I just picked up a sweet little prime for my D200: the venerable 24-2.8 AF (non D). I was pretty set on a new, rebated 35-2 until I ran across a cherry 24 for $120.
It looked very sharp in the store and focused smoothly in both AF and MF modes. Now that I have shot about 30 exposures with it, I am very impressed with the sharpness, contrast/saturation, focus speed, and mechanical feel.
I have read that CA is problematic on later DSLRs, but I have yet to see anything, even shooting a few overexposed, backlit shots trying to induce it. Nothing yet.
What I have noticed is that it flares like the surface of the sun. The recommended hood looks kind of wimpy: has anyone dealt with this? I suppose I could carry around luncheon tray or a stop sign to shade it, but I'd like to find a more elegant and portable solution!
Anyone been shooting one of these gems for a while or have any other tales about them? I'll share one I read on the web today (so it must be true!): this was the favorite lens of the late, great Galen Rowell. Not a bad endorsement!
I'm kind of shocked at the 'bang-for-the-buck" ratio with this one. I think it's a great deal, though I wonder if I'm missing anything by not having the the later "D" version (though I'm not sure the difference is).
D lenses allow the body to include focus distance information in a flash exposure. The effect is, to my eye, pretty subtle when it's apparent at all. See the "Teddy Bear Tests" in Nikonian Resources for examples.
I don't think there are any optical difference between the D and non-D models.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
>Since you are dealing with the lens as if it were a 36mm you >could get the 35 mm hood and use it. It is HN-3
Sorry - the concept of "cropping" with another hood usually has a major issue - often making an f2.8 lens close to an f4 lens.
The example I most use is the 70-200 VR which has a 77mm filter thread. Dividing 200mm by f2.8 confirms the minimum front element size for f2.8 brightness is 72mm. If you divide 72mm by 0.66 (for the DX crop)you can use a hood which crops down to the equivalent of 48mm filter thread without optical vignetting on DX. Trouble is dividing 200mm by f4 confirms if you restrict the light gathering area of the front element to 50mm you have f4 light gathering at 200mm, not the f2.8 Nikon build into the lens. You would probably be OK at the short end where the front element is "oversize". Dividing 70mm by f2.8 confirms the minimum element size needed is 25mm, so a "cropping hood" might help at the short end of a zoom.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
>What I have noticed is that it flares like the surface of >the sun. The recommended hood looks kind of wimpy: has >anyone dealt with this? I suppose I could carry around >luncheon tray or a stop sign to shade it, but I'd like to >find a more elegant and portable solution! >
I owned the 24mm f2.8 D for a few years and recently sold it. Like you, I found that it was flare-prone even with the standard hood.
My "elegant" solution was usually my baseball cap or whatever else was handy. After a while I got tired of doing this and decided to sell the lens. Other than the flare problem, I found it extremely sharp and contrasty using film.
I have been using a 24/2.8 AI-S recently and have not noticed much flare, but then I got the lens in the middle of winter and have been out only a few times... Now, it is interesting to hear about a persistent flare problem with the 24/2.8D from two users, because I've been thinking about getting the AF version. Any insights as to whether this is a problem specific to the AF/AF-D versions of this lens?? Does this mean that the AF version of this lens would make a rather poor substitute for the MF version, since the MF version is already an excellent performer as to sharpness and contrast??? Flare is not something I'd like to live with especially in a wide angle lens. Would I regret going AF with this lens?
The number of elements/groups at least is the same for all 24mm/2.8 Ai/AiS/AF lenses (see here): 9 single elements. However, I have no clue if they really have identical optics (older ones have 9 elements in 7 groups, what is quite different ).
Andreas Nikonian in Southern Germany - [My Gallery]
Andreas Nikonian in Southern Germany - [My Gallery]
I'm always in a quandry over whether to use my 24mm f2.8 AF (non D) (I love it) or my 28mm f2.8 AF (non D)( I love it). No problems with either; each provides a very sharp image on my D-70 and are underpriced, I think. DV
I love the 24 (D version) on my film camera! The recommended hood is very nice, sturdy aluminum. If you use a different hood, even on a DSLR, you may cause vignetting. With the HN-1 hood, you may want to get a 72mm cap, as the 52mm can be difficult to get on. On a D70, the CA can be visible in high contrast subjects. A while back I shot an event where a black and white checkered sign was in the frame, and could clearly see the CA along the edges. It usually appears as blue on the left, red on the right. Try taking a shot of something with crisp black/white edges. You should be able to see it. That said, I still love the lens. It's sharp, well built and handles well. For the type of shooting I do, it's wonderful. I haven't come across the flare problem, but I rarely shoot backlit subjects. I'm hoping my love for it doesn't fade when I spend significant time using it on a DSLR.
No photograph is worth endangering the wellfare of the subject
It's one of my favorite lenses too. I take it on every vacation with my F80. Great for shooting buildings in cities where distances are short or you can't back up far enough without falling into a fountain. But on a DSLR - agh! It's a 36mm equivalent. Not nearly as useful. I might be convinced to overlook the dust bunny problems on the sensor but I cannot get past the way the DSLR crop factor destroys all my favorite wide angle and standard primes. And don't even get me started on my 85mm portrait lens. I just hope that film will be around a few years longer - at least till my eyes fade away.
Well, amazingly the 28mm f/2.8 AF Nikkor performs slightly better than the 24mm f/2.8D AF at the MTF bench. And, considering that the D AF is a great performer you are in for a treat. I should use it more often. Below one of my latest images with it, from a film camera body.
You bet it's still a classic! To me, digital is for quick convenience. Film, that's for serious convenience. I shoot film only. I don't like mounting let's say a 24mm lens and having it actually be a 36mm lens on digital or a 20mm lens and having it be just a 30mm lens. To me that defeats the purpose and why I never went digital. Who knows we might come full circle one day and go back to film eventually. You never know.
I am looking for a light weight wide lens for my d700 and I am giving serious consideration to the 24mm f/2.8. I do have the 24mm covered on other lenses but there are times I want to go light, thinking a 24mm, the 50mm and the 105mm would make a nice little walk about kit. Anyone using the 24mm on a d700?
Great little lens - one of my all-time favorite acquisitions was a 24mm f/2.8 AI-S which I picked up in mint condition for $60. Loved that lens until it was unfortunately stolen during our house burglary a couple years ago.
I am considering getting this lens again. 24mm 2.8D. I look back at some photos I took in the late 90's using one and I am still impressed with the clarity and contrast on film. Just have to digest the 70-200 VR II purchase first. Lol