View Full Version : What kind of lens should I use for outdoor photography?

03-06-2011, 10:39 AM
I plan on taking a trip where I'll be taking a lot of outdoor photography, mostly architecture, but landscape as well. I own a sony a100 digital slr and I was wondering if a wide angle lens would be something to invest in, also what focal length should I look for, as i anticipate needing some zoom. And has anyone had experience with a polarizing filter? I've heard that it helps with reducing haze, and reflections from glass? Appreciate the help!

03-16-2011, 01:52 PM
Hi Broadville,

Nice to encounter another Sony user. I'm sure many of the others on here will be able to offer you some good advice re: what kind of lens you should use. My camera's a Sony A33 and the regular lens I use is an 18-55mm zoom lens. It's served me well so far. I'm waiting to get the 16mm F2.8 fisheye as having read a lot on the subject a wide angle is something you should invest in for landscapes as it brings that much more into the picture. I can definitely vouch for the polariser. It does reduce reflections. When I first started using it I was amazed just how much it made a difference i.e. clouds taking on more definition against a sky with richer colour. You might want to also consider getting an ND filter.


03-16-2011, 02:00 PM
Welcome broadville,

Polarizing filters are essential in outdoor nature photography. If you're just starting out be prepared to save pennies as photoplay gets expensive fast. The better you get the more you'll want both wide and telephoto lenses for nature photography and many other things like architecture. I recommend a cheap 50mm fast lens to start with.

04-16-2011, 03:39 PM
With telephoto lenses you need a clear day. Also likely a tripod. I have taken some good images but also many where the haze has resulted in disappointed results. Wild life is something different as likely not so far away but my lenses are cheap with f6.8 I find anything moving especially birds rather a failure.
As to wide angle I only have a 18mm (28mm 35mm equivalent) and even with that buildings can warp quite a lot. Which means Photoshop to correct. So where I need more than 28mm I use Photoshop panorama to combine multi images to produce one picture.
As Marko says it can get very expensive and I don't have the cash. So no really big wide angle.
Using multi-images you can take a full 360 degree shot however you need to practice to work out what overlap is required. Big thing is exposures must match. I know I should set camera manual and so each picture will match but often forget and have to open them all in RAW first and correct so they are match. Hence why you need to practice so you know what will and what will not work.

02-28-2012, 11:43 PM
There are two types of polarising filters. The simple linear and the compound sandwich which has a 1/4 wave filter on the camera side of the filter so the electronics of the camera will still work. The latter is often called circular but it's isn't really, there would be no point is turning a circular filter it would be either clockwise or anticlockwise but that's not the case you can turn them to filter out the light you want.

Putting two polarising filters together and turning them will work as a neutral density filter but only if there is not a 1/4 wave filter between them.