ultra wide lens for full frame?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by albert_lee|1, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. i'd like to upgrade to full frame (D700). But one thing that is stopping me, is i don't see an affordably priced ultra wide lens for full frame nikons. i currently have a tamron 10-24mm ultra wide for DX and at its widest it is equivalent to a 16mm lens in full frame. my 10-24mm was pretty affordable ~$600. however when i look for full frame ultra wides around the 16mm focal length, they are insanely expensive, such as the 14-24mm nikkor. is there anything i can get for full frame ultra wide that can get me 16mm for under $1000 ? i have all the other FX ranges such as 24mm, 50mm, 70-300mm but trying to find an ultra wide for FX seems to kill the wallet.
     
  2. You should be able to pick up an 18mm 2.8 for less than a grand. Adorama has one used for $850. If you don't mind MF, there are quite a few Nikon options wider and cheaper than that.
    There's a Sigma 12-24 4.5-56 for $859. No idea if it's a good lens though.
     
  3. Check Sigma 15-30 f3.5-4.5, arround $300 used
     
  4. I have had mixed experience with ultra wides (for me, that means 20mm and down...) on the D700. The 20/2.8AIS works reasonably well from about 2 stops down from max aperture. The nice/cute little 20/3.5AIS does not really do it for me. Pretty soft in corners it seems below about f/8 or even 11. I recently got a mint 18mm/3.5 AIS for under 500, and I am pretty impressed so far. Still manageable size. If you find 24mm a useful length, as I do, I cannot recommend the 24mm/2.8 AIS highly enough! An amazing bargain (available in great shape for ~200), nice and compact, and perfectly matched with the D700. Very good performance at f/4, excellent by 5.6... The D700 corrects the modest chromatic aberration perfectly. I go nowhere without the 24, and currently choose the 18 to go with it, if I need wider.
     
  5. How about the 12-24mm Sigma? That is a lens I like very much and it is full frame as well.
     
  6. Albert,
    20mm on FX format cameras is impressively wide.
    I use a D700. I agree with you when you point out that Nikon perhaps has a shortfall of wide angle lens choice for FX bodies (i.e. no "mid priced" wide zoom)
    I have tried 3 wide angle options for my D700. I did purchase a 2nd hand AF Sigma 14mm f/3.5 prime. Whilst the field of view was amazing, the soft corners ate too far into the middle of the frame for my liking and it does not take filters out the front. I sold this lens.
    I also have the 20mm f/3.5 AI prime lens which does exhibit slightly softened corners on the D700 but I find them mostly quite acceptible for in the field short to mid distance landscape / botanical habitat type photography. This lens is the one to have if want to shoot directly into the sun without hideous flares and it's comparitively cheap so I'm keeping mine.
    I also use most often the Nikon 17-35mm AF-S zoom which as you know is costly but to me represents best value and performance for landscape shooting as it's optics are excellent and it takes filters. You might consider a 2nd hand copy if you can find one for sale.
    I return to my initial statement, 20mm is very wide on a D700. I love panoramic / sweeping vast open landscapes but do not often go wider than 20mm, even on my 17-35mm zoom.
     
  7. Matthew,
    I agree that, in practice, 20mm is very wide, and almost always wide enough on FX. I also love the 20/3.5AIS for its size---no bigger than a small normal lens. If one is going to do a lot of wide angle work, however, my 20/2.8AIS seems to be better, especially for landscape. Actually, I got the 20/3.5 largely to replace my 2.8 in a smaller package. But, I have decided to keep both for now. I will not be surprised, however, if my new (to me) 18/3.5 convinces me that there is no advantage left to the 20/2.8. The 18 is not much bigger. Even though it, too, has somewhat soft corners at the widest apertures, the D700 has so much effective resolution that one can afford to crop a bit and still produce large prints (easily 13x19 or so). In practice, the 18mm performs just as well on D700 as the 20/2.8, just with a few more degrees of 'room'.
    I have never been particularly interested in the HUGE 17-35 zoom, even though it is probably excellent. I much prefer small prime lenses, and have yet to see a zoom that does not represent a compromise in quality. One near/possible exception is the great 12-24/4.0 Nikon zoom on DX. Even there, however, my 24/2.8AIS outperforms the zoom on DX at the same aperture. I find even the 12-24 large and clunky, and I now rarely use it. (I rarely use DX anymore at all... and almost exclusively use a combo of D700 + film body such as FE/F3/F4/FM3a, or a rangefinder.)
    One interesting observation I made about my 20/2.8AIS, however, was that it performs very badly on my D200 (probably worse than the 20/3.5). Not sure why. It just is soft over a large part of the frame until f/11 at least... Not sure what the problem is, as the D200 otherwise performs well, and the 20/2.8 does quite well on film and FX...
     
  8. If 20mm is OK for you, I warmly recomend Sigma 20mm f1.8 which is really a state-of-the-art piece of glass. The only "bad" thing is that it use 82mm filters...
     
  9. I use the 18-35 f3.5-4.5 on FX. It's a little soft in the corners wide open but I usually shoot it at f8 where it gets pretty good. I think I paid around $450 about 5 years ago.
     
  10. There are two affordable choices in ultra wide zoom lenses for FX. Ian mentioned Sigma's 12-24mm. I use this lens and it is an incredible lens for the money - about $750. The other is Nikon's 18-35mm Although not quite as wide as the Sigma lens, it can be purchased used for under $400.
    Nikon also makes a 14mm lens but you will pay well over $1000 your $1000 budget for it. Tamron offers their SP AF14mm F/2.8 lens for about $800.
    If you really want ultra wide, the Sigma is the way to go.
     
  11. You may be able to find a 17-35mm f2.8 Nikkor within your budget. Several members here use it with a D700 but I have yet to get one. I use Nikkor AIS primes from 20mm up. They work well when stopped down and that is how I use them. Voigtlander makes a chippped 20mm within your budget and Zeiss has some wide angle manual focus options just above your budget. I had a 18-35mm Nikkor and it just did not do it for me overall but may be worth looking at.
     
  12. The 20mm Voigtländer is a good choice for an economical, highly portable (it's really tiny) ultrawide angle for FX, though according to tests e.g. by diglloyd.com, the 21 ZF and 14-24 Nikkor are better especially at wide apertures at the edges of the frame. The latter two however are quite expensive, as you noted. With the Voigtländer, my brief testing experience suggests that stopping down to f/8 should yield a good sharpness across the frame on a 12 MP FX camera.
    I used to have the 18mm ZF but I found the color to shift towards the corners, which was somewhat annoying in color photography; but it has also its advantages (flare-free rendition of high contrast edges, also good sharpness across the frame).
    I think the big questions are: 1) Why do you need an ultrawide? And 2) what do you hope to gain by switching to FX? If you want the full benefits of FX you should plan to invest in the best glass also. It doesnt' make sense to pay a lot for a body and then not have lenses that can really bring out the potential of the camera.
    Personally, my answer to 1) is "I don't" and so I avoid the question entirely. The 24mm PC-E is my widest lens and if I really want to go crazy wide, I can shift the frame and stitch the images easily. But I don't find myself needing to do that often and I really appreciate the movements.
     
  13. Get a used Tokina f/3.5 17mm ATX Pro for about $300.
     
  14. My Nikkor 12-24mm covers FX in the 16-24mm range. Have you tried your Tamron on a D700?
     
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    My Nikkor 12-24mm covers FX in the 16-24mm range. Have you tried your Tamron on a D700?​
    In this context the word "cover" is used very loosely. Yes, the image circle from Nikon's 12-24mm/f4 AF-S DX is big enough even for the FX sensor from about 18mm and longer, but on the FX sensor, you'll be using the part of the image circle not intended to be used. If you inspect the image quality from the area outside of the DX rectangle, you'll understand why.
    People are spending well over $2000 on an FX body such as the D700. I don't think it is a good idea to skim on lenses that you'll be using on a regular basis. Now, if you only need this super wide occasionally, perhaps it makes a little more sense to get a lesser lens.
     
  16. Kent,
    I know the 12-24 "covers" the FX frame, in the sense that an image is formed over the full frame. But, from my experience is is not a useful image much outside of the DX area. I have not done a systematic test, but it seemed to me that, for instance, shooting the 12-24 set at 16 or 18 only formed a sharp image comparable to what a 24 would cover. A significant part of the frame in the corners and borders was very soft in the 16-24 range, even at small aperture. Can you get a sharp image over the full frame?
    I still say, buy a 24/2.8 AIS for ~$200. It is an amazing bargain, there should be plenty available, and it is very nice/compact to use. Then, if you want more, go for a 20 or 18 fixed focal length. You'll still be well under $1000 total. The lenses will be more compact and produce better images than probably any of the zoom options, save the monster 14-24.
     
  17. Shun and Fred, I have only peered through the viewfinder and have not yet examined the image quality. I'm sure you're right, though I will check it out for myself.
     
  18. If you can afford a D700 but can't afford to put high-quality glass in front of it, you're generally better off with a D300 and high-quality DX lenses. Most of us who want a D700 don't really actually "need it" or aren't actually better off with it.
    How big do you print? How tight do you crop? You might not need FX at all.
     
  19. I use a Sigma 15-30 on my Canon. Paid a little less than $300.00 for it. Does a decent job.
     
  20. No question that the 17-35 AF-S zoom is the best choice, but costly. I have the "clone", a Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical IF! Purists would argue that it is vastly inferior to the Nikkor (obviously, it is not a professional lens of the same calibre), but for all practical purposes it is very sharp, with minimal CA and some barrel distortion (easily software-correctable) around 17mm. It takes 77mm filters, focuses like a snap on the D700 body and is available 2nd hand for sensible money. Your only problem may be locating one, as most owners are reluctant to part with them!
     
  21. While I agree with the view that if you are willing to put down the money for a D700 you should not skimp on the quality of the glass that you put on it, quality and price do not always go together. One thing that I continue to be amazed by is how the D700 can really shine with some humble/affordable (but, well made!) Nikon (and Leica, with Leitax converter) lenses from the 70s and 80s. It is easy to find some, especially Nikon AIS prime lenses for ~$200-300 that do very well on the D700. Some of my favorites include 24/2.8AIS, 35/1.4AIS (unfortunately, not under $300!), 85/2.0AIS, as well as some of the 50s and 105s. Effectively, I find that the D700 reaches nearly its full potential with these very affordable lenses.
     
  22. I have the NIkon 18-35mm and used it on an F100. Also have the 20mm f2.8 AFD. I think the 18-35mm is a better lens. (I'm selling both to buy the 14-24mm f2.8 though.) Of the lenses mentioned so far, my choice would be the Nikon 17-35mm f2.8.
    Kent in SD
     
  23. albert lee- i do wish to add one note of caution to the buying and use of ultrawide lenses. yes, they are great for getting the big vista in the frame. but, at the same time the subject elements of that vista shrink to dots or near dots. years ago when i was shooting film slides i was using a 17-35mm lens. i went west to see the national parks and take many pics. that was when i noticed that when i shot the big scene, the objects in the scene at the far background shrunk sometimes to the point where you could barely make out what they were. so i decided that the 17mm or so wide angle was my limit. now with a c sensor dslr i have the sigma 12-24mm zoom which does very well. note that the 12 of the sigma is 18mm in FF or almost exactly the same number as the 17 of the 17-35. my wife and i went out west this summer in august. the 12-24 got a lot of work. when i got back and checked the exif on the pc i noticed that almost all images shot with the 12-24 were shot with the zoom at or very near the 18-20mm mark. in composing the shots i just did want to zoom any wider. any time i wanted a wider view i switched and shot a 3-5 shot panorama. the pano kept the background objects a reasonable size and still got the wide vista view.
    a ultrawide zoom may be a lens to desire, but in the practical use of that lens; it may have very real limits. not to mention getting less wide zoom is a real gain in the wallet. this is also what m brennan said above.
     
  24. Getting an older wide angle lens to work properly on a full frame digital camera such as a D700 or D3 is not always a sure thing. The light sensing buckets on a digital sensor often can require that the light come at a fairly vertical angle relative to the plane of the sensor, unlike film which does not care so much what the angle of incidence is. Wide angle lenses can be difficult because the lens often directs light at the edges and corners of the sensor at an oblique angle unlike the more center areas. Modern lens design for digital sensors takes the problem of sensor requirements into account (a problem that did not concern film lens designers so much), and create lenses where the angle of incidence at the edges of the sensor is more acute to a vertical axis from the sensor. So, one needs to have some information about older wide angle lenses to know if a particular lens is likely to perform poorly on a full frame sensor. One source is Bjorn Rorslett, a respected source of Nikon lens review. I suggest googling around a bit to get other opinions before making a purchase. The cost of some Nikon lenses these days can be stunning. Yet, there is reason to go for the newer designs when it comes to wide angles. http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html
     
  25. I was faced with the same problem when I got a 35mm-sensor camera. In my case, as an interim solution, I first got a Sigma (actually made for Spiratone) MF 18mm lens, but found flare to be a significant problem, although the lens was otherwise quite good.
    I then found that the older, discontinued Sigma AF 15-30mm lens (for 35mm sensor) is available relatively for around $300+ on eBay. I got one and it is a very nice lens, especially for the price. I too have a Sigma 10-20mm for the APS-C sized sensor cameras, and missed the extra-wide on the "full-frame". The Nikon versions of the Sigma AF 15-30mm seem to sell for a little less than the Canon mount ones, not sure why. I think Sigma discontinued this one when they got the newer 12-24mm out. It has a very protruding front element, so no filters or any foolishness like that, except for gels at the back.
     
  26. As to Gary Demuelenare 's comments about details getting lost in a wide angle view of a "big scene," I think there's a widely held misunderstanding of what wide angle lenses do. You need to be close to objects, practically touching them, to render good detail with a wide angle lens. Telephoto will pull in the far objects of a big scene. Wide angle does the opposite. Distant vistas are better captured by telephoto lenses. Close surrounding scenes are the best subjects of wide angle lenses. The term wide angle misleads people. Your greatest understanding comes from shooting for yourself, as Gary found out.
    I think the 20mm Voigtlander may be a great choice, though I haven't used it. I recently acquired the Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL-II and it is extraordinary on its own merits and even more so if you consider the price. Lloyd Chambers evidently favors the Nikon 14-24mm yet he sees potential in the Voigtlander 20mm, which is one third the price and one fifth the weight. It is a manual focus lens, which may be a deal breaker, but I think it is worth investigating further, possibly renting it for a week to test it.
     
  27. I've tried the AF-D 20mm 2.8, Sigma 15-30, Sigma 20 1.8, and Tamron 17-35. I like the Tamron the best.
     
  28. I forgot that Charlie Packard has a gallery of the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 20mm f3.5 SL II Aspherical. His work may convince of what Ilkka suggests and which I'm guessing about:
    http://www.pbase.com/charliepackard/cv20
     
  29. "i'd like to upgrade to full frame (D700)."​
    I'm not sure going to FX from DX is really an upgrade. It's really a format change. The next step larger would be medium-format digital, and that neighborhood is really, really expensive. Arguably the best IQ in DX right now is the D90. It's not very far off the high-ISO/low light performance of a D700. Its successor will be even better. FX will get you a little wider and a bit faster, but as you're finding out, the glass to get there can be expensive. Going to FX also loses the 'reach' of long lenses. They're both 12 mp cameras...so resolution is a wash. If you think about it, f/4 to f/2.8 is just one stop.
    With long lenses, I can think of DX as a 1.5x teleconverter with no light-dimming or IQ penalty. In fact, DX probably has better IQ in terms of using the more central part of lenses, staying away from the weak areas (edges and corners). I still have my D200 as a backup, although I'm saving for another DX body with better high ISO/low-light IQ. I'll keep some kind of DX around for the 'reach'. BTW, the D700 is a heavy camera. With a 24-70/2.8G or a 14-24/2.8G, it's a beast. My D200 with 12-24/4 or 18-200 DX VR is much lighter and smaller, and it's heavy compared to a D90, which will easily out-do it for IQ.
    To me, going FX is diminished returns, and not worth it unless you really want or need FX. I like to shoot at night or in marginal light, and I like really wide angle, so a D700 made sense for me. YMMV - it might not be what you really want or need.
    That said, besides some of the ideas already mentioned, you could find a used 16mm fisheye and use post-processing to rectify to rectilinear. I do that now and then with a 10.5mm DX on my D200. It's w-i-d-e. I use DxO to convert (the FX version of that prog is more expensive, BTW), but there's Fisheye Hemi PS plugin and several other progs (some are freeware, I think) that will do that kind of conversion, too. When I don't carry the 14-24, I shoot a 20/2.8D for a wide angle.
    "You need to be close to objects, practically touching them, to render good detail with a wide angle lens. Telephoto will pull in the far objects of a big scene. Wide angle does the opposite. Distant vistas are better captured by telephoto lenses. Close surrounding scenes are the best subjects of wide angle lenses."​
    Not sure I completely agree, Martha. I think it depends on what you envision and the scene. This was shot at the 14mm end of the 14-24/2.8G. I set up about 40-50 ft. from the closest bridge piling. The land on the far side of the bay is a good two miles away. A lot more detail is visible in the full res view. This one has a few basic LR adjustments and output sharpening only. It'll look much better when I can spend a little time with it, but you get the idea where I'm coming from.
    00V7UQ-195329784.jpg
     
  30. The 18-35mm is my main (and currently only zoom) lens. It is superb, until you need to use it on FX at the 18mm range. It has very pronounced barrel distortion, but if lines are not critical to you, I highly recommend it if the 17-35mm is a bit too pricey.
     
  31. I was in exactly the same situation a short while ago when I was lucky enough to see a second hand D700 locally. The first question you need to ask yourself is how wide is ultrawide. You, like me, seem to have already 24mm covered so I would question the point in getting something around 20mm and even 17mm, where there is a fair amount of choice, is perhaps not as much difference as you might want for a real uw effect. Beyond that, the choices are really quite limited. A supposedly wonderful tiny lens like the Vogtlander 15mm will hit the mirror of a DSLR so we are left with the following main choices that I can think of:
    Zooms -- Sigma 15-30 and 12-24. The 12-24 is the one I went for. The QC is unfortunately distinctly variable --the first copy I looked at had significant decentering on the right and the second, which I've decided to keep, can be pretty awful near 24mm unless stopped down really far. But let's look on the bright side. There's nothing else going beyond 14mm so even if you crop out a smudgy corner or two which I find often necessary, you should still be left with around 14-15mm. And the lens has a tonal richness which can be very appealing --it seems to me more characterful and attractive than the Sigma 10-20 I used to have on the D200. Centre sharpness at least is usually pretty good. Test a copy before buying, concentrating on the wide end. Don't expect good performance at the top end though you could strike lucky and get that as well.
    The 15-30 is discontinued but, being less extreme, seems to produce fewer duds and could be a bargain second hand. It seems to be less saturated and contrasty than the 12-24.It's also quite bulky.
    Primes: Nikon do a 14mm which is probably not within your budget though is likely to give the best overall IQ. The Sigma 14mm may not be any better than the zoom and the Tamron 14mm is surprisingly expensive but appears to be sharp at least. It might be worth waiting for the Samyang 14mm which was supposed to be out by now but the release has been delayed until early next year. The lens will be inexpensive and some of their other offerings such as the 85mm f1.4 have a good reputation. This will be manual focus only but this is of no significance on the D700.
    Finally, if you want something small,light and cheap and 17mm is wide enough, take a look at the Tokina AF 17mm f/3.5 AT-X Pro. Also discontinued but easy enough to get hold of, this lens seems popular with owners.
    David
     
  32. I am not a user of Nikon but I recently purchased the Zeiss Distagon T 21mm f/2.8 ZE for use on a Canon EOS 5D body. It is a truly great lens, next to no distortion or CA. It is expensive, but I would save and get one. It is now available/soon to be available with a Nikon mount (http://www.dpreview.com/news/0911/09111602carlzeisszf2.asp) . A high quality lens is a once in a lifetime purchase ( you will change from the Sigma eventually and loose money) and it will work on any further Nikon upgrades. It is for life. All the electronic functions that you might expect are present BUT YOU HAVE TO FOCUS MANUALLY. That is no big deal for me as I do this routinely for my Landscape work + Mirror Lock Up. It has an enormous DOF and will focus down to a minimum distance of 8 inches. Link to a sample frame below, shot hand-held with available light.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/10122271&size=lg
    Stephen
     
  33. try the Zeiss 25mm/2.8. manual but you don't really need to focus if you shoot f5.6.
     
  34. Go to Ebay and look for either a 16mm f/2.8 fisheye or a 20mm f/ 2.8 Nikkor. I have seen both in tremendous shape for under $400.
     
  35. Be careful of getting a full-frame fisheye expecting it to produce high quality "de-fished" images. I'll bet you'd be better off with even a cheap zoom.
    It is asking a LOT of a fisheye with its effectively highly compressed corners to produce results capable of significant enlargement (say, 11-14 and up). I do not have experience with 16mm on FX, but have used the very nice 10.5 on DX. De-fished, it is simply not capable of producing acceptable 11x14 (probably not even 8x10), at least for my applications/taste.
    If 20 is not wide enough for you, as I suspect to be the case since I find it too close to my better 24 to be of much use, consider the 18/3.5AIS, which can be had for under $500. I have found it to work very well on the D700, in spite of Bjorn Rorslett's reservations, which made me carefully test the lens before deciding to buy it.
    Sorry, but the zooms just don't do it for me. The high quality ones are just too big, and are usually inferior to even decent primes (the 14-24 may well be an exception, but it is a MONSTER). The zoom ring is not the only way to compose a good shot!
     
  36. thanks everyone for the great responses, after reading them, i think the choice is definitely between the sigma 15-30 or 12-24. just to answer the various questions on why full frame or why ultra wide: i love to shoot in very low/dim light and prefer the best iso and low light performance possible. the weight is definitely a con as i carry my DX practically everywhere i go. i have an ultra wide for DX and love using it- getting literally to touching distance with objects when taking it. i see some good examples of using ultra wides without getting in the face of objects too. again thanks everyone and i'm glad we have such a good community here.
     
  37. Albert, you do realize that if you use either of those two lenses, you will have to switch to DX format on the D700. The lenses will most likely vignette on the normal FX. If you have to go to the DX format feature on the D700, what have you gained?
     
  38. No, Scott, both of the Sigma lenses mentioned (15-30, 12-24) cover a full 24x36mm-format sensor. They are not APS-C or "digital only" lenses.
     
  39. Has anybody used the Tokina 12-24mm on FF? I understand it is useable from about 18mm to 24mm. Wondered what the image quality is like?
     
  40. $500 would buy nikkor 20-35mm f2.8 but it looks like nobody is using it? Maybe all the pros that bought it for $1600 about 9 years ago do not want to talk about it :=) I use it on D700 as my main lens with 14-24 for cases where it works better. Above f5.6 the difference between the two is about 3 sharpening steps (or less) in NX.
     
  41. I have had pretty good luck with the Sigma 12-24 on my D700. It's slow, but when shooting at night, I just set the ISO to drift upward and get good results. I bought mine on EBay for $600. I'm sure the Nikon 14-24 is a fantastic lens, but I'm just not ready to spend that kind of cash for a lens I will likely use 20% of the time. I just saw a Sigma 15-30 at a used photo shop in Dallas for $300. Good luck!
     
  42. I had very back luck with the 20-35 Nikon. And it is a shame, since it is still a (barely) manageable size. Perhaps unfortunately, I got rid of it before getting the D700. But, it was utterly useless on DX, and noticeably soft on film, except, maybe stopped WAY down.
     
  43. Albert, I've been reasonably happy with the Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D on my D700. It's not especially flare resistent as you can see from the attached, but even that is fairly controlled. I got good value.
    00VAOg-197553684.jpg
     
  44. Funny I came on to look to ask what ultra/ wide lens people were using on their D700's. And as ever everyone has the same dilema!.
    I recently bought a D700 to replace my old FM2 with manual lens. And after using it a while I think I want to go wider (I mostly use an old metal non CPU 28-85 macro f3.5 Nikkor which is great). I have been to a local shop and strapped on the 14 - 24 beast, and it looks great, but it's going to be way too heavy to lug around doing landscapes. Plus to me whats the point of having an ultra to wide zoom, it's all basically "wide". And of course the price is a BIG problem. Also I like a poloriser , which is not possible with that beast.
    So I want something lighter , wider but with out too much bending or flare. From reading the above I'm looking at the 20mm f 2.8 nikkor or 18mm f 3.5 . Any comments?. I want to stick with Nikkor, I'm not aversed to manual , since thats all I have, but it would be nice to get a CPU lens with AF for a change!.
     
  45. Chris, if you change your mind a little bit, for landscape the best option is Voigtlander 20/3.5. It has a great build quality, a very smooth focus ring and great optical performance. Of course is not Nikon and is still MF. If you need a low light performer, then Sigma 20/1.8 AF-S is what you need. But is bigger... Of course for this focal Zeiss Distagon 21mm is a quinn but as every quinn is very precious :)
    I have the Nikon 20mm 2.8 AF-D and I must say again that does not impress me at any point. It is really far away from the IQ of other Nikon primes. You can do your job with it but do not expect spectacular results.
    My ++++ advice for you is Voigtlander. No chance to be unhappy with it.
     
  46. It Same to me, most of the photographers quiet happy with up to 20mm wide angle, on a FF (FX) body. I have the 17-35/2.8, and the 14mm/2.8 used to have the 14-24mm/2.8 but it was useless for me, because the huge size and very limited zoom range, so, I sold with profit. As I mentioned I use the 14mm/2.8 rectilinear, but, I can occasionally like to use a wider angle lens then 14mm, see, like 13mm (or 12mm) rectilinear, and would not mind if it is f/5.6 only, or even f/8.
     
  47. Bela:
    go ahead and buy a 13mm Nikon then, there is one available in Hongkong for the asking price of 22000 Euro!
    :)
     

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