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Need help

This is a discussion on Need help within the Digital photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; I plan on taking a trip where I'll be taking a lot of outdoor photography, mostly architecture, but landscape as ...

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    johny3329 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Need help

    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!

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    You are asking huge questions Johny. Our pleasure to help but let's get some key info first.

    What is your budget for the lens?
    Are you good at correcting distortion in a graphics program?

    Polarizing filters are essential to have on your lens during the day because they remove reflections not just from glass, but from everything that gives off reflections. (leaves, pavement, water etc.)
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    ewaizel is offline Senior Member
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    In my case I always go outdoors with 3 lenses:
    -A 10-20 wide angle which I really love
    -The traditional 28-70 mm
    -A 70-300 zoom
    I always have a polarizer available.
    My 2 cents

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    Depending on how long you anticipate needing the equipment, you might be able to rent several lenses to cover all your needs for much less than the purchase of just a single lens. Just something to think about. Oh, and don't skimp on the filter. Buy the best you can afford.

    Borrowlens is a good place to look, but there are others.
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    ericmark is offline Senior Member
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    I find even at 18 mm I get distortion and often better results stitching images together where you can get full 360 degs. I am told Hugin is the software to use but it will not run on my PC but is free. There are also fish eye filters that go on the end of your lens worth a thought.

    Polarising filters can mess up the focus on some cameras normal is to use a sandwich filter with polarising and 1/4 wave the latter turns it back so the focus will still work. They seem to be called circular polarising filters not a clue why as they are not circular polarising. You need to turn a linear polarising filter and in some cases the lens hood stops one getting at the filter so you may also need a new lens hood.

    The polarising filter can do odd things when something else interacts. Any LED display is likely to show blue blotches when take with polarising filter on and it also reduces light. So a sky light filter is some times called for instead.

    Two polarising filters turned against each other will act as a neutral density filter but not if there is a 1/4 wave filter between them. This is the test used to see if just polarising or is sandwich type.

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    Mike Guilbault is offline Junior Member
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    One of my favourite focal lengths for architecture is 24mm which I use quite a bit in my 17-35mm 2.8 Nikkor. I get slight distortion with it at 17mm, but that is easily corrected in LR with the Lens Correction. After 24mm, the 17mm end of that lens is used the most. My next favourite lens is the 70-200mm 2.8. I like it for details in the architecture.
    From what I understand, you need a Circular Polarizing filter for auto-focus. I use it less and less these days as I don't like the exaggerated skies they can produce, but usually use it when I'm shooting water to take off the glare and deepen the colours in the water. Of course, if the photo is of a reflection in the water, don't use it!

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