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View Full Version : Would you consider a 90mm the best for landscapes?



Gallinazorey
9-Sep-2012, 02:13
Hi guys

for those who missed my original post I a new here and new to LF!

I am thinking of starting in general landscape photography....would you consider the Sinar Sinaron W 90mm f4.5 a proper lene for this? I have read good things about this lense here in the forrum but not sure if it is for what I need.

Thanks

alexn
9-Sep-2012, 02:25
Welcome to the forums!

I think a 90mm lens is where nearly every landscape photographer starts out in LF.

I love my 90mm, so much so that I built a home made 4x5 fixed focus camera around my 90mm F/8. I will say this. I love the 90, and its very versatile. That said, 90% of the time I find myself looking for my 75mm or something around 210. You're best to look at the lengths you shoot on your current format and then try to match it for your LF. On 35 mm I shot a 14-24mm lens all the time, Mostly at 14mm (which would be something around 47mm on 4x5) I do not own a lens that wide for 4x5 as I see it to be unnecessary. 75mm on LF is really quite wide. 90mm is a bit of an inbetween length. Its fairly wide, but not wide enough to be considered WIDE (if you know what I mean) I think 90 is a great place to start, but don't be surprised if you find yourself lusting after a 75 or 65mm lens in the near future.

Brian Ellis
9-Sep-2012, 04:04
Depends on what you call "landscapes" and how you photograph. I used a 210mm lens for most of my "landscapes" but I don't generally do big vistas.

IanG
9-Sep-2012, 05:24
We all have different criteria, while I like a 90mm for landscapes I use a 150mm or sometimes a 135mm for a very much higher proportion of my images. I'ver begun to use a 210mm (or 203mm) in the past 2 years and very occasionally use a 65mm.

Like Brian above I rarely shoot wide open Vistas and in fact tend to shoot with wider lenses in more conined locations. If I took just one lens it would be the 135mm.

Ian

vinny
9-Sep-2012, 06:17
no. 135mm is the best. because I say it is.

Ken Lee
9-Sep-2012, 06:30
Depends on what you call "landscapes" and how you photograph. I used a 210mm lens for most of my "landscapes" but I don't generally do big vistas.

Ditto

Ed Bray
9-Sep-2012, 06:35
Wouldn't an answer also be dependent on the format being used?

Gem Singer
9-Sep-2012, 07:24
For 4x5 or 5x7,

a 90SW or a 120SW are suitable for architecture and structures that are too close-by to be completely covered with a longer focal length lens.

A 150W, 180W, 210W, or 240W are more practical for landscape photography.

hmf
9-Sep-2012, 07:47
A 90mm f4.5 is a big heavy lens; best suited for scenes that are close to your vehicle. I agree with previous posters that a longer lens would be a better start. If you're intent on a wider angle though, and plan to carry your kit on your back, look for a Nikkor 90 f8 SW. Great lens.

Gallinazorey
9-Sep-2012, 08:00
no. 135mm is the best. because I say it is.

how about some pictures to back your statement?

MIke Sherck
9-Sep-2012, 08:10
The lens you mention will do fine. It's a bit larger and heavier than most but it ought to work just fine, as a lens. Whether it fits your "seeing" is another question that only you can answer.

Keep in mind too that the answer often changes over time. For me, my favorite landscape lens is my 125mm Fuji, followed by the 210mm. The 90mm comes third but I've been turning to it more often this year than before. So your views on the subject may change over time too, as you get more experience with lenses and favorite subjects. Again, though: 90mm is quite popular and the lens you mentioned is a good one. Go ahead and have fun!

Mike

Vaughn
9-Sep-2012, 08:35
No, at least not for me. I think the 90mm as a specialized tool that works for some images -- and that a majority of landscape images I see taken with wides scream "WIDE" instead of saying something about the place and its light. Sort of like seeing the gouge marks on a head of a bolt where someone used a pair of vise-grips instead of a box-open end wrench. Tons of great exceptions, of course.

I prefer a 150mm for landscapes and I think it is a better place to start. IMO, one should learn how a 'normal' focal length sees (135mm to 210mm for 4x5), then go wider or longer to expand one's vision.

Some examples of my 4x5 images with a 150mm lens.

David Lobato
9-Sep-2012, 08:59
I like my 90mm f4.5 Nikkor because the large aperture makes it easier to compose and focus in low light. And the 90mm has its glory moments where a longer lens won't do. However my 135mm Nikkor gets more use in 4x5 landscapes. Fortunately 135/150mm lenses are inexpensive for an easy addition to your 90mm.

chuck94022
9-Sep-2012, 09:03
+1 to Vaugn's post. If new to LF, and new to landscapes, a normal range is probably a better lens to get familiar with the view camera system and will be fine for landscapes.

As has been written many times, wide lenses are not for getting more of a landscape into a scene. Wide is for getting close to something (and still having an interesting but distant background perhaps). Wide is also good for getting a large structure (a building) in the frame. My 90 is not wide enough to capture The Egg (National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing) head on. I can only shoot it from side angles. For that I'd prefer a 65. But so far I have resisted the temptation.

Wide lenses are fabulous if you understand their purpose. But they make the ultimate in boring shots if you don't.

Gallinazorey
9-Sep-2012, 11:23
Thanks guys, its great found this forrum....great advice ad lovely pictures to g with it! Funny in 35mm terms I would have never thought of a 135,150 or 210 to be good for landscapes...I automatically thought a 210 was mainly for portiats...there you go....lots to learn

George E. Sheils
9-Sep-2012, 11:36
120mm has a lot going for it when it comes to landscapes, in my opinion.

It all depends on what you want to shoot and how much of your landscape work is at infinity.

Heroique
9-Sep-2012, 11:50
The 90mm already gets a whole lotta love for architecture.

I say we should give our love to a different lens for landscapes.

Sorry 90mm – it’s the 150mm for me. ;^)

Frank Petronio
9-Sep-2012, 12:16
That 90/4.5 is an excellent lens, don't let the frail pansies dissuade you into thinking it is too heavy. Buck up!

Seriously half a pound, 8oz, BFD unless you're backpacking in which case get a smaller roll-film camera, buy an Elliot Porter book, and stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

Merg Ross
9-Sep-2012, 12:25
To state the obvious, it depends on your vision. I have never liked the "wide" look in photography, landscape or otherwise; many do, and that is fine. I'm with the long lens crowd, my shortest being a 150mm, and the most used being a 210mm on 4x5. This image of Mono Lake was done with a 270mm.

Welcome to large format photography! You will get a lot of help from this forum, and many different opinions.

http://www.mergross.com/pictures/mono_lake.htm

vinny
9-Sep-2012, 12:32
That 90/4.5 is an excellent lens, don't let the frail pansies dissuade you into thinking it is too heavy. Buck up!
what frank said. My 90mm is a 4.5 and the trade off for ease of composing/focusing is worth it. Here's one from the 90:http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7090/7064463577_3d7510cb01_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62218065@N00/7064463577/)
malibu (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62218065@N00/7064463577/) by vinnywalsh.com (http://www.flickr.com/people/62218065@N00/), on Flickr
and a couple from the 135mm:
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2610/3782929728_fc5bebabff.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62218065@N00/3782929728/)
sandy 2-track (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62218065@N00/3782929728/) by vinnywalsh.com (http://www.flickr.com/people/62218065@N00/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7173/6723643123_6a11d68ef6_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62218065@N00/6723643123/)
pond reflection (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62218065@N00/6723643123/) by vinnywalsh.com (http://www.flickr.com/people/62218065@N00/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7006/6582067425_fb69534892_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62218065@N00/6582067425/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62218065@N00/6582067425/) by vinnywalsh.com (http://www.flickr.com/people/62218065@N00/), on Flickr

hiend61
10-Sep-2012, 04:29
No, at least not for me. I think the 90mm as a specialized tool that works for some images -- and that a majority of landscape images I see taken with wides scream "WIDE" instead of saying something about the place and its light. Sort of like seeing the gouge marks on a head of a bolt where someone used a pair of vise-grips instead of a box-open end wrench. Tons of great exceptions, of course.

I prefer a 150mm for landscapes and I think it is a better place to start. IMO, one should learn how a 'normal' focal length sees (135mm to 210mm for 4x5), then go wider or longer to expand one's vision.
+1.

Just ad that Sinaron SW 90/4,5 (It's a renamed Rodenstock Grandagon 90/4,5) is a very fine lens, and from time to time I use it for landscape, but my basic landscape kit is
Grandagon 115/6,8- Sonar W 150/5,6 and Sironar N 210/5,6, and maybe Sironar N 300/5,6

Some examples of my 4x5 images with a 150mm lens.

hiend61
10-Sep-2012, 04:31
Excuse me, my 150 is a Sironar W, not a Sonar.

SergeiR
10-Sep-2012, 06:25
That 90/4.5 is an excellent lens, don't let the frail pansies dissuade you into thinking it is too heavy. Buck up!

Seriously half a pound, 8oz, BFD unless you're backpacking in which case get a smaller roll-film camera, buy an Elliot Porter book, and stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

Aye. Comparing to other stuff - its not all that heavy. I mean trying to shave off 100g is just silly, unless you are packing for mountain climbing or long long trip on sleds to north pole (or south, before it disappears under water). its a good lens, easiest of all my wide angles to focus.

As of will you need it or not - that depends on personal style/choice.

"normal angle" in LF is way more usefull and nice , IMHO, than on smaller formats. And larger you go in LF - more so. So it is a good advice to start from 150 (or a bit shorter) on 4x5 and see how it rolls for you. They are fairly cheap and plentiful (and for record my 150mm Xenar is in fact sharp enough wide open to work with digital back on Chamonix... 150mm MC CaltarII - only getting there at f16 and even then its a bit odd)

Nguss
10-Sep-2012, 06:32
My personal favourites (4x5) are 90mm and 210mm, although 135/150 is also a very useful focal length as demonstrated in the images already posted here. For me 65mm is just far too wide (and quite dark on the ground glass), my 90mm f8 is darkish in low light but usable and 210 (5.6) is a joy to use.

E. von Hoegh
10-Sep-2012, 06:43
90mm on 4x5 is far too wide for most landscapes.

Woodsy
10-Sep-2012, 07:44
I personally find 90mm and 150mm lenses perfect for landscapes, with my 90mm getting the most use of all. I have never really felt the need for wider.

Drew Wiley
10-Sep-2012, 08:28
Just depends on your esthetic personality. Do you gravitate toward wide angle views in
general? Some people do and use wide-angle lenses habitually. I'm just the opposite and rarely do - I like long lenses with narrow perspectives instead. Do what feels right to you.

Kuzano
10-Sep-2012, 18:26
The question I always ask myself (after an initial false start for short focal lengths) now, when I look at all the stuff in the FOV of a 90 or shorter is, "Where in the hell, and how am I going to compose all that Crap???"

If you start asking that question, you started too short. I favor 125 and then up to 210.

You can always scan and stitch when you want the wider view.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/kuzano/1800shomestead001Stitch.jpg

Ivan J. Eberle
11-Sep-2012, 07:42
Depends on the landscape. A 90mm on 4x5 feels wider than a 24/28mm on 35mm to me, because of the mental composition habit of ignoring the edges that I don't print in standard sheet sizes on 135 format. A 210mm sounds long, but shot in 4x5 it's somewhere around a 70mm in "35mm equivalent" terms.

But I find comparing formats not at all the same, because of DOF issues... it's still a 90mm or 210mm lens, after all. And LF will soon have you looking at the world in much finer detail, because it can be rendered on film. So large format is just different, no real equivalency.

More significant, perhaps is the proximity of the subject. Is the terrain tight, and hard to get close to? Or are you shooting at or near infinity to take it all in? 90mm and wider lenses shot at infinity will make all but large mountains look puny.

David Schaller
11-Sep-2012, 08:16
80315

I rarely use a 90mm for landscape, but in light of this thread, I thought I'd try it last weekend. I think it works for this image. But I usually use a 135mm or 150mm as my "wide," and more often a 210mm as my "normal."

Dave

Brian Schall
11-Sep-2012, 08:36
Really depends on what and where you're shooting; I've shot in SW FL and here in NM. For me, I could leave my 65mm on all day; a 75mm might have been better. When I shoot 35mm, I love my 24mm; on 6x6 I loved my 40mm.

adam satushek
11-Sep-2012, 19:26
If I had to pick one 4x5 lens for landscape there is no question I would choose my 150 sironar s. Not just because its awesomely sharp but I love the focal length. But I shoot landscapes on everything from 120, 150, 210, 300, and 450 in the 4x5 format. I do have a 90....but I shoot it so little that I would sell it if I wasn't waiting for the wanderlust 90 4x5 to become available for me to slap it on.

Kodachrome25
12-Sep-2012, 06:45
I shoot landscapes on every lens I own, 65, 90, 135, 150, 180 & 240. The 90 is my favorite wide and once I get my 6x12 back it and the 65 will get used a lot more.

My favorite might be my 135 Apo Sironar-N, tiny and super sharp.

Kuzano
1-May-2013, 12:21
Well, since Vinny said 135, and sinhe said that because "he says so"... I'm going with Vinny. Besides I also get most of my landscape done to satisfy me at 135mm. 90 is too wide for the way I like landscapes...

You will learn there is not much consistency on one lens for landscape. I had a 90 and 127 when I started. I went up a bit from the 127 when I purchased a better lens.

John Kasaian
1-May-2013, 12:26
So what lens did the OP decide on?

AJ Edmondson
1-May-2013, 12:38
I'll agree with Vinny and Kuzano! For me, the 90 has always been too wide for landscapes (there are obviously exceptions) and I don't like to resort to it even for architectural - there is just a "feel" to it that doesn't work for me. I always liked the Kodak 127 but it is too limiting in terms of coverage and the Nikkor 120mm f8 just seems like overkill because of the size... I still have one that I used on 8x10 and 5x7 but I don't frequently resort to it on 4x5,

Joel

Ian Greenhalgh
2-May-2013, 11:10
I shot some scenery today, the rapids in the nearby river. I used my 2x3 Graphic with Angulon 65 and Xenar 105. I found the 65 was a bit too wide. Transpose those lengths to 4x5 and the 65 is equivalent to a 90 so I agree that a 90 is too wide for many scenes.

Aldo
4-Jul-2014, 07:14
These posts are very interesting for me. I'm using shen hao TZ 45 IIb ... a 4x5 field camera with a bellow extension 75-340mm, with a only one lens , a normal 150mm rodenstock sironar-n small and light. It's the only lens that i have tried in 4x5 , so i have no experience of other lens and perspectives ... .

Normally i use to shoot mountain landscapes and architecture , so i need a lens with a large coverage and a bit wide.

In 35mm i love 35mm and 21 mm focal lenght , but in large format it's so difference , there are many changes in the perception of the image plans.

I don't need a ultrawide lens ... a 90 sut for me ? It's too wide? i believe that seems to a 21-24 in 35mm

No much money and my long mountain trails need a lightness solution: 90 f8 superangulon or 90 f 6.8 grandagon. Even the NikKor 90 seem to be a great lens but a bit rare .

Thanks for your answers and excuse me for my ugly english...

John Kasaian
4-Jul-2014, 08:00
No.
The most useful lens, IMHO, depends on the view. How it works out for me is, wide angles(including the 90mm) for close up subjects, longer lenses for the "grand view."
If I have to work with a single lens, a normal length (135-150-180) is certainly a useable compromise.
90mm Is certainly important for architecture and if your mountain landscapes tend towards the "intimate" )ferns, rocks, close ups etc...) a 90 mm WA may suit your vision.

Aldo
4-Jul-2014, 10:32
Thanks John, this is in part my opinion , that for general use in landscapes even a 150 mm is a bit wide but close to human eye .
I believe that the main lens for me remain the normal 150, but many times a lens not too big or heavy and wide could be useful in urban landscapes, for architectures or to change the perspective of the photo.

The problem is that i have no idea of the real look of the 90: i have no comparison with a 72-75 or a 110-120.

Delfi_r
4-Jul-2014, 10:51
My premise is that every lens I should purchase needs to fit in my SuperTechnicka V 5x7.

I can close it with a wonderful 8/90 SW Nikkor that I've found, It's very wide, 90 horizontally or vertically if you are in the mood. But for landscapes, I use what fits for the image.

Brassai
4-Jul-2014, 14:45
I like the 90mm, but don't see it as a general purpose lens. I use it when I need something really wide. My advice is to just buy a used one. If you don't like it, you can resell it for about what you paid. Another useful focal length is something like 110mm or 120, although 120mm is getting a bit to close to your 150mm maybe. My own modern lens set is spaced 90-180-300. I do miss something between the 90-180mm fairly often though, and am thinking ~120mm.

Bill_1856
4-Jul-2014, 14:45
http://kcbx.net/~mhd/2photo/view.htm
Here's a list of the focal lengths used for AA's best known images. (No 90mm or equivalents there.)

Mark Sawyer
4-Jul-2014, 15:00
I think the 90mm is probably the best for landscapes, especially those that that require a 90mm lens. But if the image requires something wider, perhaps a 75mm or even a 65mm would be better. On the other hand, if the image would be better with a 150mm or 210mm, a lens that's 60 to 120mm longer might be the way to go...

Always glad to be of help... :)

John Kasaian
4-Jul-2014, 17:45
Thanks John, this is in part my opinion , that for general use in landscapes even a 150 mm is a bit wide but close to human eye .
I believe that the main lens for me remain the normal 150, but many times a lens not too big or heavy and wide could be useful in urban landscapes, for architectures or to change the perspective of the photo.

The problem is that i have no idea of the real look of the 90: i have no comparison with a 72-75 or a 110-120.
Take a look in the image sharing forum---many have notes on lenses, f-stops, developing etc.... There are quite a few examples of 90mms if I'm not mistaken.

Bill_1856
4-Jul-2014, 19:00
You can always CROP!

jnantz
5-Jul-2014, 05:56
the best lens for landscapes is the lens you have on your camera

Aldo
5-Jul-2014, 08:24
Good morning, today i was with my 4x5 and the sironar 150 on my mountains: vertical walls and deep valleys!I believe that for general use 150 mm is a bit wide , but i use sometimes a 6x9 format and is perfect for both. I believe that i could need the 90 only for 3 reasons: a moderate wide on 6x9 for landscapes, a wide lens for alps landscapes or urban photography on 4x5 (architectures), and a lens with more" breath " ( imagine a photo in a small forest... is quite different with a 90 .... instead of a 150)

For John : thanks , i already watch photos of other users to learn , but the problem is that there isn't a comparison of the same scene with different lens ...

angusparker
5-Jul-2014, 10:12
I really like 110mm and 125mm a lot for landscape, my 90mm is hardly used - just find it too wide. For a cheaper lens I'd look at the Fujinon CM-W 125mm f5.6.

Peter De Smidt
5-Jul-2014, 10:17
It depends on the landscape, as well as on the photographer. Out west the vast vistas, ala Ansel Adams, require long lenses. Here in the Midwest, I use 120mm, 210mm, 90mm, 300mm, 420mm, listed in the order of most to least used.

Aldo
5-Jul-2014, 10:45
I have found this on flickr : not the same scene , but something near ... maybe can help !

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shadowleaves/2945793507/in/photolist-bvFgJR-8vTyxb-85Swhc-7LK7zb-34WphY-bkY4uR-64eyD8-8vQvEt-dV6HYb-rVfs1-6sEvGK-6sJDcS-9HtTem-5uiXMe-9HtTRw-9Hr1LK-5MZNVW-rVfrP-9Hr1np-9Hr2HB-6tafAG-7uWrP5-9Hr1Cv-9Hr1g6-7RCnwp-7RCmXn-9HtSQy-9Hr2pX-6sEe9p-63szpR-64jgky-6sDvwD-6sJfgY-6sJBXE-63oPzi-9HtTWy-9Hr1wT-9HtTmA-6sEw9H-63tdCj-9Hr18R-9Hr25v-9HtTv9-9HtTEh-9Hr132-63oJNZ-6crUbL-bBjTq3-rVfrS-dnRS7W