Wide angle FX prime


Apr 9, 2006
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#1
Currently owns a d700 with a 24-70mm f2.8.

But am thinking of getting a wide angle prime for party and event shots as my camera usually gets passed around my friends during parties. And 24-70 mm is too precious to get passed around. Budget is around $500 for a second hand lens. Am looking at the 20mm f2.8.

What do you guys think?
 

gunston

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Mar 20, 2012
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#2
24mm is not wide enough for you
 

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#3
I think the performance of the AF 20mm f/2.8 was discussed just a couple of months ago.

I wasn't impressed by it, but some CSers do favor it.

In your case, it is an inexpensive lens that works. No real issues if it is just for parties and simple events.
 

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#5
Cowseye said:
14mm F/2.8 Samyang or Nikkor. Widest goodness primes.. No filter though..
With reference to the Samyang, I don't think casual friends can handle a manual focus lens.
 

Cowseye

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#6
Blur Shadow said:
With reference to the Samyang, I don't think casual friends can handle a manual focus lens.
I would disagree, a little read up on hyper focusing and go out and shoot with these lens at F/8 or above will almost get you everything sharp sharp.

On the other hand, learning how to use this type of lens beyond landscape photography is the real challenge. Which is what I'm going thr right now..
 

Achim Reh

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Nov 1, 2011
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#7
the Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm performed really well, great value for money . BUt only 3.5, no 2.8 .
Of course , there also is the Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8...buts thats a different price rage.
 

cichlid

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Dec 2, 2006
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#8
I would disagree, a little read up on hyper focusing and go out and shoot with these lens at F/8 or above will almost get you everything sharp sharp.

On the other hand, learning how to use this type of lens beyond landscape photography is the real challenge. Which is what I'm going thr right now..
so you are recommending that all TS party friends to go read up on hyper focusing, lol.
 

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#9
Cowseye said:
I would disagree, a little read up on hyper focusing and go out and shoot with these lens at F/8 or above will almost get you everything sharp sharp.

On the other hand, learning how to use this type of lens beyond landscape photography is the real challenge. Which is what I'm going thr right now..
I think most events will be a little too dark for f/8. With a respectable boost in ISO, I tend to shoot at f/4 max. Most of the time, I find myself closer to f/2.8 if not much depth of field is required.

Besides, a slight twist and the carefully calibrated focus will be lost. You know how parties can be. :)
 

Kit

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#10
I would disagree, a little read up on hyper focusing and go out and shoot with these lens at F/8 or above will almost get you everything sharp sharp.
We live in a perfect world if focussing was that simple......

That is unfortunately, not true at times.....
 

Kit

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#11
Currently owns a d700 with a 24-70mm f2.8.

But am thinking of getting a wide angle prime for party and event shots as my camera usually gets passed around my friends during parties. And 24-70 mm is too precious to get passed around. Budget is around $500 for a second hand lens. Am looking at the 20mm f2.8.

What do you guys think?
With your budget, you might be limited to te older AF-D primes. Are you sure you want a 20mm for events?
 

#13
the Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm performed really well, great value for money . BUt only 3.5, no 2.8 .
Of course , there also is the Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8...buts thats a different price rage.
I also own the Voigtlander 20mm...its a great lens...of course I have the Rokinon 14mm f2.8 and a Nikon 14 F2.8 along with at least 2 Nikon AF20mm f2.8s...In a pinch, all will do the job...
All are in Nikon mt, but the Voigtlander is my most favorite...It usually is mounted on my 5D classic...(with adapter of course)
 

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#15
We live in a perfect world if focussing was that simple......

That is unfortunately, not true at times.....
Maybe you cannot focus easily but many of us can and do....As Cowseye stated, at F8 or above its fairly easy...Not sure what your focussing problems have been in the past, but for some of us old school photographers, manual focus is not rocket science...And autofucus also is not always spot on either...Do not get me wrong, I appreciate a good autofocus system as much as anyone else...If you know your lens well, and you are good at calculating distance with your eyes, than you should be able to focus using the ring markings on the lense itself with out ever looking through the view finder...It just take a lot of practice and getting used to the lens. Of course you need to know what the marks are set to as some lenses are not calibrated, but it will make no difference as long as you know where they match up to in feet or meters...
 

Dfive

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Nov 20, 2008
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#16
I think the performance of the AF 20mm f/2.8 was discussed just a couple of months ago.

I wasn't impressed by it, but some CSers do favor it.

In your case, it is an inexpensive lens that works. No real issues if it is just for parties and simple events.
I used to use the 20 when trekking in Nepal.... used it as a "summit lens" i.e. to climb with I could get some good self portrait shots when I was trekking and climbing mountains there.

Other times I not like it.... the optics have not changed on it since 1985 or something...... if they re-do it I'd re-consider it. ( and want it :) )
 

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#17
george671 said:
Maybe you cannot focus easily but many of us can and do....As Cowseye stated, at F8 or above its fairly easy...Not sure what your focussing problems have been in the past, but for some of us old school photographers, manual focus is not rocket science...And autofucus also is not always spot on either...Do not get me wrong, I appreciate a good autofocus system as much as anyone else...If you know your lens well, and you are good at calculating distance with your eyes, than you should be able to focus using the ring markings on the lense itself with out ever looking through the view finder...It just take a lot of practice and getting used to the lens. Of course you need to know what the marks are set to as some lenses are not calibrated, but it will make no difference as long as you know where they match up to in feet or meters...
I think I addressed several of your points earlier.

1. In a party setting, I don't think f/8 or more is likely. You can pump up ISO to the max. I know the D700 is very capable. But still, to pump it to the max just do that you can achieve f/8? Is that wise?

2. TS is talking about handing over his camera to casual friends at a party. When you mix all these variables together, the chance for failure is way to high.

3. A slight twist of the focus dial by a tipsy party goer or just when passing the camera is all it takes to turn a finely tuned focus to out of focus.
 

Kit

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#18
Maybe you cannot focus easily but many of us can and do....As Cowseye stated, at F8 or above its fairly easy...Not sure what your focussing problems have been in the past, but for some of us old school photographers, manual focus is not rocket science...And autofucus also is not always spot on either...Do not get me wrong, I appreciate a good autofocus system as much as anyone else...If you know your lens well, and you are good at calculating distance with your eyes, than you should be able to focus using the ring markings on the lense itself with out ever looking through the view finder...It just take a lot of practice and getting used to the lens. Of course you need to know what the marks are set to as some lenses are not calibrated, but it will make no difference as long as you know where they match up to in feet or meters...
if you have enough experience in manual focussing, you should know that hyperfocal distance will only give you acceptable results. In practice, you've got to tweak the focus(usually further) to get the most out of it. Its never a photography wonder which solves everything.
 

Kit

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#19
Maybe you cannot focus easily but many of us can and do....As Cowseye stated, at F8 or above its fairly easy...Not sure what your focussing problems have been in the past, but for some of us old school photographers, manual focus is not rocket science...And autofucus also is not always spot on either...Do not get me wrong, I appreciate a good autofocus system as much as anyone else...If you know your lens well, and you are good at calculating distance with your eyes, than you should be able to focus using the ring markings on the lense itself with out ever looking through the view finder...It just take a lot of practice and getting used to the lens. Of course you need to know what the marks are set to as some lenses are not calibrated, but it will make no difference as long as you know where they match up to in feet or meters...
and by your admission, its not advisable for TS to hand over the camera his camera to his friends as suggested, assumimg his friends are not experienced photographers.

AF + P mode would do more good in this instance.
 

#20
and by your admission, its not advisable for TS to hand over the camera his camera to his friends as suggested, assumimg his friends are not experienced photographers.

AF + P mode would do more good in this instance.
I think you got me confussed with someone else...I did not comment on whether anyone should hand over his or her camera to a friend...I usually preset the camera and then my friends take the picture,,,They are smart enough to not play with the focus ring....And as far as Hyperfocal distance goes, you can argue till you are blue in the face, but in reality it works just fine...Just go try it...Nuff said...This is a silly argument anyway!! IF TS has the budget, He should just buy the nikon AF 20m F2.8 and be done with it...Or do like I do and cary a small point and shoot to give to friends at the party...I use manual focus glass all the time...Mainly because I do a lot of cross mounting and also because some of the sharpest glass on the planet is not available in AF...(Zeiss, Voigtleander, some old Nikkors, leica, etc...) I also cross mount and use manual mode focus on my M4/3 olympus gear as well...And God Forbid,,,I also incorporate the Hyperfocal distance in many instances...If AF is the only way for you to be happy than Rock on Brother!!! :cool:
 

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