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Tom Charles
30-12-05, 21:24
Hi everyone,

Having spent about 99% of my photographic experience in wildlife photography, I now have the urge to try more landscapes.

What kind of lenses and filters would you recommend for this venture and why?

If you can make any other suggestions as to the sort of kit a landscape photographer shouldnt be without, I'd love to hear :)

Current kit:

Canon EOS 20D DSLR
Canon 400mm f5.6 lens
Canon 28-90mm USM lens
Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro lens
Tripod

Thanks in advance

Don Hoey
30-12-05, 21:38
I know money, money, money, but I would add a wider lens at least 18mm in 35 mm film terms. That would give you the 35mm equivalent of a 28mm lens.

You can get pretty impressive images ( as you have done ) with what you have, but a wide angle will give you a whole new perspective.

On the filter front I would only consider neutral density and polarizing.

It really is down to budget.

Don

yelvertoft
30-12-05, 21:40
Landscapes are a broad subject (pun intended), generally suited to wider angle lenses, though it all depends what effect you are after. I've taken shots with an 18mm lens and wished I had wider, I've taken landscapes with 200mm lenses and been pleased with the results.

I'd say the secret of good landscapes is more to do with the elements of composition rather than the equipment. Take a look at this thread for example:
http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/showthread.php?t=288
I found the discussion on what makes the shot work very useful. I knew I liked crop 2 better, but it took Stephen's comments to make me understand why.

Take a look around the landscapes gallery, there's plenty to chose from, it's one of our most popular categories. Look at a selection of pictures that you like and try and understand why you like them. The difficulty in landscapes is trying to capture a sense of scale. One of the best pictures I've seen that achieves this is:
http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=722&cat=2

It all really boils down to personal taste, but IMHO, landscapes are more to do with composition than equipment. Having said that, a tripod is essential, but you've got one of those I see, you may also want a wider lens than 28mm depending on the style of landscape you are aiming for.

Regards,

Duncan.

Tom Charles
30-12-05, 21:52
Thanks for the replies :)

Yes, wide angle maybe something to consider. I reckon I can 'see' a potential shot, so maybe its more about finishing the image. Ive seen on another forum, guys producing images that really have a magic feel to them. Powerful skies, and even colours that are extremely rich. So maybe in conjunction with looking at equipment for the job, I need to also think about editing skills?

Thanks for the links, Duncan.

Christine
30-12-05, 23:14
Tom,I am rarely happy with my landscape shots,I can never fit into the image all that I can see visually.I was about to trade in my 24-105 lens,until I took a sunset shot,the colours were so rich that I decided to keep it.I had already traded in my 17-40 lens which is supposed to be a good lens for landscapes.I have also taken shots using the 100-400 zoom.Not wide,but they do bring up the clarity in the distance.

Don Hoey
31-12-05, 00:07
Tom,I am rarely happy with my landscape shots,I can never fit into the image all that I can see visually.I was about to trade in my 24-105 lens,until I took a sunset shot,the colours were so rich that I decided to keep it.I had already traded in my 17-40 lens which is supposed to be a good lens for landscapes.I have also taken shots using the 100-400 zoom.Not wide,but they do bring up the clarity in the distance.

Christine,

Sometimes you just have to recognise the limitations / advantages of whatever lens you have. If you set out with tons of kit invariably you will not take many pictures.

What lenses do you have?

The perspective is greatly affected by focal length.

At one end of the scale wide angles that give huge depth of field tend to make the horizon very distant.
Telephoto lenses draw distant objects up into the image.

I started a thread here http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=1619

Go to post #6 , read it and work back to the link mentioned in post #2.
Look at the effect on the background tower as it moves from wide through to telephoto.

Check some of the images linked for the effect that a lens had. Spend time in the gallery LANDSCAPES and look for images where the focal length is mentioned eg nirofo's gallery

Hope we are helping.

Don

jseaman
31-12-05, 06:18
With most landscape shots, wide is good!

I have the 20D and use the Tokina 12-24mm lens with it. The 20D's reduced sensor size gives a 1.6 multiplier so the Tokina lens actually delivers (in 35mm terms) 19-38mm!

If you really want wide you have to move up to the "1" series Canon cameras or the new 5D. These are the only ones that have full size sensors and therefore no multiplier.

Another way of getting wide - really wide - is by stitching photos together (panoramas). It is really interesting when you find an appropriate subject. Current programs make it easy to do. Using a simple 50mm (or longer) lens along with a tripod with a good head you can get some great photos!

robski
31-12-05, 11:25
Apart from the choice of lens lighting is the other biggest factor. I recall reading in Outdoor Photography magazine an article on landscape work. A strong point it made and I fully agree with is don't waste your time taking shots on dull sunless days. The scene needs good lighting. The golden hours in early morning and late afternoon can be very good times of day when the sun is about 20 - 30 degree to the horizon. This provide a nice side lighting to buildings and trees in the scene.

Rob

Steve Randles
31-12-05, 16:13
Just to illustrate the lighting point further, these two shots where taken just as the sun rose from behind the fell it had been hiding behind for the first few hours of the day, angle would have been approx 30 degrees at this point.

http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/gallery/data/2/But5.jpg

http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/gallery/data/2/ButtermerePanorama.jpg

I've just put a link to the second as its a wee bit wide to go in the post.

dv2
31-12-05, 16:43
Take a look around the landscapes gallery, there's plenty to chose from, it's one of our most popular categories. Look at a selection of pictures that you like and try and understand why you like them. The difficulty in landscapes is trying to capture a sense of scale. One of the best pictures I've seen that achieves this is:
http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=722&cat=2

It all really boils down to personal taste, but IMHO, landscapes are more to do with composition than equipment. Having said that, a tripod is essential, but you've got one of those I see, you may also want a wider lens than 28mm depending on the style of landscape you are aiming for.

Regards,

Duncan.

Thank you Duncan for using one of my pictures as example. Some more information on the picture: this is somewhere in British Columbia, Canada. We stopped along the road, because people had spotted a moose. My camera at that time was a Canon Eos 300 (analogue that is). The lens used: Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 III to be exact. The pictures of the moose (hidden between the trees) won't make it to these galleries. Walking back to the car I saw this magnificent view of the glacier green-coloured water and massive mountains. At that time I wished I had brought my more wide-angle lens (28-90), but I didn't. So I just took the picture at 75mm... and I'm glad. My best landscape picture so far.

As previous posters have said, I agree it is more about composition than equipment. And perhaps try not to include everything in one picture. Leaving unnecessary things out is more difficult, but will benefit the picture in my opinion.

Danny

Don Hoey
31-12-05, 21:07
As previous posters have said, I agree it is more about composition than equipment. And perhaps try not to include everything in one picture. Leaving unnecessary things out is more difficult, but will benefit the picture in my opinion.

Danny

Totally agree.

Tom posted this superb picture which is a perfect example of the above comment. http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1032&cat=500&ppuser=49


Don

nirofo
08-01-06, 02:41
After reading the recent posts on this thread I thought I would have a look at my photographic notes to see what focal lengths I have used for my landscape pictures, I was quite surprised, the majority are taken between 35mm and 70mm! Very few were taken much wider than this although I have focal lenghths down to 20mm. I think the reason for this is the huge expanse of country the wider angles portray, for instance distant mountain ranges look like molehills on a 20mm, even 24mm is too much for large landscapes. At the other end of the scale I find I quite often use the 120mm end of my 24-120 zoom, I have on occasions used my 500mm lens to cram in the detail on a distant landscape, see The Old Bridge at Forss on web page: http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=444&cat=500&ppuser=135

nirofo.

RichardArran
25-11-10, 17:20
Essential things for landscapes.

1. Patience

2. Planning

3. Luck

4. A wide angle lens

5. Grads and a polariser

6. A good level of fitness

miketoll
25-11-10, 18:50
Composition and light are the key. Choose the lens to suit the picture. I read somewhere that the art of landscape is deciding what to leave out. Personally the way I see the world I use a telephoto 95% of the time and pick out a part of the landscape, others will be attracted to the wide angle view. As the OP has the telephoto lenses the thing to do is add a wide angle option.

petrochemist
26-11-10, 20:07
Essential things for landscapes.

1. Patience

2. Planning

3. Luck

4. A wide angle lens

5. Grads and a polariser

6. A good level of fitness


I guess my landscapes have generally missed out on the first two of these :(
Some of my favorites from film days involved pulling the car over to the side of the road, getting out, snap, and back in the car before my passenger/other road users complained.
More recently I've had some chances to take 5-10 minutes considering a shot - but only rarely.

I have to admit the one attempt I've had with Grads proved a complete disaster. Post processing using a shadows & highlights feature is so much better. (Grads don't come shaped to fit mountians).

The polariser is probably in my view the most useful of all filters - and definitely come's into its own for landscapes/water if your desperate polaroid sunglasses can work as least for compacts (They were used in my best two digital landscapes in around Milford sound in New Zealand - unfortunately I doubt I'll be going back)

miketoll
26-11-10, 20:45
More recently I've had some chances to take 5-10 minutes considering a shot - but only rarely.

Well, if you will have three children! (I, with a little help from my wife :D, had five)

petrochemist
26-11-10, 23:06
Well, if you will have three children! (I, with a little help from my wife :D, had five)

FIVE? Some people never learn! :D:D

Strangely enough, it's only since having the children that I've had the chance to take 5 minutes. My wife now has to stay behind with the kids when I'm working at a race-meeting over the weekend.

If I stagger my 'coffee breaks' on route to the scenic spots, I can just get to the circuit in time to set up. Occationally I'm lucky enough to be able to play with the camera before (and even during) the racing.

jzhao1688
04-12-10, 06:46
Get a Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens to take the full advantage of the cropped sensor. Wide angle lens is also good for landscape shots