Wed 29-Oct-08 02:15 AM | edited Wed 29-Oct-08 02:22 AM by Feudal1
Just upgraded to a D700. I'm wanting something for wide-angle shooting of landscapes, and am considering either the 14-24mm or 17-35mm.
I understand that each lens has its advantages and disadvantages: the 14-24mm has amazing image quality and is ultra-wide, but is bulky, heavy, and won't take filters. The 17-35mm is not quite as heavy and bulky, is very good optically (though not quite to the level of the 14-24mm), does allow filters, is not as wide (17mm), but is longer (35mm). Both are expensive, pro-level lenses.
I'm hoping to see some shots taken by folks on here with both lenses (taken with the D700), and some thoughts/feedback on what it's like shooting with either of these. For example, is the bulky 14-24mm lens awkward to haul around? Is the 17-35mm range not as useful as the 14-24mm (or perhaps the other way around)? Discussion like this would be really helpful (and appreciated).
Also, are there other wide-angle alternatives for the D700 that I haven't mentioned, but that folks might be shooting with?
Chris my D700 is on order so i have no pictures to show you, but I bought the 17-35 before I placed the D700 order. In my case, I have used a 12-24 DX on my D200 and the 17-35 gives me a slightly wider view on FF. I also have a 35-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 VR so it was a natural choice for me to get a full range with no overlap. The 17-35 is only slightly bigger and heavier than my 12-24 DX. Do you shoot stuff where you need the super wide view of the 14-24? Ken Rockwell thought the 17-35 would be more useful for the average user where the 14-24 is more of a specialty lens. From what I read it is truely superb.
Sat 08-Nov-08 05:36 PM | edited Sat 08-Nov-08 05:39 PM by DrRoebuck
>Chris my D700 is on order so i have no pictures to show you, >but I bought the 17-35 before I placed the D700 order. In my >case, I have used a 12-24 DX on my D200 and the 17-35 gives me >a slightly wider view on FF. I also have a 35-70 f/2.8 and a >70-200 VR so it was a natural choice for me to get a full >range with no overlap. The 17-35 is only slightly bigger and >heavier than my 12-24 DX. Do you shoot stuff where you need >the super wide view of the 14-24? Ken Rockwell thought the >17-35 would be more useful for the average user where the >14-24 is more of a specialty lens. From what I read it is >truely superb. I may actually have to agree with Ken Rockwell here.
I have the 14-24/2.8. It was probably my favorite lens on the D300, but now I hardly use it on the D700 because I also have the 24-70/2.8. Though the image quality and lack of barrel distortion is probably unsurpassed in the wide-angle field, the 14-24/2.8 just doesn't make as much since as something with more range and the ability to take filters.
If you can't get the 14-24/2.8 AND the 24-70/2.8, then I would get the 24-70/2.8. 24mm in FX is the equivalent to 16mm in DX. In other words, it's pretty damn wide.
When I got the D700 I was facing the same decision. I decided to get the 14-24mm lens, and this is my personal evaluation:
Weight - I have no problem with weight and "awkwardness" of the lens. The bulbous front element is well protected by the built-in hood, especially if the lens is retracted by setting it to 24mm. The weight is about the same as that of the 24-70.
Quality and FOV - I have never owned a lens that is sharper, gives better color and contrast and is virtually distortion free. This is my only lens where I cannot see any change in IQ after correction by DxO software. The focal length I most frequently use is 14mm and the 17-35 would not fit my needs.
Filters - I never use a polarizer below about 24mm, since the polarization changes across the FOV resulting in uneven color. The D700 has an excellent dynamic range and I manage without neutral density filters. Underexposing by 03-07 EV is generally sufficient to prevent blown out sky.
I faced the same choice last week and went with the 17-35 agreeing somewhat with KR's view that the 17-35 is more practical. Other then having a 50 prime I don't do much above 35 or below 70 so the 24-70 didn't really appeal to me. A 14 -24 may still be in my future. Even though there would be quite a bit of overlap KR's review of the 17-35 argued for viewing the lenses as complimentary rather then alternatives. In the end I guess it comes down to how wide do you want to go. Wider in and of itself does not necessarily make for better landscape photography.
The 12-24mm is such an amazing lens. It really opened new doors for me and my shooting since owning it. Unfortunately, this lens took a spill at a wedding job mid-October so it is in the shop getting repaired so I am without it.
Definitely a specialty lens but this lens IS unique so I would highly recommend picking it up if you have the means.
Thu 30-Oct-08 03:09 AM | edited Thu 30-Oct-08 03:17 AM by KnightPhoto
Folks are shooting with the Sigma 12-24mm which has a very good and sharp reputation (aside from susceptibility to flare) and is an FX lens. That's right, 12 and 13mm on FX!
I am thinking of selling my 10-20mm and replacing it with the Sigma 12-24mm, which can then do pretty decent dual duty of 12-24mm on the D700 and FOV of 18-36mm on my D300 (i.e. same range as the Nikon UWA DX lens).
Having said all this, the 14-24mm is a world beater and is also on my NAS-list.
I got the 14-24mm, but now that now I'm not sure if the 17-35mm wouldn't be a better choice. There's a lot between 24mm and 35mm that's really useful for landscapes. I find myself changing lenses a LOT more with the 14-24 and I find myself very confortable with the 35mm f/2, so if I could go back I'd pick the 17-35 for sure.
I recently upgraded my D300 and D40 to a D700 and D90 to get the best of both FX and DX. I also was very fortunate in being able to upgrade my 3 main zooms to Nikkors 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm VR. The 14-24 is bulky and is quite different to any other wide angle zoom however it is absolutely superb and is magnificent on a FX format DSLR. The lack of filters is not a real issue, how often do you have to use a filter which you cannot compensate for in post processing! The Nikkor 24-70 is now my favourtie and on both the D90 in DX and D700 in FX is unbeatable!
Chris.....I have both lenses. I am an avid filter user and was worried when I bought the 14-24. I have been using it for a few months now and have to say that the lack of filters has not been a problem. The clarity, color and lack of distortion has me smiling. I held onto the 17-35 in case I missed the filters, but to tell you the truth, I haven't touched it since my new purchase!
They are both about the same price. Is there that much difference in the sharpness of the 14-24 vs 17-35? Just asking because one of these will be my next purchase. I would like to use a polorizer but if the 14-24 is the stuff, I will give that up.
I selected the 17-35mm when I purchased my D700. I also picked up a Micro 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR lens and plan to purchase the new AF-S 50mm 1.4 when they become available. This range of lenses should meet most of my needs. The 17-35mm stays on the camera 80% of the time.
I plan to keep these lenses for a long time so I put Hoya Ultraviolet Pro 1 Digital Multi-Coated Glass Filter on all my lenses for protection and never take them off.
The only lens I ever had with an imperfection was a 16mm that would not accept filters. I sold it earlier this year with my other equipment to upgrade to the D700.
> I would like to use a polorizer but if the 14-24 is the stuff, I will give that up.
Polarizers tend to work very unevenly on wide angles, simply because their FOV is so wide that the polarization differs. There are times when one wants polarization to suppress glare, for example off leaves, but it's still problematic if there's sky (for example) in the frame.
As such it's often quite difficult to use a polarizer on anything wider than 24mm (FX), let alone 14mm.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Mon 10-Nov-08 08:41 AM | edited Mon 10-Nov-08 09:18 AM by nidza
Found used Sigma 15-30 for 180 euros. Got surprised with it's performance on D700. Expected much more problem with corners, but it works better than Canon 10-22 and Sigma 10-20 on my previous 20D and 40D. It has flare issue and cannot use front mounted filter (ony gel filter on the back element).
Yes, I've leaped over here from Canon APS-C and very nice set of lenses (10-22 17-55IS 30 1.4 70-200 f2.8) and to be honest, D700 with cheapest lenses provides way better IQ than Canon with the best lenses you can provide it.
Regards everybody, happy to join the Nikon after many years being Canonian.
Interesting insights regarding comparative lens performance, keep them coming. I have the Sigma 10-20 for DX and have been looking at the Sigma 12-24 for FX, but yes that 15-30mm seems a real bargain and useful zoom range to boot!
Best regards, SteveK My Nikonians gallery 'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
Nidza welcome to Nikonians your insights on comparisons between Canon and Nikon are interesting. I have been a loyal Nikon owner since the early '60s when I bought my first SLR, a Nikkorex F, with a 50 mm lens. It has been a long road from there.
>They are both about the same price. Is there that much >difference in the sharpness of the 14-24 vs 17-35? Just >asking because one of these will be my next purchase. I would >like to use a polorizer but if the 14-24 is the stuff, I will >give that up.
Wide open I have found that yes there is a difference but after 5.6 or so no. If you can only get one get the 17-35. you will miss the filters. Even though it is uneven on the sky I still use my polarizer on the 17-35 alot just to knock down glare.
I purchased a 14-24 and a 24-70 along with my new D3 this spring and then sold my D2X and both 17-35, 28-70 lenses.
After using the 14-24 all summer as a professional wedding and freelance photog, and for some sporting and landscape stuff I can tell you without a doubt it is easily optically superior to the 17-35 and well as other prime ultra wides especially wide open. But at apatures above f5.6-8 or so you will be hard pressed to notice a difference. I think a little more distortion with the 17 too.
That being said the 17-35 has its place in you bag. The 14-24 does not relace it. It is too specialized and delicate. The exposed front element on it gives me the heebeejeebee's. One mistake and you have a 1600 dollar paperweight. Any damage to that element will affect images. Plus of course no filters.
I found that there were many jobs where the 14-24 just wasn't quite tight enough and I had to switch to the 24-70. So after selling the old 17-35 I had to replace the one that I sold which was fine as my old 17-35 was a little long in the tooth.
I estimate I use my new 17-35 prolly 80% more than the 14-24. Given a chose on two lenses and a body I go with the 17-35 and the 24-70. 17-35 is just a much more practical length for most situations. When I use the 14-24 it is pretty much stuck a 14 the whole time. Plus having use of my filters and protection for jobs where the 14-24 will be placed at risk.
I would say there is not much of a noticable difference for me in bulk but I am 6'2" 230lbs so weight of the lenses is not much of a problem for me.
For street work you get more "holy s@#$ look at that lens" with the front element on the 14-24. It looks HUGE. The 17-35 is still big but not as eye catching as the 14-24. Of course on a D3 or a D700 with grip everthing is already big.
If I had to sell one now it would be the 14-24. You will get more out of the 17-35.
I have yet to recieve my D700 but for wides I have an old Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D from my F100 days that I swear by for multipurpose use. Since I don't shoot alot of architecture this affordable lens was ideal for the times that I needed to "get into the shoot". It can be had used for under $500 and is quite sharp with a bit more distortion than it's expensive siblings but it's size is much smaller and easier to lug around. If money is no object go for big dogs but I have been quite pleased with my little gem.
Sat 29-Nov-08 03:38 PM | edited Mon 01-Dec-08 05:52 AM by camerabug99
I have the D700, and both the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 14-24. I just spent close to two weeks traveling around Israel. My brother-in-law went with me, and has both lenses, with a D3. He is recovering from hernia surgery.
My advice is get the 24-70 first. The lens is superb, and 24 is way wide. If you want wider, then set the lens at 50, turn the camera into portrait mode, set manual focus and exposure, and fire off a series for a hand held panorama. Photoshop CS3/CS4 does a superb job stitching the files together.
The 14-24 is too wide for people group photos, as the person at the edge gets distorted. You can correct that in Photoshop. For wide landscapes, the 14-24 is terrific, but a panorama works if you are going to be traveling.
The 17-35 would overlap too much of the 24-70, and the 17 is not enough of a difference from 24 to justify changing lenses, IMHO.
For a vacation travel kit from now on, I will take the D700, the 24-70, and the 70-300. For serious landscape trips, where weight is no object, then I will take the 14-24 and the 20-200 f/2.8 (oops, meant the 70-200).
I don't have the 14-24mm; I've used the 17-35mm for about 7 years now. I'm tempted by the image quality of the 14-24, as well as the extra wide angle coverage, but it wouldn't replace the 17-35mm for my purposes, and I can't justify the cost for the situations when it would be useful. The times when I would love to have the 14-24 would be for interior shots of buildings, when I don't need a filter, often need some extra coverage, and sometimes can't use a tripod and need to shoot at maximum aperture. The 14-24mm would be clearly superior to the 17-35mm in that situation. But most of my photography is landscape and nature. I'm using a tripod and not shooting wide open very often, so the optical quality of the 17-35mm is very close to the 14-24mm. Although polarizing filters on extreme wide angle lenses can be a problem, there are times when I absolutely want one; e.g., in the woods to cut glare on leaves; to increase saturation in the foreground, especially early or late in the day when the polarizer has less affect on the sky; to cut the amount of light reaching the film or sensor when photographing a stream or waterfall (usually using an ND filter for this, but the 14-24mm won't take that, either). Even if there is a lot of sky in the photo, shooting a vertical photo helps to minimize the variation in polarization.
There are enough people using and loving the 14-24mm to safely say that it's a great lens. I'm still very happy with my middle-aged 17-35mm (and 28-70mm f2.8, too), and still think that it's the better choice for what I photograph.
I settled on the 17-35mm lens, and have been very happy with the quality. Plus, although not a lightweight, it does fit nicely in my bag and does not weigh a ton. The 17-35mm is an excellent landscape lens and works great on the D700.
Chris, to satisfy your landscape photography needs the lenses (24-70, 70-200) you presently own are perfect. As I waded thru the 40 responses I found only one post recommending the pano/matrix approach.
I use my Sigma 24-70 as an infinitely variable (actually 360 max) ultra wide angle lens for wide angle landscapes. I will shoot in horizontal or vertical mode depending on the scene's framing, the array of images can be 2x3, 3x2, 3x4, 4x5 etc. I use Hugin to stitch my images into a final single very hi-res image. 6 images(3x2 or 2x3) from my D300 results in a final image of ~73 meg, this is medium format or better quality. Most important is that I am not limited to the long narrow classical panoramic format, 3x1, 5x1 or 10x1. If I shoot 2x2, 3x3, or NxN I can creat a square wide angle image without curved lines.
I have made several 24x36 in. prints this way, notably the view from Glacier Pt. in Yosemite and Yellowstone Falls, the 'crispness' of the images is breathtaking (at least to me). A single frame image from the D700 or D3x would require a 24X enlargement or 36X from my D300. Imagine the print quality of a 3x2 of these two vistas taken with the D3x-- ~150 meg!
Keeping your expenses to a minimum--Hugin is free! It will also process HDR pano/arrays. Another equally effective program is PTGui, it costs ~$120.
I know the feeling of great glass in one's hands but these economic times are taking a toll on NAS. What I have introduced in this suggestion appears to be unknown/unused so far in the US, but is quite common in Europe--try it at least and open new 'vistas' in your landscape world.
Feel free to contact me for more info, might find some retirement time to cobble a tutorial. Best of luck Irv Weiner
Good point. From Thom Hogan's How Big Can You Print article: "If I really need more resolution (or wider as you point out), I stitch. It's not unusual for me to do 3x4 stitches (with five bracketed shots at each position for dynamic range), then bring them all into Autopano Pro and have it create me a very nice 9000x6000 pixel image (that's 54mp for those of you not willing to do the math). Moreover, I've got about 10 very clean stops of dynamic range to play with".
But that means more time in front of the computer.
I had the 14-24 when I was using 2 D300s. Great W/A range, pretty useful. Had a 28-70 in the mid range, but lost that 36-42 range which is good for groups.
Got the D700 and the 14-24 was just too wide. I did way too much cropping. Now have a 17-35 and 24-70 and find this combo is perfect for my needs. Granted, the 17-35 is not the lens the 14-24 is when it comes to color and sharpness. The 14-24 is phenomenal. But the range is really so narrow when you think about it, at least on FX. I constantly worried about scratching it and it was a little too tall for my Boda bag and the cap came off every time I took it out. It just required way too much babying at weddings, where I can't take the time to worry about a huge front element. And kids loved to poke their greasy fingers at the glass.
Forgive my ignorance here as I am not a pro although photography has been one of my hobbies for 45 years. I have also never shot with anything wider than a 24 mm. I was trying the 14-24 on a D700 in a camera store the other day and it seemed to me the difference between 14 and 24 was the difference of my taking 3 or 4 steps front or back. Now, I'm not a landscape photographer, but I am curious why one spends $1500 to save a couple of steps?
Here's Ken's introduction to How to Use Ultra-Wide Lenses: Ultrawide lenses are the most difficult lenses to use well. Ultrawides are not for "getting it all in." Ultrawides are for getting yourself, and therefore the viewer, right smack into the middle of something. Ultrawides are for putting next to the muzzle of Dirty Harry's revolver to put it in your face. If you can't or won't get close, leave the ultrawide at home.
Ultrawides rub the viewer's nose in your subject. Properly used, ultrawides grab your viewer and yank him into the middle of your situation.
Ultrawide lenses are for getting close and bringing the viewer into the photo, not for fitting a subject into a photo.
Ultrawides are not for the faint of heart.
Most people use ultrawides too sheepishly, and get crummy results with tiny subjects dwarfed in the middle of an open frame. When I use my 14mm I constantly have to force myself to get closer and pay rapt attention to the sides of my viewfinder, which are too often blank or loaded with junk.
Ultrawides require you to get very close and personal to anything you are shooting. Even a fraction of an inch (or cm) will make a huge difference in your composition, so you need to be very deliberate with your movement.
If you use them properly, you'll be rewarded with dynamic images. I've discovered that regardless of how many lenses I use, and however many photos I make on a trip, the ones I ultimately love the most are always the ones made with the widest lens I brought.
Best regards, SteveK My Nikonians gallery 'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
> ... if I did not own the 20-35mm and I needed (and could >afford) two wide-angle zoom lenses, I would get the 14-24mm >f/2.8 and the 24-70mm f/2.8. > I did exactly that. They are superb with my D700. I also own Nikkor 80-400VR and Tamron 90mm Di macro. Their only drawback: weight.
>Just upgraded to a D700. I'm wanting something for >wide-angle shooting of landscapes, and am considering either >the 14-24mm or 17-35mm. > Hi Chris:
I had a similar dilemma and opted for both:
1. Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 – best lens I have. Incredible performer in low-light. 2. Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4.
The main problem with the Tamron is sample variance, but if you get a good copy at $290 for the lens, it is a fantastic bargain. My copy is very good and it works great with my D300. On the D700, I do not know, yet. I just ordered it – arrival date: 2 January 2009. Right now, the D700 is still in the “Processing” mode at B&H.