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    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
    Paranormal and Spiritual Interests
     
    #1

    Aug 7, 2013, 04:35 AM
    Wide angle lens...
    I would love to get a nice wide angle lens... however photography quickly stretches ones funds thin. Do you think a 18-55mm kit lens is that terrible for such things as landscapes?
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,825, Reputation: 2035
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    #2

    Aug 7, 2013, 04:50 AM
    I prefer zoom lenses and macro lens or filters. Wide angle just seems to me to distort and give a fish bowl affect which you can get a better affect with some filters.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #3

    Aug 7, 2013, 01:14 PM
    18 is pretty wide. What you might condiser is to bracket the pictures into groups. Like has been said after a certain diameter you get what's called a fisheye effect. The center of the picture looks and apprears normal but the edges are rounded. When taking pictures of tall buildings or other objects that have straight lines its very noticeable.

    50 Fantastic Examples of Fish Eye Photography | PSDFan


    Of course if this is what you desire then have at it and experiment. Hint: Rule of thumb is that when shooting with a 50mm lens then close 1 eye to see the picture. To see it with a 28mm lens look with both eyes open.
    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
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    #4

    Aug 7, 2013, 01:44 PM
    When you're talking about bracketing, are you referring to HDR photography or something else? I know my camera doesn't have AEB.

    I love fisheye especially when applied to architecture. I just want something that is really going to capture landscape... and of course if I can get away with it decent enough with my kit lens I will. Obviously it's not the best, and much of what I have read doesn't say much for it at all.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #5

    Aug 7, 2013, 02:44 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by hauntinghelper View Post
    When you're talking about bracketing, are you referring to HDR photography or something else? I know my camera doesn't have AEB.

    I love fisheye especially when applied to architecture. I just want something that is really going to capture landscape...and of course if I can get away with it decent enough with my kit lens I will. Obviously it's not the best, and much of what I have read doesn't say much for it at all.
    By bracket means you take a picture and overlap it slightly into the next picture to later combine for ultrawide shots.
    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
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    #6

    Aug 7, 2013, 04:22 PM
    Ok, I know what you mean now.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #7

    Aug 7, 2013, 06:50 PM
    What kit are you considering?
    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
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    #8

    Aug 8, 2013, 03:47 PM
    Haven't eyeballed too much. I was actually more curious how different my kit lens would be from a better wide angle lens. I know my 50mm was leaps and bounds better, but that also was due to the 1.8 aperture.

    We live near Lake Michigan and are also going on vacation soon so I thought it'd be nice to have something that really captures landscape (better than my kit). So, specifically, no I haven't looked at much yet.
    solidzane's Avatar
    solidzane Posts: 111, Reputation: 8
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    #9

    Aug 9, 2013, 01:11 AM
    I just need to chime in here... The correct use of the term "bracketing" is closer to the comment about HDR... When you bracket your shots you take one picture at an aperture and shutter speed that is considered properly exposed, you then take two or more shots that are either a shutter speed faster or slower, or that are either an aperture stop larger or smaller. This gives shots that would be considered over or underexposed by camera software... Bracketing shots this way gives the photographer more leeway on finding the "perfect" shot of a particular scene.

    HDR photography uses a bracketed series of photos. At least 3 in general. One underexposed, one properly exposed, and one overexposed. The purpose is to get a shot that has clear detail in the shadows and in the highlights.

    Cdad's definition of bracketing is more correctly thought of as overlapping frames. Standing perfectly still and pivoting from left to right or up and down in straight lines, or using a tripod to do so can allow you to take shots where say a particular tree is on the left or right side of the frame and on the opposite side on the next shot. Hence, there is some overlap in the two frames. Photo editing software like Photoshop can take these multiple shots and create what is called a panorama. Likewise, most modern point and shoot cameras and most, if not all, Sony cameras have a "sweep panorama" mode. Basically the camera takes a bunch of shots while you pivot one way or the other and the camera's software stitches the photos together to make your panorama...

    My opinion on your kit lens choice is that you will get decent, even good photos out of it. I have used my kit lens for landscape shots and have been happy with the quality. The thing to remember is that you want to use the smallest aperture possible. That means your highest aperture number, to get detailed landscape shots. You want f/16 more than f/2.8... That also means slower shutter speeds and preferably the use of a tripod. Feel free to bracket your shots with bigger apertures, but keep in mind that larger apertures will cause less focus clarity in the distance. You could also try bracketing with different ISOs. Just beware of "noise" in digital shots and grain in film...

    To be perfectly honest, a kit lens is not ideal, but it will do the job. Using fixed focal length lenses will generally provide the best results. In your case you want something in the 18-35mm range with a good aperture range or a fixed small aperture for landscapes. 18mm provides good shots on APS-C sized photo sensors. But it will cause more distortion or "lens flare" on a larger full frame sensor. In the case of full frame, look for a lens that is a bit longer than 18mm...

    I hope this post has helped. I know it was a lot of reading and I apologize for any typos. I'm replying on my phone... ;-)
    solidzane's Avatar
    solidzane Posts: 111, Reputation: 8
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    #10

    Aug 9, 2013, 01:19 AM
    Also, I'm not so sure about the earlier stated "rule of thumb." When I shoot, I tend to keep both eyes open for the simple reason that I might see something of interest in my periphery. It can get a little disorienting at first, but with practice it can help. Just like when shooting firearms or driving a car. Keep both eyes open to not only see more, but to maintain proper depth perception... :)
    solidzane's Avatar
    solidzane Posts: 111, Reputation: 8
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    #11

    Aug 9, 2013, 01:20 AM
    I just need to chime in here... The correct use of the term "bracketing" is closer to the comment about HDR... When you bracket your shots you take one picture at an aperture and shutter speed that is considered properly exposed, you then take two or more shots that are either a shutter speed faster or slower, or that are either an aperture stop larger or smaller. This gives shots that would be considered over or underexposed by camera software... Bracketing shots this way gives the photographer more leeway on finding the "perfect" shot of a particular scene.

    HDR photography uses a bracketed series of photos. At least 3 in general. One underexposed, one properly exposed, and one overexposed. The purpose is to get a shot that has clear detail in the shadows and in the highlights.

    Cdad's definition of bracketing is more correctly thought of as overlapping frames. Standing perfectly still and pivoting from left to right or up and down in straight lines, or using a tripod to do so can allow you to take shots where say a particular tree is on the left or right side of the frame and on the opposite side on the next shot. Hence, there is some overlap in the two frames. Photo editing software like Photoshop can take these multiple shots and create what is called a panorama. Likewise, most modern point and shoot cameras and most, if not all, Sony cameras have a "sweep panorama" mode. Basically the camera takes a bunch of shots while you pivot one way or the other and the camera's software stitches the photos together to make your panorama...

    My opinion on your kit lens choice is that you will get decent, even good photos out of it. I have used my kit lens for landscape shots and have been happy with the quality. The thing to remember is that you want to use the smallest aperture possible. That means your highest aperture number, to get detailed landscape shots. You want f/16 more than f/2.8... That also means slower shutter speeds and preferably the use of a tripod. Feel free to bracket your shots with bigger apertures, but keep in mind that larger apertures will cause less focus clarity in the distance. You could also try bracketing with different ISOs. Just beware of "noise" in digital shots and grain in film...

    To be perfectly honest, a kit lens is not ideal, but it will do the job. Using fixed focal length lenses will generally provide the best results. In your case you want something in the 18-35mm range with a good aperture range or a fixed small aperture for landscapes. 18mm provides good shots on APS-C sized photo sensors. But it will cause more distortion or "lens flare" on a larger full frame sensor. In the case of full frame, look for a lens that is a bit longer than 18mm...

    I hope this post has helped. I know it was a lot of reading and I apologize for any typos. I'm replying on my phone... ;-)
    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
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    #12

    Aug 9, 2013, 04:26 PM
    Solid-a many kudos to you for typing that much from a phone... something that is in my worst nightmares.

    But seriously, thanks for the response guys. After much reading up, I think I'm going to stick with the cheap option of using my 18-55 lens for awhile. Perhaps I'll be happy enough staying at the wide end of things with a smaller aperture.

    While I have the thread going... I've also read that a 200mm-300mm telephoto can be decent enough to act as a macro... any thoughts?
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #13

    Aug 9, 2013, 05:57 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by hauntinghelper View Post
    While I have the thread going...I've also read that a 200mm-300mm telephoto can be decent enough to act as a macro...any thoughts?
    Nope. Its not a macro lens. Many have that feature built in. It changes the lenses so you can get up close. But it is a true macro lens.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #14

    Aug 9, 2013, 06:13 PM
    Here is a cheap lens but it gets you the 2 things you want for experimenting with. It's a combo macro / fisheye lens.

    Fish Eye Macro Combo Lens for Nikon D3100 D40 18 55mm | eBay
    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
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    #15

    Aug 9, 2013, 06:31 PM
    Wow, interesting lens. Thanks for the link.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #16

    Aug 9, 2013, 06:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by hauntinghelper View Post
    Wow, interesting lens. Thanks for the link.
    I think it is an add on to your current lens. But it has 2 of the features you were asking about Macro and Fisheye.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #17

    Aug 9, 2013, 06:47 PM
    I just saw this and maybe its something you might like. I have been dealing with this company for many many years. It's a zoom lens for your camera. 55-200mm.

    Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm Lens - f/4-5.6G IF-ED at TigerDirect.com
    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
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    #18

    Aug 9, 2013, 09:09 PM
    You know I used to buy from Tiger Direct all the time... can't believe I haven't thought of checking with them before for photo. And I've looked at that lens and the 300mm quite a bit. Adorama.com is also another site I have come across with great prices and an amazing selection!
    joannelemke's Avatar
    joannelemke Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #19

    Nov 28, 2013, 08:13 PM
    18mm is already fairly wide. Unless you also wanted to take landscape photos in poor lighting conditions I don't think there would be a problem.
    hauntinghelper's Avatar
    hauntinghelper Posts: 2,854, Reputation: 290
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    #20

    Nov 29, 2013, 06:36 AM
    I just got back from Disney and the 18 ended up being just fine for most of the pics I wanted to take.

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