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  #1  
Old July 9th, 2007, 08:14 AM
janet Smith janet Smith is offline
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Default Recommendations for landscape lens for Canon 5D please

Hello everyone

I'm recently back from a trip around the Isle of Skye and NW Highlands of Scotland, had a superb time and am still trying to find time to process all the photographs I came back with. Got loads of photos, many, many flowers and some landscapes, and even more midge & clegg bites (still scratching!). I will get round to posting some of my photos here when I have more time, but for now a few are on my website if you'd like to look. We were in Leckmelm Gardens nr Ullapool, Scotland, and I had got into a huge magnolia tree to get a shot, turned round forgetting about the branch behind me and cut my head (above my eyebrow) on a branch, I emerged from the tree with blood running down my face much to the horror of my partner Paul, and could only say that I'd got a nice shot of a magnolia..... such is the mentality of a photographer with a new camera! so if you look at my site and see the Magnolia shots, I apolgise for them not being better, but you know why!.....

I am loving my new Canon 5D, and all my early issues with it are now resolved, but I found that my 24mm lens was too wide for many of the landscapes up there, it made mountains look insignificant and my old 50mm was just not good enough, so I am in the market with a budget of 500 - 1000 for either a really good 50mm or possibly a zoom say 35-70mm ish, does anyone have any opinions about possible lenses, I would appreciate your thoughts.....

I go to Scotland again in 8 weeks time, this time we'll be going around the Applecross peninsula, so it'll be fingers crossed again for good weather, and a lovely new lens for my beloved 5D...
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  #2  
Old July 9th, 2007, 08:29 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Hi Janet

I'd buy a distagon 28 T from Zeiss, plus a adapter. Not expensiv - and the best for the buck.
Even, you could easely buy the 35 mm distagon as well., for that money.

Or the Zeiss 35- 70 zoom. They' re more expensiv, though.

The cons: In manual mode, only, no autofocus.
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  #3  
Old July 9th, 2007, 08:40 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Hi Janet,

I'd suggest the Contax 28 mm Distagon f 2.8 (not the N). This lens is avaialble at give away prices. The color and contrast for landscapes is nothing short of outstanding. The outer part of the lens seens to put into focus the near field and this is perfect for landscapes.

There's a photographer who uses the contax N Digital to make the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland. I was so impressed.

The contax 28MM 28 mm is used with the camera in manual or AV and then focused manual with the lens wide open. The lens is then closed down to the desired aperture and then the Canon camera doe the light metering automatically as usual.

Of course you'll need a Zeiss Contax/Yashica to Canon Eos adapter to mount the contax lens on your camera. I use the ones from Cameraquest or you can get thewm from the web, although the latter might or might not fit securely without either getting lose or jamming!

The other brilliant lelnses are from Olympus and nikon.

If you follow Nicolas claris and his work with yachts at sea and yacht architecture, the Sigma 12-24mm will be another option. However, after all this, the Zeiss lens, I believe will capture a special place in your heart.

For the 50mm lens, the Canons are good starting from the humble EF 1.8, the 1.4, the ED 2.5 Macro (and of course the 1.2 L, not needed for your work). However, the 50 mm contax MM 2.8 planar lens is also superb.

If you want a Zoom, the 24-105 f4.0 L IS is a very good lens and the 24-70 L is also faster at f 2.8 and stellar too.

Asher
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  #4  
Old July 9th, 2007, 08:42 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Janet, do you see that the first 2 replies you get put the Caontax 28 mm MM Distagon first. My post took longer to write, else I'd have suggest that first! It look like great mind think alike, LOL!

Asher
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  #5  
Old July 9th, 2007, 08:46 AM
janet Smith janet Smith is offline
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Hi Asher & Michael

Very interesting suggestions that I would never have thought of, thanks very much.....
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  #6  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:04 AM
Johnny_Johnson Johnny_Johnson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Fontana View Post
Hi Janet

I'd buy a distagon 28 T from Zeiss, plus a adapter. Not expensiv - and the best for the buck.
Even, you could easely buy the 35 mm distagon as well., for that money.

Or the Zeiss 35- 70 zoom. They' re more expensiv, though.

The cons: In manual mode, only, no autofocus.
In my opinion there's a few more cons than that. You'll also have to focus wide open and manually stop down to your shooting aperture. Plus, your metering will also be off by a varying amount from roughly correct wide open to one stop off by f11. And, you may find that you're not able to focus the manual lenses as well with the 5D as you can with a film camera designed for manual focus.

I tried it and hated it. I now use a Canon 24-105 zoom for landscape work and love it. But, two other people obviously think the manual lenses are the cat's meow so if you decide that you want to give it a shot just let me know and I'll send you a Zeiss 28/2.8 and an adapter that you can try to see if you like it.

Later,
Johnny
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  #7  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:14 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Johnson View Post
In my opinion there's a few more cons than that. You'll also have to focus wide open and manually stop down to your shooting aperture. Plus, your metering will also be off by a varying amount from roughly correct wide open to one stop off by f11. And, you may find that you're not able to focus the manual lenses as well with the 5D as you can with a film camera designed for manual focus.

I tried it and hated it. I now use a Canon 24-105 zoom for landscape work and love it. But, two other people obviously think the manual lenses are the cat's meow so if you decide that you want to give it a shot just let me know and I'll send you a Zeiss 28/2.8 and an adapter that you can try to see if you like it.
Johnny,

I have the 24-105 too. I have used it extensively for everything you can imagine. it's a good all around IS lens. However, to get outstanding color and contrast I'd go for the prime lenses and the Distagon 28mm is easy to focus and the 5D will give you perfect exposure, but like all photography, you may need to adjust based on where you are measuring light. If the point is dark, you the camera can over expose, and with bright spots, the opposite! This is of course true of all lenses in all cameras!

Janet,

In landscape photography, a spotmeter is ideal to sample light from different parts of the landscape as in the Zone System and then choose an exposure which will work for the entir picture.

In practice? Simple. You 5D has a great histogram, use it to adjust. It's nothing to bracket images anyway!

Asher
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  #8  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:25 AM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Well I just traveled to Prague and took my 5D, Canon 28/1.8, 50/1.4 and 85/1.8. I used to travel with the 5D and 24-105. Great lens, but relatively slow optically. This was not an issue for low lighting since Canon's high ISO's are so clean, but was an issue for me since I like to use wider apertures to isolate subjects through limited DoF. Plus these primes are pretty light-weight!

IMO these basic Canon primes perform quite well. True, earlier versions of the 28/1.8 never impressed me, were in fact pretty horrible, but it appears the newer versions may have been silently improved are now quite good. The 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 have always been quite good optically. Yes, other third-party primes like the Zeiss are no doubt better, but it is also significantly less convenient to use with stop-down metering, manual focus only, etc. In the end, I felt the significantly improved conveneience of using Canon's own lenses outweighs the slightly lower image quality, but respect that YMMV...

Here are some examples. I have not processed all the images yet, not even close. Please keep in mind these are hand-held, no-tripod captures, later stitched into panos using CS3's automerge:


First one is made from two frames taken with the 28:



This one is made form three frames with the 50:



Finally, here is a link to a wider pano made from five hand-held frames with the 50:
http://jack.cameraphile.org/gallery/...gue_Pano1_50x5

I'll post more as I get through them, but probably start a new thread for that.

Cheers,
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  #9  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:29 AM
janet Smith janet Smith is offline
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Hi Johnny & Asher

Great suggestions, thank you very much and thanks for the offer of the Zeiss adapter, I'll look into all this and give it some thought. I use my camera manually a lot of the time, and I'm used to using the histogram and bracketing exposures, but a zoom would get me around the business of arriving in some wind swept place with the wrong lens on, which is quite appealing too.....
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Old July 9th, 2007, 09:32 AM
janet Smith janet Smith is offline
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Hi Jack

Thank you for posting these, they are beautiful, and thanks for the info about the lenses too....
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  #11  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:34 AM
Kathy Rappaport Kathy Rappaport is offline
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Default 24-105 to walk around and the 50

I am just back from travel as well. I used the 24-105 a my primary lens and the 50 1.2. and I was very happy with the results. Next time I travel, I will probably bring a monopod to avoid some motion blur because I tend to use too slow a shutter speed.

Jack - stunnung images.
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  #12  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:49 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Yeah, these choices aren't to easy.
A quick look at your site showed, that you compose your shots well.

Therefore a 2nd thought:

- if you want to have the best quality, with lots of details, contrast and nice, smooth colour, at the corners too; you need primes, as zooms will not give you that. I suggested the distagons, as after quite a lot of tests, I found them to be best, in that category. The downside is carrying multiple lenses with you - the zoom weights 670 gramms as well - and as already mentioned, manual focussing. If you accept that, you can't have better, for little money.

- if you want to apply a rather fast shooting style, you might go for a zoom, and accepting (technical) lower image quality.

It's up to you to chose
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  #13  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:53 AM
janet Smith janet Smith is offline
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Hi Kathy

Sounds a nice combination of lenses, it's good to get all this information and feedback, thank you very much.
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  #14  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:58 AM
janet Smith janet Smith is offline
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Hi Michael

More really helpful information, it's always a dilemma isn't it zoom or prime lens? I have often arrived in some remote place with the wrong lens on! But now with two camera bodies it's going to be easier for me to ensure I have the right lens on one of them..... Thanks for your help, as you say I will have to decide which way to go, I may decide to buy both!!!
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  #15  
Old July 9th, 2007, 10:09 AM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Re the zoom v prime debate... I find that if I have a zoom mounted for landscape and travel, I spend a lot of time zooming to make the composition "right". With the primes, I simply make the best composition I can within the given frame. Surprisingly, I find the latter a refreshingly simpler way to photograph and in the end seem to get more keepers
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  #16  
Old July 9th, 2007, 02:29 PM
Diane Fields Diane Fields is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Flesher View Post
Well I just traveled to Prague and took my 5D, Canon 28/1.8, 50/1.4 and 85/1.8. I used to travel with the 5D and 24-105. Great lens, but relatively slow optically. This was not an issue for low lighting since Canon's high ISO's are so clean, but was an issue for me since I like to use wider apertures to isolate subjects through limited DoF. Plus these primes are pretty light-weight!

IMO these basic Canon primes perform quite well. True, earlier versions of the 28/1.8 never impressed me, were in fact pretty horrible, but it appears the newer versions may have been silently improved are now quite good. The 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 have always been quite good optically. Yes, other third-party primes like the Zeiss are no doubt better, but it is also significantly less convenient to use with stop-down metering, manual focus only, etc. In the end, I felt the significantly improved conveneience of using Canon's own lenses outweighs the slightly lower image quality, but respect that YMMV...

Here are some examples. I have not processed all the images yet, not even close. Please keep in mind these are hand-held, no-tripod captures, later stitched into panos using CS3's automerge:


Finally, here is a link to a wider pano made from five hand-held frames with the 50:

I'll post more as I get through them, but probably start a new thread for that.

Cheers,
I said how much I liked these at LL (in the TSE stitching thread)--and still do. I took your advice about not hesitating to shoot a 2 shot pano with any lens and since I was shooting with the 24-70L, I even tried that, handheld--and--it worked out pretty well with Photomerge.

I looked at the 5 shot pano with the 50--very very nice. I'd love to see all of these printed *Smile* Have you tried any vertically with these lenses?--and with the right number of files, wouldn't they come out about 5:4 or so? Of course, for these--and no tripod, sadly--but I'm so glad you got it back--you wanted to capture it horizontally I understand.

Diane
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Old July 9th, 2007, 02:55 PM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Hi Diane:

I have tried hand-held verticals and they don't work quite as well due to the fact I am usually shooting a closer subject and it usually has recognisable vertical lines. This usually imparts significant perspective distortion and it thus becomes more critical to pivot up and down at the lens nodal point, which I find harder to do hand-held vertically than when panning.

Here is a link to one I tried this with -- it's not a very good image to begin with as the lighting was the pitts, bright back-lit. But I took it specifically to try the vertical merge. As you can see, a difference in perspective distortions made it tough for the software to merge and there is a "bump" on the right side of the tower at one seam. Plus the lower image had to be transformed significantly to mate to the perspective of the top frame, which in turn greatly distorted the people in the foreground The tower is 300 meters tall and I am roughly 35 meters from the door at the base. 2 frames with the 28.

http://jack.cameraphile.org/gallery/...orf_Tower_28x2

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Old July 9th, 2007, 03:22 PM
Diane Fields Diane Fields is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Flesher View Post
Hi Diane:

I have tried hand-held verticals and they don't work quite as well due to the fact I am usually shooting a closer subject and it usually has recognisable vertical lines.
Cheers,
Thanks, that's interesting and I'll remember that. What I was really asking though, is if you ever turn the camera vertically and shoot left to right to get a wider pano--if the image might call for it.

Diane
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Old July 9th, 2007, 03:31 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Jack,

That picture is fine! I'd simply make a layer with the orginals of the people in the foreground and replace then by hand,

Asher
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  #20  
Old July 9th, 2007, 06:09 PM
Marian Howell Marian Howell is offline
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janet,
my 5d lives with a 35f/1.4 attached...i shoot landscapes predominantly, and use it for both one shot and panos (usually stitched verticals).
here is a recent sample of it:

and this is a hand held stitched vertical pano with it:

i don't recall how many shots this has, but likely 8-10.

be careful in those trees!!!
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Old July 9th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Marian,

I like your work! Thanks for sharing. Have you also bracketed the shots under the same circumstances. I'd like an action for pulling out the three sets of bracketed shots so that they can be stitched in three layers and then HDR blended. I'd love both even wider!

Asher
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  #22  
Old July 9th, 2007, 06:59 PM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Yep

stitchs are fine for landscapes, even they aren't alwith easy, due to moving clouds, trees, etc.
Summer light is not alwith the best one, but here's a 5-framer:



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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:09 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Michael,

I love the way you have achieved such a bright evenly illuminated panorama.

Would you print it like that or perhaps have you considered darkening the lateral edges and sharpening the lines in the fields. I'm not saying you should. I'm thinking of how one might want to print this and wonder if you have entertained such variants.

Asher
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  #24  
Old July 9th, 2007, 07:29 PM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane Fields View Post
Thanks, that's interesting and I'll remember that. What I was really asking though, is if you ever turn the camera vertically and shoot left to right to get a wider pano--if the image might call for it.

Diane
Ah, you mean vertical for a taller relative pano -- yes indeed, I do that frequently with my TSE lenses

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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:35 PM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Asher,

the lines in the field are sharp at 100%; downscaling the 12'00 pix/3600 pix makes it looking blurry....
actually I might look how downscaling can be better done; bicubic sharper, the usual setting, creates jaggies at the highlights, bicubic smoother tends to soft....

BTW: No HDR involved, just a little cloud in front of the sun.
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  #26  
Old July 9th, 2007, 11:31 PM
janet Smith janet Smith is offline
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Hi Marian

Thanks for posting these it's very kind of you, I like the look of the 35mm too! my 24mm is just too wide, although it can be useful and gives an interesting perspective, but I was disappointed with it when mountains were involved. It looks as though my bank balance is going to have to take another severe bashing! I can feel two lenses coming on, I think I'm going to have to get a good zoom and another prime lens.

I must try stitching some shots, it's something I haven't played with much yet, and yes I've promised not to get in any more trees (for now)!
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Old July 10th, 2007, 09:17 AM
Marian Howell Marian Howell is offline
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asher, i've bracketed shots for panos but usually end up working with the layers and blending in photoshop rather than using hdr. i need to work more in hdr to get better with it, as most of the results i get with it i don't like and i've mixed feelings on some of the good ones i've seen. sometimes i like it but more often not.

janet, i know what you mean about the 24mm on the 5d. i have a 24-70 (and a 16-35 for that matter) for the times when i do want wider but i must be careful on the full frame with that. a good lens correction software helps when the effect is overwhelming and not wanted (i use DxO) but i prefer to shoot vertical with the 35 and stitch.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 09:44 AM
janet Smith janet Smith is offline
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Hi Marian

What an interesting idea, I hadn't thought about stitching verticals, but I will certainly bear it in mind next time I'm in Scotland. Thanks for the tips, much appreciated......
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:33 AM
Marian Howell Marian Howell is offline
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the second photo i posted was shot vertically and stitched. the first one was a single frame horizontally. guess i wasn't clear on that, sorry about that...i'm a photographer not a writer LOL!!
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