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What lens for landscape photography?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by remoteman45, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. remoteman45

    remoteman45 Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Apr 21, 2013
    What would you buy for a Landscape lens?
    I do a lot of exploring in the canyons of the southwest so low light and wide angle are important. Suggestions?
     
  2. tol1l1yboy

    tol1l1yboy Mu-43 Veteran

    290
    Jan 12, 2013
    Chicago
    Panasonic 7-14mm f/4
    Olympus 12mm f/2

    Those are the two best options.
     
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Those are both very good, but expensive. Also keep in mind that the P7-14 cannot easily utilize filters and it exhibits purple flare in certain lighting situations when used with the latest sensor (used in the OM-D and GH3, currently). The other UWA zoom is the Olympus 9-18 which is not quite as wide or as fast, but can be fitted with filters and exhibits no strange flare.

    A couple of more inexpensive options would be the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 or the Samyang/Rokinon 7.5mm fisheye. You could also consider the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 or the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 which are not quite as wide, or as cheap, but are faster (in terms of light).
     
  4. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    254
    Jul 3, 2010
    For low light, a small tripod will be better for landscapes since you will generally want your scene to be in sharp focus and will want to stop down. Either of the zooms should serve you well for the ultra-wide end IMO. Then you need other FL's. 17, 30 and 45 are my most used for landscape. The 14 is cheap off ebay, not a bad lens (I have one). I also like having my Oly 40-150 along.
     
  5. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Nov 15, 2010
    FWIW, the 20/1.7 was the reason (more than the G1, although that helped!) that I got into m4/3. And I mostly use it for landscapes. Lots of people like wider lenses for landscapes, but I get frustrated by the perspective change with wide-angles. Sometimes the mid-ground becomes the background, and there's too much nothing in the frame. I also like the 90mm lens on my Fuji 690, which has about the same angle of view.

    That said, I did recently get a 14/2.5, but mainly for cramped circumstances where I can't "zoom with my feet."
     
  6. guzziknight

    guzziknight Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    May 18, 2011
    You could also look at an adapted lens. I use an Olympus Zuiko 11-22mm 4/3 lens with adapter. You could get the setup for around $400. While it's a little bigger, since it's a High Grade lens, it's sharp and fast, and still portable. On a tripod, AF issues are non-existent. It's the only lens I kept when I switched from 4/3 to m4/3.

    It's far less expensive than the 7-14mm, and at least as sharp. Not quite as wide, but for landscapes it works great.
     
  7. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I'll echo the tripod recommendation. It is really difficult to do slot canyon photography without one. The DoF requirements are often fairly extreme (so shooting at F/11 in dim canyon means long exposures) and often the dynamic range requirements are extreme as well (so you'll want to do an HDR set). Both require a tripod.

    I'd say either the 9-18 or 7-14 and a small tripod is your best bet. The 12/2 is a nice lens, but you'll be using it stopped down so much that its advantage over a zoom as far as IQ goes will be reduced.

    Good points from others that WA isn't always the answer. I still think I'd skip a prime though, again you'll usually be quite stopped down. So just drag along a 14-42/45 kit lens. Super light and small and good enough for "just in case" shots at longer focal lengths while you use the 7-14 or 9-18 primarily.
     
  8. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Nov 15, 2010
    Does it auto-focus?
     
  9. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    667
    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Morris
    I'm using oly's 9-18mm, it's great and also takes filters.

    Filters do help for landscape.
     
  10. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I envy the fact that you get to explore the canyons of the southwest - a part of the world I really want to visit. Make sure you post some shots from there!

    Regarding a lens for landscape - I think it's worth avoiding the landscape = wide-angle assumption. Sure, WA can work really well on landscapes, but so can longer FL lenses too. I really like this shot by tanngrisnir3 from the 45mm thread which I think illustrates the point really well:

    8544966271_7233d0a5a9_b.
     
  11. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    While I shoot most of my landscapes in the slight wide angle to normal focal, I'd want an ultra wide for canyons. Just putting that out there.
     
  12. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    Is this correct? The 12/2 is sharp all over @f4-f5.6 and the others are sharp all over quite a few stops below that. I could be completely wrong as im just starting out at all this but I have to ask as I too am primarily interested in landscapes.
     
  13. guzziknight

    guzziknight Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    May 18, 2011
    Yes, and it saves all the Exif as well. It does auto focus slower than the native m4/3 lenses though. But, on a tripod shooting landscapes, it's not an issue. I usually manual focus anyway.
     
  14. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    You are absolutely correct. For landscapes in general the 12/2 is really nice and does have a slight advantage over the 7-14 in corner sharpness at moderate apertures and probably the same compared to the 9-18 (which I don't own).

    I was specifically thinking of the OP's use case of SW canyons - by which I interpret slot canyons. In these canyons if you use a WA lens of any kind you are immediately going to have a really bad DoF issue to deal with - the canyons are so narrow that at WA you often have a near focus point of one or two feet. So you often shoot at F/8 or F/11. Stopped that far down the 12/2 is going to have very little advantage over the zoom options.

    I'm thinking of canyon shots like:

    091203_Utah_P7000766-Edit-XL.

    091204_Utah_P7000801-XL.

    SpookyCynChristine-XL.

    SpookyCyn-XL.

    Those last two are a 24mm on film, so exactly like a 12mm. You've got walls right next to you and they are going out of focus because I couldn't stop down enough with ASA 50 film and no tripod!

    Anyway, sorry for making a confusing statement - the 12/2 is a nice landscape lens but I think a UWA zoom might be better specifically for doing canyons.
     
  15. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Love those canyon shots!

    Oh, and I love my Oly 12 for landscapes. 2nd favorite is the P20.
     
  16. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    Any lens can be used for landscape. I personally love the 45/1.8 for that look of zero distortions.



     
  17. remoteman45

    remoteman45 Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Apr 21, 2013
    These are some of my canyoneering shots.
    E-3 with 11-22mm on a tripod.
    It's a heavy outfit to carry in a canyoneering setting but you can't argue with the results. I'm sure liking my new EM5 as it's SOO much lighter. Of these shots only the last one was shot with the EM5 and the 12-50mm kit lens
     

    Attached Files:

  18. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    Thanks for clearing that up Kwalsh. Lovely canyon photos in this thread. I'm jealous.
     
  19. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    Dav1dz I totally get what you are saying, it's a good point to make and it makes decisions a little easier.
     
  20. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    There are some spectacular shots in this thread - well done the posters! It makes me want to go visit it - badly!!!