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Author Topic: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G  (Read 6312 times)

shadowblade

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2020, 11:01:40 am »

I donít buy that the faster lenses give better quality argument. All they do is give less depth of field and that only at the maximum aperture. Phones donít do shallow depth of field and itís one thing photographers can do to set themselves apart apart from phone users. I believe that is what drives the current excitement over bokeh and fast glass. Well that and nice price tags if you sell lenses.

Remember Patterson texture screens? Like that. A trendy fashion.

Camera and lens manufacturers would do well to remember that. All too often, the f/4 zoom lineup is treated as a poorer-quality - not just slower - afterthought, next to the f/2.8 flagship models.

The f/2.8 models certainly need to be the first to come out - they're the event/wedding photographer's bread and butter, after all, and, along with the superteles, the most publicly visible lenses of any camera system. If these aren't up to scratch, or are late to come out, it would be difficult for any camera system to gain market traction.

But, for actual use, most people would be better served by a quality f/4 zoom lineup - just as sharp, if not sharper, than the f/2.8 versions, and likely less than half the weight and size - along with one or two fast primes for those focal lengths where you really want to be able to blur the background to oblivion. I say 'sharper' because an f/4 lens is easier to design than an f/2.8 lens, so easier to make sharper, while those people who do not need f/2.8 in a zoom are probably using the lens for purposes demanding corner-to-corner sharpness - not the case for those shooting at f/2.8 for subject isolation.

For instance, for a travel photography setup:
14-24/4 - UWA
24-70/4 - standard zoom
35/1.4 - environmental portraits
85/1.4 - portrait lens; also fills the gap between the 24-70 and 100-400. Bonus points if they can make this one double as the macro.
100-400/4.5-5.6

You could substitute the 85/1.4 and 100-400/4.5-5.6 for a 70-200/2.8, if you're planning to shoot some action, don't need anything super-long and intend to use the 70-200 for the portrait role. Or substitute the primes for f/1.8 versions, for a more compact package.

Likely weighs about the same as the typical 16-35/2.8, 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 setup, but far more capable.

After all, f/2.8 zooms are really a compromise solution. They're useful for their flexibility, but are big and heavy, while having neither the subject isolation or the absolute crispness of a prime lens (particularly at shorter focal lengths). If, for the same weight, you can bring some super-sharp f/4 zooms and a few primes to really blow out the background when you need to, you'd have a much more capable kit.

The key is that, for this to work, high-end f/4 zooms actually need to be available. Not compromised solutions such as 24-105mm zooms (although the Sony 24-105 is very good as far as 24-105 zooms go) and not budget solutions, but lenses designed and built to the same standards as the flagship models. I don't mind if they cost just as much as the f/2.8 versions - the objective here is quality in a compact package, not low price. Leica has done it - their Summicron lenses are slower, lighter, but usually sharper than the corresponding Summilux or Noctilux models - but most other manufacturers seem to treat their slower lenses as 'budget' rather than 'lightweight' options.
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gkroeger

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2020, 11:58:49 am »

Ditto @shadowblade.  Give me high quality f/4 zooms.  Nikon needs a 70-200 f/4 in their roadmap, and Sony really needs to redesign a 24-70 f/4 G to replace the marginal Zony.
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2020, 12:08:02 pm »

Ditto @shadowblade.  Give me high quality f/4 zooms.  Nikon needs a 70-200 f/4 in their roadmap, and Sony really needs to redesign a 24-70 f/4 G to replace the marginal Zony.

A perfect example. The Sony 24-70 F4 is crap. I know I owned it. Even the ergonomics of that lens are bad with the zoom and focus rings right alongside. As Shadow says the 24 -105 is pretty good. I really like the 70 -200 f4.

I have no need for the F2 20mm. I have that covered by the fine Sigma 14-24 f2,8. If a more compact f4 version of that lens had been available that would have been my first choice. Donít think I have ever used the lens at 2,8. I had the Sony 16 -35 f4 and didnít like it.
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gkroeger

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2020, 09:02:04 am »

At this point, the biggest difference between the Sony and Nikon 20mm f/1.8 lenses is that Sony has actually built some and gotten them in the hands of reviewers! https://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/sony_fe_20mm_f1_8_g_review/conclusion

As far as I can tell, there are still no sightings of the Nikon (nor the 70-200 f/2.8)?

Glenn
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2020, 09:45:01 am »

Ditto @shadowblade.  Give me high quality f/4 zooms.  Nikon needs a 70-200 f/4 in their roadmap, and Sony really needs to redesign a 24-70 f/4 G to replace the marginal Zony.

For a true high-end 'slow' zoom lineup, I'd abandon the classic 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200 focal lengths. These are designed with event photography and photojournalism in mind, with the ability to cover the wide and mid-telephoto ranges with just two lenses on two cameras (70-200/2.8 on one, either 24-70 or 16-35 on the other). But f/4 lenses are not photojournalistic lenses.

In a similar vein, 24-105/4 is designed for convenience - an all-in-one, walkaround lens that can do most 'family' photography. This again, is not the purpose of a high-end slow zoom lineup. There's nothing wrong with also having a 24-105 around for convenience - I can see plenty of reasons for owning a 24-105 for day-to-day use, even with an arsenal of more specialised glass to bring for dedicated photo trips. But it would be in addition to, not part of, a high-end f/4 zoom lineup.

To achieve maximal image quality while restricting size and weight requires restricting the focal length range of each lens.

I'd go for something like this:

12-21/4 - UWA. Sony's onto something good with their 12-24. A GM version (or L, or whatever designation Nikon uses) could have even better, no-compromises optics and coatings. Sacrificing a few millimetres at the long end would make designing sharp optics while avoiding excessive size or complexity much simpler.
21-35/4 - Wide angle. With a small zoom range and small aperture, the design requirements are nowhere near as onerous as a 16-35 or 14-24 f/2.8, so you could make this thing super-sharp.
35-105/4 - Standard zoom. 'Walkaround', if you will - less flexible than a 24-105, but, by eliminating the short end, you end up with a much less challenging 3x zoom, which can be made much sharper and smaller.
100-400/4.5-5.6 - There's no avoiding large lenses here. But a 4x zoom at the medium-to-long telephoto lens is not particularly onerous design-wise, and both Canon and Sony have done very well here. This covers pretty much all the telephoto needs for general photography.

Add in two fast primes for when you really want shallow DOF (likely two of 35/50/85/100/135mm, depending on personal preference, preferably with one of them also doubling as a macro) and you'd have a perfect kit for general travel photography, covering landscapes, street photography, portraiture, macro, etc., while being able to shoot sports or wildlife in a pinch if required (for a dedicated wildlife trip, you'd obviously bring different gear).

Also, use strong, lightweight alloys and composites wherever possible. Leave the heavy steel barrel for the macho crowd. You're not going to club a bear with your 70-200 - that's what the tripod's for. Design the optics for corner-to-corner sharpness, not maximal centre sharpness at the expense of the corners - these lenses will frequently be used stopped-down, for tasks where every part of the frame is in focus, much more so than a fast portrait prime, supertele or macro lens would be.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2020, 05:38:17 pm »

Does the Nikon 14-30 f4 S make up a very good, high quality start for your line up?

Cheers,
Bernard

Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2020, 12:29:15 am »

Does the Nikon 14-30 f4 S make up a very good, high quality start for your line up?

Cheers,
Bernard

That would totally work for me. We all have things we like and dislike about lenses but the specs for that look good. I have the Sigma 14 to 24. Lovely lens but a bit of a beast.

I like a lens to have the autofocus on off button on the lens and I also like a focus lock button. My favourite lenses all have internal focus and zooming, I really like that. My only lens that extends when zooming is the 24 to 105. I accept that in the interests of compact stowage that some lenses I want extend when zooming.

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shadowblade

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2020, 03:00:04 am »

Does the Nikon 14-30 f4 S make up a very good, high quality start for your line up?

Cheers,
Bernard

I think we can do better.

14-30 is a very large zoom range for a UWA. No doubt there are optical compromises in the design that would not be present in a 14mm prime, and much less apparent in a 14-21 or 14-24mm zoom.

Action/photojournalism-oriented f/2.8 zooms need the larger zoom range due to the way they are used. As action lenses in a photojournalist's kit, they need to be ready to shoot at a wide range of focal lengths instantly. High-end f/4 UWA zooms would be more typically used in a different way - not for action shooting, but a slower, more deliberate style, often with the entire frame in focus and calling for corner-to-corner sharpness, rather like a bag of primes at a narrower aperture, trading wide aperture for the ability to zoom. Here, the purpose of a zoom rather than prime design is not so much for the ability to quickly change focal length, but for the ability to shoot at a large number of different focal lengths without having to carry 50 different primes around. Think landscapes, architecture, travel photography, etc. Here, it's acceptable - indeed, preferable - to have a smaller zoom range and require more lens changes, in exchange for a sharper lens. If you needed instant readiness for action shooting, you'd take the 16-35/2.8 zoom. If you needed the 'bag of primes' setup for non-action shooting, you'd take a 14-24/4 and 24-45/4 (or similar).

14-30/4 just seems like a compromise that doesn't need to be made for a high-end zoom. As a budget option, whose main role is to be a cheaper and less-capable alternative to an f/2.8 zoom, the specs are fine. But, for a lens whose role is not to be a cheap alternative, but a high-end lens optimised for a different purpose (light weight and ultimate sharpness, as opposed to the action/photojournalism-oriented f/2.8 zooms), the focal length range is too much of a compromise.

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shadowblade

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2020, 03:37:53 am »

That would totally work for me. We all have things we like and dislike about lenses but the specs for that look good. I have the Sigma 14 to 24. Lovely lens but a bit of a beast.

I like a lens to have the autofocus on off button on the lens and I also like a focus lock button. My favourite lenses all have internal focus and zooming, I really like that. My only lens that extends when zooming is the 24 to 105. I accept that in the interests of compact stowage that some lenses I want extend when zooming.

This is what I like about the Canon RF 70-200/2.8 and the new Tamron 70-180/2.8. Because of their extending design, they don't take up two 'slots' in a camera backpack - you can fit them in the same space as a 24-70 or 24-105.

The only thing is they need to be built to the highest standards of dust and weather sealing. Not an insurmountable challenge, but a bit more difficult than with an internal zoom lens.

I'm waiting for reviews and testing of the 70-180 and, if it turns out to be fast-focusing and and sharp, will likely get one. Out of all the usual 'trinity' zooms, the 70-200 (or thereabouts) is the one you're most likely to want in an f/2.8 version, due to it's use for occasional action and utility as a portrait lens.
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KLaban

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2020, 05:04:54 am »

I think we can do better.

14-30 is a very large zoom range for a UWA. No doubt there are optical compromises in the design that would not be present in a 14mm prime, and much less apparent in a 14-21 or 14-24mm zoom.

Action/photojournalism-oriented f/2.8 zooms need the larger zoom range due to the way they are used. As action lenses in a photojournalist's kit, they need to be ready to shoot at a wide range of focal lengths instantly. High-end f/4 UWA zooms would be more typically used in a different way - not for action shooting, but a slower, more deliberate style, often with the entire frame in focus and calling for corner-to-corner sharpness, rather like a bag of primes at a narrower aperture, trading wide aperture for the ability to zoom. Here, the purpose of a zoom rather than prime design is not so much for the ability to quickly change focal length, but for the ability to shoot at a large number of different focal lengths without having to carry 50 different primes around. Think landscapes, architecture, travel photography, etc. Here, it's acceptable - indeed, preferable - to have a smaller zoom range and require more lens changes, in exchange for a sharper lens. If you needed instant readiness for action shooting, you'd take the 16-35/2.8 zoom. If you needed the 'bag of primes' setup for non-action shooting, you'd take a 14-24/4 and 24-45/4 (or similar).

14-30/4 just seems like a compromise that doesn't need to be made for a high-end zoom. As a budget option, whose main role is to be a cheaper and less-capable alternative to an f/2.8 zoom, the specs are fine. But, for a lens whose role is not to be a cheap alternative, but a high-end lens optimised for a different purpose (light weight and ultimate sharpness, as opposed to the action/photojournalism-oriented f/2.8 zooms), the focal length range is too much of a compromise.

I admire the Z 14-30 f4 S because it's a compromise: the compromise is its form, compact and lightweight. The Z 14-24 f2.8 S may or may not deliver a tad more performance and will be faster but I don't need either.

I'm not an anally retentive performance freak, the Z 14-30 f4 S is so superior to any wide lens I used to earn my keep and more than good enough for this mere tog.

Other makes and models are available.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 05:09:02 am by KLaban »
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2020, 08:10:00 am »

I admire the Z 14-30 f4 S because it's a compromise: the compromise is its form, compact and lightweight. The Z 14-24 f2.8 S may or may not deliver a tad more performance and will be faster but I don't need either.

I'm not an anally retentive performance freak, the Z 14-30 f4 S is so superior to any wide lens I used to earn my keep and more than good enough for this mere tog.

Other makes and models are available.

That's the thing - you shouldn't need to go for the f/2.8 version to get a better (not just faster) lens. Camera companies need to treat premium-level f/4 zooms as lighter lenses, not as budget or optically-inferior lenses. (It's also perfectly fine to have a 'budget' line, which may be f/4, variable aperture or any other aperture, but that would be a completely separate line)

Basically, what I'm suggesting is three lines of lenses - fast (f/2.8 zooms), sharp and light (f/4 zooms) and cheap (budget line). Of course, all lenses would be as sharp and light as you could make them (within manufacturing and cost limitations), but the priorities would differ for the three lines. At the moment, all we really have are fast and heavy, or light and cheap.

To get a really sharp and light f/4 UWA zoom, though, you probably can't go for as large a zoom range as 14-30. You'd have to split that focal length range (probably up to 35mm) into two lenses. Of course, you'd leave the 14-30/4 all-in-one solution as part of a more budget-minded lineup, for those for whom price is the main concern, or for those who are really short on space or just don't use a UWA that much.

I suspect they'd find the 'sharp and light' lineup to be the most profitable line. 'Cheap' line consumers are too budget-minded to set a wide profit margin. Those who really need f/2.8 zooms and are willing to pay the price in size and weight would be far fewer in number, at least at the shorter focal lengths (I suspect 70-200/2.8 lenses would remain very popular, due to their versatility for action and portraiture) - it would be limited to the photojournalist crowd (weddings, events, etc.). But there are plenty of people willing to pay the monetary price for an f/2.8 zoom, but not the size and weight price, and are after the sharpest thing they can get, without any particular need for wide aperture (weather/dust sealing and other similar features being more important) - these are the well-heeled, frequent-flyer crowd who would be prime buyers of a premium f/4 zoom lineup and would be willing and able to pay the same price as a current f/2.8 zoom for something more suited to their needs (sharper, lighter and smaller, but sacrificing aperture).
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2020, 08:23:25 am »

You are reading what you want to read.

The 14-30 f4 is outstanding, not just very good.

If the 14-24mm f2.8 is even better it will because it will be the best wide zoom lens ever designed.

Cheers,
Bernard

KLaban

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2020, 09:05:11 am »

That's the thing - you shouldn't need to go for the f/2.8 version to get a better (not just faster) lens. Camera companies need to treat premium-level f/4 zooms as lighter lenses, not as budget or optically-inferior lenses. (It's also perfectly fine to have a 'budget' line, which may be f/4, variable aperture or any other aperture, but that would be a completely separate line)

Basically, what I'm suggesting is three lines of lenses - fast (f/2.8 zooms), sharp and light (f/4 zooms) and cheap (budget line). Of course, all lenses would be as sharp and light as you could make them (within manufacturing and cost limitations), but the priorities would differ for the three lines. At the moment, all we really have are fast and heavy, or light and cheap.

To get a really sharp and light f/4 UWA zoom, though, you probably can't go for as large a zoom range as 14-30. You'd have to split that focal length range (probably up to 35mm) into two lenses. Of course, you'd leave the 14-30/4 all-in-one solution as part of a more budget-minded lineup, for those for whom price is the main concern, or for those who are really short on space or just don't use a UWA that much.

I suspect they'd find the 'sharp and light' lineup to be the most profitable line. 'Cheap' line consumers are too budget-minded to set a wide profit margin. Those who really need f/2.8 zooms and are willing to pay the price in size and weight would be far fewer in number, at least at the shorter focal lengths (I suspect 70-200/2.8 lenses would remain very popular, due to their versatility for action and portraiture) - it would be limited to the photojournalist crowd (weddings, events, etc.). But there are plenty of people willing to pay the monetary price for an f/2.8 zoom, but not the size and weight price, and are after the sharpest thing they can get, without any particular need for wide aperture (weather/dust sealing and other similar features being more important) - these are the well-heeled, frequent-flyer crowd who would be prime buyers of a premium f/4 zoom lineup and would be willing and able to pay the same price as a current f/2.8 zoom for something more suited to their needs (sharper, lighter and smaller, but sacrificing aperture).

Congratulations, you've just described the Z 14-30 S.

But what do I know, I'm merely a frequent-flying photographer and user.
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2020, 09:33:26 am »

You are reading what you want to read.

The 14-30 f4 is outstanding, not just very good.

If the 14-24mm f2.8 is even better it will because it will be the best wide zoom lens ever designed.

Cheers,
Bernard

Make it 14-24/4 instead of 14-30/4 and you could make it even better optically, with the same (or less) size and weight. A lens with a smaller zoom range is always going to be easier to design, and involve fewer compromises, than a lens with a greater zoom range. This is much more pronounced in UWAs and WAs than in telephotos.

To look at it from the other direction, the Canon 11-24/4 and Sony 12-24/4 are both extremely sharp lenses (when you get a good copy), considering how wide they are. Imagine how much sharper you could make them if you didn't have to deal with the extreme UWA end (and, in Canon's case, the mirror box) and made them 14-24/4 instead.

The basic premise is this:

In addition to a monetary budget, you have a size and weight budget for camera gear. Even if you have a cupboard full of lenses at home, you can only bring so much with you at any one time. Within that budget, you want to fit in as much capability as possible. Or, to look at it another way, you want to be able to carry the capability you require with as little size and weight as possible, to leave space for other things.

Every lens design requires compromises. Assume the same final price and start with the base of a slow prime. This will be just about the sharpest, smallest lens you can get at that focal length. The thing is, it's not very versatile - it's sharp, but won't isolate subjects very well, won't gather a lot of light for shooting in very dark conditions and only shoots at one focal length. If you want to be able to shoot at lots of different focal lengths using lenses like this, you'd need a whole arsenal of them, which would rapidly consume your size/weight budget. So you choose lenses that are more versatile, but sacrifice something else to get that versatility, so that your final selection gives you as much capability as possible (or as much as you need) while still fitting within that size/weight budget.

What are these compromises? Make it a zoom and you can shoot at a lot of different focal lengths with one lens, but you add size and weight and lose sharpness. But this can be worth it, since a zoom, although larger and heavier than one slow prime, is still lighter than the whole bag of slow primes it would replace. Give it a larger zoom range and you can shoot at even more focal lengths and have to change lenses less often, but you make it even heavier and less optically optimal. Widen its maximum aperture and you can shoot in darker conditions and isolate subjects better, but, again, you add size and weight and lose sharpness, since it requires more optical compromises to achieve this. Add lens-based IS and you can handhold at slower shutter speeds, but, again, you add size and weight and lose (potential) sharpness. Add macro capability and you make the lens larger, but can shoot smaller/closer subjects.

You could probably build a do-everything, 14-400mm f/1.4 zoom capable of shooting 1:1 macro - but it would probably be the size of a small car and be about as sharp a lens as a wine glass. The thing is, you don't need every capability in every lens at every focal length. You need to decide exactly what capabilities you need, what your size/weight budget is and what gear to bring to maximise your capabilities within that budget. Or you can approach it from the other direction, deciding exactly what capabilities you need, then seeing what gear you need in order to minimise the size/weight to achieve this.

To apply it to the 14-30/4 example, it has a number of compromises. It's a zoom, not a prime, so it's going to be larger and less sharp than a prime in that focal length. However, it has a narrower aperture than primes, so is easier to design from that perspective. It's also going to be smaller and lighter than carrying 14mm, 18mm, 21mm, 24mm and 28mm primes all at the same time, and require far less lens changing.

Now make it a 14-24/4 instead. It's still a zoom, but has a smaller zoom range, so you can make it smaller and sharper than a 14-30/4 zoom. Of course, it is less versatile, since it doesn't fill the 24-30mm range. But you're probably not going to be carrying just one lens - and, if you are, it almost certainly won't be a single UWA zoom. That gap can be filled by your 24-45/4 (or similar) zoom. If you don't need rapid access to every focal length and changing lenses is possible, it doesn't matter if one lens doesn't cover a particular capability if another one in your kit does. (if you need rapid access to certain focal lengths, e.g. as an event photographer, you'd build your kit differently).

In other words, it's not just about individual lens optimisation - it's also about kit optimisation.

Applying it more broadly to lens selection, consider the classic 16-35/2.8, 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 combination, with two camera bodies. Here, you have a jack-of-all-trades setup. It's a big, heavy setup. You can shoot every focal length from 16mm to 200mm and not require a lot of lens changing. The lenses may be sharp, but not as sharp as primes, zooms with a smaller range, or, potentially, slower zooms. You can achieve some subject isolation, but not as much as with primes. It's a perfect setup for some kinds of photography. If you're a photojournalist or an event photographer and may need to shoot any subject at any focal length at a moment's notice - and getting the shot is more important than getting the perfect shot - it's probably ideal. If you don't need instant access to every focal length and are after more subject isolation or sharper images, it's probably not. You're paying a huge premium in size and weight for capabilities you don't need and aren't using.

What else can you achieve with the same size/weight budget? Say you changed the zooms to f/4. Now you've halved the weight of your lenses and probably have sharper ones, since f/4 zooms, when built to the same standard as their f/2.8 counterparts, can usually be made optically better. You've lost some subject isolation and low-light capability - but you now have extra room within your budget to play with, to make up that deficit. Do you really need subject isolation and low-light capability at every focal length, from 16mm to 200mm, or just the ones where you typically shoot portraits at? Let's say you add in an 85/1.4 prime. Now, within your kit, you can achieve more subject isolation than an f/2.8 zoom setup can ever hope for, while still weighing less. You still have more size/weight to play with. Let's say you want an even sharper setup. So you replace the 16-35/4 and 24-70/4 with a 14-24/4, 24-35/4 and 35-105/4. You've just spent that size/weight budget, but now you have a sharper setup for the same weight (albeit with a bit more lens switching). But now you also have a significant overlap in the 70-105mm range. You aren't shooting events and have two camera bodies to mount lenses to, so you decide to replace the 70-200/4 with a 100-300/4. So, for a similar size and weight to the 'trinity' f/2.8 zoom setup, you now have a 14-300mm focal length range capability, sharper lenses and, with the 85/1.4 prime, more subject isolation capability. You've sacrificed the convenience of having most of your focal length range available at the same time - but, since you aren't shooting events, generally have time to prepare for a shot and can have two different lenses available on two bodies at the same time, might decide that this is a worthwhile tradeoff.

This is where the premium f/4 zooms come in. Make them slower than the f/2.8 zooms and you make them smaller and sharper. Reduce their zoom range and you make them even smaller and sharper. Cover their aperture deficiencies with one or two primes, where you could really use the wide aperture, which will do the job better than any zoom ever could. Or cover the versatility deficiency by also carrying a single 'walkaround' lens as part of your kit. No, it won't work for event shooters and others who need their entire focal length range ready to shoot at any one time. But it will work for many (possibly most) other photographers.

You probably won't have a setup consisting of all f/4 premium zooms, or all primes, or all f/2.8 zooms. You'd likely mix and match them, depending on exactly which capabilities you need, and at which focal lengths. You might even keep all of them in a cupboard at home, selecting your kit depending on the requirements of a particular shooting trip. At the moment, it's hard to do that - either you have fast, sharp primes, fast-ish, sharp-ish zooms and light, cheap zooms, but no slower, lighter, sharp zooms to fill the capability gap.
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2020, 09:45:38 am »

Congratulations, you've just described the Z 14-30 S.

But what do I know, I'm merely a frequent-flying photographer and user.

Reduce the zoom range and make it even sharper.

It all depends how much capability you're willing to lose in one direction (say, zoom range) to gain more capability in another direction (sharpness).

I'm interested in matching optical quality of fast primes when shooting at modest apertures (say, f/5.6 or f/8). Essentially, a 'bag of primes' for landscape/non-action photography. A fast prime sacrifices size, weight and sharpness to achieve a wider aperture than a more conservative design. The wider the aperture, the more the sacrifice. A zoom sacrifices size, weight and sharpness to achieve a zoom range. The wider the zoom range, the more the sacrifices. The key here would be to find where the sacrifices to achieve a zoom range match the sacrifices needed to achieve a wide aperture, and find what focal length range you can achieve with an f/4 zoom while still matching the sharpness of an f/1.4 prime, when both are shooting at f/8. I don't know where that value lies. In the UWA space, I suspect it's a much shorter range than 14-30mm. Quite possibly 14-21mm.
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2020, 10:33:30 am »

I would have bought a 14 to 30 f4 in a heartbeat if it was available for my system. The 14 to 24 f2.8 was the next best thing and itís bloody good.  Iím not about to wait and pray for someone to make something I dream up in my head. I have more pressing things on my mind. Look at what is available, buy what suits you best and get on with the job. I promise you that your major limiter as a photographer is not the absence of a 14 to 21 F4 compact zoom lens.

Back to the two lenses under discussion. Nothing I shoot would be helped by a 20mm f1.8. I have never used my 14-24 at 2,8. Most likely never will. We all have our own styles I guess
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Commercial photography is 10% inspiration and 90% moving furniture around.

chez

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2020, 10:55:34 am »

You are reading what you want to read.

The 14-30 f4 is outstanding, not just very good.

If the 14-24mm f2.8 is even better it will because it will be the best wide zoom lens ever designed.

Cheers,
Bernard

Read a few reviews on the lens and they basically differ from your outstanding opinion. The vigneting and distortion appears horrible until it is corrected by software which makes the corners fuzzy. I'd call it a good consumer lens with a nice focal range.
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KLaban

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2020, 11:01:49 am »

The voices of experience.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 12:13:09 pm by KLaban »
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SrMi

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2020, 11:17:37 am »

Read a few reviews on the lens and they basically differ from your outstanding opinion. The vigneting and distortion appears horrible until it is corrected by software which makes the corners fuzzy. I'd call it a good consumer lens with a nice focal range.

There is nothing wrong to require SDC for certain lenses. The corners get a bit weaker, but high resolution compensates for the quality loss. Leica Q2 relies heavily on SDC (software distortion control) and still produces outstanding results. I expect increasing number of modern lenses to require SDC if cost and size are important criteria. See also Fuji GF 63mm lens, an excellent lens that requires lots of SDC.
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chez

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Re: Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8S vs Sony 20mm f/1.8G
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2020, 11:33:14 am »

There is nothing wrong to require SDC for certain lenses. The corners get a bit weaker, but high resolution compensates for the quality loss. Leica Q2 relies heavily on SDC (software distortion control) and still produces outstanding results. I expect increasing number of modern lenses to require SDC if cost and size are important criteria. See also Fuji GF 63mm lens, an excellent lens that requires lots of SDC.

Sure many lenses require SDC...but its not a free lunch. Take a look at the corner performance of the 14-30 below 16mm...it's pretty dismal. A lot of that dismal performance can be attributed to the software correction being applied.

Basically the good old saying of garbage in -- garbage out applies...there is not magic bullet in software correction.
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