Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: sanking on November 03, 2012, 10:35:27 AM

Title: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: sanking on November 03, 2012, 10:35:27 AM
I would be interested to know if there are any really high quality prime wide angle lenses in Nikor mount in the 20mm - 24mm range for the Nikon D800E? I have tested most of the Nikkor lenses in this range, D model and older AF and Ai-I lenses as well, and they all show significantly less resolution on the corners than in the middle of the field. I am a landscape photographer and use the camera on a tripod most of the time and shoot at optimum apertures of f/5.6 and f/8, not wide open.

Am I am being too demanding with the D800E? I have used Mamiya 7II with the 43mm and 50mm lenses for many years and these lenses were superb, in the center and on the corners.  The 65m of the Fuji GSW6900II also was an excellent performed on the corners. Can the retro-focus wide angles for DSLR simply can not match the optical quality of wide angle lenses for medium format rangefinders?

Sandy




Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: Gulag on November 03, 2012, 10:37:04 AM
I would be interested to know if there are any really high quality prime wide angle lenses in Nikor mount in the 20mm - 24mm range for the Nikon D800E? I have tested most of the Nikkor lenses in this range, D model and older AF and Ai-I lenses as well, and they all show significantly less resolution on the corners than in the middle of the field. I am a landscape photographer and use the camera on a tripod most of the time and shoot at optimum apertures of f/5.6 and f/8, not wide open.

Am I am being too demanding with the D800E? I have used Mamiya 7II with the 43mm and 50mm lenses for many years and these lenses were superb, in the center and on the corners.  The 65m of the Fuji GSW6900II also was an excellent performed on the corners. Can the retro-focus wide angles for DSLR simply can not match the optical quality of wide angle lenses for medium format rangefinders?

Sandy


Both 14-24 and 24G are excellent on my D800E. Give them a try.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 03, 2012, 11:05:39 AM
Zeiss 21 mm? (http://www.kenrockwell.com/zeiss/slr/21mm-comparison.htm)
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: BernardLanguillier on November 03, 2012, 06:24:29 PM
Both 14-24 and 24G are excellent on my D800E. Give them a try.

I would add th 24mm T/S to this list.

Its very corners are a bit soft when shitfed to the max but excellent in the default image circle and the center is top notch.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: langier on November 04, 2012, 01:07:54 AM
Haven't used prime w/a lenses in years other than my fisheye lenses and my 24 PCE.

I'm using the 17-35mm f2.8 and the 14-24 f2.8 for my landscape work. For travel, it's hard to beat the 17-35 for speed, size and weight and it's fine on my D800. The 24 PCE is also good in the field and stitching gets you even larger files.

If size and weight isn't as much a factor, the best of the three is the 14-24.

That said, for much of my printing and shooting, I'm backing off on the file sizes and shooting mostly with my lower rez bodies for day-to-day projects.

On my last month on the road to Spain, Greece and Serbia, I found the D700 with the 17-35mm and the D800 with the 24-120 f4 and set to 1.2x (24 MP) was a good pairing. When I wanted more rez for a landscape or wider, I swapped lenses briefly and that did the trick. The D800 is almost like having a 5x7 camera with 4x5 and 2.25x3.25 reducing backs, thus giving you more focal length options!

The D800 files are so nice, but are so large when you open them at full size and 16 bit. it gives you an edge for a little cropping if you need it, a little more IQ for low light and more dynamic range under adverse lighting.

What may be a even better lens for you may be to try the 16-35 f/4 VR for the field. It's supposed to have better sharpness than the 17-35 and it's smaller and lighter than the 14-24. I'd say rent one for a week and see how it works for you.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: joneil on November 04, 2012, 10:26:30 AM
Zeiss 21 mm? (http://www.kenrockwell.com/zeiss/slr/21mm-comparison.htm)

  Heh.  :)       Even Zeiss doesn't think their lenses are good enough for the new crop of full frame, high resolution DSLRs.  Take a look here:
http://blogs.zeiss.com/photo/en/?p=2860

    Quoting here from the Zeiss blog, in case you don't want to read the full article:

"What is meant by “high-end SLR lens family”?
This is about lenses for full-frame (36x24mm) SLR cameras with manual focusing capability. This family of lenses is geared towards delivering uncompromising image quality for demanding users. The lenses are perfect for high-resolution, full-format digital cameras with more than 30 megapixels such as D800. The combined performance approaches that of medium format systems. If you shoot with the largest aperture, cameras with smaller number of pixels also benefit from much better image contrast. "


    Here is my favourite quote:  :)

"How much will the lenses cost?
Since the lenses are more demanding in terms of material selection and construction than our previous ZE and ZF.2 lenses, the price level will be higher. We are expecting prices around EUR 3,000."


    3,000 Euros is roughly around $3,800 to $3,900 dollars (US or CDN), and that's before taxes and shipping, eh?

  So the official answer from Zeiss on what wide angle lens is best for the D800 is a brand new four thousand dollar lens they haven't even put on the market yet.  Doesn't look to hope full, does it?  I've been looking forward to upgrading to a D800 some day, but the more posts I read like this, the more I wonder if maybe waiting for a while isn't such a bad thing.    I take the original poster's comment that the older Nikkor glass on the D800 shows drop off on the edges, but you know what, on my D7000, my old 24mm Nikkor stopped down to F5.6 is a fantastic lens.

:D
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 04, 2012, 10:36:49 AM
  Heh.  :)       Even Zeiss doesn't think their lenses are good enough for the new crop of full frame, high resolution DSLRs...

You got to be kidding me, right!? And judging by the three smileys, you are.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: stever on November 04, 2012, 10:45:58 AM
subscribe to Lloyd Chambers "guide to zeiss lenses" at diglloyd.com - he's done extensive testing of the Zeiss wide angles and some of the Nikon lenses on the D800E - mostly with landscape subjects
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: joneil on November 04, 2012, 10:51:28 AM
You got to be kidding me, right!? And judging by the three smileys, you are.

  Actually i wish i was kidding, but I am not.  i just cannot believe it myself.  Look for yourself. The projected release date is Autumn of 2013 - so almost a full year away.  

   Also,  I have two Zeiss ZF2 lenses I use on my D7000, and I love them.  I bought them as full frame lenses in anticipation  that someday i would upgrade to the D800 (or maybe the D600) and I would have lenses that would not only cover a FX frame, but would be optically  "worthy" of the new camera.

   Now I am frankly blown away to find out that even according to Zeiss, these lenses are not even good enough for the D800.  Kinda takes the wind out of your sails real fast, eh?
:(

  IMO, the main reason for somebody like me to upgrade to the D800 is to be able to push that camera to it's full resolution, it's full capacity.  for day to day work, my D7000s are all I need, but I also shoot 4x5 sheet film, so the idea of a really high resolution DLSR appeals to me.  It's kinda like buying a brand new Lamborghini - you know the real reason you buy car like that is some day you really do want to see if it can hit 200 mph.  :)

     But here and elsewhere I keep reading about people who are disappointed with different lenses on the D800.  I suppose it depends on your standards, but again, as with the Lamborghini, why buy it if you don't want to push it to the limit some day?  the issue with the D800, IMO, seems to be like buying a brand new Lamborghini and finding out the only roads you can drive it on are old gravel roads at a top speed of 50 mph, and the Germans are still a year away from building new roads that can handle the top speeds of the car.
:)



    
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: ndevlin on November 04, 2012, 10:55:13 AM
Reflecting my experience only:

24-120: an optically mediocre but exceptionally convenient lens

24mm TS: an optically mediocre but exceptionally inconvenient lens

14-24mm f2.8: good, but no filters and massive

16-35mm f4VR: as good as the 14-24 in the 20-24 range, surprisingly, and cheaper, lighter and more convenient.

24mm f1.4: very good.

Zeiss 21mm f2.8: not flat field - got disturbingly soft corner results on my few test frames, with cuttingly sharp centres

Zeiss 25mm f2: haven't used it but friends who have think the world of  it.

In truth, few lenses get the best out of the 800E.

- N.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 04, 2012, 12:13:43 PM
... people who are disappointed with different lenses on the D800...

Most of those people would need help of a different kind of professionals, not photographers.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 04, 2012, 12:15:57 PM
... Zeiss 21mm f2.8: not flat field - got disturbingly soft corner results on my few test frames, with cuttingly sharp centres...

Is there a 20-21mm lens with better corners?
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: Peter McLennan on November 04, 2012, 04:01:41 PM
Reflecting my experience only:
24-120: an optically mediocre but exceptionally convenient lens

Very concise report, Nick.  Thanks.  Any experience with the newer 24-85 F4?

Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: HarperPhotos on November 04, 2012, 06:43:17 PM
Hello,

Attached are some shots with the new Nikon 24-85mm VR lens on a Nikon D800E.

1st shot 24mm F5.6 100 ISO
2nd shot 24mm F9.0 100 ISO

Cheers

Simon
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: HarperPhotos on November 04, 2012, 07:17:22 PM
Have a look at this review

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/samyang-24mm-f-1-4-ed-as-if-umc-lens-review-19623

Cheers

Simon
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: alan_b on November 04, 2012, 07:33:41 PM
Most of those people would need help of a different kind of professionals, not photographers.

+1  just pick one that comes close and get on with it. (Or be prepared to spend another $50k for something "better")

Good content far outweighs the differences between all of these lenses.

As a description of the trade-offs between lenses though, I agree with most of what ndevlin says - might place the 24pce better than mediocre though.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: Peter McLennan on November 04, 2012, 07:50:30 PM
Attached are some shots with the new Nikon 24-85mm VR lens on a Nikon D800E.

Thanks, Simon. 
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: BernardLanguillier on November 04, 2012, 08:05:07 PM
24mm TS: an optically mediocre but exceptionally inconvenient lens

24mm f1.4: very good.

I own both of these lenses also, so it must be sample variation, but to me the 24mm T/S is as good or better between f5.6 and f8 than the excellent 24mm f1.4. That is at least true when not using movements, but remains mostly valid when using a small amount of tilt.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: ndevlin on November 04, 2012, 08:42:06 PM
Is there a 20-21mm lens with better corners?

I only tried one sample - new out of the box - and when shooting a flat subject, 30-50 years from the camera, the edges were not sharp @f5.6 on a tripod.  My sample is too small to draw a broad conclusion, but I have heard from a couple of people that it is not a flat-field lens.  I was really, really surprised by what I saw. Could have been a fluke.


- N.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: ndevlin on November 04, 2012, 08:43:12 PM
Very concise report, Nick.  Thanks.  Any experience with the newer 24-85 F4?

No, but Simon has had really good results from it, as his posts show. I'd be really interested to try it. I am growing to seriously dislike the 24-120mm.

- N.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: BernardLanguillier on November 04, 2012, 08:53:58 PM
I only tried one sample - new out of the box - and when shooting a flat subject, 30-50 years from the camera, the edges were not sharp @f5.6 on a tripod.  My sample is too small to draw a broad conclusion, but I have heard from a couple of people that it is not a flat-field lens.  I was really, really surprised by what I saw. Could have been a fluke.

Well, that could be. I have mostly used it for near far compositions well stopped down (typically f9-11) with a bit of tilt and it seemed very good. For genuine distant scenes I tend to shoot with a longer lens and stitch.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: HarperPhotos on November 04, 2012, 08:54:10 PM
Hi ndevlin,

I have to agree with Bernard I to have the Nikon 24mm PC-E lens and I fine it optically superb. I have shot bathroom interiors with quite a bit of shift and the images are tack sharp right to the corners and when it come to landscapes it is also pin sharp.

Cheers

Simon
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 04, 2012, 08:55:21 PM
I only tried one sample - new out of the box - and when shooting a flat subject, 30-50 years from the camera, the edges were not sharp @f5.6 on a tripod.  My sample is too small to draw a broad conclusion, but I have heard from a couple of people that it is not a flat-field lens.  I was really, really surprised by what I saw. Could have been a fluke.

I probably didn't phrase my question properly. I did not mean to ask if there is another copy of Zeiss 21mm with better corners. I meant: is there another maker's lens with similar focal length that has better corners? From what I remember, Zeiss 21 advantage is precisely in having better corners than the competition.

That it is not a flat-field lens is no surprise, because no wide-angle is. Most macro lenses are, however, and probably some telephotos.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: ndevlin on November 04, 2012, 09:20:09 PM
Hey Simon & Bernard,

Sorry for the confusion, I was talking about the Zeiss 21mm. As far as the 24mm tilt goes, my copy is ok, but hasn't really impressed me. My 16-35 is better if I pixel peep. Curiously, my 50mm f1.4 G is so bad I'm thinking of making a warranty claim. And it ain't a focus issue. Makes me appreciate that Leica M glass getting dusty in my cupboard  ;)

- N.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: BernardLanguillier on November 04, 2012, 10:00:47 PM
Hey Simon & Bernard,

Sorry for the confusion, I was talking about the Zeiss 21mm. As far as the 24mm tilt goes, my copy is ok, but hasn't really impressed me. My 16-35 is better if I pixel peep.

Oops, sorry about the misunderstanding.  :'(

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: HarperPhotos on November 04, 2012, 11:45:18 PM
Hello,

This also could be a good and cheap alternative to a wide angle prime for a Nikon D800 for shooting landscapes.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/09/07/samyang-24mm-f3-5-tilt-shift-lens

Cheers

Simon
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: joneil on November 05, 2012, 08:57:59 AM
Hello,
This also could be a good and cheap alternative to a wide angle prime for a Nikon D800 for shooting landscapes.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/09/07/samyang-24mm-f3-5-tilt-shift-lens
Cheers
Simon

      I would love to test one myself.  I am a big fan of Samyang lenses, they are bright, crisp and sharp.  However I find - and your mileage may vary - that the distortion on their wide angle lenses is worse than some other lenses.  To be specific, less than some zooms, especially some lower end "all purpose" zooms, but more than say an older prime Nikkor in the same range.

    On a smaller sensor DX frame, usually - and again, your mileage may and will vary - I find the distortion not as bad.   But on a big, full frame FX sensor?

     What might make this Samyang a great lens is the size of the image circle.  Most lenses have an image circle that barely cover the intended frame, and most of your worst optical distortions, as a general rule are on the outer edge of the image circle.  One reason so many older FX prime lenses look great on a  DX camera.   It's also an old trick in large format shooting - the sharpest lenses I use on my 4x5" usually will cover 8x10".

 Anyhow, in order to achive the wide range/coverage of tilt & shift, I suspect the image circle on most TS lenses has to be pretty big.  So dead on, a good TS lens, even on a FX frame, you would think should be pretty sharp.  So if this new lens is sharp, dead on, with the D800, that would not surpize me.  the 'acid test" would be how it looks in the corners when you start pushing movements to the extreme.
joe
 
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: TMARK on November 05, 2012, 10:02:37 AM
28mm AIs.  So well corrected.  Sharp as I need by F4.  I've never seriously looked at the corners because I'm not a landscape guy, but I've never seen anything that bothers me.  Oh yeah, its under $200 used.  Not as contrasty as a Zeiss wide, but very natural rendering and very pleasant OOF.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: HSakols on November 05, 2012, 10:05:43 AM
I don't shoot ultra wide that much so I just carry my old Nikon 20mm AFD.  Yeah the corners are not the sharpest but it gives me an interesting look.  Too bad they can't redesign a compact wide prime, but I guess that won't happen with today's sensors.  Anyone else use this lens on digital?  If money were not a problem I would just go with the 16-35.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: HarperPhotos on November 05, 2012, 06:10:14 PM
Hello,

I agree with Tmark I have a Nikon 28mm Ais lens at up to getting the new Nikon 28mm F1.8G lens it was very good.

This new 28mm from Nikon is the best I have ever seen from them. It is just a great lens and that nano coating they use just does some thing special to my eyes. Hell I recon they are using fairy dust or something.

Cheers

Simon
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: skimasks on November 06, 2012, 04:56:04 AM
The new 28 1.8 is crazy good...STUPID sharp. In ideal conditions it is sharper than my Schneider glass. The only issue is CA, which is bound to happen on the digital 35mm format.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: jaapb on November 07, 2012, 09:35:51 AM
28mm AIs.  So well corrected.  Sharp as I need by F4.  I've never seriously looked at the corners because I'm not a landscape guy, but I've never seen anything that bothers me.  Oh yeah, its under $200 used.  Not as contrasty as a Zeiss wide, but very natural rendering and very pleasant OOF.
Another vote for the 28mm AIS. I did some quick and dirty test shots with this lens on my D800 view here (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=69309.msg553794#msg553794) and here (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=69309.20).

Jaap
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: JohnBrew on November 09, 2012, 02:10:40 PM
I don't really care what the others think, the Zeiss 21 is a terrific lens on a D800. Can't say I've noticed any poor corners. Attached is a pano shot with the 21. Apologies for the jpeg resolution.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: alan_b on November 09, 2012, 03:54:00 PM
It pains me to say it, but if Nikon made an equivalent to the Canon TS-E 17mm lens or Canon made an equivalent to the Nikon D800E I would probably be using one or the other now.

Yup - really need a wider Nikon PC-E lens.  I get by w/ the 14-24 + post, but a 17mm PC-E would make my life soo much easier...
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: HarperPhotos on November 09, 2012, 05:18:56 PM
Hello,

I would sell a kidney to get my hands a Nikon 17mm PC-E lens

Cheers

Simon
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: FrankJ on November 10, 2012, 05:08:30 AM
Makes me appreciate that Leica M glass getting dusty in my cupboard  ;)


A similar experience over here. I used the 14-24 with the D800E at various focal lengths and f/8. The center was very sharp but I did not like the borders and corners. Then I did a side by side comparison at 24mm with the Leica M9 and Elmarit 24/2.8 also at f/8. (The widest lens I have for the M9.) At the center I found almost no difference (maybe a very small advantage for the Nikon) but in the outer parts of the frame the difference was huge. The Leica lens really keeps its sharpness and microcontrast into the corners while the Nikon does not.

While I liked the 14-24 on other camera bodies, I will not use it on the 800E for landscape work and  larger (in my case A2) prints. So I am also interested to hear about other options. (For me it probably makes more sense to invest into wider lenses for the M9 since I use and like this camera a lot...)

-Frank
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: MichaelEzra on November 10, 2012, 07:59:28 AM
Hi Frank, when doing corner sharpness comparison, did you account for field curvature? Likely, none of these lenses are flat fielded, so photographing a flat subject/brick wall would not do justice to the corner sharpness, as corners would be focused at a closer distance than the center. Besides, each lens will focus corners at different distance, since curvature is likely different.
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: FrankJ on November 10, 2012, 09:47:30 AM
Hi Michael,

Yes, I made sure that field curvature is not causing the effect. I took pictures of 3-dimensional objects, mainly real landscape images with lots of details in the foreground. This way one could see how far the sharpness area extents. I also tried different focus distances. Basically what I would do in real situations for landscape photography (including using a stable tripod and MLU).

-Frank
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: kers on November 10, 2012, 11:46:16 AM
D800E
I have nothing to complain about my 14-24... even wide open at 14mm it is really good.
(Only problem is flare)
about corners try d11 for the extremes and use liveview at d4 for setting the sharpness...

My sharpest lens is at 24mm is 24mm PCE- d5,6 ( far less flare) the center is the best I have seen...
flat surfaces at 20m distance is a problem... no flat field. but for interiors that is a +. take d9-10

the 24mm 1,4 g needs d8 to get the corners right

about Zeiss and the new 3000+ lineup...  wide open thing will become better; at d8 not that much.. but maybe with 50+mp  (?)  also their T* coatings are very nice...
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: MichaelEzra on November 10, 2012, 06:34:54 PM
Thanks, Frank. Did you find the corners soft at both 14mm and 24mm focal lengths?
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: FrankJ on November 11, 2012, 06:27:11 AM
Thanks, Frank. Did you find the corners soft at both 14mm and 24mm focal lengths?

Hi Michael, the corners improve with decreasing focal length. This is a bit unfortunate for me, since I mainly use the lens between 18 and 20mm. 14mm is quite extreme for landscape and I use 14mm more for indoor shots or closer views.

Below are three examples at 24, 18 and 14mm. (Nothing particularly inspiring, just the lawn in my backyard, which hopefully provides enough details.) Shown is the lower left part of the frames. I cropped the pictures in a way that about 1/4 of the horizontal and vertical parts of the full frame are shown (a 1/16 of the total image area). RAW developed in LR4 without any adjustments, i.e. sharpening was at 25/1.0/25/0. No output sharpening.

The goal of this unscientific test was to get as much as possible into focus. I placed the focus distance of the lens at about 12m to maintain good sharpness at infinity (not shown in the crops below) using f/8. Of course the foreground improves when I focus closer, but then the sharpness at infinity declines. One could argue that a focus distance of 12m is too far for this test. My experience was that you lose more at infinity than you gain in the foreground when focusing closer. Anyhow, this was a compromise...

Probably others tested the lens in different situations and this explains their verdict. The goal was to find out how the lens is doing for the so-called near-far images with a wide vista and some interesting foreground. I know that a TS would be better for this, but this is what I have. BTW, I had access to a second sample which behaved in the same way.

-Frank
Title: Re: Good wide angle lens for Nikon D800E
Post by: MichaelEzra on November 11, 2012, 08:01:54 AM
Hi Frank, thanks for these samples, this is very descriptive. This lens is surprisingly sharp at 14mm, but such corner performance towards 24mm would also impact stitching (that's what I use), or would require a larger overlap, to effectively crop the sensor.