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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 Jan 2014 (Sunday) 16:20
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Best Landscape lens??

 
Somebloke
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Jan 09, 2014 11:25 |  #61

Lenny_D wrote in post #16590663 (external link)
I'm a little surprised that knowbody mentions the EF 16-35mm f/2.8 from Canon.
The lens is more expensive than the 17-40mm but has a better contrast and color and is sharper in the corners.

Thanks for the suggestion, from good ole Kenny though "If you aren't as addicted to the 16mm end as I am, the Canon 17-40mm f/4 L is just as sharp, weighs less and costs half as much."?

is your opinion from personal use or review? As far as I can gather from the comparos is they are effectively the same, with the 16 more expensive due to 2.8?




  
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MNUplander
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Jan 09, 2014 11:55 |  #62

Somebloke wrote in post #16591208 (external link)
Thanks for the suggestion, from good ole Kenny though "If you aren't as addicted to the 16mm end as I am, the Canon 17-40mm f/4 L is just as sharp, weighs less and costs half as much."?

is your opinion from personal use or review? As far as I can gather from the comparos is they are effectively the same, with the 16 more expensive due to 2.8?

I've used both and my findings are similar to yours - I've had multiple copies of the 17-40 but only one of the 16-35.

The two lenses are essentially equal in terms of performance across the frame - sharpness, color, contrast, etc. I've found the only real benefits to be 1mm on the wide end, f2.8 and the wonderful starbursts.


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light_pilgrim
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Jan 09, 2014 15:20 |  #63

Spuddyd wrote in post #16580211 (external link)
but I really want to step up a level now.

There isn't such a lens that will help you get there. I think stepping up a level is more to do with how you use the 24-105. Honestly, this lens can produce most breathtaking images that people have ever seen....


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Lenny_D
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Jan 09, 2014 15:47 as a reply to  @ light_pilgrim's post |  #64

I recently bought the 16-35mm for my 6D after a long period (almost 1 year!) of doubt. I'm currently in the process of renewing part of my equipment coming from a 20D and was doubting and confused about the 17-40mm for a long time.

Why the 16-35mm? I started with analysing my own habits on the crop sensor of the 20D, the 10-22mm lens was my favourite lens (by far). I reviewed all my shot with the 10-22mm and found out that I used it at 10mm (16mm on FF) in more than 50% of the cases. So I definitely appreciate having the wide 16mm end at my disposal.

Furthermore, I read many posts and reviews and the 16-35 is considered to have a number of (small) benefits over the 17-40 of which the most important ones are mentioned in my previous post. One extra point that is interesting is that the 17-40 is considered to have its sweet spot above 20mm and the 16-35mm is better below 20mm. Since I can only spend my money once, I didn't want to compromise. I also wanted to rid of the nagging thought that I might have developed after buying the 17-40mm: that the 16-35mm might have been a better choice. I know this is psychology but buying a lens is an emotional experience and it is a long term investment. Well, then, in addition, we have a cash-back action in the Netherlands of 200 euro's on the 16-35mm which brings the price down to 1050 euro's.

Well I can assure you, after two weeks I didn't regret one single moment. The pictures are razor sharp, nice colours and nice contrast. The 6D and the 16-35mm make a great combo and a really outstanding combo in low light situations. With the 5D3 it will be very similar. You don't need flash anymore.
Bottom line: little experience (yet) but a very positive one. I am not in the position to buy two lenses and to compare the 17-40 with the 16-35.

Regarding the 17mm TS-E lens, this lens is indeed also capable of making creative pictures but in an entirely different way. The lens is fully manual, doesn’t take filters and playing with the TS nearly always involves experimenting on a tripod in a relatively static situation. I enjoy walking around and taking pictures from unusual angles which give a dramatic effect. I like to move, be active and look for something special. A zoom and autofocus helps for that. Also don't forget the price tag of the 17mm TS-E, it is a whopping 2350 euro's in the Netherlands. I don't know, the lens is better but too much a speciality lens in my opinion.

I also considered the Zeiss 18mm f/3.5. This one is interesting, it is comparable in price to the 16-35, it is light and small and of superb quality and would fit my style of shooting but again it doesn't have autofocus (it does show a light on reaching focus in the viewfinder) and doesn't zoom. I tried it in the shop and does feel like a great combo with the 6D but for me the flexibility of the 16-35 made me decide for it.

Regarding weight and size, the 16-35mm is nearly identical to the 24-105mm. If you like the balance and feel of the 24-105mm you will also like the 16-35mm.

Well, I think this is a mix of "personal" and quality considerations. So far, I can only say that the combo works great. I don't claim or believe that the 16-35mm is much better than the 17-40mm during the day when you stop down and take your time. So the choice depends on your interest and style of shooting. Don't forget that lenses are a long term investment and for me also psychological factors play a role (something that is often neglected but important in the end).

Good luck!

Lenny




  
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Somebloke
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Jan 09, 2014 17:31 |  #65

Hey Lenny thanks for taking the time to write all that:) re the 10-22 have to agree that's such a great lens! I find myself going through pics and going wow and then realizing they were taken on my old 400d and 10-22!




  
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coogee
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Jan 09, 2014 17:47 |  #66

With the TSE lenses, its worth noting that you don't need them on a tripod anymore than a 16-35, you can shoot them handheld and you get focus confirmation.
But totally agree its a big price tag that is really only merited with a tripod and deliberate methods.
Would love something wider than 24mm myself but it's all about compromises with lens purchases and i made mine!




  
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farmer1957
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Jan 10, 2014 09:22 as a reply to  @ Lenny_D's post |  #67

Regarding the 17mm TS-E lens, this lens is indeed also capable of making creative pictures but in an entirely different way. The lens is fully manual, doesn’t take filters and playing with the TS nearly always involves experimenting on a tripod in a relatively static situation. I enjoy walking around and taking pictures from unusual angles which give a dramatic effect. I like to move, be active and look for something special. A zoom and autofocus helps for that. Also don't forget the price tag of the 17mm TS-E, it is a whopping 2350 euro's in the Netherlands. I don't know, the lens is better but too much a speciality lens in my opinion.

Good luck!

Lenny[/QUOTE]

You can buy all the filters your heart desires for a TSE 17mm from FOTODIOX.
If you can afford it.


I also own the TSE 24mm L lens, I paid just under 1k for the lens .
I like both TSE lenses that I own and they make great pictures.

Farmer




  
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revluke
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Jan 10, 2014 11:54 |  #68

I really like my 24 tse, mostly for the ease of stitching and getting those sweeping panoramas, or a whole house onto one image with minimal convergence. Just a fun lens to play with.


5dIII | 70d | Rokinon 14 | 16-35 f4 IS | 40 2.8 | s50A | 70-200 2.8 IS II | 100 f2 | s120-300S | sigma 2x | 600EX-RT

  
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Somebloke
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Jan 12, 2014 06:49 |  #69

And then you see a pic like this taken with a 17-40 and you are quickly humbled and back to square one if you really need a 24 TSE lol...urghhh

Mast3rChi3f wrote in post #16597539 (external link)
QUOTED IMAGE




  
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light_pilgrim
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Jan 13, 2014 09:09 |  #70

Because the limiting factor is not the gear.

Somebloke wrote in post #16598784 (external link)
And then you see a pic like this taken with a 17-40 and you are quickly humbled and back to square one if you really need a 24 TSE lol...urghhh


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Owl_79
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Jan 13, 2014 10:35 |  #71

Best landscape lens is the one attached to a camera.

I have been using fl's ranging 10mm to 600mm for landscapes. :)


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jeetsukumaran
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Jan 13, 2014 15:08 |  #72

Owl_79 wrote in post #16601831 (external link)
Best landscape lens is the one attached to a camera.

I have been using fl's ranging 10mm to 600mm for landscapes. :)

This.

Taken literally, "best landscape lens" requires enumeration/discussion of optimum lenses at each focal length or range to be answered accurately.

I suspect that "landscape lens" here is a (inaccurate, incorrect, and naively-mistaken) synonym for "wide-angle" or "ultra-wide-angle" lens.

I confess, it is a pet-peeve of mine when I hear this usage. But I guess everyone else is comfortable with this travesty, so I will just have to learn to live-and-let-live.

In any case, mentally-correcting the question to "Best wide-angle lens for landscapes??" allows me to say the following ...

On a budget, if you are prioritizing the compositional flexibility of a zoom over absolute top-notch corner-to-corner image quality: EF 17-40 f/4.

On a significantly larger budget, if you are prioritizing the compositional flexibility of a zoom over absolute top-notch corner-to-corner image quality: EF 16-35 f/2.8 II.

On a even larger budget, if you want absolute top-notch corner-to-corner image quality over the compositional flexibility of a zoom: Zeiss 21 mm f/2.8.

On a painfully extraordinarily larger budget, if you want absolute top-notch corner-to-corner image quality over the compositional flexibility of a zoom, *and* you are interested in fully-exploring or pushing the creativity envelope: TS-E 17 or the TS-E 24.

The zooms give you compositional flexibility. This is not to be sneezed at. Yes, yes, yes, I know: we have all heard that you can "zoom with your feet". Except that sometimes (or, depending on the terrain that you are in, many times) you can't. Because of things like cliffs and rock faces and raging rivers etc. etc. You can pseudo-zoom by cropping or panning & stitching, but the former dumps resolution, while the latter can really be a pain under some circumstances.

If you want the convenience of a zoom and you can afford it, the 16-35 is probably your best bet. Yes, you don't need that speed for landscapes. But you will find yourself using the 16-35 in so many other contexts that you will see it as much as a general-purpose travel/candid/pseudo-journalistic lens that can double as a landscape lens.

There *only* two reasons I can think to get the 17-40 over the 16-35: (a) price and (b) weight. No doubt about it. I say this sincerely and honestly, and, most crucially, without the psychological need to justify what is in my bag. While I do not own either right now, I have owned and used both in the past. The 16-35 is clearly superior in every respect to the 17-40 except these two.

Now, if you want true corner-to-corner top-notch image quality, you have basically to choose between the Zeiss 21 mm or the TS-E 17 mm (or the TS-E 24 mm).

Before going any further, be aware that you are going to be sacrificing sooooooooooooooo much on the altar of image quality if you go this route. Soooooooo much. Possibly more than you have ever sacrificed before.

To wit:

- $$$: looking at between $1800 to $2400 new
- zooming: some shots you are just going to have to let go, while others are just going to be different
- autofocus: not a big deal for landscapes, I know. But it really compromises the usability of these lenses in other contexts
- weather-sealing: yeah, not something one might consider off the bat when picking a lens, but definitely comes to mind when you take out your rig in a snow storm, rainforest, windy desert or beach

Now that is a lot.

But the pay-off is spectacular.

Absolutely, take-your-breath-away-even-as-you-cannot-help-saying-wow-when-you-first-see-the-image-on-the-screen spectacular.

I am not saying that I will never go back to the 16-35 or 17-40 for landscapes after seeing the results of my Zeiss 21 mm and TS-E 24 mm. I know they are capable of equally-stunning results. But they will always seem like a fancy restaurant roast/grill/fry chef pressed into making dessert when the pastry chef is on vacation.

As for choosing between the Zeiss or the TS-E?

I have both.

I prefer the TS-E.

I love the Zeiss. But the TS-E is simply a better lens: sharper (more resolution/contrast) corner-to-corner across the frame when unshifted/untilted. And, of course, while corner sharpness drops when shifting, the shifting/tilting simply bring in literally new dimensions to my photography that I am just beginning to explore.

And that famed Zeiss effect?

Well, the 3d-pop you get at larger apertures might be there, but this is simply not a common shooting context in landscapes.

The rich micro-contrast? Maybe it is there and maybe it is not. Hard to say. I sometimes suspect that this might be a mass-hallucination brought about by repeated chanting of religious Zeiss fanatics on the internet. At other times I *think* I *might* be able to see it. But then again, if what I am seeing is actually what I think people are calling the Zeiss micro-contrast, then I see some of the same micro-contrast with the TS-E as well. In either case, even if it is not an illusion, I am definitely not going to give up shifting or tilting -- the micro-contrast, if it exists, is nice, but is not necessarily better than the putatively more neutral rendering of the TS-E. On the other hand, the tilting and shifting is a very, very, very, very, very real effect that I cannot replicate through any other means (without loss of quality) and that I do not want to give up.

By the way, with the tilting, I am not talking about using it for the "Lilliput" effect. That is nice. Once or twice. It is sooooo overdone now.

[Begin rant]
Like the fisheye effect, a couple of shots here and there work well for their novelty and the way it makes us question our perceptions. But too many (and three is too many) and it really gets old. Tired of seeing the "Lilliput" effect being used to show off TS-E lens. Worse, the people who think that the TS-E is a gimmicky specialist lens because it is only used for the "Lilliput" effect (ignorance meets clichedness -- yuck).
[end rant]

Rather, I am interested in using the tilt for near-far compositions. Or, for e.g., to get all of a mural or a wall sculpture in focus. Or to get a line of monuments. Or a lichen-covered bark of a fallen tree stretching into the frame. Or heads of corn in a cornfield. There are simply so many things you can do with this lens that are physico-optically not possible with other lenses.

Note: I *just* got the TS-E lens. So I am *just* beginning to explore/experiment with it, and do not have results to show for it yet. As such, you will have to weight my remarks appropriately ...


Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jeetsukumaran/ (external link) Website: http://jeetworks.org/ (external link) Canon 6D, Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/21, EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II.

  
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PoEarth
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Jan 13, 2014 15:24 |  #73

Lenny_D wrote in post #16591868 (external link)
I recently bought the 16-35mm for my 6D after a long period (almost 1 year!) of doubt. I'm currently in the process of renewing part of my equipment coming from a 20D and was doubting and confused about the 17-40mm for a long time.

Why the 16-35mm? I started with analysing my own habits on the crop sensor of the 20D, the 10-22mm lens was my favourite lens (by far). I reviewed all my shot with the 10-22mm and found out that I used it at 10mm (16mm on FF) in more than 50% of the cases. So I definitely appreciate having the wide 16mm end at my disposal.

Furthermore, I read many posts and reviews and the 16-35 is considered to have a number of (small) benefits over the 17-40 of which the most important ones are mentioned in my previous post. One extra point that is interesting is that the 17-40 is considered to have its sweet spot above 20mm and the 16-35mm is better below 20mm. Since I can only spend my money once, I didn't want to compromise. I also wanted to rid of the nagging thought that I might have developed after buying the 17-40mm: that the 16-35mm might have been a better choice. I know this is psychology but buying a lens is an emotional experience and it is a long term investment. Well, then, in addition, we have a cash-back action in the Netherlands of 200 euro's on the 16-35mm which brings the price down to 1050 euro's.

Well I can assure you, after two weeks I didn't regret one single moment. The pictures are razor sharp, nice colours and nice contrast. The 6D and the 16-35mm make a great combo and a really outstanding combo in low light situations. With the 5D3 it will be very similar. You don't need flash anymore.
Bottom line: little experience (yet) but a very positive one. I am not in the position to buy two lenses and to compare the 17-40 with the 16-35.

Regarding the 17mm TS-E lens, this lens is indeed also capable of making creative pictures but in an entirely different way. The lens is fully manual, doesn’t take filters and playing with the TS nearly always involves experimenting on a tripod in a relatively static situation. I enjoy walking around and taking pictures from unusual angles which give a dramatic effect. I like to move, be active and look for something special. A zoom and autofocus helps for that. Also don't forget the price tag of the 17mm TS-E, it is a whopping 2350 euro's in the Netherlands. I don't know, the lens is better but too much a speciality lens in my opinion.

I also considered the Zeiss 18mm f/3.5. This one is interesting, it is comparable in price to the 16-35, it is light and small and of superb quality and would fit my style of shooting but again it doesn't have autofocus (it does show a light on reaching focus in the viewfinder) and doesn't zoom. I tried it in the shop and does feel like a great combo with the 6D but for me the flexibility of the 16-35 made me decide for it.

Regarding weight and size, the 16-35mm is nearly identical to the 24-105mm. If you like the balance and feel of the 24-105mm you will also like the 16-35mm.

Well, I think this is a mix of "personal" and quality considerations. So far, I can only say that the combo works great. I don't claim or believe that the 16-35mm is much better than the 17-40mm during the day when you stop down and take your time. So the choice depends on your interest and style of shooting. Don't forget that lenses are a long term investment and for me also psychological factors play a role (something that is often neglected but important in the end).

Good luck!

Lenny

Well said! :cool:
Thanks for sharing your thought.


Canon 6D. Fuji X100. iPhoneX. My1 Dad's Yashica Rangefinder ( restored & working as new ) :cool: Canon 50 f/1.4, 28 f/1.8, 85 f/1.8. Canon 14L f/2.8 II, 35L f/1.4, Canon 50L f/1.2, 100L f/2.8 IS Macro, 135L f/2, 16-35L f/2.8 II, 24-70L I(sold) & II f/2.8 ...
Gitzo GT2531EX-Arca Swiss Monoball p0, GT1542T-G1177M, GM2561T-G1077M. Canon 430 EX II.

  
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MNUplander
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Jan 13, 2014 16:29 |  #74

jeetsukumaran wrote in post #16602519 (external link)
This.

Taken literally, "best landscape lens" requires enumeration/discussion of optimum lenses at each focal length or range to be answered accurately.

I suspect that "landscape lens" here is a (inaccurate, incorrect, and naively-mistaken) synonym for "wide-angle" or "ultra-wide-angle" lens.

I confess, it is a pet-peeve of mine when I hear this usage. But I guess everyone else is comfortable with this travesty, so I will just have to learn to live-and-let-live.

In any case, mentally-correcting the question to "Best wide-angle lens for landscapes??" allows me to say the following ...

On a budget, if you are prioritizing the compositional flexibility of a zoom over absolute top-notch corner-to-corner image quality: EF 17-40 f/4.

On a significantly larger budget, if you are prioritizing the compositional flexibility of a zoom over absolute top-notch corner-to-corner image quality: EF 16-35 f/2.8 II.

On a even larger budget, if you want absolute top-notch corner-to-corner image quality over the compositional flexibility of a zoom: Zeiss 21 mm f/2.8.

On a painfully extraordinarily larger budget, if you want absolute top-notch corner-to-corner image quality over the compositional flexibility of a zoom, *and* you are interested in fully-exploring or pushing the creativity envelope: TS-E 17 or the TS-E 24.

The zooms give you compositional flexibility. This is not to be sneezed at. Yes, yes, yes, I know: we have all heard that you can "zoom with your feet". Except that sometimes (or, depending on the terrain that you are in, many times) you can't. Because of things like cliffs and rock faces and raging rivers etc. etc. You can pseudo-zoom by cropping or panning & stitching, but the former dumps resolution, while the latter can really be a pain under some circumstances.

If you want the convenience of a zoom and you can afford it, the 16-35 is probably your best bet. Yes, you don't need that speed for landscapes. But you will find yourself using the 16-35 in so many other contexts that you will see it as much as a general-purpose travel/candid/pseudo-journalistic lens that can double as a landscape lens.

There *only* two reasons I can think to get the 17-40 over the 16-35: (a) price and (b) weight. No doubt about it. I say this sincerely and honestly, and, most crucially, without the psychological need to justify what is in my bag. While I do not own either right now, I have owned and used both in the past. The 16-35 is clearly superior in every respect to the 17-40 except these two.

Now, if you want true corner-to-corner top-notch image quality, you have basically to choose between the Zeiss 21 mm or the TS-E 17 mm (or the TS-E 24 mm).

Before going any further, be aware that you are going to be sacrificing sooooooooooooooo much on the altar of image quality if you go this route. Soooooooo much. Possibly more than you have ever sacrificed before.

To wit:

- $$$: looking at between $1800 to $2400 new
- zooming: some shots you are just going to have to let go, while others are just going to be different
- autofocus: not a big deal for landscapes, I know. But it really compromises the usability of these lenses in other contexts
- weather-sealing: yeah, not something one might consider off the bat when picking a lens, but definitely comes to mind when you take out your rig in a snow storm, rainforest, windy desert or beach

Now that is a lot.

But the pay-off is spectacular.

Absolutely, take-your-breath-away-even-as-you-cannot-help-saying-wow-when-you-first-see-the-image-on-the-screen spectacular.

I am not saying that I will never go back to the 16-35 or 17-40 for landscapes after seeing the results of my Zeiss 21 mm and TS-E 24 mm. I know they are capable of equally-stunning results. But they will always seem like a fancy restaurant roast/grill/fry chef pressed into making dessert when the pastry chef is on vacation.

As for choosing between the Zeiss or the TS-E?

I have both.

I prefer the TS-E.

I love the Zeiss. But the TS-E is simply a better lens: sharper (more resolution/contrast) corner-to-corner across the frame when unshifted/untilted. And, of course, while corner sharpness drops when shifting, the shifting/tilting simply bring in literally new dimensions to my photography that I am just beginning to explore.

And that famed Zeiss effect?

Well, the 3d-pop you get at larger apertures might be there, but this is simply not a common shooting context in landscapes.

The rich micro-contrast? Maybe it is there and maybe it is not. Hard to say. I sometimes suspect that this might be a mass-hallucination brought about by repeated chanting of religious Zeiss fanatics on the internet. At other times I *think* I *might* be able to see it. But then again, if what I am seeing is actually what I think people are calling the Zeiss micro-contrast, then I see some of the same micro-contrast with the TS-E as well. In either case, even if it is not an illusion, I am definitely not going to give up shifting or tilting -- the micro-contrast, if it exists, is nice, but is not necessarily better than the putatively more neutral rendering of the TS-E. On the other hand, the tilting and shifting is a very, very, very, very, very real effect that I cannot replicate through any other means (without loss of quality) and that I do not want to give up.

By the way, with the tilting, I am not talking about using it for the "Lilliput" effect. That is nice. Once or twice. It is sooooo overdone now.

[Begin rant]
Like the fisheye effect, a couple of shots here and there work well for their novelty and the way it makes us question our perceptions. But too many (and three is too many) and it really gets old. Tired of seeing the "Lilliput" effect being used to show off TS-E lens. Worse, the people who think that the TS-E is a gimmicky specialist lens because it is only used for the "Lilliput" effect (ignorance meets clichedness -- yuck).
[end rant]

Rather, I am interested in using the tilt for near-far compositions. Or, for e.g., to get all of a mural or a wall sculpture in focus. Or to get a line of monuments. Or a lichen-covered bark of a fallen tree stretching into the frame. Or heads of corn in a cornfield. There are simply so many things you can do with this lens that are physico-optically not possible with other lenses.

Note: I *just* got the TS-E lens. So I am *just* beginning to explore/experiment with it, and do not have results to show for it yet. As such, you will have to weight my remarks appropriately ...

I've had several replies typed up for this thread and trashed them because I couldnt say what I meant to say in a reasonable number of lines. But, this truly sums up all of my thoughts on the entire thing...I'd quote it twice if I knew people would read it more.


Lake Superior and North Shore Landscape Photography (external link)
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6D, 16-35 f4 IS, 50 1.2, 150-600C

  
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Somebloke
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Jan 13, 2014 17:13 |  #75

PoEarth wrote in post #16602565 (external link)
Well said! :cool:
Thanks for sharing your thought.

^^this, thank you!! Very well thought out and written :)

Two points though that confuse me-I've bought a few books and read quite a few online pieces that all state landscape lenses are generally wide angle. Yes you can take a landscape with any lens but the literature out there is feeding this perception that landscapes are normally wide angle so I would direct any frustration at the teachers pushing this line rather than the students. And looking online and at professional work it seems 90% of all landscapes are taken with wide angle anyway so I don't understand the frustration?

Secondly re the 16-35, interesting you say it's much better than the 17-40 when pretty much every review I've read say there is no discernible difference....urghhhh guess I will have to rent one and form my own opinion ;)




  
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Best Landscape lens??
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