Nikon Ultrawide Zooms

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PhotoKaz
PhotoKaz Contributing Member • Posts: 737
Nikon Ultrawide Zooms
4

MTF curves of Nikon's full frame ultra-wide zooms. I swapped out my f-mount 14-24 when the new 14-30 was released as the size, image quality, and ability to use filters made it a far better choice for the Z7. I'll have to check some real world reviews to see how much difference, in practice, there is between the two Z mount lenses but simply based on the MTF there may not be a huge difference between the two. The stop of light isn't a selling point to me personally.

Those Z mount curves look pretty good by comparison. Seems like every new lens Nikon makes for this mount is an improvement over the older F mount lens it replaces. I’m curious how much of this is the freedom of the Z mount itself and how much is newer design and technologies.

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Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 13,934
Re: Nikon Ultrawide Zooms
4

The latter is made possible by the former. By no longer having to correct for the deeper flange distance required by SLR technology lens makers are freed from the compromises the older technology required.

Also, the wider diameter mount allows for larger elements throughout the optical path, so the refraction angles do not need to be as acute and creating fewer aberrations that then need to be optically corrected.

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PhotoKaz
OP PhotoKaz Contributing Member • Posts: 737
Re: Nikon Ultrawide Zooms

Yes, that was a key selling point of this new mount.  However, is that solely responsible for the improvements or do we have new tech like fluorine or areno coatings, new capability in lens element design or manufacture, new optical formulas?

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paulski66
paulski66 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,584
Re: Nikon Ultrawide Zooms
2

PhotoKaz wrote:

Yes, that was a key selling point of this new mount. However, is that solely responsible for the improvements or do we have new tech like fluorine or areno coatings, new capability in lens element design or manufacture, new optical formulas?

The fact that you're asking the question, and framing it in this way, shows that you already know the answer. Of course technological advances have made possible the design of better-performing lenses. This has been the case throughout the history of photography, and continues to be the case today.

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PhotoKaz
OP PhotoKaz Contributing Member • Posts: 737
Re: Nikon Ultrawide Zooms
1

paulski66 wrote:

PhotoKaz wrote:

Yes, that was a key selling point of this new mount. However, is that solely responsible for the improvements or do we have new tech like fluorine or areno coatings, new capability in lens element design or manufacture, new optical formulas?

The fact that you're asking the question, and framing it in this way, shows that you already know the answer. Of course technological advances have made possible the design of better-performing lenses. This has been the case throughout the history of photography, and continues to be the case today.

No, I don't know the answer, and I'm not sure anyone outside of Nikon can really answer it.  Are the optical improvements in the new lenses mount related, tech related, or both?

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VBLondon Senior Member • Posts: 1,750
Re: Nikon Ultrawide Zooms
2

PhotoKaz wrote:

MTF curves of Nikon's full frame ultra-wide zooms. I swapped out my f-mount 14-24 when the new 14-30 was released as the size, image quality, and ability to use filters made it a far better choice for the Z7. I'll have to check some real world reviews to see how much difference, in practice, there is between the two Z mount lenses but simply based on the MTF there may not be a huge difference between the two. The stop of light isn't a selling point to me personally.

Those Z mount curves look pretty good by comparison. Seems like every new lens Nikon makes for this mount is an improvement over the older F mount lens it replaces. I’m curious how much of this is the freedom of the Z mount itself and how much is newer design and technologies.

In this comparison, the Z lenses are also substantially smaller and lighter

https://camerasize.com/compact/#795.935,567.110,795.812,567.325,ha,t

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Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 13,934
Re: Nikon Ultrawide Zooms
2

PhotoKaz wrote:

paulski66 wrote:

PhotoKaz wrote:

Yes, that was a key selling point of this new mount. However, is that solely responsible for the improvements or do we have new tech like fluorine or areno coatings, new capability in lens element design or manufacture, new optical formulas?

The fact that you're asking the question, and framing it in this way, shows that you already know the answer. Of course technological advances have made possible the design of better-performing lenses. This has been the case throughout the history of photography, and continues to be the case today.

No, I don't know the answer, and I'm not sure anyone outside of Nikon can really answer it. Are the optical improvements in the new lenses mount related, tech related, or both?

It’s both, the new mount and shorter flange distance created a need for new lens designs. That takes into account coatings and mechanics as well as the optical path.

There is likely some hand off of vignette correction from optics to the camera’s Expeed processor (as there is in all mirrorless cameras) as with a mirrorless camera there is no need to make the image appear evenly illuminated through an optical viewfinder system. That allows the optical and mechanical designers to focus on those aberrations that cannot (easily) be computationally corrected.

I am basing that last comment on what was said by Sigma’s President at the introduction of the new 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art lens back in August. https://youtu.be/nSiRhlH8Twc  Skip to 15:00 to start the full presentation or skip to 20:00 to skip the introductory film.

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MoreorLess Veteran Member • Posts: 4,763
Re: Nikon Ultrawide Zooms

VBLondon wrote:

PhotoKaz wrote:

MTF curves of Nikon's full frame ultra-wide zooms. I swapped out my f-mount 14-24 when the new 14-30 was released as the size, image quality, and ability to use filters made it a far better choice for the Z7. I'll have to check some real world reviews to see how much difference, in practice, there is between the two Z mount lenses but simply based on the MTF there may not be a huge difference between the two. The stop of light isn't a selling point to me personally.

Those Z mount curves look pretty good by comparison. Seems like every new lens Nikon makes for this mount is an improvement over the older F mount lens it replaces. I’m curious how much of this is the freedom of the Z mount itself and how much is newer design and technologies.

In this comparison, the Z lenses are also substantially smaller and lighter

https://camerasize.com/compact/#795.935,567.110,795.812,567.325,ha,t

The 14-30mm is a retractable design though, extended its pretty much the same length as the 16-35mm. The difference to me seems to be that Nikon is able to release 14mm lenses without resorting to bulb front elements, maybe that's down to the mount or maybe advancements in lens design?

I'd say the biggest issue is likely the Z lenses are much newer and more expensive, the F-mount lenses are both over a decade old and cost a lot less.

I would say performance wise the 16-35mm is good at landscape distances BUT needs both stopping down and keeping to a 16-30mm range. In that range the only significant weakness for me is in the extreme corners at 16mm.

VBLondon Senior Member • Posts: 1,750
Re: Nikon Ultrawide Zooms

MoreorLess wrote:

VBLondon wrote:

PhotoKaz wrote:

MTF curves of Nikon's full frame ultra-wide zooms. I swapped out my f-mount 14-24 when the new 14-30 was released as the size, image quality, and ability to use filters made it a far better choice for the Z7. I'll have to check some real world reviews to see how much difference, in practice, there is between the two Z mount lenses but simply based on the MTF there may not be a huge difference between the two. The stop of light isn't a selling point to me personally.

Those Z mount curves look pretty good by comparison. Seems like every new lens Nikon makes for this mount is an improvement over the older F mount lens it replaces. I’m curious how much of this is the freedom of the Z mount itself and how much is newer design and technologies.

In this comparison, the Z lenses are also substantially smaller and lighter

https://camerasize.com/compact/#795.935,567.110,795.812,567.325,ha,t

The 14-30mm is a retractable design though, extended its pretty much the same length as the 16-35mm.

Yes, to a degree, it's still a bit shorter extended and the 16-35 weighs 40% more (680 vs 485g).

The difference to me seems to be that Nikon is able to release 14mm lenses without resorting to bulb front elements, maybe that's down to the mount or maybe advancements in lens design?

I'd say the biggest issue is likely the Z lenses are much newer and more expensive, the F-mount lenses are both over a decade old and cost a lot less.

Not that much less. The 16-35 is $1100, the 14-30 $1300.

I would say performance wise the 16-35mm is good at landscape distances BUT needs both stopping down and keeping to a 16-30mm range. In that range the only significant weakness for me is in the extreme corners at 16mm.

It's just too big. I remember when the 16-35 launched, it was bigger than the 17-35 2.8 despite being a stop slower.

The Z14-30 is a real showcase for the Z lenses compared to the 16-35 - optically it's better, it has a more useful range to 14mm, it's much lighter, it's much smaller retracted for travel, the price premium is modest. That doesn't stop the 16-35 from being a good lens for those who have one.

We'll see on the 14-28s. My guess is it will be similar: Z 14-24 is smaller, much lighter (F is 50% heavier at 1000g vs 650g), optically better, doesn't have the vulnerable bulbous front element. Unsurprisingly as a brand new lens it has a meaningful price premium over the 14-24. My guess is for many it would be worth it. I borrowed a F 14-24 and liked the results from it, but never wanted one - too big and cumbersome, the front element felt fragile, I didn't like the lens 'cap' cylinder thing...just too 'specialised' for me.

I'm a fan of the 14-30 simply because in the first months I had it, I took more UWA pictures I liked and kept than in my prior 20 years of F mount use put together. My 17-35 was OK, but I shied away from it because it was fuzzy in corners wide open, with ugly color aberrations. The alternatives were too big (16-35, 14-28), the 18-35 didn't feel wide enough relative to my 20 f2.8D etc.

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MoreorLess Veteran Member • Posts: 4,763
Re: Nikon Ultrawide Zooms

VBLondon wrote:

MoreorLess wrote:

The 14-30mm is a retractable design though, extended its pretty much the same length as the 16-35mm.

Yes, to a degree, it's still a bit shorter extended and the 16-35 weighs 40% more (680 vs 485g).

I'm guessing the main issue there is that the 16-35mm being non retractable has a larger eternal body but again it is a decade older as well.

The 12-24mm Z-mount seems like a much more significant weight difference to me in that the design is otherwise pretty similar and again I'm guessing the big issue is a lack of large bulb front element. Maybe the larger Z-mount helps with that? or again could be modern lens tech.

I'd say the biggest issue is likely the Z lenses are much newer and more expensive, the F-mount lenses are both over a decade old and cost a lot less.

Not that much less. The 16-35 is $1100, the 14-30 $1300.

The 16-35mm does seem to have pushed up again recently but of course at this stage you would have no trouble buying it used, that's definitely what I'd do if I were buying these days rather than in 2012.

I would say performance wise the 16-35mm is good at landscape distances BUT needs both stopping down and keeping to a 16-30mm range. In that range the only significant weakness for me is in the extreme corners at 16mm.

It's just too big. I remember when the 16-35 launched, it was bigger than the 17-35 2.8 despite being a stop slower.

The Z14-30 is a real showcase for the Z lenses compared to the 16-35 - optically it's better, it has a more useful range to 14mm, it's much lighter, it's much smaller retracted for travel, the price premium is modest. That doesn't stop the 16-35 from being a good lens for those who have one.

We'll see on the 14-28s. My guess is it will be similar: Z 14-24 is smaller, much lighter (F is 50% heavier at 1000g vs 650g), optically better, doesn't have the vulnerable bulbous front element. Unsurprisingly as a brand new lens it has a meaningful price premium over the 14-24. My guess is for many it would be worth it. I borrowed a F 14-24 and liked the results from it, but never wanted one - too big and cumbersome, the front element felt fragile, I didn't like the lens 'cap' cylinder thing...just too 'specialised' for me.

I'm a fan of the 14-30 simply because in the first months I had it, I took more UWA pictures I liked and kept than in my prior 20 years of F mount use put together. My 17-35 was OK, but I shied away from it because it was fuzzy in corners wide open, with ugly color aberrations. The alternatives were too big (16-35, 14-28), the 18-35 didn't feel wide enough relative to my 20 f2.8D etc.

I wouldn't mind it being a bit smaller but honestly the 16-35mm isn't inconveniently large or heavy for me, now the 14-24mm F-mount lens that was large enough that I felt it would limit my use plus was much harder to mount filters on although also I was never that big a fan of the range, I prefer at least some overlap with normal zooms.

Performance wise it seems like the 16-35mm was optimised for infinity focus where as the 17-35mm and 14-24mm were for close focus so did better on test charts but ultimately the 17-35mm is a design from the 1990's, not really surprising its been surpassed.

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