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Author Topic: Which UWA for Nikon full frame  (Read 15701 times)

GeraldB

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Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« on: May 16, 2012, 03:52:36 pm »

I've recently upgraded from a D300 (crop sensor) to a D800e. On the D300 I made a lot of use of a Sigma 10-20 UWA that gave excellent results for both architecture and landscapes. I enjoy shooting UWA perspectives. So what is the best choice for the full frame? 14-24 or 16-35 Nikons or third party? The 14-24 is nice and wide but heavy, no filters (which I don't use a lot) and prone to flares (I've read). The 16-35 is lighter, less sharp (mtf from Photozone). My 10-20 sigma was used mostly in the 10-14 range. I mostly print on 17x22 paper and would like to be free to print larger.

Any suggestions or your experiences with UWA's would be appreciated. I know the "rent them and try them" is a good answer but I'm being cheap and looking for your experiences as a start  :)

Hans Kruse

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 05:13:07 pm »

What's you main use such a lens? And do you need the zoom range or would you tend to shoot at the most wide end?

MatthewCromer

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 05:22:26 pm »

I've recently upgraded from a D300 (crop sensor) to a D800e. On the D300 I made a lot of use of a Sigma 10-20 UWA that gave excellent results for both architecture and landscapes. I enjoy shooting UWA perspectives. So what is the best choice for the full frame? 14-24 or 16-35 Nikons or third party? The 14-24 is nice and wide but heavy, no filters (which I don't use a lot) and prone to flares (I've read). The 16-35 is lighter, less sharp (mtf from Photozone). My 10-20 sigma was used mostly in the 10-14 range. I mostly print on 17x22 paper and would like to be free to print larger.

Any suggestions or your experiences with UWA's would be appreciated. I know the "rent them and try them" is a good answer but I'm being cheap and looking for your experiences as a start  :)

The Sigma 12-24/4-5.6 II is getting pretty rave reviews.

If you can live with the slower apertures, you might want to give it a whirl (for less than half the 14-24 in case you like / need to save money).  Of course, it uses the same sort of bulbous front element design as all the new hyperwide zooms do, so no screw-mounted filters.

I'll certainly be getting one when I buy the upcoming Sony 36MP FF camera -- the 8-16 "cousin" lens from Sigma I have is truly a remarkable piece of glass.
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NancyP

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 05:34:29 pm »

I am bowled over by my Sigma 8-16mm. Have you figured out a way to use a filter holder and filters on it? That's one of my "I will get around to this sometime" home hack projects.

If you tend to go mostly for the ultra-ultra-WA rectilinear(-ish), don't mind all-manual focusing and aperture control (not covering moving objects), and have a tight  budget, I have heard some good user comments on the 14mm all-manual Samyang/ Rokinon/ Bower FF lens, which goes for approximately $350.00 to $400.00 new. I have also heard that some perspective correction software (DxO or similar) is very helpful for the barrel, which is obtrusive for architectural shots.
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GeraldB

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 05:37:05 pm »

Hans I used my 10-20 Sigma on crop sensor in the 10-14 range which is 15 - 21 full frame.

Matthew, I really like the idea of 12 mm and I've had a lot of success with the 10-20 DX lens from Sigma. The biggest drawback seems to be chromatic aberration according to photozone which I presume could be fixed in LRM - if they have that lens supported. I'll need to check that.

David Watson

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 05:49:04 pm »

I've recently upgraded from a D300 (crop sensor) to a D800e. On the D300 I made a lot of use of a Sigma 10-20 UWA that gave excellent results for both architecture and landscapes. I enjoy shooting UWA perspectives. So what is the best choice for the full frame? 14-24 or 16-35 Nikons or third party? The 14-24 is nice and wide but heavy, no filters (which I don't use a lot) and prone to flares (I've read). The 16-35 is lighter, less sharp (mtf from Photozone). My 10-20 sigma was used mostly in the 10-14 range. I mostly print on 17x22 paper and would like to be free to print larger.

Any suggestions or your experiences with UWA's would be appreciated. I know the "rent them and try them" is a good answer but I'm being cheap and looking for your experiences as a start  :)

I too have recently bought a D800E and IMO no zoom lens will get the best from this sensor.  Lloyd Chambers sings the praises of the Zeiss lenses as being as good as it can get at the moment but even they may not be good enough for this camera.  The 21mm Distagon is very good but it would be worth your while paying the sub. for lloyds site.

http://www.diglloyd.com/
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GeraldB

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 06:06:23 pm »

David, 21 is not wide enough. I already have the 24-70 from Nikon. I'd be looking for something at least in the 14-16 range. Also if I look at photozone's mtf graphs of the Nikon 14-24 vs Zeiss 21 I don't see that much difference. Not sure that the graphs tell the whole story though.

MatthewCromer

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 09:13:24 pm »

Hans I used my 10-20 Sigma on crop sensor in the 10-14 range which is 15 - 21 full frame.

Matthew, I really like the idea of 12 mm and I've had a lot of success with the 10-20 DX lens from Sigma. The biggest drawback seems to be chromatic aberration according to photozone which I presume could be fixed in LRM - if they have that lens supported. I'll need to check that.

The 8-16 has very low CA, so I am assuming the version II of the 12-24 will likely be good in this area.  David Kirkpatrick claimed that the design of both lenses was the same, the FF version merely scaled up.  I have not read the reviews though.

Regarding the latest version of ACR and lightroom -- once I turned on automatic CA removal I have not had a problem with any of my other lenses (or the 8-16).
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MatthewCromer

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 09:14:11 pm »

I am bowled over by my Sigma 8-16mm. Have you figured out a way to use a filter holder and filters on it? That's one of my "I will get around to this sometime" home hack projects.


I haven't felt the need yet.  I am not a big filters user.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 09:35:32 pm »

In the wider than 18mm range, my gut feeling is that the 14-24mm f/2.8G Nikkor is as good as it gets. See  http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1122/cat/13. The 16-35mm f/4G Nikkor is also pretty decent. I have shot with both on a D3X and a D7000 but not on a D800 or D800E.
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Paul2660

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 09:53:32 pm »

I had asked a similar question over on www.getdpi.com

I have personally tried the 16-35 F4 nikkor and 14-24 F2.8 nikkor.  After all I had read about the 14-24 being such a great lens
wide open, the results I obtained were not that good on a D800. With the 14-24 at 14mm  I found that I had to be at around F8 before I was able to get
a really good image that was sharp corner to corner.  At F2.8 the corners are not only soft but show a bit of smearing.  I was able
to try 3 different 14-24's and all pretty much returned the same results.  CA is a slight problem but easily correctable in LR. 
With the lens at F 6.3 and up it can really perform and as I mentioned at around F8 the images were very good.  Lloyd Chambers mentions
a problem with focus shift with the 14-24 at around F5.6.  I am hoping that he will do an update on the 14-24 based on a D800. 

As for the 16-35, I have not really been able to use it but one or two times.  At 16mm there is a good bit of distortion but you can mount
filters on it. 

Ultra wide on the D800 is definitely a test for good glass.

Paul

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Paul Caldwell
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stever

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 10:28:25 pm »

i agree you should subscribe to diglloyd's Advanced Photography and Zeiss reviews before making an investment of this magnitude - his comparison of the Nikon 14-24 and Zeiss 15 should be considered.  As a former Sigma 12-24 I owner i have a serious problem believing that the new version can realize the potential of the 800 (maybe one copy out of 20?).  You should certainly rent them for comparison before buying.
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Rob C

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 04:06:56 am »

I had asked a similar question over on www.getdpi.com

I have personally tried the 16-35 F4 nikkor and 14-24 F2.8 nikkor.  After all I had read about the 14-24 being such a great lens
wide open, the results I obtained were not that good on a D800. With the 14-24 at 14mm  I found that I had to be at around F8 before I was able to get
a really good image that was sharp corner to corner.  At F2.8 the corners are not only soft but show a bit of smearing.  I was able
to try 3 different 14-24's and all pretty much returned the same results.  CA is a slight problem but easily correctable in LR. 
With the lens at F 6.3 and up it can really perform and as I mentioned at around F8 the images were very good.  Lloyd Chambers mentions
a problem with focus shift with the 14-24 at around F5.6.  I am hoping that he will do an update on the 14-24 based on a D800. 

As for the 16-35, I have not really been able to use it but one or two times.  At 16mm there is a good bit of distortion but you can mount
filters on it. 

Ultra wide on the D800 is definitely a test for good glass.

Paul



Paul –

I think there’s a lot of confusion out there about lenses and quality. Depending on one’s past experience, a new lens will either surprise, disappoint or prove to be just ‘more of the same’.

My single zoom purchase was an unmitigated disaster (2.8/24-70 Nikkor G) which, for other people, might have been an excellent purchase. I already have a 2.8/24mm Nikkor and so a direct comparison of expectations is pretty much built into my experience of the zoom. For somebody without a 24mm Nikkor, the zoom might seem excellent – it all depends from where you find yourself travelling. I bought the damned thing sight-unseen, based on raves here as well as elsewhere, and the purpose was to provide myself with a single, walkabout alternative to a bag of stuff. Was I ever mistaken: the thing was huge; a perfect mug me advertisement. And worse, it wasn't much good photographically.

I shall never again believe that a multi-purpose tool might be as good as a purpose-built one. Not that I really ever did: I just suspended my natural scepticism on the matter in one of those mad, oh well, it might be different this time moments. Mistake.

Rob C

kers

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 05:05:51 am »

If you come from a 10-20 Sigma with the d300 the results will be much and much better if you choose the 14-24 Nikkor.

It is a already classic widezoom - the best ever made till date. When it comes to flare- yes - use your hand to put the lens part in the shadow.
Maybe it needs d8 for a d800 but that is not so bad i think. D11 for the far corners. Take a look at photozone.de to see how it performs .
For the price it is very good value. There is nothing better. I have a 24mm 1,4 nikkor and that is better but fixed focal and costs more.
Only the new 15mm 2,8 Zeiss is an alternative.  But it is a fixed focal and costs 2x more.. so it should be better.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 01:35:34 pm by kers »
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 05:25:44 am »

Hans I used my 10-20 Sigma on crop sensor in the 10-14 range which is 15 - 21 full frame.

Matthew, I really like the idea of 12 mm and I've had a lot of success with the 10-20 DX lens from Sigma. The biggest drawback seems to be chromatic aberration according to photozone which I presume could be fixed in LRM - if they have that lens supported. I'll need to check that.

Depending on your use, the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 UMC is a very good lens. However it is fully manual (no AF and you need to stop it down to the shooting aperture). I have one with a Canon mount and enjoy using it for mostly landscapes.

A lens that has a problem with flare is a real problem in many cases. My Canon TS-E 17mm has a huge bulging lens and it attracts flare very easily which limits it's use although it is an excellent lens. So maybe you should rent the Nikkor 14-24 before you decide if the size and weight is ok.

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GeraldB

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2012, 08:57:12 am »

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm really struggling to grok the real difference between theoretical sharpness graphs and the visual effect when viewing a print. I think I"m going to have to rent to find out how it works for me. The Zeiss lenses are really expensive (I'd be interested in the new 15mm) and manual focus only, so I'd have to be convinced that there is a quantum leap in image quality as seen in my prints. The 12-24 Sigma opens up new viewpoint possibilities so I like that but not much use if my prints are too soft. Since I"d be looking for large depth of field I think I'd be at F8 - F16.

ndevlin

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2012, 10:46:12 am »


1. Don't waste your time on 3rd party zooms.  They're are cheaper for a reason. That reason is not altruism.

2.  The 14-24 is superb.  Who cares if it's not tack sharp wide open? Seriously. Stop it down. You're on a tripod, afterall, right? If not, then you (i) don't really care about sharpnes or (ii) you have enough light to shoot at f8.

3. The 16-35 is also superb. In much of its range as good as the 14-24 when used at critical apertures. In fact, I found it better on its wider end. VR makes it a great 'ambulatory optic'.

4. You will rarely use the 14-15mm range.

5. I tested a new-out-of-the-box Zeiss 21mm f2.8. It was soft on the edges at f8 at 100'. Put simply,I wonder if it's a flat-field lens? Everyone raves about it, but I will not buy one. 

- N.
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Paul2660

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2012, 11:31:08 am »


I fully agree the 14-24 is an  an excellent lens, but if depending on your shooting environment, being sharp wide open can be very important.  As a night shooter, I would prefer to have a lens that is sharper in the F2.8 to F5 range.  F8 is too much for my night shooting style.  The Zeiss 21mm F2.8 may be my next lens to test, however your results are not encouraging.   There seems to be some sample variation in the Zeiss 21 as other reports seem to show it as a good performer wide open or close to it.

Paul
 
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MatthewCromer

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Re: Which UWA for Nikon full frame
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2012, 02:09:04 pm »

1. Don't waste your time on 3rd party zooms.  They're are cheaper for a reason. That reason is not altruism.


Yes, they are cheaper because they don't have a major camera manufacturer's badge on them.  That causes many people who are biased against them to automatically pass them up.

I can't personally speak to the merits of the Sigma 12-24 Rev 2, but I own the Sigma 8-16 which is an excellent lens, easily the best UWA available for an APS-C camera, and pretty handily beating out the Nikon, Canon and Sony UWA lenses.  The 12-24 version 2 is supposedly just a "scaled" up version of the 8-16.


David Kilpatrick speaks highly of the lens here:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=6597


He has a full frame sample image that looks quite sharp to me here:

http://www.pbase.com/davidkilpatrick/image/143072179/original

The far corners have a bit of softness at 12MM -- not a huge surprise -- but how is the 14-24 at 12mm?

According to photozone it seems to be slightly softer in the corners than the Nikkor -- but seems to be less prone to flare also, and half the price and a LOT wider.  Well worth consideration for landscape photography, IMO.  I use my APS 8-16 at 8MM all the time, so the extra difference between 12 and 14MM on full frame would make a difference to me.


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