Question Which lens? (buying a gift for nephew)

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Bryn1, Aug 4, 2018.

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  1. Bryn1

    Bryn1
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    My Nephew has the Panasonic Lumix DMC G7 camera with the kit lens (14-42mm) he has expressed interest in adding a lens to take landscape shots/ and astro shots (night sky etc.) I am not sure if these two aspects would require completely different types of lens? anyway he has a birthday coming up so thought I would pick him up a new lens hopefully to cover both purposes or if not possible then just for landscape shots.

    Can anyone help me out with some recommendations on what to buy him, I have a budget of upto £400

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. John7

    John7
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    Landscape shots can be taken using pretty much any lens. Astro shots would generally require wide-ish angle lenses (28mm, 24mm, 20mm etc). The Panasonic is a crop sensor camera, so the focal length you see advertised for the lens would be doubled to give the equivalent field of view for a 35mm (full frame) camera.

    So, if you want a 24mm wide angle view for the Panasonic, you need to buy a 12mm lens.

    For astro work, you generally want a reasonably "fast" (larger aperture) lens (f2.8 or faster) to minimise the use of slower shutter speeds. These type of lenses tend to be heavier and more expensive. A fast lens is not a prerequisite for landscape shots as the lens is normally stopped down (set to a smaller aperture F8.0-F16.0) to get greater depth of field.

    Looking at your budget, I cannot see many wide angle lenses with a reasonably fast aperture, especially if buying in the UK!

    If your nephew is OK with manual focus, Samyang sell a 12mm F2.0 lens but it does not have autofocus. This can be had for around £260.00 in UK. It gets pretty good reviews.

    Samyang 12mm f2.0 NCS CS Lens Black - Micro Four Thirds Fit

    There is also a Sigma 16mm F1.4 lens that does have autofocus and can be bought for around your budget. This is a very fast lens, good for low light with an equivalent view of 32mm, so it may be OK for astro. It also gets very good reviews

    Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN- Micro Four Thirds Fit


    I'm not familiar with the M43 scene but hopefully others will come along soon and give you some better alternatives within your budget.
     
  3. icemanonline

    icemanonline
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  4. AMc

    AMc
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    I use a micro 4/3rds camera and have a bag full of lenses :)

    As @John7 has said you can take landscapes with the kit lens and the slower aperture of the lens isn't necessarily any handicap in most circumstances.
    Many landscape photographers use a wide or ultra wide angle lens, the Olympus 9-19mm zoom is a well regarded lens but a little over your (substantial) budget.
    Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f4-5.6 Lens - Jessops - Lenses

    Astrophotography is a field I've never got into but again a fast wide angle lens is a prerequisite.
    Technique and processing the image afterwards are a large part of the art.
    At the lower end of the price range I've seen good work done with the Samyang 7.5mm f3.5 but the "fisheye" distortion is not to everyone's taste.

    One thing to note is astrophotography really needs a decent tripod as the camera will be taking exposures of several seconds or a series of long exposures and any movement will ruin the picture.
    Landscape photography doesn't demand a tripod but many people would suggest it's a very useful tool and more or less essential if you're planning on doing long exposures like blurred water.

    I'd be cautious about spending so much money without your nephew's input.

    If you do decide to go ahead then I'd recommend looking at used as well as new lenses.
    If you buy a mint or excellent condition lens then there is often nothing to tell it apart from a new lens and these suppliers will provide a warranty.
    FWIW most of my lenses were bought used.

    London Camera Exchange
    Photographic Gear | New & Used Cameras & Lenses | Buy, Sell, Part Exchange | Camera Jungle - Camera Jungle
    mpb.com - Buy or Sell Used Photo & Video Equipment
    Used CSC Lenses
     
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  5. Bryn1

    Bryn1
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    Thank you for your advice and input, very much appreciated.
     
  6. 12harry

    12harry
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    Maybe you've just bought that gift...?
    Just a small correction is needed, IMHO.
    Most lenses have a "best aperture" which is typically a couple of stops down from the full aperture. If you stop-down to f22 the quality will be reduced because of reflections off the iris blades, this is sometimes called diffraction effect - but it is quite unnecessary except for very long (telephoto) lens - and even then the necessary longer exposure is quite likely to wreck the shot.

    Landscapaes do not need a great depth of focus, so setting a wide-angle lens to near infinity will capture everything. Some cameras have a "Panorama" setting, which allows the user to swing the camera steadily, to take about 5 pictures automatically. These are stitched together in the camera. This gives you a very wide picture which I doubt can be obtained by a single Wide-angle lens. Beware of "Fish-eye" lenses as these create a lot of distortion that's difficult to remove. Exposure can be tricky since the wide-angle includes a lot of sky.

    Astro shooting is always at infinity, so the lens can be focussed manually - indeed it's usually better to switch to Manual, so the AF doesn't ruin the shot when you least expect it.
    Also, you may need a fairly lengthy exposure and some folks will invest in motor-driven tripods that attempt to keep the stars as near stationary as possible.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. snerkler

    snerkler
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    I'm not sure who/what needs correcting as I've not seen anyone mention the use of f22?

    Also, diffraction is not caused by reflection off the iris, but more due to the alteration of the light as it passes through a small aperture. This article explains it better than I can, and also explains why smaller sensors show diffraction much earlier :smashin:

    What Is Lens Diffraction? - Photography Life
     
  8. snerkler

    snerkler
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    OP, the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 is a cracking lens and would work for both astro and landscape, it will also work on the Panasonic body (you can use Olympus on Panasonic and vice versa). It can be bought for £409 from grey sellers such as e-inifinty if you're happy buying grey (grey equipment is exactly the same as you would buy in the UK but the importer may not have paid all the proper import duties/VAT so it's a question of ethics).

    The 9-18mm is a great landscape lens but won't be as good for astro due to it's smaller aperture. You could probably get away with f4 on full frame for astro, but on m4/3 I'd be tempted to stick to f2.8 and wider.

    The Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 is another good option, similar to the Olympus 12-40mm but it's more expensive, and you'd probably have to buy a 'decent' condition used one to get it close to budget.
     
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  9. 12harry

    12harry
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    Yr post no 7...
    1) John7 mentioned f/16 - that's close enough for my comment as I don't think there is much need for landscape depth-of-focus when the subject is close to infinity. Using "Panorama mode" stitches nearly five frame-widths together and cuts both sky and grass, so the viewer sees more interest.
    2) I haven;t read that Link/but thanks ( re small apertures), yet cannot understand why you believe there is alteration of the light when passing through a small aperture.... since any ray that's at even the smallest distance away from the iris "can't know it's too close" Light isn't at all like something solid, which could find the aperture like a "bottleneck".
    My understanding is that reflections of the iris blades act as a secondary light-source and it is these that create interference - this seems a more-plausible explanation to me . . . . but either way no-one can know for certain.... Although if an iris was made deliberately with reflective edges, the effect should occur with larger iris sizes.....
    Nevertheless the accepted fact is that small apertures do not improve the resolution of a lens, although it may improve the depth of focus and therefore the image when viewed.( but tht rest of the image will be compromised too ). Most lenses are at their "best-performance" about two stops below full aperture - but another two stops down won't make IQ much worse.... excepting movement of the camera when pressing the shutter. Hence the popularity of stab. - which enables photos to be sharper in spite of possible rough-handling by the average snapper.

    Cheers....
     
  10. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Sometimes I’m not sure if your posts are serious or not tbh. But large depth of field is required for landscapes, hence shooting at f5.6-F11 depending on format and using hyperfocal distance. When referring to Astro the discussion is a little irrelevant as you want to be shooting with a wide aperture anyway.

    As to the diffraction issue it may be worth googling and looking at articles about it. Whatever your “belief” is should not interfere with scientific fact. Every article I’ve ever read about diffraction state the same thing that I posted. If you can show me proper evidence to the contrary I am always happy to be proven wrong and re-educated :smashin: The term diffraction is also the giveaway, it tells you what is happening. The term isn’t reflections ;)

    Diffraction Limited Photography: Pixel Size, Aperture and Airy Disks

    https://fstoppers.com/studio/fstopp...raction-and-when-does-diffraction-happen-6022

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explor...-diffraction-what-it-and-how-avoid-it?0p19G=c

    https://luminous-landscape.com/understanding-lens-diffraction/


    I am unfamiliar with the term/technique stab?
     
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  11. newbie1

    newbie1
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    @snerkler probably stab is stabilization...

    @12harry please do read about diffraction

    @Bryn1 what sort of Astro do you have in mind? Landscapes with the stars and Milky Way don’t need any motor driven tripot, that might be needed for deep sky objects...but that’s pretty advanced.

    Hope he enjoys the gift!
     
  12. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    LOL I had assumed he was referring to how to press the button.... .. :rotfl:
     
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  13. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Me too, thought it was some ninja move as to not cause camera shake :laugh:
     
  14. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Who marked that post as best answer :eek: :eek: :eek: :laugh:
     
  15. newbie1

    newbie1
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    For the benefit of anyone looking later it’s not the best answer :)
     
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  16. 1080 jawbreaker

    1080 jawbreaker
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    shooting landscapes with wide angle lenses means you end up with the same shots as everyone else, why not go for a telephoto lens, you can than get new compositions.
     

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