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Thread: Landscape gear

  1. #1
    a_drummer is offline I'm new here!
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    Default Landscape gear

    OK, I'm new here so I'm not sure this is in the right place, but bear with me.

    I'm a completely amateur photographer; I know most of the theory, but I haven't had much practice, so I don't really know equipment I need.

    At the moment I have:

    Canon EOS 400D
    Canon EFS 18-55mm (kit lens)
    Canon EFS 55-250mm IS
    Sigma 10-20mm EX DC (1:4-5.6 if that makes a difference)
    A selection of Cokin filters I inherited from my parents (A 102 +2, a split frame, champagne, A 198, A 127 and an A 160 POLA)
    HOYA Skylight
    HOYA UV(C)

    I am planning on getting the Lee digital starter kit soon.

    What would you recommend I get on top of this?

    PS. The filters don't fit my Sigma lens.

  2. #2
    RichardTaylor is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    (1) A good tripod with a ball head.

    (2) Remote release for your camera.

  3. #3
    Nicole's Avatar
    Nicole is offline Dr. Super Moderator
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    I'd recommend a Grad ND (or two) and an ND filter (or two). You might want more than one strength (or you might be happy combining filters)... but it looks like that Lee digital starter kit will get you just that. And I'd definitely make sure that they fit your 10-20mm. I used a Cokin P-Series wide angle holder for a while, but I wanted to hold more filters, and now I use a regular P-Series holder, but I have to zoom to about 12mm to avoid vignetting.

    So I'd say the only things which you may or may not be missing are: (1) a tripod, and (2) a remote. That will make sure you're set for any long exposures.

    Edit: D'oh, I'm slow tonight.
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  4. #4
    a_drummer is offline I'm new here!
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    I completely forgot to mention my tripod. Its quite old though, so it probably doesn't come under the heading 'good' and definitely doesn't have a ball head.

    I know its a cheap and lazy option, but could I just use the timer for long exposure shots?

    I was planning on getting a wide angle attachment for the Lee filters. The only problem is that I might not be able to use the hood with the filters on, so flare might be come an issue.

    Do you advise getting a polarizer? The Lee ones are very expensive, but seeing as how I'm getting the rest of the filter system, I may as well splash out. I may have to stick to the linear filter, though. Just the circular filter (not including the adaptor which allows you to turn it) is over 200.

    EDIT: Any other lenses you would recommend? Sometimes the Sigma to just too wide, or the perspective to just too wrong.
    Last edited by a_drummer; 08-16-2010 at 11:37 AM.

  5. #5
    Nicole's Avatar
    Nicole is offline Dr. Super Moderator
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    Yes, you can use a timer for long exposure shots. And really, I'd just work on getting the best you can from your other lenses because you really have the full range covered. But that's just me, I suppose. You can get good results with kit lenses.
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  6. #6
    Krusty79's Avatar
    Krusty79 is offline You kids get off my lawn!
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    I've read that the B+H polarizers are the best ones to get, but if you can't afford them, Hoyas are decent. I still have to upgrade from my cheap Cokin, but I just bought a Lee ND grad and I'm on a budget.

    It helps if your tripod has a bubble level.

    How do you like that Sigma lens? Do you recommend it?

    Greg
    Last edited by Krusty79; 08-16-2010 at 11:23 PM.
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  7. #7
    navcom's Avatar
    navcom is offline Out staring at the sun
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    I think you have most of what you need. A good tripod and a remote shutter I would agree that you need. The remote shutter isn't necessarily for long exposures but is used to limit camera shake as much as possible.

    I've been a landscape photographer for over 20 years. Here is what I use for your comparison. This is equipment I use on a regular basis.

    Pentax K20D and K10D bodies
    16-45mm lens
    10-17mm lens
    28-75mm lens
    40mm prime lens
    28mm prime lens
    Carbon fiber tripod with ball head
    Remote shutter cable
    Cokin "P" filter adapter (I don't use Cokin filters themselves)
    Singh Ray filters exclusively...
    Gold 'n Blue polarizer
    Warming polarizer
    Set of 3 ND grads
    Set of 3 reverse ND grads
    Variable ND filter

    I think that's it. This isn't a "starter's kit". I've collected and updated my equipment over many years. If I could give you one piece of advice it's this...save up for good equipment. Don't cheapen out if you are serious. The two most important pieces of equipment you should have are a good carbon fiber tripod (light for ease of carry but yet durable) and a good wide angle lens (or lenses) that cover the 16-40mm range which is the most-used range in landscape photography. Camera bodies come and go. Lenses last much longer. That 28mm prime lens in my list is 40 years old and it is one of my favorite lenses. I doubt any digital body will last that long.

    Good filters are also important if you prefer them over post-processing. I do. I think they produce higher quality final images since you are modifying the original light, not a pre-recorded image. I use Singh Ray filters exclusively. They are expensive but I consider them the best you can buy. I learned a long time ago that with filters, you get what you pay for. If I would've known back at the beginning, I could have saved myself a lot of money I wasted on cheaper ones.

    This is all my opinion coming from my own experience. There are certainly other opinions out there. You need to decide how serious you are going to be and what avenue you want to take to make it happen. Good luck!

    Hope that helps!
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  8. #8
    Japaslavian's Avatar
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    While I'll agree with a lot that navcom said (especially getting quality, even if more expensive), a big part of choosing equipment is to dissect your photography and choose what most befits your shooting style. I would say 95% of my portfolio was made with 1 lens and 2 filters, and never have I approached a shot and thought "man, I wish I had that lens or that filter."
    Sometimes I think people don't always tap into the versatility that lenses have, or even limit themselves thinking something cannot be done because they don't have the "proper equipment."

    or maybe that's just my excuse for living on a college budget and not having the means to buy equipment...

  9. #9
    a_drummer is offline I'm new here!
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    Well, I'm only 17, so money isn't abundant and I'm mostly shooting for my own pleasure, but I still take it seriously.

    Thanks for the tips though. I'll have to look into getting a 16-40mm lens.

    Do Singh Ray do any sort of starter kit? if so I may look at that instead of the Lee kit. I have to agree that filters give a better effect than post production.

    So, to recap, what I should think about getting is:

    Good quality filters
    Very good tripod
    Cable release
    [16-40mm lens]
    [A couple of good primes (probably 28mm and 40mm)]
    [28-70mm lens]

    PS. The Sigma lens is very nice. Good build quality, nice and sharp. Two things though: use manual focus because otherwise its a bit hit-and-miss; and it doesn't have a depth of field scale, so it can be difficult to find the hyperfocal point.

    EDIT: Should I get a linear polariser or try to get a circular one?
    Last edited by a_drummer; 08-17-2010 at 01:28 PM.

  10. #10
    Krusty79's Avatar
    Krusty79 is offline You kids get off my lawn!
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    Quote Originally Posted by a_drummer View Post

    PS. The Sigma lens is very nice. Good build quality, nice and sharp. Two things though: use manual focus because otherwise its a bit hit-and-miss; and it doesn't have a depth of field scale, so it can be difficult to find the hyperfocal point.

    EDIT: Should I get a linear polariser or try to get a circular one?
    I've seen others recommend that lens and it may be on my wish list someday.

    I found this on another site:

    Put another way, there is no difference in operation or effect between linear and circular polarizers. But a circular polarizer is needed for an SLR's systems to work properly.

    And regardless of the type, expensive polarizers are worth the money. Get a B+W or Heliopan if you can, or a Hoya if you must save some money.
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