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landscape prime

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by LarryL, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. LarryL

    LarryL Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 6, 2014
    If you had to pick one 4/3 prime for landscape, HDR and some architectural photography what would you pick?
  2. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    • Like Like x 1
  3. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    We'll see... I'm waiting on the 15mm. Giulio Sciorio says its quality is somewhere between the PL25 (excellent) and the Noct (legendary). If thats the case it might be my new walk around lens.
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  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    If I could chose only 1 landscape prime (but that's sort of cruel), then I agree that something in the 12-17 range would be the most versatile.
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Wide isn't always the way to shoot landscapes, sometimes a short telephoto can produce the best results. It's all a matter of composition and capturing the main feature of the landscape scene.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    A 12-40 zoom. I'm actually serious - there are, to my mind, practically zero advantages to a prime for stopped down photography (which all of the above tend to be, at least for me), and the 12-40 gives the primes shorter than 20/25 (possible exception of the new 15) more than a run for their money. Size is the only reason I would choose a prime in this setting.
    • Like Like x 4
  7. ido

    ido New to Mu-43

    Apr 5, 2014
    Totally agree.
    And if size is the main concern, then I'd get either the Olympus 12mm f2, 17mm f1.8, or wait for reviews of the new Panasonic-Leica 15mm f1.7 Summilux.
  8. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    In pure mtf, the oly 12-40 beats all current primes in the shorter end.
  9. LarryL

    LarryL Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 6, 2014
    This was my prime consideration (pun intended) when I purchased the I2-40 2/8 and 9-18. I am new to 4/3 and struggle with the prime/zoom conundrum which seems to be rampant in all formats that have that option. Most of my equipment is Nikon with a fair assortment of lenses that I am whittling down. I will always keep some Nikon DX gear (7100) but I sure am falling hard for the 4/3. Maybe it's just a need/addiction for gear change as digital photography evolves. If life on earth evolved as rapidly as digital photography no one would question it - my first camera was a sony mavica with a floppy disc, b&w, 13 photo capacity. No I get to dither over fabulous choices.

    Oz-Ray is right on with his comment that shot tele often yields great landscape/architectural shots which is where the zoom is nice.

    We live in a great and wonderful time for photography - one of the biggest revolutions/evolutions in photography and we're the beneficiaries. But still, do I need a prime?
  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I'd actually say the zoom is better than the primes in that range. It doesn't have the smeary edges of the 14 and the 17s, and overall is sharper than the 12/2 across the frame. It's even a bit better than the 20/1.7 in the corners. For landscapes I find consistent across-the-frame sharpness a lot more useful than an extra 1-1.5 stops of light.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. bhima

    bhima Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 25, 2014
    After actually looking at EXIF data on some landscapes that I really love, I now totally know what you mean.
  12. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    C'mon dude, the 20 is one of the sharpest across the frame lenses we have. The 12 is pretty damn good as well.


    The benefits of a zoom for landscape are being able to frame a shot when you often (because of terrain) can't zoom with your legs. The trade off is lower resolution. Being slower can actually be a positive on bright days since we hit diffraction at around f8.
  13. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    I think this zoom=lazy thing is bogus. Sure, some primes are sharper than some zooms under some circumstances. Sure, most primes are faster than most zooms - which is not usually an important issue in landscape. Sure, a zoom allows you to be lazy and frame from where you stand rather than change position and seek a perspective which may be more interesting.

    But ... modern zooms (like modern cameras) are generally sharp enough for almost all real-world pictures we take, and this is not the limiting factor in the success or failure of most shots. And they allow you to manage both framing and perspective - a huge advantage.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. rogergu

    rogergu Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2013
  15. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    If price and size are important I think you should short list the Panasonic 14mm too, even if it's not the sharpest or fastest prime.

    Another contender would be the 7.5mm fisheye. Lovely angles and sharp, results defish well too.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    United States
    Absolutely. What I think are my best 2 landscape shots were taken with an 8mp Canon Rebel and the 18-55 kit lens. Printed at 16 x 22 (so cropped a bit) and look beautiful.
    Virtually all modern cameras/lenses are more than good enough.
    And completely agree on the framing/perspective advantages of zooms.
  17. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    My images would beg to differ, particularly on that last point. The 20/1.7 has visible falloff in sharpness, and the 12 is considerably weaker than either of the fast zooms at 12mm. Lenstip and photozone's tests are consistent on both points.
  18. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
  19. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    I'd choose (actually, I've chosen) the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5. It's a fast, affordable, pancake lens, and packs a lot of punch. Some sample shots taken with my ep5.

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    • Like Like x 2
  20. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    The prime vs zoom conundrum.

    Micro-Four-Thirds is about being compact, so why do we see so many Panasonic/Olympus zoom offerings ? One has a choice of 17 Panasonics and 12 from Olympus. Agreed they are versatile and the more expensive ones are faster and sharper. BUT, with a few exceptions, they are lumpy and, to my mind, defeat the object of having a compact, mirrorless camera body.

    As for the primes, three are 25's (nifty-fiftys), one a short-tele at 42.5 (85mm equivalent) and two are 45's (90mm equivalent). This leaves a 12 (expensive), a 14, a 17 and a couple of 20's if one excludes the "fish-eyes". Not a great selection for someone looking for a handy landscape/architectural prime. But the newly arrived the Pana-Leica 15 may be the answer. Hopefuly, it'll be as crisp as the 20/1.7 which I love and it is only a tad larger.

    I had enough of the 50's (the nifty one's) in my film years and eventually migrated to a 35mm w/a (±17 in MFT language). I found the fifties too tight for interior shots and of little use outdoors, all they had - back then - was a bit of speed. But that's me and I am aware that we ALL have differing photographic interests.

    As OzRay has suggested, with modern digital cameras, and clever software, one can use short telephoto lenses (roundabout 100mm equivalent) to great effect in landscape photography. I have had a lot of fun with my SMC-Pentax 50mm/f1.7 mounted on my Panasonic G1 - it's a very handy landscape photo combo.

    But, getting to the point (at last), to answer your question: "If you had to pick one 4/3 prime for landscape, HDR and some architectural photography what would you pick? ". I'd wait for the Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 15mm/1.7 ASPH (to quote it's full pedigree).

    It may be what you are looking for.

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