Author Topic: 20mm for landscape  (Read 19265 times)

zuglufttier

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20mm for landscape
« on: August 14, 2015, 13:02:32 »
Hi there,

right now I'm using an old 20/3.5 Ai for most of my landscape pictures. While the lens works great, is very light and there's no lighting situation I have to avoid, I only get mediocre sharpness from it when the focus is set to infinity. This is a known problem ;) I didn't really notice this before I used it in my holidays in Ireland... Well, not a real problem but the nerd in me wants a bit more sharpness.

What would you say are my options? I'm a bit spoiled by the 35 and 85mm lenses from Samyang, especially the 35mm is almost perfect. Is the 20/2.8 Ai-S a real upgrade to the 20/3.5 for my purposes or should I just get the new 20/1.8G? I'm a bit attached to the feel of the old Nikkors... If 14mm weren't too wide for my taste, I'd just go and grab the Samyang 14mm.

Frank Fremerey

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2015, 14:30:30 »
I never heard an earnest praise for the Samyangs except when it comes to price performance relation esp for the fisheye

If I was in the situation I'd sure get the 20mm/f=1.8G
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Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2015, 14:36:49 »
The 20 mm f/3.5 Nikkor (52 mm filter thread) never was renowned for its infinity performance. You had to stop it well down to get the corners acceptable in this situation. However, use it at closer range or shoot into the sun and it was excellent.

The 20/2.8 following it is even sharper for the near range, but flares easier than the f/3.5, and although it is better for landscapes and similar, it isn't up to what you can get from the new 20/1.8 G.

Airy

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 15:11:06 »
The old 20/3.5 UD might be better at infinity and does not flare a lot, but
1) it is big and heavy
2) it is non-AI. Better have a Df
3) corners are not Ok until f/8

I second Bjørn's opinion about the 20/2,8; also, it had nasty wave distortion (significantly more than the UD), and is usually expensive.

I am not aware of Samyang producing a 20mm.

Bottom line : go for the 20/1.8g, despite the size.

Airy Magnien

Frank Fremerey

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2015, 15:29:38 »
Airy. 20/1.8G size is not small but it is rather light and features very good
near field prrformance and a snappy and precise AF on the D750
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zuglufttier

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2015, 16:08:30 »
I never heard an earnest praise for the Samyangs except when it comes to price performance relation esp for the fisheye

If I was in the situation I'd sure get the 20mm/f=1.8G
Really? The 35/1.4 and 85/1.4 are on par with the lenses from Nikon, Zeiss etc. The build quality is also not too bad after all.

The 20 mm f/3.5 Nikkor (52 mm filter thread) never was renowned for its infinity performance. You had to stop it well down to get the corners acceptable in this situation. However, use it at closer range or shoot into the sun and it was excellent.

The 20/2.8 following it is even sharper for the near range, but flares easier than the f/3.5, and although it is better for landscapes and similar, it isn't up to what you can get from the new 20/1.8 G.
Well, this is not what I wanted to hear ;) A used 20/1.8G is a about three times more expensive than a used 20/2.8 Ai-S. But I guess that's the way to go for me. Another option would be using a zoom but they don't seem to be any better regarding quality or cheaper in the end. The only thing against the 20/1.8G may be its size...

I guess, I'll go with the new 20/1.8G in the end.

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 16:14:37 »
Don't forget the new 20/1.8 G is quite light weight despite being bigger than the older siblings.

Asle Feten

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2015, 16:57:54 »
I have the small 20mm/3.5, and I have used 3 different 20mm/2.8. My experience is that all of them are very good near, but my f/3.5 is the only one of them that is  good at all distances. So I can't recomend the f/2.8 as a replacement for the f/3.5 for landscapes.
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zuglufttier

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2015, 17:07:43 »
Thanks for all the input!

@Asle: Good to know. I guess the 20/2.8 Ai-S would only be a minor upgrade, if at all, in the end.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2015, 17:16:49 »
I have mainly used my 20/2.8 AIS in an underwater housing as it excels in the near range. However, I quite recently had the lens with me on a trip to the Netherlands, and it behaved much better on my Df that I had anticipated. A pity not to use it more as it is beautifully made and handles extremely well on that camera.

The last one shot at ISO 25600 which the Df handles with aplomb.




Frank Fremerey

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2015, 17:37:16 »
Is anybody here who can commit to the quality of Samyang/Rokinon/Wallimex Optics?
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

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simsurace

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2015, 18:00:11 »
It depends on your reference frame. I have tried the 14/2.8 which is very good except for the distortion. I have the 24/3.5TS which is quite good for the money but has a few caveats as well. I heard (but don't know from first-hand experience) that the 24/1.4 is quite exceptional in its coma correction, leading in this focal length. I think with Samyang a lot depends on whether you get a good copy, as sample variation is thought to be quite large by some people. Also the feel and build quality is maybe not to everyone's taste, and in the lenses I have experience with, the contrast and rendering is to on the level of Nikon/Zeiss.
Simone Carlo Surace
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zuglufttier

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2015, 18:06:19 »
I think with Samyang a lot depends on whether you get a good copy, as sample variation is thought to be quite large by some people.
And I think this is more to due to the rather shallow DOF with the aperture set to 1.4, if you're used to lenses with autofocus ;)

Shane

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2015, 18:26:30 »
Quote
Is anybody here who can commit to the quality of Samyang/Rokinon/Wallimex Optics?

I have owned 4 of the 24/1.4 Rokinons and returned all of them.

Everyone raves about their excellent coma performance however I suspect that the "reviews" are biased towards DX format DSLRs and/or web sized images.

The 24/1.4 has the ability to be an excellent minimal coma lens (on FX and large images) as was the case for one of the copies I had. Unfortunately there was way too much focus slop which made critical focusing on stars a nightmare, so back it went. The two other copies had excellent coma performance in 2 of the 4 corners (optics misaligned) and the fourth copy was just plain soft.

I have a friend who has rented this lens twice and both copies suffered the same issues. If you rent one and find it "perfect" then offer to buy it for full price, I would.

I really want to like this lens (for nightscapes) and it's been over a year since I bought my first copy and 6 months since my last copy. The experience and frustration is fading so I might be tempted to try again.


pluton

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Re: 20mm for landscape
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2015, 18:50:53 »
I have not seen the inside of a Samyang lens, but Roger Cicala has.
He has reported, in his blog at Lens Rentals.com, that they are built not to be disassembled or serviced.  There is no factory service(at least in the USA), and there are no parts available either, so an independent shop would be limited in what they could do should your Samyang lens ever need service.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA