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Thread: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

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    Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    I shoot primarily landscapes and architecture and am torn between the the Panny 7-14 and the Oly 75mm 1.8.

    I don't believe in the conventional wisdom that landscapers use WA lenses, 'portrait' lenses can't be used for landscape, or all the other chestnuts that people spout from time to time in that regard. I love quality glass and will make whatever I choose work reasonably well for whatever I'm shooting.

    I'm quite often in the Eastern Sierra, the those huge, sweeping vistas of the Owens Vally speak well for the 7-14, but I'm often shooting late at night Los Angeles/Hollywood (where I live) so that 1.8 is equally as tempting.

    What say you, folks who've tried both?
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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Which camera do you plan on using?
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Which camera do you plan on using?
    Oh, sorry, left somethings out:

    A. GH3
    B. Also at Death Valley and Pt. Lobos/Big Sur a lot.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Thanks. I would go with a native lens of my camera if possible.
    Depending on the landscape a tele lens can be very fitting.
    My favorite on FF is a 135 mm lens, not that far off from the 75/1.8 you are considering for MFT.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Thanks. I would go with a native lens of my camera if possible.
    Depending on the landscape a tele lens can be very fitting.
    My favorite on FF is a 135 mm lens, not that far off from the 75/1.8 you are considering for MFT.
    Thanks; they're both native m4/3.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Yes, but isn't one Panny, the other Oly?
    I shoot an E-M1 with Olympus lenses.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    I shoot western sierra, point lobos, pinnacles, various coastal between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay fairly often.

    Currently, I use an EM-5, but I have also shot with a Panny G1, G2, and GH2.

    I shoot with a mix of lenses. My default kit is oly 12mm, Panny 20mm, Oly 45mm. If I want a zoom at the longer end, I have a 45-200 Panny which is okay. Usually, however, I go with my SpeedBooster for Nikon F lenses and shoot with something out of:

    Tamron 90, nikon 75-150 series E, Nikkor 200mm f4, Tamron 300mm f5.6.

    I have the Panny 7-14, and it was my go to lens for wide until I got the Oly 12. Now it is more of a special purpose lens for me.

    I have all of my lenses with step up rings/lens hoods to get me to a 52mm filter size which matches all but one of my many manual nikkors.

    the 12-20-45 combo has really served me well, but I would recommend one other lens for reach. At Point Lobos, I usually find my 75-150 series E does really nicely for instance. One the speed booster, it acts as a 105-210 equivalent. If you want to get the wildlife there, you would obviously want something longer than that. The nice thing is I can mix and match with or without speed booster and get out to 600mm equivalent.

    If you are looking for zoom advice, other than the Panny 7-14 which is a sweet lens, my experience is limited as I shoot mostly primes. I rented the Panny 100-300, but did not feel the love .

    Be glad to add more if you have more questions.

    Doug

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanngrisnir View Post
    I shoot primarily landscapes and architecture and am torn between the the Panny 7-14 and the Oly 75mm 1.8.

    I don't believe in the conventional wisdom that landscapers use WA lenses, 'portrait' lenses can't be used for landscape, or all the other chestnuts that people spout from time to time in that regard. I love quality glass and will make whatever I choose work reasonably well for whatever I'm shooting.

    I'm quite often in the Eastern Sierra, the those huge, sweeping vistas of the Owens Vally speak well for the 7-14, but I'm often shooting late at night Los Angeles/Hollywood (where I live) so that 1.8 is equally as tempting.

    What say you, folks who've tried both?
    I have had both Panasonic and Olympus bodies and have mixed Olympus and Panasonic lenses withou any problems. When using Panasonic bodies, you are loosing stabilization if you mount Olympus lenses. This may not be a problem for wides, but the 75mm is quite long and will need a faster speed on a Pansonic body.

    The two lenses you are considering are radically different, but both are highly reguarded and good lenses, so it is difficult to give an advice.

    I own both and nowadays use them mostly with an E-M5. The 7-14mm is really wide and the MFT 4/3 format makes the foreground even more problematic and difficult for composition. However it is nice when used in portrait orientation. In landscape orientation, i prefer the 16:9 format. Beware that the 7-14mm has some problems with the new Olympus sensors and perhaps also with the similar GH3 sensor : it can produce purplish blobs when there is a bright light in the frame or near the edge of the frame.

    The 75mm is a beautiful and very sharp lens, but the focal is a little long for my taste : I was rather accustomed to 90mm equivalent and felt limited at the beginning.

    Here is a picture taken with the 75mm :




    Here is one taken with the 7-14mm where you can see the blue/purplish blobs : (no, it isn't the blue planet that you see near the bottom of the milkyway). And the lights were much lower than the bottom edge, so the blobs remained small.


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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanngrisnir View Post
    I don't believe in the conventional wisdom that landscapers use WA lenses, 'portrait' lenses can't be used for landscape, or all the other chestnuts that people spout from time to time in that regard. I love quality glass and will make whatever I choose work reasonably well for whatever I'm shooting.
    Part of the skill of the photographer is to edit what is in front of you and decide what is important. And what makes photographs made with ultra wide angle lenses fail so often is that too much is included in the frame, it is a scattergun approach that devalues all the elements in the landscape, it makes one mountain look like another, it avoids making an effort to find the interest. And if/when a very wide view is needed there are very sophisticated stitching programmes around to make perfect panorama's that can exceed even the breadth of a 7mm lens (in m43).

    So, assuming you already have a lens or lenses that fit in the conventional space of 12-60mm the 75mm Olympus lens would be my choice as a perfect landscape lens. But the scale of the landscape changes in different parts of the world, and different focal lengths may be needed to represent different ideas about it. I prefer the human scale view, conventionally like Adams, which places the viewpoint as if it is something you would see stood in the same spot as the photographer with no weird perspectives. On full frame I limit myself to primes from 21mm through to 90mm and rarely use either of those two extremes, mostly something in the middle like a 50mm. But I could well imagine this would change to something longer reaching for vast landscapes. So if money isn't a problem what about the 35-100mm f/2.8 Panasonic m43 lens? It seems to me a perfect lens that is neither too long, wide open it can be used to isolate features with shallow DOF, and the wide 35mm end is still enough for many big skied landscapes. Ideally you could combine it with the Olympus 12-40mm, or Panasonic 12-35mm. And of course Olympus's own version of a mid-tele pro lens will be out soon.

    Steve
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_barnett/
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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    I'm very happy with the 7-14, but it isn't ideal for landscapes. Corners aren't always 100%, particularly in 16:9 (GH2, maybe less problematic with GH3). If you can afford it, I would go for a set of primes, like 12/2.0 - 25/1.4 - 45/1.8 - 75/1.8.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I'm very happy with the 7-14, but it isn't ideal for landscapes. Corners aren't always 100%, particularly in 16:9 (GH2, maybe less problematic with GH3). If you can afford it, I would go for a set of primes, like 12/2.0 - 25/1.4 - 45/1.8 - 75/1.8.
    Thanks Jorgen and to everyone else who replied.

    The only thing I'm worried about on the 7-14 is the flare. I know the GH2/3 will remove the purple blotching, but I still have concerns about how it might effect high contrast shots.

    I have the 25mm 1.4 and 45mm 1.8, and have learned to shoot prime most of the time on the camera, so perhaps the 75mm is the best fit.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Shall I be contraversial and say I never use telephoto for landscapes?

    I have the 75mm but would not consider taking it on a landscape shoot.

    Tony

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    I dont hold with a need for UWA for landscapes, I use a 25mm for landscapes very often.
    That works out for me and gets a lot more use than the 45/1.8.
    If I wanted an optimised prime I think something very fast around 17mm more ideal, 75mm? a bit long

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    Part of the skill of the photographer is to edit what is in front of you and decide what is important. And what makes photographs made with ultra wide angle lenses fail so often is that too much is included in the frame, it is a scattergun approach that devalues all the elements in the landscape, it makes one mountain look like another, it avoids making an effort to find the interest.

    Steve
    /\ This.

    Most people with no interest in photography see a big landscape in front of them, go "Wow!" and feel they must capture it, just by getting it all in.

    In my experience, most people who are interested in camera gear, see a big landscape in front of them, attach a wide lens, find a rock to overstate centrally in the foreground of the frame, usually with a large expanse of water behind it, in which are the reflections of two symmetrically placed mountain peaks, all below a beautifully rendered sky :yawn:

    But photographers when confronted with a big landscape ........

    Seriously, we all have our own styles; and sticking to the focal length question only, I prefer to see landscapes that are more two dimensionally stacked i.e. taken with longer lenses - I am so very bored with the kind of horizontally layered UWA shots such as I've described above.
    Ian.
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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    I too find UWA lenses simply wrong for landscapes. What they are useful for is interiors, when you simply can't step back because you have a wall behind you.

    For landscapes everything from a wide angle to moderate telephoto might be useful, depending on your style. Personally, I find the 14mm to be an excellent cheap and tiny prime that fits the bill. Pair that with the 45mm and you might never need another lens. You'd be saving money too.

    The 75mm seems an odd choice for landscapes. Though I would like one eventually for portraits.
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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by rparmar View Post
    I too find UWA lenses simply wrong for landscapes.
    I agree. For western landscapes, normal to short telephoto will be your best friends.

    If you are going to use an ultra-wide the old formulaic technique of composing with the camera pointed slightly down using an interesting object in the near foreground, followed by an eye leading element in center frame with a strip of horizon or other element in the far background - all ajudicated with interesting light.

    Think David Muench.

    As an example: SM-4731.tif | Muench Photography, Inc. Specializing in Outdoor

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    My most used landscape FoV is 14mm on m43 (28 on FF, 35 on MF). Right now, I use the Pana 12-35, but it isn't good in the corners at any aperture. Is there anything native for m43 that is sharp in this FoV? Is the 12-40 any better?

    Best,

    Matt
    Last edited by MGrayson; 16th February 2014 at 11:45.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    My most used landscape FoV is 14mm on m43 (28 on FF, 35 on MF). Right now, I use the Pana 12-35, but it isn't good in the corners at any aperture. Is there anything native for m43 that is sharp in this FoV?
    This may seem obvious but... Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH.

    Sharp enough in the corners I believe.
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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Thanks, I'll give the Pana 14 another look. I'm looking for something excellent. The Oly 12 and Pana 14 generally get "pretty good" ratings, but nothing like the Pana 25, Oly 45, or Oly 75 (I have the latter two, and they are stellar). I'm spoiled by the Leica 28/2, and while I don't expect to match that lens, I'd like to come as close as possible.

    --Matt
    Last edited by MGrayson; 16th February 2014 at 15:17.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Thanks, I'll give the Pana 14 another look. I'm looking for something excellent. The Oly 12 and Pana 14 generally get "pretty good" ratings, but nothing like the Pana 25, Oly 45, or Oly 75 (I have the latter two, and they are stellar). I'm spoiled by the Leica 28/2, and while I don't expect to match that lens, I'd like to come as close as possible.

    --Matt
    I have just got the 12-40mm F2.8 and made some quick comparisons with my other lenses : it is slightly sharper than the 12mm F2 in the corners at 12mm when you compare them both at F2.8. I really love it. The 14mm was a good surprise, but it isn't as sharp as the 12mm in the corners. I find the 12-40mm surprisingly good for a zoom. It has a lot of micro contrast.

    I have never had the 12-35mm in hands. From what I have read the 12-40mm is better at the wide end and in the corners. The 12-35mm is sometime sharper in the center.

    For more scientific tests I appreciate the Polnish website : Lenstip.com

    14mm F2.5 Panasonic (rather weak in the corners, but quite sharp in the center),
    12mm F2 Olympus (not too sharp in the corners either),
    12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic,
    12-40mm F2.8 Olympus ( incredibly sharp in the corners, already best at F2.8, but the performance at 40mm is a little weaker than that of the Panasonic 12-35mm at 35mm),
    7-14mm F4 Panasonic (not tested),
    9-18mm F4-5.6 Olympus

    Olympus has announced a 7-14mm F2.8 "Pro" zoom for 2015 (aka, not coming this year).
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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    I got the 75mm 1.8

    Thus far, I really, really like it.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanngrisnir View Post
    I got the 75mm 1.8

    Thus far, I really, really like it.
    Congratulation : this is an extraordinary lens ! The best in MFT range until now.

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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    For more scientific tests I appreciate the Polnish website : Lenstip.com
    I appreciate that site too, but am quite critical of many of their protocols, observations, and conclusions.

    Just to take a single page in their review of the Panasonic 14mm.

    First, they are testing using the Olympus E-PL1, which is fine for 2010, but may not be relevant for using the lens on today's sensors.

    Second, they refer to the difference between 75 lpmm and 70 lpmm as though it is significant. It is hard to think of a situation where that would be true for a wide angle lens. Maybe for a macro lens, sure.

    In other cases, the Lenstip results have directly contradicted those of other sites. Be wary.
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    Re: Help requested with an impossible landscape conundrum

    In other news, Kowa is set to release three new wide lenses that will only add to the conundrum!
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