Landscape lens for Sony?

Started Mar 16, 2012 | Discussions
Tommy tek
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Landscape lens for Sony?
Mar 16, 2012

What is your favorite landscape lens for a crop sensor Sony Camera and why?
Thanks
Tom

WhiteCranePhoto
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to Tommy tek, Mar 16, 2012

Tommy tek wrote:

What is your favorite landscape lens for a crop sensor Sony Camera and why?
Thanks
Tom

So far, it's been the 16-80mm Zeiss lens for the Alpha mount, and the 18-200mm e-mount lens for the Nex.

As for why:
They're relatively compact
They're relatively lightweight
They are sharp (the Zeiss is the sharper of the two)
For landscapes I don't often need shallow depth of field, so the speed is fine
For landscapes autofocus speed isn't usually important, so the 18-200 is fine

The CZ lens is nicer though; it has less reach, so it's not as versatile as the 18-200, but the manual focus is MUCH nicer. I find the 18-200 manual focus doesn't feel very precise, and in low light it struggles to find focus.

However, for climbing mountains, the 18-200 worked great; it was the only lens I used when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

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Tommy tek
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Thanks for the reply
In reply to WhiteCranePhoto, Mar 16, 2012

So far, it's been the 16-80mm Zeiss lens for the Alpha mount, and the 18-200mm e-mount lens for the Nex.

As for why:
They're relatively compact
They're relatively lightweight
They are sharp (the Zeiss is the sharper of the two)
For landscapes I don't often need shallow depth of field, so the speed is fine
For landscapes autofocus speed isn't usually important, so the 18-200 is fine

The CZ lens is nicer though; it has less reach, so it's not as versatile as the 18-200, but the manual focus is MUCH nicer. I find the 18-200 manual focus doesn't feel very precise, and in low light it struggles to find focus.

However, for climbing mountains, the 18-200 worked great; it was the only lens I used when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Thanks for the reply. I looked at the CZ 16-80 and ended up getting the Tamron 28-75 F2.8 instead. I was comparing the two lenses for indoor shots at the time. I'm not sure if the 28mm end is wide enough for landscapes. I do have the 18-55 mm kit lens which isn't that bad at all, but I am wondering about other options. My overweight 61 year old butt can make it up mountains with hiking trails, but real mountain climbing I will leave to those who are more fit. I do envy you!

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Landscapephoto99
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Re: 16-50mm f2.8
In reply to Tommy tek, Mar 16, 2012

It's a sharp lens and weatherproof.

Tommy tek wrote:

So far, it's been the 16-80mm Zeiss lens for the Alpha mount, and the 18-200mm e-mount lens for the Nex.

As for why:
They're relatively compact
They're relatively lightweight
They are sharp (the Zeiss is the sharper of the two)
For landscapes I don't often need shallow depth of field, so the speed is fine
For landscapes autofocus speed isn't usually important, so the 18-200 is fine

The CZ lens is nicer though; it has less reach, so it's not as versatile as the 18-200, but the manual focus is MUCH nicer. I find the 18-200 manual focus doesn't feel very precise, and in low light it struggles to find focus.

However, for climbing mountains, the 18-200 worked great; it was the only lens I used when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Thanks for the reply. I looked at the CZ 16-80 and ended up getting the Tamron 28-75 F2.8 instead. I was comparing the two lenses for indoor shots at the time. I'm not sure if the 28mm end is wide enough for landscapes. I do have the 18-55 mm kit lens which isn't that bad at all, but I am wondering about other options. My overweight 61 year old butt can make it up mountains with hiking trails, but real mountain climbing I will leave to those who are more fit. I do envy you!

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TheVoid
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to Tommy tek, Mar 16, 2012

I'm glad you posted this but wish more would chime in. I'm curious as well.

I first used the 18-55 kit lens because that's all I had, but honestly it gave pretty decent results. I also have the Tamron 18-200 which I believe is very similar to the Sony 18-200, but I found the corners to be quite soft even stopped down a lot (maybe I stopped down too much?). It also introduced a lot of purple fringing. I rented a Tokina 11-16 and really enjoyed seeing the world through that ultra-wide perspective, but I haven't bought one yet because it is very specialized and I can't justify the price yet.

I recently sold the 18-55 Sony and purchased a used Sigma 30mm F1.4 prime. I think I will like it for landscapes because of the sharpness and the focal length, but it doubles as a pretty decent group portrait lens and a low-light powehouse for street photography, indoor candids, etc. I've had it less than a week though so time will tell.
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WhiteCranePhoto
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Re: Thanks for the reply
In reply to Tommy tek, Mar 16, 2012

Tommy tek wrote:

Thanks for the reply. I looked at the CZ 16-80 and ended up getting the Tamron 28-75 F2.8 instead. I was comparing the two lenses for indoor shots at the time. I'm not sure if the 28mm end is wide enough for landscapes. I do have the 18-55 mm kit lens which isn't that bad at all, but I am wondering about other options. My overweight 61 year old butt can make it up mountains with hiking trails, but real mountain climbing I will leave to those who are more fit. I do envy you!

No problem!

For near-far shots, you'll find the 28mm wide end to feel cramped on a crop factor camera. For a full 35mm frame, I find 28mm works quite well, based on my experiences using a 28mm lens on a 35mm film camera.

If you add extension tubes or diopters, you could even use either the f/2.8 lens that you already have or the 16-80 for closeups. I can't speak for your f/2.8 wide zoom, but the Zeiss 16-80 is very sharp.

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HobbiesAreFun
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to Tommy tek, Mar 17, 2012

My favorite (by far) if I could afford it would be the CZ 24mm f/2 on APS-C (Specifically an A77 or A65 for the focus peaking).
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MCromer
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to Tommy tek, Mar 17, 2012

Tommy tek wrote:

What is your favorite landscape lens for a crop sensor Sony Camera and why?
Thanks
Tom

I (now) have two favorites, which I use for at least 90% of my landscape images.

Minolta 28-135/4-4.5 and Sigma 8-16/4-5.6

The Minolta is sharp, sharp, sharp, and so is the Sigma. With these two lenses (and you can own them both for under $1000) you will have just about all the important landscape focal lengths covered on an APS-C camera with really good glass.

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MCromer
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In reply to MCromer, Mar 17, 2012
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clarkt
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to MCromer, Mar 17, 2012

MCromer wrote:

Tommy tek wrote:

What is your favorite landscape lens for a crop sensor Sony Camera and why?
Thanks
Tom

I (now) have two favorites, which I use for at least 90% of my landscape images.

Minolta 28-135/4-4.5 and Sigma 8-16/4-5.6

The Minolta is sharp, sharp, sharp, and so is the Sigma. With these two lenses (and you can own them both for under $1000) you will have just about all the important landscape focal lengths covered on an APS-C camera with really good glass.

I'm doing pretty good with landscapes with the Min 28-135/4-4.5 on my a700. I'm quite amazed by it.

I'd like to get a hold of the original Min 20mm prime someday and try it on the a700. Dyxum has some inspiring sample photos with this combination. I'm not sure if that would be good for landscapes in the strictest sense, but at least it would be better for achitecture then anything else I have. Does anyone use this lens on an a700? Talk to me. KEH is coming to town this Sunday for a trade show. I could probably pick one up.

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Tommy tek
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Thank you for the replies.
In reply to Tommy tek, Mar 21, 2012

You all gave me some options to look into!

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nsng
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to Tommy tek, Mar 21, 2012

The CZ 16-35 is my favourite lens for landscape. Here is an example, http://www.worldphoto.org/images/image/335007/?FromImageGalleryID=10861

Photo will be printed and displayed at the Sony World Photography Awards 2012 in London.

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to Tommy tek, Mar 21, 2012

In my opinion, CZ16-80 remain the best lens for landscape on crop sensor. Yes the corner is soft and there is some minor distortion but you can stop down aperture and doing some PP for distortion correction. Beyond 16mm you have to look at ultra wide angle lenses. I used to have Sigma 8-16 HSM, it had very good sharpness and flare control, but can not take filter due to its fisheye-like design.

If you are moving to full frame in near future you can always get CZ16-35 now and enjoy FF lens "sweet spot" on crop sensor (edge sharpness, less distortion, etc.) before its price goes further higher. The other full frame "budget" landscape lens is Sony or Minolta 20/2.8 prime. Very sharp, less distortion than CZ16-35. I don't have it but I would buy it if I found a good deal.

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tesch
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Mar 22, 2012

I was just looking at the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 and saw this thread, good timing!

I really like the idea of the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 but how does it compare to the Tokina 11-16mm 2.5?

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TristanW
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to tesch, Mar 22, 2012

you can't attach CPL/Filter in front of sigma 8-16.
would like to suggest trying sigma 10-20/3.5.

Tokina 11-16/2.8 has very good IQ & F2.8.

tesch wrote:

I was just looking at the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 and saw this thread, good timing!

I really like the idea of the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 but how does it compare to the Tokina 11-16mm 2.5?

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to tesch, Mar 22, 2012

tesch wrote:

I was just looking at the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 and saw this thread, good timing!

I really like the idea of the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 but how does it compare to the Tokina 11-16mm 2.5?

I heard good things about Tokina 11-16 (good IQ, fast f2.8, etc.) but 11mm in APSC is not wide enough (for me). Also when I use wide angle for landscape I usually use tripod anyway thus f2.8 has no value for me. The only major advantage in Tokina is the ability to attach filter, but I can do the same with Sigma 10-20 for a lot less money. Couple samples from Sigma 8-16:

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TheVoid
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Mar 22, 2012

In my opinion The Tokina is a great option because it is built like a tank. I rented it for a week and would love to own one if I could find one foru under $500 in great shape. It has better build quality than any of the sub-$600 Tamron or Sigma lenses I've sampled. It is also known for uniform distortion, meaning it's pretty easy to correct in PP. I've posted some samples in other threads but there are many great reviews of this lens -- check BH Photo comments and Amazon for examples.
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Jim Funston
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to TheVoid, Mar 22, 2012

I own the Tokina and bought it due to all the reviews . I am not that impressed with that lense and it sits in my bag mostly. For me it's flare and infinity focus sharpness make it a very poor landscape lens. As odd as this may sound the cheap lil Samyang 8mm IMO for sharpness and flare control beat my Tokina hands down.

The Tokina required a + 20 setting in micro adjust and still is questionable with open apertures. Not an issue for my landscapes because I usually stop way down but I have to be very aware of light sources like the sun or street lamps because of flare. Right now I use the 16-50 and the 8mm far more than the Tokina.

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The_Fat_Zebra
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to Jim Funston, Mar 22, 2012

Jim Funston wrote:

I own the Tokina and bought it due to all the reviews . I am not that impressed with that lense and it sits in my bag mostly. For me it's flare and infinity focus sharpness make it a very poor landscape lens. As odd as this may sound the cheap lil Samyang 8mm IMO for sharpness and flare control beat my Tokina hands down.

The Tokina required a + 20 setting in micro adjust and still is questionable with open apertures. Not an issue for my landscapes because I usually stop way down but I have to be very aware of light sources like the sun or street lamps because of flare. Right now I use the 16-50 and the 8mm far more than the Tokina.

I also own the Tokina, and my experience is rather the opposite. I bought it based on excellent reviews, but already noticed that some people have problems with it as regards accurate focus and sharpness. I for one have landed a top-notch copy. It is truly - i kid not - my sharpest non-prime lens. compared to the tamron 17-50 and 28-75 which I also own. the 2.8 has opened a world of indoor architecture photography which I like a lot, and does really well there too. As regards filters, I think that matters little. Yes I have a UV filter on it, but a polarizer you can't use anyway. At some point I may go for ND filters, and then it may come in handy.

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Jim Funston
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Re: Landscape lens for Sony?
In reply to The_Fat_Zebra, Mar 23, 2012

Indoors the Tokina performs ok for me as well. Just outside at apertures wider than 5.6 is at infinity focus is where my copy falls on its face.

I really should send it to the repair facility in NY to get it checked an adjusted. Sad when a $300 Samyang has better IQ and flare control when subjects are further than 40'. Think I just talked myself into getting it fixed.

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