Best Lens for taking Photos of Scenery and Buildings

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by I AM THE MAN, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. I AM THE MAN macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Hey everyone! I am going to be on my trip to New York (the Statue of Liberty, South SeaPort, etc) and I want to take some good photos. I use a Canon T3 and I have two lens kits (the 18-55mm and 50mm EF 1.8/f). Which one should I use to take pictures of buildings, the statue of liberty, bridges etc? I will most likely be bringing both but which lens should I keep on my Camera so I won't have to constantly change the lens. Thank you for your answers in advance!
  2. imahawki macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    Well, 50mm is within the range of the 18-55 so anything you can shoot with the 50 you can shoot with the zoom, plus a whole lot more. The only caveat is the 50 will work better in low light due to the large aperture. So for most of your shots I would envision you being at the wide end of the 18-55.
  3. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    I love the 50mm. It is my favourite lens. EVER! However, you won't need a shallow depth of field for architecture and scenery, and the 18-55mm covers the 50mm. You should use the zoom. It will mean you have to move around a lot less, and honestly, I would have recommended a wide angle if you had one in the first place.
  4. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Alright thanks. I was thinking somewhat the same thing. I really appreciate the help!

    I really like it too for the small time I've been using it. I am still trying to take better photos with it. Thank you for your comment. I am most likely going to carry the Prime lens just in case but I'll have the 18-55mm on my camera.
  5. tinman0 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2008
    Erm? 50mm on a crop for buildings? Stick the kit lens on and be done with it!

    Buildings are big - 50mm is narrow. That's the problem.

    I suppose you could take nice pictures of windows with the 50mm.
  6. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    Agree. 18-55 would be best for almost anything in a big city except if you need to reach at something in distance for detail, then you'd need a telefoto. The 50 will serve you well for close ups of just about anything with bokeh effect and probably street scene with graffiti walls or macro-like pictures. Have fun and share photos.
  7. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    What exactly are you looking for? Do you like wide views covering many buildings shot from the tops of buildings or other vantage points? Do you want individual buildings?

    Myself I like architecture but I tend to focus on doorways, windows, cornices and ornaments of all sorts. For that a longer lens is sometimes useful.

    Another thing to try is a panorama. Practice this at home before leaving to get the hang of it. Shoot a number of pictures with lots of overlap, one third or more is good. Then use Photoshop or some other program to assemble them into one shot. This is really quite easy and the results can be very impressive.

    You don't have to stand in one spot and do this. Try walking down the street past a building taking pictures. You do want to keep the focus and exposure constant while you do this. If you have access to something like a parking garage you could take pictures from multiple positions on every floor thereby covering a building in a mosaic of pictures all shot from straight on with no perspective distortion. Done right that would be a unique image.
  8. someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2009
    Use the zoom for your general walking around , it'll make your composition a lot easier , probably you'll end up at the wider end most of the time, play with the 50 at night .
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    If architecture is your main interest look in to renting a tilt shift lens.

    And yes, 50mm may be great for walkaround but not for building shots.
  10. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    Agreed... on my Canon 50D, I'd leave my Canon 17-55 for such shots [maybe even putting on the Tokina 11-16 or Canon 70-200 for other photos, depending on desires]. Good luck, safe travels! When you return, be :cool: to hear and see what you did, what you liked... ;)
  11. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    I ended up using my 18-55mm Lens kit.

    I honestly just try to experiment with what looks good to me. Therefore I try to vary from taking pictures of Doors to buildings, to the sky, to boats, etc.

    Thank you very much. I did take the advice and went along using my 18-55mm lens kit. The photos came out great! Thank you very much for your comment.

    Haha speaking of night, I've been using my 50mm EF Prime lens for shots of the moon etc. Works fantastic. As far as my trip, I did use the 18-55mm Lens kit. Got some great photos.

    Thank you. I visited the Empire State Building, South Seaport, The Statue of Liberty and a few museums! Thank you for your comment and concerns.
  12. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    Sounds great... did you see much effects from the recent floods / rains? Overall, what did you like best, least? Where you happy with the shots you took?
  13. Xeperu macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2010
    For architectural shots I got the TS-E 17 F/4L tilt shift lens. It works really well in keeping buildings looking straight. Also enables some wicked wide angle nature photography.

    More to your choice. I'd go for the 18-55 any time. The 50 on your body is pretty much an 80 which is waaaay to zoomed for buildings.

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