taking scenery picture, but what lens aperture should I look for?


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maMmoth

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hello all expert.. i am a newbie to DSLR, now I'm considering to get a Ultra wide angle lens for taking scenery, and wondering if whoch F number I should be considered into? If not mistaken, isn't it the smaller the F (eg. Sigma 10-20 F2.8 - 3.5), the blur the background will be... so.. If i am taking scenery, i need clear picture on all the subjects.. then I should consider getting a (more than F/3.5 the better) ??

Btw, am using the A350... any good lens to recomend to me? Is it around $1000 ??
 

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The smaller the F-number, the thinner the Depth of Field, which means less stuff is in focus. For a landscape shot, you'd typically want a small aperture(big F-number) like f8 or f11. Virtually any lens you buy will be able to do this.
 

Kit

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The description of the lenses indicated the maximum aperture opening it is capable of. That does not means you cannot stop it down to a smaller aperture e.g. f/8, f/11, etc. For some zoom lenses, the maximum aperture opening varies, hence you'll see f/2.8-f/4, etc but you can stop them down to a smaller aperture.
 

ziploc

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By saying "scenery" I assume you're referring to landscape photography?

If you're asking about maximizing the DOF, you'll need to find out the hyperfocal distance of your lens for the selected aperture. Here are some DOF & hyperfocal distance calculators. If you're not looking to maximize the DOF but just to capture the distant scenery, simply focus at the distant objects (e.g. mountains etc). The aperture value in this case does not really matter as you would be focusing close to infinity, but I always choose the aperture value at the sweet spot of the lens, which is normally about 2 stops from it's widest aperture (e.g. if my lens widest aperture is f/4 then I would use f/8).
 

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maMmoth

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guyz.. thanks.. it really helps alot.. but is that means if I set to F11, there will be some subject that is not sharp? Is it possible to set it to F28 and reduce the shutter speed so that it is not overexposed while I still get sharp image on all the subject on the landscape?
 

ziploc

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guyz.. thanks.. it really helps alot.. but is that means if I set to F11, there will be some subject that is not sharp? Is it possible to set it to F28 and reduce the shutter speed so that it is not overexposed while I still get sharp image on all the subject on the landscape?
No that is incorrect. f/11 is still ok, but when you go further with narrower aperture (normally > f/16), diffraction will set in and the lens optics will again not be performing at its optimum.

Unless you're using manual mode, the exposure will be the same as the camera will choose the correct exposure for you (either in P, A or S mode). E.g. f/4, 1/250s has the same exposure with f/8, 1/60s. The issue related with using narrower aperture, apart from the diffraction, would be the resulting shutter speed. If the shutter speed is too slow, you'll get camera shake unless you're using a tripod.
 

Kit

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#7
guyz.. thanks.. it really helps alot.. but is that means if I set to F11, there will be some subject that is not sharp? Is it possible to set it to F28 and reduce the shutter speed so that it is not overexposed while I still get sharp image on all the subject on the landscape?
If only photography was that easy.......

If you are using a wide angle lens, the depth of field is so great that f8 or f11 is good enough to ensure everything in the frame is in focus. Just use the aperture priority mode and let the camera take care of the shutter speed. Do some adjustments if necessary after you take the first shot.
 

Rashkae

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If you're really lazy, set your control dial to "Landscape" mode. :)

Then you can also take a look after you've taken the picture and check what settings the camera chose.
 

Galdor

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hello all expert.. i am a newbie to DSLR, now I'm considering to get a Ultra wide angle lens for taking scenery, and wondering if whoch F number I should be considered into? If not mistaken, isn't it the smaller the F (eg. Sigma 10-20 F2.8 - 3.5), the blur the background will be... so.. If i am taking scenery, i need clear picture on all the subjects.. then I should consider getting a (more than F/3.5 the better) ??

Btw, am using the A350... any good lens to recomend to me? Is it around $1000 ??
Hi, ususally I will shoot between f8-f16. Sometimes I'll use f22 also. Which f stop to use will depend on what you want to achieve and the lighting condition.

I have used the following lenses for landscape.

- Sony 16-105mm
- Minolta 17-35mm
- Tamron 17-50mm
- Sony 11-18mm
- Sony /KM 18-70mm kit lens

and they are all below $1K yielding good results. Do you have a tripod? Maybe you may want to invest in one first before considering getting a lens cos the kit lens can give pretty good results for landscape too. Or you can tell us what lenses you have first before we can recommend.
 

maMmoth

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wow.. thanks for all the feedback... yes I have a tripod that is why i always try to set the aperture minimum possible.. i tried on F11 too and seems to me the everything in focus and it is almost the same when I set it to the minimum F/22. Only one thing I notice is if there is a bright spot (especially lights) it will have bigger burst (big star like around the light), F11 will have smaller... is this the only difference? In that case I would prefer always set it to F/11 when taking landscape at night..
 

maMmoth

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ohh... by the way, I only have kit lens 18-70.. i always wanted and love to take landscape.. city night view... that is why I am thinking to get a good wide angle lens (i think I gonna use it alot).. of course, if the UWA with less distortion would be great (so that I won;t have to always change lens) but I am not sure whether there are any.. i saw there is one tamron 10-24 new lens not sure whether it can take clear and nice picure or not.. proabably will cost around $1000
 

PrimePhotog

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wow.. thanks for all the feedback... yes I have a tripod that is why i always try to set the aperture minimum possible.. i tried on F11 too and seems to me the everything in focus and it is almost the same when I set it to the minimum F/22. Only one thing I notice is if there is a bright spot (especially lights) it will have bigger burst (big star like around the light), F11 will have smaller... is this the only difference? In that case I would prefer always set it to F/11 when taking landscape at night..
Not 100% sure what you are referring to but I think you mean softness at bright lights? That is the effect of diffraction caused by stopping down a lens too much.

Most modern lenses have optimal sharpness at about F8 or F11. Anything beyond would probably end up in soft images from diffraction.
 

ziploc

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#13
I think he is referring to the starburst effect, which usually occurs in digital camera when the aperture is stopped down to very narrow.
 

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