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15mm or 14-24?

annettep38 Plus
7 218 40 Costa Rica
1 Aug 2012 9:46PM
I guess it has been discussed before but couldn't find anything useful
It happens that I have got myself a bit of a sideline doing real estate shots for the better buildings.

Now since I have got the D3x I bought an 18mm 3.5 MF and it isn't bad. Not quite as good as the 20mm Mf but usually ok, except for when there is still not enough space.
Now I'm considering either a 14-24 (1094 ex VAT from Wex) or a s/h 15mm ( distortion free it was on my f3... before I had to sell it during hard times) . The 15mm is available from about 750 upwards.
The distortion of the 14mm looks awful on Rockwell's site so forget that.

I have no time to spend hours correcting horrible distortions. I have read the 14-24 is 'easy' to do. Is that true? What would you choose?

Please consider that this is for a job, not landscapes... and I have got a 20mm and a 28mm .

As usual, I would like to thank you in advance for your very helpful remarks. Believe me, your help on my new camera was very useful. I made the right choice and you made things clear to me.

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lemmy 11 2.7k United Kingdom
2 Aug 2012 9:37AM
Given the work you are doing, the lenses you already have and the fact that a prime lens will be corrected for distortion at its single focal length rather than the necessary compromise to correct over a range that the zoom designer has, I'd say the 15mm was the way to go.

Especially since that is a healthy 110 degrees across the diagonal on your 36mm sensor. A further point of interest is that often with zoom lenses the wide is not quite as wide as the spec tells you and the 14mm of a zoom may be not be the 14mm of a prime.

Interestingly, on a Pentax I had, the 15mm prime was much less sharp than the 12-24mm zoom so the superior performance of prime lenses is not always the given that some take it to be, so worth reading some tests.

By the way, when I was flogging a house, the agent was having trouble getting enough of a room in the frame. I asked why he didn't just buy an ultra wide for these occasions and he told me the estate agent's code of conduct didn't permit the use of unusually wide angle lenses since it gave a false impression of the size of the room and could be judged misrepresentation.

Was he having me on, then, Annette?
annettep38 Plus
7 218 40 Costa Rica
2 Aug 2012 10:01AM
thanks for your reply... I will just hang on for a while till I find someone who has tried the 14-24.
I agree on the wrong labelling of some zooms.. My Tamron 300mm is 'longer' than my Nikkor 70-300 Smile
I think the agent was having you on... you take one say 24mm shot if you want to.. But people want to see the largest angle possible to see what the get. Or, in old houses you want to see the ceiling as well. So the ultrawide is all I can do really.
Also, some exterior shots are very tricky if you don't want anything in the way. Again, it is a lot of cheating in PS (not on) or an ultrawide.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
2 Aug 2012 10:24AM
The 15mm MF is indeed nice but programs like Capture NX2 will "recognise" the working focal-legth of a 14-24 zoom and should allow you to do the corrections quite easily.
2 Aug 2012 10:38AM

Quote:Was he having me on, then
No he wasnt, photographs are covered by the Property Misdescriptions Act as well as text, also adding a disclaimer about using wide angle lenses does not necessarily cover you either (but thats in the UK)
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2012 1:39PM
Use of a wide angle lens is not necessarily misleading. I think the estate agent was erring on the side of caution which is probably not a bad thing for 90% of properties.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
2 Aug 2012 3:29PM

Quote:I have no time to spend hours correcting horrible distortions.

You don't have to have Lightroom do it for you automatically on upload.

You do know the 14-24 doesn't take filters? (easily).
annettep38 Plus
7 218 40 Costa Rica
2 Aug 2012 8:55PM
Interesting point Nick... I have tried to let LR correct the vignetting of my 18mm automatically.. Doesn't work, I had to build a preset.. So for the sake of the exercise I tried to correct some architecture shots I had taken with the 18-55 DX lens on my D2x.
Not sure, you loose some in the crop, don't you? Also, you can't save the lens setting? Maybe I just don't twig how you can automate it.
yes , I know about filters: 15mm yes retro filter a bit like in the 500mm or 600mm tele. Only it is screw in.

Question to william and you: Have you tried both lenses or just one of them?

BTW I mentioned the wide angle legal thing to the client, he said
- that is the UK for you doesn't concern us
- if you supply plans and the surface of each room and the total area built up + the land you can take your pics as you please, but don't clone anything out that can't be removed by had.. Say if I clone our a kid's toy or the washing that is fine but not the lamp post.He reckons that should also work for the UK.
- he likes my 18mm interior shots very much and those I took with a 35 PC.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
2 Aug 2012 9:40PM
Annette, what version of Lightroom are you using? I've never had a problem, I use Nikkors 24-120 F4 (the new one) and 20mm - both of which if you read Mr Rockwells site, are rubbish, but they serve me fine. The 20mm does have a strange distortion, but Lightroom corrects it perfectly every time. The 24-120 has quite severe vignetting (about 1.5-2 stops at its worst) again perfect every time. Remember every extreme wide angle lens has quite noticeable distortion even the 14-24 which is widely regarded as the best wide angle lens ever made (possible exceptions are tilt and shift lenses). If you read some web sites you would never buy any lens. Distortions are only really a problem when there are noticable straight lines - indeed sometimes its the distortion that gives wide angles their distinctive look, ie large FG interest etc.

You can save presets - visit adobes web site .
These are the lenses supported by Lightroom

Remember that this only corrects anomalies caused by the lens - and not by the photographer
. Lean the lens up / down you will get distortions that will require correction later. That applies to any lens, but more specifically wide angles.

You can also correct in photoshop easily, in minutes not hours, use transform/perspective and not lens correction just set a grid in your preferences so you have lines to refer to (I'm not at my main PC so cant give the exact shortcuts).

If I were doing interiors commercially I wouldn't use a standard wide angle, but a tilt and shift They are about the same price as the 14-24 too (ca 1400).

One other recommendation, would be to treat Mr Rockwells reviews with a pinch of salt - photozone is far, far better and backed up with scientific results. Fred Miranda is pretty good for user review (there's only one for this lens which is unusual)

annettep38 Plus
7 218 40 Costa Rica
2 Aug 2012 10:40PM
Thanks Nick, I am downloading the fle in the background the 80 MB will take a while.
there you go you learn some really useful stuff here.
Yes I know about tilt and shift, I used to take a lot of lighthouses and architecture, but used mostly a Toyo Field 4x5". this here is a crop of a larger image, no correction was needed.

This here has only a slight correction. Taken with the 20mm 2.8 MF. BTW Rockwell likes the 20mm used here, must have been another lens he moaned about, I think you are referring to the later 18mm. He also moans about the 18mm I have, but at least it is straight Smile But never mind... I do not tend to take everything for gospel, that is why I'm asking here for other's real world experience.

Yes, I have also got a 35mm PC lens! it is quite useful for exteriors, but I doubt it would be very helpful with the interior shots.
here is an example of an attic . I cheated with my DX lens, squeezing out 16mm
here is a bigger room, taken with the 18mm.

hope this helps to explain my needs. Will check photozone, I like Fred Miranda!
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
2 Aug 2012 10:47PM
Thinking about your requirements - I would probably go for the 14-24 (I nearly bought one, but couldn't justify the expense - so have a 16-35 on order) - Why not hire one for a weekend first, to check if its what you want.

Another option you have, either with what you've got, or with a T&S is to stitch them in a pano in PS (quite easy, Lightroom/Edit in PS as Pano)

BTW some pretty good examples there.
annettep38 Plus
7 218 40 Costa Rica
2 Aug 2012 11:38PM
thanks again Nick... yes likewise, a lot of fine stuff in your PF.
Hire? Never heard of such a thing! All you can hire here is cranes, bulldozers or trucks Smile Or maybe a big sander.
No unfortunately I know of none in my acquaintances within a 2 hour radius.

Well I'll see what I can find in the way of 15mm sample shots or tests.. and compare again. Would be great if I could get away with spending about 300 or 400 less .
suppose the resolution of the 14-24 is excellent, I'm only worried about the lines. Taht software still hasn't finished downloading. French internet!!!
annettep38 Plus
7 218 40 Costa Rica
3 Aug 2012 12:28AM
Just found something, at last!!!
written by a Canon user...
and here the 15mm against a sigma... but you can compare across the reviews
thewilliam 9 6.1k
3 Aug 2012 9:10AM
Now I understand why so many Canon owners buy an adapter and use Nikon optics!
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
6 Aug 2012 6:47AM
Mifsuds have 1 copy of the 14mm prime at 1077 http://www.mifsuds.com/acatalog/Nikon_Fixed_Lenses.html
The prime, which I used to own, has negligible distortion but heavier wide open gradual vignetting than the zoom at 14mm as the prime is a pre telecentric era optical design.
The 15mm is likely to have heavy wide open distortion and some corner CA, being pre telecentric design.
At Focus 2007 Nikon said several lenses, including the 18mm AF, had been withdrawn as the were not good for future digital use. 6 months later the FX D3 was launched.
If you get a 15mm my advice is make sure you can return it under Distance Selling legislation if it has too much wide aperture vignetting and CA for your intended use.

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