Nikon wide angle dilemmas… 14-24, 18-35 and filters

Started Apr 26, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP whittle New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Bad move...

Liviu Namolovan wrote:

...on discounting the 16-35mm f/4 VR

Thanks for all the replies and sorry for dropping off the radar for a while. In the meantime I got hold of a copy of all three lenses and compared them side by side, because I just couldn't make up my mind!! As a recap the lenses were:

14-24 f/2.8 (which I already bought)

18-35 f/3.5-4.5 g

16-35 f/5 VR

I decided to reconsider the 16-35 since if it did a good enough job I may have returned the 14-24 and 18-35 and just kept that.

Now, a lot of people will likely disagree, but I was actually really disappointed with the 16-35 for the cost and some of the hype I have heard. Personally I think the 18-35 is better… not just because it is £350 less, half the size and weight. I think the IQ is better too! I know "normal" people don't shoot wide open in daylight, but I did to check the corners, then progressively stopped down. The 18-35 was noticeably sharper in the corners than the 16-35 until around f/10-11 when the difference was less noticeable, but I still think the 18-35 had a slight edge. Wide open the corners of the 16-35 are like mush! Maybe I had a "bad copy", but I am not convinced.

Another thing about the 16-35 is it has heinous barrel distortion at the wide end. It's really awful when shooting architecture or anything with straight edges close to the edge of your frame!

The 14-24 f/2.8 is still the king, but I do like having a little bit more reach up to 35mm. However, I will add that neither the 16-35 or 18-35 are great at 35mm. I would try to keep either to nearer 30mm for better image quality.

So for now, after MUCH deliberation I am keeping the 14-24 f/2.8 and adding the 18-35 g for when I want to use filters or want something lighter to carry around. I really am impressed with the 18-35 for its price. Yes, it feels very plasticy and maybe a bit 'cheap' in build quality, but it's a great size and weight and image quality is as good as, or in my opinion even better than the 16-35.

I'm sure people with 16-35's will disagree, and in all honesty, maybe if I hadn't had the opportunity to have all 3 lenses side by side, I wouldn't have thought the 16-35 was so bad on it's own (though the distortion is hard to miss!). But this is just the conclusion I came to, having compared all three at once.

Now to start enjoying my lenses

Cheers everyone,

Sarah

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