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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-23-2018

Best Lens for Landscape

I shoot a Canon 5D Mark III with a 28-300 attacihed almost exclusively. It was great for WWII vintage airplanes and some waterbirds.  I have to replace this long lens (dropped it - destroyed it). I have a long lens but do not have a medium range lens.

I am going to be making an extended trip to Alaska, the Yukon, and many great places between here and there. I need a good lens to carry on my Mark III for shooting landscapes. Would appreciate some solid advice.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,188
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Best Lens for Landscape


@Birdy wrote:

I shoot a Canon 5D Mark III with a 28-300 attacihed almost exclusively. It was great for WWII vintage airplanes and some waterbirds.  I have to replace this long lens (dropped it - destroyed it). I have a long lens but do not have a medium range lens.

I am going to be making an extended trip to Alaska, the Yukon, and many great places between here and there. I need a good lens to carry on my Mark III for shooting landscapes. Would appreciate some solid advice.


The two obvious choices for a “medium range” lens are a 70-200mm or a 24-70mm.  There really isn’t a best lens, or focal length, for landscape photography.  You can capture landscapes at any angle of view that you wish.

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Posts: 10,214
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Best Lens for Landscape

If you own a 5 series, there are two lenses that are a must have. The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens and the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens. And, I would add the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon EF if you don't already have such a lens.  This is a complete kit. It should do all you want on your exciting trip.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 537
Registered: ‎11-19-2017

Re: Best Lens for Landscape

[ Edited ]

Landscapes, my choices would be 16-35 or 24-70 wide zooms.

 

If fixed focus, Sigma 35mm f1.4 all the way. 

 

 

If you are taking pictures from a ship and cannot get close, youll need the reach the guys suggest. 

Rick
Bay Area - CA
~6D2 (f/w 1.0.4) ~16-35mm f2.8L II, 50 f1.8 STM, 85 prime USM, 70-200 f2.8L IS II ~70-300 USM II ~Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Art (f/w 2.01)
~Sigma 150-600 C + TC1401 1.4x (f/w 1.03) ~Speedlite 430 EX II ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10 Pro nVidia GPU 1803
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,718
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Best Lens for Landscape

As Ernie mentioned... the two most popoular lenses for Canon's full-frame bodies are:

- 70-200mm (usually the f/2.8 IS but there is an f/4 version with and without IS)

- 24-70mm (also usually the f/2.8 but there is an f/4 version)

 

For landscape photography the lens is usually (but not always) something with a moderately wide angle of view.   A 44mm focal length would be a "normal" angle of view for that camera (but most poeple round it to 50mm).  Anything less than 44mm is wide.  

 

The 24-70 could be used... there's a 16-35mm and even a 17-40mm.

 

But not all landscapes use wide-angle.  When a lens has a wider than normal angle of view, a side effect is that it also stretches the sense of distance.  Objects will seem farther away.  When lenses have a narrower than normal angle of view the opposite happens and these lenses compress the sense of distance and make things appear closer.

 

Very serious landscape photographers will sometimes produce their landscapes by shooting lots and lots of images with a long lens and then combining them.  This is how they achieve shockingly tack sharp results ... all the way into the corners of the frame (because it's not really a single image). In other words they'll take a photo that looks like it was done with a 16mm lens... but they actually used a 70-200mm lens at the 200mm focal length and took dozens of frames.  This takes longer... but it's hard to argue with the results.

 

For best results, avoid "super-zoom" lenses.  Most zoom lenses will have a zoom range with roughly a 3x factor.  In other words in the 24-70 ... divide 70 by 24 and you get 2.9 (just shy of 3).  In the 70-200, divide 200 by 70 and you get 2.86 (again, just shy of 3).  The "long" end of the lens isn't significantly longer than 3x the short focal length.  When being less ambitious with the zoom range, the optical results tend to be better.

 

"super zooms" break this guideline ... often going to 10x.  300 divided by 28 = 10.7x ... that's a pretty ambitious zoom range to expect quality optical results.

 

Part of the point of owning a camera that allows you to remove one lens and attach another lens is that no lens is "best" for everything... they are all a game of trade-offs (better at one thing, worse at something else.)

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,702
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Best Lens for Landscape


@shadowsports wrote:

Landscapes, my choices would be 16-35 or 24-70 wide zooms.

 

If fixed focus, Sigma 35mm f1.4 all the way. 

 

 

If you are taking pictures from a ship and cannot get close, youll need the reach the guys suggest. 


Rick means, of course, "fixed focal length", not "fixed focus". The latter term, from point-and-shoot photography in the film era, has little or no relevance today, except maybe for cell phones.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
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Posts: 10,214
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Best Lens for Landscape

Ironically the lenses people choose to shoot landscapes generally have the most distortion. In a medium where straight lines are desired. Go figure.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
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