Dennis Peter Bours , Jan 25, 2010; 12:28 a.m.
I do have the Nikkor 14 - 24 2.8, which is extremely wide. But again, the 14 is only usable for overviews from a distance, since you will get a clear fisheye effect. If you take a group shot at 14mm it will not be pretty.
If you want to go for extremely wide - overview of entire church, this is the lens. But I would not use it for group shots to be honest.
I also have the Sigma 24 - 70 2.8.
That is a great lens, since it has a very nice range going from group shots to portraits. And I have to say I'm very happy with the quality. The price difference with the Nikkor 24-70 2.8 made me choose the Sigma and I'm happy I did. Got mine second hand for 250 euros.
If you shoot these group shots and overviews in confined spaces, perhaps the Nikkor 17- 35 2.8.
Seems to be a fine lens from what I read of other users. For me, there is too much overlap with my other 2.8 lenses, so I got the 18-35 version 3.5 - 4.5. If you would consider buying the 17-35 2.8, perhaps get a second hand 18-35 mm f/3.5 - 4.5 first to see if the range works for you.
For me, the Sigma 24 - 70 and the Nikkor 14 - 24 is a great combination. Be aware that the Nikkor 14 - 24 is only usable at 20 - 24 for group shots. When you go wider, you get too much fisheye effect for a clean group shot. BUT, you will get great overviews at 14mm. Wonderful sharpness!!
Regatta - Nikkor 14-24 at 14mm, 1/320, f/9, iso 200.