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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Comments

I have to wonder about the need for f/1.4 given that the price will be out of my league (obviously guessing here). And is f/1.4 really necessary in a 24 mm lens? The lens will gather a lot of light by virtue of its field of view anyway.

There definitely are constituencies for those. Myself, I find the trend to f/4 zooms horrifying. I already regard f/2.8 lenses as slow, and to lose another stop is intolerable.

I am amused that it's big and heavy, at least. Maybe this can help stop the hideous trend in its tracks.

I'm afraid people are missing the point about these lenses. It isn't their maximum aperture or price that's the key selling feature
- it's size. Nikon are keeping up their honourable tradition of offering their customer base (ie, would-have-been Oldsmobile devotees) the biggest option. So they can walk around, catching the eye of appreciative passers-by, extending zoom or focus up and down and saying, 'that's right'.

If Nikon follows up the 24mm f/1.4 with a 35mm f/1.4 and a less expensive 24MP DSLR, they will have a customer here.

Could the size be related to optical image stabilization on such a wide angle lens? Canon makes a 17 - 55 mm F2.8 IS lens, but it's APS-C sized only.

Dennis,
The price of the 24mm f/1.4 will reportedly be $2199.

Mike

I noticed that the 24mm is a G type: no aperture ring. I don't know the technical reasons for not including one, but I don't think it's accidental that one of the very nice, very fast, very expensive Nikon lenses just happens to be incompatible with 4/3rds. It's almost as though they want to discourage switching.*

I have been skeptical that the rumored new Nikon small sensor ILC was really going to be F mount, but if it is, and can therefore set apertures on G lenses, well...

*shakes fist at Nikon for the generally spotty backwards compatibility of cameras to lenses.

I tend to find horrifying the criticism directed to companies which dare to take steps towards destinations that aren't in their current area. Consider this: people already started bashing the new ultrawide zoom, for including VR, for having soft corners etc.
This disdain comes from people that have tens of thousands invested in equipment. Of course, from that high white tower is easy to forget that 1) photography caters now to a much larger user base, some of them investing only the minimum decent amount for the occasional use, and 2) there are a lot of countries in which the lenses are much more expensive than in the US (blessed with prices 1/3rd less than in Australia, Europe etc.) while having at most 1/2 of the income. Sure it's easy to "accept" f/2.8 zooms or f/1.4 primes at more than $2000, but personally I'd get them at a price of 3000$ and I'd have to spend for that... almost half a year worth of paychecks!

Short summary for the attention-span challenged: it's more cost effective (or simply the only way, for a lot of people) to get a better performing camera than a "collector" lens. Math: clean ISO1600 = 2000$ for a D700, or +2000$ for *each* large-aperture lens.
Yes, if you're fortunate enough, you get D3s *and* Noct/L f/1.2 lenses, and you have the best of both worlds. But don't bash companies for daring to cater to more people; if you don't like that, get a 5000$ f/2.0 lens in brown to match your Hermes-styled camera and you'll be sure enough that very few people will have access to your club.

That's right.

Aye, this new zoom is kind of one step forward, one step back. Normally, f4 zooms are popular because of size and weight (and cost) savings, but adding VR bumps the lens back up to f2.8 size. This reveals quite a value in camera body-based stabilization, and probably shows why we haven't seen a Canon/Nikon 24-70 f2.8 with VR. It would be huge!

If the Nikon is "super expensive" at $2199, I won't even ask for an an adjective describing the Leica version at $6495. [g]

Am I the only one who doesn't care for the focus rings on the new Nikon lens?

$2200 for a Nikon lens? That is outrageous.

The Canon lens is $1699.

That is a huge difference

It's a strange feeling to watch the size and weight of 35mm cameras and lenses growing somewhat out of control. I love the results that the modern designs deliver but you can find yourself travelling to an event with a very heavy camera bag these days even shooting APS-C. I can see myself sticking with the smaller sensors for a while yet.

"Ultimate proof will be in the pictures, of course."

From a Nikon perspective the ultimate proof will be how they sell and how well they attract people to their DSLRs. The zoom will undoubtably outsell the prime, but the prime is one of those premium lenses that people like to see when buying into a system. If they happen to win the lottery at some point in the future then they have the option of upgrading :-)

Dear Dennis,

Field of view has nothing to do with light-gathering. An f/1.4 lens is an f/1.4 lens regardless of focal length.

People need fast lenses when they need to keep shutter speeds short in low-light situations (IS isn't the solution when it's the subject that's moving).

One big reason I bought a (40mm-equiv.) f/1.7 for my camera. I might not pay the premium to get down to f/1.4, but I can sure understand the logic.


pax / Ctein
pax / Ctein

You'd think the super-premium line would include aperture rings...

The 24mm/1.4 looks amazingly like the Canon 24mm/1.4. The barrels are almost identical.

But the Nikon is a little heavier and while the Canon has 13 elements in 10 groups the Nikon has 12 elements in 10 groups.

The Canon is 500 dollars cheaper and, more importantly, you can buy one today.

I like Nikon's big, heavy F4 zoom. It's much lighter than the 14-24mm, has better range, and you can actually use filters.

But once again, if you don't want VR on a wide angle lens, Canon makes a 17-40mm F4 for HALF the price.

If you go only by specs and price, Canon is the much better company.

Count me among those clamoring for f4 zooms from Nikon. However, you may count me one day among those who leave Nikon despite years of loyalty. I'm ready for lighter, less expensive but still good quality zoom lenses. Who has them? Canon.

To me, VR and "FAST" go together. I don't need VR until the shutter speed gets too slow, which I can put off longer with fast lenses. And VR doesn't work as well as a higher shutter speed. So a slow VR lens is doubly offensive.

And I got a D700 because I already needed the higher ISOs. If new lenses start taking some of the light away from me, I'll need something BETTER than a D700, which I won't be able to afford.

Does VR really add that much size? I sure don't see it in the 70-200/2.8 compared to other non-VR 70-200/2.8 lenses I've used. Of course that's a big lens to begin with, it may hide the extra more easily.

50 million EOS lenses, all without aperture rings (I'm sure someone will find an exception, but you get the point).

The day I quit spinning that loose, twice repaired ring on my 80-200/2.8 and just locked it down on my F100 was a happy day for me indeed.

The talk always seems to be about lenses no longer being good enough for the sensors...someone builds one and people b*tch. Amazing. As always, the technology will trickle down into more affordable offerings.

"But I want it now!" Well, there's a price to be paid.

$2200 is not expensive if you can afford it.

Jeff wrote: If the Nikon is "super expensive" at $2199, I won't even ask for an an adjective describing the Leica version at $6495. [g]

Adequate sounds about right :-)

Sigma's 18-50 f2.8 comes in a Nikon fit. Why would I pay three times as much for a slower Nikon lens?

"If you go only by specs and price, Canon is the much better company."

That is, unless you want your 1DMkIII or 7D to focus properly. :o

Seriously, I would hope such a blanket statement was said with tongue-in-cheek.

"I noticed that the 24mm is a G type: no aperture ring. I don't know the technical reasons for not including one, but I don't think it's accidental that one of the very nice, very fast, very expensive Nikon lenses just happens to be incompatible with 4/3rds. It's almost as though they want to discourage switching."

Oh, Nikon's been releasing G lenses for about 10 years now, long before Micro 4/3rds came around. It's not that they're trying to discourage switching, it's just that they don't care-- for better or worse, this is their lens design moving forward.

I wonder if it would be technically possible to build an adapter that includes an aperture ring? I don't think one exists yet, but who knows.

Dennis-

What's the need for a 24/1.4?

Shallow DOF.

If they got the bokeh right, this will be a sellout.

MS

"16–35mm ƒ/4—with VR. Strangely [...] the new lens is both longer and heavier than the 17–35mm ƒ/2.8!"

Are you sure? The numbers i have indicate the 16-35/4 is 0.7 in longer and 65 grams *lighter* (680 g vs 745 g) than the 17-35/2.8.

But definitely, it is surprising that it isn't significantly lighter than the 17-35, given that the Canon 17-40/4 is 180 g lighter than the 16-35/4 and 245 g lighter than the 17-35/2.8.

I would expect VR to add maybe an additional 60-80 g. Where did the extra 100-120 g come from? Must be the extra glass and length used to keep things sharp to the corners on full-frame.

"$2200 is not expensive if you can afford it. "

charlie,
...Which is why I called it "super expensive." [g]

Mike

"What's the need for a 24/1.4?

Shallow DOF."

Er, no--it's because it's two stops faster than Nikon's other 24mm.

Mike

Surely the point of the 24mm f1.4 is INCREASED depth of field at f1.4 compared to other lenses... Sometimes you need the speed, without the focus risk penalty...
I see online in various places people complaining about the lack of aperture ring on Canon lenses, but perhaps this is besides the point... I have a new 85mm f1.4 af-d and plan to use it on both Nikon film AND digital... If you need a ring buy an older version (when the 28mm drops in price), or a Zeiss ZF.1
Now let's wait for the tests...

the 16-35 on FX is the perfect replacement for the 12-24mm that has been so popular on DX, but with the addition of stabilization and being quite a bit wider on the wide end - of course, covering double the image area comes at double the cost! if i ever move to FX, which seems unlikely now, this might be one of the first lenses i get :-D

Who the hell has the kind of money lying around to purchase these lenses? The prices will be well over $2000,00 in Canadian funds by the time they arrive here, there is a lot of tax as well.

Maybe photography is becoming too expensive for many of us, lenses are becoming as espensive as the cameras themselves!

To you people bemoaning the loss of aperture rings on modern lenses - stop your retro-whining and think about it for a moment. A modern camera (esp Nikon) has convenient little wheels right under your forefinger and thumb, easily accessible without changing your grip; to adjust the aperture on a old-fashioned lens, you change your grip on the camera base/lens, slide your hand around to find the ring, and adjust your aperture. Then, you have to regain your previous hold, reacquire the target that you've lost and recommence your shooting. Sounds like a lot of work to me.

Yes, I have and use old 35mm film cameras (with old-fashioned lenses), and I love them. But when it comes to sheer convenience and speed of operation, my D200s and G lenses take the cake, every time.

Sometimes, change is good.

In complete darkness, raining buckets. That's when you need that prime.

I think that situation happens a lot.

"But when it comes to sheer convenience and speed of operation, my D200s and G lenses take the cake, every time."

Of course, you WOULD say that, since your name is Rob -->G<--!!

Mike

So glad I´m still on the Pentax side of the digital moon...

[g]

"In complete darkness, raining buckets. That's when you need that prime.

I think that situation happens a lot."

Surprised by all the ignorant commenters over here.. slap on a 3 stop ND filter and you can get very creative with your DOF in bright daylight.
Shouting who the hell has that kind of money for lenses.. come on, give me a break.. just because YOU can't afford it doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. What about the professional photographers that can earn back their expenses in a matter of a few shoots, should they just have to deal with crappy zooms just because you think so?
Give me a break..

"Sigma's 18-50 f2.8 comes in a Nikon fit. Why would I pay three times as much for a slower Nikon lens?"

Maybe because the Nikon covers a full frame sensor and includes stabilization?

"I wonder if it would be technically possible to build an adapter that includes an aperture ring? I don't think one exists yet, but who knows."

http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/adapters/adapters-for-microfourthirds-cameras/:
"Adapter Nikon lenses to MicroFourThirds

With integrated aperture control ring.
Therefore also for use with lenses that are not equipped with an aperture control ring anymore (i.e. Nikkor G-series)."

It actually is a ring without detents or numbers but you definitely can control aperture with it.

RobG@: gotta disagree. I generally don't need to move my left hand to adjust the aperture. So what moving that onto the camera body does is make me do both with one hand, rather than splitting the duty between two hands. I don't much like it.

"In complete darkness, raining buckets. That's when you need that prime.

I think that situation happens a lot."

You live in the UK and have a day job, it happens 6 months of the year....

I'm with David. I'm used to left hand on lens controls, right hand on shutter controls; no shifting around. Works better for me. I have to admit, though, that this style may not work so well with big, bulky zooms and big, bulky cameras.

But it's more than just the handling method, it's the loss of direct mechanical linkage. The rings on my old lenses not only have clicks, they also stop at minimum and maximum--one more bit of tactile feedback lost with fly-by-wire mode dials.

Look at it this way: one can opt not to use the aperture ring; but take the ring away and there's no option. But yeah, I get it: I'm old fashioned *and* barking up the wrong system.

Seeing as Nikon are on a wide-angle run, how about a couple DX primes to go with the excellent 35/1.8? A 16/3.5 and 24/2.5 would be most welcome. DX shooters want primes too, you know! Don't tell me Pentax is the only one who gets it...

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