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Nikon 16-35 f4 any good on D800

woodworth 5 25 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2012 2:07PM
I'm choosing between the fabulous 14-24 and the (perhaps not quite as good) 16-35 Nikkors.

The 14-24 is obviously the best - no doubt, but just how much worse is the cheaper 16-35, I wonder? The 16-35 offers the advantage of allowing a filter to be fitted for protection purposes and as I sometimes work on building sites (dust!!!), this may offer an advantage. Any thoughts?

Also, some have complained of distortion with this lens - is this actual bad distortion or just what one might expect with a super wide lens?

Again, thanks in advance for your input!Grin

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User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
10 Jul 2012 2:57PM
When I moved from DX to FX and had to replace my trusty Sigma 10-20mm, I chose the Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 for the simple reason that the 14-24mm f/2.8 does not have a filter thread.

Subsequently, some push-on workarounds appeared on the market but I think there is still a vignetting problem with some of them at minimum focal length.

I am very happy with the 16-35mm although, increasingly, for ultra-W/A landscapes (which are not my favourite except in special conditions) I am tending to use the Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 prime lens which is a real cracker and much cheaper than either of the zooms.

I notice on another thread that you have just got your D800. The lenses that I use most with mine are:

First, the ubiquitous and superb 24-70mm f/2.8
Secondly, the equally excellent 70-200mm f/2.8 VRll
Thirdly, the Sigma 150-500mm
Fourthly, the Nikkor 105mm micro
Fifthly, quite a way behind, the choice of 20mm prime or 16-35mm zoom
Sixthly, the Sigma 8mm fisheye

I didn't necessarily envisage that being the relative frequency of usage when I first bought each lens, but that is the way it has panned out over the past couple of years with experience of using the D3s and, now, the D800.
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
10 Jul 2012 10:49PM
I have the 14-24 and also find that the distortion can be a problem, which is not always easy to correct in PS, and maybe an issue if being used for serious architectural photography.
10 Jul 2012 11:38PM
The 16-35 is excellent on the d800,I have had a few superb edge to edge sharp 20x30 prints all shot at 16mm @ f10/11 try not to go smaller due to diffraction the distortion is easily corrected in Photoshop or PT lens
woodworth 5 25 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2012 9:55AM
Interesting comments, thanks. My current UWA is a 16mm on the system I'm leaving and I've been happy with 16mm as my widest but the actual prospect of a 14mm is tempting, however in the light of your remarks perhaps not as tempting as it might be.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
11 Jul 2012 10:32AM
Have you checked out the Nikon 17-35 f2.8? I've had one for about a decade and it does its job well. It takes the same 77mm filters as many of the other lenses that I use.

Nikon considered it good enough to re-introduce!
11 Jul 2012 3:35PM
The Nikon 17-35 2.8 is way overpriced now, I had one for a few years but the 16-35 has better contrast and is sharper.
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
11 Jul 2012 6:04PM
I own both lenses.
The 14-24 has a very exposed front element that is very difficult to protect on building sites.
The 16-35 has VR - which could be more than useful if you work from a scaffold.
You can check out Nikon's full aperture MTF at http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/index.htm
The 14-24 at 14mm has distortion that would not have been acceptable in the film era - the 16-35 at 16mm has even more.
Distortion is easily corrected post processing - something you will have to do with either lens if you want straight lines straight at the wide end.
Corner quality of the 14-24 at 14mm f2.8 is OK - with the 16-35 at 16mm it falls off a cliff at 16mm corners f4 beyond 5:4 format - but is good by f8.
You do not say what you will use your pictures for. Resolution issues are largely unimportant for typical web files - though it does become important if you print at 16x12 inches.
woodworth 5 25 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2012 8:55PM
LenShepherd: Thanks for the comparison, very useful! As to what I'm going to use the lens for; it will be used for large prints 16x20+, web-use, photo-books and indeed almost anything. I take your point about edge sharpness - so long as its good at f8-11, that ok for me. Seems like both will require distortion correction at the widest end, so no gain there either way.

As much as I'd sometimes like to go wider than 16mm, I am content at 16mm almost all the time. I'd probably use the lens most in the 16-24mm range, so there is no real benefit for me if it goes further than 24 on the long end.

The bulbous (and therefore easily damaged) front element and the lack of a filter thread seem to make the 14-24 slightly less attractive and so it seems that the 16-35 will be good for my purposes.

Thanks to all of you who have ventured an opinion! Grin
Hi all I have read mix review about Nikon 16-35 VR and 17-35 F2.8, both are good and bad, however I searched many reviews said that 17-35 F2.8 is better over then 16-35 because 16-35 VR, At 16mm setting show a considerable amount of barrel distortion then 17-35 at 17mm and 16-35 VR at 35mm is not sharp as 17-35 at 35mm. As it look like that 16-35 is best between 20mm to 24mm range and have VR for hand-held use which is useful but not for landscape work with VR on!!. With lee or Hitech filters perferable use with tripod work not hand held. So which one is best ? I think lens with VR is best use like 24-85mm or longer telephoto to able use hand held most of time. I know one of nikon 24-85mm F3.5/4 VR, when mount on tripod, VR switch off automatic!!!! I think VR is not necessary on wide angle lenses. I read review that if switch VR on when mount on tripod, VR thinks the lens is moving and it will cause burr on image!!!! Must turn VR off when lens mount on tripod always!!!!
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
27 Nov 2012 11:00PM
Get the 16-35 you won't regret it. There's too much written about weakness of wide open at 16mm, but for landscapes when are you using F4 at 16mm? When I first got mine I deliberately used 16mm to check for worst case, I like to think I'm quite decerning but I find it sharp in the corners (D700), at F11-F16).

When you get to 20-28mm it's absolutely outstanding, there are a few examples in my PF of what it's capable of. IMHO even at 20mm it beats my trusted 20mm prime. Optically very similar at 20mm but it handles flare far, far better.

Where abouts are you based? I would be more than happy to meet up and let you have a go with both the 16-35 and the 20mm.
annettep38 Plus
7 218 40 Costa Rica
28 Nov 2012 12:12AM
well.. I have gone for the 14-24 cause I needed it for architecture shots like this . had also asked around here.
for interiors you can seriously do with the bigger aperture to see what you are doing and the extra 2mm do help a lot. I don't miss filters at all, what do you need them for at 14-20mm? This lens is really sharper than my primes, unbelievable but true.
only downsides: a bit of distortion that is hard to correct round 16 mm (easier at 14mm) and outside in bright sunlight it is very hard to keep the flares away. Try them all and decide.
Well its personal taste really, I wont buy 14-24 due to problem with expensive filter attachment!!!!!!!, yes its good lenses but who want giant print? Once in my earlier time I use Canon EOS1D Mark 2 its 8.5MB CMOS 1.3x, with 24to105 F4 L for wedding photography, I enlarged to 30ins by 24 ins, I can able to read small text print at background that unbelievable to my naked eye.
Canon 24 to 105 L F4 is not sharper as Nikon 14-24 lens, so what you say please???
However if you think problem with soft edge with 17-35 or 16-35 at F2.8 and F4 really all depends what are you doing in photography like for example...at 17mm at F2.8 close up of subject with background burr, then soft edge is not issue! However for landscape work I donít use F2.8, always use F8 or F11 with 17mm or 20mm or 24mm whatever, then there is no soft edge.
Its up to photographer know how to do able to take good photo, its not camera or lens itself.
If Nikon make 17-35 F2.8 or 16-35 F4, if suppose Nikon found these lens are not good then it will stop manufacture is it?
Other thing if the lens is not sharp, you need fine tune adjustment, and if not then its something wrong with lens. I just bought second hand 17-35 F2.8 with mint- condition from Ffordes for £780 and I am doing allow 10 days approval and I will report later on.
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
2 Dec 2012 9:23PM
Apologies for missing the important detail of using the viewfinder cover.
If you carefully use tape to mask over the focus distance window you can find out if the light is getting in this way.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
2 Dec 2012 9:26PM

Quote:Apologies for missing the important detail of using the viewfinder cover.
If you carefully use tape to mask over the focus distance window you can find out if the light is getting in this way.

Sorry if this seems slightly away from the original point. Len, does noth the D600 and D800 have inbuilt viewfinder covers, like the D700? Something that's vital for long exposures on the D700. ( I use it so much the coating in the switch was worn away)

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