Wide angle lens for full frame

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by phil_burt, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. I shoot with a Nikon D 600 .... absolutely love it no oil/dust issues other than normal stuff.
    Anyway this year I will in school be taking up Architectural photography and I am thinking that I need a wide angle lens to round my lenses out.
    I currently have a Nikon 50 1.8, Nikon 85G 1.4, Sigma 24-70 2.8, Sigma 70-200 2.8.
    What I am thinking of getting is a Nikon 16-35 f.4 lens for the wide end. This lens puts me at the top of my budget.
    Any suggestions?
    As always Thank You in advance for reading.
    phil b
    benton, ky
  2. Rent the new 18-35G and see if you like it. I sold my Tok 16-28 for the new 18-35G and couldn't be happier.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I too would get the new 18-35mm/f3.5-4.5 AF-S. It is an excellent lens as long as you don't need constant f2.8. Both that and the 16-35mm/f4 have some distortion, though: http://www.photo.net/reviews/nikon-18-35mm-g-review/
  4. Architecture? The 24mm PCE tilt/shift, of course. Nothing else in NIkon's line up has the capability for serious architectural shots.
    Kent in SD
  5. Why get a zoom? I got a 20mm prime used from KEH for a very reasonable price.
  6. Why don't you get in touch with your instructors, or at least see if the syllabus for the course gives you some indication? I think they would agree with Kent that the 24mm PCE tilt/shift is the most appropriate Nikon lens for architecture, but be reluctant to stick students with the expense.
  7. Why get a zoom? I got a 20mm prime used from KEH for a very reasonable price.​
    The 20's come up a very good prices on a regular basis. It would be a very good choice. Also, keep your eye out for the stray 18mm/f2.8D-AF, it's a gem.
  8. The tilt/shift lens (24mm) is just what you need, if you don't go to a view camera, that is.
    I'd definitely talk to your instructor(s) about this before spending that much $.
    The older shift (only) lenses are cheaper, but I think you'd need to check about whether the oldest ones have been "AI'ed" since I don't think the D600 will accommodate the non-AI versions. Since these things are manual focus anyhow, the older lenses can work just as well as they did on the Nikon F.
    I still use my old non-AI PC-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 on my FX-type bodies (in my case, Canon, but also Nikon film cameras).
  9. I like the idea of a prime tilt/shift for someone that will be studying Archetectural photography. I think that 17 or 18mm is the way to go.
    Not the traditional route, but something to consider is a 15mm diagonal fisheye, combined with software to defish it. This is an incredibly flexible tool, yet considerably less expensive than the TS route. You'll ultimately want a TS, but a defished fisheye is wonderful.
    Here's my Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG diagonal fisheye on a Canon full-frame, defished:
  10. the tokina 17-35/4 has much less distortion than the 16-35 VR.
  11. A slightly cheaper alternative to the 24mm PC-E would be the older 28mm f/3.5 PC-Nikkor. This'll give you rise/fall and sideways shift, which is usually all that's needed for architecture. It still commands a fairly high used price, but even in mint condition it's a darn sight cheaper than the 24mm PC-E.
    However, if you want lenses that'll last you into professional practice, then I'd have to agree with others and say the 24mm PC-E will be all-round more useful in the long run. And if you want the best non-shifting wideangle lens then there's only one choice - the 14-24mm f/2.8 zoom Nikkor. Expensive, but you won't be needing to upgrade when you turn pro.
    A third alternative is to pick up a cheap 5x4 technical camera, a 75mm wideangle and some sheet film. The whole bundle would probably cost you less than US$800 and will hold its value far better than a new Nikkor.
  12. Unless the course has listed some equipment requirements, I would not buy anything at all at the moment, even though we all know PC-E makes a fair bit of sense and is bound to figure in the course at some point.
    Having taught in university art schools almost all my working life I can confidently say, I've seen hundreds of students invest in inappropriate equipment prior to undertaking a unit, far better to wait and see what you are taught, or your tutors recommend.
  13. I agree with Kent. Go for the 24mm pc lens. It is expensive but I have never regreted the purchase. Superb for architecrure.
  14. I don't agree - buy nothing 'til you've understood what your teachers are trying to teach you. I should add that forum advice probably drives lecturers crazy.
  15. Nobody recommends the Samyang 24 T/S here.
    For fear of the big unknown?
    Or for known fear of sub-acceptable performance?
  16. Albin - I was looking forward to the Samyang. I have a Hartblei super-rotator (adapted from Canon mount with some flare that I've not fixed yet, due to a silver mount) and the fixed tilt/shift axes of the Nikkors really put me off. The Samyang fixes this, but the few reviews I've seen have generally been quite uncomplimentary to the optics, especially for those of us looking longingly at some of Canon's current T/S line. It's supposedly okay stopped down a lot, but since my interest in a T/S is partly creative and partly to avoid diffraction, that's not a qualification I like to hear. It's also not that cheap. I'm hoping Nikon will decide to compete with the Canon 17mm T-S at some point.

    There are cheap options available - I have a Kiev 35mm f/2.8 tilt-shift - but the mount is a nightmare, the optics are iffy and the axes are locked by the design (you can't realign with a screwdriver, like the Nikkors). Given that a shift lens is equivalent to taking a crop from a wider image, I wouldn't rule out the simpler solution of just having a good wide angle with a high pixel count - I've got some ok building images without converging verticals just by cropping the ground out of the result. The fish-eye solution is a little extreme, and you might run out of resolution, but it's certainly flexible.

    However, I kind of agree with the "ask the teacher before spending megabucks" solution. Turning up with a tilt-shift if the teachers don't know how to use it is just going to be obstructive. A 5x4 even more so.
  17. "Nobody recommends the Samyang 24 T/S here. For fear of the big unknown? Or for known fear of sub-acceptable performance?"​
    I'm quite a fan of Samyang lenses. I have the 85, 35 and 24mm f/1.4s and think the IQ/price ratio is stunning. The image quality stands up to lenses costing at least two or three times the price. However I did have to return the first sample of 24mm f/1.4 I received due to a decentring fault. Second sample is much better.
    Having said that I will not be considering the 24mm Tilt/Shift from Samyang. Reviews are consistently showing mediocre to downright poor image quality, such as is seen here. Definitely below the level I'd find acceptable in a lens at this price, and especially in a supposed pro-quality T/S lens. Build quality is below par as well by all accounts. The only thing the Samyang has going for it is its flexible range of rotation and tilt options that match those of Canon - Nikon, please take note for your (hopefully) soon-to-be-updated 24mm PC-E. Not being able to properly align the shift and tilt axes is just plain lame (here's an idea; put a longer ribbon connector or rotary contacts in the darn thing).
    Edit: "Turning up with a tilt-shift if the teachers don't know how to use it is just going to be obstructive." - Or make those teachers wonder if they're in the right job.
  18. Gentleman, I am dissappointed to hear that the Samyang TS isn't good enough!
    That was really on my wishlist.
    On FX I use the 24-70/2.8 and 24/2.8 and 20/3.5 wide angles.
    I am not happy with the corners of the zoom and it also fails miserably at small apertures. The old ones are still very
    good, maybe not excellent, but very good. Even to f/22.
    But no perspective control other than keeping things straight horizontally haha!
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Phil the OP wrote in his opening post:
    What I am thinking of getting is a Nikon 16-35 f.4 lens for the wide end. This lens puts me at the top of my budget.​
    Nikon makes only one 16-35mm/f4 lens. The 16-35mm/f4 AF-S VR is about $1260 or so. Therefore, please respect the OP's budget and only recommend lenses that are bounded by the $1260 range.
  20. Phil,
    If you can get a deal on the Nikon 16-35 vr f4 it is an excellent lens,very sharp on my D800 and the distortion at 16mm is easily corrected in software,I bought it when it first came out to replace a Nikon 17-35 2.8 lens and it is sharper with better contrast.
  21. Like some say above, I wouldn't buy anything until you talk to your instructor. I've seen teachers say for many classes "no zoom lenses" and many will require a certain focal length, so during critiques, all the students are presenting with the same focal length. Architectural photography was generally a more advanced class and students had more flexibility, though some sections required the view camera. I didn't take those classes, but I had friends in other classes that were into it. I had several other classes where instructors restricted lens and type of camera choice, i.e. View or Med. Format or 35mm. More often than not, the teachers chose the equipment specs for the class and each assignment. The other thing was that our school had a great inventory of equipment that was available for checkout, so you didn't always have to have your own equipment. Though most had their own 35mm and many had med. format. The architectural sometimes bought a view camera if they really were gong to pursue it as a career. And who knows, you may show up in class and have the teacher say, for most of this class we will be shooting <gasp> film!!
  22. First, I want to say Thank you to ALL that answered. Even if the one you spoke about was way over budget..... which I must stick to.
    Anyway, I have it narrowed down to the 16-35 from Nikon and I have been getting some personal replies for the 18-35 from Nikon which is much cheaper and I am sure not as good of a build but is said to be ultra sharp.
    Hopefully someone in class will have these and I can try one out before deciding. I do understand that a used 16-35 is hard to come by.
    Thanks again ....
    phil b
    benton, ky
  23. Phil, I'm late to the party, but I shoot a D800, and have a very wide array of rather expensive lenses. I just added the 16-35 VR as my newest acquisition and find if very good. I think it will work just fine for you on the D600. I think it is a good value especially since it is sharp wide open. Don't be afraid to push your ISO up with any subjects which may have some movement to them as the VR, while great for your side of things obviously does nothing for your subjects'.

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