Decent manual focus landscape lens?

Started Mar 28, 2013 | Questions
JAGmtb
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Decent manual focus landscape lens?
Mar 28, 2013

New to the game here and looking for a cheaper lens that might give me better landscape shots over the Sony 16mm. The reason I ask for suggestions for manual focus lenses is because I have found them to be generally cheaper for my first lens, and I'm hoping to finally get some great shots of my backpacking trips and mountain biking rides. I don't mind having to take a little time to setup each shot with the lens and I can always use the 16mm when I need some auto/fast shots.

I've been looking at the  zeiss pancolar 50mm 1.8 and tessar 50mm2.8, but they seem to be geared more for portrait shots. Any suggestions?

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daddyman
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013

I use the Canon FD24/2.8 and Sigma 30 for landscapes.

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JAGmtb
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to daddyman, Mar 28, 2013

I've read a few other posts about the Canon FD24/2.8 here. Seems to be pretty popular. Thanks!

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EinsteinsGhost
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n/t (duplicate)
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013
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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013

50mm will be too narrow for most landscape applications. In fact, 35mm would be limiting usually. And there are plenty of very good 24mm options. How much is your budget?

I had a Soligor 24mm f/2.8 (made by Tokina) on Minolta MD mount that was excellent but heavy (full metal and a huge front element) and had it delivered for $40.

Also, why not consider Sigma 19mm? And what is it that you don't like about the 16mm? Its 24mm equivalent FoV is rare for a prime lens.

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JAGmtb
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Mar 28, 2013

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

How much is your budget?

I'm hoping to keep it under $200, but I would love to spend under $100. I'm not sure if this is practical, or wishful thinking.

Also, why not consider Sigma 19mm? And what is it that you don't like about the 16mm? Its 24mm equivalent FoV is rare for a prime lens.

I'll take a look at the Sigma, thanks! It's not that I don't like the 16mm. I guess I'm just hoping/wondering if there is something better than the 16mm that I should be considering. Something within my price rage. If I had a complaint about the 16mm, it would be the distortion - being a wide angle lens and all - it tends to push out the center. But I appreciate the low 2.8 on the 16mm vs the kit 3.5/18-55.

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flint-hill
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Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN or EX DN
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013

EXDN is the recently discontinued model with the plastic body.  Sigma says the new DN model (with metal body) has identical optics.  I have the EX DN.  Shot at f/5.6 or f/8 it's a very sharp contrasty landscape lens with wonderful color rendition.  The plastic-bodied version is available very inexpensively right now.

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JPG
JPG
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013

Seriously, I think if you ride a bike and want to take landscape shots, the 16-50mm. kit lens would be the best as they are so compact.  However, my favorite manual lens is the f/2.8, Distagon 28mm Carl Zeiss Contax/Yashica of my old SLR days.  It's just as big as the 18-55mm Sony kit lens and it wll cost just as much, but it is a great lens, but, for a biker's practical use, Sony's 16-50mm kit is probably the better choice.

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Mel Snyder
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to JPG, Mar 28, 2013

JPG wrote:

Seriously, I think if you ride a bike and want to take landscape shots, the 16-50mm. kit lens would be the best as they are so compact.  However, my favorite manual lens is the f/2.8, Distagon 28mm Carl Zeiss Contax/Yashica of my old SLR days.  It's just as big as the 18-55mm Sony kit lens and it wll cost just as much, but it is a great lens, but, for a biker's practical use, Sony's 16-50mm kit is probably the better choice.

I agree - complaints about the 16-50mm are WAY overblown by people who shoot test charts. Stopped down one or 2 stops, at 16mm, it's enough to make me question the weight of carrying my 11-16mm Tokina, except for cathedral/mosque interiors.

The trick with the 16-50 is to NOT pick the first focus point after turning it on and pointing it at the subject - do a couple of half-depressed shutter button pushes.

One thought - when you shoot "landscapes" what precisely do you expect, and where will you be shooting? If desert and basically nothing for miles but flatness, a wide angle isn't very useful - to get the bang out of it,  I think you need a distinct near, middle and distant object to get the depth that makes "WOW!"

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John Knuhtsen
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013

JAGmtb wrote:

I've been looking at the  zeiss pancolar 50mm 1.8 and tessar 50mm2.8, but they seem to be geared more for portrait shots. Any suggestions?

Zeiss Pancolar is a very nice lens, but it has some glass inside contaning radioactive thorium, which means that pictures might have a yellow tint. The tint can be removed now and then by UV exposure in the sun.

http://www.owens-photography.com/carl-zeiss-jena-pancolar-50mm-1-8/

I agree that a landscape lens might be much shorter, per example maximum 36 mm equivalent. This means a 24 mm legacy lens. I can recommend konica hexanon 24 F/2.8 and olympus same data (canon s.s.c. as well).

There is also a sony 35 mm now with autofocus and OIS. A zeiss is 32 mm on the way also.

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/sony-e-35mm-f-1-8-oss-lens-review-20665

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr4-zeiss-lenses-for-nex-to-be-released-in-april/

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jandu
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You can do Pano too
In reply to JPG, Mar 28, 2013

You may be able to use a portrait lens to do the landscape pics as well. You just either have to use the pano mode or stitch it together afterwards.

Check this out

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3237033

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Tom2572
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013

JAGmtb wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

How much is your budget?

I'm hoping to keep it under $200, but I would love to spend under $100. I'm not sure if this is practical, or wishful thinking.

Also, why not consider Sigma 19mm? And what is it that you don't like about the 16mm? Its 24mm equivalent FoV is rare for a prime lens.

I'll take a look at the Sigma, thanks! It's not that I don't like the 16mm. I guess I'm just hoping/wondering if there is something better than the 16mm that I should be considering. Something within my price rage. If I had a complaint about the 16mm, it would be the distortion - being a wide angle lens and all - it tends to push out the center. But I appreciate the low 2.8 on the 16mm vs the kit 3.5/18-55.

+1 on the Sigma 19. If distortion is a hot button issue for you and you happen to use LightRoom, besides being great a great landscape lens, one thing that the Sigma 19 has going for it (that most manual/legacy lenses do not) is a built-in lens profile in LR that corrects the small amount of distortion it does display.

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Tom2572
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to Mel Snyder, Mar 28, 2013

Mel Snyder wrote:

JPG wrote:

Seriously, I think if you ride a bike and want to take landscape shots, the 16-50mm. kit lens would be the best as they are so compact.  However, my favorite manual lens is the f/2.8, Distagon 28mm Carl Zeiss Contax/Yashica of my old SLR days.  It's just as big as the 18-55mm Sony kit lens and it wll cost just as much, but it is a great lens, but, for a biker's practical use, Sony's 16-50mm kit is probably the better choice.

I agree - complaints about the 16-50mm are WAY overblown by people who shoot test charts. Stopped down one or 2 stops, at 16mm, it's enough to make me question the weight of carrying my 11-16mm Tokina, except for cathedral/mosque interiors.

The trick with the 16-50 is to NOT pick the first focus point after turning it on and pointing it at the subject - do a couple of half-depressed shutter button pushes.

One thought - when you shoot "landscapes" what precisely do you expect, and where will you be shooting? If desert and basically nothing for miles but flatness, a wide angle isn't very useful - to get the bang out of it,  I think you need a distinct near, middle and distant object to get the depth that makes "WOW!"

He did say under $200 guys. How much is the C/Y 28mm going for these days?

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zink
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013

The Olympus OM 24/2.8 is one of the best in its class, sharp from corner to corner and very compact for a SLR lens. Prices are still going up, because this lens is also very popular among EOS users.

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JAGmtb
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to Tom2572, Mar 28, 2013

Tom2572 wrote:

Mel Snyder wrote:

I agree - complaints about the 16-50mm are WAY overblown by people who shoot test charts. Stopped down one or 2 stops, at 16mm, it's enough to make me question the weight of carrying my 11-16mm Tokina, except for cathedral/mosque interiors

One thought - when you shoot "landscapes" what precisely do you expect, and where will you be shooting? If desert and basically nothing for miles but flatness, a wide angle isn't very useful - to get the bang out of it,  I think you need a distinct near, middle and distant object to get the depth that makes "WOW!"

Most of my landscape shots would be at the top of a ride. When I lay my head down at night and dream of my ideal shot, it's riding 10,000 feet on a crest and the picture takes in enough scenery for the viewer to understand and appreciate the scope of the ride. Something like this  or this

He did say under $200 guys. How much is the C/Y 28mm going for these days?

I looked up the 16-50mm, and if I'm looking at the right one , it's a little pricey.

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JAGmtb
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Re: You can do Pano too
In reply to jandu, Mar 28, 2013

Pano is awesome, I thoroughly enjoy it. But they generally don't work with moving subjects, IE mountain bikers ripping down a trail. Also, you're subject to jpeg if you do the pano mode.

I don't have any experience with manually stitching pictures together, although I have the full adobe suite (including Lightroom 4.3). Are there any guides you would suggest for manually creating your own pano?

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013

JAGmtb wrote:

Tom2572 wrote:

Mel Snyder wrote:

I agree - complaints about the 16-50mm are WAY overblown by people who shoot test charts. Stopped down one or 2 stops, at 16mm, it's enough to make me question the weight of carrying my 11-16mm Tokina, except for cathedral/mosque interiors

One thought - when you shoot "landscapes" what precisely do you expect, and where will you be shooting? If desert and basically nothing for miles but flatness, a wide angle isn't very useful - to get the bang out of it,  I think you need a distinct near, middle and distant object to get the depth that makes "WOW!"

Most of my landscape shots would be at the top of a ride. When I lay my head down at night and dream of my ideal shot, it's riding 10,000 feet on a crest and the picture takes in enough scenery for the viewer to understand and appreciate the scope of the ride. Something like this  or this

He did say under $200 guys. How much is the C/Y 28mm going for these days?

I looked up the 16-50mm, and if I'm looking at the right one , it's a little pricey.

That is the A-mount lens, pricey also because it is an f/2.8 (constant aperture) lens. I think Mel was alluding to 16-50 OSS (kit zoom on new NEX cameras).

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fquails
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Re: You can do Pano too
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 28, 2013

Pano is awesome, I thoroughly enjoy it. But they generally don't work with moving subjects, IE mountain bikers ripping down a trail. Also, you're subject to jpeg if you do the pano mode.

I don't have any experience with manually stitching pictures together, although I have the full adobe suite (including Lightroom 4.3). Are there any guides you would suggest for manually creating your own pano?

Microsoft ICE is free software that does the stitching automatically---vertically, horizontally, or vertically and horizontally at the same time. Just overlap your shots 25-50%. Handheld is possible, but tripod with pano head is better. Use manual exposure and focus so your exposure and focus does not change each shot.

That's it. Really easy.

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Mel Snyder
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Re: Decent manual focus landscape lens?
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Mar 29, 2013

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

JAGmtb wrote:

Tom2572 wrote:

Mel Snyder wrote:

I agree - complaints about the 16-50mm are WAY overblown by people who shoot test charts. Stopped down one or 2 stops, at 16mm, it's enough to make me question the weight of carrying my 11-16mm Tokina, except for cathedral/mosque interiors

One thought - when you shoot "landscapes" what precisely do you expect, and where will you be shooting? If desert and basically nothing for miles but flatness, a wide angle isn't very useful - to get the bang out of it,  I think you need a distinct near, middle and distant object to get the depth that makes "WOW!"

Most of my landscape shots would be at the top of a ride. When I lay my head down at night and dream of my ideal shot, it's riding 10,000 feet on a crest and the picture takes in enough scenery for the viewer to understand and appreciate the scope of the ride. Something like this  or this

He did say under $200 guys. How much is the C/Y 28mm going for these days?

I looked up the 16-50mm, and if I'm looking at the right one , it's a little pricey.

That is the A-mount lens, pricey also because it is an f/2.8 (constant aperture) lens. I think Mel was alluding to 16-50 OSS (kit zoom on new NEX cameras).

Yes I was alluding to that kit lens - but damn, buying that without a camera is OUTRAGEOUS. I bought mine with my NEX-6 solely to have an affordable wide angle lens with a reasonable aperture (I'm pretty steady hand-holding even old MF glass).  I paid $898 for the camera and lens.

However, I am rapidly becoming totally sold on my Leica 35mm f1.4 as a walk-around lens, even though it's less than spectacular at f1.4 - but turns gorgeous at f2-2.8.  I paid about $350 for it, used, in 1984, on an evening stroll from the Intercontinental Hotel in Frankfurt.

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Mojn
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These two are not just decent
In reply to JAGmtb, Mar 29, 2013

I'd also recommend the Zuiko 24 f2.8. It's one of the best 24 you can get. Manual focus is very easy with this lens, as it "travels" only about 1/4 - 1/3 of a full turn. My NEX 5N focus peak is acceptable with this lens (which means I can actually use focus peaking...). Focal length on NEX  is not that exciting though.

I'd also recommend Tokina 17 f3.5. Not fast, but for landscape it'll be used a lot at f8 anyway. Very good build, great manual focus and about 24mm on NEX - great for landscape. I just compared this with the mighty Nikkor 14-24 on a FF. Let me just say I was surprised... And I got it for €120 mint. Focus peak is useless with this lens, so you'll have to know your hyper-focal table.

Can't show any images that will do these two lenses justice at the time, sorry. But check this:

http://forum.mflenses.com/rmc-tokina-17mm-f3-5-t35689,start,30.html

Tokina 17 f3.5

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