A strange thing happened to me in Italy

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by pdk42, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I've spent the last couple of weeks taking a rather late annual vacation in Italy (Rome and Tuscany). I do a lot of landscapes and Tuscany is paradise for anyone who's into this! I took my 7-14 because I like the UWA perspective and it's a lens I use a lot - but here's the strange thing... I hardly used it at all!! It wasn't for wasn't of trying - but it just never seemed to work. In fact, the 75/1.8 saw much more usage.

    I'm still trying to reconcile what's going on in my own mind! Odd.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
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  2. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Real Name:
    I did a trip to Bali which I didn't do many landscapes with since it's jungle and beach mainly. I used the 75mm for almost half of my shots. I was also amazed.
  3. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    Sometimes the really wide landscape can be a bit overwhelming - or just cluttered. In cases like that, going longer to "extract" the smaller parts of the landscape can produce more rewarding shots. I have experienced this as well and it was a bit disconcerting at first to me too. Legendary landscape photographer Bill Fortney has done a couple of complete video lecture courses on just this principle, which he calls "extraction of the intimate landscape."
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I use telephoto a lot for landscapes and cityscapes. It's all about interesting points of view. Super wide can do it, but so can a nice compressed shot with layers of buildings or scenery. Both are useful and there is no right way to shoot a landscape.
  5. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Real Name:
    In film days the 135 and 28 were the ones that I carried. Mostly an even split in use. Now it's the 12-50 or the 14-150. I do carry the 9-18 but it gets used on the long end more often. Wide can be boring without foreground interest. I'm guilty.
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  6. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    UWA works best in tight places/compositions and with open space (how I imagine Tuscany) compression of tele lenses may render better results.
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  7. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Everyone (well, not everyone but a hell of a lot of people) talks about using wide angles for landscape work because the immediate thing they tend to think of when they hear the word "landscape" is of a wide vista and if you're used to the enclosed surroundings of urban environments then you're also used to using a wide angle to getting that sense of space into an image.

    But out in the open in a real landscape you tend to be working at much greater distances than in an urban environment. A wide angle will certainly get more width into your image, but you'll also get more width than you're used with standard or telephoto lenses simply because the subject area is so much further away. What the wide angle also does, besides giving you width, is to give you foreground and that can be great in the limited space of a confined environment because it adds a sense of depth, but out in the open where the subject is a fair distance away, do you really want to add a lot of foreground to the image? If you're going to make that foreground work, it has to add to the image and if all it's doing is making the subject seem further away and less important in scale, it's working against the image.

    A lot of those really famous landscapes from masters like Ansel Adams and people like that were shot with standard and telephoto lenses. They used longer focal lengths to pick what they wanted out of the scene in front of them, and to compress distance since they were working at long distances. In many ways you need to work close with a wide angle because what it does with perspective is to accentuate the foreground and diminish the impact of more distant parts of the scene. Longer focal lengths reduce foreground and let you accentuate more distant objects as the subject matter.

    There's certainly a place for wide angles, and ultra wide angles, in landscape work but that place tends to be when you want to accentuate foreground. If all of the things you're interested in are further away, eliminate what's going to be empty and/or distracting foreground by using longer focal lengths or cropping. If you want more width than a longer focal length will give you, then you can use a wide angle and crop the foreground severely or use panorama techniques.
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  8. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I have never felt comfortable with wide angles never mind ultra wides, especially for shooting in european cities where I prefer to get the atmosphere and the little details as opposed to getting the picture postcard sweeping granduer.. But hey thats just me.

    these are my take on Florence from last year



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  9. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    I love my Nikkor 12-24, and was strongly considering the 7-14 (Pany) but after looking at the 100K or so images in my LR folders, it became clear that the 12-35mm was the lens that would get used along with the 75-300 Oly. I can see a 7.5mm or 7-14 ending up in my kit, but for wide now I use my D7100 & 12-24. I do have the 14mm with the GCW1 which is pretty wide and its a combination I use for wide on my m43 (the "Nakked" 14mm is my EP5 normal lens - a very small but very good pocket camera without the EVF).
  10. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    UWA is only really interesting with a distinct foreground subject or lead in to give a sense of scale or direct attention, even for wide vistas. When there's nothing compelling in the foreground, I use tighter focal lengths, stitching wide strip panoramas if necessary (e.g., a mountain range or city skyline).
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  11. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 11, 2014
    Real Name:
    I do use my ultra wide angle lenses pretty rarely. In some cases they work but they are not universal, definitely Here some samples...



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  12. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2014
    In Tuscany I think I used my ultra wide angle lens quite often... I may be wrong, I'll look at the stats.
    I also made a lot of panoramas as sometimes you want wide horizontal angle of view only, not vertical.
    (the perspective is also way different).

    I generally like ultra wide angle lenses but some of my favorite landscape shots are made with a telezoom (up to 300 mm in APS, so 240 mm m43 equivalent).

    Yesterday I went out and choose to use only my 45 mm for lanscapes... interesting.
    In a few occasions it was quite hard to resist the temptation of changing lenses ;)
    The advantage is to get a set of photos with more unity (in the perspective), and it's more fun.
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  13. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I am enjoying my ultra wide l Sony 16-35 for landscapes, but in all honesty it doesn't comprise most of my landscapes. A lot of my favorites are between 35 and 60mm FF, often stitched. And quite a lot of Tuscan landscapes shot with telephotos because of the focus the compression of the scene can bring.

    Big skies is where ultra wide of tens works really well for me. And big skies with interesting foregrounds.
  14. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 28, 2013
    Not surprised at all, longer telephotos surely have a place in my bag for city scapes and other such interesting things.