Old 01-10-2015, 02:12 PM   #1
Noct Foamer
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A few months ago I switched camera systems, from Nikon D7100 with Nikon f2.8 zooms, to a Nikon D800E. I was mainly after two things with the switch: (1) the ability to use Nikon tilt/shift lenses (2) ability to make really big enlargements for my wedding business. Here's the lenses I currently have for the D800E: Nikons 24mm PC-E, 85mm f1.8G, 70-200mm f2.8 VR, 80-400mm G AFS, and Sigma ART lenses f1.4 35mm and 50mm. (The Nikon 85mm f1.8G will be replaced with Sigma ART 85mm f1.4 when that becomes available.) Some more info. I almost ALWAYS use a solid Gitzo tripod, and do a lot of night photography.

Here's my two questions. First, even though the Sigma 50mm f1.4 A is about the sharpest possible lens that can be used on a D800E, I'm thinking of replacing it with the Nikon 45mm f2.8 PC-E. I'm finding the movements on the 24mm PC-E to be SO useful, I'm considering getting the 45mm too. (I still actively shoot 4x5 and understand what movements can do for my architectural shots.) How many here are using a 45 or 50mm tilt/shift lens? Do you use it as often as you do your 24mm t/s?

Second question. For weddings, I really don't need anything wider than 24mm, but for in the cab shots etc. I think I do. The Zeiss 21mm is said to be razor sharp, but it's not that much wider than my 24mm. The best ultra wide I can buy seems to be the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 and that's what I'm leaning to. I've been buying only the best possible lenses. HOWEVER, I don't think I'll use this lens all that often. The Samyang/Rokinon/etc. 14mm f2.8 tests very sharp but has some distortion & CA. Anyone here using one? The only other lens I've really considered is the new Nikon 18-35mm. Nice lens, but it does not give me f2.8. In a cab I like to get as fast a shutter speed as possible. An f2.8 also makes focus in the dark easier. Anyone have any experience with the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 vs. one of these other two lenses? If Nikon made a 17 or 18mm t/s like Canon does, that would my solution right there! Love those tilt/shifts.


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Old 01-10-2015, 04:16 PM   #2
J-M Frybourg
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The Nikon 14-24 is a fabulous lens. At first I thought that I would use it occasionnally, not frequently. But I now use it more often than I had anticipated. I have the Nikkor 24-70 1:2.8G ED, which is quite good, but each time I am about to shoot at the lower end around 24mm, I prefer to change and use the 14-24 instead of the 24-70, because the result is so much better that I can crop with confidence in the picture if needed. (And the D800E or D810 is so good that it allows for such cropping.) For shooting groups of people, the 14-24 is also a pleasure to use when you don't have enough room to shoot from farther away. Note that I also have the 16mm 1:2.8 that I use for fisheye effects and for cab shots when needed: the 14-24 does not provide such a wide angle as the 16mm and does not deform pictures so there is no redundancy between the 14-24 and the 16. You can probably find some -recent - pictures that I shot with the 14-24 in my RP.net pictures (refer to the EXIF data).
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:20 PM   #3
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As regards sharpness, the 14-24 is surprisingly good. As explained in my previoys message, it is better than the ubiquitous 24-70 1:2.8. I highly recommend the 14-24. Although it is a zoom, I am not disappointed by sharpness issues (contrary to the 24-70). And because it is a zoom, I find it more useful - versatile - than a fixed lens like the 14 2.8 that you consider as an alternative.
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:50 PM   #4
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All of the stuff you discussing (with the possible exception of the Rokinon) is top grade gear so you will not be losing any way you go. As you have seen, it will be just a matter of preference.

Just one observation: as the focal length numbers get lower, the more each means. Thus you may find the that 21mm is significantly wider than the 24mm or at least enough for your purposes.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:50 AM   #5
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I did not use the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 on my D7100 all that much, but when I needed it, I needed it. Since most of the time my subjects are moving, simply splicing together two shots to make a pano isn't really an option. It's looking like for now, the very best ultrawide I can buy is that Nikon 14-24mm f2.8, so I will start looking for one on ebay. This time of year they dip down to $1,200.

I'm still on the bubble about the 50mm vs. 45mm PC-E. No question, I love to use lens movements, but OTOH that Sigma 50mm ART is just astonishing! The only lens that can match or beat it is the Zeiss Otus, at $4,000. I'm trying to keep my camera bag small and simple, so I think I'll just keep the Sigma 50mm. Through the next six months I'll keep a tally of how often I would have used a 45mm PC-E vs the Sigma.

One of the things I'll mention is just how little difference an FX camera, even the 36mp D800E, really makes to photography. I assumed that when I bought it. Really, there's no discernible difference between images made with my 24mp D7100 and the 36mp D800E (up to a 16x20 print). There is certainly a difference in certain kinds of shots (mainly architectural) made with the 24mm PC-E, and that's why I bought the camera. A big disadvantage for me with FX is that I have lost one stop of DoF vs. DX. That has been crimping me a bit. Keep in mind that many of my RR shots are made with flash, and everytime I go up one f-stop, I have to DOUBLE the number of flash I have to keep same DoF. Yes, I can also up the ISO, but like everything in photography there is a cost to that too. All in all, money is almost always better placed in lenses. Cameras are not magic, they're just a machine.


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Old 01-12-2015, 02:49 AM   #6
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I own a Samyang 14mm f2.8 that I use on my Canon 6d. It's worthless for any photography where straight lines are in play. It has a terrible mustache shaped distortion that is almost impossible to completely correct. I use it for astro photography and large landscape work, as it is extremely sharp and a great print lens for those two genres.

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Old 01-12-2015, 03:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bigbassloyd View Post
I own a Samyang 14mm f2.8 that I use on my Canon 6d. It's worthless for any photography where straight lines are in play.
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That's what I was afraid of. Always trade offs. Lots of straight lines in phoamer photography.


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Old 01-12-2015, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noct Foamer View Post
A few months ago I switched camera systems, from Nikon D7100 with Nikon f2.8 zooms, to a Nikon D800E. I was mainly after two things with the switch: (1) the ability to use Nikon tilt/shift lenses (2) ability to make really big enlargements for my wedding business. (Here are) the lenses I currently have for the D800E: Nikons 24mm PC-E, 85mm f1.8G, 70-200mm f2.8 VR, 80-400mm G AFS, and Sigma ART lenses f1.4 35mm and 50mm. (The Nikon 85mm f1.8G will be replaced with Sigma ART 85mm f1.4 when that becomes available.) Some more info. I almost ALWAYS use a solid Gitzo tripod, and do a lot of night photography.

(Here are) my two questions. First, even though the Sigma 50mm f1.4 A is about the sharpest possible lens that can be used on a D800E, I'm thinking of replacing it with the Nikon 45mm f2.8 PC-E. I'm finding the movements on the 24mm PC-E to be SO useful, I'm considering getting the 45mm too. (I still actively shoot 4x5 and understand what movements can do for my architectural shots.) How many here are using a 45 or 50mm tilt/shift lens? Do you use it as often as you do your 24mm t/s?
Kent, I thought you were using those old fashioned cameras. Did you give up on them?
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:00 PM   #9
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Kent, I thought you were using those old fashioned cameras. Did you give up on them?
No, not at all. I still carry a Leica IIIc (1942) with 1940s vintage 28/35/50/90mm Leica lenses. Several of my best shots from last year came from that camera. I also keep my Chamonix 045 4x5 field camera in my car (it's modern) along with four lenses vintage 1910 to 1928. Still have my pre-Civil War lenses from 1845, 1848, 1854, 1858, and 1862 as well. I have plenty of other "stuff" as well, mostly from the 1920s & 30s. Last year I had a ~100mm Petzval made in the 1870s and a 50mm Darlot doublet lens from 1895 put into F mount by SK Grimes so I can use them on my Nikons. I love the look I get from these old lenses, and the Leica is my favorite camera to use, especially for "street" photography in cities.


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