Full frame wide angle choice...

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mark_s|8, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Ok folks, I've had my D700 now for a whopping 3 hours, and I'm REALLY digging it! I strapped on my Nikkor 25-50 f/4 first! I had been on a crop sensor for so long, I forgot what 25mm looked liked!
    So, I really love landscapes, sunsets, beachscapes, etc...and I would like some ideas an/or recommendations for a wide-angle lens to get really creative.
  2. I'm a big fan of the 17-35 f/2.8, however it is heavy - but it will lighten your wallet.
  3. pge


    the 20-35 f2.8 is much less expensive and very nice.
  4. Disregarding the negatives you will hear about no filters, size and weight, the 14-24mm f/2.8 is really the wide angle of choice for the D700 IMHO. This lens is incredible sharp, and despite its size, is very well balanced and easy to handle on the D700. It does require some care in use as any very wide angle lens does, but produces great results. I would not want to be without mine.
  5. Of course the nikon lens suggested before is the perfect choice, but if you're looking for a budget option check out the sigma 15-30 if you can still find it on ebay or somewhere. I got mine for 190 Euros and it's been a really good addition to the D700.
    examples (d700 + sigma 15-30):
  6. AIS Nikkor 20/2.8 or Voigtlander 20/3.5. I have the second one. It's a nice small lens. Not so sharp (and expensive) as CZ lenses but with very good optical and mechanical quality.
  7. Careful...
    14-24 is not "perfect" for everyone. For many of us, the range between 24 and 35 is way more useful than the extreme wide angle of the 14-17 range. In short, if you don't really really know that you need that wide of a lens, you may very well not be served by it at all.
  8. 24mm PC-E is IMO the most useful Nikon wide angle for landscape and architecture. If you think your pics are sharp, wait till you apply an appropriate amount of tilt and look again.
    I also like the 24-70 for landscapes, but it's not that good at long distances. Very useful range though, and excellent quality at close to intermediate distances.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Disregarding the negatives you will hear about no filters, size and weight, the 14-24mm f/2.8 is really the wide angle of choice for the D700 IMHO. This lens is incredible sharp, and despite its size, is very well balanced and easy to handle on the D700.​
    Gary, clearly since you like the 14-24mm/f2.8 AF-S, by all means tell everybody why you like it. But why should other opinions that you apparently disagree with be disregarded?
    14-24mm is a very limited zoom range, as it is not even a 2x zoom. Most of its range is in the super wide area that is not for everyone. A lot of us prefer the zoom range from 24 to 35mm that is not available on the 14-24. It is also very heavy to carry around and its front element is vulnerable.
    Guess what, I have a 14-24 but I typically don't even travel with it. For my local, indoor work, it is an excellent lens. For landscape, I'd pick something else that is not such an extreme wide and can take filters.
  10. Thanks for the comments folks. I'll shoot a bit more with the 25-50 and then maybe try the 20/2.8 that Ben mentioned. It's reasonable enough to get that lens, vs. some of the others.
  11. +1 for 17-35mm f2.8. Most useful for me - walk around the city and take landscape or cityscape. I picked up an old used one for about $900 but works flawlessly.
    I do have 14-24, but rarely walk with it, but for indoor or museum only.... If you want pricme, 35mm f1.4 MF. 28mm f2.8 MF are both wonderful. I hear that 28mm f2.0 MF is great, too (I don't have that one, so I cannot comment).
    But, then again, you may want to start from 24-70mm which seems very popular among FX body users, and I have one. My D700 is mostly attached to either 24-70 or 17-35, for walk around. And if you feel, after some time, 24-70 is not wide enough, then you add wider lenses.
  12. I strongly agree with Peter and Shun re: 14-24/2.8...it is of limited use considering most of the range is dedicated to ultra- and superwide. I'm a hug fan of the 17-35/2.8. As I noted in a similar thread, I'm very content to trade 14-16 for 25-35mm as the latter range is far more useful. Filter-friendly is the icing on the 17-35 cake!
  13. Another vote for the 17-35. Love mine.
  14. A good budget option is the Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-4 SPII zoom. I had it on my D700 and loved it.
  15. I have the 14 - 24mm. Limited use, yes. But you will be surprised how often you start using it.
    I use the 14-24mm for everything from cityscapes to strange close-ups. I also have the cheaper 18-35mm, which I actually rarely use. It is my travel lens under harsh circumstances.
    I also have the 24 - 70 and it is my general purpose lens. Yes, the 24mm is restrictive for landscapes, but I actually use it quite a lot for landscapes - in porttrait mode I shoot to stitch. Works great.
    So either the 14-24 and accept the lack of filters and extremeness of the lens. Or the 24-70 and stitch. The 18-35mm is too limited to me.
  16. I`m owner of primes on every focal range from 18 to 35mm, and several zooms as well (14-24 included). Based on my own experience -and needs-, my choice could be reduced to the 24mm prime and/or 17-35mm zoom. Sadly, they are not updated AFS, N coating lenses.
  17. When I got my D700 after years of using DX format cameras, I was startled to find just how wide my 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S is on FX. It was like the 10.5mm DX without the fisheye effect. The 17-35mm is very, very sharp. I hear the 14-24mm is as sharp or sharper, but have no first-hand experience.
    For me, 17mm is plenty wide, but admittedly, I don't do much landscape work.
  18. Shun - if my choice of words offended, then I'm sorry. It seems to me that if Mark has a 25-50, then the 14-24 should be considered. And, guess what? I do travel with the 14-24 and use it for indoor and landscape. As Peter said, it is not perfect for everyone. I simply wanted to suggest that Mark not rule it out because of the negatives I mentioned, and which are often discussed on this forum. No lens is perfect for everyone, and each of us has our favorites, and our strong opinions.
  19. Compared to the supposedly optically superior (Nikkor) 14-24mm f2.8, the (Nikkor) 17-35mm f2.8 focal length is an ideal partner for your newly acquired D700. Flare and ghosting is minimal and the fact that it readily accept filters (ND grads especially); helpful in your quest for better out-of-camera landscapes, sunsets, beachscapes pics, is just the icing in the cake.
    Unfortunately, Nikon is slow in replacing their wide (AF + FX) primes.... if you need a lightweight alternative for hiking, etc. Not that the existing AFs, Ai-S, etc ain't up to it but nothing comes close (in most areas) to the (Nikkor) 17-35mm f2.8.
    Yes, I am loving my D700 + 17-35mm. I had been missing the "wide perspective" since dropping my F100 for the D70s between 2005 and 2008.
  20. Although you ask about wide angles for landscapes don't forget to try short to moderate telephoto lenses for landscapes also. A tele-compressed shot along a coastline with each headland receding into the distant mist can be a powerful image. There are as many opportunities for long landscape shots as there are wide angle landscape compositions.
  21. I can't thank you enough for the comments and ideas. The old-school Nikkor 25-50 f/4 that I have is a wonderful lens, and I'm going to experiment some more this week as I'll be traveling to a few different locations. I would tend to lean toward the 17-35 and the 14-24 that Eddie and Gary mention. I'll see how it goes with the 25-50 this week.
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mark, I think you are better off trying out your current lenses on your D700 first. I wonder whether you'll be happy with the 24-50mm/f4. I hope you won't rush into buying a wide lens immediately.
    To me, the 14-24mm/f2.8 is a very extreme lens for those who really enjoy super wide. If that is what you want, it is a wonderful lens, but if you are not into super wides, it could potentially be totally the wrong lens for you. The 17-35mm/f2.8 is far less extreme and there is also the 18-35mm/f3.5-4.5 option for now.
  23. A good budget option is the Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-4 SPII zoom. I had it on my D700 and loved it.​
    +1. Great bang-for-the-buck and, importantly, a very good performer.
  24. Another vore for the 24mm PC-E - if your style of photography allows for fiddling about with knobs and uttering expletives under your breath! If you are more hurried or gentle spoken the 17-35mm is a great alternative. The 14-24mm is a great performer but when I owned one I found it largely useless for landscapes.
    If you don't mind manual focus primes the best superwide, in my opinion, is the 21mm Distagon ZF.
  25. Ive got a D700 with the 17-35 AFS - Perfect. You wont get a sweeter or SHARPER lens than this. This outfit sings !!
  26. "You won't get a sweeter or SHARPER lens than this"
    I have to subtly disagree with you Peter. There are lenses that are sharper within that range -some of them quite a bit sharper - but you pay a price both in their lack of convenience and in money terms.
    Where the 17-35mm still rules is its combination of very good image quality, useful zoom range and its ability to take filters. You can get better quality by spending a whole pile of money and carrying around several lenses to replicate the range of just one, as I have done having recently reluctantly parted with my 17-35mm, but you have to be sure that the expense, and the weight , of doing this is worthwhile.
  27. I use a D700 with AIS primes from 20mm to 35mm. I also use the Tamron 28-75mm alot also which is better corner wise than the wide primes. The AIS wide primes are all soft in the extreme corners getting better stopped down. I use a CP filter often so the 14-24 would not suit me. I have thought about a 17-35mm but I like small light primes and seem not to need wider than 28mm often. I used the 18-35mm Nikkor but was not impressed enough to keep it. I will be renting a Nikkor 24mm PC-E next month for a week at Big Bend. If its a focal length with PC I really enjoy I would probably purchase one. Zeiss makes many wide primes if you have a specific focal length in mind which I would also consider. Its fairly cheap to purchase a used prime to test and resell it if it doesn't meet your needs. IMHO for range, speed, quality, weight, size and price a good used 17-35mm may be the best value. If I carried all my wide primes at the same time I would rather have the 17-35mm.
  28. There are lenses that are sharper within that range
    I'd like to see that James, Which specific zoom lens in that range are sharper, James? Because I have just looked at MTF data on 2 different sites and the 17-35 IS SHARPER than both the 14-24 and 17-55. It is also sharper than the 20mm 2.8 prime, 24 2.8 prime, 28mm 2.8 ( All "D" primes ) My 17-35 is the most reliable and as sharp a lens I have owned . The zoom range on FX is very versatile, perfect for landscape work or walkabout and can be picked up for less than $1000 used. Built like a tank, smooth as silk, super sharp, what more would you want ?​
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Peter, I have both the 17-35mm/f2.8 AF-S and 14-24mm/f2.8 AF-S. I have done a fair amount of testing between the two. In the focal length they overlap, the 14-24mm is slightly sharper although the 17-35 is also very good on bodies such as the D3 and D700.
    However, the 24MP D3X is more demanding on lenses so that both lenses show some slight problems. The 17-35mm shows more chromatic aberration around the edges.
    As I said before, on FX, the range from 20 to 35mm is very important for most people, and it is nice to have that all in one lens. The 14-24mm is more an extreme wide lens. It is great if you are into extreme wides, but to me, that is not a landscape lens and cannot be the only wide angle one owns. Ideally, it is best to have both as in my case. I continue to use the 17-35 far more often than the 14-24.
    Moreover, we should not be limited to those very expensive f2.8 zooms. For landscape type work, f2.8 is usually not necessary. (I know, photographers such as Bjorn Rorslett are exceptions.) I would also look into less-expensive f4 type wide zooms. I wonder how well the older 18-35mm/f3.5-4.5 AF-D performs on FX digital. I have never used that lens.
  30. Don't laugh but I've been quite pleased with a Tokina 17mm 3.5 ATX Pro on my 5D. The same lens had heavy CA's on a 50d but they go away on full frame. Very low distortion for a wide as well. Much better than the zooms. The center sharpness doesn't peak as high as some of Nikon and Canon's zooms but at F8 it's even across the frame at a very respectable level. I'll trade the straight lines for a minute touch of sharpness any day. And... it' built better than most anything the big companies are putting out these days.
  31. There is also the possibility of the much discussed Nikon 16-35mm f4. Potentially, an excellent choice.
    Should know at PMA just two weeks from now when it will be available...and IF.
  32. Don't get me wrong Peter - I was and still am very 'pro' 17-35mm. A good number of my favourite images on my website were taken using it including the current front page. And you are also quite right to say that the 17-35mm is superior to those lenses you mention.
    But I was not comparing it to other zooms but primes and furthermore not even to Nikon primes with one exception. If you want a collection of primes that outclasses anything in that 17-35mm range then I can personally vouch for the 21mm ZF, 24mm PC-E, 28mm ZF and the 35mm ZF. The 25mm ZF is also tremendous if you can live with its field curvature. I don't have - yet - the 18mm ZF and am not sure I even want to go there as I rarely need to shoot wider than 21mm.
    All those lenses make an obvious improvement over just about any other lens - prime or zoom - of the very many lenses I have had in that range. The point I am trying to make is that the 17-35mm gives you 90% of the performance (or whatever arbitrarily high percentage we choose to ascribe to it!) of all those lenses I list above in one lens. Each person has to make up their own minds as to the value of forgoing that one excellent lens in favour of buying and carrying a load of expensive primes that are slightly better. In my situation the choice was clear but in the end there is no right or wrong answer for these kinds of choices. Even for people who plug the 14-24mm ! :)
  33. Congrats on your D700, lots of wide angle suggestions, above!
  34. idl


    I am the happy owner of D700 and 17-35/2,8 and I am fond of them both, but lately I have put the 17 - 35 on D300 cause I very seldom used shall we say the wild side of the 17-35. As a people, street and travel photographer I find the D300 and the mentioned lens as well as D700 with 70-300VR a superb combination. So again, maybe you should stick to your 25 - 50/4 and find out before you buy anything, what you really like to photograph. a 50mm is handy too. I know you'll be very happy with your D700 though. Good luck and all the best.
  35. For starters I'm a Canon shooter.....BUT...
    I have serious Nikon envy for the 14-24mm2.8. That lens is the BEST wide angle zoom money can buy (for pure image quality). I could care less about the limited zoom range, I want that lens for the wide end. The only downfall to the lens IMO is that precarious front element that is just waiting to get scratched.
    This is an EXPENSIVE lens, but worth every penny from all I have read about and the sample images I have seen. Canon's 16-35mm is not even close....
  36. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    For starters I'm a Canon shooter.....BUT...
    I have serious Nikon envy for the 14-24mm2.8. That lens is the BEST wide angle zoom money can buy (for pure image quality).​
    Didn't they say the grass is always greener on the other side?
    If you actually have that lens as I do, both of its strengths and limitations are going to be very apparent. That is why I always present both sides in this forum. Eventually, only whoever buys it can decide.
  37. For extreme wide, you may also consider the sigma 12-24. Not expensive, but take care you get a decend copy. For creative work its very tempting.
  38. I used a 12-24 for a short while - a very short while. The AF was buggy, it sometimes did not have good contact with the body. And it was extremely soft. Had to go to f/9 to get some decent sharpness. Very soft and light unsensitive
  39. I must have gotten a good copy, because my Sigma 12-24, stopped down, is as sharp as my Canon 17-40L. It's actually better in the corners than the Canon. It's obviously slow, but for landscape use on a tripod it's quite nice.
  40. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Here is an illustration of the 14-24mm/f2.8 AF-S and the 24mm/f2.8 AF-D side by side. Keep in mind that both lenses can give you f2.8 at 24mm, although image quality from the zoom is considerably better, especially around the corners.
    The 14-24mm/f2.8 weight about 1kg. That is partly why I wrote to Nikon recently that hopefully they will introduce a set of constant f4 zooms to complement their 14-24mm, 17-35mm/f2.8, 24-70mm and 70-200mm f2.8 zooms; those are excellent lenses, but sometimes I just don't need the extra weight. Canon has had those f4 zooms for quite some time now.
  41. I also like shooting sunrises/sunsets/landscapes/seascapes/waterscapes. I got my D700 last June. Got the 24-70 with it, and a 20/2.8D to 'hold me over' until I could get a WA zoom. In September, I picked up a 14-24/2.8G. It's a truly wonderful lens, but it has important limitations for what and how I shoot. No filters is a big handicap...no polarizer (I rarely shoot WA with open sky in the shot except at sunrise and sunset), no ND or ND grads, and the focal length range makes the lens not so versatile. IMO, using digital ND grads in post is a sometimes-useful tool, but it's not a substitute for the real deal. This article says it better than I can.
    The 14-24's IQ is awesome, and for really, really wide shots, it does the job wonderfully. Trouble is, that doesn't happen all that often, and the focal range just isn't that useful to keep it on the camera otherwise. I'm not really one to alter how I see images just to suit a particular lens or camera, and I have to pick my subjects and my moments due to the extreme-wide angle view and the no-filter thing, so a $2k lens mostly sleeps in the bag.
    I almost wish I'd gotten a 17-35/2.8D instead. I say 'almost...instead' because I'm saving for one (likely April), and I really like the 14-24 when I use it. Probably won't carry both lenses with me at the same time, though, due to the weight. I do wish Nikon would update the 17-35 to AF-S and put the nano coating on it. Maybe after PMA in a couple of weeks...we'll see. In the meantime, the 20/2.8D does the WA-with-filter work. Some folks run this lens down, but I think it's just fine. I do wish DxO supported it, though.
    If you don't care about using filters, another ultra-WA/creative option would be to get the 16mm f/2.8D fisheye and convert it to rectilinear in post. I've done that with a 10.5mm fish with DX (D200) and it works out pretty well.
  42. As I dislike fish eye (both in lenses and on my furniture finishing) I've always stayed at or above 20mm for wide. I have a Nikor 20mm f/2.8 on my D700 and I'm very pleased with its performance [as attached] for landscape. Do I have an alternative suggestion which, if you've got the scratch, the Distagon T 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2. This lens is at the top of my wish list. BTW, the 280K jpeg doesn't do this image justice. Way sharper than this view
  43. Once again, I appreciate the comments. I'm on the road now and have been working with the f/4 25-50 today and I really like it. And I would agree after looking at some shots tonight, that going down much below 18mm is just going to be too wide for my taste I think. I think the 18-35 f/3.5-4.5 might be a good compromise.
  44. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  45. Yep, I saw that Shun. Nice to see that f/4. And we're definitely considering it.

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