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Landscape and Astrophotography Lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RD73, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. RD73

    RD73 New to Mu-43

    6
    Apr 5, 2016
    Rich D
    Hi all
    I'm looking for an olympus lens for landscape and astrophotography, i already have the 12-40 pro lens which i love as an all round lens but i would like to know what people here use for landscape and astrophotography.
    Cheers
     
  2. Nawty

    Nawty Mu-43 Regular

    84
    May 1, 2015
    There is no such thing as a landscape lens, conventional wisdom is that telephoto lenses are best for landscape photography, all this UWA malarky is a bit of a fad and only really effective in specific situations which are fewer than people would have you think IMHO. Despite owning an UWA and having taken one all around the world virtually all of my favourite landscape shots are in the 50-300mm range (FFe - I used to shoot FF Nikon) and only one or two are UWA; based on that the cheap 40-150 kit lens would make a cracking landscape lens as it is optically very good and weighs nothing. YMMV but don't just think that landscape = wide.

    By astrophotography I assume you mean starscapes for which you want fast and wide, the only real options at the moment are the Oly 12mm f/2 (which is a stop faster than your pro lens which is quite a lot in these situations) or the new f/1.8 fisheye. Rumour has it that Panasonic are about to release a fast 12mm prime, we are all waiting to see what it will be but hopefully a good alternative to the Oly.

    One the other hand, I've seen some amazing shots recently from m43 with telephoto lenses (the new 300mm in particular) on tracking mounts - you can "easily" get great shots of galaxies / nebula with a relatively simple setup.
     
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  3. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    +1 for both the oly 12mm f2 and the 8mm FE for astrophotography. They're excellent. The Oly 17 f1.8 can work too.

    I'd recommend the oly 12-40 as a general all-rounder. You can pull some astro shots out of it but it's also just a great lens.

    I think Rokinon makes a 12mm f2 as well. Manual focus, but quite sharp by all accounts.
     
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  4. RD73

    RD73 New to Mu-43

    6
    Apr 5, 2016
    Rich D
    Thanks for the suggestions, i will do some research on the lenses mentioned
     
  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    It's 2 stops slower, but for 1/3 the price of the 8mm/1.8, I would recommend the Samyang 7.5mm/3.5 Fisheye. It's sharp wide open, compact, manual focus (so you can easily get infinity once you calibrate it, since the distance scale is not always perfect), and the f3.5 aperture isn't much of an issue if you stack a few 30s exposures at ISO 3200 you'll have great results for Milky Way or other starscapes.

    For general landscape work, I think your 12-40 is a good choice. But I also don't think ultrawides are a fad. It really depends on your landscape. If you have really sweeping vistas and huge spaces and mountains in the distance, a telephoto is great. But you can't convey the presence of a forest canopy overhead, or a claustrophic cavern without an ultrawide lens. It's the diversity of landscape photography...
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
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  6. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    943
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    For landscapes I will often stitch photos from my 12-40 and 75mm in portrait orientation in order to greatly increase the resolution. That also helps with creating a different FOV. I also agree with the 7.5mm is a great landscape lens as is or defished and works great at night too
     
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  7. palombasso

    palombasso Mu-43 Regular

    61
    Jan 31, 2014
    I've been experimenting with stiching and was surprised how easy it is to do even handheld, especially with the new function inside lightroom avoiding going to another software.

    It may not be the best software and give the perfect alignment but for my level of requirement it's perfect and it really gives more possibilities without changing lenses.

    Some examples, all handheld:

    Multiple frames with the 75mm 1.8
    Rio from above II

    Multiple frames with the 25 1.4
    go for a swim

    Multiple frames with the 45-175 at 45
    Navigantes and Cowboys
     
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  8. Nawty

    Nawty Mu-43 Regular

    84
    May 1, 2015
    They're great.

    I've recently got into pano stitching and it is really great for those wide vistas, muuuuch better than cropping from a wide angle shot.

    I do admit that UWA is great for creating dramatic sense of perspective and that works in some occasions but those occasions are much rarer than "I want a landscape lens" threads would generally have you believe. Also, I think that if you know what you are doing enough with landscapes you will know when and if you need a UWA.
     
  9. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    7-14 Pro and 12-40 Pro. Both can be used for night shots, architecture, landscapes...etc.
     
  10. RD73

    RD73 New to Mu-43

    6
    Apr 5, 2016
    Rich D
    The 7-14 pro lens was at the top of my list before i joined this forum, but I'm uncertain whether the 7-40 is a big step up from the 12-40 for what i want to use it for
     
  11. RD73

    RD73 New to Mu-43

    6
    Apr 5, 2016
    Rich D
    Sorry i meant 7-14 not 7-40
     
  12. danelkins

    danelkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Check out flickr and search Rokinon 12mm with words Olympus and or Panasonic and check out the great stuff. I know a few people tha swear by the Rok 12mm and claim it has less coma than anything in its class.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. Nawty

    Nawty Mu-43 Regular

    84
    May 1, 2015

    Hadn't realised they did an f/2.0 version, that's pretty cool. On m43 I would probably still go for the Oly version as it's smaller (which for me is the point of the system) but this looks a great option, much cheaper too.
     
  14. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Top Veteran

    971
    Apr 9, 2013
    Hawaii
    Stephen
    The Rokinon 12 for m4/3 is very small and light.
     
  15. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Since you've asked about landscape AND astro, not sure what astro means for you. Could you say a bit more about your astro interests?

    Generally most types of astro including starry landscapes are about 1/3rd sky condition, 1/3rd capture methods & 1/3rd post processing methods. I've posted tests here on the topic of long exposure noise you can search out. LEN is a major problem for using m43 for astro. LEN has a large impact on camera & lens (max aperture) choices. Which m43 camera do you use?
     
  16. RD73

    RD73 New to Mu-43

    6
    Apr 5, 2016
    Rich D
    By astro i mean mainly the milky way and the aurora. I have the olympus om-d e-m5 ii
     
  17. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Ok Rich, that helps. I'm currently posting some of my night landscape trials including experience w/ lenses & both versions of the E-M5. You might follow that discussion.

    Broadly I've been disappointed w/ the night performance of the mkII EM5 vs the original because if has higher long exposure noise- perhaps as much as a stop more but certainly 1/2 stop. I can be successful with the mkII but it almost requires the use of f2 lenses & multi-shot techniques w/ stacking &/or panos. It just can't easily do f2.8 &/or dark subjects. Don't get me wrong, there are several other m43 cams that are worse than the EM5II. I have yet to find a m43 cam better than the mkI.

    A night landscape workhorse FL is 12mm or eq for other sensor sizes. Both the Oly & Sam 12mm f2 are good wide open though the later has worse CA. The rumored fast PL 12mm has me hoping for another home run lens like the PL 15mm f1.7. If it was sharp @ max aperture, I'd likely buy it even if its only 1/3-1/2 stop faster. I'm finding that for dark subject like say granite mountains, the EM5II is marginal at ISO1600. So even a slightly faster lens would help significantly. But I'm looking for equipment I can use to make 16x20 night landscape prints.

    You might consider waiting for Pana's announcement of the new 12 before deciding or buy something used now to get going but maybe trade for the new one if it looks good.
     
  18. RD73

    RD73 New to Mu-43

    6
    Apr 5, 2016
    Rich D
    Thanks tradesmith45. I still have my L plates on when it comes to post processing. I will check out your posts
     
  19. AG_Alex2097

    AG_Alex2097 Mu-43 Regular

    157
    Dec 18, 2015
    Alex S.
    To add my own findings to tradesmith's comment, i also have the E-M5 Mk. II and had the opportunity to shoot astro earlier this month and found it to perform pretty well, the noise isn't too bad, i've seen worse (from DSLRS), sure it's grainy, but i find it to be well within the boundaries of acceptable, and if you're going to stack, i find it to be no issue at all, here's a single exposure 100% crop:

    30s exposure, ISO 1600, Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye @ f/3.5 (OOC RAW)
    2b219c783433fb31fe51b016cbf59192.

    And here's a 10 stack of it (ignore the sky, i'm still working on alignment with it (it's a PITA this one) and therefor has not been stacked yet)
    39085eaa146e466fcf40b751202e99c1.

    Admittingly, it was freezing up there, which most certainly will have helped keeping noise down, but i don't think noise is out of control on the E-M5 Mk. II
    I did shoot for nearly 3 hours up there though, so i'm pretty certain the camera wasn't exactly cold either :p

    I also had the Olympus 12mm f2.0 at hand, which lets in more light than the fisheye (even with the shorter exposure time (to avoid star trailing) on the 12mm), but i honestly prefer the incredibly wide angle the 7.5mm captures

    There is however about 1 stop difference between the 2, in the real world that comes down to this:
    3694a2e909563e111d4897bba8ac0510.

    At the top: 12mm, f/2.0, 20s exposure (I recommend 19 seconds instead)
    The Bottom: 7.5mm, f/3.5, 30s exposure (I recommend 28 seconds instead)
    Both OOC RAW, top one is slightly zoomed out in comparison to the second one to fit the milkyway on there for comparing between the 2, as you can see, the 12mm exposes the milkyway better, but i'm pretty certain the 7.5mm can be brought up in post (Need to get alignment fixed first)

    I'm guessing the Oly 8mm f1.8 would be outstanding for this kind of stuff though, but from what i keep reading it doesn't come without issues (field curvature, not as wide, manual focus by wire instead of full manual), but i'm not sure how prominent these problems are in astrophotography (i'm guessing the field curvature is an annoying one), Tradesmith has a thread up with his findings of the 8mm f1.8 for astrophotography, his images look nice, so i don't know if the small issues are worth worrying about :p


    Short version:
    If you're eyeing the Oly 12mm, you can't go wrong but you might find yourself wanting to go wider, it gathers enough light helping to keep noise down, is small, has outstanding sharpness across the frame and very well controlled Coma & Chroma
    If you're eyeing the Oly 8mm, good choice, will definitely gather enough light keeping noise to a minimum, but it has some small issues and it is a fisheye, which if you don't know wether you like shooting fisheye outside of astro photography, might be a steep price to pay for an astro only lens
    If you're eying the Samyang 7.5mm, also a good choice, it will however gather less light, but it is nicely sharp, small, wiiiiide and incredible value for money, especially if you don't know wether you like fisheye or not

    Alternatively, if you can wait long enough, Olympus is working on a set of f/1.2 pro primes, which will most likely contain a new 12mm (or perhaps even wider), if it keeps aberrations in control as well as the 12mm f/2.0 does, it will be an outstanding lens for astrophotography, but we don't know when this lens will come, so you might be in for a long wait + these fast pro primes will probably come with a big price tag
     
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  20. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Nice work & good comments Alex,

    Having bought the MZ 8mm FE, I'm still preferring to work w/ the 12mm. If I need more FOV & I'm not shooting an aurora, I'd rather spend my PP time stitching a pano than defishing an image. The bonus of a pano is puts more pixels on an image. That helps many problems. But not all night scenes need the larger FOV.