Landscapes

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Kingfish65, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Kingfish65

    Kingfish65 TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking for some help regarding the best lens for landscape photography. I have a Canon 40D DSLR, and my walk around lens is a Canon 17-85 mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM. It's a great lens for most purposes, but I've been a little dissapointed with some of my landscapes with some "soft" focus, and not great color saturation. I don't use the auto mode very often, and I usually shoot in daytime with the smallest apeture available. Not matter how much I experiment with ISO, aperture size, etc., many of my landscapes aren't as crisp as I'd like them to be. Any advice on a lens would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. CyclonePWR

    CyclonePWR TPF Noob!

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    Usually you don't get the best photos with the smallest aperture, something like F11 might work best. Try manual focus, add saturation and sharpness in post possessing. Also mid day is not the best light either, sunrise and set is. Post some example of your photos.
     
  3. Kingfish65

    Kingfish65 TPF Noob!

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    Well, when I say I take most of my landscapes during the day, I do mean early in the morning or in the evening. I've also tried adjusting the f stops, and experimented with many other things. What I'm actually interested in, is what lens some of the pros would use or recommend for landscape photos. Thank for your input.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I think part of the point, that the other poster was trying to make, is that it's most often user error or technique (or lack thereof) rather than gear, that makes the biggest difference.

    I have the 17-85mm lens, and while it's certainly not the best lens I own...I've taken plenty of great shots with it...so I know it's capable.

    It would probably help if you could post up some of your problem photos, along with the EXIF info, so that we can have a look and maybe spot some potential issues.

    Of course, we can also give you some good recommendations for lenses. What is your budget?
     
  5. Kingfish65

    Kingfish65 TPF Noob!

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    Cost isn't a huge issue. I would like to get a high quality lens. Don't get me wrong, I've got some great photos. It's just that I occassionally get photos that aren't great, and I've taken three or four photos in the same span that are much better, and at the same settings!
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Doesn't sound like a lens issue to me.

    Are you OK with the angle of view you get with the 17-85mm? If so, you may want to check out the 17-40mm F4 L. Being in the 'L' family, it's a top quality lens and a favorite for landscapes.
    I also use 'crop bodies' like the 40D and my favorite landscape lens is the EF-S 10-22mm. I love the wide angle view and it's optically very good.
     
  7. Kingfish65

    Kingfish65 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Mike. I'm knew to forums and actually don't know how to upload an image to this page. I do understand it may be a technique problem, and when I figure out how post a photo, I will give you an example.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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  9. Fox Paw

    Fox Paw TPF Noob!

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    "Doesn't sound like a lens issue to me. Are you OK with the angle of view you get with the 17-85mm? If so, you may want to check out the 17-40mm F4 L. Being in the 'L' family, it's a top quality lens and a favorite for landscapes."

    Agreed on all counts. I got a 17-40L when I wasn't satisfied with my 17-85. I discovered that my dissatisfaction with the 17-85 was misplaced. It does fine if the photographer is doing things right. I hadn't been.

    The 17-40L is wonderful, though, and it's now what I use more than 90 percent of the time.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just a note on the smallest aperture thing. Cameras with smaller sensors like many DSLRs suffer from diffraction problems at a lower aperture. Diffraction causes light to scatter slightly and creates a soft image. The diffraction limit usually depends on how sharp the lens is. The sharper the lens the lower the limit, and the better the image will be at lower apertures. Typically with many of today's lenses the sharpest point is around f/8 where anything lower will cause a loss in sharpness due to design issues with the side of the lens elements, and higher will start causing issues with diffraction.

    That said this is really only field relevant at f/16 or above, where the images really start looking soft, or when shooting at the lowest aperture and thus have all sorts of CA, vignetting, and softness to deal with.
     
  11. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    I'll echo the comments about the 17-40 f4L, it's one of my favorites..

    However, I might say that perhaps you are asking too much from your photography.. Every shot doesn't turn out to be something to hang on the wall

    Wasn't it Ansel Adams who said; "Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop"
     
  12. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    i would also suggest a canon "L" lens. the canon 17-40 is super popular for landscape shots.

    i personally just started in photography and cant invest in an "L" lens yet, so i got the tamron 17-50 2.8. cost $420 and should be much better than my kits lens.
     

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