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Best lense for landscape


New Member
Collegues, advise which lens is better for landscape and for shooting in mountains ? I have 905 SWC, but it seems too much wide for mountains.
In general, the same as Wilko -- 80% of the shots I have taken here in the Alaska Panhandle and southcentral Alaska have been with the 50 FLE -- great lens for the purpose for both close-in work and broader scenics. Roughly 10% of my other corresponding shots have been with the 100, and the remainder with a SWC/M. The latter definitely has its uses though when shooting really close-in shots of alpine meadows (e.g. wide vista of wildflowers) and/or ponds, small waterfalls, ice formations, etc., particularly when the 50 isn't quite wide enough and/or greater depth of field is vital to the composition.
> The Biogon is a great lens buth for mountains photography he is sometimes to wide. I use the Hasselblad FE 4.8 60 - 120 mm zoom. Its not a Zeiss buth it is a very sharp lens. I see now difference with Zeiss lenses.
No doubt Aleksey, Its the BIOGON 4.5/38mm(true wide angle lens). But the distagon 4/50mm(a retro focus lens) is a great lens also. If you do not have a problem with visible distortion, the distagon CFE 4/50mm IF(a retro focus lens), is another option.

I think you meant that second (IF) 50 mm to read 40 mm?
In my favourite (german) photo book the author says: "The best camera is the one that you already have. Because it is already paid". I myself feel perfectly happy to go on vacation with the SWC alone. Especially in the mountains (the really big ones) it is phantastic. If you feel that it is too wide for you I second the opinion to get a 50 mm FLE lens (later CF or CFi). Sharpness over the whole image counts with this type of photographs.

I agree with Ulrik - I like and echo the quotation about the "best camera you have....".

But I add that the quotation was more to do with getting the best and most out of what you already have - avoid the distraction of looking for more to add to your kit! I think from time to time we can all suffer from such a distraction.

Back to the SWC question - I always feel these things come back to "how you see what you see and what appeals to your eyes".

I love 6x6 landscapes; I love 6x6 anything!

But, for me I am not keen on very wide angle 6x6 landscape images - 50mm is my "limit". BUT, I have seen some wonderful 38mm 6x6 images probably made by people who are much better photographers than I!

For me too, I am sometimes a bit bored by the "text-book" very wide angle landscape image that has the "mandatory" close foreground interest object and the sweeping wide angle view.

So for my "wide" 6x6 landscapes I love my 50mm FLE (certainly the FLE version is the optimal choice) but am keen to get hold of a 60mm for its (IMHO) more "natural" perspective.

I do not like the 40mm as I have always felt the obvious level of edge distortion and its sensitivity to how it is held is unattractive to my eyes.

But, when I have used an SWC I have always been impressed with its super low distortion. If I had the spare cash I'd add one to my kit, but not for landscapes.
...Oh... and Aleksey, I should add in respect of your original question:

What is the "best" lens for landscapes in the mountains - ANY lens you have with you; and any lens you have in your bag - just so long as you have not left your bag at home!

I'm not being a "smart a...", but simply trying to make a point that the best advice is to shoot how YOU see it using what YOU think gets YOUR message across. A 50mm FLE is no better to use than a 350mm SA! A 60mm is no better than a 120mm.

One day in Australia’s Blue Mountains I used each lens that was in my bag - I saw so many aspects in that spectacular area every lens could tell a story: 50, 80, 120, 250!

Some shooters like to pick out shapes and features; some like an overall story shot.... it's up to you and your eyes - no right or wrong!

And if you happen only to be able to carry a 1950s Zeiss Super Ikonta with an 80mm lens at the top of Everest - you are guaranteed that the very best lens you can use for that top of the world landscape is...... an 80mm lens!

Enjoy whatever you have or chose to shoot with.

I would conside if you have only the SWC, you can practice and make the best use of composition of SWC when taking wide pictures. If you have a 40mm/50mm Distagon, or borrow one from your friends, you can compare the difference. It is a matter of photographer's taste rather than "better" or "worse" in some other thing.
Q.G. de Bakker Wrote:
" Thalmees,
I think you meant that second (IF) 50 mm to read 40 mm? "
Oh, yes Q.G. thanks for correcting me. Sorry.
CFE 4/40mm IF
CFE 4/50mm IF.
I'm not able to edit my previous post after 30min.
I hope I'm not wrong now
Thanks again Q.G. de Bakker.
Hi Aleksey

I go along with most people here and use the 50mm lens more than anything else for landscapes. But do not under estimate the standard 80mm lens. Its lovelly and light and very capable. (also a pretty decent macro if you have an extension tube with you for interesting close ups). I assume you have a really decent polarising filter

Richard Marks
Last year on the Everest trek in Nepal I was glad I brought my 250mm. Wouldn't want to be without in the mountains ever! This picture was made using that lens, a 1960's vintage version.

Fantastic Frank - just beautiful. My 250mm is one of my favourite "landscape lenses"!

Now that I really think about it so are my 50, 60, 80, 120, 150, 180 lenses!

I really feel that if I were ever lucky enough to go there, I would HAVE to take my 6x6 kit - simply to do the environment real justice!
Thanks, I brought my 50mm FLE, CF 150mm and 250mm C last year. Here's one more with the 50mm, Cho Oyu in the early morning.

Frank, again that is superb - nailed the exposure! Even over the web I can see detail in the shadow. I like the way the 50mm FLE controls vignetting when I have even skies in landscapes - I've never had an "ugly" surprise yet.