Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
e61 Regular Member • Posts: 131
Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?

I love shooting environmental portraits wide open, and while I love almost every Z lens introduced so far, I really wish there was a native f1.4 24mm or 35mm prime. They’re my most-used focal lengths.

I’m evaluating my options until Nikon (or Sigma or Tamron or whoever!) releases an f1.2 or f1.4 prime around 24, 28 or 35mm, and wanted to get a little feedback from those that have faced similar decisions.

Here are the options I see right now for each focal length. My requirements: 1) f1.4 or faster, and 2) autofocus. Please no debates about the merits of f1.4 vs. f1.8 :). I value bokeh quality, accurate autofocus and relatively quiet autofocus for video.

24mm:

— Sigma Art 24mm f1.4 on the FTZ adapter. I don’t love using the FTZ, it feels front-heavy, but this is a relatively lightweight lens.

— Nikon 24mm f1.4G on the FTZ. I’ve never owned this lens and would love to hear from those who have.

— Sony 24mm f1.4 GM on the Techart TZE-01. I know this lens gets exceptional reviews and I would be first in line if Nikon ever made something similar. Haven’t used that adapter yet though.

— Canon EF 24mm f1.4L II on a Fringer adapter. This one seems impractical, but I’m including it just to note every viable option.

35mm:

— Nikon 35mm f1.4G on the FTZ. I know it’s an older design but I’ve used this lens before and liked it. It’s been years, though!

— Tamron 35mm f1.4 on the FTZ. I know this is a newer and very well-reviewed lens, but it’s also the heaviest option here and I worry about it being awkward and way too front-heavy on an adapter. If I was using a DSLR, though, I think this is what I’d buy.

— Sigma Art 35mm f1.4 on the FTZ. I haven’t owned this lens but know it’s been popular. Experiences?

— Canon EF 35mm f1.4L II on the Fringer adapter. I know this lens has been a favorite of many, though I’ve only used its older version.

— Sony 35mm f1.4 GM on the Techart TZE-01 adapter. This is the lens that was just announced. Argh — its size and performance are exactly what I want. Just hesitant to take the risk of deviating and using a third party adapter.

Not including the Sigma Art 35mm f1.2 DG DN here because of reports that Sigma’s E-mount lenses don’t work well, or in some cases at all, on the Techart adapter.

Another possibility:

— Nikon 28mm f1.4E on the FTZ. A good in-between focal length that could hold me over until there are fast Z-mount 24s and 35s.

Also ought to mention that I’d be buying these used, not new — in case that’s relevant when considering prices!

Anything I’m missing? Any thoughts or feedback on any of these options I’m weighing?

fieldray Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?
1

The Nikon 28mm F1.4 is a more modern design than either the 24 or 35 f1.4 lenses, and is an excellent lens.  The 35 has really nice bokeh but suffers from chromatic aberration.  Still, I have some excellent photos I have taken with it.  The 24 is pretty good optically but not quite as good as the 28.  All of these options utilize the FTZ adaptor and are a bit front-heavy, and the whole ensemble is pretty bulky.  On the other hand, a 24mm F1.4 GM lens on a Sony body is a delight in handling and size, and fantastic optically!  I suspect the same will be the case for the new 35mm GM although I don’t yet have first hand experience to substantiate that claim.  I decided to spend the money to use Sony bodies for the Sony lenses that are spectacular, and Nikon bodies for the Nikon lenses that are spectacular.  I have had poor experiences trying to use Sony lenses on Nikon bodies, with turn-on glitches and poorly optimized focus performance.  I respect that you are not interested in Nikon’s f/1.8 lenses, but I admit that I have been really impressed with the bokeh of Nikon’s 24mm and 35mm f1.8 Z lenses.  If I were to stick to only Nikon I would probably buy the f1.8 Z lens of my focal length choice now, and then sell it when a faster lens becomes available, since that may be awhile.

 fieldray's gear list:fieldray's gear list
Nikon D5 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 Sony a7R IV +14 more
OP e61 Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?

fieldray wrote:

The Nikon 28mm F1.4 is a more modern design than either the 24 or 35 f1.4 lenses, and is an excellent lens. The 35 has really nice bokeh but suffers from chromatic aberration. Still, I have some excellent photos I have taken with it. The 24 is pretty good optically but not quite as good as the 28. All of these options utilize the FTZ adaptor and are a bit front-heavy, and the whole ensemble is pretty bulky. On the other hand, a 24mm F1.4 GM lens on a Sony body is a delight in handling and size, and fantastic optically! I suspect the same will be the case for the new 35mm GM although I don’t yet have first hand experience to substantiate that claim. I decided to spend the money to use Sony bodies for the Sony lenses that are spectacular, and Nikon bodies for the Nikon lenses that are spectacular. I have had poor experiences trying to use Sony lenses on Nikon bodies, with turn-on glitches and poorly optimized focus performance. I respect that you are not interested in Nikon’s f/1.8 lenses, but I admit that I have been really impressed with the bokeh of Nikon’s 24mm and 35mm f1.8 Z lenses. If I were to stick to only Nikon I would probably buy the f1.8 Z lens of my focal length choice now, and then sell it when a faster lens becomes available, since that may be awhile.

Thanks, I really appreciate your thoughts here.

The Sony 24mm f1.4 GM is basically perfect — it’s exactly the right size and weight, from my limited use of it. Looks like the 35 will be basically the same. When an A7IV comes out with the improved ergonomics and menu, those two lenses alone would have me thinking about switching systems. Then the Nikon Z f2.8 zooms might drag me right back. (My other key prime focal length is 85, but I’m happy with both the Sony and the Nikon native 85mm f1.8 lenses, so that’s no real influence either way.)

How do you like maintaining both of them? Is it much if a mental hurdle to switch back and forth? I could pick up a used A7III for a pretty decent price — but I’d worried that it would just be hard to go back and forth.

Also, this isn’t directly related to my question but I am curious: Which lenses have you decided to go with for each system? Do you find yourself increasingly moving one way or the other?

fieldray Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?
1

Using two systems is pretty much like having two different cars you drive regularly and use for different purposes. After about 2 seconds I adapt to whichever one I am operating without confusion. The only downside is financial :). The Nikon lenses I depend on are the 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 24-30 f4.0, 35mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 50mm f1.2 S lenses for the Z cameras, and 58mm f1.4, 105mm f1.4, 300mm f4 PF, and 500mm f4 F mount lenses. The Sony lenses I depend on are the 20mm f1.8, 24mm f1.4, 85mm f1.4, 90mm f2.8 macro, 135mm f/1.8, 16–35 f/2.8, 100-400 and 200-600 zooms. I have been a Nikon user since 1969 and I will likely never abandon them, but I have always had another system which does things Nikon doesn’t do. For instance, the Sony A9ii body has responsiveness and fast rolling shutter readout (no artifacts from artificial light) in silent shutter mode that make it unique for dynamic people pictures. In film days my alternative system was Hasselblad. But when I travel, my kit is still primarily Nikon, for subjective reasons, and because their 24-70 and 70-200 zooms are just rock solid excellent!

 fieldray's gear list:fieldray's gear list
Nikon D5 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 Sony a7R IV +14 more
OP e61 Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?

fieldray wrote:

Using two systems is pretty much like having two different cars you drive regularly and use for different purposes. After about 2 seconds I adapt to whichever one I am operating without confusion. The only downside is financial :). The Nikon lenses I depend on are the 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 24-30 f4.0, 35mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 50mm f1.2 S lenses for the Z cameras, and 58mm f1.4, 105mm f1.4, 300mm f4 PF, and 500mm f4 F mount lenses. The Sony lenses I depend on are the 20mm f1.8, 24mm f1.4, 85mm f1.4, 90mm f2.8 macro, 135mm f/1.8, 16–35 f/2.8, 100-400 and 200-600 zooms. I have been a Nikon user since 1969 and I will likely never abandon them, but I have always had another system which does things Nikon doesn’t do. For instance, the Sony A9ii body has responsiveness and fast rolling shutter readout (no artifacts from artificial light) in silent shutter mode that make it unique for dynamic people pictures. In film days my alternative system was Hasselblad. But when I travel, my kit is still primarily Nikon, for subjective reasons, and because their 24-70 and 70-200 zooms are just rock solid excellent!

Thanks again for another really helpful response!

If you don't mind me asking, when you found that using Sony lenses on a Nikon Z body was a poor experience, were you using the Techart adapter? (I'm not aware of any others, so I assume so, but just wanted to check.) I'm trying to decide between "don't even bother" and "ehh, buy it on Amazon, give it a shot, but probably return it." (I'd rent a Sony body and a 24 GM for the test, too, if I go that route.)

And those divisions make a ton of sense to me. My seven "musts" are the f2.8 trinity, a pretty good macro lens, and fast 24, 35 and 85s. The Z system is ticking most of those boxes: I'm thrilled with Nikon on the Z f2.8 zooms (though I do prefer the 16-35 range). The Z 85mm f1.8 S is great for me too, I've kept the Z 50mm f1.8 S because it's a killer lens and cheap, and I actually don't mind using the FTZ on a macro because that's not the kind of lens I'll walk out the door with and hand-hold around the city for several hours or whatever, unlike a 24, 35, 14-24 or 24-70. I don't need anything longer than 200mm often enough to buy rather than renting (though if Nikon's eventual Z 200-600 is relatively well-priced, that might change). It's really only the 24 and 35 where Sony is making something that Nikon hasn't come close to, and unfortunately those are my two favorite focal lengths.

One other element that separated the Z6 and the A7 III when I was last evaluating Sony vs. Nikon mirrorless bodies was ergonomics. I know the A7R IV improved quite a bit in that regard, but other than handling it a little in my local camera store a couple times, I don't have any experience with it. Not sure which Sony body you're using, but if it's one with the updated ergonomics -- do you find you have a strong preference one way or the other between it and the Z bodies? Or that there's a super-clear downside to one or the other that you haven't adjusted to? I know this is subjective, but I feel like I'm headed down a similar path to the one you're on and I appreciate you sharing your experiences!

fieldray Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?
1

e61 wrote:

fieldray wrote:

Using two systems is pretty much like having two different cars you drive regularly and use for different purposes. After about 2 seconds I adapt to whichever one I am operating without confusion. The only downside is financial :). The Nikon lenses I depend on are the 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 24-30 f4.0, 35mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 50mm f1.2 S lenses for the Z cameras, and 58mm f1.4, 105mm f1.4, 300mm f4 PF, and 500mm f4 F mount lenses. The Sony lenses I depend on are the 20mm f1.8, 24mm f1.4, 85mm f1.4, 90mm f2.8 macro, 135mm f/1.8, 16–35 f/2.8, 100-400 and 200-600 zooms. I have been a Nikon user since 1969 and I will likely never abandon them, but I have always had another system which does things Nikon doesn’t do. For instance, the Sony A9ii body has responsiveness and fast rolling shutter readout (no artifacts from artificial light) in silent shutter mode that make it unique for dynamic people pictures. In film days my alternative system was Hasselblad. But when I travel, my kit is still primarily Nikon, for subjective reasons, and because their 24-70 and 70-200 zooms are just rock solid excellent!

Thanks again for another really helpful response!

If you don't mind me asking, when you found that using Sony lenses on a Nikon Z body was a poor experience, were you using the Techart adapter? (I'm not aware of any others, so I assume so, but just wanted to check.) I'm trying to decide between "don't even bother" and "ehh, buy it on Amazon, give it a shot, but probably return it." (I'd rent a Sony body and a 24 GM for the test, too, if I go that route.)

And those divisions make a ton of sense to me. My seven "musts" are the f2.8 trinity, a pretty good macro lens, and fast 24, 35 and 85s. The Z system is ticking most of those boxes: I'm thrilled with Nikon on the Z f2.8 zooms (though I do prefer the 16-35 range). The Z 85mm f1.8 S is great for me too, I've kept the Z 50mm f1.8 S because it's a killer lens and cheap, and I actually don't mind using the FTZ on a macro because that's not the kind of lens I'll walk out the door with and hand-hold around the city for several hours or whatever, unlike a 24, 35, 14-24 or 24-70. I don't need anything longer than 200mm often enough to buy rather than renting (though if Nikon's eventual Z 200-600 is relatively well-priced, that might change). It's really only the 24 and 35 where Sony is making something that Nikon hasn't come close to, and unfortunately those are my two favorite focal lengths.

One other element that separated the Z6 and the A7 III when I was last evaluating Sony vs. Nikon mirrorless bodies was ergonomics. I know the A7R IV improved quite a bit in that regard, but other than handling it a little in my local camera store a couple times, I don't have any experience with it. Not sure which Sony body you're using, but if it's one with the updated ergonomics -- do you find you have a strong preference one way or the other between it and the Z bodies? Or that there's a super-clear downside to one or the other that you haven't adjusted to? I know this is subjective, but I feel like I'm headed down a similar path to the one you're on and I appreciate you sharing your experiences!

Yes my experience is with the Techart adaptor, and there were times I had to reboot the camera, times it would focus off into the twilight zone, or lurch around looking for focus.  A total distraction from doing photography!  The ergonomics of the A7riv and A9ii are very comfortable to me, and are much improved from the A7riii and A9.  The Sony autofocus works more like a Nikon D850 than Nikon Z cameras do and is good enough and intuitive enough that I don’t have to think about it most of the time, much like setting exposure is for cameras these days.  Nikon is still a generation behind Sony for focus in my opinion.  So why do I still shoot Nikon?  Because their core lenses like f/2.8 zooms are so good, color starting point for processing is less often problematic, and I deeply trust the reliability of the cameras and lenses.  If Nikon didn’t exist I would be happy with Sony, and vice versa, particularly in a year or two when Nikon’s lens selection is matured.

 fieldray's gear list:fieldray's gear list
Nikon D5 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 Sony a7R IV +14 more
briantilley
briantilley Veteran Member • Posts: 5,557
Re: Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?
2

e61 wrote:

I love shooting environmental portraits wide open, and while I love almost every Z lens introduced so far, I really wish there was a native f1.4 24mm or 35mm prime. They’re my most-used focal lengths.

I’m evaluating my options until Nikon (or Sigma or Tamron or whoever!) releases an f1.2 or f1.4 prime around 24, 28 or 35mm, and wanted to get a little feedback from those that have faced similar decisions.

Here are the options I see right now for each focal length. My requirements: 1) f1.4 or faster, and 2) autofocus. Please no debates about the merits of f1.4 vs. f1.8 :). I value bokeh quality, accurate autofocus and relatively quiet autofocus for video.

I can appreciate that you might prefer a f/1.4 lens because of its shallower depth of field, but that's not the same thing as "bokeh quality". Bokeh (as I'm sure you know) relates to the appearance of out-of-focus areas. If what you're after is those creamy smooth backgrounds with attractive highlights and smooth transitions rather than outright shallow DoF, then it's possible that an f/1.8 lens such as the Z 35mm or 24mm might satisfy you - and they would certainly meet your requirements for accurate and quiet AF.

In my case, I certainly prefer the OoF areas from my Z 35mm f/1.8 S when compared with those from the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC that I previously used on a D850. Not all f/1.8 lenses are equal. Basically, I wouldn't rule the the current Z Nikkors out without trying them.

Please ignore the above if you just want shallower DoF rather than nice bokeh

 briantilley's gear list:briantilley's gear list
Nikon Df Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D +20 more
vwcabman Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?

I have the Sigma Art 35mm f1.4 and it performs great on my Nikon Z6. A good solid lens. I sold my Sigma 50mm Art F1.4 to buy the Nikon 50mm F1.8. Z mount. I wish I had kept it. If I was going to buy a 24mm F1.4 I would go for the Sigma (second hand). However it is still a fair weight about 750 grams.

 vwcabman's gear list:vwcabman's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D800 Nikon Z6 Nikon 85mm F1.8G Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art +4 more
JimKasson
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 32,127
Re: Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?

e61 wrote:

Not including the Sigma Art 35mm f1.2 DG DN here because of reports that Sigma’s E-mount lenses don’t work well, or in some cases at all, on the Techart adapter.

I just checked. No AF. Bummer.

-- hide signature --
 JimKasson's gear list:JimKasson's gear list
Nikon Z7 Fujifilm GFX 100 Sony a7R IV Sony a9 II +1 more
OP e61 Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: Best 24mm and 35mm f1.4 autofocus options on Z-mount until there’s a native lens?

briantilley wrote:

e61 wrote:

I love shooting environmental portraits wide open, and while I love almost every Z lens introduced so far, I really wish there was a native f1.4 24mm or 35mm prime. They’re my most-used focal lengths.

I’m evaluating my options until Nikon (or Sigma or Tamron or whoever!) releases an f1.2 or f1.4 prime around 24, 28 or 35mm, and wanted to get a little feedback from those that have faced similar decisions.

Here are the options I see right now for each focal length. My requirements: 1) f1.4 or faster, and 2) autofocus. Please no debates about the merits of f1.4 vs. f1.8 :). I value bokeh quality, accurate autofocus and relatively quiet autofocus for video.

I can appreciate that you might prefer a f/1.4 lens because of its shallower depth of field, but that's not the same thing as "bokeh quality". Bokeh (as I'm sure you know) relates to the appearance of out-of-focus areas. If what you're after is those creamy smooth backgrounds with attractive highlights and smooth transitions rather than outright shallow DoF, then it's possible that an f/1.8 lens such as the Z 35mm or 24mm might satisfy you - and they would certainly meet your requirements for accurate and quiet AF.

In my case, I certainly prefer the OoF areas from my Z 35mm f/1.8 S when compared with those from the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC that I previously used on a D850. Not all f/1.8 lenses are equal. Basically, I wouldn't rule the the current Z Nikkors out without trying them.

Please ignore the above if you just want shallower DoF rather than nice bokeh

Right, gotcha, I meant to refer to bokeh quality as a characteristic of the lenses in addition to being able to get to f1.4. I’ve had the Z 24 and 35 f1.8s — great lenses, especially the 24, but I really am looking for f1.4 lenses (or f1.2 if Nikon or Sigma ever wants to go there on the Z-mount!) at those focal lengths.

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