Advice on wide angle options

Started Aug 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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chazphoto Regular Member • Posts: 126
Advice on wide angle options


I have a D700 and 35-70mm f2.8 which I'm working with happily as I get to understand digital and the D700 itself. I am going on a short trip in a few weeks and could use a wide angle to complement the zoom in order to take landscape and townscape/building photos. I have been reading reviews of Nikkor wides until my eyes hurt and have come to the following conclusions and connundrums. Help needed.

1) The bigger wide angle zooms (17-35/16-35/14-24) are out of my league price-wise and size-wise. I think that I would like the versatility of being able to zoom when out wide, but my previous experience is of primes at 24mm and 28mm and using my feet.

2) The older 20-35mm f2.8 is stilll expensive and, I would guess a bit prone to flare - based on the flare and veiling glare I encounter on the (otherwise excellent) 35-70mm from the same era.

3) The new 28mm f1.8 G is very attractive and I like to think I could use the bigger aperture (low light interiors). However, reviews are really split on the field curvature and focus shift issues. The Mansurov review has confirmed the problems, even though the Photozone review didn't find them; the photographs on Mansurovs and Neil van Niekirk and T Ashley are all really good though and I don't know if the optical issues would be a real problem in practice. However, I can only find this lens at full £619 price in stock at present and am not sure I want to pay that much for a lens with these issues.

4) The 24mm f1.4 is out of my reach financially, but seems to have conquered the optical puzzle. Historically, I have preferred 24mm to 28mm, because it adds drama, but I also think that I'd get more use from a 28mm in reality.

5) The older 24mm and 28mm f2.8 lenses don't have the resolution or nano coating of the newer lenses, but are a lot cheaper and (frankly) I would mostly be useing them stopped down for DOF and therefore the wider aperture is added sauce. However, none of the testing checks for the same optical problems as with the newer lenses (and we all seem to be talking more seriously about optics than in the god old film days of my youth!). Although I know that distortion and some CA can be correct in post processing, I'd rather start with the best lens on the camera that I can get.

So, what lens should I purchase - within the next three weeks - for a short trip where I am going to want that wider angle of view. Even if I later change to something more permanent?

Also, does anyone have a view on the 18-35mm f3.5 zoom about which I can find little info?



Nikon D700
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