Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: markdavisleica on September 25, 2014, 01:31:35 pm

Title: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: markdavisleica on September 25, 2014, 01:31:35 pm
I know this has been much discussed before, but I am new to the 36MP world and would like users' practical advice about which lens to get.  My photography is a mix of family, architecture, landscape and city/street.  My current lenses are:

Nikon 16-35mm f/4, for landscape and architecture
Nikon 50mm f/1.8, for family and general use as a good ordinary lens
Nikon 85mm f/1.4, superb for portraits

I am travelling to Paris next week and do not want to carry all of this around with me.  So, I am debating getting a Sigma 35mm "Art" f/1.4 or the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8.

With the Sigma, that would mean a simple two lens lineup for travel of it and the Nikon 85mm.  Two great primes.

Alternatively, the Nikon 24-70 could be a very high quality compromise as a one lens choice for a weekend in Paris (although I don't want to throw money away and want to make a sensible choice for future needs).

Any views?
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Herbc on September 25, 2014, 02:41:04 pm
I would take the two primes, 35 and 85.  I had the 24-70 and found it a good lens, but it is pretty big.  I think for walkabout the
35 would be a lot more fun.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Ellis Vener on September 25, 2014, 02:48:59 pm
The 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 plus either the new 20mm f/1.8G or 24mm f/1.4G, and 85mm f/1.8G  will be better choices for you given what you say you shoot.

I can't stress the following enough: The 36.3Mp Nikon D800/D810 cameras will really show up any flaws in your technique or lenses. To match the quality of the sensor it is mandatory that if you shoot using the viewfinder as opposed to live view that you test and calibrate (Autofocus Micro-Adjust settings) the bodies AF system for your  lenses, otherwise I guarantee you will be frustrated.

I really like the LensAlign Mark II and it's companion FocusTune software for this purpose (http://michaeltapesdesign.com/lensalign.html) - attached is a screen shot of just one of the ways the results can be analysed-  but there are other methods.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: markdavisleica on September 25, 2014, 03:20:09 pm
Thank you.  That is very good advice, which I will follow.  I may have been fortunate so far with the lenses I have been using as they appear to be aligned, but I will check this further.  I agree that there is absolutely no point having such a high resolution camera, if the lens and body are not aligned properly.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Petrus on September 25, 2014, 04:10:11 pm
14-24mm Nikkor, 35mm Sigma Art, 50mm Sigma Art and 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 Nikkor would be my choices. Drop 50mm Sigma if only 3 lenses. Drop 35mm and 85 if only two lenses.

While doing the focus micro alignment is VERY necessary if doing full open shooting, specially close-ups, for street (usually at least f/5.6), Family (usually at least f/5.6), architecture (usually at least f/8), and landscape (usually at least f/8) is not all that critical.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: melchiorpavone on September 25, 2014, 05:15:01 pm
I know this has been much discussed before, but I am new to the 36MP world and would like users' practical advice about which lens to get.  My photography is a mix of family, architecture, landscape and city/street.  My current lenses are:

Nikon 16-35mm f/4, for landscape and architecture
Nikon 50mm f/1.8, for family and general use as a good ordinary lens
Nikon 85mm f/1.4, superb for portraits

I am travelling to Paris next week and do not want to carry all of this around with me.  So, I am debating getting a Sigma 35mm "Art" f/1.4 or the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8.

With the Sigma, that would mean a simple two lens lineup for travel of it and the Nikon 85mm.  Two great primes.

Alternatively, the Nikon 24-70 could be a very high quality compromise as a one lens choice for a weekend in Paris (although I don't want to throw money away and want to make a sensible choice for future needs).

Any views?

It depends on what you are going to want to photograph in Paris. It's hard to say otherwise.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Jan K. on September 25, 2014, 05:34:45 pm
... Any views?

Yeah, but you'll probably laugh out loud!  ;D

I've ended up with the weirdest (un)"Holy Trinity", so would pick the 17-35mm f/2.8 together with the old 35-70mm AF-D f/2.8...


See?   :D
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: markdavisleica on September 25, 2014, 05:35:07 pm
Mostly architecture, cityscapes, Seine night shoots...all that sort of predictable stuff.  [And the odd portrait of my wife, as it is our wedding anniversary trip.]
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: melchiorpavone on September 25, 2014, 05:47:35 pm
Mostly architecture, cityscapes, Seine night shoots...all that sort of predictable stuff.  [And the odd portrait of my wife, as it is our wedding anniversary trip.]

A 35 and an 85, is my first suggestion.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: rogan on September 25, 2014, 06:21:51 pm
If you have a great hotel I might take the new 800 5.6 and not leave the bar at the hotel. If weight is a problem consider the 600 f4 with a 1.4 converter
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: David Anderson on September 25, 2014, 06:25:52 pm
Have a look at the 28 1.8 as well.
It's an amazing lens for the price.
Sharp corner to corner and light.

I also like the 60 macro as a standard lens - it's also very light and sharp.

Last, the humble 85 1.8 doesn't get much press these days, but is a very good lens and cheap compared to the 1.4
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: BernardLanguillier on September 25, 2014, 06:45:36 pm
After my initial enthousiasm, the Sigma 35mm f1.4 I own remains very sharp and excellent technically but look/image rendition is, in the end, only average (not bad but not great either).

Overall the Nikkor 35mm f1.4 may be a better bet if you are looking for subject isolation with a wide lens.

Prime vs zoom is IMHO more a question of shooting philosophy rather than technical lens excellence. I sold my 24-70 f2.8 because I was hardly ever using it, but my copy was overall excellent technically on the D800.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: markdavisleica on September 25, 2014, 06:55:25 pm
Thanks Bernard.  Interesting.  I've come from Leica M (digital and film), where zooms are not an option and primes are viewed with awe and reverence.  My natural leaning is towards primes, but I do not necessarily want to fall into the prejudice some have against zooms as some of the Nikons seem to be excellent.  The only one I have, the 16-35mm has really impressed me so far.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Walt Roycraft on September 25, 2014, 08:57:34 pm
The 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 plus either the new 20mm f/1.8G or 24mm f/1.4G, and 85mm f/1.8G  will be better choices for you given what you say you shoot.

I can't stress the following enough: The 36.3Mp Nikon D800/D810 cameras will really show up any flaws in your technique or lenses. To match the quality of the sensor it is mandatory that if you shoot using the viewfinder as opposed to live view that you test and calibrate (Autofocus Micro-Adjust settings) the bodies AF system for your  lenses, otherwise I guarantee you will be frustrated.

I really like the LensAlign Mark II and it's companion FocusTune software for this purpose (http://michaeltapesdesign.com/lensalign.html) - attached is a screen shot of just one of the ways the results can be analysed-  but there are other methods.

Ellis, thanks for the edit. You really had me confused for a minute :)
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: synn on September 25, 2014, 09:20:08 pm
If it's only for a week, rent a copy of each. Renting is always a good way to make a decision when you're confused.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Schewe on September 27, 2014, 01:53:24 am
Alternatively, the Nikon 24-70 could be a very high quality compromise as a one lens choice for a weekend in Paris (although I don't want to throw money away and want to make a sensible choice for future needs).

Any views?

Not for nothing but I recently switched from Canon to Nikon D810. This is what I chose for the first 3 lenses; Nikon 14-24mm, 28-300mm and the 105 macro. So, is this optimal Don't know (yet) but based on what I've learning from my Nikon friends, it's a good start. No primes as of yet...
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: David Anderson on September 27, 2014, 01:59:10 am
and the 105 macro.    No primes as of yet...

The 105 is reasonably prime.. :P ;D

Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Simon Garrett on September 27, 2014, 03:34:12 am
Mostly architecture, cityscapes, Seine night shoots...all that sort of predictable stuff.  [And the odd portrait of my wife, as it is our wedding anniversary trip.]

I recommend you change the order of those two sentences in case your wife reads this.   ;)
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: AFairley on September 27, 2014, 10:15:23 am
I likely would pick the 35mm and 85mm primes.  The 24-70 is nice, but it weigts a ton and is huge.  Right now my urban go to lens on the D800E is an old 35mm f2 AIS, I love the silkiness of the way it draws and I can focus well enough given that I usually shoot at f8.  The thing even with hood attached is tiny compared to current primes.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: markdavisleica on September 27, 2014, 12:23:40 pm
thanks everyone for the helpful responses.  I have I think concluded that I will not get the 24-70mm at this point as I prefer something lighter for city photography.  I am very pleased with my 85mm/f1.4 and believe that something wider would make a good two-primes solution for city travel.  I am leaning towards the Sigma 35mm Art, but am now reading very good reviews of the Nikkor 28mm/f1.8G.  I am used to the 28mm focal length with the Ricoh GR and think it could be a generally useful travel lens.  Has anyone had experience of both the Nikkor 28mm and the Sigma 35mm?
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: PeterAit on September 27, 2014, 03:42:56 pm
It depends on what you are going to want to photograph in Paris. It's hard to say otherwise.

Agreed. It also depends on your personal style. I, for example, am a framing fanatic, and depend on zooms to get exactly what I want in the frame. This lets me take full advantage of the resolution of my sensor. Primes are sometimes theoretically better, but suppose I use a 35mm lens to take a photo that really needed a 60mm lens. I crop 50% in processing and all of a sudden my $3200 36MP camera becomes a $1000 18MP camera. Is this good? I don't think so.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: markdavisleica on September 27, 2014, 03:43:56 pm
thanks again.  No need to respond to my question re 28mm as I have gone ahead and ordered the Sigma 35mm, which I will get tomorrow.  Happy times!
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: markdavisleica on September 27, 2014, 03:47:14 pm
thanks Peter.  Our postings crossed.  That is an interesting point and probably leads to the conclusion that something like the 70-200mm f/2.8 would be an excellent and versatile lens for a D800/E/810 over the long term.
Title: Re:
Post by: Torbjörn Tapani on September 27, 2014, 04:00:10 pm
There is a blog at lensrentals.com about 70mm from 24-70 and 70-200 both Canon and Nikon. Basically the Canons are excellent and the 70-200 Nikon also. The Nikon 24-70 is lagging somewhat.

I have gone with the 14-24 and 70-200 f/2.8. I really like them both.

Had a copy of the Sigma 35 Art and saw the potential. Razor sharp but mine had a slight decentering problem so refunded and never got around to getting another.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Rory on September 28, 2014, 06:05:01 pm
I was in Paris with a 35mm this summer and ended up doing a lot of panos.  If you are not used to doing panos I'd suggest you do some practicing before you go and come back with some fab shots ;*).  Luck!
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: muntanela on September 29, 2014, 05:40:58 pm
thanks Peter.  Our postings crossed.  That is an interesting point and probably leads to the conclusion that something like the 70-200mm f/2.8 would be an excellent and versatile lens for a D800/E/810 over the long term.

Only the 70-200 f. 2.8 VRII
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Jan K. on September 29, 2014, 07:08:57 pm
thanks Peter.  Our postings crossed.  That is an interesting point and probably leads to the conclusion that something like the 70-200mm f/2.8 would be an excellent and versatile lens for a D800/E/810 over the long term.

Oh! a longer lens? If interested in one, take a long look at the f/4 version... speaking of excellence and vesatility...
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: BernardLanguillier on September 29, 2014, 10:21:30 pm
Oh! a longer lens? If interested in one, take a long look at the f/4 version... speaking of excellence and vesatility...

Agreed, the 70-200 f4 works great!

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2950/15172211297_36334e055e_o.jpg)

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Kevin Sink on October 09, 2014, 08:27:46 am
Since we've drifted into longer lens discussions for the Nikon D800e, I have to plug a lens I've rented twice from LensRentals.  The Nikon 200mm f2 is big, heavy, obnoxious, and one of the most beautiful lenses I've ever used.  Wicked sharp and the bokeh is more beautiful than a Mary Oliver poem.  I did find out that putting the camera on tripod, without VR, and using both the mirror up and a 3 second shutter delay gave the best results.  And by best, I mean holy crap that looks incredible!  I did a bunch of pano stitches from a trip to Utah with this combination and the results were superb when the photographer picked the right scene! :)
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 09, 2014, 08:38:02 am
Since we've drifted into longer lens discussions for the Nikon D800e, I have to plug a lens I've rented twice from LensRentals.  The Nikon 200mm f2 is big, heavy, obnoxious, and one of the most beautiful lenses I've ever used.  Wicked sharp and the bokeh is more beautiful than a Mary Oliver poem.  I did find out that putting the camera on tripod, without VR, and using both the mirror up and a 3 second shutter delay gave the best results.  And by best, I mean holy crap that looks incredible!  I did a bunch of pano stitches from a trip to Utah with this combination and the results were superb when the photographer picked the right scene! :)

The new 400mm f2.8 E FL is in the same class IMHO. But it is a bit pricey. ;)

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3951/15455198226_cc15f46a13_o.jpg)

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5597/15465373001_4ebc1a6de7_o.jpg)

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5600/15269056910_5506114112_o.jpg)

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: markdavisleica on October 09, 2014, 09:23:46 am
Thank you Bernard.  The images are stunning!

Thanks to all for the advice previously on ideal lens line-ups for a weekend city break.  I ended up buying the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and taking that with me to Paris along with the Nikon 16-35mm f/4, 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.4.  I found that I used the 35mm and 16-35mm fairly often for architectural and cityscape shots, but had the 50mm on most of the time as I wandered the streets.  Its size and weight made it the easiest to carry around and the image quality, especially for street photography, more than adequate.  Some of my Paris images are on flickr at markdavisleica - https://www.flickr.com/photos/124595163@N05/.

Numerous posts about longer telephoto zooms have got me reading all the reviews and it seems to me that nobody who gets the Nikon 70-200 f/4 is at all disappointed, or wishes they had gone for the considerably more heavy and expensive f/2.8.  Please shout now if I am wrong about this, as I am going to get the f/4 this weekend.

Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 09, 2014, 09:42:34 am
Numerous posts about longer telephoto zooms have got me reading all the reviews and it seems to me that nobody who gets the Nikon 70-200 f/4 is at all disappointed, or wishes they had gone for the considerably more heavy and expensive f/2.8.  Please shout now if I am wrong about this, as I am going to get the f/4 this weekend.

I like the 70-200 f4!

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3677/13487619175_e0fe82d43f_o.jpg)

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7250/13487723363_a0150c6c50_o.jpg)

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: NancyP on October 09, 2014, 10:19:18 am
Bernard, I really like that first green roof detail photo. Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: synn on October 09, 2014, 10:27:50 am
I'm a big fan of the 70-200 f/4 on the D800 too.

http://www.sandeepmurali.com/p356709065/h73f3c959#h73f3c959
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: PeterAit on October 09, 2014, 10:52:02 am
I'm a big fan of the 70-200 f/4 on the D800 too.

http://www.sandeepmurali.com/p356709065/h73f3c959#h73f3c959

Me too, the 70-200 f/4 is one of my very favorite lenses ever. Unless you really need that extra stop, the f/2.8 seems like a waste of money plus more weight to carry.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: synn on October 09, 2014, 10:55:29 am
I sold the 2.8 v1 to get the f/4. The latter outclassed the former in every way.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Jan K. on October 09, 2014, 12:18:04 pm
... Numerous posts about longer telephoto zooms have got me reading all the reviews and it seems to me that nobody who gets the Nikon 70-200 f/4 is at all disappointed, or wishes they had gone for the considerably more heavy and expensive f/2.8.  Please shout now if I am wrong about this, as I am going to get the f/4 this weekend.

Mansurov did a direct comparison test... http://photographylife.com/nikon-70-200mm-f4-vs-f2-8

I used to link to this, when people was claiming better bokeh on the 2.8.  ;D

Btw. I never bothered getting the tripod mounting ring for the lens. It's actually not that much heavier than my wide angle...
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Peter McLennan on October 09, 2014, 04:05:02 pm
I sold the 2.8 v1 to get the f/4. The latter outclassed the former in every way.

Exactly what I was going to say.  It's just excellent. I don't miss my old 2.8 at all.
Title: Re:
Post by: Torbjörn Tapani on October 09, 2014, 04:19:07 pm
You all make a strong case for the f/4. It didn't exist when I got the 2.8 but I will have to look into it. The weight/size might be worth a swap. But I am happy with the images from the 2.8.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 09, 2014, 05:39:40 pm
Exactly what I was going to say.  It's just excellent. I don't miss my old 2.8 at all.

To be fair, there are cases where I have missed the extra stop for low light action situation though.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: Petrus on October 10, 2014, 12:01:16 am
To be fair, there are cases where I have missed the extra stop for low light action situation though.

For landscape and travel stuff f:4 version is great, but I suspect about 50% my 70-200mm shots are taken at f:2.8, because I use it mostly for portraits in available light.
Title: Re: Lens line up for Nikon D800/800E/810
Post by: dwswager on October 13, 2014, 05:24:58 pm
I'll throw out the 24-120mm f/4 VR as a general walk around lens.  The VR will help some in lower light with stationary subjects and if you are doing nightscapes, then you don't need fast, you need DOF.

I would add a 35mm fast lens as well. There is the new 35mm f/1.4G AFS or go cheaper with the 35mm f/2 AF-D.