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Thread started 05 Jan 2013 (Saturday) 22:54
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Landscapes and the 24-70 II

 
chrisd999
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Jan 05, 2013 22:54 |  #1

I'm an enthusiast landscape photographer, and I recently sold off a few lenses including my trusted 24-105 and Samyang 14mm wide angle lenses to scrape together enough coin to buy the new 24-70 II that there are so many rave reviews about. I also enjoy shooting occasional street-scapes, travel and my family, so I figured I would enjoy the improved standard zoom. So far, after very limited testing (the weather has not been cooperating since I got the 24-70 II), I am very impressed with the IQ and build of the 24-70 II, but I am wondering if I made a wise choice (money aside) for use as a primary landscape tool.

I decided to hang on to my old 17-40 as I wanted a slightly wider and lighter zoom to accompany the 24-70 II. My test findings comparing the 17-40 with the 24-70 II are more or less consistent with the-digital-picture ISO 12233 Crops. Against a flat surface (like a brick wall), at 24mm, the 24-70 II completely destroys the 17-40 for sharpness in the f/4 to f/5.6 range, especially out at the edges and corners. Around f/8 I found the 17-40 cleans up near the edges, and the 24-70 II loses sharpness quickly. My copies are equal at f/8. I might put the 17-40 very slightly ahead of the 24-70 II in edge sharpness at f/11 through f/22 (all at 24mm FL). Either my 24-70 II is slightly softer or my 7 year old 17-40 is slightly sharper than the samples from the-digital-picture.

Having said that, I wonder if I made a mistake getting the 24-70 II because my landscape style typically has me shooting at f/8 to f/11 to try and get the entire scene from near foreground to infinity all sharp and in focus. This means for typical landscape shots, I won't often be taking advantage of the real strengths of this beautiful lens, which is incredible sharpness, colour, and contrast at f/2.8 through f/5.6.

I guess for the same money as the 24-70 II, I could have gotten the legendary 24mm TSE II for landscape shooting, but I mostly shoot landscapes handheld, as I am not often able to get out on my own with a tripod which is necessary for that kind of shooting. Also, the TSE is not versatile for streetscape, travel and family shots. I also thought that for the rare occasion where I do manage to get out on my own with a tripod, I could use the 24-70 II with focus bracketing/stacking technique to get equivalent sharp images as the TSE.

Obviously, I need to get out and shoot with the new 24-70 II, and I will do so soon, but I'm real curious what other people here think of the 24-70 II in so far as landscape shooting goes?


Sony A7R | 24mm TS-E II f/3.5L | T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | FE 28-70 f/3.5-5.6 OSS | T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA| Samyang 85mm f1.4 | Minolta 70-210 Beercan | Metabones IV | LA-EA4
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kobeson
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Jan 05, 2013 23:13 |  #2

Interesting to hear your disappointment with the lens stopped down - I guess if you don't shoot f2.8 often with it you could perhaps better spend your money on other lenses. The new 24-70 f4 might have suited you better? Unknown yet how it fares stopped down.

Ont thing to keep in mind is your lens has great value on the 2nd hand market, you just need to find something that suits your style perfectly (something we all seem to spend time and money doing).


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kin2son
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Jan 05, 2013 23:16 |  #3
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You call yourself an enthusiast landscaper photographer and you do it handheld?

If so, at least use a lens with IS...


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chrisd999
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Jan 05, 2013 23:22 |  #4

kin2son wrote in post #15450456 (external link)
You call yourself a dedicated landscaper and you do it handheld?

I said enthusiast not dedicated landscaper. I do occasionally shoot on tripod, and would love to shoot more on tripod, but that usually means spending a lot of time alone, and work and family commitments do not allow that to happen very often.


Sony A7R | 24mm TS-E II f/3.5L | T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | FE 28-70 f/3.5-5.6 OSS | T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA| Samyang 85mm f1.4 | Minolta 70-210 Beercan | Metabones IV | LA-EA4
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sapearl
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Jan 05, 2013 23:24 |  #5

kin2son wrote in post #15450456 (external link)
You call yourself a dedicated landscaper and you do it handheld?

I understand the value of a tripod having owned them for 40+ years and consider myself dedicated to the craft, but sometimes they are not always practical to the situation.

You couldn't get away without one in many cases with medium format film. I have to say though that todays fine cameras with their superb high ISO handling make a lot of things possible without the need for a tripod. One can do great things with a 5D3 and no tripod. I was very pleased with the results I got years ago from my 5Dc.....good enough for museum exhibition. Steady hand, solid bracing, high shutter speed, even the use of IS - those can achieve excellent results.


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kin2son
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Jan 05, 2013 23:31 |  #6
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sapearl wrote in post #15450471 (external link)
I have to say though that todays fine cameras with their superb high ISO handling make a lot of things possible without the need for a tripod.

Yes, but just not landscape....especiall​y if you are enthusiastic about it.

To OP, sell the 24-70II for 24-105 or Tamron 24-70 for less than half. At least they have IS for your occasional landscape...


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chrisd999
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Jan 05, 2013 23:35 |  #7

kobeson wrote in post #15450445 (external link)
Interesting to hear your disappointment with the lens stopped down - I guess if you don't shoot f2.8 often with it you could perhaps better spend your money on other lenses. The new 24-70 f4 might have suited you better? Unknown yet how it fares stopped down.

Ont thing to keep in mind is your lens has great value on the 2nd hand market, you just need to find something that suits your style perfectly (something we all seem to spend time and money doing).

Good points, thanks. Even the Zeiss 21mm and Canon 24L II do not seem to have any sharpness advantage over the 17-40 in the f/11 to f/16 range. I'm coming to realize that the 17-40 is for the money a great lens for traditional stopped down landscape shooting.


Sony A7R | 24mm TS-E II f/3.5L | T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | FE 28-70 f/3.5-5.6 OSS | T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA| Samyang 85mm f1.4 | Minolta 70-210 Beercan | Metabones IV | LA-EA4
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sapearl
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Jan 06, 2013 08:09 |  #8

kin2son wrote in post #15450484 (external link)
Yes, but just not landscape....especiall​y if you are enthusiastic about it....

Why? Just how big are you going with your print enlargements?


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BigBadWolfie
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Jan 06, 2013 09:57 |  #9

chrisd999 wrote in post #15450466 (external link)
I said enthusiast not dedicated landscaper. I do occasionally shoot on tripod, and would love to shoot more on tripod, but that usually means spending a lot of time alone, and work and family commitments do not allow that to happen very often.

I don't understand how taking your tripod means you have to be alone. Are you saying that if you're not alone there's no way you can carry a tripod, it's a huge inconvenience to do so, and or other people disapprove of you carrying a tripod? I mean I try to take my tripod with me when I travel or go to scenic places with my significant other. It's great because I can easily take photos of us together and take landscape shots on a tripod. Sure it's not as "convenient" as handholding shots, but how long does it really take to set up your tripod and fold it back up?




  
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JeffreyG
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Jan 06, 2013 10:48 |  #10

I guess the OP should try to clarify to himself just what he is looking for.

You have a 17-40, and bought a 24-70. Now you think a 24mm TS-E would have been a better choice.

Well, I would presume you bought the 24-70 for the 41mm to 70mm range. Did you? Or is 40mm long enough? That's probably the key question to start with.


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RPCrowe
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Jan 06, 2013 11:40 as a reply to  @ JeffreyG's post |  #11

The advantages of the most expensive lenses are when you are stretching the envelope of the lens' capabilities (ie: shooting wide open). Stopped down to f/8 or f/11, the increased capability of the 24-70L ii against other lenses will not be that apparent.

In lieu of a tripod, have you thought of a monopod? The monopod will stabilize your camera/lens to a great degree and is certainly less cumbersome to carry and use....


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Osiriz
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Jan 06, 2013 11:51 |  #12

sapearl wrote in post #15451263 (external link)
Why? Just how big are you going with your print enlargements?

Uh.. Ever heard of something called dynamic range? Heavy post processing and shadow recovery?

On Canon bodies, the DR is lousy enough, even at ISO 100. A serious landscaper do not want to bump up the ISO. No way!




  
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sapearl
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Jan 06, 2013 11:58 |  #13

Osiriz wrote in post #15452076 (external link)
Uh.. Ever heard of something called dynamic range? Heavy post processing and shadow recovery?

On Canon bodies, the DR is lousy enough, even at ISO 100. A serious landscaper do not want to bump up the ISO. No way!

Valid points, but 5D3 and 1DX make a lot possible now. Also, not all my work is done in situations of extreme highlight and deep shadow. I'm going 20x24 on exhibit prints and the results are excellent. It's also not feasible to mount a tripod on a heavily trafficked bridge. The vehicular traffic vibration is transmitted to the legs of the tripod.


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Jan 06, 2013 12:09 |  #14

I think you are looking for the next "game-changer". It probably will not be in the lens, but inside the camera.


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chrisd999
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Jan 06, 2013 14:06 |  #15

BigBadWolfie wrote in post #15451594 (external link)
I don't understand how taking your tripod means you have to be alone. Are you saying that if you're not alone there's no way you can carry a tripod, it's a huge inconvenience to do so, and or other people disapprove of you carrying a tripod? I mean I try to take my tripod with me when I travel or go to scenic places with my significant other. It's great because I can easily take photos of us together and take landscape shots on a tripod. Sure it's not as "convenient" as handholding shots, but how long does it really take to set up your tripod and fold it back up?

In my situation, when traveling or hiking, I'll often have wife and/or my teen kids along, and they usually don't have much patience for stopping while I set up and shoot from a tripod, which is why I won't bring it. I don't make money with my photography, so it's a compromise I'm willing to make.


Sony A7R | 24mm TS-E II f/3.5L | T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | FE 28-70 f/3.5-5.6 OSS | T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA| Samyang 85mm f1.4 | Minolta 70-210 Beercan | Metabones IV | LA-EA4
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Landscapes and the 24-70 II
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