Nikon 14-24mm vs 20mm 1.8G

Started Aug 17, 2015 | Discussions thread
OP incrediblehark Regular Member • Posts: 288
Re: Nikon 14-24mm vs 20mm 1.8G

I'm not sure if anyone is still following this thread, but I thought I'd finish off my original comparison of these 2 lenses.  One of the posters asked if I could compare them in a closer scene, to evaluate the differences, if any.

I found a spot close to my house recently, and was able to get there today for some quick test photos.  The parameters are the same as the original test in terms of equipment, technique and processing.  However, the subject is approximately 15ft from the camera.   I had a hard time keeping the exposures level across the set, because the sun kept peaking in and out of the clouds.  (The focus point is the closer large branch darkened by shadow, just below where the first arm extends off)

I'll post the pics first, then give you my thoughts about these lenses in this closer scene.

Nikon 20mm @ f4

Nikon 14-24 @ 20mm @ f4

Nikon 20mm @ f5.6

Nikon 14-24 @ 20mm @ f5.6

Nikon 20mm @ f8

Nikon 14-24 @ 20mm @ f8

Nikon 20mm @ f11

Nikon 14-24 @ 20mm @ f11

This was an interesting and fun scene for me to photograph.  I don't normally shoot this type of scene, it was something I did a lot in the past, but I'm more into seascapes and sunrises/sunsets these days, and a boatload of portraits.

I noticed a few things that are definitely evident in the test pics:

1) The corners are sharper/better in this scene with the 20mm 1.8G versus the 14-24.  I raised the tripod to eye level for this test and the corners are definitely better on the 20mm prime.  Something I thought was the reverse in other tests, I was pleasantly surprised!

2) The distortion leading to the outer edges of the frame is far better with the 20mm prime in this scene.  I think this might be expected, because the 14-24 is designed to grab light from a really wide angle, whereas the 20mm is better corrected for it's specific focal length.

3) The 20mm is sharper and has more micro-contrast.  It's very close between them, but the 20mm has the edge in both in this specific scene.  I was also expecting this, because the zoom is better in the wider end.

My overall comments are that I really like the new 20mm.  It's a nice lens that seems to do well in various scenes.  It's not earth shattering, but it's a very good lens.  I think the differences in micro-contrast and sharpness could be argued as subtle, but the differences in distortion relating to outer edges of the frame was noticeable to my eye right away.  This might be a huge difference when doing larger prints.

Regardless, these are both excellent lenses.  The 20mm is quickly becoming my favourite lens.  I would like to point out that I have no intention of getting rid of my 14-24, the wide end is just too good to get rid of.  I've posted a pic below from the zoom edited the same as the test shots, but at 15mm instead of 20mm.  The distortion towards the outer edges of the frame is much improved, the corner sharpness is much better, overall it's sharper and has more pop than it did at 20mm.  It definitely does a lot better in the wider end.

Nikon 14-24 @ 15mm @ f8

Hopefully someone can use this very basic comparison to help them make a purchase decision in the future.  I'm going to post a fully edited pic from the 20mm and the 14-24 once I get some time.  You can see the differences in the micro-contrast when you start doing some decent editing to pull out more detail.



 incrediblehark's gear list:incrediblehark's gear list
Nikon D610 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon 85mm F1.8G +13 more
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