Best landscape lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by LegacyLens, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    I'm just wondering what is the best lens for landscapes?
  2. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    For me, after a year of taking mostly landscape photos, I realized I needed the 7-14mm for my style. So recently I bought it.
  3. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    No such beast. Depends on what you like in a landscape photograph.

    Single shot? Probably a wide to ultrawide, so the 7-14 or a 9-18 Oly.

    Stitching? Go a little longer, 17 to 25 or so and go nuts. 14 will work well too.

    Compression wanted? Grab a telephoto.

    A lot of folks think landscape is the same as 'ultrawide', but nothing could be further from the truth.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. sam_m

    sam_m Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Ditto Mattia, Its a difficult one really, as any lens can be great for landscape, I actually find the 35-100mm range is one I use the most at the moment, as its easier to fill the frame with someting interesting. Ultra wide is quite difficult sometimes unless you have an epic sky or doing a long exposure with water and skies.
  5. apbtlvr

    apbtlvr Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 10, 2012
    Real Name:
    You didn't say what kind of landscapes do you prefer to photograph?
    I just don't think there is one best lens to do it all.
    Generally speaking, landscape photographers tend to prefer wider angle compositions. That said, the Lumix 7-14mm f/4 & Oly 12mm f/2 are two excellent choices. Personally however, I never go out to shoot landscapes or other scenics without a short to medium telephoto included. The Oly 45mm f/1.8 is an example.
    ยต43 gear is small and portable enough that a kit with the above lenses can be carried easily giving a landscape enthusiast tools to capture a wealth of different compositions and perspectives.
  6. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    To answer some questions my style is long exposure.
  7. Rockinggoose

    Rockinggoose Mu-43 Regular

    Well most of the time I tend to use my P/L 14-150mm in the 14-25mm range but sometimes I go longer - mainly to cut out distracting foreground features. When I need I also have the ED7-14mm - even if it may be a little wide occasionally the IQ is such that it will stand a fair bit of cropping.

  8. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:
    Mmm...Olympus what I prefer
  9. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    I prefer the 7-14 and 12-35. The 12-35 is actually the one I use more because of the ease of using filters. The 7-14 tends to give me some issues with flare also, especially on the EM-5.
  10. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Real Name:
    You don't need lens you need tripod.
    Even the kit lens will be good for long exposure landscape.
    Just look at the post bellow.
    They were all shot with P14-45 most in long exposure.
  11. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I'm a fan of the 9-18mm and the 40-150mm (either for compression or stitching giant shots..a pretty sharp lens up to say 120mm-ish).

    There are some cool examples of landscapes down with the 20mm as well using stitching and making use of it's great IQ.
  12. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    This is one of those questions with no real answer. Basically, almost any lens can be a landscape lens. The best lens varies with the scene, the light, the vision (desired outcome), any number of variables. It's essentially impossible to name a single lens.
  13. Rockinggoose

    Rockinggoose Mu-43 Regular

    Yes and here is one taken with a 400mm:


    • Like Like x 1
  14. stonebat

    stonebat Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    Get 9-18mm. It can take a filter.
  15. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    So true, and probably one of the best ways to ensure your landscape work will be boring (which is not to say ultra-wides aren't fantastic in some landscape situations).

    I've shot landscape with a 7-14mm, 12mm, CV 25mm, 45mm and 75mm and found them all excellent in their own way.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Agree completely. UW's are really a challenge to use correctly for landscapes. They are just plain harder to use than most lenses, but when used properly can provide stunning results. I've found the 12-35 to be optimal for me because I can get to the location I want and play with the framing without having to crop too much in post.
  17. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2011
    Composition first

    Your question doesn't have a right answer except to say that it's difficult to know what the composition in front of you demands at any particular location.

    I think it is best to spend time with a decent kit lens to determine those lengths you wind up shooting the most.

    You will probably be frustrated by the answer though.

    You will probably find that you use many focal lengths and that it will require several primes or a great kit lens to get the best quality at all focal lengths.

    The great thing about the Oly 12-50 is that it give you a really good feel for those lengths most valuable.
  18. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I think the answer lies in how far away from your landscape you are. If you are standing right in front of Mt Fuji, you will probably want a pretty wide lens. Alternatively, if you are 40 miles from the Rocky Mountains, you probably want a little length to capture some detail and as much of the range as you feel is appropriate (ignoring the haze you are going to collect).

    But maybe what you are asking is what is the best lens for the detail you want to see in the final image - and then all bets are off as lenses can come as good clear copies, or less than crystal clear.