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

Started Apr 26, 2014 | Discussions thread
dave gaines
dave gaines Veteran Member • Posts: 9,183
Nikon wide angle … 14-24, 17-35 and filters

whittle wrote:


In short, I want two main things which are really conflicting - a fast lens for astrophotography, plus the ability to use ND filters for daytime long exposures, especially seascapes.

I considered the following options:

  • 14-24mm f/2.8
  • 16-35mm f/4 VR
  • 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5
  • 17-35mm f/2.8

I discounted the 17-35 because of it's price and the fact that it is very soft in the corners. I discounted the 16-35 because it is only f/4 plus there are many worrying reports of red streaks appearing in night-time long exposures, due to the IR used in the VR (for example see here: I don't want that hassle!


The 17-35 mm f/2.8 is a better fit for what you want to use it for, fast night time astrophotography and long exposure day or night shots. It is of course, faster than the other two options. It's also sharper, better built, smaller but a bit heavier and has less distortion than the 16-35 mm f/4. All those big elements and a metal lens barrel weigh more than the 16-35, but for me that was a reason to own the 17-35.

For night time long exposures on a tripod you would be turning VR off. The link no longer works so I don't know what that issue is about. This shouldn't be a problem with the 16-35 for long exposures.

I have the 14-24 mm f/2.8 and the 17-35 mm f/2.8. They serve different needs. The idea of lugging a huge filter system along on a hike to some landscape destination so I could do long daytime exposures does not appeal to me. For that I'll use the 17-35 with round ND filters, or even with a Lee holder and GND filters for a lot less trouble, less cost and with a smaller size and weight. I get a lot more use out of the 17-35 than I would a large filter system for the 14-24.

I carried the 14-24 mm around all day last weekend and never found it to be too heavy. I plan to carry it on the camera today again and will take the 17-35 mm along with for the 24-35 mm range with people in the shot. I'm going to see the space shuttle today and want the UWA view.

I use a padded Tamrac camera/lens pouch. When the camera is not in use I slip it into the shoulder pouch and let my back carry the weight instead of my neck. It fits the D800 and 14-24 mm lens easily. It's also good for protecting the camera when I'm hiking rugged terrain.

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 dave gaines's gear list:dave gaines's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Olympus E-330 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +7 more
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