Please, Where are the small, quality primes for DX??

Started Nov 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sante Patate
Senior MemberPosts: 4,315
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Your request is unrealistic.
In reply to ron_9, Nov 8, 2013

ron_9 wrote:

I wanted a smaller kit, abeit 24mm F2 DX lens(I would settle for 2.8 and good image-duh), that is compact and ready to go. A 20mm and 35mm equal, in same mode, would also be desirable.

The complexity of retrofocus designs scales more nearly with the actual focal length than with the 35mm equivalent (fisheyes don't count). A 16mm f/2.8 DX lens is going to be nearer the size and weight and cost of a 16mm f/2.8 FX than a 24mm f/2.8 FX. As in the case of the Pentax 15mm, you need to lose a stop to keep size and weight in check - and the Pentax still has marked vignetting because of its small front element (and is not cheap: $550, compared to $800 for the Nikon 10-24 f/4).

The basic problem for Nikon is that its DX zooms are optically very good. The 10-24 f/4 weighs 460g and costs $800 and the 16-85 is a decent 16mm f/3.5 for the same weight and $600.

We would all like a superb 16mm f/2 that weighed 250g and cost $200, but that is not possible.  I think it is a helpful exercise to ask what maximum aperture, weight, front element size, and cost you would want a 16mm prime to be before you would prefer one of the zooms.  In my experience asking photographers, the window between what is physically impossible and what is non-competitive with the zooms is very small. Personally, I would buy a Nikon 15mm f/4 at 250g and $600 in a heartbeat, but I am not sure many other people would.

And then there is the fact that the 10-24 f/4 replaces all three lenses on your list! It is obviously impossible to make three primes that weigh and cost less than the zoom, even at the same maximum aperture, let alone larger, so I doubt that the value proposition for a whole suite of DX primes can be made even remotely plausible.

The truth is that if you like wide-angles and you want small and light - =primes - you are a natural FX user.

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