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Best super wide angle prime lens?

Cham Saranasuriya , Jul 22, 2007; 10:09 p.m.

Interested to know the opinions for the best super wide angle prime lens among 14/2.8, 15/3.5, 15/5.6, 18/3.5, 18/4 for landscape photography by FSLR or DSLR.


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Eric Friedemann , Jul 22, 2007; 11:00 p.m.

For DSLRS, IMHO, the best super wide lens is the 12-24mm f/4.0 DX Nikkor. I had a 14mm f/2.8 ED Nikkor I was using on my D100s. Comparing the 14mm with a 12-24mm f/1.4 DX Nikkor I bought, I found the 12-24mm at 14mm to be at least as good at all apertures as the 14mm.

Given convenience factors- the greater focal length range of the zoom and that the zoom took standard, front-mounted 77mm filters- I sold the 14mm f/2.8 ED Nikkor. (As an aside, I'd also note that the 12-24mm DX Nikkor is lighter and about the same size as the 14mm f/2.8 ED Nikkor.)

For 35mm film cameras, I regard the 14mm f/2.8 ED Nikkor as the best of Nikon's super wides. I suspect its the ED glass that gives the 14mm a little more optical oomph than earlier super wides, particularly at f/2.8-4.0.

Elliot :) , Jul 23, 2007; 12:32 a.m.

Of the options you've given, the 14mm is the best.

Cham Saranasuriya , Jul 23, 2007; 02:11 a.m.

Thanks for the quick opinions.

Is the 14/2.8 better than the 15/3.5 with regards to distortion & colour as well?

Ilkka Nissila , Jul 23, 2007; 05:41 a.m.

None of these produce acceptable images on a DSLR. For film, they are all decent, but for a DSLR get the 12-24 DX.

Michael Bradtke , Jul 23, 2007; 08:07 a.m.

Take a look at the Tamron 14mm f/2.8 SP. I shot the Nikon 14 and the Tamron 14. I liked the image quality of the Tamron better then the Nikon..

I think it works very well on my DSLR.

Dan Long , Jul 23, 2007; 10:42 a.m.

Ilkka offers the opinion that none of these lenses produce"acceptable"images on DSLR's. I am hoping he will elaborate on this opinion with some facts.

Ilkka Nissila , Jul 23, 2007; 11:23 a.m.

Dan, all of these Nikkor lenses mentioned by the OP are super expensive. The 12-24 DX produces better image quality and is not prohibitatively expensive.

The CA on wide angle lenses on a 10-12 MP DX body is just unacceptable. I had the 14mm and still have the 20mm and the former was certainly the most expensive mistake I ever made in photography equipment purchases. I got a couple of decent images out of it using a D70. On a D200 it was a total disaster. I subsequently have been playing with the 12-24 a bit (I don't yet own it unfortunately) and own the 17-55 and these are far better than those primes. Or my samples at least. My 20mm prime produces images with unattractive soft edges.

For digital capture you need a wide angle which is designed with digital in mind, such as the 10.5mm, 12-24, 17-55 or 17-35. For FL = 35mm and up any good lens will do well.

Ilkka Nissila , Jul 23, 2007; 11:25 a.m.

As far as the other primes mentioned (the 15mm and 18mm), check www.naturfotograf.com for detailed reviews on their performance with digital sensors.

I keep my 20mm because I get great pics on 35mm film using it.

Jack L , Jul 23, 2007; 01:46 p.m.

>>...14/2.8, 15/3.5, 15/5.6, 18/3.5, 18/4

>None of these produce acceptable images on a DSLR.

Why is that?

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