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Author Topic: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please  (Read 24388 times)

mikeodial

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I am just about to sell all my Pentax (K3 digital) and Hasselblad (film) gear and make the move to a D810.

I owned one Nikon film camera donkeys years ago, so my knowledge about the platform is limited at this point. I am looking to shoot landscapes and flowers (macro) for the most part; would also like a longer telephoto for longer shots and the occasional wildlife or sports opportunity that comes up.

My budget is around $3200-$3500 for lenses, I don't have a problem with buying used, as I have collected a lot of my equipment that way over the years.

Here are a few things I have heard by looking at reviews/forums:

1. The 24MM Nikkor f1.4 seems to be a wonderful lens with a lot of character and accuracy. I really like well rendered rich color in a landscape lens.

2. The Nikkor 50mm f1.2 also has some interesting rendering which could be a good second prime?

3. I would like the Macro to double as a portrait lens, but that may be asking too much with the sharpness of the 105 Nikkor.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

Mike
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2015, 10:43:05 am »

It seems you prefer prime lenses, so I would suggest the recent line up of f1.8 lenses: 20, 28, 50, 85. They are not expensive, and seem to be good performers.

Even though I not a Nikon user, I have recently investigated their prime lenses as potential candidates to shoot on my Sony A7's. I have actually landed on the Nikon 20 f1.8 G for landscapes and night sky photos, it is very good indeed.

Some years ago I somehow ended up having to shoot a bunch of portraits with Nikon gear. Two great portrait lenses come to mind: AIS 85 f1.4 and AFD 105 f2 defocus control.

dwswager

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2015, 11:05:26 am »

This is almost impossible to answer for someone else.  Each person has their own style and working preferences.  You are mentioning primes and I work mostly with zooms.  I shoot the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 16-35 f/4 VR.  The 24-120mm f/4 VR and 24-85mm (newest only) are also decent options.  The 17-35mm f/3.5-4.5 is a great little lens for the money. 20mm is as wide I typically can control well, but some folks really like to go super wide.  Depends on the user.

When you say macro, I want more working distance than the 105mm provides.  The old micro zoom is great and the micro 200mm.  I also use the 5T and 6T diopters (62mm) on the 70-200mm f/2.8 (77mm thread so need a step ring).

As to primes, there are some old primes and some new ones that are really good.  You don't usually need flat field corrected or super fast lenses for landscape.

I shoot the D810 for landscape and it is a great camera.




I am just about to sell all my Pentax (K3 digital) and Hasselblad (film) gear and make the move to a D810.

I owned one Nikon film camera donkeys years ago, so my knowledge about the platform is limited at this point. I am looking to shoot landscapes and flowers (macro) for the most part; would also like a longer telephoto for longer shots and the occasional wildlife or sports opportunity that comes up.

My budget is around $3200-$3500 for lenses, I don't have a problem with buying used, as I have collected a lot of my equipment that way over the years.

Here are a few things I have heard by looking at reviews/forums:

1. The 24MM Nikkor f1.4 seems to be a wonderful lens with a lot of character and accuracy. I really like well rendered rich color in a landscape lens.

2. The Nikkor 50mm f1.2 also has some interesting rendering which could be a good second prime?

3. I would like the Macro to double as a portrait lens, but that may be asking too much with the sharpness of the 105 Nikkor.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

Mike

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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 11:09:46 am »

Judging by your selection of preferred lenses, I'd venture to say you are preparing for a photojournalism role, possibly civil unrest or war photography?

mikeodial

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2015, 12:27:28 pm »

Judging by your selection of preferred lenses, I'd venture to say you are preparing for a photojournalism role, possibly civil unrest or war photography?

Darn it ... you broke the code. ;-)
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2015, 02:25:06 pm »

My landscape lenses with the D810 are the following: Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 and the Nikon 70-200 f/4 VR.
Of these the 14-24 is ok, but not really as great as I expected, but the best in that range anyway from Nikon. The 24-70 is so and so, sharp in the center but so and so at the edges. The 70-200 f/4 as absolutely excellent. The latter one is a must have for landscapes, if you favour to pick out parts of the landscapes as I do.

Petrus

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2015, 03:24:52 pm »

New Nikkor 20mm f/1.8, good WA, does not cost a fortune
Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4, truly a great lens
Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4, ditto, also for portraits
Nikkor 85mm f/1.8, just as good as the f/1.4 Nikkor, but much cheaper and lighter
Nikkor 105mm Micro, just a great short tele for everything

If you want to squeeze everything out of the great sensor of D810, go prime! While zooms are practical and "good enough", sometimes the faster apertures are a bonus also, specially for portraits.
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NancyP

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2015, 05:29:19 pm »

I am a Canon user but can second the recommendation of Sigma Art 35 f/1.4 for landscape - this is a gorgeous lens. But I really like this focal length. Its only drawback is that it is a little long and a little heavy, if you are trying to be inconspicuous or need to save on weight.

The Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4 also has wonderful image quality, and is heavy and long (I don't have it yet but have tried it). I do have the old manual-focus, manual-aperture AIS Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 (film era design), works nicely on the Canon with an adapter and extra-fine focusing screen. It is pretty darn sharp stopped down (f/2.8 to f/8) on a 20MP camera, and is relatively compact and lightweight - but you have to like manual focus. Lots of good Zeiss lenses out there, but again, manual focus. I can recommend the Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 as lovely for landscape, but there is a newer design 25 f/2.

Lenses aside - do you have a good tripod that you like and use? You might get more use out of a good tripod that you actually carry and use, plus medium priced lens,  than in a marginally better but much more expensive lens and the old tripod that stays in the closet at home.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 05:32:30 pm »

I would just advise against testing recent Zeiss top lenses if you have limited budget. They make very good Nikon lenses (such as the 70-200 f4 that I own too), feel average on the D810.

The 24mm f1.4 is excellent stopped down and has a wonderful look wide open. It is a master piece of a lens design.  It is just very hard to AF accurately and realiably on the bodies I own.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 05:36:24 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 05:33:12 pm »

Exactly now are those high-speed lenses (1.2, 1.4 or even 1.8 ) relevant for landscape photography (apart, perhaps, for astro photography, which the OP did not mention among his interests)?

MarkL

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2015, 05:33:56 pm »

New Nikkor 20mm f/1.8, good WA, does not cost a fortune
Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4, truly a great lens
Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4, ditto, also for portraits
Nikkor 85mm f/1.8, just as good as the f/1.4 Nikkor, but much cheaper and lighter
Nikkor 105mm Micro, just a great short tele for everything

If you want to squeeze everything out of the great sensor of D810, go prime! While zooms are practical and "good enough", sometimes the faster apertures are a bonus also, specially for portraits.

I'd second the majority of this list. Sigma ART primes are some of the best lenses in the format, the 50mm even being in the same discussion as the zeiss otus. If the OP wants a 24mm, add the 24mm ART to it. Sigma are also due to release a 24-50mm f/2 zoom promising prime performance which should be interesting.

Nikon mount struggles for a great 100/105mm macro (and even more for a good af 135mm portrait lens.)
If you want a brilliant manual focus macro lens look at the Voigtlander Lanthar 125mm (pricey)
If you want a brilliant Zeiss Apo matching manual focus 135mm (not macro) look at Samyang 135 mm f/2 (yes, seriously!)
Otherwise go for the Nikon 105mm. Sigma are likely to make a 135mm f/2 art but unlikely to be a macro.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2015, 05:38:53 pm »

Exactly now are those high-speed lenses (1.2, 1.4 or even 1.8 ) relevant for landscape photography (apart, perhaps, for astro photography, which the OP did not mention among his interests)?

Their wide aperture is indeed not needed, but they happen to often also be some of the best corrected designs, at least speaking of Zeiss.

Cheers,
Bernard

mikeodial

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2015, 05:53:25 pm »

I am a Canon user but can second the recommendation of Sigma Art 35 f/1.4 for landscape - this is a gorgeous lens. But I really like this focal length. Its only drawback is that it is a little long and a little heavy, if you are trying to be inconspicuous or need to save on weight.

The Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4 also has wonderful image quality, and is heavy and long (I don't have it yet but have tried it). I do have the old manual-focus, manual-aperture AIS Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 (film era design), works nicely on the Canon with an adapter and extra-fine focusing screen. It is pretty darn sharp stopped down (f/2.8 to f/8) on a 20MP camera, and is relatively compact and lightweight - but you have to like manual focus. Lots of good Zeiss lenses out there, but again, manual focus. I can recommend the Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 as lovely for landscape, but there is a newer design 25 f/2.

Lenses aside - do you have a good tripod that you like and use? You might get more use out of a good tripod that you actually carry and use, plus medium priced lens,  than in a marginally better but much more expensive lens and the old tripod that stays in the closet at home.

Thank you Nancy, very helpful. I do have a tripod I use a lot, but am thinking I may need to upgrade here as my MePhoto is very portable, but not so stable as something more substantial. Your point is well taken though. I am also not adverse to manual focus, being an old Pentaxian, that's all I knew for quite a while. I have some MF Zeiss lenses on a film Hasselblad which will also be going, but perhaps I should give them a try on the D810 first?
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2015, 05:56:19 pm »

... they happen to often also be some of the best corrected designs...

Since everything in life is a trade-off, the real question is if the "best  corrected" matters at f/8 enough to offset additional cost, size, weight and filter diameter?

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2015, 07:08:05 pm »

Since everything in life is a trade-off, the real question is if the "best  corrected" matters at f/8 enough to offset additional cost, size, weight and filter diameter?

Absolutely.

It also depends on whether you really want to tap in the full resolution sensor of your body or are just happy shooting with a high res body or selected the body for other reasons.

I personally feel that if you shoot with zoom lenses there is rather limited value in going above 24mp from a real world image quality standpoint (but I do of course know that detail is far from being the only differentiator of the D810). It is of course a bit better at 36mp, but you are not benefitting fully from your sensor's potential.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 07:13:47 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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NancyP

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2015, 07:20:39 pm »

I don't know much about MF lenses, but since they have a bigger image circle and a bigger flange-to-sensor distance than the Nikon, they are candidates for potential tilt-shift conversion. Are any of these MF Zeiss lenses wide enough to be worth t/s? The MF and the compact subfora might have some info.

Trade-offs - I make them. I love the Sigma Art 35 and use it if I am going to be working primarily in landscape. But if I am working mostly in macro, and hiking a bit to get to it, I throw the pancake 40mm f/2.8 and a few extension rings in the bag (500 grams lighter) - landscape, and wide angle macro capability. Of course, maybe I ought to shave 500 grams off myself....   ;D
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Schewe

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2015, 12:58:11 am »

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

I have three go to lenses for my D810. I like the 14-24mm lens, the 28-300mm and the 105mm Macro. Now, this is for "landscape" not street nor much studio (although the 28-300 is handy for portraits). Mostly on a tripod. A lot of my landscape work is stitched so long focal length comes in handy which is why I like the 28-300. Sure, it ain't "great' at 300mm but it's "useful".

It all depends on how much you are willing to carry and how particular you are on image detail. 2 or 3 D810 stitches has made me quite carrying my Phase One IQ 180 and all the heavy glass.
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David Anderson

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2015, 02:00:55 am »

When shooting a fishing article and travelling light I bring the 28 1.8G, 60 2.8 macro and 85 1.8G.
All are light, sharp and good value IMHO.
The 28 is exceptional for it's corner to corner sharpness - I'm very impressed with it for what it cost.

I also have the 14-24 and 70-200 2.8's and both are very good lenses, but not much fun to pack around.

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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2015, 04:10:58 am »

Well, after seeing some of the suggestions, it is interesting that nobody mentioned yet the elephant in the room: the upcoming Sony A7RII.

This camera seems the one to go for serious landscape photography in 35mm format: high res, great sensor, small, light, ticks all the boxes to be at the core of a small landscape system.

The other great benefit is the fact that you can mount top quality landscape lenses, like the TS lenses from Canon (EF 17 and EF 24). Plus, of course, all the wonderful Zeiss glass already mentioned (plus the upcoming Batis lenses). Or, if you prefer zooms, Canon's EF 16-35 f4 is arguably one of the best wide angle zooms these days.

So, a lot of options...

synn

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Re: Considering a Nikon D810 for landscape ... lens suggestions please
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2015, 05:03:43 am »

Don't be put off by the "Sharpness" of the 105 macro. It has beautiful out of focus rendering that bodes well with portraiture.

I do not have a portrait example from that lens (My go to lens on the Nikon for portraits is the 85 f/1.8G), but here is an image that demonstrates the bokeh.



Other than that, I am very happy with the 16-35 as a landscape lens. It is very filter friendly, the distortion is easily corrected in post and so is the edge softness at the wide end.

The Zeiss manual primes (15, 18, 21)are also worth considering if you prefer something smaller and don't mind manual focusing (Which I do anyway with landscapes).
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 05:13:36 am by synn »
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