Lens for architecture

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Chili, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. Chili

    Chili TPF Noob!

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    Hi this slr stuff is all very new to me, I have been a p&s guy and made the jump and want to start taking some much better pictures.

    I like to shoot buildings and architecture . Any recommendations on lens for that type of shooting. I understand about the wide lens but will my picture apear to be far away if I cant get that close to the building or have a shot thats off the ground?

    I can get a Tamron AF 100-300mm f5-6.3 macro for $90. I know it's a slow lens but the buildings are not moving so I dont think that will be a problem or will it? I will use the lens for other stuff but mostly for architecture. It is a display lens that is at local camera shop.

    I only have the kit lens 18-55 that came with my D50. I think this will do me fine til I can build a good set of lenes to carry. I know there is a gap I will need to fill from 55mm to 100mm.


    Will this do for now or should I pass on it and wait til I have the funds for a better lens. Money is a little tight at this time of year.

    Thanks
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Off the ground means you will shoot from a helicopter? Then you do not need an ultrawide angle, but some sort of standard zoom 28-70.. maybe longer ... (zoom it should be as you often cannot influence the distance to your building that much).

    If however you want to explore some interesting perspectives, then you need also some really wide angle, often, you are inside a building complex, and you cannot step backward as there is a lake, a wall or whatever. Then ultrawide becomes very useful... even more if you shoot also indoors!

    however, try to get a wide angle with only little distortion since especially in architectural photoraphy bent straight lines can look horrible. not sure what is there in the Nikon world, but I heard some useful lenses exist.
     
  3. Chili

    Chili TPF Noob!

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    I can't stop laughing, not going to be in a helicopter. I ment something up the side of a building. Mostly from outside but not to say I won't be taking some indoor shoots.

    What size do you think I should be looking at I dont want to limit myself two a few lenes I would like to build a nice arsenal. Nikon has a 55-200 that wont break the bank that I am going to look at. That will be all the zoom I need for now.

    Thanks Alex
     
  4. ball

    ball TPF Noob!

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    I'm taking pictures of buildings lately, in part because they cooperate by standing still. I hope to buy a 28mm prime (fixed focal length) lens, but I should get more practice with my existing 50mm lens first. I think an 18mm lens on your D50 would probably be about equivalent to a 28mm on my 35mm film SLR. Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken.
     
  5. Chili

    Chili TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Ball, I know what you mean they don't mind having there picture takin. There is no hurry up and try to put your hand over the lens. There are sooooo many lenses out there and being new at this is really a task. I have so much to learn, I just got off the point of leaving my camera on auto and shooting away. Where are you in IL?
     
  6. ball

    ball TPF Noob!

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    I live in Peotone and work in Kankakee. I would like to move downstate again, but I'm stuck here for the time being. I'm new to this stuff myself, but perhaps winding in your 18mm-55mm zoom might give you some wide-angle practice while you're looking for a prime.
     
  7. hazzayoungn

    hazzayoungn TPF Noob!

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    i agree with ball, a lens that is at least 18mm on the small side is good, so the one that came with your camera should suffice for the time being. have you seen any pictures that youre inspired by or want to mimic? it might help a little bit with the suggestions

    also

    not to sound smarty pants or anything, but you shouldnt worry too much about the wide angle lens distortion. If the building is in about the center fifth of the frame (or so) there shouldnt be too much distortion to the point of looking like lomography. the further out from the center of the frame the subject is, the more distortion there will be though...

    plus, using the wider angle allows you to have a larger aperture if you want :thumbup:
     
  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is true that there will be less distortion in the centre, but if your building only covers the centre, then you often would not need the wide angle ;)

    At least in my architectural shots very often parts of the building are at the very border of the frame

    not saying this is a good shot:
    http://www.photoscapes.eu/special/photokina_06/previews/preview_photokina_004.jpg
    but with strong distortion it would look even worse ...

    same here:
    http://www.photoscapes.eu/special/photokina_06/previews/preview_photokina_011.jpg

    however, often you can remove distortion by using software, but that always means some loss in image quality, the more the original distortion, the worse the loss.
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You might as well use what you have for now. Unfortunately, there are no fixed focal length wide angles for Nikon digital except for the fisheye and only a few zooms. The one I have is the Nikkor 12-24 zoom and it is a far cry from what I was used to using in the 35mm days. There are also a few third party wide angle zooms. Nikon has simply not yet taken care of the serious wide angle needs of digital photographers.

    I have one of the D50 18-55 kit lenses and I still use it for table top product photography for the web. It was replaced by the better 17-55 f2.8 for serious work but that lens is fairly pricey. The kit lens has the most distortion I have ever seen on a modern lens and you would need to be pretty careful with it on architectural subjects.

    Here's an architectural shot made with the 12-24 f4 zoom:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you're seeking prints with fine detail and correction of verticals so that they're parallel to the sides of the frame, you're probably going to want a 4 x 5 with tilts and swings.
     
  11. Chili

    Chili TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all I will work with what I have now. I understand just about all you have said but Torus you lost me. "4x5 tilts & swings" ?
     
  12. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    4x5 means a large format camera, on which the negative is 4 by 5 inches. Shift, tilt and swing let you alter the position and angle of the lens in several ways that give you a lot of control over focus, depth of field and perspective. Such a system is not necessarily as expensive as it sounds (assuming you use film instead of a digital back), however it wouldn't be the most compact or portable system.

    As usual it's actually a lot more complicated than that. Someone else can explain it better.

    And by the way, Merry Christmas everyone! :D
     

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