Favorite wide-angle landscape lenses

Discussion in 'Landscape' started by john_narsuitus, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. What are your favorite large format, medium format, and small format wide-angle landscape lenses?
  2. @ 35 mm format, the Nikon-Nikkor AF 17-35 mm f/2.8 ED. Prime, the Nikkor 20mm f/4 AI.
  3. Hello everyone... glad to see a landscape forum up! Ages ago, when I was in my mid/late twenties, I had various kits for 8x10 thru 35mm that were dragged all over California and the various Western states. Today in my mid 70's I put the lens with a camera for various works. Presently I use several CMC's for landscapes, an Isolette3 (6x6 - 80mm Apotar) or a collection of 6x9 folders (Ercona2, Agfa Record2 or a BessaI, all with prime 105mm lenses) for landscapes.
    To me it is not the lens/camera that makes the scenic, but the selection of film and developer for each subject you expose. Here are two taken only 50ft apart, within 15 minutes of each other. The Iso (6x6) had 100Tmax in it and the BessaI had 400Tmax. Both exposed with a Pilot HH meter, G filter and both developed for 18 minutes in 510-Pyro. V600 scans.
    For presentation (prints), the 6x6 negs go to 14x14 and the 6x9's go to 12x18's, sometimes larger. Generally, I do not crop either negs save the margins. I compose the scene within the 6x6 or 6x9 neg format Why the square prints?, You will be surprised how the square format impresses viewers, who have been habituated by rectangles. Enjoy, Bill
    Glenn McCreery and Renee Shipley like this.
  4. My first lens for my then new Nikon FM, and only lens for it for some years, is the AI 35/2.0.
    I especially like the 35mm lens for indoor photography (which I did a lot of at the time) and for landscape photography. In both cases, you often can't move back.
  5. I only have one wide lens for each format, so by default it is my favorite WA lens.

    35mm film = 24mm, the widest lens that took a 52mm filter.
    6x6 = 50mm
    Nikon DX = 18mm, the short end of my kit lens.
  6. Pentax 12-24mm f4 on APS C appears to be a great zoom, unfortunately a bulky one too, so I rather grab ZM 21mm f2.8 and Konica 35mm f2. In MF I only have the 55mm f4.5 pair for Mamiya TLRs at the wide end.
    I never got the hang of using polarizers for landscapes and like the fact that both RFs & TLRs spare me the joy of composing through a red filter.
    I didn't have funds & tripod lugging motivation permitting a quest for dedicated slow but ultra light and compact landscape wides.
  7. For 135 Photography the 35mm focal length is indispensable. Its at least the best starting point. I also use the Pentax SMC 75mm F4 67 lens for medium format. The thing is with the question is that while the choices are simple and should be simple, I find myself torn between the 24mm and 28mm in 135 terms and I'm stuck in that realm. Not to lose a shot, but the dilemma amazes me. I've noticed the dilemma with others as I've read, so I know I'm not alone in this. When in the field , getting into a habit with the wide can bite when you shake yourself to remember to try a normal lens, or in 135 terms a 50mm. I say that because for years in one case I walked by a scene and never saw it because of interpreting the scene one way, then got out of the box, or in this case mine and tried another lens. It works, but these are the trials when one sticks with fixed focal length lenses. Zooms provide so much less angst.
  8. I have a 24mm, too, and I really like it, but I still have to say that 35mm is my favorite. (Besides being the first lens that I bought for myself, and didn't inherit.)
    But wandering through Sequoia park with a 24mm lens is much more fun than with the 35mm, as the trees are so tall! The 24mm is for special occasions, the 35mm for more usual situations.
    I would be happy to wander through Yellowstone with only the 35mm lens. Too often, I would find the geysers too small with only the 24mm lens.
  9. In truth, the lens I use the most for landscape (and pretty much everything else, for that matter) is my 24-105mm lens. Unless you can move about a lot, I find it best to select the focal length to suit the individual scene.
    My 24-105mm was, in fact, exactly what I wandered (and wondered) around Yellowstone with. My second camera had a 100-400mm lens on it.
  10. "favorite large format, medium format, and small format wide-angle landscape lenses?"
    none... 95% of my landscape (mountain) 135mm photos are with a 50mm, 5% with a 135mm, and <1% with a 35mm. When necessary, I zoom with my feet. If there is a precipice or a cliff, I ignore it. Sometime I miss great shots, but I enjoy moving - and climbing - around for the best spot.
  11. In all three formats: LF-Nikkor-SW 90mm f8, Nikkor-W 150mm f5.6, Nikkor-M 300mm f9 (if I want to "stack up" the shot); MF-Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4; Mamiya-Sekor Z 65mm f4; 35mm-Summicron 50mm f2, (latest version); Nikon 24mm F2 AI, Nikon 50mm f1.4 AI. All are crazy sharp, excellent contrast & color rendition, no matter the film, and like Mr. Lamy, zoom with my tired feet whenever possible!
  12. Back when I shot 4x5, a Schneider Super Angulon f:8.0 was my one wide-angle lens. For medium format, my favorite was a Fuji GS645W camera with it's 45mm lens; a very portable camera with a very sharp lens. Now days, like JDM, I most often use my Canon 24-105mm L lens on my 5D II, with 24mm my most often used focal length for landscapes.
  13. MTC  Photography

    MTC Photography Moderator

    My favourte wide angle lens is Leica Elmarit R19
    Longmen Grotto
    Arhat hall in Donglin temple in Jiangxi

    A former German Administration Headquarter in Qingdao
    White Horse Temple in Luoyang
  14. it


    Canon 24mm Tilt Shift for me.
  15. With respect to landscapes, wide angle lenses are best used to exaggerate things in the foreground. Statistics regarding lens use are easily recovered from digital images in Lightroom, and I find slightly over 50% of my landscapes were taken with a "normal" focal length, and 90% in the equivalent range of 24mm to 90 mm.
    Perhaps it is because I come from vertically-challenged Illinois and most of my landscapes are taken while traveling in the American West. A wide angle lens can flatten a mountain range to an irregular skyline, whereas a longer lens makes them larger than life (visually speaking). When I want a wider vista, I resort to stitched panoramas, usually with a normal to medium-tele lens.
  16. MTC  Photography

    MTC Photography Moderator

    Hakka Round House in Fujian Yongding county
    Leica Elmarit R19
  17. vertically challenged?
    try the High Plains.
    Here is a river-bottom forest shot with 55mm and cropped vertically -
    remember that lots of images CAN be cropped to be wide angle or telephoto, in effect, as you please, so focal length choice is not always critical.
  18. My favourite is the panorama camera, Fujica G617. It has 105mm/8f Fujinon lens
  19. My favourite is the panorama camera, Fujica G617. It has 105mm/8f Fujinon lens
    davecaz likes this.

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