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  1. #1
    The Polariser fx101's Avatar
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    I need a sharp lens.

    Let's put it this way... I need a savagely sharp ( sharp) wide angle (in the ballpark of 12 to 25mm) lens, be it prime or not. Here's my other condition, I want to spend no more than $1000 and this will be for a Nikon system. What would you fellow photographers recommend?
    --The camera's role is not to interfere with the photographer's work--

    --Cibachrome: It's like printing on gold.

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  2. #2
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    Although I switched to Canon from Nikon when I went digital I still know a bit about Nikon glass. I hate to say it but with the two conditions you set IMO you are really going to have to make a choice. A lens so sharp you can perform surgery with it or add about $300 more to you price range.

    If it was me this is what I would be looking at.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Angle_AF.html

    A friend of mine that shoots Nikon owns this lens. It is one amazing piece of glass. Maybe a Nikon shooter can point you to something that will meet both of your criteria.

  3. #3
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    The nikon 12-24 rates as the best in zoom but you pay for it.
    Tokina is second best and most can't tell the difference. That's for the zooms. Don't know about prime glass.
    Keep Shooting!

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  4. #4
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    The Nikon 14mm f/2.8 prime gryphonslair mentions actually has a pretty bad rep on the street with any of the digital bodies after the D1H and before the D3. It suffers from corner softness and chromatic aberration. The new 14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S zoom is worlds ahead.

    In the price range you mention, you could easily pick up a used Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D AF-S, which was the gold standard of wide angles until the 14-24mm, or if you really want wider, the Nikon and Tokina 12-24mm f/4 DX lenses are excellent choices.
    If you are looking for sharpness wide open rather than stopped down, the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G DX is sharper than the 17-35 at f/2.8-4.5. The 17-35 is sharper from f/5.6 on in my subjective experience, and has a few other advantages over the 17-55.
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  5. #5
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by deckcadet
    The Nikon 14mm f/2.8 prime gryphonslair mentions actually has a pretty bad rep on the street with any of the digital bodies after the D1H and before the D3. It suffers from corner softness and chromatic aberration. The new 14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S zoom is worlds ahead.

    In the price range you mention, you could easily pick up a used Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D AF-S, which was the gold standard of wide angles until the 14-24mm, or if you really want wider, the Nikon and Tokina 12-24mm f/4 DX lenses are excellent choices.
    If you are looking for sharpness wide open rather than stopped down, the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G DX is sharper than the 17-35 at f/2.8-4.5. The 17-35 is sharper from f/5.6 on in my subjective experience, and has a few other advantages over the 17-55.
    Boy I wish you Nikon guys could make up your mind on lenses. Us Canon Lcoholics don't have that problem. Have red ring will travel.

    Seriously that is interesting. The person I mentioned is shooting D2's and is real happy with his. The 17-55 sounds interesting. Canon's version gets rave reviews as well.

  6. #6
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    Of course, even the Nikon 14mm for all its faults on certain crop bodies, is better than the Canon
    There's a reason that so many people are going nuts over Nikon to Canon mount adapters, even more so after the new 16-35L II and 14L II
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  7. #7
    The Polariser fx101's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    Let's say I did spend an extra $300 bucks. What are we talking then? The type of work I'm going to be doing demands "surgical" sharpness.
    --The camera's role is not to interfere with the photographer's work--

    --Cibachrome: It's like printing on gold.

    --Edit my photos as part of your commentary if you want to.--

  8. #8
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by fx101
    Let's say I did spend an extra $300 bucks. What are we talking then? The type of work I'm going to be doing demands "surgical" sharpness.
    The only way you are going to know for sure is to take your body to a good photography shop that has the lens in stock, put it on the camera, shoot some shots with the kind of settings you will be using and then look at the results.

    This can not be done at some box store but a quality full service photography shop.

  9. #9
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by deckcadet
    Of course, even the Nikon 14mm for all its faults on certain crop bodies, is better than the Canon
    There's a reason that so many people are going nuts over Nikon to Canon mount adapters, even more so after the new 16-35L II and 14L II
    Now if they would just take that final step into nirvana and go with Canon bodies then they would have peace of mind, body and in their souls.

    CannonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnCannonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnCannonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    Even the Dalia Lama agrees on this one.

  10. #10
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    Sure, if they don't mind all the shots being out of focus ;)
    I got tired of that after four months, so I went with a D3.
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  11. #11
    Junior Member PhotoTrucker_37's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    Although the Nikon 14mm f/2.8 and 12-24mm f/2.8 lenses are very well constructed and very sharp. You will pay more than $1000.00 for them. But they are worth every penny. All lenses and camera bodies will have there pros and cons. I don't think they will ever make a "perfect" lens. The Nikon 14mm goes for around $1300.00 and the 12-24mm goes for around $1700.00. Of course it all depends on where you shop around.
    I think everyone has heard of the old saying... " You get what you pay for." Not necessarily true. I know you said you wanted the Nikon system but, you might think about the Sigma 20-40mm f/2.8 wide angle lens or the 24-70mm f/2.8 wide angle lens. I own both of these as well and they are both very sharp with no distortion. And they sell for around $450.00. The best $450.00 I ever spent!!! These are my main lenses I use every time I shoot landscapes.

    Regards, Erik Barnes

  12. #12
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    Not sure where you shop, Erik but the nikon 12-24 is $894 at B&H...well within fx's budget.
    Keep Shooting!

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  13. #13
    The Polariser fx101's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    I'll take a look into the 12-24. I have a Sigma 15-30, and while it is razor sharp at 15-17mm f/8 anything outside this range is not worthy of large format lightjet printing. This is for a crop body (D80) so I take it the 14mm would be a really bad pick then. The 12-24mm is f/2.8 am I correct? Being able to shoot decently sharp images at wide apperatures is a plus.
    --The camera's role is not to interfere with the photographer's work--

    --Cibachrome: It's like printing on gold.

    --Edit my photos as part of your commentary if you want to.--

  14. #14
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    The 12-24 's widest is f/4.
    Is the sharpness you seek for closeup work?
    Keep Shooting!

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  15. #15
    The Polariser fx101's Avatar
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    Re: I need a sharp lens.

    More or less I need to be able to take shots and stitch them together in panorama tools which I will then print at 40x96 size at 300dpi. The size thus dictates immense lens sharpness. I will run each image through DXO to remove distortion before stitching. I will be using a nodal-ninja panohead mounted on a Gitzo tripod. The time of day when I will be taking these pictures will be later in the afternoon, for a wedding actually, thus, f/8 is insufficient: something like f/5-f/7 will do.
    --The camera's role is not to interfere with the photographer's work--

    --Cibachrome: It's like printing on gold.

    --Edit my photos as part of your commentary if you want to.--

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