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

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

em_dee_aitch wrote:

Kyle Pozan wrote:

I have considered subscribing, but it is clear he's a fan of Zeiss lenses and I wanted more of an unbiased comparison.

Kyle, I can assure you he gives the Nikon 24/1.4 a very fair/equal chance. He is actually a big fan of that lens as well. Really, he's a fan of just about anything expensive Kidding aside, he gives you plenty of high-resolution material to draw your own conclusions. Sometimes, in my opinion, his images disagree with his words, but in those cases the images are right there for you to draw your own conclusions. If you read all the relevant material on these lenses in those two of his publications, you will have no doubts about what the key strengths/weaknesses of each are.

Do you have AF issues when focusing on objects more than 50 feet away from your camera? I've been reading some not-too-positive things about the 24mm f/1.4's inability to consistently focus on distant subjects.

Yes, definitely. But it is all the 1.4G lenses, not just the 24/1.4. If you dig around these forums and elsewhere it is a well documented issue at this point. Even guys like Nippondenso have admitted that the issue is real and something we must deal with. In the case of the 24/1.4 and 85/1.4 the lenses are so strong that it is worth putting up with and working around. In the case of the other 1.4G lenses I'm not so sure. This really affects all Nikon lenses faster than 2.8 to some extent, but in different ways. Rob Galbraith's final comment on the issue before he retired from blogging was quite accurate and quite telling of the issue... The way I work around it with the 24/1.4 is I simply refocus a lot between shots and take more shots than I would with an unaffected lens, so that I have an excess of material and can simply delete the bad ones later. Statistically the lens will hit focus a certain amount and miss a certain amount. It will not miss all the time. Of course this is not ideal. Sometimes the shots you have to trash are the "moments" you really want. Of course you can mostly avoid this issue in Live View if you are doing still life or landscapes, by using Contrast Detect AF. The one hitch there is that in the D800/D4 generation they traded a little accuracy for some speed, and Contrast Detect now actually misses sometimes, which it almost never did on the slower focusing D3s. Opinions will differ on whether that tradeoff was worth it!!!

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David Hill
San Francisco & San Jose, CA | Austin, TX
Wedding Photographer and Apparent Gearhead


 Kyle Pozan's gear list:Kyle Pozan's gear list
Nikon D800 Sony Alpha a7R Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
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