New Lens For Landscapes

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Vel, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Vel macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2008
    Hi All,

    I purchased a Nikon D90 about 12 months ago and have been shooting with the 18-105mm Kit Lens, I also picked up a 50mm (the F/1.8 version).

    These have being doing me fine for the last 12 months however I'm going to be travelling round Italy in July and I'm interested in taking a lot Evening (Landscape) shots.

    I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions of a lens to use which will fit the use mentioned above. I don't really have a budget as such, but I'd like to realistically spend no more than £250, I don't mind buying used if anyone is aware of any reputable used lens sites in the UK (except for eBay),


  2. rufhausen macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    Littleton, CO
    I don't have one (yet), but I would think the Tokina 11-16 2.8 would be a perfect choice:
    - DX format
    - 2.8 aperture for low light
    - super wide angle.

    However, if I did my conversion right, it's beyond your budget. They're just as expensive used as new.
  3. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    for that amount (about 300 euros) you might get an old one used. Tamron makes a mean 12-24 lens as well which is a bit cheaper even new. But all Ultra Wide angles are out of that price range I would guess.

    One thing ou might consider is buying an old rime lens. I had for my Canon a Tokina 17mm f3.5 which was old and the motor sounded like a toy car but man was it good.

    how about a 14mm prime lens if you can find one? Check ebay or something?
    New, I dont think you will get anything for 250 quid.

  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    You don't necessarily need an Ultra-wide angle for landscapes... what's wrong with the kit lens for landscape photography?
  5. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    If you don't already have a tripod, it will do a lot more for night landscapes than a new lens will.

    Plus, it'll let you stop down and make the most of your lens - your 18-105mm is convenient for taking on your trip and at 18mm at it's widest, it's quite well suited to landscapes.
  6. Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    It's an internet hype thing, most of the best landscapes I have seen were using moderate focal lengths paired with maximum talent.
  7. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    This is true. However, I'll say that wide-angle lenses are nice to have when traveling and photographing sightseeing spots where there are a lot of tourists. Why? Because you can get closer (in fact, you sometimes have to get closer) and therefore can cut a lot of strangers and passers-by out of your shot.

    I just got back from Japan where I visited a lot of temples and shrines. With my 10-20mm Sigma I just walked right up to large structures and took my photos and was able to compose most of them without too many if any strangers in them, even though they were all pretty crowded. Other people taking photos all had to stand further back, thereby catching a lot of people in the foreground. I'm sure I was in a lot of their shots!

    This changes the angle of your composition, of course. But, perhaps because I'm a bit misanthropic by nature, I like my non-people shots to be free of people, and it was a fair trade-off.

    That said, in my opinion ultra-wide landscape shots really only look if you have something interesting in the immediate foreground. Otherwise all you get is a lot of small features way in the background and nothing to draw the eye there.
  8. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2010
    Denver, CO
    I've used both the Nikon 14-24 FX and the 12-24 DX (both waaay out of your budget - and mine for that matter, unfortunately) and while they take great pics, you don't *need* either one for good landscape shots. One thing is if you haven't used an UW much, I would be careful to rely on it on a trip without a good bit of practice using it. IMHO, composing pics is a different skill with UW lenses. Plus, lens flare becomes a real issue even with hoods.

    I would first get a tripod (evening shots) and then practice some landscapes shots where you live now and see what you can come up with. Your kit lens and 50mm with a tripod can definitely get some good shots.

    BTW, good glass used is usually not that much cheaper than new. A friend of mine actually has some lenses that sell for more now than when he bought them new lol...
  9. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    You might also look to see what's available rental-wise in the UK.

  10. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    +1 on the tripod. It will do more for landscape photography than any lens you can buy.

    For situations like these, the median method might work. Take multiple shots of the same scene, letting the people in the picture move about. If you collect a lot of shots, you can blend them together such that you can assemble all the "empty" areas in the photos and hopefully you can assemble an entire foreground that is devoid of people. Obviously this will work better or worse depending on how crowded said scene is... but it's worth a shot.

    Secondly, you can put a ND filter on the lens and lengthen the exposure. If there are a lot of moving people, they will be blurred out of the picture, or at least blurred such that they do not distract from the image as much. Again, particulars of the crowd present will dictate the success of this endeavor.


    There were only I think about 5 people in this shot, but assembling 3 or so shots of the scene as they moved around let me blend them all away. Too bad I could not median away the camera gear sitting on the floor on the right :)

    Note that both methods above require the use of a tripod... which goes back to my first comment- a tripod will do more for landscape photography than any lens.

  11. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    Great advice. To the OP, don't forget a remote shutter release to fit your particular camera.
  12. Vel thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thanks for the replies, I already own a couple of tripods, a monopod and a shutter release, which is one of the reasons why I was hoping for a new lens. As I agree the tripod helped a lot especially for the new year celebrations :)

    I'll take a look around at some of the suggestions on here and see what I can find,


  13. zildjansg macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2010
    +1 on this..for a crop body (D90),IMO,your 18-105 will be just fine specially
    paired with your tripod.@18mm its wide enough.Its a good walk around lens too during your travels since you still have a 105mm focal in your reach. Im not an expert in landscape photography nor in travel, but if you have to maximize and know more on your lens,end of the day you can still produce decent shots.Been a kit lens user(18-55) for sometime now,and it did not fail me to give impressive(as for my liking,hehehe)shots.

    My 2 cents worth.
  14. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Good tips, ones I hadn't thought of. In the case of my Japan trip, neither would have worked because tripods were expressly prohibited in every temple I visited. Not to mention that the crowds were enormous and MUCH larger than I anticipated. But for future trips, I'll keep these ideas in mind. Thanks.
  15. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Surprised at the lack of "you need wide angles for landscapes" replies. I questioned that awhile back and got some angry responses!

    I agree with what is said here: wide angles are more useful for architecture than for landscapes. I have found that zooms work best in urban areas where you can't move up or back, and the wider the better.

    Also, if you plan on straightening out the leaning building effect, give yourself lots and lots of room. The process eats up all of your margins.
  16. macrumormonger macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've always been advised that when travelling, trying to look inconspicuous. Whipping out the tripod in the middle of a tourist area is gonna make you stick out to say the least. Tripods take time to setup, and take up more space in typically crowded places. BUT, the OP did say he/she's taking night shots, and this about the only time on vacation when a tripod may be appropriate. I've been looking for a tripod that takes 5 seconds to unfold and mount.
  17. Vel thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2008
    Agreed, I think I'm going to use the kit I've already got, the issue with the tripod will be minimal, as I have a Crumpler backpack which easily holds my camera kit. I have a few tripods, one of them when folded is significantly smaller than the one I use mainly, so I can keep the bigger one in the car so I can go back and get it for evening shots, and then just carry the smaller one around with me for any shots I think it would benefit (mainly panoramic shots) but I'm not really a huge fan of daytime landscape shots (but I do make exceptions if I see something I feel is impressive), also I appreciate there are some things that can only be captured with natural light at a high,

    Thanks for the responses guys, and thanks for saving me a couple of hundred pounds,

  18. schataut macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2010
    Exactly! Even for shots with your family/friend in foreground you don't need to step too bar behind to get it all in, thus avoiding people walking in front. Another benefit - if you have to use flash for the family/friend. And you can get some artistic shots with a wide angle lens. I got the Tokina 12-24 and absolutely love it .. very sharp. I was debating between the Tokina 11-16/2.8 and Tokina 12-24 ... went with the latter for the 24mm reach.
  19. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    Photoshop is your friend when medianing fails.. Well, I assume you used photoshop to do your 5 shot assembling anyway...

    *for demonstration purposes only, as this is obviously copyrighted material hence the watermark in the lower right hand corner.

    Attached Files:

  20. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    For what it's worth, in the United States, a photograph is copyrighted the instant the shutter button is pushed, watermark or not.


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