Best two lens setup for landscapes

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
Verland Regular Member • Posts: 108
Best two lens setup for landscapes
1

Hello all, my first post here. I look for advise.

I want to carry not more than two lenses on my trips and I prefer lightweight. I already have the 16-35, which I love, and the kit lens, which usually leaves me wonder if something is wrong with that lens (almost never really sharp).

Edit: My cameras are the A7 and A5100.

Any advise will be appreciated.

 Verland's gear list:Verland's gear list
Sony a5100 Canon EOS M6 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
Sony a5100 Sony a7
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SeanHew Regular Member • Posts: 115
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

I currently use the 16-35 f/2.8 (as I use it for astrophotography/nightscapes as well) and the 70-200 f/4. I find this combination satisfies all my needs while taking landscapes during backpacking/camping trips. If I didn't need 2.8 for when the sun goes down, I would be using the f/4 version or the 12-24 f/4 to save on weight and size.

 SeanHew's gear list:SeanHew's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony 1.4x Teleconverter Sony FE 70-200 F4 Sony FE 50mm F1.4 ZA Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +2 more
Berkrathes Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

Verland wrote:

Hello all, my first post here. I look for advise.

I want to carry not more than two lenses on my trips and I prefer lightweight. I already have the 16-35, which I love, and the kit lens, which usually leaves me wonder if something is wrong with that lens (almost never really sharp).

Edit: My cameras are the A7 and A5100.

Any advise will be appreciated.

My version of the Kit lens is actually not that bad. Maybe something is wrong with yours. On my last Trip I actually packed only the Kit Lens and the 20mm Sigma art. Everthing fits nicely in the bag atached to the handlebar of my bicycle.

I put in some shots I made the first day I got my A7RII with the 28-70mm, so you can compare.

Hope that helps.

 Berkrathes's gear list:Berkrathes's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony a9 Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A +5 more
azhenley
azhenley Regular Member • Posts: 141
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

I carry the Sony 28mm f2 and Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 when I hike. I've really enjoyed how light and sharp these two are.

However, I have been considering picking up a 16-35 f4 or 24-105 f4, so I am happy to hear other opinions! I've always preferred primes but the versatility for landscapes might be nice.

 azhenley's gear list:azhenley's gear list
Sony a7R II Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 25mm F2 Rokinon AF 35mm F2.8 FE +9 more
SafariBob
SafariBob Contributing Member • Posts: 517
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

Verland wrote:

Hello all, my first post here. I look for advise.

I want to carry not more than two lenses on my trips and I prefer lightweight. I already have the 16-35, which I love, and the kit lens, which usually leaves me wonder if something is wrong with that lens (almost never really sharp).

Edit: My cameras are the A7 and A5100.

Any advise will be appreciated.

Is it purely for landscapes? Are you comfortable swapping lenses often, if yes, the answer is the 70-300 I think. if less swapping i would consider the 24-105. As a lighter or more versatile option you could use the 55 or 85 1.8.

Personally though, I am thinking of going for the 24-105 as a one lens landscape solution

 SafariBob's gear list:SafariBob's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM Sony FE 35mm F2.8 Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS
SilvanBromide Senior Member • Posts: 3,082
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes
2

Verland wrote:

Hello all, my first post here. I look for advise.

I want to carry not more than two lenses on my trips and I prefer lightweight. I already have the 16-35, which I love, and the kit lens, which usually leaves me wonder if something is wrong with that lens (almost never really sharp).

Edit: My cameras are the A7 and A5100.

Any advise will be appreciated.

You might like the FE 50mm Macro. It has more reach than your 16-35 and better IQ than the kit lens, plus it's very compact, light and affordable.

-- hide signature --

Former Canon, Nikon and Pentax user.
Online Gallery: https://500px.com/raycologon

 SilvanBromide's gear list:SilvanBromide's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 35mm F1.4 Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony a6500 Sony FE 35mm F2.8 +24 more
richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,485
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes
1

Verland wrote:

Hello all, my first post here. I look for advise.

I want to carry not more than two lenses on my trips and I prefer lightweight. I already have the 16-35, which I love, and the kit lens, which usually leaves me wonder if something is wrong with that lens (almost never really sharp).

I'll second the suggestion for the 50mm Macro lens. I pair it with my FE 4/12-24 G for landscapes.

It's a bit lighter than your kit lens. The lens is recessed, so no hood necessary.

From recent trips:

Same waterfall from a different vantage point down the road.

You might become interested in photographing tiny things closeup:

- Richard

-- hide signature --
 richj20's gear list:richj20's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Panasonic Leica 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH Panasonic FZ1000 Sony a7R II
MedicineMan999
MedicineMan999 Senior Member • Posts: 1,437
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

Rich, impressive landscape shots from you and the 50 macro. I'm glad to see because I just rolled the e-bay dice on a 'mint' copy. I'd honestly never considered it for landscape, my intent for bugs that don't skittle easily.

But to answer the OP's question my two lens answer these days for landscaping is the 12-24 and 24-105....obviously with those choices I'm not a die-hard landscaper. I have a Batis 18 but not for IQ above the two I listed but for weight-when the waterfall/view is a long walk.

 MedicineMan999's gear list:MedicineMan999's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Olympus Tough TG-3 Sony RX100 III Panasonic FZ1000 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 +64 more
BBQue Senior Member • Posts: 7,975
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

This is really an impossible question, cause all lenses are suitable for landscapes, really depends your style. I prefer primes over zooms, so a good 2 lens setup (for me) would be Loxia 21 plus FE55/1.8. For zooms, the 12-24 is very highly regarded.

Sabud Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

I have the A5100 ( as you)

due to the light weight and use mostly 35 and 50mm Leica Summicron lenses. Light weight and very good IQ. For landscape there are no need for AF-lenses.

OP Verland Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

Wow, didn't expect so much feedback. Thanks!

SeanHew wrote:

I currently use the 16-35 f/2.8 (as I use it for astrophotography/nightscapes as well) and the 70-200 f/4. I find this combination satisfies all my needs while taking landscapes during backpacking/camping trips. If I didn't need 2.8 for when the sun goes down, I would be using the f/4 version or the 12-24 f/4 to save on weight and size.

That's an interesting setup I didn't think about. Don't you miss the range between 35 and 70 sometimes?

Berkrathes wrote:

My version of the Kit lens is actually not that bad. Maybe something is wrong with yours. On my last Trip I actually packed only the Kit Lens and the 20mm Sigma art. Everthing fits nicely in the bag atached to the handlebar of my bicycle.

I put in some shots I made the first day I got my A7RII with the 28-70mm, so you can compare.

Thanks for sharing the photos! I checked the 100% view and to me it does look okay, but not very sharp. However, you have a much higher resolution sensor, so it's hard to compare with my images. Might be that my copy is worse.

azhenley wrote:

I carry the Sony 28mm f2 and Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 when I hike. I've really enjoyed how light and sharp these two are.

However, I have been considering picking up a 16-35 f4 or 24-105 f4, so I am happy to hear other opinions! I've always preferred primes but the versatility for landscapes might be nice.

I also had concerns about zooms. When I learned that some of my favorite landscape photographers prefer to use zooms, it changed my mind. I really like the 16-35, it's sharp, it's flexible, not too big or heavy. It's by far my favorite lens so far. Now I would only miss a wide angle prime for something like astro or northern lights (which I don't shoot often anyway).

 Verland's gear list:Verland's gear list
Sony a5100 Canon EOS M6 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
OP Verland Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

SafariBob wrote:

Verland wrote:

Hello all, my first post here. I look for advise.

I want to carry not more than two lenses on my trips and I prefer lightweight. I already have the 16-35, which I love, and the kit lens, which usually leaves me wonder if something is wrong with that lens (almost never really sharp).

Edit: My cameras are the A7 and A5100.

Any advise will be appreciated.

Is it purely for landscapes? Are you comfortable swapping lenses often, if yes, the answer is the 70-300 I think. if less swapping i would consider the 24-105. As a lighter or more versatile option you could use the 55 or 85 1.8.

Personally though, I am thinking of going for the 24-105 as a one lens landscape solution

Yes, usually I shoot landscapes. And to be honest, I am not comfortable to swap lenses often. I dislike it so much that I used to carry two cameras for my two lenses with me. So I had the A7 with 16-35 and the A5100 with 28-70, which translates to 42-105 ff. This setup in theory is almost perfect for me, since it covers everything from 16 to 105 mm. But sometimes I wanted more wide angle (like 12 mm) and the quality of the 5100 + 28-70 combi did not convince me.

The 24-105 is very interesting indeed, I am only concerned about the weight. Personally I would not use it as the only lens, because I love extreme wide angle.

The 55 1.8 would nicely complement my 16-35. I might miss the range between 70 and 100, however.

SilvanBromide wrote:

Verland wrote:

Hello all, my first post here. I look for advise.

I want to carry not more than two lenses on my trips and I prefer lightweight. I already have the 16-35, which I love, and the kit lens, which usually leaves me wonder if something is wrong with that lens (almost never really sharp).

Edit: My cameras are the A7 and A5100.

Any advise will be appreciated.

You might like the FE 50mm Macro. It has more reach than your 16-35 and better IQ than the kit lens, plus it's very compact, light and affordable.

-- hide signature --

Former Canon, Nikon and Pentax user.
Online Gallery: https://500px.com/raycologon

Didn't think about the macro. Interesting.

I wonder if cropping to something like 70 would still deliver acceptable quality. 28-70 vs 50, but cropped to 70, will the zoom win in this case?

richj20 wrote:

Verland wrote:

Hello all, my first post here. I look for advise.

I want to carry not more than two lenses on my trips and I prefer lightweight. I already have the 16-35, which I love, and the kit lens, which usually leaves me wonder if something is wrong with that lens (almost never really sharp).

I'll second the suggestion for the 50mm Macro lens. I pair it with my FE 4/12-24 G for landscapes.

From recent trips:

- Richard

Beautiful images, Richard! I also thought about the 12-24 and in fact bought it already. But I have to return it, because it's badly decentered. So time to reconsider my options.

Between 24 and 50 is a quite big gap, doesn't it bother you sometimes?

MedicineMan999 wrote:

But to answer the OP's question my two lens answer these days for landscaping is the 12-24 and 24-105....obviously with those choices I'm not a die-hard landscaper. I have a Batis 18 but not for IQ above the two I listed but for weight-when the waterfall/view is a long walk.

I already thought about this combo, it looks almost perfect (sometimes maybe a bit heavy). No overlap and both lenses seem to be very good. But my 12-24 wasn't good and it won't be easy to sell my 16-35.

Are you happy with that combo, do you use it often?

 Verland's gear list:Verland's gear list
Sony a5100 Canon EOS M6 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
kuchar1 New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes
1

I also have a real headache with this decision

24-105 + 15 Voigtlander or 16-35 + Z55 or maybe 16-35 + 70-300. I`m reading, watching a lot of pictures on Flickr and I still can`t decide...

OP Verland Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

BBQue wrote:

This is really an impossible question, cause all lenses are suitable for landscapes, really depends your style. I prefer primes over zooms, so a good 2 lens setup (for me) would be Loxia 21 plus FE55/1.8. For zooms, the 12-24 is very highly regarded.

My recent style is influenced by the fact that I almost only used the 16-35 (often the wide end).

I don't do this for a long time, I want to learn and improve, and try other focal lengths (like 40-100 mm).

I have some photos here, if anybody is interested:

https://500px.com/maltereinhardsson

 Verland's gear list:Verland's gear list
Sony a5100 Canon EOS M6 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,485
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

Verland wrote:

richj20 wrote:

I'll second the suggestion for the 50mm Macro lens. I pair it with my FE 4/12-24 G for landscapes.

From recent trips:

- Richard

Beautiful images, Richard! I also thought about the 12-24 and in fact bought it already. But I have to return it, because it's badly decentered. So time to reconsider my options.

Thanks for the compliment, and that's too bad about your experience with that lens.

Between 24 and 50 is a quite big gap, doesn't it bother you sometimes?

For landscapes -- curiously, no. I carry two cameras for those lenses, and also my small FE 2,8/35 ZA, in my vest pocket, but I've never used it to "fill in the gap."

I like this lens for indoors and other social situations, since it is so tiny (relatively speaking) and unobtrusive.

I also carry it on a second camera when I'm out for wildlife, to photograph in the area for context. Here are a couple of examples:

So, it would make a good landscape lens for me. I don't know about you... a good testing would be in order, I would think!

- Richard

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 richj20's gear list:richj20's gear list
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BBQue Senior Member • Posts: 7,975
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

Verland wrote:

BBQue wrote:

This is really an impossible question, cause all lenses are suitable for landscapes, really depends your style. I prefer primes over zooms, so a good 2 lens setup (for me) would be Loxia 21 plus FE55/1.8. For zooms, the 12-24 is very highly regarded.

My recent style is influenced by the fact that I almost only used the 16-35 (often the wide end).

I don't do this for a long time, I want to learn and improve, and try other focal lengths (like 40-100 mm).

I have some photos here, if anybody is interested:

https://500px.com/maltereinhardsson

Very nice and impressive photos you have there !!! Thanks for sharing these. If you don't mind manual focus, the new Voigtlander 65 macro might be worth a look. It is very highly corrected (apochromatic) plus it gives you macro possibility.

OP Verland Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

richj20 wrote:

Verland wrote:

richj20 wrote:

I'll second the suggestion for the 50mm Macro lens. I pair it with my FE 4/12-24 G for landscapes.

From recent trips:

- Richard

Beautiful images, Richard! I also thought about the 12-24 and in fact bought it already. But I have to return it, because it's badly decentered. So time to reconsider my options.

Thanks for the compliment, and that's too bad about your experience with that lens.

Between 24 and 50 is a quite big gap, doesn't it bother you sometimes?

For landscapes -- curiously, no. I carry two cameras for those lenses, and also my small FE 2,8/35 ZA, in my vest pocket, but I've never used it to "fill in the gap."

I also carry it on a second camera when I'm out for wildlife, to photograph in the area for context. Here are a couple of examples:

So, it would make a good landscape lens for me. I don't know about you... a good testing would be in order, I would think!

- Richard

Two Sony full frame cameras? Wow! That would be too much for me.

I will pick up a 50, but not the macro.

Verland wrote:

BBQue wrote:

This is really an impossible question, cause all lenses are suitable for landscapes, really depends your style. I prefer primes over zooms, so a good 2 lens setup (for me) would be Loxia 21 plus FE55/1.8. For zooms, the 12-24 is very highly regarded.

My recent style is influenced by the fact that I almost only used the 16-35 (often the wide end).

I don't do this for a long time, I want to learn and improve, and try other focal lengths (like 40-100 mm).

I have some photos here, if anybody is interested:

https://500px.com/maltereinhardsson

Very nice and impressive photos you have there !!! Thanks for sharing these. If you don't mind manual focus, the new Voigtlander 65 macro might be worth a look. It is very highly corrected (apochromatic) plus it gives you macro possibility.

Thank you!

I don't really mind manual focus on wide angle, but I like to have auto focus on other focal lengths.

 Verland's gear list:Verland's gear list
Sony a5100 Canon EOS M6 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
OP Verland Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes
1

Thanks again for all your feedback. Here is a list with the three setups that I personally like the most.

No overlaps in focal lengths, looking for the best balance between versatility, image quality and weight:

  1. FE 16-35 mm F4 + FE 55 mm F1,8 (or another 50 mm, like the macro)
    Pros:
    - Leightweight and compact
    - Image quality
    Cons:
    - No coverage of extreme wide angles (like 12 mm), but it's a small con to me, since 16 mm is pretty wide
    - No coverage of longer focal lengths
  2. FE 12-24 mm F4 + FE 24-70 mm F4 (or the kit)
    Pros:
    - Still relatively light weight and compact
    Cons:
    - Image quality of the standard zoom not the best (both standard zooms don't have the best reputation)
    - No coverage of longer focal lengths
  3. FE 12-24 mm F4 + FE 24-105 mm F4
    Pros:
    - Versatility, best coverage of focal lengths
    - Image quality
    Cons:
    - Weight and size

Looks like I will go with setup 1, because it has great image quality and is also light weight.

 Verland's gear list:Verland's gear list
Sony a5100 Canon EOS M6 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
azhenley
azhenley Regular Member • Posts: 141
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes

Verland wrote:

Thanks again for all your feedback. Here is a list with the three setups that I personally like the most.

No overlaps in focal lengths, looking for the best balance between versatility, image quality and weight:

  1. FE 16-35 mm F4 + FE 55 mm F1,8 (or another 50 mm, like the macro)
    Pros:
    - Leightweight and compact
    - Image quality
    Cons:
    - No coverage of extreme wide angles (like 12 mm), but it's a small con to me, since 16 mm is pretty wide
    - No coverage of longer focal lengths
  2. FE 12-24 mm F4 + FE 24-70 mm F4 (or the kit)
    Pros:
    - Still relatively light weight and compact
    Cons:
    - Image quality of the standard zoom not the best (both standard zooms don't have the best reputation)
    - No coverage of longer focal lengths
  3. FE 12-24 mm F4 + FE 24-105 mm F4
    Pros:
    - Versatility, best coverage of focal lengths
    - Image quality
    Cons:
    - Weight and size

Looks like I will go with setup 1, because it has great image quality and is also light weight.

Here are two other setups, which I have considered myself:

  • FE 16-35mm F4 + FE 85mm F1.8
  • Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 (or some other ultrawide prime) + FE 24-105mm F4

It is quite the dilemma!

 azhenley's gear list:azhenley's gear list
Sony a7R II Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 25mm F2 Rokinon AF 35mm F2.8 FE +9 more
OP Verland Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Best two lens setup for landscapes
  • FE 16-35mm F4 + FE 85mm F1.8

Why the 85 mm over a 50 mm, though?

50 mm seems more useful to me.

  • Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 (or some other ultrawide prime) + FE 24-105mm F4

It is quite the dilemma!

Very nice setup that I overlooked somehow.

I really like to have a wide angle zoom, though. And if going for an ultrawide prime, I would rather pick something with F2.8 or brighter. Otherwise the advantage would be just weight and not much else. Also the 12 mm Voigtlander that I had for some time didn't offer the best image quality. Now, if there was a Sony or Zeiss prime with 15 mm or wider... that would be a different story.

 Verland's gear list:Verland's gear list
Sony a5100 Canon EOS M6 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
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