephoto you go, the more your foreground and background will compress (flatten); conversely the wider you go, the more your foreground and background will separate and add depth.

This sense of depth is somewhat independent of full frame versus APS-C when using the same focal length on both bodies. This is where the "effective focal length" rules break down. You reduce the angle of view on an APS-C body, but the sense of depth is the same. For example, a moderate wide lens like a 28mm will give you the same added sense of depth over a 50mm on either type of body, but it will be more obvious that you cropped out the center 75% of the photo on a APS-C body.

If you want the same angle of view on a APS-C body, go for a shorter focal length. 18mm on a APS-C is about the same as 28mm on full frame; and your sense of depth on the 18mm will be slightly deeper than the 28mm on the full frame.

11-14-2012, 10:02 AM   #9
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Lots of good advice here, but, to see what you can achieve with minimum fuss, just set up a shot with the focus on something about a third of the way into the scene and something like f5.6/8/11 and see if it gives you what you want.

If you have a smartphone you'll find apps that'll work out the hyperfocal distance, dof, etc.

As to which lens, nothing wrong with the 50-135 - you could stich a panorama together - but personnally I'd go for something a bit wider. Have you got the 18-55 kit lens? Can't match the DA* quality of your 50-135, but it'll give you an idea of the type of lens you want.
11-14-2012, 12:23 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TylerD Quote
Thanks for the quick and helpful replies everyone. Yes slip its a K-5 I have. From what you 've all said I think I've just decided to get the Pentax 15mm, I had it on hire for a few days this summer. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to take any landscape shots but the colours were great,, very rich. Thanks again
Great choice. Many of the great landscape photogs want great depth of field from the foreground (say a rock or a flower) to the mountains in the distance. Check out many of Ansel Adams photos. The 15 DA helps to provide this great depth of field and also use an apature setting such a f16 but good thing about the 15DA is you can get away with an f11 or even f8 and have great depth of field. There are times when you may want to use a telephoto but a wide angle is a great tool in the hands of a landscape photog
11-14-2012, 01:17 PM   #11
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Honestly, the big things to me are (a) stop down to f8 or f11, (b) use low iso and (c) use a tripod. You can use any focal length for land scapes, but I do love the DA 15 limited for that.

The 50-135 doesn't have the flare resistance that Pentax primes (FA 31, DA 15, DA 35) have and that makes it a little tougher to use for landscapes.
11-14-2012, 01:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
I disagree that you need a wide-angle lens. Telephotos can make great landscape images.
I understand what you mean Jon, I suppose it then depends on how much room there is for manoeuvre. And thanks very much for the illustrated explanation of using manual lens for setting hyperfocal distance .

I take on board too Jim what you say about the wider lens giving the impression of greater depth from back to front.

It really comes down to what you say John, I need to go out and see what works for me and what doesn't. I do have the kit lens and funnily enough 2 of my favourite landscape shots were taken with this . Somehow though I got it in to my head that because its a kit lens I must be able to do better with the 50-135 ( or say a 15mm). Maybe I should concentrate on my technique instead of spending money on "better" equipment
11-14-2012, 03:08 PM   #13
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There are actually many times and places where a wide angle lens would be the wrong lens for landscape. The 50-135 is a very sharp lens and there are ways to maximize its use like stitching several images into a panorama. To give you just one example when a WA lens would not have been appropriate : 50-135 @ 135mm.

11-14-2012, 03:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
There are actually many times and places where a wide angle lens would be the wrong lens for landscape. The 50-135 is a very sharp lens and there are ways to maximize its use like stitching several images into a panorama. To give you just one example when a WA lens would not have been appropriate : 50-135 @ 135mm.
i did just buy a 300mm...to use for my landscapes.
11-14-2012, 04:19 PM   #15
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Focus stacking can give unlimited depth of field where not much is moving in the scene.


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