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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lenses For Landscapes


Looking for the perfect lens for your scenics? Check out the options and see what some top OP pros have to say about their favorite choices.

Labels: Lenses

This Article Features Photo Zoom

lensesLensbaby
Lensbabies are unique optics that come with a flexible “barrel,” allowing you to twist, shift and tilt them to achieve precise selective-focus effects. The latest Lensbabies feature a new design that makes it easier than ever to put focus and depth of field just where you want them. The Lensbaby Composer is based on a ball-and-socket configuration that allows for one-handed operation, and features interchangeable optics. It comes with the 50mm multicoated optical-glass doublet Double Glass optic that was used in the Lensbaby 2.0 and 3G lenses. Available as accessories are the 50mm Single Glass uncoated optical-glass singlet similar to the one in the original Lensbaby, but one stop brighter (ƒ/2.0), the 50mm ƒ/2.0 Plastic singlet that maximizes blur and diffusion, and the Pinhole/Zone Plate, an optic cup with an ƒ/177 aperture for pinhole photography and an ƒ/19 Zone plate opening. Estimated Street Price: $270 (with Double Glass; the Single Glass, Plastic, and Pinhole/Zone plate are $35 each). Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.

lensesAngle Of View
What makes a lens wide-angle? Or telephoto? The format with which it’s used. A 28mm lens on a 35mm SLR is a wide-angle. It takes in a 75º angle of view, much more than the 46º angle of view of the format’s 50mm “normal” lens. Put the same 28mm lens on a D-SLR with an APS-C sensor, which is much smaller than a full 35mm image frame, and it’s no longer “wide-angle”— the smaller sensor “sees” much less of the image produced by the lens, cropping the image to about the area taken in by a “normal” lens on a 35mm SLR. Put a 28mm lens on a compact digital camera, with a much tinier sensor, and it becomes a “telephoto,” equivalent to maybe 157mm on a 35mm camera.

Incidentally, a true “telephoto” lens employs a specific design in which the focal length is longer than the lens’ physical length. But photographers have a habit of referring to all long lenses as “telephotos,” and from a practical standpoint, that’s fine. It’s just not always technically accurate.

lensesReally Long Lens On A Budget
If you want to try long-lens landscapes at very little cost, Adorama offers the Pro-Optic 500mm ƒ/6.3 mirror lens for $159.95, which can be fitted to a wide variety of 35mm and digital SLRs via a supplied T-mount. Of course, it’s not going to compete in sharpness with a $7,000 500mm ƒ/4 prime lens, but the manual-focus Pro-Optic lens is compact (4.6 inches long and 24.9 ounces), focuses down to 6.1 feet, and you can’t beat that price. Contact: Adorama, (888) 991-6599, www.adorama.com.

Resources
Canon
(800) OK-CANON
www.usa.canon.com
Nikon
(800) NIKON-US
www.nikonusa.com
Olympus
(888) 968-4448
www.olympusamerica.com
Pentax
(800) 877-0155
www.pentaximaging.com
Sigma
(800) 896-6858
www.sigma-photo.com
Sony
(877) 865-SONY
www.sonystyle.com
Tamron USA
(631) 858-8400
www.tamron.com
Tokina (THK Photo Products)
(800) 421-1141
www.thkphoto.com

Please click on the link below to view a chart listing specifications of landscape lenses.
Lens Specs Chart

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