14-24 vs 16-35

Started May 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 9,161
Re: 14-24 vs 16-35

This topic gets discussed frequently here; try the search function and you can ready yourself silly

A few notes from having owned both of the lenses (still own the 14-24, sold the 16-35 a while ago):

a) Neither lens is THAT MUCH heavier or lighter than the other. BOTH are bulky, just in different ways. The 14-24 is top heavy or front element heavy, but the 16-35 is actually quite long for a wide zoom. Neither fits a backpack as nicely as, say, a 28/1.8G prime or even a Nikon 24/1.4G or Sigma 35/1.4 lens. So I honestly think you have to completely remove this bulky fear from your analysis.

b) Neither lens is perfect, but both lenses have a strong zone of focal lengths where they are really nice. Assuming you completely have thought through the lack of filters on the 14-24 (which if filters are important, you'll go to the 16-35 anyway), it depends on YOUR favorite focal lengths. The 14-24 is strongest from ultra wide through about 20mm - I look at mine as a 14/15/18/20mm lens - that's it's strong zone, and I feel it's best at around 15mm. The 16-35 is best between 20 ad 28mm, and is at it's very best at 24mm. It's also noticeably weak IMO at 35mm and it's distortion, flare character and corner issues at 16mm are pretty bad. So right there, if you're thinking "Hey, I'll buy the 16-35 because I can go to 35 and I expect to go to 35 a lot", it's the wrong choice, because the 16-35, out of any possible option you can mount on a Nikon DSLR at the moment, is the weakest 35mm choice. You get a 16-35 because you need VR in some situations, want filters, or want really great 20-28mm performance (which happens to be in the smack dab middle of the typical wide angle lengths). You get a 14-24 because you are an ultrawide shooter (14-18mm roughly) and want the best or near best there is at those lengths. If you shoot mostly 35mm, you're vastly better off with a prime or the 24-70. Also take a look at the new more affordable 18-35G Nikon has come out. Unfortunately I've not been able to get my hands on one for evaluation, but early reports are quite positive, and it's smaller than either the 14-24 or 16-35 options.


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