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Archive 2013 · Which is a better wide for my D800e
  
 
VINCET
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p.1 #1 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


I currently have a D800e with a 100mm Zeiss MP and a 50mm f1.8G. I am looking for a wide to complement the other 2 lenses that I have. I am leaning towards either a 28 or a 35mm lens. there are so many good choices lately, it is so hard to decide. I am not afraid of manual focus.

Just wondering what you guys think.

So my choices are:

Nikon 28mm f1.8G
Nikon 28mm f2.0 Ai-s
Nikon 35mm f1.4G
Zeiss 28mm or 35mm f2.0 or f1.4
Sigma 35mm f1.4

Appreciate the feedback



Jan 28, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #2 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


I have the Zeiss ZF II 35/2 and, although I believe it is the cheapest ZF II available, it is a superb lens, zero distortion and has a very 'natural' feel in use and is incredibly sharp with beautiful rendering (used on a D800). I have the 21mm too but the 35 is the one I reach for most often. Infinity starts at around 4M (13 ft) so in most situations just setting the lens to inifinity makes it a vitual AF lens

Just check that the hard stop is right on infinity as it took me 2 or 3 lenses to find one like this (the first 21mm I tried hard stopped at infinity) with the others focusing past infinity. If you want an AF lens then the new Sigma 35/1.4 is getting awesome reviews.



Jan 28, 2013 at 08:51 PM
jph1
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p.1 #3 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


What type of photography?


Jan 28, 2013 at 08:55 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #4 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


I like to have a 2x factor to my primes, so for me it would be the 28mm or the 24mm . . .
Depends on what type of shooting you do as well.

- John



Jan 28, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #5 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


I have the Zeiss 35 F2 and Nikon 28. Personally, I use my 28 more than my 35, and I think my 28 might be juuussst a touch sharper.


Jan 28, 2013 at 09:06 PM
VINCET
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p.1 #6 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


It is really for general photography. People, landscape, and everything in between.

Steve, you mentioned the Nikon 28, which one? the old Ais f2.0 or the new 1.8G



Jan 28, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Mishu01
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p.1 #7 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


For general photography I'd go for the new Sigma 35/1.4. Everyone is praising it and I've seen stunning images coming from this lens.

Having said that I really believe that you can't go wrong with any of the lenses you've listed.



Jan 29, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #8 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


VINCET wrote:
It is really for general photography. People, landscape, and everything in between.

Steve, you mentioned the Nikon 28, which one? the old Ais f2.0 or the new 1.8G


The new 1.8G - just outstanding in my opinion.



Jan 29, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #9 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


Unless you are stuck on primes or need the 1.4, since you have the budget for the Nikkor 35 1.4, you might also consider the 16-35VR. I was contemplating the same thing you are and made the decision to get the VR. I already have some fast lenses but wanted something with more versatility. The 16-35 is wonderfully sharp and gives you a real wide angle on your full frame body. Great for environmental portraiture, indoor low light stuff, etc., or when you don't have a tripod.


Jan 29, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Keith B.
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p.1 #10 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


I have the Nikon D3 and D800E cameras, and from your list the AF-S 35/1.4G, the ZF 28, and the ZF 35/2 lenses.
All are very good; the Nikon 35G is AF, and has the least lateral CA, and a very 'clean' image similar to the old Ai 35/1.4, but with better performance at the wider stops. Also, the 35G seems very sharp in the close up range. But, it has no aperture ring, no hard stop at infinity and the focus scale---as with most AF lenses--- is pretty useless. Interestingly, I have found that with the D800E in extremely low light, the 35G is easier to accurately focus by eye than with AF. The manual focusing action, however, is very nice for an AF lens.
Both Zeiss lenses are excellent also but with a little more funk--or charm, some might say---, but both have a bit more lateral CA visible than the 35G. The ZF 28 is famous for it's curvature of field. Both Zeiss lenses, of course, have hard infinity stops, aperture rings, and somewhat more useable focus scales. I've gotten great shots with all three.
Can't advise on which focal length to get...they're all equally useful.
Oh, and if you can afford it, the ZF2 25/2 is outstanding on all levels as well...maybe, technically(CA, MTF, etc) the best of the wide Zeiss primes for the D800.

Edited on Jan 29, 2013 at 04:15 AM · View previous versions



Jan 29, 2013 at 04:03 AM
 

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hijazist
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p.1 #11 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


Steve Perry wrote:
The new 1.8G - just outstanding in my opinion.


+1. It's really a wonderful lens and I've just bought it again after regretting letting it go. I find it best for close up wide angle shots and environment/portraits. People criticize its build quality but I find it well built and I see its light weight as an advantage. The AIS 2.0 and 2.8 are classics if you don't mind manual, but the AF is indispensable for me especially for moving subjects.

The Sigma also has been getting great reviews...



Jan 29, 2013 at 04:10 AM
macdane
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p.1 #12 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


Considering the range of stuff covered by the phrase "general photography," I'd probably lean toward a good wide zoom. I used the 17-35/2.8 for years before trading it away; as good as it is, I couldn't recommend it for the price. These days, the 16-35 is getting high praise at a great price, and the 14-24 is stellar in every respect...including price. The Sigma 35 mentioned above is a real treat in terms of both image quality and ergonomics, but it's not terribly wide.

All in all, without knowing more about how you'll use it, I'd say get your hands on a 16-35 and play with it a bit. If you have to, rent one for a test drive before parting with your cash.

And...have fun!

Dane



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:41 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #13 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


Gregg Heckler wrote:
Unless you are stuck on primes or need the 1.4, since you have the budget for the Nikkor 35 1.4, you might also consider the 16-35VR. I was contemplating the same thing you are and made the decision to get the VR. I already have some fast lenses but wanted something with more versatility. The 16-35 is wonderfully sharp and gives you a real wide angle on your full frame body. Great for environmental portraiture, indoor low light stuff, etc., or when you don't have a tripod.


Gregg - I've read a lot about the distortion in the 16-35, is this mainly test talk or is it a visible distraction in real world shooting ? Thanks.



Jan 29, 2013 at 09:37 AM
popinvasion
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p.1 #14 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


I chose the 28 1.8g myself with the 800. I did think about the 35 sigma, but I really needed a bit wider. I think the 28 1.8g is great. I kind of wish it was a 24mm 1.8g, but for the price I am very happy.


Jan 29, 2013 at 11:50 AM
VINCET
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p.1 #15 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


Very interesting comments. One thing that I did not think of is to go for a zoom lens. A few suggested the 16-35 which seems to have great review. I am surprised that no one suggested the 24-70?

Anyway, with the 16-35, my challenge will be the slow aperture. Yes, it does have VR and for landscape shots, I definitely can use it. But my other subject are my 2 kids (4 and 2)and they tend not like to stay in one place for too long



Jan 29, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Javier Munoz
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p.1 #16 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


Sigma 35 f1.4 would be my choice. I personally like 35mm over the 28mm. If you want wider for landscapes you can always do a quick pano sweep. If you plan on use it on kids I would scratch any MF lens unless you have knack for masochism (or ultravision-eye-hand coordination).


Jan 29, 2013 at 02:51 PM
michaelwatkins
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p.1 #17 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


Not intended as a recommendation for any particular lens, I thought I'd share my thought process on deciding what wide angle lenses I wanted for my D800.

I too wanted a wide angle lens for a "general" photography use case, which for me means everything from some limited street photography to environmental portraits to landscape to documenting day to day life. Up close and far away, day and night.

Such a use case for me makes me think of a 35mm, or a zoom encompassing the range of at least 28 and 35mm. While I love (or used to love) 28mm for mountain sport photography (used to be my thing) I find 35mm a better fit for me for an all-round normal lens. I've not adapted to zoom lenses but if I were, a moderate to wide zoom might be just the ticket.

You have manual focus 50 and 100mm Zeiss primes; I'm coming from an all manual focus Zeiss lens history myself but have rather deliberately looked for auto focus options in choosing lenses this time around. Having at least one AF lens at your disposal might make sense, especially a lens for "general" photographic purposes and where kids or other fidgety subjects are involved. A ZF35/2 or /1.4 tempted me, but AF won.

Will you find a 35mm a big enough departure from your Zeiss 50 to justify a purchase? Only you can tell.

For me the answer is yes and because I don't much like 50mm, I have a cheap, almost disposable, Nikkor 50. For whatever reason 50mm and I don't get on very well; sure I can use it but I'm mostly always wishing it was a little wider and only occasionally wishing it were a little longer, whereas 35mm mostly feels just right to me and is in fact my "normal" lens. As such having at least a f/2 35mm was important to me for speed and depth of field for image making purposes, so a f/4 VR zoom or even a f/2.8 zoom didn't really appeal to me.

I ended up getting the Sigma 35/1.4 for the price/performance value proposition it offers. Unlike some very fast lenses, the Sigma is very usable at wide open and not just in the central region of the frame as it offers great sharpness over a decently large region of the frame even when shot wide open. Its manual focus feel is excellent - a little stiffer than a Zeiss MF lens but very good just the same. My Sigma 35 copy has very good and consistent AF performance using the centre focus spot; at the outer focus points, not so good. Someone here on FM was told Sigma has a lens tweak available for D800 users to address this so am waiting to see what their result is before considering sending mine in. In the meantime I use it via focus and recompose where necessary and occasionally manually focus the lens.

Before buying a lens or lenses I try to think about what will come next, because if I don't, I end up with a bunch of lenses, some of which don't get used much.

My dilemma is what to buy for a wider than 35mm view. I'd like to have a focal length available to me somewhere in the range of 20 - 25mm, but unlike the 35mm, this lens won't be used all the time. The ZF21 appeals to me greatly, but for a less used lens I'm not sure I can justify the cost or the weight of carrying it around.

For heads-down serious landscape panoramas I'm more inclined to do multi-shot stitching with the Sigma 35 rather than add a really capable wide/ultra-wide; so what I really need in a wider lens is good enough performance for reportage style photography, deliberately exaggerated perspective at times, and the odd landscape snapshot for convenience. As it won't be used all the time, a less expensive lens will fit the bill, and a smaller lighter lens is a tangible benefit and mean it'd be more likely to be found in my small go-everywhere bag. AF is less of an issue for me at the very wide end of the scale, so I'm open to MF here too.

The foregoing is telling me I probably should look at the Nikkor 20 AF-D, or perhaps a Sigma or other third party brand lens, and maybe I'll keep the ZF21 and Nikkor 24/1.4 in mind too but both are overkill for my purposes for this particular lens. I'm hoping Sigma comes out with a fastish 21 or 24 or 25mm lens along the same lines of the Sigma 35 DG HSM. Another alternative would be to go with the 16-35 or 17-35 Nikkor zooms, even though they overlap with my Siggy, simply because they'd be so versatile. The Nikkor 12-24 would also be great but is just too big and heavy for my purpose.

My inclination is to go smaller and cheaper and pick up an older prime like the Nikkor 20/2.8 AF-D.



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #18 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


Gregg - I've read a lot about the distortion in the 16-35, is this mainly test talk or is it a visible distraction in real world shooting ? Thanks.

Nope it's not just test talk. There is visible barrel distortion at the widest end but it's easy to fix in software like LR4 or Photoshop and hasn't been problem at all. I am also happy there are no vignette or focus issues as others are experiencing with 3rd party lenses lens discussed here, and the lens is built beautifully. The VR is really nice to have in low light situations or when you want to drag your shutter. Plus having a 5 year warranty when you spend this much money is an extra bonus.



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:15 AM
zesto
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p.1 #19 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


Frogfish wrote:
I have the Zeiss ZF II 35/2 and, although I believe it is the cheapest ZF II available.......


I think the Zeiss 50/1.4 is less expensive. I have the 35/2 ZF.2 and it's a superb lens although my 24-70 f/2.8 is just as sharp at 35mm.

Personally I would get the new Sigma 35 f/1.4 or if funds permit, the Zeiss 25/2 ZF.2.







Jan 30, 2013 at 05:37 AM
nick53097
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p.1 #20 · Which is a better wide for my D800e


24-70 is great for everyday photography (and for kids)
Best pictures of my kids made with this lens



Jan 30, 2013 at 12:36 PM
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