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(Also) WA for D700
#1
As I mentioned in Vieux loup's thread, I am considering a fast prime wide-angle lens for D700. I have the Nikon 16-35mm f4 and I am happy with it, but I feel that it is soft at f4 and sometimes I need a WA lens with a larger aperture. I said that I am considering the Zeiss 35mm f2 and 25mm f2.8 (while for Nikon prime WA lenses, the new 35mm f1.4 and 24mm f1.4 are both excellent but very expensive, and old WA primes AF 35mm f2, 24mm f2.8 and 20mm f2.8 are not very remarkable). Indeed I am also considering the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 but I cannot convince myself that having the 21mm f2.8 is a significant addition to my lens set since I have the 16-35mm f4, while a 35mm f2 lens will compensate it much at the 35mm end.



Sure, the 21mm f2.8 and the 16-35mm f4 are not in the same class, the 21mm lens is great in many spects and for Nikon users probably the only competition is the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8. But, for lanscape shooting where the used aperture is usually f10 and beyond (e.g. f16, f22), I wonder at such a small aperture if the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 can still give much better results than the Nikon 16-36mm f4 (setted at 21mm). According to the PZ test results on D3x, from f8 and beyond the difference in resolution betwen Zeiss 21mm f2.8 and the Nikon 16-35mm [email protected] is indeed not that big:

[Image: mtf.png]

[Image: mtf.png]

So, can someone tell me for landscape shooting can the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 deliver much better results than the Nikon 16-35mm f4 at 21mm?



Yes, I understand that it may sound odd to compare theses two lenses. But I want to know if buying a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 lens just does not make much sense for me since I have the Nikon 16-35mm f4 which behaves very good at 21mm when it is not whide open.
#2
Add: I just noticed that at f11 and 21mm the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 indeed gives much better resolution at the center of the image. But I wonder what is the difference at f16 and f22 (according to BC at f16 and f22 all lenses behave similiar due to diffraction).
#3
Hi Frank,



I wonder why you would need F/16 and F/22 for landscapes, to be very honest. You could, sharpness wise, use any old lens indeed, as there are extremely few lenses which aren't diffraction limited at F/16 and F/22, hence won't get more resolution than is possible at all due to the diffraction limit at these apertures, and you will also be very hard pressed to see any more DoF due to the loss of detail.



IMO it pays to close th eaperture no further than F/8 or F/11 with (U)WA lenses, because with a little bit of judicial focusing you will get increased sharpness, while having plenty (more than enough) DoF still.



Furthermore, on the D700, the resolution curves will look dramatically different as compared to the D3x. The resolution for edge, border and centre will be much, much closer together, and all veer towards the maximum possible, due to the much lower resolution of the D700 sensor, and the corresponding AA-filter. IOW, it is really hard if not impossible to translate the D3X figures to the D700. Overall, things will look a lot better.



As to a wider openign than F/4, with good sharpness, the Nikkor 14-24 is almost unbeatable. There are only a few lenses in that class, namely Zeiss 21 F/2.8, Nikkor 14-24 F/2.8, Canon 24L II, Nikkor 24 F/1.4, Canon TS-E 24L II and Canon TS-E 17L, where at teh UWA end obviosuly TS-E 17, Nokkor 14-24 and Zeis 21 stand out.



Either of these are top class lenses, and obviously the Canon won't work with your D700. IQ wise both Nikkor 14-24 and Zeiss 21 are a match, with as main differences that the Nikkor has less vignetting overall, even wide open and goes right to 14 mm which provides quite a bit more AoV than 21, the Zeiss is a lot lighter and takes much less expensive filters, the Nikkor has AF, the Zeiss requires MF. I've shot both on Canon, BTW, and my personal preference goes to the Nikkor, because of the much lower amount of vignetting wide open.



I have read many a test, and in one test the Zeiss will come out slightly better, and in another the Nikkor, so in effect they are really a wash, if you'd ask me. To me the preference goes to Nikkor because of the much wider view possible, still at world class IQ, AF, and because of the much smaller amount of vignetting. The Nikkor is a litle more expensive, but IMO more than worth it.



HTH, kind regards, Wim
Gear: Canon EOS R with 3 primes and 1 zoom, 4 EF-R adapters, Canon EOS 5 (analog), 9 Canon EF primes, a lone Canon EF zoom, 2 extenders, 2 converters, tubes; Olympus OM-D 1 Mk II & Pen F with 12 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones EF-MFT adapters, and a PhaseOne DF, P45+ back, SK 80 F/2.8 LS, 3 Mamiya lenses ...
#4
Hi Frank,



I believe, concerning the landscape shots, there are more important things than using f16 or f22 with a high contrast UWA lens to have everything within the DoF to increase the sharpness feel. Actually as Wim already mentioned, using smaller f-numbers than f16 / f22 and an effective method for best DoF possible (based on the subjects in composition) is crucial. Furthermore, not only the contrast of the lens, but also the color reproduction, vignetting and flare issues are to be considered for landscape shots. And when we think of both Nikon 14-24 and Zeiss 21, the decision is not so hard because I believe except for the criterias; AoV and close-up capabilities, both lenses are great performers in terms of almost every optical criteria... Maybe consider the flare issue of 14-24, as this is not so easy to correct in pp...



Serkan
#5
I do not really get your quest. You want a lens which covers f-small to f5.6 basically, yet you talk about how lenses perform stopped down? How does that work?



Lenses indeed perform very similar in sharpness when stopped down. In prints it will be quite hard to say which image is from which lens. Performance wide open, contrast, sometimes the colours, character of bokeh, distortion and light fall off usually are more deterministic.



Back to your quest.... you say sometimes you want to use the wide angle wider than you can with the 16-40mm f4. It must be the look (shallow DOF), as the VR unit of that lens makes slower shutter times possible already.

With shallow DOF, sharpness of the lens is (even) less important, as when a lot of the photo is out of focus/blurry, the sharpness of the in focus parts does "pop", more easily.



You talk about both 35mm and 21mm, which I find a bit odd too. Those focal lengths are VERY different, and to me it seems you should first decide on which focal length you would like, before you select a lens for it... 35mm vs 21mm is like comparing a 100mm to a 200mm lens.



So... first I would determine which kind of lens I want (moderate wide angle? 35mm. Wide angle? 24-28mm. Ultra wide angle? 18-21mm).



35mm gives you then these options:

- Nikon 35mm f2. Not the greatest of lenses, but it does its job I guess.

- Zeiss 35mm f2. Very nice MF lens.

- Samyang 35mm f1.4. VERY nice MF lens, very affordable. As lenstip says:

"In this summary you can write just one thing: aces of the photographical market, it’s high time you got down to work seriously! If Samyang is able to launch a 540$ lens which, when it comes to the image quality, is only slightly worse than the Canon 35L, which can compete on equal terms with the Nikkor 1.4/35G and leaves far behind the Sony 1.4/35G; if such a lens is able to correct the lateral chromatic aberration, coma and vignetting the best of all instruments in this group and it is not worse when it comes to the distortion and astigmatism correction, what else could be said here?"



24mm:

- Nikon 24mm 2.8

- Sigma 24mm f1.8 macro. Lens I find interesting for its wide aperture, close up ability out of the box, and very affordable price. And its very nice bokeh for its focal length. A very underestimated lens, in my opinion. http://www.jannemiettinen.fi/wedding-blo...omenlinna/

- Zeiss 25mm f2.8



21mm:

- Zeiss 21mm

- Zeiss 18mm

- Voigtlander 20mm f3.5
#6
Hi Wim and Serkan:



Thank you very much for your very detailed interpretation. I understand that for any f-value greater than 11 the diffration becomes serious, but I find that for landscape in many cases f8 (at around 20mm)does not give enough DoF, f11 maybe marginally, so I often stop down to f16 or f13 at least, in occasional cases I stop down to f22. I also read that many (or just some?) professional landscape photographers shoot landscape with f16, f18, f20, and sometimes even f22 (35mm camera). From an aricle I read that something like "beyond f11 the diffration will cause the sharpness of objects in the focus plane to decrease due to diffraction, but the overall sharpness of the image will increase due to the increase in the DoF, untill the diffraction limit of f22 is reached". Did I misunderstand something?



Perhaps I need more tests to see the effect of f11, 13, 16 and beyond. But for the following scenery my past experince tells me that f8 will not give enough DoF (I focused on the foreground stone then the background trees and mountains would be blurry), f11 or 13 maybe marginally OK, to ensure a large enough DoF I stoped down to f16 (Nikon 16-35mm f4 lens at 22mm):



[Image: gallery_0_87_164831.jpg]
#7
Regarding the image you've attached: You have to consider that the DoF is a range and it has a far limit as well as a near limit. I'm not sure how far is the stone you focused on but @F/11 and focusing on the far edge of the stone ( or on the near edge of the second stone) could possibly make a difference for the infinity... Or you could compose the shot and select the focus point so that the infinity will be more sharp and near OOF range could be cropped out... Anyways, on a D700, from personal experience (and based on rough calculations) I can tell that F/11 and also F/16 has no clearly visable diffraction impacts on the images at that size.



Serkan
#8
[quote name='Brightcolours' timestamp='1323168311' post='13475']

I do not really get your quest. You want a lens which covers f-small to f5.6 basically, yet you talk about how lenses perform stopped down? How does that work?



Lenses indeed perform very similar in sharpness when stopped down. In prints it will be quite hard to say which image is from which lens. Performance wide open, contrast, sometimes the colours, character of bokeh, distortion and light fall off usually are more deterministic.



Back to your quest.... you say sometimes you want to use the wide angle wider than you can with the 16-40mm f4. It must be the look (shallow DOF), as the VR unit of that lens makes slower shutter times possible already.

With shallow DOF, sharpness of the lens is (even) less important, as when a lot of the photo is out of focus/blurry, the sharpness of the in focus parts does "pop", more easily.



You talk about both 35mm and 21mm, which I find a bit odd too. Those focal lengths are VERY different, and to me it seems you should first decide on which focal length you would like, before you select a lens for it... 35mm vs 21mm is like comparing a 100mm to a 200mm lens.



So... first I would determine which kind of lens I want (moderate wide angle? 35mm. Wide angle? 24-28mm. Ultra wide angle? 18-21mm).



35mm gives you then these options:

- Nikon 35mm f2. Not the greatest of lenses, but it does its job I guess.

- Zeiss 35mm f2. Very nice MF lens.

- Samyang 35mm f1.4. VERY nice MF lens, very affordable. As lenstip says:

"In this summary you can write just one thing: aces of the photographical market, it’s high time you got down to work seriously! If Samyang is able to launch a 540$ lens which, when it comes to the image quality, is only slightly worse than the Canon 35L, which can compete on equal terms with the Nikkor 1.4/35G and leaves far behind the Sony 1.4/35G; if such a lens is able to correct the lateral chromatic aberration, coma and vignetting the best of all instruments in this group and it is not worse when it comes to the distortion and astigmatism correction, what else could be said here?"



24mm:

- Nikon 24mm 2.8

- Sigma 24mm f1.8 macro. Lens I find interesting for its wide aperture, close up ability out of the box, and very affordable price. And its very nice bokeh for its focal length. A very underestimated lens, in my opinion. http://www.jannemiettinen.fi/wedding-blo...omenlinna/

- Zeiss 25mm f2.8



21mm:

- Zeiss 21mm

- Zeiss 18mm

- Voigtlander 20mm f3.5

[/quote]



Thank you, BC. I myself feel somewhat confused too. My photography subject is quite divergent so sometimes I am not very sure which focal length best fits my need even it is restricted to the WA-UWA range. I know that I need a fast WA prime, preferablly in the 24-35mm range. The reason that I asked about the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 is as follow: 21mm is not very far from 24mm and I sometimes indeed need this focal length with a large aperture (e.g. shooting a tree with a not far background wall and wanting the backgroud to be blur), and if in the mean time the Zeiss 21mm can procude much better landscape image than the Nikon 16-35mm on D700 then perhaps it is good to buy the Zeiss 21mm. However I doubt that on D700 the Zeiss 21mm can produce much better landscape images when stopped down.
#9
[quote name='PuxaVida' timestamp='1323172547' post='13480']

Regarding the image you've attached: You have to consider that the DoF is a range and it has a far limit as well as a near limit. I'm not sure how far is the stone you focused on but @F/11 and focusing on the far edge of the stone ( or on the near edge of the second stone) could possibly make a difference for the infinity... Or you could compose the shot and select the focus point so that the infinity will be more sharp and near OOF range could be cropped out... Anyways, on a D700, from personal experience (and based on rough calculations) I can tell that F/11 and also F/16 has no clearly visable diffraction impacts on the images at that size.



Serkan

[/quote]



Here is the original size image:



[Image: 6436740533_a66a4cd215_o.jpg]



Frank
#10
[quote name='Frank' timestamp='1323175377' post='13481']

Thank you, BC. I myself feel somewhat confused too. My photography subject is quite divergent so sometimes I am not very sure which focal length best fits my need even it is restricted to the WA-UWA range. I know that I need a fast WA prime, preferablly in the 24-35mm range. The reason that I asked about the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 is as follow: 21mm is not very far from 24mm and I sometimes indeed need this focal length with a large aperture (e.g. shooting a tree with a not far background wall and wanting the backgroud to be blur), and if in the mean time the Zeiss 21mm can procude much better landscape image than the Nikon 16-35mm on D700 then perhaps it is good to buy the Zeiss 21mm. However I doubt that on D700 the Zeiss 21mm can produce much better landscape images when stopped down.

[/quote]

Both the Sigma 24mm f1.8 macro and the Samyang 35mm f1.4 then make a bit more sense, as one is on the wide and one on the long end of the range you are thinking of, and both open up considerably more than the Zeiss 21mm f2.8. And both are relative bargains too. The wider Zeiss is mainly a landscape lens, the other two are a bit more versatile (the 35mm as street shooting lens, the 24mm as close up wide angle lens).
  


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