Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610

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toomanycanons
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Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
6 months ago

First off, let me say I never shoot primes.  Sorry, I'm a short zoom kind of guy.  But I do shoot wide mostly.  Also I shoot with a D5200 at the moment but am getting a D610 in the near future.

I would love to read that the 24-85 VR lens that comes bundled with the D610 is a great sharp lens corner to corner/edge to edge but I've not read that.  Center sharp, yeah.

So my question is:  of all the autofocus lenses out there (vintage or not, Nikon or not) which is the sharpest AFFORDABLE 24mm prime I can get.  I'm not asking for the best of the best at any price, just something I can mount that will be better than the 24-85 VR I mentioned.

It also doesn't have to be real fast.  I'm not going for DOF.  f/2.8 is plenty fast, it could even be slower than that.  If the consensus was a $50 lens I could get used off of ebay that would be just grand!  Thanks.

Nikon D5200 Nikon D610
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9ck
9ck
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If you can live with 4mm less wide
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8 G

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Ray Ritchie
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

Since you don't mention a budget, I don't think people will be able to help much on the "affordable" issue. Candidates for "sharpest" without a budget constraint will probably include the Nikon 24mm f/1.4, but that's probably not affordable by your definition. I suspect the right range of lenses for you might be the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 and the Samyang 24mm f/1.4 (manual focus). Nikon has the 24mm f/2.8D, but it doesn't have that great a reputation on the higher resolution bodies.

Having said that, I don't think the 24-85VR is bad at all; 24mm is actually the strongest focal length of that lens. Here's an image shot handheld at 24mm, f/5.6, and 1/30 sec:

The Achilles mural at the top of the grand staircase, Achilleion Palace, Corfu

I'm not posting that as an example of extreme sharpness, since it was shot at such a slow speed and ISO 3200, but note that the edge sharpness is not that different from the center.

I do shoot primes. My favorite lenses on my D800 are my Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G, and I frequently go out with just those two lenses. If I could find something of similar quality at 24mm for under about $1200, I'd probably go for it; I'm hoping such a lens will eventually be part of the Sigma ART line. Until then, I'll make do with one of my zooms.

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Jogger
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

There really arent any lenses that meet your strict requirements. The Nikkor 24/1.4 is expensive and the Rokinon 24/1.4 is manual focus.

You should just shoot with the 24-85 and see if it meets your requirements, i suspect it will.

toomanycanons wrote:

First off, let me say I never shoot primes. Sorry, I'm a short zoom kind of guy. But I do shoot wide mostly. Also I shoot with a D5200 at the moment but am getting a D610 in the near future.

I would love to read that the 24-85 VR lens that comes bundled with the D610 is a great sharp lens corner to corner/edge to edge but I've not read that. Center sharp, yeah.

So my question is: of all the autofocus lenses out there (vintage or not, Nikon or not) which is the sharpest AFFORDABLE 24mm prime I can get. I'm not asking for the best of the best at any price, just something I can mount that will be better than the 24-85 VR I mentioned.

It also doesn't have to be real fast. I'm not going for DOF. f/2.8 is plenty fast, it could even be slower than that. If the consensus was a $50 lens I could get used off of ebay that would be just grand! Thanks.

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toomanycanons
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to Jogger, 6 months ago

Affordable is under $200 used.  I already have a ton of sharp DX lenses and am not looking forward to spending a ton more on sharp FX lenses.  I won't be able to use my DX lenses on the D610 using its "DX crop mode" because I need to submit full 6000 x 4000 resolution files to my main client.

Who knows, I might get a real sharp copy of the 24-85 VR and it will suit my purposes.  Time will tell!

It could be there's a sharpedgetoedge short zoom (like the Tamron) that is what I'm looking for but I would really need to know it's what I'm looking for before I spend the extra FX lens surcharge that seems to be built in when one shoots FF.  Just kidding, all you FF shooters.  But, hey, my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (very sharp everywhere) cost me $375.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: It helps
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

It helps if people say what they mean by "sharp".

On the one hand there is acutance (edge detail) which can give an impression of "sharpness" when resolution is low, and there is resolution which can give an impression of a lack of detail if not accompany by high acutance.

Many sites test with a 1000:1 contrast subject which is encountered maybe once every 10 years in real world photography; limiting the value more toward text book theory than everyday photographic reality.

Whether you put resolution or acutance first is up to you. If you mean what I think you mean by sharpness in a high MP digital era you are unlikely to maximise it shooting jpeg, or without post processing, and definitely not in the corners of a 24 mm used wide open.

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JTC111
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

toomanycanons wrote:

First off, let me say I never shoot primes. Sorry, I'm a short zoom kind of guy. But I do shoot wide mostly. Also I shoot with a D5200 at the moment but am getting a D610 in the near future.

I would love to read that the 24-85 VR lens that comes bundled with the D610 is a great sharp lens corner to corner/edge to edge but I've not read that. Center sharp, yeah.

So my question is: of all the autofocus lenses out there (vintage or not, Nikon or not) which is the sharpest AFFORDABLE 24mm prime I can get. I'm not asking for the best of the best at any price, just something I can mount that will be better than the 24-85 VR I mentioned.

It also doesn't have to be real fast. I'm not going for DOF. f/2.8 is plenty fast, it could even be slower than that. If the consensus was a $50 lens I could get used off of ebay that would be just grand! Thanks.

Finding an affordable quality prime wider than 28mm seems to be an issue.  I'd love to have a 20mm prime but unless I want to spend a boatload on the f1.4 models, my Sigma 10mm-20mm f/4-5.6 seems to be just as good as the other options out there.

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SonyX
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

toomanycanons wrote:

which is the sharpest AFFORDABLE 24mm prime I can get.

Sigma /Promaster AF 24mm f/2.8
- slow, noisy, slight green color cast
+ but one of the sharpest primes, with 1:4 close focus/macro

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toomanycanons
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to JTC111, 6 months ago

JTC111 wrote:

toomanycanons wrote:

First off, let me say I never shoot primes. Sorry, I'm a short zoom kind of guy. But I do shoot wide mostly. Also I shoot with a D5200 at the moment but am getting a D610 in the near future.

I would love to read that the 24-85 VR lens that comes bundled with the D610 is a great sharp lens corner to corner/edge to edge but I've not read that. Center sharp, yeah.

So my question is: of all the autofocus lenses out there (vintage or not, Nikon or not) which is the sharpest AFFORDABLE 24mm prime I can get. I'm not asking for the best of the best at any price, just something I can mount that will be better than the 24-85 VR I mentioned.

It also doesn't have to be real fast. I'm not going for DOF. f/2.8 is plenty fast, it could even be slower than that. If the consensus was a $50 lens I could get used off of ebay that would be just grand! Thanks.

Finding an affordable quality prime wider than 28mm seems to be an issue. I'd love to have a 20mm prime but unless I want to spend a boatload on the f1.4 models, my Sigma 10mm-20mm f/4-5.6 seems to be just as good as the other options out there.

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Jim Caputo
"Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme" - Richard Thompson

You shoot that Sigma 10-20 on a full frame?  I've owned that lens on the past, using them on my DX cameras.   We're talking D610 here.

And, I'm trying to avoid super wide angle distortion.  I actually don't own a 10-20 or thereabouts wide angle any more because I just can't stand the elongated tables and whatnot when doing interiors (yeah, sort of correctable in DxO Anamorphic Distortion correction but not entirely...)

So my Tamron 17-50 shoots an equivalent 27mm.  The 24 mm prime I'm seeking would be just a touch wider than that (on the D610).  20mm would probably start introducing that super wide angle distortion I'm trying to avoid.

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JTC111
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

toomanycanons wrote:

JTC111 wrote:

toomanycanons wrote:

First off, let me say I never shoot primes. Sorry, I'm a short zoom kind of guy. But I do shoot wide mostly. Also I shoot with a D5200 at the moment but am getting a D610 in the near future.

I would love to read that the 24-85 VR lens that comes bundled with the D610 is a great sharp lens corner to corner/edge to edge but I've not read that. Center sharp, yeah.

So my question is: of all the autofocus lenses out there (vintage or not, Nikon or not) which is the sharpest AFFORDABLE 24mm prime I can get. I'm not asking for the best of the best at any price, just something I can mount that will be better than the 24-85 VR I mentioned.

It also doesn't have to be real fast. I'm not going for DOF. f/2.8 is plenty fast, it could even be slower than that. If the consensus was a $50 lens I could get used off of ebay that would be just grand! Thanks.

Finding an affordable quality prime wider than 28mm seems to be an issue. I'd love to have a 20mm prime but unless I want to spend a boatload on the f1.4 models, my Sigma 10mm-20mm f/4-5.6 seems to be just as good as the other options out there.

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Jim Caputo
"Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme" - Richard Thompson

You shoot that Sigma 10-20 on a full frame? I've owned that lens on the past, using them on my DX cameras. We're talking D610 here.

Sorry... I saw D5200 and got that stuck in my head.  I have a D7100, not a full frame.

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Jim Caputo
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anotherMike
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The answer isn't a prime...
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

I'm a wide angle freak. I'm really "hard" on them as the D800E I use shows no mercy with them. (I also shoot a D610). So keep that in mind when I offer my answer:

There is NO affordable really sharp 24mm prime. The best option is, IMO, the 24/1.4G AFS Nikkor or the Zeiss 25/2 Distagon (for short to moderate subject distances), but neither of those is affordable by a long shot.

The other prime choices aren't much. The 24/2.8 AFD is mush on the corners - it wasn't professionally sharp even on the 6mp D100 I owned 10 years ago, so forget about it on a D610.

So that means we have to return to the zooms. And surprise of surprises - for ME, I've been downright SHOCKED at how good the little 18-35G f/3.5 - f/4.5 AFS (the newer one) is in the 18-27/28-ish range. No - the lens isn't perfect - it's decidedly WEAK, for sure, at 35mm. It's a dim viewfinder since the lens isn't a fast lens or a 2.8 zoom.  But I shot with it again recently and lived a lot right where you are asking - the 24-27mm range, and it's impressive there if you are willing to stop it down a bit (which you'd have to do anyway) - quite so considering the price.

So if you want really good 24mm performance and don't mind a wide zoom with flexibility and can handle a dimmer viewfinder and a slower aperture, plus are wiling to stop it down a bit, (and you tape the zoom ring so it never hits 35mm), this one is an easy and affordable answer in my mind.

-m

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PHXAZCRAIG
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Re: The answer isn't a prime...
In reply to anotherMike, 6 months ago

Agreed. The good stuff at 24mm isn't an affordable prime.

MY 24F2.8D is indeed mush in the corners. Never liked it on film or FX, tried to like it on DX but was underwhelmed there.

At one point I thought I'd run a 'quick' test of all my 24mm options to see how they compared against each other on my (then newish) D700. I included my DX zooms, partly because the 12-24DX zoom doesn't vignette at 24mm.

My 14-24 seemed to be the winner. Not really affordable though.

Test shots here: http://www.cjcphoto.net/lenstests/24scompared/index.html

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Cineast
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

I purchased a Nikon 24 2.8 af-d a few days ago and I have to say that, when stopped down to about f8, it is at least as sharp as my Nikon 24 - 70 2.8, if not sharper. Corner- to-corner-sharpness seems to be better with the prime and it has less distortion. On the other hand the 24 - 70 is pretty sharp wide open already and has much better flare resitance.
So, if small DOF is not important for you, I think the Nikon 24 2.8 af-d would be an affordable choice.

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toomanycanons
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Re: The answer isn't a prime...
In reply to anotherMike, 6 months ago

anotherMike wrote:

I'm a wide angle freak. I'm really "hard" on them as the D800E I use shows no mercy with them. (I also shoot a D610). So keep that in mind when I offer my answer:

There is NO affordable really sharp 24mm prime. The best option is, IMO, the 24/1.4G AFS Nikkor or the Zeiss 25/2 Distagon (for short to moderate subject distances), but neither of those is affordable by a long shot.

The other prime choices aren't much. The 24/2.8 AFD is mush on the corners - it wasn't professionally sharp even on the 6mp D100 I owned 10 years ago, so forget about it on a D610.

So that means we have to return to the zooms. And surprise of surprises - for ME, I've been downright SHOCKED at how good the little 18-35G f/3.5 - f/4.5 AFS (the newer one) is in the 18-27/28-ish range. No - the lens isn't perfect - it's decidedly WEAK, for sure, at 35mm. It's a dim viewfinder since the lens isn't a fast lens or a 2.8 zoom. But I shot with it again recently and lived a lot right where you are asking - the 24-27mm range, and it's impressive there if you are willing to stop it down a bit (which you'd have to do anyway) - quite so considering the price.

So if you want really good 24mm performance and don't mind a wide zoom with flexibility and can handle a dimmer viewfinder and a slower aperture, plus are wiling to stop it down a bit, (and you tape the zoom ring so it never hits 35mm), this one is an easy and affordable answer in my mind.

-m

Thanks for the headsup on the 18-35 (as you say the newer one).  I am, after all, a short zoom kind of guy.  I just researched this lens at Lenstip.com comparing it to the 24-85 VR and it indeed tested out sharper at the focal lengths I'm most interested in.

Lightweight, fairly inexpensive...my kind of lens!

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mg428
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Some things to consider...
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

1) I own 24-85 VR and it is a wonderful lens in my opinion. I really suspect if it substantially performs worse than 24-70 2.8 given the comparisions/reviews of these lenses on various websites. Besides it is much lighter and smaller and most likely balance better with D610.

2) 24-85 VR has image stabilization, not available in 24-70 2.8, which may affect your sharpness in the situations where you may have to use low shutter speeds.

3) I would still prefer 24-85 VR over 24-120 f/4 VR because of the same reasons mentioned in (1). (As a side note, Nasim Mansurov on photograhylife claims that the latter is substantially better than the former but in his review where he compares the lenses he notes "to be updated soon" but he has not done so for so long and I suspect he will do it in the future.)

4) As far as I know wide angle lenses are limiited in terms of sharpness compared to standard and telephoto lenses. Hence, even if I would pay close attention to Sigma's potential 24mm Art series lens given its very sharp 35mm 1.4 lens, I would assume it won't be as sharp as its 35mm lens.

5) I'd read the reviews of Sigma 24-105 OS and Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC which might be better at 24mm compared to all lenses mentioned above. Not to mention the latter lens has image stabilization.

6) Some people expect Nikon AF-S 24-70 2.8G VRIII but who knows if it will be announced soon or ever be released.

7) Although I cannot comment on 24mm primes, lack of flare, aberrations and etc. impact sharpness a great deal (see Ming Thein's recent article in this regard), hence you may consider 24mm 1.4G in this regard.

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stew84
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Re: Some things to consider...
In reply to mg428, 6 months ago

Hi,

Yea i was in the same boat last year when I bought my D600. I needed something to cover what my Tokina 12-24 did on DX. As you know there aren't many options, so i went for the 16-35 f4. 24mm is the sweet spot of the lens, I find it very sharp all the way up 30mm. 35mm is a complete mess though.

I did try out the new 18-35 also but decided on the 16-35 for the extra length/nano coat/build. Glad I did now as I am surprised how valuable that 2mm on the wide end is..

Good luck

Stew.

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toomanycanons
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Re: Some things to consider...
In reply to stew84, 6 months ago

stew84 wrote:

Hi,

Yea i was in the same boat last year when I bought my D600. I needed something to cover what my Tokina 12-24 did on DX. As you know there aren't many options, so i went for the 16-35 f4. 24mm is the sweet spot of the lens, I find it very sharp all the way up 30mm. 35mm is a complete mess though.

I did try out the new 18-35 also but decided on the 16-35 for the extra length/nano coat/build. Glad I did now as I am surprised how valuable that 2mm on the wide end is..

Good luck

Stew.

Did you actually compare the sharpness of the newest 18-35 AF-S with your 16-35?  I wouldn't need the extra 2mm at the wide end but I'm going for "affordable" sharp at 24mm.

I probably test lenses edge to edge and at all corners more than most photogs.  At one time all I was concerned with was center sharpness but not anymore.  I know with the shallow DOF of a FF it's almost a moot point how sharp a corner is when you're focused in on some model's eye but I'd just as soon have the sharpest edge to edge and in all corners lens I can afford.

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stew84
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Re: Some things to consider...
In reply to toomanycanons, 6 months ago

No, I didn't do any specific tests while I was in store. I did however read every review going and the consensus seems to be that they are very similar in sharpness, with the extreme corners going to the 16-35 I seem to remember from Mansurov's review..?

I think I spent a bit more seeing as it was the lens I was going to be using the most and therefore would need/enjoy the better build and feel of the 16-35.

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mg428
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Re: Some things to consider...
In reply to stew84, 6 months ago

DXO Mark has just released Samyang 24mm 1.4 Nikon mount review:

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Samyang-24mm-F1.4-ED-AS-UMC-AE-lens-review-Best-24mm-lens-for-Nikon-full-frame-users/Samyang-24mm-f-1.4-ED-AS-UMC-Nikon-versus-competition

In terms of sharpness; on D610, it performs better than the Nikkor version but a tad worse than the Zeiss f/2. Even though you are not going to use it on D800, it performs much better on the said camera while the Nikkor version performs the same but still a tad worse than the Zeiss f/2.

So, considering you are not shallow DoF, at 24mm with smaller apertures your subjects would most likely be in focus. Therefore you may buy this lens despite not having AF.

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Hank Photo
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Re: The answer isn't a prime...
In reply to anotherMike, 6 months ago

I have to agree that the 18-35mm G was a surprise.  I have used it heavily for business interiors and exteriors.  This was on my D600.  Like the previous poster indicated it sweet range is from 18 to about 28mm.  I have used it a number of times at 35mm.  It is not really that bad at 35mm.

I did have the 24mm f1.4g.  That is an excellent lens but heavy.  I found that the flexibility of the 18-35mm to be a real benefit.

I also use the 24-85mm.  It is my standard lens for the Df and D600.  The 24mm end is very good and like other posters have said.  If 24mm is as wide as you would like to go then I would suggest that the 24-85mm with VR will nicely meet your needs.

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