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f1.4 prime or f2.8 zoom?

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dandeakin  7201 forum posts England3 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2013 - 12:48 PM

It's great. Alot is written about it's distortion, which is automatically corrected in Lightroom etc.

f4 even with "4 stop" VR isn't exactly fast. Mind you, You could have a 16-35 f4 and a 28 f1.8 for about the same money as a 14-24.

I've no experience if the 14-24 2.8, but that wouldnt have been an option for me given the difficulty of using filters.

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sigmasd14  3 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2013 - 1:55 PM

Its quite simple really, you should get a prime, every time!
Zooms are compromise lenses, they compromise on image quality (they are never as sharp as primes at any particular comparable focal length and usually have more CA), they compromise on speed (they are usually several stops slower than primes), they compromise on weight (they usually weigh significantly more than primes) and they compromise on build quality (They are typically constructed with various cheap feeling plastics in an attempt to try to reduce their unavoidable extra weight)...If you want to take the best quality photos possible, you don't compromise, you use the best lenses available...And they are almost always primes. Wink
BTW, the smaller the focal length a lens has, the greater the DOF, and the greater the subject distance is the deeper the DOF, so don't worry about not having enough DOF with a 35mm f1.4 as that really only applies if you using one for close ups or macros, at portrait distances DOF will be more than adequate, even wide open.
Primes needn't cost a lot either...Simply buy used ones, on ebay say, and you could get several excellent primes for the price of a single good quality prime.
Manual focus Ai or Ai-S versions are even cheaper but without sacrificing image quality at all.
Although I don't have any Nikon cameras I do use a few Nikon primes on my Sigma DSLR's and I have to say the 35mm f1.4 Ai-S is really good. WO it suffers a bit from coma but from f2 on its excellent. The excellent 105mm f2.5 Ai-S has never really been beaten at its focal length...Its still a must have lens in my book, just as its always been. Whilst the Micro Nikkor 55mm f2.8 Ai-S is a great macro lens, the Micro Nikkor 200mm f4 ED IF Ai-S is better for macros of shy insects because of its much larger working distance.

Sooty_1 Critique Team 41216 forum posts United Kingdom200 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2013 - 4:47 PM

35mm Nikkor at f/1.4, at normal portrait distances (say 4-5 feet) on a crop sensor will have a depth of field of around 3-4 inches. Not much to play with, wide open.

uganda  7 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2013 - 2:37 PM

Thanks - I'm currently considering the 28mm f1.8g (on D700). I'm thinking that the prime lenses will produce better quality images in more "challenging" conditions....

29 Apr 2013 - 2:43 PM

Zoom lenses have improved greatly over the last decade and the current Nikon professional offerings perform every bit as well as most primes. But I only know of one zoom wider than f2.8: an Angenieux that's f2.3 at the wide end.

Last Modified By thewilliam at 29 Apr 2013 - 2:43 PM
sigmasd14  3 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2013 - 4:08 AM

Or there is Sigma's new "art" zoom, the 18-35mm with a constant f1.8 right across the zoom range. Its the worlds first constant f1.8 zoom lens. Problem is, its for crop format only not for full frame, so its no good for use on the OP's D700.

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