Nikon FF super wide: Real World Experiences Sought


Jun 24, 2003
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#1
Currently shooting FF with the 20-35mm f/2.8 (buddied with the 28-70 and 80-200 f/2.8 AF-S + some manual lenses here and there). For environmental portraits within closed smallish environments (at times) I would like a wider view, BUT not a distorted one - seeing faces distorted is a no-no for what I do!

- The 14-24mm looks interesting but also monstrous (I am concerned that people would be intimidated by the size and the front element - its huge!!!).

- Then its the 18-35mm vs 17-35mm vs 14mm vs 16-35mm

Has anyone faced the same dilemma (for environmental portraits, avoid distortion as much as possible):

* add a lens to the 20-35mm? or just replace it?
* add or replace with which of the above lenses (or some other lens that I have not considered)?

I have already read bythom's, rockwell's and bjørn's reviews (for what its worth). Any thoughts from people working in the same area, who may have face the same dilemma whether to add or to replace? Any pictures to demonstrate why one and not the other?

-- marios
 

Miao

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Nov 3, 2004
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#2
Have your same concern too, i am also using 20-35 with d700. In the end after trying out 16-35, 17-35, i decided to stick to 20-35 if i require zoom. Its really the least distortion len from 24mm onwards. 16-35 is out for me cos its f4, 17-35 perform worst than 20-35 at 24mm.

I use 24 f1.4 when i dont require zoom, i can say its good .. maybe thats what u need.

But thats only my humble opinion ..
 

SabaDen

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#3
Never consider Tokina 16-28 f/2.8? Pretty good review ... :)
 

ghoonk

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#4
I shoot often with the 14-24 on my D700 and D3s. You'd be surprised what that lens can deliver. Was shooting recently in an abandoned/haunted village in Ras Al Khaimah (see http://www.wongobongo.com/StreetPhotography/Jazirat-Al-Hamra-a-walk/16340496_fP37J) with many shots taken with the 14-24. It has a pretty short MFD, and highly resistant to ghosting and flare, which helps as well. I did most of my shoot using the 14-24 and a 60mm AF-S Micro-Nikkor. FWIW, these abandoned villages in the desert tend to be pretty colour-limited. Buildings are sandy brown, against a ground of light brown sand and the skies are usually beigish-grey with hints of atmospheric blue - this lens goes beyond capturing what the naked eye sees, and the colour spectrum does show up well in post processing.

With such UWA lenses, you can pull off very creative perspectives. I don't so much care about barrelling or distortion as the point of a creative shot does not require technical perfection. If you want technically correct perspectives, then the 24mm PC-E lens is what you'd want, but I'd not recommend that.
 

#5
If the Nikon 14-24 f2.8 is to big and heavy than just get a 14mm f2.8 prime...Nikon...Tokina...Samyang.....I have the Samyang and I love it...Chk DP review....

I keep a Samyang 14 f2.8 and a Nikon 20 f2.8 in the bag...I can take care off most situations with the pair...And save a lot of money as well...

Cheers:cool:
 

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ghoonk

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#6
Having AF does actually help in some cases. Was eyeing the Samyang due to excellent reviews, but MF was a deal breaker as I tend to shoot my UWAs from down low, using Area-AF and leaving the camera to intelligently focus on the subject (which it gets right around 90% of the time for me). Since my bodies don't have an articulating LCD, it does get a bit tricky to take shots from really unusual positions (esp Hail Mary shots) without AF. That said, the 20/2.8 is an excellent choice, esp since the 14-24 is a crazy expensive lens.

Just rent one, shoot for a few days with it, and see if it gets you what you want, and decide from there.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#7
ghoonk said:
Having AF does actually help in some cases. Was eyeing the Samyang due to excellent reviews, but MF was a deal breaker as I tend to shoot my UWAs from down low, using Area-AF and leaving the camera to intelligently focus on the subject (which it gets right around 90% of the time for me). Since my bodies don't have an articulating LCD, it does get a bit tricky to take shots from really unusual positions (esp Hail Mary shots) without AF. That said, the 20/2.8 is an excellent choice, esp since the 14-24 is a crazy expensive lens.

Just rent one, shoot for a few days with it, and see if it gets you what you want, and decide from there.
If shooting landscapes, do consider using hyperfocal distance focusing. That will help a lot.
 

ghoonk

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#8
Very true. Got some interesting tips from a couple of pros recently - focus on a point 1/3 of the way between me and the background. Or get an iPhone app for it :D
 

Jun 24, 2003
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#9
Dear all: Many thanks for the replies and suggestions.

(Miao) - I am a Nikon old timer. I have long dreamed of the 20-35mm and I guess it is also what makes it so difficult to consider replacing it. But I do need something wider not faster, since I am shooting around the 4m mark in constrained environments and need to show the sitter and the environment (also known as the wife knows enough and can't be fooled into agreeing to buy the 24mm f/1.4 - I am looking for a 28mm AIS f/2 for kicks though !) :)

(SabaDen) - I am a Nikon through and through.. sad case.. the Tokina may be a good performer, I admit it, I am brand concious.. but then again, Nikon has never let me down so.. ok lah, that's my excuse :)

(ghoonk) - I do have the 24mm PC-E and the 85mm PC-Micro. Both are wonderful lenses, but I do need something that "creates space" at 4m and neither of these does. I guess its a case of different tools for different purposes. BTW, I have been studying your photos, really nice stuff, and point taken with regards to creative angles vs barrel distortions. Having said that, I am a technical person I guess, and have figured out that when shooting people, the safest place to place people is around +/- 1~2 /4 left or right of the centre (with the camera very importantly to be straight-ish).

(george671) - I think I am tossed towards the 14mm, though I do enjoy shooting manual Nikkors, there are times when you keep your eyes on a whole bunch of other things than just the camera.. its nice to know that the camera takes care of AF :) I will try to test as many of these as possible (like ghoonk said) before selling the 20-35mm :)

(daredevil123) - yeap hyperfocal is a must for landscapes, though not very very useful here (it does have its value though, point taken).

I will revert once I make a decision, in the meantime feel free to add / comment etc.
 

ghoonk

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#10
Let's face it, the Nikon 14-24 is about the widest you're going to get, alongside the more affordable Tokina 16-28 (i think). Any wider, and you're in fisheye territory

The 20-35, iirc, is an Ai-S lens, one of the best ones Nikon has made.

By the way, are you shooting on FX or DX format?
 

Jun 24, 2003
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#11
:) 14mm AF-D (that can also sit on my first Nikon F-501) vs 14-24mm AF-G

I am shooting a D3x and a D3. 16-28mm Tokina probably looses out to Nikon 16-35mm. So it becomes a case of 14mm vs 14-24mm. If I accept less wide, it gets confusing! Simply Nikon 16-35mm vs 17-35mm (I have started checking for the coverage angles already!), which I think it should be 16-35mm based on what I have been reading: see: http://mansurovs.com/nikon-16-35mm-f4-vr-review
 

bornwild4

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Sep 24, 2010
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#12
I shoot often with the 14-24 on my D700 and D3s. You'd be surprised what that lens can deliver. Was shooting recently in an abandoned/haunted village in Ras Al Khaimah (see http://www.wongobongo.com/StreetPhotography/Jazirat-Al-Hamra-a-walk/16340496_fP37J) with many shots taken with the 14-24. It has a pretty short MFD, and highly resistant to ghosting and flare, which helps as well. I did most of my shoot using the 14-24 and a 60mm AF-S Micro-Nikkor. FWIW, these abandoned villages in the desert tend to be pretty colour-limited. Buildings are sandy brown, against a ground of light brown sand and the skies are usually beigish-grey with hints of atmospheric blue - this lens goes beyond capturing what the naked eye sees, and the colour spectrum does show up well in post processing.

With such UWA lenses, you can pull off very creative perspectives. I don't so much care about barrelling or distortion as the point of a creative shot does not require technical perfection. If you want technically correct perspectives, then the 24mm PC-E lens is what you'd want, but I'd not recommend that.
Nice photos u got there with 14-24.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#14
If shooting landscapes, do consider using hyperfocal distance focusing. That will help a lot.
Very true. Got some interesting tips from a couple of pros recently - focus on a point 1/3 of the way between me and the background. Or get an iPhone app for it :D
This may help you out bro.
http://darthbertz.blogspot.com/2010/07/getting-everything-into-focus.html

Do leave a comment at the end to say hi, so I can say hi back.
 

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daredevil123

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#17
marios_pittas said:
:) 14mm AF-D (that can also sit on my first Nikon F-501) vs 14-24mm AF-G

I am shooting a D3x and a D3. 16-28mm Tokina probably looses out to Nikon 16-35mm. So it becomes a case of 14mm vs 14-24mm. If I accept less wide, it gets confusing! Simply Nikon 16-35mm vs 17-35mm (I have started checking for the coverage angles already!), which I think it should be 16-35mm based on what I have been reading: see: http://mansurovs.com/nikon-16-35mm-f4-vr-review
I have tried both and Tokina 16-28 exceeds 16-35 in almost every way except lack of VR and 28-35 range and inability to take screw on filters. Tokina loses out slightly to the 14-24 if you do not talk about the wider wide end. Yes, 16-28 IQ is that good.
 

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jnet6

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Apr 21, 2004
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#18
I have tried both and Tokina 16-28 exceeds 16-35 in almost every way except lack of VR and 28-35 range and inability to take screw on filters. Tokina loses out slightly to the 14-24 if you do not talk about the wider wide end. Yes, 16-28 IQ is that good.
How about Tokina 16-28 F2.8 to Nikkor AF-S 17-35 F2.8?
(Current design for tokina VS almost 10 yrs old design for nikon)
 

Jun 24, 2003
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#19
I have tried both and Tokina 16-28 exceeds 16-35 in almost every way except lack of VR and 28-35 range and inability to take screw on filters. Tokina loses out slightly to the 14-24 if you do not talk about the wider wide end. Yes, 16-28 IQ is that good.
That sounds interesting :) At the momment I am going over the lens data sheets for the dreaded angle of view vs $$ spend.

> I have tried both and Tokina 16-28 exceeds 16-35 in almost every way except lack of VR and 28-35 range and inability to take screw on filters.
VR is of no interest to me, in fact, I consider it to be a bokeh killer (you can't have your cake and eat it too).. so I never bought a lens with VR. Filters.. it would be nice to put on the protective UV, I have some filters from my medium format days.. so again not a big thing. But, do you have any examples to show with the Tokina? When you say "16-28 exceeds 16-35 in almost every way" I would imagine you are referring to corner sharpness (I assume center sharpness as a given), illumination??

> Tokina loses out slightly to the 14-24 if you do not talk about the wider wide end. Yes, 16-28 IQ is that good.
I was offered the 17-35mm for testing, if I could get my hands on the rest it would be good, if anyone is interesting in doing a comparison test between any of them feel free to drop a PM.... !!

-- marios
 

akerue

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#20
not the best example to give...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kidthafreak/5556007139/sizes/l/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kidthafreak/5518500799/sizes/l/in/photostream/
these were taken with the tokina 16-28...

honestly between the 16-35 and the 16-28, having own both i choose the tokina simply because, its 2.8 and i wish to pay the amount for an F4 lens and VR....

my noobish 2 cent... Hope u get what u seek... 14-24 is a way to go...
 

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