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Author Topic: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?  (Read 10400 times)

blonigan16

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Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« on: September 24, 2012, 06:25:36 AM »
I am planning on going around Switzerland for a week to travel through the alps and photograph scenery and landscapes. I also want to rent a lens that would be best for landscape photography. I have a 60D with an 18-55mm, a 28mm 2.8, a 50mm 1.8 and a 70-200 f/4 L. Here are the lenses I am considering to rent:

Canon 10-22mm (I had a Tamron 10-24 when I used to shoot Nikon and absolutely loved the wide angle)

Canon 17-40mm L (I don't know if this is wide enough but I'm considering buying this lens in a few months to replace my 18-55)

Canon 16-35mm L (Not sure if its worth spending extra to get this one, especially if I'm shooting landscape where I'll be using narrow apertures)

Canon 24-105 L (Would this be a decent idea as a general purpose zoom or do you think I should just try to go for something more wide angle?)

Thanks for your help!
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Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« on: September 24, 2012, 06:25:36 AM »

AmbientLight

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 07:17:08 AM »
In Switzerland you will find many areas, where you can use a really wide angle lens such as the 14mm f2.8. You won't be able to make the same kind of shots with one of the wider EF-S lenses or even the L zoom lenses like the 17-40 or 24-105 zooms, because some of the colour you see might be going for a Houdini act, being replaced by rather non-interesting greyish tones. This applies especially in case you will have some haze on one of the many mountain lakes.

On a crop body the 14mm lens becomes something like a 21mm wide angle, which in my humble opinion is a very useful focal length. I usually combine my 14mm prime with a 24mm prime or the 24-105mm zoom lens, which is a great general purpose zoom. The 17-40mm or 16-35mm lenses provide you with useful zoom ranges on a full-frame body, but on a crop body those lenses will not be wide enough. You will feel hemmed in by the lack of a shorter focal length.

The attached picture has been taken with a 14mm f2.8 lens and a 7D.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 07:49:05 AM by AmbientLight »

stefsan

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 07:55:07 AM »
I would consider the EF-S 15-85 as a general walk-around lens. It is light, has a very usable zoom range and delivers decent image quality. If you want to go really wide, take the EF-S 10-22 with you. I own both (as well as the 70-200 f4 IS) and use them for my landscape pics.
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Jotho

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 08:29:38 AM »
Go as wide as possible. I guess that would be the 10-22 on crop. I have FF and my widest is only 24mm. Im just back from a travel in the Vietnamese mountains and I see in LR that I was at 24 moat of the time, feeling that I would have like something wider. 16-35L is my next investment.

RC

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 08:58:25 AM »
Don't forget to get a circular polarizing filter.    Consider getting a filter sized for the largest lens you plan to buy then use a step-down ring if necessary. 

I'd go for the Canon 10-22 even though I have not used it.  Not sure if the "slim" version of the filter is needed to prevent vignetting or if the regular version is fine.   Someone else should be able to confirm. 

Regular:
http://www.amazon.com/77mm-Clear-Haze-Multi-Resistant-Coating/dp/B0000BZLBQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3RZG258U09EJH&coliid=I2VW5BIA35YA72

Slim:
http://www.amazon.com/Slim-Line-Circular-Polarizer-Multi-Resistant-Coating/dp/B0002O73B8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3RZG258U09EJH&coliid=IXFZPLHB0MG9Z

daveheinzel

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 09:26:35 AM »
I'd vote for the 10-22. I have that one and the 17-40, and on my 7D and 60D, the 17-40 is just kind of "ok" in the wide department. I usually find myself shooting the 17-40 at 17 almost all the time, but with the 10-22, most of the time I'm in the 12-15mm range. I have a normal polarizer filter, and because I usually shoot zoomed in a little, I never see it in the corners. Not sure if it's visible at 10mm or not, but I can't recall ever seeing it.

I'm going on a landscape photography trip soon and will be primarily shooting with the 10-22, 17-40, 50mm 1.4 and 70-200 2.8.

sivesind

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 09:27:54 AM »
Go as wide as possible. I guess that would be the 10-22 on crop.

Totally agree with Jotho here.  I used to have the 10-22 on my old 7D, before I upgraded to 5D.3, and it tended to be my goto lens for landscapes, and especially mountain landscapes.  If you are planning to get up high to shoot landscape, it is very nice to have the opportunity to go as wide as possible, and your other lenses cover the rest of the area.

When you go wider than 15mm, there will always be some distortion in the corners, but in most landscape photographs, this is not noticeable.  Switzerland have a lot of beautiful cities with old buildings.  These are better shot with your existing 18-55, or even the 70-200, to avoid the distortion in the corners.
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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 09:27:54 AM »

AprilForever

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 09:58:16 AM »
I am planning on going around Switzerland for a week to travel through the alps and photograph scenery and landscapes. I also want to rent a lens that would be best for landscape photography. I have a 60D with an 18-55mm, a 28mm 2.8, a 50mm 1.8 and a 70-200 f/4 L. Here are the lenses I am considering to rent:

Canon 10-22mm (I had a Tamron 10-24 when I used to shoot Nikon and absolutely loved the wide angle)

Canon 17-40mm L (I don't know if this is wide enough but I'm considering buying this lens in a few months to replace my 18-55)

Canon 16-35mm L (Not sure if its worth spending extra to get this one, especially if I'm shooting landscape where I'll be using narrow apertures)

Canon 24-105 L (Would this be a decent idea as a general purpose zoom or do you think I should just try to go for something more wide angle?)

Thanks for your help!

Having recently returned from the mountains of colorado, a few things:

1. Buy the 24-105; you will love it!

2. Rent or buy now the 24-105 and the 10-22. Failing both, then the 17-40. You don't need duplication of focal length... ignore the 16-35 and 17-40 if you get the 10-22.

3. A CPL is wonderful, but wonderfully weird often on ultrawide. It will do very strange things, like polarizing only part of the frame if you are not careful

4. In the mountains, there is usually a fantastic dynamic range you will want to capture. Consider either a 3x nd grad or some hdr work...

6. The most atractive focal length for mountains to me is 16mm on APS-C. Heed well your foreground though!

Enjoy!
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LDS

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 10:02:32 AM »
Beware a polarizer with a very wide angle may create an unnatural sky, because polarization is maximum at 90° from the sun position and then decreases, in a very wide angle lens can create an unnatural darker stripe across the sky. In such a case, an ND graduated filter can yeld better results. In mountains, anyway don't forget an UV/SKY filter to block UV haze.

sullivan06

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 10:09:26 AM »
I've used the 10-22 on my 7d and its pretty good, really super useful but it doesn't seem to be incredible sharp, especially in the corners.  Sometimes it even seems a little too wide.  I took it on a backpacking trip in the adirondacks, and found myself often wanting a little extra focal length (past 22).

I've also used the 17-40, and it is not that sharp in the corners, even at f/11.  Maybe its just a bad copy, but my 24-70 is much sharper throughout the image. 

24-105 is a good all around lens, but is not wide enough- unless you want to do a lot of photo-stitching back home.

I've never used the 16-35, but I've noticed that a lot of professionals use it, so that is what I would rent.  The guy at the digital picture has good things to say about it - http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-16-35mm-f-2.8-L-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

I've also never used the 15-85, but those focal lengths would be incredible useful!

The biggest thing I can say is be sure to have a decent tripod, polarizing filter (so essential), and buy a graduated neutral density filter (mine is a 3-stop Singh-Ray filter)

Jim K

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 11:10:23 AM »
I'd go with the 10-22. It will cover a lot of space at the short end. It was one for the first lenses I added to my kit. It has gone into semi-retirement since I bought a 5D3 as a landscape kit body. But it gets packed along with my "whites" and 7Ds when I go out after birds. You never know when you may get a great sunrise.

If you really think you won't need something that wide I'd go to the 15-85. It is a recent addition and is a great walk-around, snapshot, lightweight kit lens. The  15mm end on the 7D crop is like the 24mm on my 5D3 FF and at the long end it's like a 136mm on a FF.
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kirispupis

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 11:18:52 AM »
I take walks in the mountains here in the PNW every week and find that my 16-35 2.8 II is the best fit.  I bring the 16-35, 70-200/2.8 II, and a Singh-Ray Color Combo polarizer.  I do own a TS-E 24 II and a TS-E 17, but they won't fit in my current pack.  Since you have a crop body, I recommend the 10-22 which will give you a roughly equivalent focal range.

Below are some shots with the 16-35 (FF body)


Blanca Lake by CalevPhoto, on Flickr


Another Day by CalevPhoto, on Flickr
5D3|TS-E 24 II|TS-E 17|TS-E 90|200-400/1.4x|MP-E 65|100/2.8 IS Macro|70-200/2.8 IS II||16-35/2.8 II|EOS M

pierceography

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 11:26:47 AM »
Since it hasn't been mentioned in here, I own the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 AF II DG HSM, and think it performs very well as an ultra-wide.  It does suffer the usual ultra-wide disadvantages -- distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration (I find the CA to be worse on this lens than others), and it also won't take a filter on a FF body.  But it keeps lines very straight (great for architecture and landscape photography) and there's very little pin-cushioning.  However, the primary advantage of this lens was that it's the widest non-fisheye full frame lens.  When I purchased it, I owned a 7D but had dreams of upgrading to a 5D and didn't want to dominate my lineup with crop lenses.  After upgrading to the 5D, this lens functions great!

It's a little pricier than the EF-S lenses in the ultra-wide category, but if you purchase it and eventually upgrade to a FF body, you won't have to worry about dumping it for a FF lens.

Overall, I've been very happy with the Sigma 12-24mm, and it also fits perfectly with my 24-70mm and 70-200mm.
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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 11:26:47 AM »

preppyak

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 11:55:31 AM »
I am planning on going around Switzerland for a week to travel through the alps and photograph scenery and landscapes. I also want to rent a lens that would be best for landscape photography. I have a 60D with an 18-55mm, a 28mm 2.8, a 50mm 1.8 and a 70-200 f/4 L. Here are the lenses I am considering to rent:

Canon 10-22mm (I had a Tamron 10-24 when I used to shoot Nikon and absolutely loved the wide angle)
I'm not sure many people actually read your post, since people are suggesting buying lenses, etc.

Since you are renting, get the 10-22. If you were buying, it might be a different set of circumstances, but, renting you should get what works best for your camera. While the 17-40 and 16-35 would be upgrades over your 18-55, they don't really add to what you have. The 10-22 adds a whole different world of shots (10-17mm), which is critical for landscape stuff. And its a rental, so it has no impact on what future lenses you own.

Honestly, with the 10-22, the 28 and the 50, you probably don't even need to take the kit lens. And I agree with others, rent a CPL as well, just be careful when you include the sky in shots. I did my travel this past summer with an ultra-wide, a 28mm, and my 70-200 f/4L, and that is all you really need.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 12:00:52 PM »
I'd go for the 10-22 plus a 24-105.  For just one lens, a 17-55mm EF-s, but it will not be ultra wide.
I like the 15-85mm EF-s for all around use.
One issue is that the 60D does not have AFMA, and if a rental lens does not AF accurately with the body due to tolerance buildup, you will be stuck.  Why not rent a 5D MK II and 16-35mmL for the trip. 

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Re: Best lens for landscapes for a trip to the mountains?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 12:00:52 PM »