Author Topic: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle  (Read 908 times)

ThomasAdams

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D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« on: June 18, 2021, 18:43:07 »
Hello,

 I am a long time D3 owner (user), there are very few things I desire that it does not offer. My plan is to run it till it no longer works. However, at times I would like a bit more detail... so. After a very long wait, I finally acquired a D3x. The good news is that it is finally affordable - spent way less on it than I did my D3 (I bought when it first came out)  ;D Bad news is that it's in the mail.  ???

From D3x or newer body users with increased resolution - I am looking at wide angle primes or zoom lenses for landscape. I've been mulling over the lens choices and am almost to the point where I am just about ready to just buy something and go test it. Trying to compare lenses online is a hobby I no longer wish to take part in. I am not saying I don't mind a bit of research, it's just I'm getting old and want to go out and enjoy making photographs. Old habits are hard to break.

Currently I am looking at the 18-35mm f3.5-4.5G ED and the 20mm f/1.8G ED. I am not opposed to the 14-24 - aside from the bulbous front end and having to acquire another filter system. The 17-35 f/2.8 is perhaps getting a bit dated as well but I would appreciate some input on that. The 16-35 F/4 is also interesting, I really enjoyed my old Tokina 12-24 F/4 which I sold when I jumped from the D70/D200 to the D3. Opinions on that would be welcome as well.

Any other lenses I am overlooking?

Current "to acquire list" for wide angle:
18-35mm f3.5-4.5G ED
20mm f/1.8G ED

Options I may be dismissing too quickly:
14-24 F/2.8
17-35 F/2.8
16-35 F/4

Appreciate any input you would be willing to share, thank you in advance.

Regards,
Tom

Jan Anne

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Wide Angle
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2021, 21:04:38 »
Had the 14-24 for a while which is an awesome lens but always used it at 14mm so moved to the Samyang 14/2.8 which served me well as a smaller and lighter alternative for travel and hiking.

Currently using the Voigtlander 15/4.5 but that’s mirrorless lens, works great but will probably be upgraded when Nikon comes with the 14/1.8Z (like Sony) hopefully somewhere next year. Sigma also has a 14/1.8 for the Nikon F mount which apparently is also stellar but rather huge and heavy.
Cheers,
Jan Anne

ThomasAdams

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Wide Angle
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2021, 21:29:13 »
Jane Anne,

Thank you for the reply. I will check out the Samyang 14mm F 2.8 (the name sounds familiar) and the Sigma 14mm F/2.8. I don't mind primes at all and yes, I am trying to keep the weight down a bit. The days of 50 Lb. (~23 kg) backpacks are mostly over for me :). I also did some rough statistical analysis of current and past zoom lenses and realized I spend most of my time at one end or the other. Roughly 1/3 at near, 1/3 at far and the remaining 1/3 in varying focal lengths in between. I really do like the conveniences of zooms, there is always a trade off or two of course ;D Thank you again!

Regards,
Tom

Airy

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Wide Angle
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 21:47:00 »
You seem to be looking for an ultrawide. I mostly use a 20/2.8 AIS but, since you are interested in landscapes, I would not recommend it: it is prone to flare.

You might consider buying a Zeiss 2nd hand (same value as new, at a more reasonable price). I am very pleased with the 25/2 ZF2 for all sorts of purposes. Sharpness, color, contrast, coatings would probably suit your needs. Besides, it has low distortion (good if you catch horizons), and the full aperture is quite usable in case you want to emphasize the foreground. Above all, it is rather small and reasonably heavy.

For landscapes, many photographers report to be fond (this being an understatement) of the Zeiss 21/2.8. I do not own it, but you should give it a try.

The PC-Nikkor 24/3.5 is also of interest (once again, buy it used).

All the above are obviously MF lenses, but does AF really matter for landscaping ?
Airy Magnien

David H. Hartman

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Wide Angle
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2021, 23:10:52 »
You seem to be looking for an ultrawide. I mostly use a 20/2.8 AIS but, since you are interested in landscapes, I would not recommend it: it is prone to flare.

By contrast the 20/3.5 AI Nikkor is uniquely resistant to flare and ghost along with the 28/2.0 AIS and 16/2.8 AIS (FF Fish). These lenses can be turned into the sun freely.

The 20/2.8 AIS is a pretty decent lens but can't match the 20/3.5 AI for flare and ghost control. The AF-S 20/1.8G ED is very good but can't match the 20/3.5 AI in flare and ghost control. The AF-S 20/1.8G ED might be augmented by the small and light 20/3.5 AI.

Dave
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pluton

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2021, 23:17:52 »
Having had D3's for 4.5 years and then switching to D800/E (36MP), I will attempt to interpolate for 24MP based on my copies of the lenses mentioned.
AF-S 17-35/2.8....While I keep my copy even with 36MP, it won't deliver the high-resolution look for 24MP.
Zeiss 21/2.8....Should be good for 24MP. At small stops, it gives a good impression of extreme depth of field while maintaining good sharpness. Not all wide angles can do this.
Zeiss 25/2.... Lovely Zeiss color and contrast, but somehow my copy lacked the finest detail at infinity focus.  Maybe I used it wrong, trying to split focus too much.
Zeiss 18mm/3.5 and Zeiss 18mm/2.8: Lovely Zeiss color and contrast.  The 3.5 is very good if you don't look for high resolution outside the center area;  the 2.8 is very good almost all the way to edge of 24x36.
Nikon 14-24/2.8: Should be fine on 24MP.  I'd investigate the current Sigma 14-24/2.8 as an alternative.
One I'd like to use but haven't found cheap enough yet: The current Zeiss 25mm/1.4 is reputed to be very, very good, but is also rather huge and heavy---and big $$$$.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Didier Klein

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2021, 23:48:43 »
For what I used and use (on D700 and Df):
2,8/17-35 AFS is a good allrounder, use it @ f:8 or f11 (angles are inferior); very nicely built
3,5-4,5/18-35 is nice and light
2/25 Zeiss ZF2 is very good (+1 Airy !) and very nicely built too !
3,5/20 Ai is very flare resistant but not so sharp (I use it between f:11 and f:16)

By the way, I think David Hartmann wanted to say the best flare resistant lenses are 3,5/20 Ai, 2/28 AI-Ais and 3,5/16 Fisheye (not 2,8/16) ?...Like Björn/Birna Rörslett learned us !

My samples of 2,8/16 Ais were not so flare resistant, the AFD seemed better, but the 3,5/16 modified Ai without multi coatings is at least up to the AFD.

Jakov Minić

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2021, 23:59:28 »
Tom, you have your solution 20mm f/1.8G ED.
I also own the 17-35 f/2.8 and I never mounted it ever since i got myself a copy of the 20mm f/1.8G ED.
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David H. Hartman

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2021, 01:41:01 »
By the way, I think David Hartmann wanted to say the best flare resistant lenses are 3,5/20 Ai, 2/28 AI-Ais and 3,5/16 Fisheye (not 2,8/16) ?...Like Björn/Birna Rörslett learned us !

I've read that the 16/3.5 AI FF Fish is superior to the f/2.8 in someways, edge sharpness? I've never owned one. The 16/2.8 AIS is safe to turned into the sun.

When I bought my 20/2.8 AIS I was considering selling my 20/3.5 AI. I checked naturfotograf.com and realized I had taken for granted the amazing flare and ghost resistance of the 20/3.5 AI. I did not sell my 20/3.5 and never will.

I might as well say the 24/2.8 AI is one of the worst lenses I own for flare and ghost. With or without a filter it is a disaster if the sun in near or included in the frame. A hand or hat can help if the sun is not in the frame and the hat can be kept out of the frame.

Dave
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ThomasAdams

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2021, 05:50:25 »
Airy,

 I changed the title to include the correct verbiage (Ultra wide/wide angle) and started to reply earlier - then my work break was over. Perhaps I should have included the lenses I already have in this category?

20 mm F/4 AI
24mm F/2.8D
Tamron AF 19-35 F/3.5-4.5

I will add the 16 F/2.8 AIS to the list and will have to check to see how my 20mm F/4 AI compares to the 20mm F/2.8 AIS. I have always ben fond of the Zeiss lenses - have never used one. Is there any turning back once one does?  ;D I will have to look into the PC lenses as well.

David,

  I will have to look into these. I did some time ago (a decade now perhaps!) just before I acquired the 20mm F/4 AI. At the moment I can't recall if there was a specific reason I got the 20mm F/4 AI or if it was just relatively inexpensive for a 20mm and I decided to give it a try (bought it with a 200mm F/4 AI). Regarding Fisheye, I like some photographs with them as some people find some really creative uses! I think it would be a novelty for myself and just never invested - and of course always worried that un-fishing them would lead to too much image degradation. I seem to recall some good conversions so more than likely I am lacking much knowledge.

Pluton,

 You have confirmed what I have been reading from some photographers and one of my concerns regarding the 17-35mm F/2.8. I think for my D3 it would be great, but a compromise for the D3x. It would be several hundred + dollars to experiment as no one around me has one I could test. And will mark Zeiss down again! So the 14-24 is showing some age, but still a good performer. How does it fair on the 36 MP cameras? It seems Sigma keeps popping up and they have really stepped up the quality of their offerings. I will certainly look into the Sigma F/2.8 14-24 as well. Is Sigma under new management?!

Didier,

 The 17-35 F/2.8 is one of those lenses that has/had been on my wanted list for so long. Now I see them for sale much more frequently (and much cheaper). Perhaps if I find a used one at a really good price, pick it up. Again the Zeiss! :) I am seeing a common theme here - I can take a hint haha. I bought the 24-85  F/3.5-4.5G and have been really happy with it. It was not treated well and I got a deal on it and thought hell, I will try it out. It is my walk around lens. So with that in mind and reading what people say about the 18-35, it is hard to at least not take it seriously.

Jakov,

That one is very tempting (as much as I like Zooms). It first came up in my search as an excellent lens for shooting stars, but it is much more. Anything in particular about the characteristics of the 20mm F/1.8G ED you prefer over the 17-35 F/2.8 or is it a little of everything?

Thank you all for your responses and I hope I didn't miss anything or leave anyone out!

Regards,
Tom

pluton

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2021, 06:55:15 »
So the 14-24 is showing some age, but still a good performer. How does it fair on the 36 MP cameras? It seems Sigma keeps popping up and they have really stepped up the quality of their offerings. I will certainly look into the Sigma F/2.8 14-24 as well. Is Sigma under new management?!
What I have observed:
The 14-24---based on 2 different copies---was a miracle on the 12MP D3 camera. It's detail resolution does not fully "match" 36MP, but I suspect most lenses available don't fully match the 36MP sensor.  The best "sharp" lenses I have are these: Zeiss 18/2.8, 21/2.8, 28/2, 35/2, 50/2, and 100/2 lenses, plus Nikon 28/2.8 Ais, 55/3.5 Ai, and 16/3.5.
Of all of these, ONLY the Zeiss 100/2 fully matches the resolution of the 36MP body. All the others show, upon enlargement of the image, the lens' resolution pooping out before that of the 36MP sensor.  The Zeiss 100 is the only one that allows seemingly infinite enlargement to the limits of 36MP.
Sigma started making higher-grade lenses roughly coinciding with the passing of the CEO job to the son of the original founder/CEO in 2012. I've not owned/shot with any of the modern "new generation" Sigma lenses. They feel nice in the hand when I've handled them at the camera store, and many have been impressed with the imagery they can produce. 
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Didier Klein

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2021, 13:48:33 »
Thomas, I don't think the PC lenses are good performers against the sun, my samples of 2,8/35PC (three or four old and newer "Ais" models) were never bad, but not as good as the lenses we talked about here (3,5/16-3,5/20 or 2/28). 35PC last model is a good but not excellent lens. Airy showed some images here with this lens.

The 28PC was a poor performer about flare (I only had one such lens in film-days) and many people say also poor in digital beacause of CA...

So the only choices in PC seem to be the PCE 19 and 24mm (I don't have them) !

longzoom

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2021, 14:42:11 »
20130527-003 by 20130527-003-2 by longzoom, on Flickrm/photos/longzoom/]longzoom[/url], on Flickr.       In my experience, the best was 16-35 lens. Resisting the most into the Sun, tremendously sharp and contrast, even on 36 MP sensor. So the image and the crop. D800, at 16mm, f8.0. LZ

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2021, 17:05:06 »
I have 20mm UD, 18mm 3.5, 20mm 3.5, and 20mm 1.8G. The 1.8G is the best of them all for sharpness and contrast across the frame.

fentriss

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Re: D3x Lens Choices Ultra Wide/Wide Angle
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2021, 19:37:24 »
During the years (dec. 2008-2012) i have had the pc-24 in use together with the d3x. And it was, (propably still is) a very good combination. The lens could be also used to generate stitched images. While rotating and shifting the lens. So you will get more pixels out of the d3x. byebye, richard