Nikkor 18mm f4 AI sharpness on corners?

Started Jun 20, 2013 | Discussions
gammada
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Nikkor 18mm f4 AI sharpness on corners?
Jun 20, 2013

I'm looking for a nice wide-angle lens to use with my D7000 camera for architectural/ interior photography. Currently I don't have that much to spend on a good architectural lens, so I was wondering if the Nikkor 18mm F4 AI could be a decent enough option for me?

I understand I won't be able to use AF on it, but I really don't need that.

Thanks!

Nikon D7000
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Tomasg71
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Re: Nikkor 18mm f4 AI sharpness on corners?
In reply to gammada, Jun 21, 2013

gammada wrote:

I'm looking for a nice wide-angle lens to use with my D7000 camera for architectural/ interior photography. Currently I don't have that much to spend on a good architectural lens, so I was wondering if the Nikkor 18mm F4 AI could be a decent enough option for me?

I understand I won't be able to use AF on it, but I really don't need that.

Thanks!

That is going to be a 27 mm equivalent on the D7000, will it be enough? My advice is to look for a DX zoom, there are plenty of choices, starting from 8, 10, or 12 mm, you should be able to get a used one cheap enough. I had a Sigma 10-20 and i liked it.

Tomas

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pluton
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Re: Nikkor 18mm f4 AI sharpness on corners?
In reply to Tomasg71, Jun 22, 2013

The old 18mm f/4 is a decent lens on FX.  I just got a "new" one for my FX camera....but on DX it's not very wide anymore.

I recommend the Nikon 12-24/4 from when I had DX.

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-KB-

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brightcolours
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makes no sense
In reply to gammada, Jun 22, 2013

A 18mm prime on APS-C? Why? You are better off just using a 18-55mm VR kitlens, to be frank.

If you were talking about a D700 instead, it would make sense.

Just look at an UWA zoom for APS-C. Either the Tokina 12-24mm f4 DX, or the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC. Or if you have a bit more money to spend, either the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 DX or the Sigma 8-16mm DC.

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Re: makes no sense true
In reply to brightcolours, Jun 22, 2013

brightcolours wrote:

A 18mm prime on APS-C? Why? You are better off just using a 18-55mm VR kitlens, to be frank.

If you were talking about a D700 instead, it would make sense.

Just look at an UWA zoom for APS-C. Either the Tokina 12-24mm f4 DX, or the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC. Or if you have a bit more money to spend, either the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 DX or the Sigma 8-16mm DC.

That makes sense if one needs wider than 18mm (27mm). Personally I think 18mm is wide enough for many applications, but probably yes, for architectural one may want wider.

The other thing is, I was also keeping my eye on 20mm 3.5's and similar, for a while. They go for quite a lot used, > 250. With the coming of the Nikon 18-35 new one, and the Sigma 18-35 1.8 for DX, at the prices < 800, and their 'reported' optical quality by the many reviews (albeit real life everyday  photos still to be seen across the board like on pbase and flickr) I would surmise that the recent additions are now fair comparison and better value, considering.

So, I suspect that the prices of the older wides are going to take a big hit, especially for aps-c users who can get the new Sigma which has rave reviews and is 1.8 constant.

And as you see the postings on  these board, the 18-35 Nikon is just as fast basically as the older f4 lenses, with great optical quality, for FF.

I think the older wides are about to take a dip on the used markets. Their attraction was prime quality at a low'ish' price.

But the two new zooms seem to compete very well. I was really not intending to get an APS-C only lens, but the new Sigma looks very interesting.

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gammada
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Re: Nikkor 18mm f4 AI sharpness on corners?
In reply to Tomasg71, Jun 23, 2013

Tomasg71 wrote:

That is going to be a 27 mm equivalent on the D7000, will it be enough? My advice is to look for a DX zoom, there are plenty of choices, starting from 8, 10, or 12 mm, you should be able to get a used one cheap enough. I had a Sigma 10-20 and i liked it.

Tomas

Hello Tomas,

18mm is not that wide on the D7000 to be honest, but I've become quite an expert getting the most out of that focal distance and also pretty knowledgeable in correcting geometric distortion.

I'm kind of afraid to go wider and then finding myself trying to correct incredibly distorted images. I just saw a Tokina 16-28mm zoom that according to DxO, is pretty sharp at 16mm f8 on the D7000, so maybe that's the kind of lens I really need.

Thanks!

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gammada
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Re: Nikkor 18mm f4 AI sharpness on corners?
In reply to pluton, Jun 23, 2013

pluton wrote:

The old 18mm f/4 is a decent lens on FX. I just got a "new" one for my FX camera....but on DX it's not very wide anymore.

I recommend the Nikon 12-24/4 from when I had DX.

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-KB-

That Nikkor is sharp on the corners at f8?

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gammada
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Re: makes no sense
In reply to brightcolours, Jun 23, 2013

brightcolours wrote:

A 18mm prime on APS-C? Why? You are better off just using a 18-55mm VR kitlens, to be frank.

If you were talking about a D700 instead, it would make sense.

Just look at an UWA zoom for APS-C. Either the Tokina 12-24mm f4 DX, or the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC. Or if you have a bit more money to spend, either the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 DX or the Sigma 8-16mm DC.

Any idea on how sharp is the Tokina on the corners? Price is spot on for me.

As for why would I want an 18mm lens on an APS-C sensor, well, it all has to do with geometric distortion. Since the photos I sell must have perfectly aligned horizontal and vertical lines, I'm a bit afraid of going wider and then having to do extensive work fixing that distortion.

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gammada
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Re: makes no sense true
In reply to Bajerunner, Jun 23, 2013

Bajerunner wrote:

That makes sense if one needs wider than 18mm (27mm). Personally I think 18mm is wide enough for many applications, but probably yes, for architectural one may want wider.

The other thing is, I was also keeping my eye on 20mm 3.5's and similar, for a while. They go for quite a lot used, > 250. With the coming of the Nikon 18-35 new one, and the Sigma 18-35 1.8 for DX, at the prices < 800, and their 'reported' optical quality by the many reviews (albeit real life everyday photos still to be seen across the board like on pbase and flickr) I would surmise that the recent additions are now fair comparison and better value, considering.

So, I suspect that the prices of the older wides are going to take a big hit, especially for aps-c users who can get the new Sigma which has rave reviews and is 1.8 constant.

And as you see the postings on these board, the 18-35 Nikon is just as fast basically as the older f4 lenses, with great optical quality, for FF.

I think the older wides are about to take a dip on the used markets. Their attraction was prime quality at a low'ish' price.

But the two new zooms seem to compete very well. I was really not intending to get an APS-C only lens, but the new Sigma looks very interesting.

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Enjoy.....believe in yourself..

I was looking at a recent posting here in Dpreview about the upcoming 18-35mm Nikkor, but it seems a little soft at f8 at the widest end (at least on APS-C sensors, the D800 seems to make a whole lot more out of it). While there, I spotted a Tokina wide angle lens that is pretty perfect on the corners but price goes up to $800

I usually don't venture off F8 due to diffraction limits.

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brightcolours
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Re: makes no sense
In reply to gammada, Jun 24, 2013

gammada wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

A 18mm prime on APS-C? Why? You are better off just using a 18-55mm VR kitlens, to be frank.

If you were talking about a D700 instead, it would make sense.

Just look at an UWA zoom for APS-C. Either the Tokina 12-24mm f4 DX, or the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC. Or if you have a bit more money to spend, either the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 DX or the Sigma 8-16mm DC.

Any idea on how sharp is the Tokina on the corners? Price is spot on for me.

As for why would I want an 18mm lens on an APS-C sensor, well, it all has to do with geometric distortion. Since the photos I sell must have perfectly aligned horizontal and vertical lines, I'm a bit afraid of going wider and then having to do extensive work fixing that distortion.

Ok, now I kinda understand why you are considering the 18m Nikkors, you hope them to be free of barrel distortion. It is hard to know how they perform on APS-C, the 18mm f3.5 for instance bulges a little bit in the center according to Ken Rockwell, but is relatively straight at the edges.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/938110

Both Tokinas (12-24mm f4 DX and 11-16mm f2.8 DX) are sharp enough in the corners, but both can need good CA correction (not the coloured edge masking kind) to get the most out of them.

http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/638-tokina1224dxii?start=1

http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/666-tokina1116f28eos?start=1

The Sigma 8-16mm is good also:

http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/515-sigma816f4556apsc?start=1

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breivogel
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Re: Nikkor 18mm f4 AI sharpness on corners?
In reply to gammada, Jun 24, 2013

As you would be using this on DX, you should be pretty good - given that it is a FF lens. You can correct barrel, keystoning, and some other distortions in PP (consider the new DXO Viewpoint).

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Tomasg71
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Re: Nikkor 18mm f4 AI sharpness on corners?
In reply to gammada, Jun 24, 2013

I understand, well yes a FX lens on a DX body will be a bit less distorted, corners at f8 on dx should be fine. On the other hand the Tokina for example will distort more, BUT you can shoot much wider and then use a lens profile to correct the distorsion, this will take away a bit of it s wideness, but it will still be wider than 27 mm in FX terms. I warmly suggest http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/.

Tomas

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marco1974
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In reply to gammada, Jun 24, 2013

And, alas, that same answer applies to ALL pre-AF-S Nikkor primes < 28mm.

Marco

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HSway
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Re: makes no sense
In reply to gammada, Jun 24, 2013

gammada wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

A 18mm prime on APS-C? Why? You are better off just using a 18-55mm VR kitlens, to be frank.

If you were talking about a D700 instead, it would make sense.

Just look at an UWA zoom for APS-C. Either the Tokina 12-24mm f4 DX, or the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC. Or if you have a bit more money to spend, either the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 DX or the Sigma 8-16mm DC.

Any idea on how sharp is the Tokina on the corners? Price is spot on for me.

As for why would I want an 18mm lens on an APS-C sensor, well, it all has to do with geometric distortion. Since the photos I sell must have perfectly aligned horizontal and vertical lines, I'm a bit afraid of going wider and then having to do extensive work fixing that distortion.

There isn’t a reliable relation between the FL and amount of the distortion. Some lenses have minimum distortions at very wide angles. For example the Sigma 8-16 has distortions close to zero at 14mm.

Nikkor 10-24 has negligible distortion at 14 and 18mm and close to non-existent in between.

Tokina 11-16 at 16mm and the 12-24 has also very little distortion at 18mm.

11-16 is the sharpest of the lot followed closely by Sigma – including the corners. They are all very good and the (lowish) price of the Tokina 12-24 should go down with the recent release of 12-28 - could be interesting on a second-hand market.

I expect the sharpest dx uwa lenses will become the new Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED available in a few weeks in Europe (Samyang has it for 'ultra wide' but I see it more like bordering on wide angle) and the delayed Samyang 10/2.8 ED. Distortion data are not available yet I think, that is to be checked. Excessive distortions could be a problem for this shooting. For "perfectly aligned horizontal and vertical lines.." though, you will always need to do appropriate corrections, often run automatically in many software applications. 18 mil lens for architectural/interior photography is typically not wide enough. If you have no special reasons I’d recommend some of the dx UWA zooms where the zooming function is extremely useful, sharpness high and the price reasonable.

good luck,

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