14-24 vs 16-35

Started May 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
Photo Pete Veteran Member • Posts: 3,950
Re: I'd choose the 18-35 G too...

razor123 wrote:

I'm about to buy one of the above Nikkor lenses. Both seem excellent. Most of my photography is travel so I like the reach of the 16-35 and the VR. 14-24 seems like it will be a bit bulky to lug around. On the other hand, the 14-24 seems to be superior optically with less distortion. So I have to weigh between portability and optical quality. The difference in cost is not a factor in my decision. Which would you choose?

I was just at my local camera store this weekend, trying to decide between the 16-35 and new 18-35. I took shots with both on an SD card and brought them home to look at. Viewed at 100%, the 18-35 was sharper across the frame at all focal lengths except the widest, where the 16-35 had a slight advantage in the corners. At 18mm, the 18-35 was still slightly shaper in the center than the 16-35 was at 16mm.

The 16-35 got noticeably less sharp as you zoom in closer to 35mm. I also preferred the feel of the zoom and focus rings on the 18-35 better. Less play, just felt more solid. If you travel, the 18-35 is much lighter too. Looks like a winner, I'm going to get one in a couple weeks.

There's a big difference between 18mm and 14mm. The 18-35 serves a different purpose to the 14-24 so I'd work out which focal length you want most.

The 16-35 I found ok, but distortion and fall off of sharpness at edges and corners at the extreme focal lengths turned me off it a bit. It also seemed to stop down less well than the 14-24, which appeared to retain better definition... important for maximum depth of field in landscape shots. My 24-70 can also cover the 24-35mm range that the 14-24mm misses, but nothing else I have can cover the 14-16/18 range that the 16-35 or 18-35 miss.

Filters at 14-24 focal length? Not many I would use...not a polarizer due to variation in the degree of polarization over the angle of view. Grads I have largely done away with since HDR/ exposure blending. The only filter that is missed is a heavy ND filter... if you use one a lot (blurred water effects etc) then the 14-24 will be a bit of a pain. Otherwise the filter issue is more a theoretical problem than a real one.
Have Fun
Photo Pete

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