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Samyang 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt-Shift

Review Date: Feb 4, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp at f/11, where I would mostly use it for shooting interiors and architecture. Decent build quality. Great value.
Flares easily without a hood, some barrel distortion, small knobs, focus ring too loose. Not deal-breakers for me at this price.

This is my first tilt-shift lens. I haven't had it very long, but I'm really happy with it on my D600 so far. Reviews show that it's best at f/11 and that's my experience as well--quite sharp to the edges and when shifted. Build quality is decent, although I'm always careful and never worry *too* much about that in a lens.

It does flare like crazy, so I bought a Vello 82mm snap-on tulip hood to help remedy that. There's some barrel distortion, too, but it's manageable. The focus ring moves a bit too freely, but that's minor as well. Finally, people often comment on the knobs and how they're too small. That's true, but again not a deal-breaker.

This lens is a great value for those looking for an alternative to the Nikon and Canon tilt-shift lenses.

Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Mar 1, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very cheap, very small, very light, very quick AF.
Slightly loud AF, hazy wide open but still great in many situations.

I just got my used copy yesterday, but I've already played with this lens enough that I feel comfortable commenting on it.

First, it's very small and light and that's exactly what I wanted for when my Nikon 24-70 gets too heavy to lug around. On my D600, it actually focuses almost as fast as the 24-70, but it's a bit loud, especially when it clanks against infinity and minimum focus. Aside from the 2.8 pro zooms, I don't think any of the newer AF-S lenses are quite as fast, but the importance of focus speed in practice is hard to quantify.

Sharpness is decent wide open, but contrast suffers a bit (more noticeable in some situations/lighting than others). For some shots, it may even be a benefit. f/2.2 already shows a slight improvement over wide open, and f/2.5 shows a significant jump in sharpness and contrast. By f/2.8, you're clear of anything objectionable, but f/2.5 gets you 99% of the way there.

The color and contrast is more subtle than many newer lenses and is a welcome change (not better or worse, just different).

Overall, I can't recommend this lens enough, especially for the money.