Nikon 24mm f/1.4G vs. Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 vs. Nikon 16-35mm f/4G

Started Sep 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Kyle Pozan Junior Member • Posts: 30
Nikon 24mm f/1.4G vs. Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 vs. Nikon 16-35mm f/4G

I currently own the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G, which I use with my D800, but I have an obsession with primes and I am heavily considering selling my three-month-old 16-35mm f/4G for a wide-angle prime. I have certainly taken some great photos with this lens (i.e., ), but the maximum aperture does not make this the best lens for street photography, the 16mm and 35mm focal lengths are a bit soft and, in my opinion, the distortion at 16mm renders that particular focal length unusable.

Consequently, I am looking at the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G and the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8. I live in Chicago and truly enjoy street photography, but I also love cityscape and landscape photography. Thus, I am looking for a lens that can fill both of those needs. If I was a pure landscape photographer, the Nikon 24mm f/3.5 PC-E would be a strong contender, but it is about the furthest thing from a street photography lens.

Based on what I have read, the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 has great micro contrast and unmatched edge-to-edge sharpness. The build quality is superb and it renders colors beautifully. What it lacks, however, is autofocus. Although this is not a problem on the Leica M9, I have to imagine it limits the usefulness of this lens for street photography, at least on a DSLR.

I have also read glowing reviews of Nikon's 24mm f/1.4G. I have not, however, read many articles that have commented on its performance as a landscape lens. I have no doubt it will make a great street photography lens, but I am curious about its sharpness, contrast and color reproduction when used as a landscape lens.

If you can help shed some light onto this subject for me and even make a recommendation if you are in a position to do so, I would greatly appreciate it.

 Kyle Pozan's gear list:Kyle Pozan's gear list
Nikon D800 Sony Alpha 7R Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Nikon D800
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