Nikon Pro Glass Advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SOLLERBOY, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. SOLLERBOY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi, I currently shoot with :
    Nikon D90
    D40
    Nikon 18-55 (d40 kit)
    Nikon 50 1.4
    Sigma 10-20 f4
    Sigma 18-200 3.5

    I'm looking to go a step further and get wither the nikon 14-24 2.8 or 24-70 2.8 With a view of shooting with my D90 until I can get the D700 or it's replacement. I will be shooting mainly landscapes so I am leaning towards the 14-24 but i'm not sure about it's quality on the D90.

    I may be able to scrape enough together to get the d700 and 14-24 but I don't want to buy the camera and have a new one come out a few days later.

    Any advice? Thanks.
     
  2. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #2
    Hi, but you already have the 10-20 (15-30mm equiv.) so what would another wide angle , that isn't really as wide as what you have now(21-36mm), bring you? the additional light gathering? Landscapes are usually shot with a tripod so the additional f-stop only gives you advantage in low light interiors...or shooting handheld which , well... to each his own.

    Then again the 24-70 is not a wide angle on the D90. Both are amazing pieces of glass. Are you going to sell some other glass? Are you being limited by your current lineup of lenses?

    Cheers,

    //f
     
  3. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I want to migrate to full frame and get rid of the dx crop factor. I am going on an amazing trip that I designed around photography. ( this will by my final year project for Sixth Form College) If I got the d700 I would sell the D40 as it's going for £100 more than I paid for it and keep the D90 and a couple of the lenses as a second body.

    Later this year I will start university and will be undertaking different types of projects so the glass I am looking at now don't necessarily need to be geared towards any style of photography in particular. I love shooting with wide angles and am mesmerised by some of the shots I have seen taken using the 14-24.

    I am basically trying to decide what comes first, the chicken or the egg. I can afford to buy one of them outright and about half of the other but can't get credit because I've just turned 18. BTW I am paying for this stuff from the money i get from my part time job before anyone asks.
     
  4. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    I'm going to recommend that you forgo the 14-24 and get a 17-35 f/2.8 instead. That or one of the new 16-35 f/4 lenses.

    The 14-24 has a huge bulging front element, no filters possible, and the hood can't be removed. For what it's designed for there is no rival at this time, prime or zoom, but it's a very niche product, and after spending $2,000.00 you may grow tired of it's cumbersomeness after only a short time.

    I own the 24-70 and shoot it on a D700, fantastic combo to be sure, but is it wide enough for you to be an only lens for a time? It's angle of view is very similar to the 18-55 kit lens on a DX camera.

    SLC
     
  5. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I really appreciate the info. The only FX lens I have now is the 50 1.4 so it will be that and probable one of the 2.8s.
     
  6. kallisti macrumors 65816

    kallisti

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #6
    Just wanted to throw in my little opinion.

    The 14-24 is a great lens optically. It is a horrible lens from a practical perspective. It is big. It is heavy. It can't take filters. The lens cap is a huge annoyance (it's a plastic slide on that comes off easily and doesn't want to stay in place).

    On a DX body, the 14-24 is a poor lens choice because it isn't all that wide. On FX it is probably best-in-class optics wise, but it is so inconvenient that I wouldn't suggest it unless your primary shooting needs really require this lens. If that's the case, then nothing else is an issue and the thread is over.

    The new 16-35 f/4 is a pretty nice lens. It's relatively light and compact compared to the other Nikon offerings. I have a 14-24 but rarely use it. I've been debating selling it. The annoyance factor when using it outweighs the creative possibilities for me. I don't even consider packing it for travel and even around town I think twice. The 16-35 is a much more useable lens. Smaller, lighter, can take filters (like graduated ND for landscapes). I find myself actually carrying it around and shooting with it more. A lot more. Ultra-wide can be challenging to shoot. For me personally, I've learned more having an ultra-wide zoom that I am actually willing to carry around and use. The 14-24 didn't fit that bill, the 16-35 does.

    For FX, I think the 16-35 is the best option unless you really need an f/2.8 aperture or you really, really need the higher image quality or increased angle of view that the 14-24 provides.

    For DX, the 14-24, 17-35, or 16-35 are all poor choices. An ultra-wide DX lens is better if your images require a wide angle perspective.

    The 24-70 is great on FX assuming you don't need to go wider than 24mm or longer than 70mm. Depends on your shooting style/requirements. For me it's the lens I use the most (along with a 105 macro--err micro in Nikon terms :)).
     
  7. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #7
    It was a long night last night, and I'm probably rambling here, but here are some 'top of the head' thoughts... in no particular order...:)

    I've been down that road of thinking--about lenses I'd like to have on my "future" D700 or equivalent, while using a DX body in the meantime. It can really make you go crazy at times, because if you just get the best lenses you can use on a DX body, sometimes they will work on FX, sometimes not. Case in point: the 17-55 f/2.8. It's a great lens, and getting affordable because of all the 'switchers' to FX. I have a D300, and finally just bit the bullet and bought one (17-55f/2.8 for $710, exc. condition used) as my 'normal' zoom. I realized the D300 was most likely going to be with me for a long time, so it actually became a relief to just get what essentially is the DX version of the 24-70f/2.8 (25.5-82.5mm) and to just get back to enjoying taking photos and not compromising my desire for pro quality glass. Most of my longer glass will work on FX if I ever actually go that route, but I've learned to really like the extra reach DX offers for the 80-200 f/2.8 and 300mm f/4 lenses. For me as long as the D300/D300s and future DXXX series of pro-caliber bodies are still around, I don't see quite the pressing need for full-frame, at least for a while. But that's just me... :cool:;)

    In your case, you're strongly thinking full-frame, and you say you can do it now. So, keeping what I said above in mind, if I were in your boat, I'd probably make the jump to FX now and get the glass you want...the 14-24 is one of those "one of a kind" lenses, and I've seen landscapes shots comparing it to other quality wide angles lenses, and when you go big... the difference is actually startling. The 14-24 will be one of those legendary lenses they always talk about. So if you want one, nothing else will really do. It will work just fine on DX, and 14mm is not that bad, it is like a 21-36mm lens on FX. That used to be my extreme wide angle zoom in 35mm days--20-35. That's generally wide enough to do a lot of creative work, seriously. So don't let the 14-24 "isn't good for DX" argument really sway you, because it's just damn good. The trade offs are as everyone says: its big, it's bulky, it's somewhat awkward, no filters, permanently affixed hood... but it is the best in it's class imagewise, period. If that's the deal, go for it. You can always sell it if you can't live with those issues, because it's a lens that will always have buyers.

    What I think will happen with your D90 as backup--you won't even touch it again. You might intend to, but given a choice as to which camera to shoot with, you'll go with the one that you're drawn to. At least from my experiences, when I upgraded my D50 (which I really liked) to a D300, I used the D50 for the first couple of weeks, then it just sat in my bag. Then it moved to my desk drawer. Now, I really need to sell it before it becomes worth nothing at all...and mine are both DX. I think it would be even more likely when your backup is DX, and main camera is FX. So, I'd recommend selling both DX bodies and all your DX lenses and putting that money into glass for your D700. Funny thing about back-up camera bodies... they seldom get used, unless it's a working pro's second, and often in those cases, they're usually both the same bodies and both in action at the same time (tele and wide) for quick changes without mounting and remounting lenses all the time.

    Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what you end up doing.
     
  8. kallisti macrumors 65816

    kallisti

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #8
    Won't argue with any of this except to say that I find the 14-24 to be a really annoying lens from a practical perspective. It's optics are unsurpassed on DX or FX. But it just isn't fun to actually use in my opinion. Everyone has their own personal line which they draw in the sand: what am I willing to put up with to make an image? People carry around ginormous pieces of glass to shoot birds that I would never consider. More power to them. That just isn't something I am willing to put up with for the images I wish to create. I sometimes impose limits on my own creativity that relate to convenience. Chicken and egg: do I not attempt certain shots due to convenience or does my "vision" happen to correlate with shots that don't require $10k glass and a sherpa to carry my gear? I'm not sure what the answer is for me (or how it may reflect on me as a "photographer"). I'm not sure how you would answer this question.

    I don't want to overplay the annoyances of this lens but I also don't want to downplay them. The zoom range is tiny. The bulk/weight factors aren't insignificant. The lack of filter use may or may not matter to you. The slide on lens cap is hugely annoying. This isn't a walk-around lens by any means, whether DX or FX (though on DX it's zoom range falls into the walk-around category, the lens doesn't lend itself to this application unless you are a glutton for punishment).

    If optical quality is your only concern and the angle of view the 14-24 provides on your body fits into your requirements then by all means buy one. However, there are several compromises you have to accept with the 14-24, many of them significant. You might be happier with a 17-35, 16-35, 24-70, or something else.
     
  9. seedster2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    Sell everything and move to FX. Doubtful you will use your DX gear once you get a D700.

    I agree with PDXFlint's review of the 14-24mm. It's on my list of acquisitions.
     
  10. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #10
    I'm a decidedly non-pro shooter who loves to shoot landscapes.

    When I shoot landscapes, I use at least one filter most of the time - it might be a neutral density filter (solid or grad), a polarizer, etc. Not being able to mount filters or a filter holder onto a lens would be a royal pain. Plus it's hard to imagine needing to go to 14mm on a full frame camera with any regularity, and being able to get to 35mm (versus 24mm) without changing lenses can be a plus at times.

    If you already have shot a lot of landscapes, go back and look at your pictures - specifically the aperture you've used. Do you really use wide apertures a lot, or are you almost exclusively stopping down for better depth of field? That will answer the question regarding the older 17-35 f/2.8 versus the newer 16-35 f/4. If those were my two choices, I'd be strongly drawn to the newer optics and coatings of the 16-35.

    Me, I looked at the way I used my 12-24 on my old D70, and found I was just about always shooting in the f/8-f/13 range - so when I moved to a D700 I saved money and weight and bought a used 18-35 instead. But that fits my specific needs; I'm not arguing you should go that route.
     
  11. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #11
    The thing you really need to answer for us is: what's wrong with the Sigma 10-20 you're using now in terms of the shots it's giving you? Is it the 4-5.6 version or is it the 3.5 constant aperture version? It's wide end is very nearly as wide as the 14-24 is on FX. Therefore, you should be able to capture more or less the same types of pictures you see taken with the 14-24 using your existing gear on DX.

    If you are having problems with optical quality on the Sigma lens, maybe you should upgrade to a better DX ultrawide instead. The Nikon 10-24 is very highly regarded and would still give you that super wide view. Even though it is a DX lens, when it comes time to upgrade to FX you could easily sell the lens at a very good price.

    The 24-70 may be too long for your tastes on DX. You said you prefer to shoot wide angles and that gap from 20-24mm (between the Sigma 10-20 and the 24-70) you will probably have issues with. The gap would mean you might be switching lenses very often because your ultrawide is just a little too wide and your 24-70 might be just a little too long for a particular shot.

    The 14-24 has certain operational considerations like others have pointed out- chiefly among them is the lack of filters. Especially if you're taking landscapes, this is a pretty serious consideration to take into account. The 2.8 aperture is not very useful for landscapes, but having filters is. Again, the ultrawide DX lenses like the 10-24 take filters, give you that same super wide view, and are optically excellent as well.

    One final suggestion might be to look into the 24mm PC-E lens. Tilt-shift can really further your landscape photography as it allows you to manipulate the depth of field, and avoid many perspective problems with ultrawides. This lens is among those at the very top on my "wish I had" list because of the movement possibilities. Its optical peformance is also rated as extremely high, probably as good as the 14-24 does at 24mm.
     
  12. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I really appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions. My main issue with the sigma is the flare and "flatness" of the image. I'm also not a fan of the aperture. I find myself constantly struggling for light with the d90/10-20. It's the f4 version.

    I also agree with the comments over selling everything up and going fx but on Wednesday I'm off on a road trip of the west coast USA. California/Utah/Nevada/Arizona and was planning on taking all my equipment but carrying my d90 with the 10-20 and the d40 with the 50mm. I did a shoot in New York last February and I got an A for my work.

    Then the idea of the d700 came into my head and the idea of the 2.8's. I shoot slightly differently to many people I know. I like crazy perspectives and out of the ordinary shots. The main thing I crave is sharpness and that special "pop" out of my images and I believe only full frame can offer me the creative freedom to do that. My issue now though is I only have enough cash for the lens and half the camera or vice versa. Maybe I should sell the d90 as well and go full steam ahead into fx. I would just like that second body to have the 50 attached to that I can whip out for some street photography at times as well.
     
  13. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #13
    hmm, ok here is my experience as I went from a D90 to a D700 (brief visit in the canon camp when I won a 5dmk2 but that went over quickly).
    The images will not dramatically change over night, I can tell you that much. I am not sure what creative freedom you are referring to as a) crazy angles can be achieved with the D90 and the 10-20 where you then are just 1mm above the 14-24 on a full frame. Making the images pop can be achieved also with the in camera styles (for JPEG) and in RAW, well they are just as RAW on the D700. It could be argued that aD300(s) would give you the same thing as a D700 in terms of creative freedom. Yes the D700 is a totally different beast but I can already warn you from experience: be prepared to re-learn everything. Angles, light, ISO (whats tolerable etc.) are totally different on a Full frame. Personally I got a d700 because I could, not because I needed it but looking back at my pictures from the D90, I had some pretty nice shots with that too and they did pop and were sharp.
    By the way, if you get the D700, make sure you get the PDK1 grip package for it if you want to be creatively unrestricted (grip and 8fps).
    just my 2 cents.
    //F
     
  14. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a

    cosmokanga2

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    #14
    Heads-up. The Nikkor 14-24mm can take filters using the new Lee filter BF holder.

    YouTube Video

    Screen shot 2010-03-13 at 6.49.12 AM.png
     
  15. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #15
    Flare is a legitimate issue, what do you mean by "flatness"? Maybe if you post some examples.

    FF has NOTHING to do with sharpness and "pop". You can get the same crazy perspectives with your 10-22. It's a 15-33mm lens on FF. A lot of that "pop" is probably a result of the PP done on the photos you see, and the sharpness, well aperture can help- but if you're shooting landscapes, where's your tripod? I'm not saying it to be rude but maybe you just need to refine your technique in order to achieve those results you're looking for? Just make sure you're doing everything possible with your current equipment before spending thousands and thousands of dollars on more.

    Ruahrc
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #16
    I'm not really sure whether your photography will benefit at all going full frame: according to your initial post, you're into landscapes. This means you cannot play too much with the depth of field (wide angle lenses have a large depth of field) and you may use tripods. This means, you don't really need excellent ultra-high ISO performance. Nor do you need speed. The D700 doesn't have an edge when it comes to raw resolution either.

    I don't think going full frame is going to give you the benefits you have in mind. I'd rather switch the Sigma for a nicer UW lens such as Tokina's 11-16 mm f/2.8 or 12-24 mm f/4. I have the latter and I'm very happy with it. According to quite a few reviews, the 11-16 mm is the best UW zoom for crop sensors.

    Going for a full-frame lens is going to be counterproductive as a lens such as the 17-35 mm will correspond to 26-52 mm on full frame -- which is `just' a wide-angle to normal zoom.

    I'd suggest an entirely different route to you: get a prime -- not because of image quality or whatnot. Fixing the focal length gives you a creative edge by restricting your options. It sounds paradoxical, but trust me, it works! Also, you don't need ultra-wide focal lengths to do landscapes. The wider the focal length, the harder it is to control (since you can get more stuff into your image, the likelihood that there is crap in your image is greater, too).
     
  17. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #17
    I would go with the 24-70mm since you have the Sigma lens. When you get your D700, buy another wide angle lens from the money you sell your D90 with.
     
  18. CK Williams macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Atlanta, GA USA
    #18
    Actually, there is no crop factor on full frame. 17-35 is just that.
     
  19. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #19
    Another thinking point- how is the flare resistance on the 14-24? If flare is one of your primary concerns with your current Sigma UWA, it is possible that you will experience the same issues by upgrading to the 14-24. That huge protruding front element catches a lot of light. The nano coatings help and the flares from this lens are probably not the worst, but certainly can't be the best either.

    Ruahrc
     
  20. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #20
    A lot of these post have been really long, so I'll keep this short

    I went FF this year with a D3 and a D700. I got a 17-35mm f/2.8 and I love it. Cheap (all my gear was used) sharp, practical. It's wide enough while still giving enough zoom to be a practical lens; the 14-24 is too specialized (even 24mm is still very wide). Overall, great lens.
     
  21. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    I appreciate all the help and advice. I'm mostly into low light/night landscapes using pretty long exposures so I do have a tri pod, just upgraded that too. I think the issue at the moment is how some of the image lack depth. Some are brilliant, I took a few night landscapes last october with this stuff that i was blown away with. I'm going to refine my night shots and star trails by shooting for smaller lengths of time and stack them. I usually go for ten to twenty minutes right now and get hit with a million stuck pixels. Surprisingly the noise is almost non existent. Just loads of red, green and blue hot pixels.

    As I say, I'm going on this trip, I just want my equipment to be as good as it can be to allow me the creative freedom to shoot how I want. At the minute I'm thinking of getting the 14-24 with the though of going full frame later this year. I hope to get an sb900 too to paint in some of the foregrounds as I'm using a torch now. The last thing I am hoping for is if anyone has any sample shots of the 14-24 at 14mm on a dx like the d90 or d300??
     
  22. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #22
    I jumbled up that sentence: what I meant to say is that if he buys a 17-35 mm now, it won't be an ultra-wide angle lens on his D90. So buying the 17-35 mm before upgrading to full frame will be counter productive if the OP is interested in an ultra-wide angle lense. Only after getting a full frame body will it be an ultra-wide angle lens.
     
  23. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #23
    Well just set your sigma 10-20 at 14mm and that's what you'll get. Pretty wide, but you'll be losing a lot of width vs your 10-20. At the extreme wide end, 1mm change in focal length is a pretty decent change in view angle.

    As far as image quality goes it will look identical to the shots you see taken on FX bodies.

    Still not sure what you mean by your images lacking depth, and where the 14-24 is going to help with that?
     

Share This Page