Wide Angle lens for landscapes?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Tbini87, May 19, 2010.

  1. Tbini87

    Tbini87 TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys. I am planning on shooting a ton of landscape pics in about 12-15 National Parks this summer and was wondering if a Wide Angle lens is a must have for this kind of trip?

    I have both an 18-55 and a 55-200 lenses that came with my Nikon D40. I have heard a lot about a Sigma 10-20 for landscape shots. If a wide angle lens is a must then what lenses would you guys recommend for a college student on a budget? I don't mind spending a few hundred bucks on a solid piece of equipment that will help me get lots of good shots, but also wouldn't mind having a little money in the bank after the purchase as well! Thanks guys.

    Forgot to ask if most newer lenses will all automatically focus on a D40. I have heard that the D40 body doesn't do the auto focus, but that it is the lense that has to do the auto focus. Is that correct? thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  2. Big Mike

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

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    There is no 'must have'...it's just a matter of preference & personal style.

    Personally, I love to shoot landscapes with a wide angle. I use the Canon 10-22mm and I love it.

    The Sigma 10-20mm would be a great option for you. Good quality and good price for this type of lens.

    Of course, if you don't have a good tripod, get that first. It's much more important for landscape photography.
     
  3. McNugget801

    McNugget801 TPF Noob!

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    I shoot landscapes exclusively and LOVE my tokina 11-16
     
  4. Tbini87

    Tbini87 TPF Noob!

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    thanks Mike. Can i ask why a tripod is so necessary for landscape shots? i have heard a few people say this and i am not exactly sure why. is it because landscapes are best shot in early morning or late evening when there is not a ton of light? is it because of the f-stop or shutter speed?

    Also, should i be in Aperature mode to shoot landscapes? i have been messing around in Aperature mode (and others told me to be shooting landscapes in f8 or f11). is there any specific ISO i should be shooting in, or does the camera automatically pick the ISO when in Aperature priority?

    thanks.
     
  5. Tbini87

    Tbini87 TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the suggestion. looking for something a little less pricey but will keep this in mind.
     
  6. Mendoza

    Mendoza TPF Noob!

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    The Sigma 10-20mm is a solid lens.
    Re: Using tripods for landscape shots. Sometimes necessary; sometimes cumbersome and unnecessary.
     
  7. dmatsui

    dmatsui TPF Noob!

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    It depends some people prefer shooting landscapes in manual. It makes sense as you usually have enough time to adjust shutterspeed and aperture and manual will give you a little bit more control. Otherwise shoot in Aperture priority. As for ISO if your shooting in Aperture priority you will have to set it yourself. If you use a tripod then simply choose the cameras lowest native ISO. This is usually 100 or 200.
     
  8. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    a ND density graduated filter is a must IMO.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    Can be very helpful, but I'd suggest a circular polarizer before a grad.
    I guess it's not strictly a necessity, but it's a really good idea to have a tripod for landscape photography.
    Firstly, yes...the shutter speed is a factor. If you are holding the camera, the camera will be moving and that can cause motion blur. You get more with slower shutter speed and less with faster shutter speeds. So obviously you would want/need to use faster shutter speeds. But to maximize your shutter speed, you need to use a wider aperture, which gives you a shallower DOF. Or you could use a higher ISO, which gives you more digital noise.
    I certainly don't want digital noise in my photos and I usually like a deeper DOF for my landscape photos. Also, most lenses are best at around F8, F11 etc. So if I'm using my lowest ISO and and aperture of F11 or F16, my shutter speed would likely have to be a bit slower, unless I'm shooting it fairly bright light.
    And since I want to maximize the sharpness of my images, I use a tripod.
    Also, I use a remote shutter release and activate the 'mirror lock up' mode.

    Besides the technical reasons, using a tripod can slow you down a little, but in a good way. It can cause you to think more about your composition. Typical tourists tend to just stand there, raise the camera to their eye (or hold the camera out in front of them) then just snap at whatever is around them. Not much though going into it. But when I set up my camera on a tripod, I look through the viewfinder and make adjustments to the tripod controls, trying to get the best composition before triggering the shutter.
     
  10. Tbini87

    Tbini87 TPF Noob!

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    thanks Mike. I recently bought a tripod and CPL so should be good to go there. Is a remote shutter release a necessity? Was thinking about getting one but they seemed a little pricey when I feel like i could just use the self timer on the camera to get pretty much the same result.

    So i will probably try to keep my ISO as low as possible, and shoot in A priority on a tripod! I should have plenty of opportunities to get great shots and i feel like i am learning a lot to help prepare me to!
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, you can use the self timer for the same results...I do it all the time when I don't want to dig out my cable release. Although did just buy a cheap radio remote trigger ($20 from China).
     
  12. Tbini87

    Tbini87 TPF Noob!

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    so i googled wide angle lenses that would work with nikons, and got to kenrockwell's site. it says that only the Sigma and Nikkor lens will auto focus on the D40. So that pretty much leaves me with only the Sigma as a real option since it is half the price of the Nikkor lens. Rockwell didn't think too highly of the build quality or image quality of the lens though which makes me hesitant. maybe i will skip the wide angle lens for now even though they seem like a lot of fun.
     

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