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Calling all landscape photographers.

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by EFMax, May 5, 2012.

  1. EFMax

    EFMax Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2012
    Calling all landscape photographers.

    I am beginning to hit my limitations of doing wide open landscape stuff with respect to this format. Yes it would be lovely to have an EP2 with a 40MP sensors but that is not gonna happen anytime soon, so I am interested in what others have done to maximise the quality and “sharpness” of their landscape experiences, but also and most importantly, what make, model and size of lens have you used, especially aimed at the adapted lens options.

    My current main lens is the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm f1:2.8/4 lens on a DMW- MA1 adaptor, a lens that is razor sharp at everything close but leaves me wanting more when I get beyond 30ft.. all input appreciated.
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    An example photo would help. What focal lengths? What subject/focus distances? What apertures?

    The 12-60 is one of the sharpest lenses available for the system, so if you're expecting an improvement simply by changing lenses, I think you'll be disappointed.

  3. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Pana Leica 25mm f1.4

    I have recently picked up the 25mm f1.4 Pana Leica lens and it is incredibly sharp as well as being great for landscapes, a couple of examples below.

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  4. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011

    Please show us side by side examples of what m4/3 (or compact system cameras) cannot resolve vs other systems.
  5. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    I use a Pentax 645D for my landscapes. I can tell you that it does resolve more than my m4/3 stuff. Partly because of he 40MP, partly because of the 44mm x 33mm sensor.
  6. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    I find myself often using panoramic shooting for landscapes. Taking several shots, in one or more rows, and stitching them together in Photoshop or a dedicated software.
    Thus, you get much bigger files, with a lot more resolution, that you could print much bigger ....

    The poor man's alternative to large format shooting :biggrin:

    Here's an example !

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    The original file measures 12795 x 3641 px and 341 MB

    C U
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  7. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    I wouldn't consider myself a serious landscape photographer, so our definitions of what is sharp and "good", IQ-wise, may differ. Also, not sure what your output requirements are, e.g., display or large size prints? Nevertheless, have taken some good photos with my E-Ps and the Panny 20mm, with good sharpness and detail through 11x14 prints.

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    Also, with the original four thirds, I did get good landscape images also. I am not an expert on sensor specs, but given the same sensor dimensions between 4/3 and :43:, I gues these are comparable. Below from my old E-500 with 8 MP sensor, using the Olympus ED Zuiko 9-18 (original four thirds version). Hope these help.

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  8. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    There is nothing wrong with m4/3 for landscape images. There is more to photographs that how a system performs with a test target. I have printed 20x24 inch prints from my m4/3 camera and they are great. BTW, when things get further away, there is less detail you can get out of it, regardless of the camera.

    Forget about the gear and work on your skills. Both as a photographer as well as in the processing of the images.
  9. EFMax

    EFMax Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2012
    I guess my limitations are really in the digital medium, especially on the computer. I want to spend almost zero time messing around manipulating the image and do what I use to do.. set up my tripod, compose, zone system exposure (nail it first time every time) process, print, and away I go. Those days of large format photography seem almost a distance past.

    I choose the EP2 because i just don't like the shape or feel of most modern digital cameras and this is about as retro a look and feel as I could find at the time. In retrospect I should have just kept my Contax 645 and saved up for a 2nd digital back because back then, spending £20K on a new one was just unjustifiable, but I appreciate everyone's input.
  10. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I'm honestly stumped.

    High quality landscape photography (film or digital, medium format or point and shoot) is one of the most processing intensive genres out there - whether you're processing on a MacBook or in a darkroom. If you're using OOC jpegs then you simply aren't going to be getting the best results possible, and you're definitely not going to be any where near the limitations of your gear.

    My gentle suggestion - stop worrying about the gear and learn to use it.
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    You can still do that, if you want to. I think you'll quickly rediscover that it isn't quite as simply as that.

    The notion that there is no post-processing in film shooting is simply false. You either had to develop and print yourself (lots of decisions there in terms of chemistry and processing), or send them off to a lab and let somebody else make all the decisions. The latter is equivalent to shooting JPEGs with your camera.

    Medium format digital, outside of Pentax and Leica, is a kludge. That doesn't mean it can't be fun, but it is certainly difficult, expensive, and in the end, you will not necessarily get better output.

    Your 12-60 is an excellent lens - one of the best. If it's not sharp enough, either your standards are extremely high, in which case you'll have to spend a good chunk of money to do substantially better, or your technique could use some optimization. But without samples, it it impossible to say which.

  12. F1L1P

    F1L1P Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2010
    Can you show us the photo with which you are unsatisfied?
  13. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    +1 on the stitching. I'm increasingly enjoying printing huge (biggest to date is 78" x 19"), and stitched panos is a bit of work in post, but opens up quite a few options. I often prefer the field of view of stitched shots to ultra wide ones and I find composition a little easier to do that way. It does sort of preclude the use of polarizing glass, though.

    Most of my panos I shoot at around 35-50mm full frame f.o.v. equivalent (either the 24-105L or a Zeiss 35/2.8 or 50/1.4 - haven't been out to landscape shooting land yet with my m43 gear...
  14. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    My only issue is that at ISO 200 images are already noisy, especially shadow and sky. I also wish the format had more dynamic range. But, now with the OMD, much of both of those have been resolved. I think in the next year or two as the newer sensors proliferate through the rest of the PEN line, the PENs will become really nice landscape cameras.

    I've been shooting RAW with my E-PL2 for quite some time now. I just don't seem to get that much more out of landscapes with RAW.

    I think the GX1, GH2, and OMD are all better cameras within the format for landscape.
  15. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    Digital photography is about digital processing. If you don't like doing that, you'll never have results that will satisfy you.
    I don't mean to come off harsh, but it your concerned about the retro look of your camera, one might suspect you're not overly concerned about landscape photography.
  16. angusparker

    angusparker New to Mu-43

    Mar 23, 2012
    If you can afford the kit (tripod, L plate, nodal slide, panning clamp etc) stitching is the way to get high resolution landscapes with m43. As for software PTGui is simply amazing - pretty automated and fast processing. I use the Oly 45/1.8 in portrait orientation and take an exposure every 10 degrees - seems to have enough overlap. Really Right Stuff makes some great kit for panoramas but make sure to get the sliding clamp (192 FAS package) because most native m43 lenses are so small you'll end up with the rail in your view if you can't slide the camera along the rail.
  17. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
    For landscape, even on digital, then filters are your very best friends.

    ND for long exposure, ND grads for blown skies, polarisers deepen colours, other colours for special effects. Will really open things up for you.
  18. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    You have to be very careful with polarizers on wide-angle shots or anything you want to stitch.

    I think the biggest bottleneck is the post-processing one - you NEED to post-process RAW shots to get the very best out of your landscape shots. Yes, ideal exposure in camera is best, but that's just a starting point.

    The landscape shots I've printed big from my 5DII files tend to go through the following process: convert from RAW with DxO (which applies some degree of fill light, contrast, basic curves adjustments), then into Photoshop, clone out any sensor dust, then mostly using some NIK plugins to clean any residual noise, adjust local contrast (curves adjustments) and lighting, all localized (some areas can handle/require more than others) and then sharpen. For print, sharpen quite a bit more aggressively than for screen use, and generally have a slightly brighter image to compensate for the lack of backlighting.

    I once compared a well-exposed straight out of camera JPG (and the 5DII is no slouch!) with a 'properly' processed shot in print, and there's definitely a big difference.
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