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Best landscape lenses

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by bobby_t1, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2012
    I'm going on a photo workshop in about 5 weeks into the desert and we will we shooting a lot of sunsets and landscapes.

    I sold my D7000 for an OM-D and my only regret is when it comes to trips like these. I'm afraid I won't get the critical sharpness and dynamic range I'm used to.

    But I think this could be solved by lens choice. I have these lenses:

    Panasonic 7-14
    Panasonic 25 1.4
    Olympus 45 1.8
    Olympus 40-150 R

    The workshop organizers recommend to bring lenses with effective focal lengths from 40-150 and also polarizer and a 3-stop (0.9) soft GND. So this rules out my 7-14 since you can't easily attach filters (and it's probably too wide for what I need to bring).

    I'm wondering if I'm best off buying an adapter and attaching regular slr lenses to my OM-D. I don't care about auto focus since I'll be on a tripod and can focus easily with the onscreen magnification.

    Travel weight isn't much of a concern as we aren't hiking that much and I'm in relatively good shape.

    What are people's thoughts?
  2. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    The 25 and 45 are stellar lenses. What do the Nikon lenses have that they don't? I don't understand your concerns about dynamic range and critical sharpness. As a newcomer to MFT I'd like to understand.

    I don't know the other lenses so can't comment. I might so be inclined to do blends instead of using a grad
  3. guzziknight

    guzziknight Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 18, 2011
    All I carry are 3 lenses:

    Olympus 11-22mm 4/3s
    Olympus 14-42 II m4/3
    Rokinon 7.5 m4/3 fisheye.

    I shoot lots of landscapes, mostly with the 11-22 and it's spectacular. Granted, I shoot just about everything in HDR.

    Here's an example from my trip to Ireland this summer, used my E-P1 for this:

    As jeffg53 said, not sure what Nikon, or anyone, has that Olympus doesn't.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2012
    The primes (25 and 45) are great. I'm looking to bring a sharp zoom with me so I can avoid changing lenses in the dusty desert environment.

    I was asking about the Nikon adapter as an example and my question extends to include 4/3 lenses too. Just not sure what I should be considering.

    I was never impressed with the sharpness and contrast of the 14-42.

    As I mentioned, I need effective focal lengths of 40-150 so my current setup doesn't really give me that flexibility since the Olympus 40-150 M4/3 isn't that great.
  5. kartonos

    kartonos Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 4, 2012
    I use Panasonic 14mm pancake with DMW GWC1 wide angle converter, so I could reach out 11mm (22 FF) with F/2.5.
    Solid built and still handy for travelling.
  6. Stubb

    Stubb Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    Just finished up two weeks of landscape photography while hiking and driving around Iceland with my E-M5. No worries on dynamic range if you stay at ISO 200, and that's based on shooting a D700 in the past. My most-used lens by far was the Panasonic 20/1.7; it was just right more often than not. After that came the Olympus 12/2.0 and Olympus 45/1.8. I got out the kit 12–50 for macro photography and bad weather (which was fairly often on this trip) and the Panasonic 45–175 X for a few telephoto shots.

    Not sure on your budget. Given your current lenses, I'd highly recommend getting either the Olympus 12/2.0 or Panasonic 14/2.8. Both use a 46 mm filter just like your Panasonic 25 1.4. Given the choice between the Olympus 12/2.0 and both the Panasonic 20/1.7 and 14/2.8, I'd take the latter combination.

    The Olympus 12/2.0 works quite well for astrophotography. ISO 800, f/2.8, and 15 s will give you a well-exposed Milky Way.

    Another thing to consider would be a RRS Pano Elements package. I have one of these, and it makes taking panoramas a snap. You just need to work out the node slide settings for each lens ahead of time, and the panoramas will stitch together no problem.
  7. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I like to do landscapes too and the 40-150mm range is problematic if you don't like the Olympus 40-150mm; in the Panasonic range there are 2 options, which are not very desirable if you want the utmost in sharpness and contrast. The 45-200 can be a bit dull and the 45-175 can have the double-line issues with shutter speeds between 1/60 and 1/500s, even on a tripod with OIS off.

    As long as there isn't an excellent native telephoto option I use legacy lenses at present: the Minolta MD Zoom 75-150/4, the MD 100/2.5 (for utmost IQ) or the MD Macro 100/4. The 75-150mm range is reasonably close to your 45mm although you still have a significant gap; fill it up maybe with the new Olympus 60mm macro? Olympus has a nice 75-150/4 as well, although I prefer the Minolta. It's not likely you'll be able to get the new Panny 35-100/2.8 within 5 weeks, and there you miss the range over 100mm which I wouldn't want to be without.
  8. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2010
    Kartonos, how do you find the quality with the GWC1 compares to the naked lens? Do you notice any fall-off in sharpness, contrast, evenness, vignetting?
  9. Tincam

    Tincam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    So "effective" focal lengths of 40-150 would mean actual focal lengths of 20-75 on M43, right? Pick up a 75/1.8 and bring the three primes and the wide zoom. You won't be missing any sharpness with those primes.
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    That's how I read it, and there are a TON of very high quality lens options in that range, especially if you adapt Zuiko 43 lenses (which will AF, albeit slowly)

    A 12-60/2.8-4.0 with adapter would cover you nicely and be weather sealed against the dust.

    If you wanted fast AF, the Panasonic 12-35/2.8 is an option, but you would be missing a significant portion of the prescribed lens range.
  11. incabloc

    incabloc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012

    :thumbup: Wow! Dramatic clouds & sky. Pristine colours from the land too.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Hi Bobby
    These are two shots with Oly 45 mm 1.8 which fits ur prescription .

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
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  13. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    I'm Digging The Oly 12mm


    No HDR. I just kicked up the foreground in camera raw (its a jpg shot) and brought down the sky a bit.
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  14. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    OLy 12-50 mm at 12mm

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    • Like Like x 1
  15. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Assuming you're looking for a zoom lens as mentioned earlier, for the range 20-75mm on m4/3, I've used and can recommend the Panasonic 14-140mm lens. It's not as sharp as primes or quite at the level of the 12-35mm zoom, but it's still excellent and covers a large focal length range.

    On the primes front, you've already got the excellent 25mm and 45mm to cover you there. For the wider and longer ends, budget aside the 12mm and 75mm are excellent choices and the 75mm in particular is incredibly sharp.

    All that said, I don't know what type of landscapes you like so you and I may look at very different things though. I'll include a few from our Alaska trip this summer and you can see if they're in the realm of what you're looking for. I tend to shoot HDR when it comes to landscapes, since bracketed shots gives me the option of recovering more dynamic range later OR just grabbing the properly exposed shot and doing regular post-processing on a single frame.

    These are with the GX1 + 14-140mm and 5-shot HDR processed in HDR Efex.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861264698/" title="Polychrome Pass by jloden, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "800" height="598" alt="Polychrome Pass"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861272818/" title="Mt. McKinley (B&amp;W) by jloden, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "800" height="608" alt="Mt. McKinley (B&amp;W)"></a>

    A couple non-HDR shots with the 14-140

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861268330/" title="James Looks out over Polychrome Pass by jloden, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "800" height="601" alt="James Looks out over Polychrome Pass"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861281634/" title="Spirit of Alaska by jloden, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "800" height="601" alt="Spirit of Alaska"></a>

    And this one with the PL 25mm

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861284822/" title="Resurrection Bay by jloden, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "800" height="601" alt="Resurrection Bay"></a>

    And the Olympus 12mm

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861283314/" title="Seward Harbor by jloden, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "800" height="600" alt="Seward Harbor"></a>
    • Like Like x 2
  16. feiyip

    feiyip New to Mu-43

    Mar 12, 2012
    Used the Wallimex (Samyang) fisheye and got pretty good results out and about. Manual focus is not a problem since it'll be stuck on infinity most of the time for landscape anyway.

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  17. kartonos

    kartonos Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 4, 2012
  18. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    I think the 12-35mm along with the 7-14mm Panasonic lenses are the perfect landscape lenses. In my limited experience shooting landscapes, I've found that having a zoom is much more handy than having a prime. Normally I shoot primes and find them rewarding for creativity, but often times having a zoom of high quality to frame shots effectively is invaluable. I think the 12-60 4/3 lens or 14-35 f/2 etc would be equally great or better for these types of things but are much more limited from the AF aspects for overall use. Since I shoot a wide variety of things, I personally wouldn't consider any 4/3 lenses. I've got some great 14/25/45mm shots also, but prefer not to swap lenses in this scenario.

    FWIW, I'm not an HDR guy. My preference for landscape shots from people far better than I is towards people using no filters or GND/ND filters for this purpose.
  19. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I'll second the 12-60 recommendation, although for shooting directly into the sun, the 14-54 is actually somewhat better (less flare). In either case, secondhand lenses or renting can save a lot of money.

    As to the original concern about missing the D7000, I think with a little preparation, you'll find you aren't missing a thing.

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