Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
toomanycanons
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Re: The answer isn't a prime...
In reply to Hank Photo, 7 months ago

Hank Photo wrote:

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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Hank K
Nikon Df, Sony A7r, Nikon D600, Nikon Coolpix A, (and on the shelf Samsung NX20 kit waiting for NX30)

I would like nothing more than to hear that the 24-85 VR is "good enough" as I would probably get it fairly cheaply in a D610 body/lens kit.  Who knows, maybe it would be exactly what I'm looking for. And in the most important shooting scenario for me right now 24mm would be wide enough.  But thanks to everyone on this thread on suggestions for something else.

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MattiD80
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Re: The answer isn't a prime...
In reply to PHXAZCRAIG, 7 months ago

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

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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Craig
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Thank you for that comparison. I shoot a lot at 24mm when travelling. Sometimes i want wider but i don't know how much. Here at home, sometimes, I test how wide i would need and sometimes actually 14mm would be handy, but when traveling though, that's a lot harder to predict. Anyway the 14-24mm always scared me because 'it's kinda weak at 24mm' comments. At 14mm it's prime qualilty (at least), but at 24mm the opinion are much more diverse. Then the 24-70mm also is bad at 24mm. I was like 'is getting th 24mm F1.4 (more expensive then both actually) the only option? But with your comparison, I really like how the 14-24mm fare, even at it's weakest (supposedly) focal length. With this lens i basically would buy prime quality from 14-18mm, and 90-95% prime quality in the rest of the range. More then good enough for me.

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PHXAZCRAIG
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Re: The answer isn't a prime...
In reply to MattiD80, 7 months ago

The 14-24 is amazingly good, but it has definite drawbacks as a travel lens. It really takes up a lot of space in a bag, the lens cap is ... difficult to deal with in the field, flare comes out of nowhere at times, and of course there is the filter thing.

I took it out of my backpack in favor of the 16-35. When I travel, I switch to a waist bag, and the 14-24 just doesn't fit. It's hard to imaging many small bags that would hold it, along with a couple of more useful lenses.  A couple of times in Europe I wished for the extra width though.

Some 14-24 flare examples here:

http://www.cjcphoto.net/lenstests/14-24/index.html

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Tuanglen
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 7 months ago

On my D610 I use a manual focus 24mm prime: Nikkor 24mm f/2 AI-S. Back in the 1980s, it was the favorite 24mm of almost all pro photojournalists. It's no longer available new, but you can probably get it used for about $350 USD. Take a look at Ken Rockwell's Nikon 24mm lens sharpness comparison photos:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/comparisons/24mm/

Notice that it's as sharp in the center at f/4 as the $2000 USD 14-24mm f/2.8 is at f/8. The 14-24 is sharper at the edges until f/4, after which they are both the same. The manual focus lens has to be manually focused, of course, but since it's an f/2 lens, that's easy in the daytime unless you have to catch quick action. At night it's harder, but at night the 14-24 AF often struggles and is frequently manually focused as well (for scenery, architecture, etc.)

If I could pick one or the other and get it for free, I'd take the 14-24, because it offers a wider range of options. (Whether I would then be willing to carry it is another question.) But if I mainly cared about 24mm, sharpness, and price, I'd look at this manual prime, which is about equally sharp at 24mm as the superb 14-24mm f/2.8 but costs about one-sixth as much.

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Stacey_K
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to SonyX, 7 months ago

SonyX wrote:

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

Interesting, I'm going to give this one a try. I love the size and weight of the 24mm f2.8D, just not the performance. I don't mind the slow/noisy screwdriver lenses, thanks again for mentioning this.

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anotherMike
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to Tuanglen, 7 months ago

A few problems there:

1) Ken Rockwells tests have a few issues that render them a bit less useful than you'd think..

a) He isn't taking into account field curvature differences that will often weight one test scene more than the other

b) He was using a 12mp D3 to do the tests. As one who has conducted quite a few vastly more detailed and throrough lens tests than Ken over the years, the issues between lenses are quite a bit more obvious with 24mp and 36mp bodies.

I haven't seen an old AIS lens in the wide angles - any of them - that is really great in the corners on modern high rez bodies. D700/D3 vintage - sure, D610/D800e level of bodies - nope.

-m

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paulski66
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Bjorn didn't particularly like it, either...
In reply to anotherMike, 7 months ago

From his website, about 1/3rd of the way down the page:

http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

"I have mixed feelings about this fast wide-angle. It certainly snaps into focus quickly thanks to its large aperture, and image quality is very good in the centre of the frame. Light fall-off is kept well controlled. However, into the corners and back and in front of the focused plane, image quality declines. Peak performance occurs at f/5.6, but the corners are really soft until f/8. I did not achieve the detail in the DOF zone that theoretically should be present and think this is due to problems with residual colour aberrations. Because I have noticed similar patterns on 3 different samples, I conclude this is typical for the design. The lens flares easily and ghosting hence can be detrimental to image quality unless the lens is stopped down beyond f/11. A pity this nicely handling lens doesn't produce better results."

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golf1982
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to Tuanglen, 7 months ago

Tuanglen wrote:

On my D610 I use a manual focus 24mm prime: Nikkor 24mm f/2 AI-S. Back in the 1980s, it was the favorite 24mm of almost all pro photojournalists. It's no longer available new, but you can probably get it used for about $350 USD. Take a look at Ken Rockwell's Nikon 24mm lens sharpness comparison photos:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/comparisons/24mm/

Notice that it's as sharp in the center at f/4 as the $2000 USD 14-24mm f/2.8 is at f/8. The 14-24 is sharper at the edges until f/4, after which they are both the same. The manual focus lens has to be manually focused, of course, but since it's an f/2 lens, that's easy in the daytime unless you have to catch quick action. At night it's harder, but at night the 14-24 AF often struggles and is frequently manually focused as well (for scenery, architecture, etc.)

If I could pick one or the other and get it for free, I'd take the 14-24, because it offers a wider range of options. (Whether I would then be willing to carry it is another question.) But if I mainly cared about 24mm, sharpness, and price, I'd look at this manual prime, which is about equally sharp at 24mm as the superb 14-24mm f/2.8 but costs about one-sixth as much.

rockwell makes a lot of stuff up, and "reviews" gear that has not even been released. So you cannot believe a word he says, best to ignore him.

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toomanycanons
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to golf1982, 7 months ago

"golf1982 makes a lot of stuff up, and "reviews" gear that has not even been released. So you cannot believe a word he says, best to ignore him."

Fixed it for ya.

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Photo Geezer
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+1 for the 18-35mm G
In reply to toomanycanons, 7 months ago

I use this on my D800e and love it. With the rebate now available on the 16-35mm with VR I went to try it out as to handling. If these lenses were exactly the same price, I would still choose the 18-35mm due to the handling and light weight. To be sure, those pesky extra 2mm do make quite a difference in coverage but I still find the 18-35mm is always in my bag where as the 16-35 would stay home more often due to weight and size.

Bill G

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Lance B
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The 24 f1.4 is great but the zooms are excellent too.
In reply to PHXAZCRAIG, 7 months ago

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

The 14-24 is amazingly good, but it has definite drawbacks as a travel lens. It really takes up a lot of space in a bag, the lens cap is ... difficult to deal with in the field, flare comes out of nowhere at times, and of course there is the filter thing.

I took it out of my backpack in favor of the 16-35. When I travel, I switch to a waist bag, and the 14-24 just doesn't fit. It's hard to imaging many small bags that would hold it, along with a couple of more useful lenses. A couple of times in Europe I wished for the extra width though.

Some 14-24 flare examples here:

http://www.cjcphoto.net/lenstests/14-24/index.html

Your comments mirror mine to the "T", Craig. I think we are preaching from the same book, so to speak. Also, like you, I even use a lens exchange case on my waste belt when travelling for quick swaps between my 16-35 and the 24-70.

As you say the 14-24 is amazingly good,  superb mostly in fact, but there are those drawbacks that you mention. A great lens when you can control when and where you shoot and use it under 20mm where it is superb.

However, I do now have the 24 f1.4G and love it. Sharpness wise, you won't see much of an improvement over the 16-35 at 24mm and stopped down to f8, but IQwise, bokeh colour etc, it has a nicer look to it and you have all those extra stops for creativity.

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Paul Rains
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 7 months ago

Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG Lens

Very sharp, cheap price when you can find one.

The Sigma 24-70 is not as sharp.

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golf1982
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 7 months ago

toomanycanons wrote:

"golf1982 makes a lot of stuff up, and "reviews" gear that has not even been released. So you cannot believe a word he says, best to ignore him."

Fixed it for ya.

from that inacurate altered " quote" i understand entirely why you would like the misleading untruths that come from rockwell.

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pixee
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 7 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.

I used with my d800 Nikon 24mm 1.4 G, 17-35 f2.8 Af-s zoom and 28mm f1.8 G prime. I sold my 24mm f1.4 because 17-35 is so good and sharp zoom and 28mm f1.8 prime is simply excellent. It is very usable also with Nikon Df body. Maybe the new 18-35 G zoom is one good option.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: Probably not what you want to hear but
In reply to toomanycanons, 7 months ago

Probably not what you want to hear but something like the 16-35 on your D5200 will have better corner performance(for the same angle of view) to around f5.6 compared to any 24 mm FX lens on a D610.

The reasons are no different central resolution between a D5200 and D610 to about 1600 ISO, and the generally weak corner performance of wide angle FX lenses gets cropped out on a DX body.

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Leonard Shepherd
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MoreorLess
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to anotherMike, 7 months ago

anotherMike wrote:

A few problems there:

1) Ken Rockwells tests have a few issues that render them a bit less useful than you'd think..

a) He isn't taking into account field curvature differences that will often weight one test scene more than the other

b) He was using a 12mp D3 to do the tests. As one who has conducted quite a few vastly more detailed and throrough lens tests than Ken over the years, the issues between lenses are quite a bit more obvious with 24mp and 36mp bodies.

I haven't seen an old AIS lens in the wide angles - any of them - that is really great in the corners on modern high rez bodies. D700/D3 vintage - sure, D610/D800e level of bodies - nope.

-m

Even the modern 24mm 1.4 G doesn't really have a great rep for boarder performance.

Generally I get the impression that with UWA's having a very large aperture AND great boarder performance isn't easy to achieve.

Perhaps its just that manufacturers figure that most landscape shooters will buy an UWA zoom(I'm guessing the 16-35mm VR or 18-35mm G would be sharpest at 24mm) where as primes will be used more for people shooting.

I'v got a Sigma 24mm 1.8 knocking around(mostly to take wide macroish shots) and its aweful at the boarders even stopped down.

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anotherMike
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to MoreorLess, 7 months ago

The Nikon 24/1.4G has decent borders on my D800E once you stop it down to about F/7.1 - F/9, much like many other fairly wide angle lenses. You're right in that wide angles are tough designs within the context of modern high rez bodies, so it's no surprise the older ones aren't that hot.

The 24/1.4G sets itself apart from the zooms by nature of it's contrast and rendering though - there is not a better lens IMO for water work, sunsets and sunsets over water, night shots, etc.

In the 24mm options, I consider the 24/1.4G Nikon and Zeiss 25/2 at the top of the heap, followed by the 18-35G (the new one) at 24mm, then the 16-35 and 14-24 right behind that. All pretty solid at 24mm honestly.

-m

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toomanycanons
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Re: Sharpest 24mm prime to go on a D610
In reply to toomanycanons, 7 months ago

Thanks for all the replies. For all I knew there was some vintage 24mm that was "the sharpest lens ever" and was going for cheap on ebay, the steal of the decade.  That's the only reason I specified "24mm prime".  That turns out not to be the case but I had to ask.  I'm more than happy to pursue a short zoom that includes 24mm (just like I use my Tamron 17-50--how many primes does that incorporate?)

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clarnibass
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Re: The answer isn't a prime...
In reply to anotherMike, 7 months ago

Slightly off topic but not really... since you are a WA "freak", have you compared the 18-35mm G to the 20mm D? The 18-35mm at let's say 18mm, 19mm and 20mm. Based on TDP the 20mm is sharper in the center and, although soft on the sides and corners until f/4, seems sharp accross the frame from f/5.6. How does the 18-35mm compare at f/5.6 and above? I've tried the 20mm D and when I did, it seemed fine, but didn't really need it at the time. I've tried the 18-35mm once and don't remember much.

I'm still looking for a 20mm or wider lens and generally prefer light primes instead of zoomz or heavy lenses. The 18-35mm is pretty light but the 20mm D is lighter and especially tiny in comparison. I still hope Nikon or another company would makes a 200mm (or preferably under) equivalent to the 28mm 1.8G which I really like. Can be f/2.8 to save cost and size/weight for this length. The quiet AF motor would be a huge advantage for me...

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anotherMike
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Re: The answer isn't a prime...
In reply to clarnibass, 7 months ago

Regarding the 20D, I'm not a big fan. I'd take the 18-35 over it any and each day of the week without question because of the edges. Several of the old AFD can be quite sharp center of frame, but suffer greatly at the edges.

Don't place much weight with wide angles on TDP - test charts are shot far too close relative to how we typically use wide angles. I wasn't impressed with the 20 AFD on 12mp cameras, so while I currently don't own one, I highly doubt it would suddenly be magical on 24 or 36mp given I didn't like it's corners at 12mp....

The funny thing about the 18-35G: I literally picked it up on a whim because on rare occasion I need something just a smidge wider than my 21/2.8 Zeiss or 24/1.4G Nikkors - those two primes are by far my most used landscape lenses - but as I've begun to more seriously use the 18-35G here and there the more I'm impressed with it in that 18-28mm range (certainly not 35mm, where every other 35mm option is better), although to be very clear, the 18-35 is slow, is dimmer than the fast primes, and really only has as usable, sharp apertures the landscape apertures from F/7.1 - F/11, but for landscape, you know, that's all I really need. I actually think this lens is the "sleeper" wide angle in nikons lineup as long as one doesn't require it to be amazing at 35mm and can live with a more landscape-typical aperture range. Someone on a budget could do a lot worse than a 18-35G, 35/1.8G, 50/1.8G, 85/1.8G kit for sure. Nikon has been a bit weak on introducing relavant high-end lenses lately, but several of their more budget friendly lenses have been astoundingly good.

-m

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