Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: 21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?  (Read 8530 times)

Chris13

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 37
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« on: October 15, 2008, 08:05:35 am »

Hello
I wonder what would be a great lens for landscape work: the Zeiss lens or the Nikon?
In other words what is the lens which is the more "funny" to use and will produce the better "landscape effect"?
In term of technical consideration, which of these two lenses is the more sharp and will have the best contrast?
Thanks for all
Logged

Marlyn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 253
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 08:12:32 am »

Quote from: Chris13
Hello
I wonder what would be a great lens for landscape work: the Zeiss lens or the Nikon?
In other words what is the lens which is the more "funny" to use and will produce the better "landscape effect"?
In term of technical consideration, which of these two lenses is the more sharp and will have the best contrast?
Thanks for all


I shoot canon, so don't own either of those.

However, my most used landscape lenses by far are my 24mm and 90mm Tilt/Shift Lenses.    I find the shift invaluable for landscapes, and some tilt is often very usefull as well.   Tilt is great to increase appeture away from difraction limites yet still retain a good DoF.  

Using a T/S lens with a live view camera is just a joy as well.


That said, I'd kill for a razor sharp 16mm (ish) Wide Angle for the bag as well.

Mark
Logged

Tony Beach

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 452
    • http://imageevent.com/tonybeach/twelveimages
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 03:23:31 am »

I'm sure when the Zeiss lens becomes available it will be razor sharp, even wide open.  I just got my copy of the Nikkor 24 PC-E tonight and it's too early for me to render a full verdict on the lens, but at f/4 it's not as sharp as my Nikkor 14-24/2.8 is at the same aperture, it's not even close.  On the other hand, I know this lens can do great things that I will not be able to do with any other lens, which is why I forked out a small fortune for it.

For Mark, I can say that my Nikkor 14-24/2.8 is extraordinarily sharp at all focal lengths, at every aperture, and even into the corners.
Logged

Chris13

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 37
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2008, 12:36:48 pm »

Thank you for your answers, so to resume what would be the choice of the readers of this forum (especially landscape photographers):
Using the Zeiss distagon 21mm for its legendary sharpness / contrast or the Nikon 24mm T/S lens?
In fact, for A3 / A3+ prints, the gain of depth of field from foreground to background of the Nikon lens will compensate the lack of sharpness compared to the Zeiss lens?
Thanks
Logged

Tony Beach

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 452
    • http://imageevent.com/tonybeach/twelveimages
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2008, 01:24:39 pm »

Quote from: Chris13
Thank you for your answers, so to resume what would be the choice of the readers of this forum (especially landscape photographers):
Using the Zeiss distagon 21mm for its legendary sharpness / contrast or the Nikon 24mm T/S lens?
In fact, for A3 / A3+ prints, the gain of depth of field from foreground to background of the Nikon lens will compensate the lack of sharpness compared to the Zeiss lens?
Thanks

From what I saw yesterday using the Nikkor 24/3.5 PC-E, sharpness is not its strong suit.  I'm still doing preliminary testing and I may have an issue with my copy of this lens because I'm detecting a decentering issue on the left side of the frame.  When shifting the lens this is a concern to me, but when I tilt the lens I don't think its a real concern --  more testing is in order, and I expect I will be eventually send the lens to Nikon for adjusting.  Bottom line on this issue though, if I want absolute sharpness I pull out the Nikkor 14-24/2.8.

Update:  I just did some testing at f/11 and applying a full shift on my D300 I got good (not superb) sharpness at the extreme corners of the image circle (as detectable on a D300, which is of course less than an FX sensor would reveal, but it is encouraging).

If it were me, I would prefer the Nikkor 14-24/2.8 over both lenses you are considering.  Compared to the Zeiss prime, the Nikkor goes wider (as well as narrower), it has AF which can be handy sometimes even for landscapes, it's probably a very close match in image quality, and it's available now.  Its primary shortcomings are that there is no filter ring, and its big and heavy.

As you can see here, the tilts and shifts give you things that increase resolution and change the character of your photographs.  I would suggest though that tilt/shift lenses should be the last lenses you acquire and not the first.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 03:56:43 pm by Tony Beach »
Logged

stevesanacore

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 267
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2008, 10:15:52 am »

Quote from: Chris13
Hello
I wonder what would be a great lens for landscape work: the Zeiss lens or the Nikon?
In other words what is the lens which is the more "funny" to use and will produce the better "landscape effect"?
In term of technical consideration, which of these two lenses is the more sharp and will have the best contrast?
Thanks for all

I shoot a lot of landscapes and print very large, (40" or larger horizontal). As a result my lenses are pushed to their limits. In my experience the 24 shift and all canon zooms are inadequate in this regard. I got the 24 shift thinking it would be superior to the 24-70 but it was worse. I eventually started buying Leica R lenses and they are all so much sharper it's not even close. The only Canon lens I have that can compete is the new 16-35 2.8 II, and only at small apertures, f8-f11. Even then, my 19mm 2.8 Leica R is sharper across the field.

I would love to try the new Nikon 14-24 2.8 but then you have no easy aperture adjustment.

I am also going to start buying the Zeiss lenses when they come available. I am hoping they will be as good as the Leicas for a somewhat reasonable price.

I just don't think Canon or Nikon ever thought their lenses would be used for large format style work. The digital revolution has brought new challenges with it. It's funny that the most antiquated company, (Leica), was the best solution for new cameras from Canon.

I am hoping the new Leica S2 system will be as good as it should be.


Hope this helps.
Logged
We don't know what we don't know.

stevesanacore

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 267
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2008, 10:19:23 am »

I have not tried the new Nikon 24 shift, but I don't think shift lenses are designed for maximum resolution. They are designed with higher covering power to provide shifting.  Personally I get better results just tilting my regular lenses and then correcting in Photoshop than using a shift lens which is just not as sharp.


Hope this helps.[/quote]
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 10:20:57 am by stevesanacore »
Logged
We don't know what we don't know.

Tony Beach

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 452
    • http://imageevent.com/tonybeach/twelveimages
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2008, 11:40:22 am »

Quote from: stevesanacore
I have not tried the new Nikon 24 shift, but I don't think shift lenses are designed for maximum resolution. They are designed with higher covering power to provide shifting.  Personally I get better results just tilting my regular lenses and then correcting in Photoshop than using a shift lens which is just not as sharp.

Well, I should add that my Nikkor 45 PC-E is really sharp, much sharper than the Nikkor 50/1.8 AF-D when both are set to f/2.8 or f/4.  When I shift the 45mm lens the sharpness rapidly drops and I have to stop it down, but shooting at f/8 or f/11 is not unreasonable considering what I am using the lens for when I shift or tilt it.  The Nikkor 24 PC-E is not as sharp wide open, but again it seems to do well stopped down even when it is shifted.

Quote
I would love to try the new Nikon 14-24 2.8 but then you have no easy aperture adjustment.

I do, I use Nikon cameras.
Logged

routlaw

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 123
    • http://www.roboutlawphotography.com
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2008, 12:26:46 pm »

Interesting comments. My experience has been somewhat different.

Earlier in the year I tried 3 different 14-24 Nikon lenses first on a D2x and then two different D3's and returned all 3 lenses due to what I felt was mediocre optical performance and very erratic auto focus behavior. I later demoed the 24-70 Nikon and found the first one to be virtually flawless with non of the issues I experienced with the 14-24. I also bought the 24 PC-E which has proven to be excellent optically, though I think Nikon made some short cuts mechanically with this lens. If I shift the lens to its maximum on the D3 some fall off in resolution at the corners occurs, and CA's do start to kick in which can be corrected for. I don't tend to use lenses wide open so can't comment on this attribute, but certainly at F8-F16 the 24 PC-E has performed very well indeed. Last night I printed an image posted in an earlier thread about the 24 PC-E lens (D3 camera) at 32x40 inches on Epson Enhanced Matt and while its not perfect from corner to corner I have to say I was amazed at the general quality of the print, much better than I would have guessed at this size. Certainly better than any well scanned 35mm transparency I have ever printed, and probably closer to a 6x7 transparency in IQ.

However I have no idea how the 24 PC lens compares to the Zeiss, but its sort of an apples to oranges comparison anyway. The reviews of some of the Zeiss lenses thus far on photozone have not been all that stellar though, so proceeding with caution might be in order with these lenses. I have seen at least a few comparisons online with the new Nikons and one of the Zeiss lenses (might have been the 25mm but don't remember for sure) but saw nothing optically that would have inspired me to purchase the Zeiss.

Hope this helps.

Rob
Logged

stevesanacore

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 267
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2008, 02:41:02 pm »

Quote from: Tony Beach
Well, I should add that my Nikkor 45 PC-E is really sharp, much sharper than the Nikkor 50/1.8 AF-D when both are set to f/2.8 or f/4.  When I shift the 45mm lens the sharpness rapidly drops and I have to stop it down, but shooting at f/8 or f/11 is not unreasonable considering what I am using the lens for when I shift or tilt it.  The Nikkor 24 PC-E is not as sharp wide open, but again it seems to do well stopped down even when it is shifted.



I do, I use Nikon cameras.


Yes, if you use Nikon's I would think the 14-24 2.8 is the lens to have. Although other reports on here have stated poor results, so I guess you have to test for yourself. It's really a shame that with all the great technology in cameras and sensors - optics seem have taken a back seat. How could manufactures allow such poor quality control on their lenses when the sensors are becoming more and more demanding?
Logged
We don't know what we don't know.

Tony Beach

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 452
    • http://imageevent.com/tonybeach/twelveimages
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2008, 11:11:17 pm »

Quote from: stevesanacore
Yes, if you use Nikon's I would think the 14-24 2.8 is the lens to have. Although other reports on here have stated poor results, so I guess you have to test for yourself. It's really a shame that with all the great technology in cameras and sensors - optics seem have taken a back seat. How could manufactures allow such poor quality control on their lenses when the sensors are becoming more and more demanding?

Just to be clear about my own experience, my copy of the Nikkor 14-24/2.8 is stellar.  Here's is its edge performance on my D300 wide open at 21mm:

« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 12:29:23 am by Tony Beach »
Logged

stevesanacore

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 267
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2008, 09:45:29 am »

Quote from: Tony Beach
Just to be clear about my own experience, my copy of the Nikkor 14-24/2.8 is stellar.  Here's is its edge performance on my D300 wide open at 21mm:


Isn't the D300 a small sensor camera?

We need to keep in mind that APS sized chip cameras are a whole different matter. With Nikon finally making full size sensor cameras again, I would think we need to use that size as a standard to compare optics. Almost all lenses perform better on cropped sensors. The weakness usually shows on the edges of full frame sensors.

Why buy a lens that only performs on APS cameras unless you are sure you will never buy a FF camera again. I think now that Nikon finally came through with their FF cameras, the APS cameras will be relegated to prosumer only models.
Logged
We don't know what we don't know.

Tony Beach

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 452
    • http://imageevent.com/tonybeach/twelveimages
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2008, 12:04:49 pm »

Quote from: stevesanacore
Isn't the D300 a small sensor camera?

We need to keep in mind that APS sized chip cameras are a whole different matter. With Nikon finally making full size sensor cameras again, I would think we need to use that size as a standard to compare optics. Almost all lenses perform better on cropped sensors. The weakness usually shows on the edges of full frame sensors.

Why buy a lens that only performs on APS cameras unless you are sure you will never buy a FF camera again. I think now that Nikon finally came through with their FF cameras, the APS cameras will be relegated to prosumer only models.

Pixel density on the D300 is greater than it is on the D3 or even on the current crop of 21 MP DSLRs.  Equivalent DOF on an FX sensor would be about f/4, and stopping down makes the image circle wider.  This was wide open and the lens is already resolving near the sensor's limits, so the lens is clearly very good.

I don't know what a "prosumer" camera is -- Nikon doesn't designate any of their cameras as "prosumer"; in fact, Nikon designates the D300 as a pro camera.

Just for the record, format and "full frame" are two different things, all the shots from my D300 start out full frame until I crop them; ironically, the D3 does have non-full frame modes (it has in camera crops, either DX or 5:4 aspect ratio).  In theory all formats are mere crops of larger formats -- no one refers to MFDB as cropped formats and I have even seen one marketed as the first true "full frame" DSLR.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 12:25:39 pm by Tony Beach »
Logged

Aboud

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 132
    • http://www.abouddweck.com
21mm Distagon or 24mm Nikon tilt shift lens ?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2008, 05:15:18 pm »

Two different animals. I use the Nikon 24MM PCE on a D700 for architecture. I have no sharpness or distortion factors and the color is good. My only complaint is vignetting at full shift with the supplied lens shade in place. Just remove it and use a gobo if necessary. As to the concept. The Zeiss will be sharp and give you great color. BUT if you want to raise or lower the foreground without tilting the lens, you are stuck. You can do this and fix in CS3/4 but you will lose part of the image, narrowing your angle of view. If wider view is what you need and you do not care about being perpendicular and parallel, the Zeiss is the lens for you. One other thought, I'm told that if you are using a D700 or other Nikon with xspeed, you will not get the advantage of that processing with a non-Nikkor lens. Something to consider. The attached photo was taken with the 24MM in vertical position, two shifted frames, 3 layers each, stitched together. That is something you cannot do with the Zeiss. [attachment=9532:Pool_vertical.jpg]
« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 05:16:32 pm by Aboud »
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up