Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon  (Read 3941 times)

PeterAit

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4561
    • Peter Aitken Photographs
Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« on: February 22, 2014, 01:44:43 pm »

I am thinking about a wide-range zoom for my D600, such as the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 or the Sigma 24-105mm. My understanding is that these wide-range lenses give up some optical quality compared with their narrower-range cousins, and are heavier, but it might be worth it to be able to head out for a day's casual shooting with one lens. Any suggestions? Thx,
Logged

LKaven

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1060
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 02:48:37 pm »

Is the question about whether it's worth the trade-off, or about which wide-range zoom is best?

Reportedly, the 24-120/4 lens is the only one Steve McCurry carries with him these days.  But I think that says something about the practical demands of what he does as much as the quality of the lens itself.

For certain critical uses, other lenses would probably better.  If you need good bokeh, you would use a prime.  If you need sharp corners at the wide end, you'd use a prime or a narrow range zoom (e.g., the still amazing 14-24). 

PeterAit

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4561
    • Peter Aitken Photographs
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 03:01:08 pm »

It's the latter question - which is best. Or at least acceptable.
Logged

LKaven

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1060
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 03:46:51 pm »

It's the latter question - which is best. Or at least acceptable.

If Steve McCurry likes it, it is probably good enough.  Then again, being Steve McCurry, if he asks his lenses to look sharp, they say "yes sir!".  Seriously: I think that the extra 25mm at the long end will come in very handy.  It depends upon what you are doing. 

You might get some good recommendations here, but there are bigger forums for Nikon gear where you could crowdsource an opinion on this specific question.  Among them, I would probably pick the Nikon forum at photo.net.

PhotoEcosse

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 712
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 04:19:20 pm »

When, for reasons of airline baggage regulations (and cost) I want to leave my Nikon "Holy Trinity" at home and travel light, I take a D800 and the superb Nikkor 27-300mm zoom. It is not inexpensive, but it does provide excellent optical quality throughout the range.

As with so many questions about lenses, DxO could probably provide some meaningless theoretical test data to "show" softness at the edges or distortion in the corners or some such "fault", but as most of us take photographs in the real world, rather than in laboratories, it is a lens to be commended. Shots taken with it can certainly produce salon-quality A3+ prints with no sign of compromise in image quality.
Logged
************************************
"Reality is an illusion caused by lack of alcohol."
Alternatively, "Life begins at the far end of your comfort zone."

Paul2660

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4066
    • Photos of Arkansas
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 05:40:02 pm »

The 14-24, at least the one I use, doesn't really give up anything anywhere.  By far the overall best wide zoom I have used in 25 years.  Before I switched to Nikon in early 2012, I used Canon.  I had run into a few Canon shooters that were using the Nikon 14-24 on EOS, it wasn't easy and limited the number of F stops.  AF is fast and accurate.  Manual focus is tedious as the manual ring does not give very good feedback, like a manual lens, (any of the Zeiss wides).   I use it on a D800e and D610.

The 14-24 is excellent wide open (I use it for night photography all the time, has almost no coma distortion), and it's very sharp corner to corner from about  F 7.1 up.  The only issue I have had is the outer element, not being filter friendly.  I now have a Lee filter holder modified to hold a glass CL-PL, and it works very well.  It's a heavy lens and on a long day I will leave behind pretty much everything else, but this lens, and the 24-120mm. 

Other Nikon wides to consider, the 16-35, has VR and uses 77mm filters, and the older 17-35, about as heavy as the 14-24. 

If you don't' mind manual the Zeiss 18mm or 21mm are both excellent, however I found the 14-24 had a greater hyperfocal range at F7.1 than either of these lenses. 

Paul C.
Logged
Paul Caldwell
Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.
www.photosofarkansas.com

langier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1502
    • Celebrating Rural America, the Balkans and beyond
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 09:45:39 pm »

The 24-120 on my D800 is the workhorse for me and my style of shooting while traveling. The IQ is more than adequate and the range seems just right.

Since the D800 have pixels to spare, I will simply shoot it in crop-mode and get a little more "range" out of this lens. At 120mm and DX crop, I've got a pretty good 180mm equivalent focal length with about 16 MP of info, about than of the D7000.

When I travel, my "holy trinity" includes the 17-35, 24-120 and the 70-300. When I use the 70-300, it's either at a pretty fast shutter speed or on the tripod since I'm getting too old to hold it steady at the longer lengths. I've had a 28-300, but I just can't hand-hold it at 300mm worth beans. Besides, it weighs quite a bit for a single lens and for me, 28mm isn't quite wide enough for my style.

With two bodies and the 17-35/24-120, I've got much of my range covered and the image quality is quite nice. If I go out the door with one lens, though, it's usually the 24-120 even when I have other and slightly better options available to me.
Logged
Larry Angier
ASMP, ACT, & many more! @sacred_icons
https://angier-fox.photoshelter.com

PhotoEcosse

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 712
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 12:42:21 pm »

The 14-24, at least the one I use, doesn't really give up anything anywhere.  By far the overall best wide zoom I have used in 25 years. 
Paul C.

I agree, Paul - but the OP is not asking about wide-angle zooms. It is a wide-range zoom he is looking for.
Logged
************************************
"Reality is an illusion caused by lack of alcohol."
Alternatively, "Life begins at the far end of your comfort zone."

Paul2660

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4066
    • Photos of Arkansas
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 01:29:49 pm »

Thanks for the catch.  I fall back to  the 24 -120.  Mind has a bit of vignetting past 100mm but stays pretty sharp. 

Paul C
Logged
Paul Caldwell
Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.
www.photosofarkansas.com

robdickinson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 239
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 02:35:01 pm »

Sigmas new 24-105? I think its made for nikon tbh with their weak 24-120.
Logged

Chairman Bill

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3352
    • flickr page
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 08:08:27 am »

I use the an AF-S 24-85mm 3.5-4.5 G on my D700. A relatively cheap zoom, less reach than the 120, but reasonable weight, and much better than the specs & price might suggest

Petrus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 952
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 04:46:55 am »

I have the 24-120 Nikkor as a travel lens with D800e. Just carried it for 6 weeks through Nepal, Laos and Cambodia and did not notice anything wrong with the pictures. And yes, with some "digital zooming" in post it actually is a passable 24-200 with the D800... So if one does not need fancy shallow DOF artsy stuff 24-120 is a simple and proven solution for general photography and reportage. Simplicity is sometimes worth more than some theoretical gain in absolute sharpness you would get with slightly better short range zooms or primes.
Logged

Lee Roberts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 40
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2014, 06:03:48 pm »

The 24-120/4.0 is plenty good! I've compared to the 24-70/2.8 which I also own and the IQ differences are not THAT great. Both are Nano-coated and control flaring pretty well. The 24-120 does have some issues, though: Vignetting is pretty fierce, and distortion is a close second. Also, the heavy front element could cause the dreaded zoom-creep over time. It is what it is: a sub-$1,000 lens (with current rebates). It certainly beats the socks out of the 24-85VR -- which I'm sure will get plenty of folks riled up and angry. :-)

If I had to choose one, MONEY being a factor of course, I'd keep it (for the very helpful extra range and VR) and sell the 24-70 to buy a fast prime. BTW, I have those too. Can you ever really have too much glass?
Logged

David Watson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 480
    • David Watson
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 01:47:37 am »

I have used the 24-70 Nikkor - nice lens but no VR.  Because I was really impressed with the Sigma 35mm f1.4 I bought the new Sigma 24-105 and I am very very happy with it as my go anywhere travel camera. This was taken last week on Orfordness in Suffolk.  The first picture is at 42mm and the second is 24mm f5.6 at 1/50 both handheld at iso 100.  Not the greatest pix BTW but show the level of detail which can be delivered.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 12:50:49 pm by David Watson »
Logged
David Watson ARPS

LawrenceBraunstein

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 89
    • My SmugMug Galeries
Re: Wide range zoom for FF Nikon
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 08:01:04 am »

I also just bought the Sigma 24-105 f/4 ‘art’ lens and am extremely happy with it.  Before that, I was using primarily the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 as my ‘walk around lens’ which is optically very good (for a zoom) but lacks vibration reduction. Because of this, I purchased a Nikon 24-120 f/4 but was never very pleased with it (perhaps I just had a bad copy). Also its VR is not as good as the 3rd generation VR found on, for example, the Nikon 70-200 f/4. As a result, I kept going back to the 24-70 and bumping up the ISO. As far as the Sigma lens is concerned, it has an impressive build quality. The optical stabilization works very well, and the resolution - particularly in the lens’ center - is superb. I can warmly recommend it!

Best of luck with your choice!

Larry
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up