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Thread: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Hi all. I will likely be looking for a new 28mm lens which will be used primarily for landscape work - typically stopped down a fair bit. A secondary consideration is fairly decent performance when used wide open. Having said that, landscape is my primary use. I am not looking to blow the bank on this one so would likely end up with a non-Leica brand lens. What are some of the proven performers in this focal length? Zeiss? Konica?

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    i'd get a 24/25 for landscape...28 seems too lukewarm for great landscape images.
    on the cheap but still good quality, i'd go for a cv 25/4 lens...easily handheld but sharp enough to warrant putting on a tripod as well.

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Yeah - I thought about the 25mm FL but am unsure. I have a 21mm and 35mm so thought I would split the difference. I heard the ZM25 is a real good lens.
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    Senior Member back alley's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    the zm 25 is a fantastic lens but more $$ than the cv...

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Why are you looking for a 28mm? What are your other two lenses not capable of? Do you do stitched panos? Stitching frames can be better than wider lenses.

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Thanks Shashin. I am looking for a 28 (or 25) to fill the gap between 21 and 35. I do a lot of landscape shooting and semi-precise framing is often required for the type of work I do. I have done a lot of stitched pano's but I would rather take a single shot and save me the extra processing time and effort.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Hi Gary,
    What body are you shooting with? I'm very happy with the ZM25 on my M9 and quite liked it when I owned an M8, but the M8 took a 21mm before it seemed particularly wide.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    The 28 Elmarit is a great landscape lens IMO.
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Clennan View Post
    Thanks Shashin. I am looking for a 28 (or 25) to fill the gap between 21 and 35. I do a lot of landscape shooting and semi-precise framing is often required for the type of work I do. I have done a lot of stitched pano's but I would rather take a single shot and save me the extra processing time and effort.
    Gary, Gary, Gary-This sounds like the atypical symptom of GAS.

    I can understand your wanting a lens to "do it right", but in the end what do people look at-the entire image/scene and most do not care if it had been stitched or a single shot.

    Believe me most of us could save TONS of money if we just stitched images more often than carrying around $5-10k or more in WA lenses for that "get it in one frame" shot. In the long run PS is cheaper even though we allude ourselves into thinking that Leica glass might cost us nearly nothing by the time we are ready to sell it. Time for stitching is 5 minutes and it saves you $3k or more by using it and if you PP your shots you know what's another 5 minutes to get it really right. Anyway many landscape pros stitch with vertical WA shots which gives both foreground and background in each image so with that approach no WA lens will cover the entire scene anyway.

    Look at all the money tied up in glass-it's GAS!

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Quote Originally Posted by CVickery View Post
    Hi Gary,
    What body are you shooting with? I'm very happy with the ZM25 on my M9 and quite liked it when I owned an M8, but the M8 took a 21mm before it seemed particularly wide.
    Thanks Cal. I am currently with the M8 but will have an M9 shortly....

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Yes, could very well be GAS but that's really not a concern to me. Stitching can be a problem for non landscape shots. I could do stitching for landscapes but I honestly probably would not bother. Not even to save $1000 or so... Why would most people consider a 35mm when they could simply stitch a few 50mm frames? Stitching will also change the perspective of the shot as it is with a different FL. It will be close but not the same.... To each their own I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Gary, Gary, Gary-This sounds like the atypical symptom of GAS.

    I can understand your wanting a lens to "do it right", but in the end what do people look at-the entire image/scene and most do not care if it had been stitched or a single shot.

    Believe me most of us could save TONS of money if we just stitched images more often than carrying around $5-10k or more in WA lenses for that "get it in one frame" shot. In the long run PS is cheaper even though we allude ourselves into thinking that Leica glass might cost us nearly nothing by the time we are ready to sell it. Time for stitching is 5 minutes and it saves you $3k or more by using it and if you PP your shots you know what's another 5 minutes to get it really right. Anyway many landscape pros stitch with vertical WA shots which gives both foreground and background in each image so with that approach no WA lens will cover the entire scene anyway.

    Look at all the money tied up in glass-it's GAS!

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedigitalbean View Post
    The 28 Elmarit is a great landscape lens IMO.
    +1 The lens might even be a touch too wide for landscape and the pre Asph can be had at a decent price these days.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Clennan View Post
    Thanks Cal. I am currently with the M8 but will have an M9 shortly....
    I thought you had had the M8, congrats on the M9. I'm glad I made the move.

    The M8 works nicely with the ZM25 since it includes the 24mm framelines. The widest framlines on the M9 are the 28mm but it doesn't take too much practice use the slightly wider ZM25. That being said, there is a degree of inaccurate framing that will happen and may be a concern for you. You can move to an external viewfinder but personally I didn't care for them.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Clennan View Post
    Yes, could very well be GAS but that's really not a concern to me. Stitching can be a problem for non landscape shots. I could do stitching for landscapes but I honestly probably would not bother. Not even to save $1000 or so... Why would most people consider a 35mm when they could simply stitch a few 50mm frames? Stitching will also change the perspective of the shot as it is with a different FL. It will be close but not the same.... To each their own I suppose.
    Now you confuse me as your opening post mentioned the lens would be "primarily for landscape" work". Then you say above that stitching can be a problem for non landscape shots. And now you bring in 50's and 35's for your argument for getting a 28 when you already own a 21. Any negatives you throw it this subject, such as perspective control can be corrected in PS or LR for WA lenses. I can try and help when the target is clear, but once it becomes a moving target I give up.

    I guess you already made your mind up before asking for advice.

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Settle down agrove - try not to lose sleep over this. I was clear on what I needed. WRT to stitching, I was talking about perspective and not distortion. I hope I don't have to explain this concept to you.... I am buying a 25 or 28 - just looking for advice on good performing lenses.

    Thanks ced and Cal for your advice - much appreciated.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    If you've got a M9 on the way, I'd sit tight until having used the 21mm and 35mm on the M9 for awhile to see how those lenses work out first.
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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Thanks John - I think I will do that...

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    The ZM 25 is just a touch wider than the 28. You can use the 28 frame lines and mentally add a bit more, though I personally use the Zeiss finder which is absolutely stunning. The ZM is the most perfect Zeiss wide angle. A quick look at the MTF tells you the whole story. Add to that very nice 3D rendering at close range and almost no distortion and CA.

    The ZM 28 is less perfect for landscapes and has field curvature that can affect the corners but the field curvature produces spectacular results at close range.

    I would choose the 25 for landscapes and reportage, while the 28 is more suitable for reportage only.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Thanks Edward! I almost bought the ZM25 a year ago and in hindsight, I probably should have. It seems to be a stellar performer and may be a good option for me.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    If you do look at the 28mm, I would recommend that you take a look at the Voigtlander 28/1.9 LTM. I fantastic lens for capturing detail and with the LTM to M adaptor works wonderfully on my M9 and M film cameras. You can only find them used but they usually are affordable when compared to the Leica and Zeiss options.

    Good luck with your decision.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Clennan View Post
    Settle down agrove - try not to lose sleep over this. I was clear on what I needed. WRT to stitching, I was talking about perspective and not distortion. I hope I don't have to explain this concept to you.... I am buying a 25 or 28 - just looking for advice on good performing lenses.

    Thanks ced and Cal for your advice - much appreciated.
    OK, is all I was pointing out that in the PhotoMerge Dialog box in CS6 the Second choice under Layout is Perspective. But I guess you knew this.

    Did not realize you do not yet have a FF M9. Then the comment to wait until you have experience with that camera is perhaps best served.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    I personally prefer the 24mm Elmar f3.8 for landscapes as that strikes me as the widest you can go for most big scenics w/o noticeable distortion (but that's just my sense of it, of course). The Elmar's resolution is great all the way to the corners. 24mm Framing on the M9 is admittedly a chore but you can always use 'deadview' to recompose after viewing the previous shot on the LCD. While I don't use it nearly as much, the 28mm Elmarit is also excellent in its focal range and a bit more contrasty. Both block about the same small portion of the viewfinder with or without lens hoods, but the 28's hood is easily unsnapped for a virtually unobstructed view whereas the 24's hood is screw-on and so less convenient. Both are light weight, which may be an important consideration for you if you need to hike to landscapes, and neither are expensive (at least by Leica standards). Chris

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Some wide angles and I am surprised some recommend even wider than 28 is that mostly you will have tons of foreground and sky not always interesting to the composition and other times for big vistas as already posted here there is not enough coverage.
    So best advice is to try before you decide for your kind of interest. Good Luck!

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Hi There
    Well - I have the 28 summicron, and it's certainly lovely, but the 28 elmarit Asph is also lovely - very sharp for landscapes, and nice and small into the bargain. That would be my choice.

    The cv 28 f2 ultron is cheap and supposed to be good (I wasn't fond of the previous f1.9 version, which was rather big). The Zeiss 28 is also lovely - but getting on for the price of the Leica elmarit. . . .

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Thanks again - much appreciated.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    I'm not sure I'd agree that 28 is lukewarm for landscape photography. It is astonishingly popular with other formats (equivalents in 6x7, 5x4 etc) and associated with countless memorable images.

    The 28 biogon is not the best for landscapes due to field curvature, as already mentioned, so the ZM 25 would be better.

    The 24 3.8 Elmar is a stunner, but quite a lot more expensive even used, compared to Zeiss.

    On digital bodies, few samples of the CV 25P compare well to Zeiss/Leica in the corners. Some decentering is par for the course.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    I'd get the Zeiss Biogon T* 2,8/25 ZM lens, without doubt. Best bang for the buck. You can use the entire view in the finder (outside of framelines) or get an accessory finder (I prefer the former). Seriously, it's a great lens.

    You don't need a fast lens for "landscape" so either of Leica's offerings (2.8 or 2.0) are great lenses. Personally though, I'm a *huge* fan of the Summicron (2.0). Bonus is the framelines being in-camera. The Zeiss Biogon T* 2,8/28 ZM is also very nice.
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    I will be trying the Leica 28mm Elmarit v4 I recently picked up. Its now part of my 3 lens travel kit.
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Gary - Let me know if you'd like to borrow the ZM 25mm to give it a try.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Wow - thanks segedi! PM incoming....

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    If speed and money aren't a huge concern or you don't want to deal with manual coding I'd go 24 Elmar. If you want the best bang for the buck and a great all around lens I'd go 25 Biogon.
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    I'm with several other posters, the 28 Summicron is as good as it gets. It just has a look and color that is unique. It is one of those lenses that just makes great images. It works well on all three digital M cameras.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Another idea: 28 Elmarit pre-Asph. Just bought one on the famous auction site, for Eur 900. Still evaluating but initial impressions very good - sharp with lovely color.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    I have the Tri-Elmar (MATE), which is excellent and one of the most versatile lenses for M. Aperture of 4.0 doesn't matter for landscape in my opinion. I also have the Voigtländer Ultron 1.9 28mm, which is very good (if you get a good copy), a bit soft wide open and not as sharp in the edges as the Tri-Elmar.

    Maybe my Collection of Links to lens reviews contains some hints for your decision making.

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    I have both the Leica 2.8/28 ASPH, and the previous version 4. Both perform beautifully on my M9, but the ASPH has the size advantage. One of these days, I'll sell my V4.

    -robert

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Anything wrong with 28 cron for landscape photography? I don't see it mentioned much here...

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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Quote Originally Posted by photobugjourney View Post
    Anything wrong with 28 cron for landscape photography? I don't see it mentioned much here...
    Budget concerns... $4300 isn't a small expense but of all the 28's I've seen I like it's rendering best. I just don't get along well with 28's personally.
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    Re: Recommended 28mm Lens for Landscape?

    Thanks again. I am going to try to live without a 28mm for a while and see how it works out. Appreciate the feedback.

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