landscape prime

LarryL

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If you had to pick one 4/3 prime for landscape, HDR and some architectural photography what would you pick?
 

GFFPhoto

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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.
 

OzRay

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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.
 

mattia

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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.
 

ido

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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.
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.
 

FlyPenFly

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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.
In pure mtf, the oly 12-40 beats all current primes in the shorter end.
 

LarryL

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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.
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?
 

dhazeghi

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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.
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.
 

bhima

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

GFFPhoto

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It's even a bit better than the 20/1.7 in the corners.
C'mon dude, the 20 is one of the sharpest across the frame lenses we have. The 12 is pretty damn good as well.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/wide-angle-micro-43-imatest-results

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.
 

bassman

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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.
 

rogergu

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+1
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.
 

Anthonys

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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.
 

RichDesmond

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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.
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.
 

dhazeghi

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

Uncle Frank

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If you had to pick one 4/3 prime for landscape, HDR and some architectural photography what would you pick?
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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D

Dave Reynell

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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.

Dave
 
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