Lens for Landscapes - 1 month trip

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by GregU, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. GregU

    GregU Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2011
    Annapolis, MD
    I have seen some conversations on this topic earlier but I have not been able to draw a good conclusion.

    This summer I am heading out cross country and will be visiting some of the famous national parks (Badlands, Yellowstone, Glacier, Crater Lake) as well as some other scenic areas. I'm looking for a good lens addition to take with me for capturing some of the beauty I will see in this once in a lifetime trip.

    I currently have
    Olympus m.Zuiko 14-150 / 4-5.6
    Panasonic 20/1.7
    Adapted Nikon 55 / 3.5 Macro (manual focus)

    I am considering either purchasing or renting a lens. For an expensive lens like the Panasonic 7-14 I would probably end up renting, but for something like the Olympus 9-18 I could swing buying.

    FWIW, I will be carrying a tripod and/or gorillapod most of the time.

    TIA for all suggestion.
  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    If you expect to use it even remotely regularly after your trip, I'd advise on purchasing the 9-18mm over renting the 7-14mm. I would also expect that if you purchase the 9-18mm, you'll find that its a very practical range.
  3. Bizzarrini

    Bizzarrini Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    The Netherlands
    Agreed, the 9-18mm will give you a nice, complete and light kit. And you can use nd filters for nice landscape shots!
  4. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
  5. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    Given your existing kit the 9-18 is certainly the obvious choice.
    Another option for wide panorama shots is stitching.

    Whatever you decide, get it well ahead of time and practice some. Very wide shots particularly require a different sort of "seeing" in your mind to set them up right. IMO anyway. :smile:
  6. GregU

    GregU Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2011
    Annapolis, MD
    That is a great idea, and there is one for sale right now in the forums. Hmmm.
  7. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Get an ultrawide. Either will do very well, and then resell is cheaper than renting for a month in almost every situation. I personally prefer stitching for wide landscape, but there are times an ultra wide can add something special to a scene.
  8. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    Did a similar trip last summer (2 trips actually): Glacier, Badlands, Yosemite, Death Valley, Sequoia, and the North CA coastal redwoods.

    I carried the 9-18 and the Panny 14-140 on a pair of G1 bodies. This combination works well for me. Thoughts:

    I think you'll be unhappy without an eye-level-viewfinder. Dawn and dusk landscapes demand slow exposures and small apertures, not the best combination when the camera is out there waving at the end of your arms. Bright daylight sun eliminates the slow shutter problem but makes the LCD hard or impossible to see.

    Re wildlife, it is either really shy and too far away for photographs (bear, mountain goats) or acclimated to people (bison, prairie dogs) enough that 150mm will be adequate in most cases.

    Re two bodies, it was not critical. I don't like changing lenses, particularly in dusty environments, so I prefer two. But the action is fairly slow and usually there is time.

    Re 7-14 I have never shot one, but I am not one for ultrawide perspective and I like the 18mm end of the 9-18 as almost a "normal" lens. Add in the expense and I just don't see going to the 7-14.

    Re buy and resell, I did exactly that with an extra G1 and a 100-300mm for an African trip a couple of years ago. My net cost to have the equipment: $30!

    YMMV, of course.

    Tourist snaps:



    And, of course, the required cliche:

    • Like Like x 3
  9. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Real Name:
    Peter Randal
    travelled to NZ for three weeks and used the 14-150 for 90% of what images i made. Used the 9-18 for a few shots, but hard to beat that 14-150 for traveling.
  10. GregU

    GregU Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2011
    Annapolis, MD
    The parts I left out are

    1. We plan on doing this again next year, the southern route, for SF, LA, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, ..)

    2. I have the EVF-2 electronic viewfinder. Can't live without it.

    Yeah, I bought the 14-150 because changing lenses was growing old. Maybe I'll use the 20mm/1.7 on one body and rent an OM-D instead of a lens with the 14-150 :)

  11. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Real Name:
    Go with only your 20 1.7 and put it to 16:9 :)

  12. msatlas

    msatlas Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Madison, WI
    You might also look at the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye and de-fishing software like Fisheye Hemi.
  13. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    UWA is definitely an acquired taste, one that has a lot of ******s on here. If its for you, great, if not, great.

    I find the 20/1.7 to be a good landscape lens, stitched if necessary. Two images taken in portrait orientation results in approx 3:2 aspect ratio like film.

    I x2 the tele option, especially if you're going to be taking tours. Much better option than cropping out all the boring foreground (and other tourists heads) from an UWA shot.
  14. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    Have you thought about buying the 7-14 and reselling it when you're done, maybe a cheaper option actually renting it, and you'll be able to learn the 7-9mm end of the range before using it.

    Oh yeah the 20 1.7 is a gimme. pocketable quick and easy.
  15. dukenukem

    dukenukem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 9, 2012
    Oly 9-18mm, do not hesitate, go into your pocket and gives more than enough quality ;)
  16. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    Real Name:
    John Griggs
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  17. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    Took a 9-18 and the 12-50 kit lens to NZ last year. First outing with the camera (OMD).

    9-18 was very good, light, fast enough and had the same filter size as the kit lens.

    Don't forget the kit lens tho... Nice piece of kit as well. Roughly used them 30/70 %
  18. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    Real Name:
    John Griggs
    I LOVE Fisheye Hemi! What I mainly use it for though is weddings and what not where I can get people nicely but with a cool "sweep" to the horizontal lines. Has a unique look that makes it a bit mysterious how the shot was done. Great product.

  19. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Real Name:
    If you keep the horizon in the middle the distortion is unnoticeable.

    A few examples of the Rokinon

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ehudlavon/8298170720/" title="P1080677_HDR.jpg by Ehud Lavon, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="767" alt="P1080677_HDR.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ehudlavon/8287838888/" title="P1080833_HDR.jpg by Ehud Lavon, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="769" alt="P1080833_HDR.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ehudlavon/8238028066/" title="P1080141 by Ehud Lavon, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="614" alt="P1080141"></a>
    • Like Like x 2
  20. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    Real Name:
    John Griggs
    Lovely stuff!
    • Like Like x 1