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f1.4 prime or f2.8 zoom?


uganda 7 19 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2013 10:48AM
I've been looking into getting some fast wide angle lenses for a Nikon D700 - such as the 35mm f1.4G and the 24mm f/1.4G; however, need I mention the cost of them!

What alternatives would you suggest which offer the same performance whilst hand-held in low light?

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Newdevonian 2 452 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2013 11:11AM
In my experience I have always thought that wide angle shots tend to require a large DoF, so why bother with large apertures in this area. A F2.8 or F4 fixed max aperture zoom IMHO would be a better bet. I can only think of theatre on stage shots where you might require large aperture wide angles.
8 Apr 2013 11:30AM
Looking at your portfolio you seem to be taking photos in high contrast overhead daylight often encountered near the Equator.
For these subjects a flashgun and learning how to use fill in flash, or a white reflector could help get better results.
One solution to low light (which is different to the light in your portfolio) and is a relatively affordable is a longer shutter speed with a camera on a good tripod.
Using f2.8 or f1.4 does not help much unless you can accept the very narrow depth of field that cannot be avoided taking pictures at very wide apertures.
uganda 7 19 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2013 12:04PM
Just to mention, the images in the portfolio were taken on a m/f film camera which I hardly use now.

The camera I’d be using in further work is a D700. The lenses I already have for this camera, when used outdoors & in the daytime, are fine. What I’m wanting are lenses which can be used indoors at dawn/dusk and at night.

As mentioned, the work will include hand-held – there are times when I believe that a flash and/or tripod are either inappropriate or just not possible…
cameracat 11 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
8 Apr 2013 12:10PM
Forget the primes, Go with the incredible Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 ED/Nano etc, A perfect option for the D700.
uganda 7 19 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2013 12:13PM
I've already got a 50 f1.4d, 80-200mm f2.8 and a 24-85mm f2.8-4.

The 24-85mm is the lens I'm wanting to replace (I'm not happy with the results I'm getting!)
thewilliam 6 4.8k
8 Apr 2013 12:31PM
The 24-70 f2.8 is "standard issue" for a lot of professionals and it is indeed a fine lens. I suggest you hire or borrow one to see whether it'll give better results than your present 24-85.

We have both primes and zooms in our equipment safe. If I had to choose, I'd keep the zooms.
RavenTepes 5 198 United States
8 Apr 2013 5:28PM
I'm going to have to agree with the option of the 24-70 2.8. You'd be hard pressed to find a better lens, without having to constantly switch primes. Personally, if you have no sentimental attachment to any of the lenses that you wish to replace, I'd sell any or all of them that you don't wish to keep and use that money for the 24-70. You really won't be disappointed with the results.

If you don't like that option, sell the D700 and pick up a D800 and crank up your ISO.

Or as LenShepherd suggested, you could buy a flash, which honestly would be the least expensive of the options ahead of you.
dandeakin 7 207 3 England
8 Apr 2013 10:37PM
28mm 1.8g is an outstanding lens. A lot smaller and much lighter than the 24-70.

I was looking at the 24mm 1.4 g or the sigma 35mm 1.4.

Ended up getting the 28mm and have been very impressed (I've also got a 24-70).
9 Apr 2013 9:33AM

Quote:
The camera I’d be using in further work is a D700. The lenses I already have for this camera, when used outdoors & in the daytime, are fine. What I’m wanting are lenses which can be used indoors at dawn/dusk and at night. (snipped) – there are times when I believe that a flash and/or tripod are either inappropriate or just not possible…


The challenge is handholding and not using flash. There is less camera shake with the shorter focal lengths with 24 mm f1.4 being best and 85 mm f1.4 being worst.
I assume you know you will get very little depth of field at f1.4 or f2 - it may surprise you but many narrow depth of field shots are taken in controlled conditions from a tripod, often with a co-operative model, to help combat the challenges of negligible depth of field.
Nikon give you choices - f1.4 primes for the lowest light level performance, or more versatile f2.8 zooms. Only you can take the final decision.
Looking to the future the D800 or even the D600 will give you better low light noise performance than your D700.
Nick_w e2
7 4.1k 99 England
9 Apr 2013 1:28PM
Don't be freightened to up the ISO you can get excellent resuls with the D700 at ISO3200 and above.
uganda 7 19 United Kingdom
9 Apr 2013 4:07PM
Thanks - i do have the habit of trying to keep the ISO as low as possible...

How do the third-party lenses fair vs the Nikon?
thewilliam 6 4.8k
10 Apr 2013 10:52AM
1. The vast majority of Nikon lenses perform superbly when new.
2. The "professional" quality Nikon kit still performs well after years of hard use.
3. Nikon lenses hold their value better than most others.

Third-party optics with the exception of Zeiss and Angeniux don't meet all three.
dandeakin 7 207 3 England
10 Apr 2013 10:54PM

Quote:

How do the third-party lenses fair vs the Nikon?



I've never used the new Sigma 35mm 1.4, but every review that I've seen on it says its outperforms than Canikon Equivilents by any measure, despite being significantely cheaper.

I do agree with 3) above though - the second hand value of the Third party lenses is pretty poor compared to Canon/Nikon Equivilents.
uganda 7 19 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2013 8:36AM
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Lens

How does this lens fair next to an f2.8 - possibly f1.8 is too far?

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