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Archive 2013 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

Hi all,

I recently purchased a nikon d600 body.
I practiced with a 50mm f1.4 to improve my composition, and now need a zoom lens.
I recently acquired a 70-210 f4 old school lens as well.

I'm torn between the
16-35 f4 and 24-85f3.5-f4.5

I want the 16-35 wide angle for club shots, car shots. Naturally get into landscape photos. ($1200)
I like the 24-85 as it covers me for that range, and could use for wedding photography, portraits, general travelling use. ($400)

Can the 16-35 be used for wedding shots as well? Is it good for car shots?
I like the price of the 24-85 but I'm not sure if it would be sufficient for tight crowded spaces like nightclubs? And also I think I'll buy the 24-70 when I have enough money.

I guess the only thing stopping me from buying the 16-35 is the price... is it worth it?
For $500 more I could get the 24-70, should I save for that instead?

Feb 17, 2013 at 09:39 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

f2.8 stops moving objects. VR immobilizes stationary objects, but does nothing for moving objects.

People move, all the time. Everything else that is not nailed down moves. I want f2.8 and the faster shutter speed.


Feb 17, 2013 at 09:57 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

Blazio, welcome to FM & congratulations on your D600, it's a very fine camera. Both lenses you suggested serve different purposes and it's hard to recommend any of them over the other for that reason. for example, you cannot use the 16-35 for portrait (you can for a creative effect but that's limited use) and you cannot go wider than 24 with the 24-85 so they are impossible to compare.

The 16-35 can definitely be used for weddings but that would comprise around 10% of the shots. On the other hand, the 24-85 is IMO wide enough and perfectly fine for tight spaces though it can be slow for indoor and here VR comes into help. The 16-35 main advantage is the UWA perspective and not how much can be included in the photo.

May I ask if you are going to shoot for money or for friends & personal use? If you are shooting for money then my advice is to save up for the 24-70 2.8 since it's the most used lens in weddings and every wedding photographer swears by it, I am actually saving to get it. Otherwise if you shoot for fun then my advice is to pick up a 16-35 f/4 (or a Tamron 17-35 if money is an issue) since it opens up new photography doors for you in the UWA arena. My passion for photography was boosted when I picked up the Tokina 11-16! You have the 50 1.4 for "normal" photography and night shots. Maybe later you'll add a 24-85 or even better a 24-120 f/4 and maybe a tele.

I had the 24-85 VR and the 16-35 and they are both sharp and well built lenses, so I wouldn't sweat over figures and charts. One last thing, always buy used! (well not always since now there's a rebate )

Good luck

Feb 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

If you can get on board the Nikon discounts at B&H and they ship to Australia affordably, I'd snap up a 24-120mm f/4 for $997, that's $300 off.

Feb 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

The 24-85mm is a slow consumer zoom; something I myself would not consider using for weddings. I've been finding I really need f2.8 for weddings. Keep looking.

Kent in SD

Feb 17, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Search in Used Dept. 


sb in ak
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

I think it depends on what you are looking to do with them. I ended up going for a Nikkor 24-70 even though it hurt my bank account pretty badly-- but I figured that was the lens I'd use for over half my shooting....so I might as well go for the good stuff. Although with the current rebates the 24-120 is looking pretty good, though you lose the 2.8 option. I went for the refurb 24-70 and saved some cash. No complaints, my copy appears to be basically brand new. You might also look at the new Tamron 24-70 with VC.

You might also consider the Tokina 16-28 f/2.8 for your ultra wide. You lose VR and the ability to lose filters but you gain 2.8 and less distortion over the Nikkor 16-35. There are some users who have reported decentering issues with the Tokina, but I've run into quality control issues with one copy of the 16-35 I tried---so the QC issue is a wash as far as I'm concerned. Supposedly the Tokina is great optically, though I haven't tried one. At $750 new it seems like a good bang for the buck.

Feb 17, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

I love both the 16-35 and the 24-70 but if you are shooting weddings you want the 24-70. It's worth every penny.

Feb 17, 2013 at 11:00 PM

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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

Thanks for the info guys.

I think I'll get the UWA.
The UWA has the range for the cool shots. And it can cover me up to 35.
Then I can switch to the 50mm and 70-210 if i want.
I want to use filters on the UWA, so I probably won't get the Tokina.

But the 2.8 on 24-70 does sound delicious. I will get both in the future.
I don't particularly care too much for that range as I have some DX cameras 18-200 I can play with. Of course it doesn't have 2.8 but I still get an idea. I can always try photoshop gaussian blur the background haha.
Wedding photography is not as important at the moment, I might go with the wide angle so I can create some surreal photo manipulations

Feb 17, 2013 at 11:58 PM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

If you don't need AF (who uses autofocus shooting landscapes anyways ), the Samyang 14mm 2.8 is superb! Use the savings to help pay for a 24-70

Feb 18, 2013 at 02:30 AM
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · which lens? 16-35 24-85 24-70

if money is an issue the Nikkor 28-70mm can be had for under $1000 and is fantastic. Mine is very sharp at 2.8 and thats where Im usually using it at bwteen F4 and F2.8 I've compared it hands on with my brothers 24-70mm nikkor and find mine is consistently sharper. Can't go wrong with 24-70mm either tho. Lighter, newer technology but much moer expensive. I would stick with nikon glass most importantly. At least for Zooms. Sigma and others make great primes.

Feb 18, 2013 at 11:49 AM

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