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Shooting landscapes

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Martin350d, May 23, 2019.

  1. Martin350d

    Martin350d Member

    I am about to purchase either a Canon 200D or 800D.

    I currently have a Canon 350D and 400D plus wide angle and zoom lenses.

    I shoot almost exclusively landscape photography whilst hill walking.

    With the 350D and 400D there is an A-DEP setting which, although it doesn’t always get good reviews online, has produced decent results for me. The new camera won’t have this setting although it may have a landscape mode.

    My question is what is the simplest way to go about getting decent landscape shots where both the foreground and distant objects are in focus? Given that I am on the move ascending fells and probably shoot several hundred images in a day, I would prefer a relatively simple solution that does not require too much time setting the camera.

    I’m not technical with a camera but willing to learn with a bit of direction.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    You need to get a bit technical. Depth of field is decided by the aperture (F number) and where you put the plane of focus. If you look through your pictures taken with A-DEP in Canon DPP you'll find the aperture will be in the range F8-F16. Possibly DPP will also show the active focus point. Very generally it will be somewhere about 1/3 of the way between near and far things you want sharp. The focal length of the lens is important. A wide angle lens (say 35 m or wider) that is stopped down to F11 will have everything further than a few m away in focus. With a telephoto the depth of field is limited if focussed on subjects closer than a few 10s of m. Some impression of depth of field can be got by pressing the dof preview button but at F11 the image will be very dark on a DSLR. Mirrorless cameras have an advantage here. I'd check out what DPP can tell you- see if you can see a pattern in your favourite shots.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  3. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    Hi, as fellow hillwalking photographer , I use f16 and focus on a point about a third into the frame, to get sharpness near to far. I only have to adjust my iso to get a hand held shutter speed. Hope this helps.
  4. Martin350d

    Martin350d Member

    Hi guys, thanks for the feedback.

    So, depending upon the lens, I need to set an aperture and focus about 1/3 of the way into the shot. If I do that, will the camera take care of the shutter speed if I select the correct mode? I have always left the ISO on 100 in the past?

    I have the following EFS lenses that I use regularly, all Canon:

    10 - 22

    18 – 135

    55 – 200

    I am proposing to purchase a 15 – 85 and use this as my main lens as it has good reviews and should cover the range I need in most instances.

    Is it too simplistic to ask what aperture I should consider with each of these lenses? Presumably it depends to some extent on where in the range a telephoto is focused? I generally only use the high end of the 135 and 200 for distant shots, if necessary I could use the camera auto setting for this.

    I was aware of the dof preview button although have not used it, I will have a go.

    I wasn’t aware I had DPP. Raises a further question of whether I should use RAW rather than JPEG. Although I think the 350D / 400D let you do both if you have sufficient card capacity.
  5. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    with regard to aperture f8 to f16 will give sufficient depth of field.
    with regard to RAW some zealots say yes and some say JPEGs will do. Your choice, basically are you happy with your jpegs or do you think you could improve them by using RAW and software.
    Watch some videos on youtube if you aren't sure how to process
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Yes, the camera will set the exposure time if you use Aperture priority and hence set the aperture. You have to be mindful of camera shake if the exposure time is greater than 1/(focal lengthx1.6) .

    DPP edits jpegs too. I must admit I switched to raw shooting quite quickly because, in the first instance, DPP let me compare standard/neutral/faithful/landscape interpretations of each shot but I certainly don't take hundreds of landscape pictures at a time.
  7. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    All Canon DSLRs will save simultaneously in RAW+JPEG. JPEG files are very much smaller than RAW so unless your cards are very low capacity saving both shouldn't be a problem. As to whether you shoot RAW is a matter of personal preference. If your main purpose is to produce a record of your walks then JPEG is probably all you need but if you like working on pictures ot shooting in tricky lighting than RAW may be worth a go. One advantage with DPP is that it automatically applies the camera's picture settings to the RAW files for you to accept or adjust as required.

    Cambridge in Colour do a handy Guide to Depth of Field which may help...
  8. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I would avoid shooting RAW+JPG as anything other than a very, very short test.

    Firstly, if the JPGs are good enough, you won't use the RAWs. Also, you'll only end up trying to process the RAWs so they look like the JPG rather than how you feel they should look artistically.

    Either shoot RAW or JPG. The only time I shoot both is when I've got two cards in the camera and I shoot RAW to one and JPG to the other as an emergency backup but I literally throw the JPGs away once I've pulled the RAWs off the other card.

    Both have their place, choose one or the other, avoid both on the same card (IMO).
    peterba likes this.
  9. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Sorry Tony but I have to disagree.I shoot raw only for action where I want the camera to give a rapid frame rate.
    Raw plus JPG is good for postcard landscapes because when the JPG is good out of the camera then that is all that is needed but if the JPG needs further tone mapping it is better to throw it away and start again with the raw. If you get a really good landscape that deserves careful preparation for display then one is better off working with a raw file.
    The only times I shoot JPG only is when I demonstrate that you can get better slightly telephoto pictures from an ancient Canon Powershot A710 with its 6x optical zoom compared to an IPhone Xpensive. The A710 does not do raw!
  10. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Possibly you need to forget about the various 'mode' options, and learn a little about hyperfocal distance and manual focus.

    This is the relevant page from a website that other Forum members have recommended in the past:


    For your Canon bodies, I think the 'camera type' needs to be 'Digital SLR with a CF of 1.6'.
    Once you have selected this from the drop-down list, select 'Calculate' and look at the results.

    Be warned that, for an APS-C sized sensor like that in your Canon bodies, F 11 is probably the smallest lens aperture you should use because F 16 and F 22 may result in softer images because of diffraction caused by the small physical size of the aperture. I'd suggest using F 8 and using manual focus to ensure the focus distance matches the one on the chart. If this is difficult to do, or if the lens has no focus scale on it, use autofocus on an object whose distance matches the one on the chart, and then turn off the autofocus so that the focus of the lens will not change when you take the shot. Use aperture priority or manual exposure to set the shutter speed required.

    For example, for a 16 mm lens this distance is a near as 1.6 m. If your lens does not exactly match one on the chart, use the chart figures for the lens size above and below that of your lens as a guide and make a guess. If you don't have any foreground stuff this close, set the focus a little further away to ensure that infinity is sharp. The website page also refers to the 'rule of thumb' of setting the focus about 1/3 of the way into your scene, which will probably all you'll need most of the time. Read the explanation carefully.

    I have a Sigma 10-20 mm lens that is used on a camera body with an APS-C sized sensor, and I've never used autofocus with this lens.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019

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