Landscape-Focal lengt?

Steve Dmark2

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 30, 2016
92
21
32
Germany
Hello colleagues,

Me and my wife will do a 3 week tour through USA next year.
Normally i shoot wildlife, mainly birds.

I want to prepare for landscape photography. I got two questions at the moment:

[list type=decimal]
[*]What focal length do you use for landscape? I got a 17-50 EX 2.8 sigma on my 7Dmk2. (27-80mm equivalent)
[*]I don't want to spend any extra money. Is the 1000€ worth the IQ/DR upgrade to a 6D considering i also have to buy a full frame lens? Or is the improvement much bigger when i buy 2-3 ND filters + polarizer?[/list]


Thank you guys.[/list]
 
I'm not going to say this or that system is what you want.

But I do have the 6D, and a relatively inexpensive wide lens, the 28f1.8

here's the comparison between the 28 and your 17-50 (28@F4+6D~=17@f2.8+7D)

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=729&Camera=474&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=253&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=3

Other FF lenses will generally outperform the 28 here as it's not the greatest for landscape, I didn't buy it for that purpose.
 

lion rock

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jan 1, 2013
1,920
37
I'd consider ND and grad-ND filters for light modification. CPL is not always useful, especially if the sun is in front or at back of you, though with water-scapes, it helps.
-r
 

BeenThere

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 4, 2012
1,213
636
Eastern Shore
If you are happy with the quality of the images you get with your current rig, then I would add a polarizer and call it a day. If you plan to shoot very many sunrise/sunsets, then a couple of gradient NDs may help, but you could probably do as well using HDR on those shots with software only. Practice some with whatever equipment you plan to bring before leaving. Shoot landscapes mostly at f/8. Also, don't forget your tripod!
 

JMZawodny

1Dx2, 7D2 and lots of wonderful glass!
Sep 19, 2014
382
11
Virginia
Joe.Zawodny.com
BeenThere said:
If you are happy with the quality of the images you get with your current rig, then I would add a polarizer and call it a day. If you plan to shoot very many sunrise/sunsets, then a couple of gradient NDs may help, but you could probably do as well using HDR on those shots with software only. Practice some with whatever equipment you plan to bring before leaving. Shoot landscapes mostly at f/8. Also, don't forget your tripod!
+1 on the HDR SW approach vs gradient filters. Only windy conditions or rough surf would be a problem for the SW.

I think your 7D2 and wide zoom should be sufficient.
 

Eagle Eye

Recovering Full-Framer
CR Pro
Jul 5, 2011
186
56
Virginia
I think your focal length options are just fine. I'd put a few bucks into a polarizer and tripod. Anything left over and I'd pick up a graduated neutral density filter, .6 soft. Without a tripod, though, a graduated neutral density is impossible to use. If you did want to pick up a lens, take a look at the refurbished EF-S 10-18mm Canon has on sale right now for $220.
 

danski0224

EOS R
Apr 24, 2011
1,102
11
  • Steve Dmark2 said:
    Hello colleagues,

    Me and my wife will do a 3 week tour through USA next year.
    Normally i shoot wildlife, mainly birds.

    I want to prepare for landscape photography. I got two questions at the moment:

    [list type=decimal]
    [*]What focal length do you use for landscape? I got a 17-50 EX 2.8 sigma on my 7Dmk2. (27-80mm equivalent)
    [*]I don't want to spend any extra money. Is the 1000€ worth the IQ/DR upgrade to a 6D considering i also have to buy a full frame lens? Or is the improvement much bigger when i buy 2-3 ND filters + polarizer?
Steve Dmark2 said:
Thank you guys.[/list]
There is a good chance that the Sigma lens will physically attach to a Canon full frame body. Many of the 3rd party lenses do not extend into the mirror box or cause interference issues.

The Sigma lens may not cover the whole 35mm frame at certain points in the zoom range.

If you have access to a 6D body, it's worth a shot to see if you like the results... or search the web to see if someone else has done it :)

The 6D won't have the same focus system or number of AF points as your 7DII. Would that be an issue?
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,384
1,393
For wide sweeping vistas like the Grand Canyon, 17mm on a crop camera is very limiting. You can pickup a Canon 10-24mm wide angle lens for $600. The alternative is stitched panoramas. The Canon 15-85 makes a wonderful all around lens, 15mm is lots ider than 17mm.

A polarizer can be a issue on wide angle lenses. ND filters are for situations where you do not want to stop down your lens but leave it wide open, or for long exposures. That's seldom the case for landscape photos, you want to stop down so as much as possible is in focus. A ND filter for wildlife is of little use.

Polarizing filters are at their best for water.
 

JClark

EOS M6 Mark II
Aug 4, 2013
64
0
Hi Steve - lots of good points made already, but I'll throw my 2 cents in...

First, I think you're absolutely fine with the equipment you have. While it's true that a 24mm-equivalent focal length can be limiting, I'd point out that in wide open places where you're trying to find a composition, superwides themselves can ALSO be limiting. Personally, If were you and I was concerned about focal length coverage on a trip across the USA, I'd be more worried about missing the 70-200 area than the 10-24mm area. You can always "cheat" the wide angle with stitching etc. Can't do much besides work with the feet to fill the frame ;) That said, I agree 100% with the rest of what Spokane said - watch the polarizer at wide angles, and the ND will likely get little use.

Second, noise/ISO performance and image quality are usually cited as reasons to move full frame. Again, honestly, I think for a cross-country landscape trip this concern is overstated. For anything too slow for handheld, you should be on a tripod anyway, and at F5.6/F8 and higher, anything you shoot on the edge of daylight is going to requite it. Keep the ISO low and lengthen the shutter speed. Problem solved - no need to move to a 6D :) (Also remember that depth of field is greater on a smaller sensor - that's an advantage of a crop-camera that often gets overlooked).

All that said, this is my recommendation. You already have the 7DII - it's a great camera. If you want to be sure to come back with what you hope for and not break your budget, I would do two things before I bought a 6d and filters:

1) Look at a lens to cover the short-mid telephoto range
2) Get a *backup body* - maybe an SL1 or something - so you have another in case something goes wrong.

Good luck, and enjoy your trip!
 

Policar

EOS RP
Dec 20, 2010
523
3
  • Steve Dmark2 said:
    Hello colleagues,

    Me and my wife will do a 3 week tour through USA next year.
    Normally i shoot wildlife, mainly birds.

    I want to prepare for landscape photography. I got two questions at the moment:

    [list type=decimal]
    [*]What focal length do you use for landscape? I got a 17-50 EX 2.8 sigma on my 7Dmk2. (27-80mm equivalent)
    [*]I don't want to spend any extra money. Is the 1000€ worth the IQ/DR upgrade to a 6D considering i also have to buy a full frame lens? Or is the improvement much bigger when i buy 2-3 ND filters + polarizer?
Steve Dmark2 said:
Thank you guys.[/list]
How big do you plan to print is the question. The difference between FF and APS-C when shooting at an ideal stop for landscape (diffraction-limited) is trivial unless you want to print wall-sized then it might start to be visible if you look up close in the corners.

The best landscape photographer I spoke with (opinions vary, but my favorite) shot with 28mm, 45mm, and 75mm equivalent lenses and maybe only used the 28mm a few times, favoring the longer focal lengths. The use of ultra-wide lenses never appealed to me but a lot of people associate them with landscapes. He also never used a polarizer or grad filter. But when light isn't ideal a grad filter and polarizer are useful of course. And the ultra wides create instantly striking images.

It's totally a matter of preference and how large you intend to print. I've seen decent wall-sized prints from a 12MP 5D but that's not my style, either.
 

candc

EOS R
Sep 22, 2013
1,264
8
Wautoma, WI USA.
17-50 is a normal zoom on a crop body. If you are doing a lot of landscapes you will likely want wider. I would get a canon 10-18 or a sigma 8-16 to go with it.
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,313
502
Back in the days of film I backpacked for 2 years going from the Himalayas to jungles to the New Zealand Alps and wide, wide open spaces of the Aussie outback with my widest lens being 28mm. Even now looking back at the slides I have not onc wished I had had a wider lens. Part of the issue is that if you go to 17mm (10mm on APS-C) things like mountains can easily get pushed back to being a narrow strip across the frame. I would be more tempted to use >28mm and doing panoramic stitches.
One thing to remember about the ultra wides (<24mm) is that you need to be very careful with composition but in my opinion having a whole set of shots with the classic 'big boulder in the foreground' can get very same-y.

The 17-55 on APS-C is a marvellous lens and I do not think something like the 24-105 on the 6D will be any better (I have both combinations). Where the 6D wins out is its low-light capability but the AF on the 7D2 is so superior I think that would outweigh the 'FF advantage' (which IMO is vastly overplayed).

Buy the 17-55 f2.8 and spend any money you save on visiting unique areas or doing crazy things like a heli-tour over the Grand Canyon.

As you asked in your OP, over 3/4 of my landscapes are taken with my 70-300 or 70-200 zooms. If you are driving get a decent tripod if you have't already with a remote release and some filters (my suggestions being polaroid and ND grads with filter holder).
 

dak723

EOS R
Oct 26, 2013
1,141
435
No need for any other camera. The 6D's only advantage for the most part is in low light. Daylight landscapes you won't be able to tell the difference between a crop camera and FF. You might want to have a telephoto zoom (all you need is the 55-250mm - it's cheap) to complete the range. I wouldn't bother with any filters.
 

timmy_650

EOS RP
Dec 20, 2012
293
26
I use Tamron 17-35mm f2.8 the most for my landscapes. Then probably my 70-200mm, Then least 24-70mm.
 

Zeidora

EOS RP
Feb 15, 2015
667
10
Polarizer is also good to cut specular reflections from leaves.
On my FF, I use 21 and 24/25 the most. 15/17 is less common, next is possibly the 55. I used to have a 28 but got rid of it. The 35 gets hardly any play. But that is all personal preference.
Re ND grads, a tripod is a must. I use the hard NDs more than the soft, 0.3 is pointless, but 0.6 and 0.9 are used on a regular basis, stacking can lead to rather pronounced color shifts (Lee set). HDR is certainly is a good alternative.
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,313
502
dak723 said:
I wouldn't bother with any filters.
DSLRs make it easy to do exposure bracketing which you can then combine in post processing but the one filter that photoshop cannot replicate is the polarising filter. If the glare burns out detail on wet surfaces or glass, you cannot recover it in post processing.
 

GMCPhotographics

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Aug 22, 2010
1,654
360
49
Uk
www.GMCPhotographics.co.uk
To the OP, if I was in your shoes, I would stick to the camera you already have and consider your lens range. I would consider an ultra wide lens such as a ef-s 10-22mm and a long lens such as a 55-200mm.

If you wanted to migrate to a 6D, I would start with a 24-105mm lens and add other lenses later. Such as a 16-35 f4 LIS and a 100-400 LIS II. With those three lenses, you have pretty much 99% of everything covered in terms of focal length.

I would also invest in a sturdy tripod, one which doesn't have a centre column and can take arca swiss plates. Also get an L plate for your camera along with a remote release. Also consider a Polariser and step down rings.
 

SUNDOG04

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Mar 1, 2015
90
26
What you have should work nicely overall. If you do anything, I would suggest the 70-200 f4 IS which is excellent, light weight, and offers at a great price right now. Very useful for landscape and wildlife in places where the animals are used to people such as national parks.

For years, I used a 40D with 17-40. A lot of times that was not quite wide enough. I did get a 6D so the 17-40 works well, although I have toyed with the idea of selling the 17-40 and replacing it with the better 16-35 f4 IS. The 6D is an excellent camera for landscape but I would never go back to a crop body with the exception of using it for sports or wildlife. However, your 7D II is an excellent camera.
 

hbr

EOS RP
Oct 22, 2016
326
0
  • Steve Dmark2 said:
    Hello colleagues,

    Me and my wife will do a 3 week tour through USA next year.
    Normally i shoot wildlife, mainly birds.

    I want to prepare for landscape photography. I got two questions at the moment:

    [list type=decimal]
    [*]What focal length do you use for landscape? I got a 17-50 EX 2.8 sigma on my 7Dmk2. (27-80mm equivalent)
Steve Dmark2 said:
  • I don't want to spend any extra money. Is the 1000€ worth the IQ/DR upgrade to a 6D considering i also have to buy a full frame lens? Or is the improvement much bigger when i buy 2-3 ND filters + polarizer?

Thank you guys.[/list]
Hi Steve,

Firstly, I think you need to research the areas that you will be visiting to determine what types of photographic opportunities there are in each area and determine what type of images you would like to come home with. America is a very large and diverse country. East of the Mississippi is very different from west of the Mississippi. The eastern mountains are heavily forested and the western mountains are more beautiful and majestic. The mid-western plains have their own beauty.

Anyway, I am lucky to own both the 6D and the 7D Mark II and a variety of "L" lenses. IMHO the 7D II images are very good in full sunlight, but tend to get rather noisy as the light falls off. That is where the 6D comes in. My most used lenses are the 24-70 mm f/2.8 L and the 70-200 mm f/2.8 L USM. Throw in a "nifty-fifty" and a 1.4X teleconverter and you should be set. A tripod would be helpful if it is not too bulky.

Anyway, since you said you did not want to spend much more money, just use what you have, you should be ok. Your research will give you more ideas as to what you may wish to purchase extra.

Also, the time of year is also important as to what you will be able to see and photograph.