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Monday, 12 February 2018


I love my 14-24mm Nikon f/2.8. The image quality is astounding. Once you start to use that 14mm end of the range, it quickly becomes addicting. I used the 14mm end for almost all of the images in my "Urban Wilderness" series, for example, which wouldn't have been at all the same through a 24mm field of view. https://josephholmes.io/New-York-City/Urban-Wilderness-(2010)/1

I'll keep an eye on that Sigma zoom. When the Sigma Art 24mm lens was released a couple years ago at a lower price but similarly quality to my Nikon 24mm, I sold the Nikon, bought the Sigma, and had cash left over and a brand new warrantied lens.

I enjoyed this post from a sentimental direction. Especially that the 24mm was back then at the bottom of wide spectrum and that it now is at the top of the wide spectrum. Back I was a Yacht Broker I was taking photos with my Nikon F3 for Yacht interiors and especially in the engine room. I was used to was using my 28mm lens. Then I read an article (remember magazines?) and it said that the 24mm was the widest lens to use before that you get that fisheye look. I had a diffuser for the flash to go that ultra wide and a polarize filter would vignette a little bit. It was state of the art for wide. its wide prints were very effectual. I still use it occasionally....manual focus, very heavy, aperture ring, etc. what's not to like.

I owned the respectable 4/3 7-14 f4 Zuiko for several years (14-28 equivalent). I used it several times too. Mostly it served to teach me that what I really wanted was something like a good 20mm equivalent prime. That was wide enough. But the zoom was super sharp and a marvel at optically controlling distortion, which is probably why it weighed as much as a full frame lens.

The D-FA 15-30 2.8 Pentax also has a good reputation, and is also heavy, and for such a lens is not hugely expensive ($1300 on sale now at B&H). But I have to remind myself that, for me, it would likely be a $1300 shelf decoration most of the time.

I had the old Nikon 12-24 (18-35 equiv) which only covers APS/DX ... and it was great fun for a while, but having gone back to mostly using 24 as my widest equivalent FOV I find I don't miss the wide end that much. Usually.

Is that sigma 12-24 full frame or cropped frame?

I've been considering the need for ultra-wide in lanscape photography—I've got a Nikon 18-35mm 3.5-4.5 which might as well be glued to the end of my camera when I'm photographing nature. Searching through 500px I see that most photos which aren't heavily distorted are verticals which include a lot of sky, mostly at night. Or vistas with very little foreground. Any images with near objects have the bizarre effect of looking down and simultaneously looking out. Thanks but I'll save my money for other psychotropic drugs.

And Fuji has the XF 10-24mm (15–36mm-e) ƒ/4 R OIS, although I don't think I've ever heard anyone say so much as a peep about that.

Well, it’s hardly my most-used lens, but it performs well throughout its zoom range and its distortion, except at 10mm, is less than you would expect. (Lens correction metadata can correct for this automagically or in a post-processing program such as Lightroom.)

Here's a sample image at 10mm: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chriskernpix/26193428985/in/datetaken-public/

and one at 24mm: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chriskernpix/37458902821/in/datetaken-public/.

Is the Sony 16-35 f/2.8 GM chopped liver? It’s wide, fast, sharp, and expensive, and lighter than most.

The only “multi-camera virtual-reality shooting” I’m interested in would be David Hockney’s, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-MXSQdMHGsE

"I've been trying to think*...in all my former years as a CLN (certified lens nut) I don't think I ever once used or tried a true ultra-wide-angle zoom"

I think you have a new Baker's Dozen topic.


Okay, the Fuji 10-24 f4 is a grand and weighs a pound. The Nikon 12-24 f4 is $1200, the Sigma and Canon equivalents are $1600 and $2700 respectively and weigh 1.5 to 2.5 pounds.

Okay, the Fuji doesn't look as cool (the Blob o' glass on the Sigma and Canon and the Hal 9000 Nikon stare) but why no buzz for it?

Speaking solely for myself, the reason I use fast lenses isn't to take photos with the apertures wide open, but to gather enough light so I can compose and focus photos in the dark, because I photograph mostly street and alley scenes at night, using only ambient light. I will then stop down to f8-ish, confirm focus (often with the aid of a flashlight!) and take my photo.

For a time, I used several Sigma Art lenses, including the 12-24/f4 zoom. But I had to return it because its permanently attached lens hood severely restricted the size of the image circle it projects such that I had only a minimal amount of movements available with my FrankenKameras. Ditto for their 20/f1.4 prime, too. (On the other hand, their 24, 35, and 50 primes all project oversize image circles -- I suspect this is one of the reasons they perform so well, because they only use the "sweet spot" in the center of the lens -- that were sufficient for my needs most of the time. The same is also true for their 24-35/f2 zoom, too.)

That said, I always thought I was a bit of an outlier and the type of photography I do is a very small niche, so I am also surprised that Sigma is releasing this lens and even more so that they're offering a modification service to install a different lens hood.

Still, despite their considerable weight and bulk, a two-lens outfit comprised of the 14-24/f2.8 and 24-35/f2 zooms will cover 95+% of my needs and could be a very tempting combo indeed!

With the new high dynamic range sensors, I do not feel the need to add weight and size to any lense for 1 stop of speed increase. I am very happy with my Fujifilm 10-24mm F/4 OIS lens. Plus the extra width is wonderful for my Real Estate Interior Photography. This new Sigma Lens is an Expensive Dinosaur!

So much glass, so little time. (And so little money.)

These large aperture WA zooms are heavy and will contribute to your fatigue if you carry them for any length of time. The large protruding front element is always exposed and special holders are required if you want to use any filters.

On the other hand, there are some tiny WA zooms that are great choices if you carry your equipment with you all day as I do.

First, the Nikon 1 6.7-13mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 VR lens is tiny and I like the images that I am making with it on my Nikon V1. The Nikon 1 lenses and bodies are often discounted since Nikon appears to have abandoned this system. Get one and your lower back will thank-you.

A slightly larger WA zoom lens is the Olympus Zuiko 9-18mm ƒ/4-5.6. On an OMD-EM5 I can carry this all day long and suffer no fatigue. I like this combination a lot.

Both the Sony E 10-18mm ƒ/4 OSS and Fujinon FX 10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS are quite similar but considerably larger than the Nikon 1 and Zuiko zooms.

You can use the Sony E WA zoom on an A7 full-frame and it nearly fills the entire frame.

My favorite wide angle zoom for m4:3 is the Panasonic/Leica 8-18mm. It's relatively compact, a great optical performer, and it has the added benefit (over the previous Panasonic 7-14 and the Olympus 7-14 Pro) of not having a bulbous front element. This lens allows for the use of standard, screw-in filters where the others do not. This makes it a favorite of video shooters who need to use neutral density and variable neutral density filters on a routine basis. A great lens that doesn't get a lot of press....

On crop cameras (and to a lesser extent full frame), they are good for live performance in small, wide spaces. You need the wide open aperture for shutter speeds that stop movement in low light. And the wide angle to capture both the space and the performer(s).

Peep peep. The Fuji 10-24 is a very nice example of this class of lens. I swore I wouldn't buy one -- I already had the excellent 14mm f/2.8 -- until a friend lent me his for a few hours. The image stabilizer makes it a terrific travel lens.

At work I have both the 11-24mm f/4 Canon -- yes, you should own one!! -- and the 16-35 f/4 image stabilized Canon, which our video guys borrowed once and I have not seen since. I had several of the f/2.8 Canon wide angles, and they were all pretty terrible in the corners. The two f/4 versions are terrific.

I don't know every possible use for this lens but I know one: Milky Way pictures. For that the critical specs are that it has fit a full frame camera, has to be 14mm and has to be f2.8. Nothing less will really do. Crop sensor cameras (Fuji, 4/3) are out of the running be cause of lower high ISO, you need 14mm (or as much as you can get) to get in lots of the Milky Way, and it has be to f2.8 (f4 just won't do because it forces longer exposure time which equals streaky stars.) Lens should be sharp enough in the center but critical is how it handles coma in the corners. This combo is why nuts like me own the 14-24 Nikkor.
What I want to know is if that shade lobotomy will mean you can screw in a filter holder?

I've used the the Fuji XF 10-24 f/4 lens and IMO, its a sweetheart. It makes for a great landscape lens, and its sharp and very versatile. I absolutely loved it using it for pit lane and paddock at the SaveMart 350 NASCAR race at Sonoma Raceway last June, 2017.

Killer lens, in my book.

I've used the Olympus Pro 7-14 mm -- a distinct improvement over the Panasonic of the same range, and as big and scary-sharp as they say, but I think the real winner in this contest at the moment is Leica's 11-23 CL zoom for APS-C format. It offers f/3.5-4.5, is WAY smaller and lighter than the two M43 wizoos, incredibly contrasty and sharp and even does macro. For an example: https://flic.kr/p/24byuNw


And a classic scene taken at 11 with the Leica CL:
https://flic.kr/p/EzigPg .

You're leaving out the recent Sony 12-24 for full frame, which has been getting praise and is pretty lightweight :-)

People taking pictures of nighttime landscapes tend to want fast lenses, especially if stars are involved. Even if the final image will be stopped down, it's much less frustrating to be able to focus with a fast aperture when the sun has gone down long ago. Another application is people and event photography, where a fast shutter speed is required, though I would choose an 16-35 rather than the ultrawides.

But with speed comes cost and size. I tried the Sigma 20/1.4 on my camera and had to dismiss it due to the ridiculous size and no possibility to attach a filter. More modestly sized lenses, especially with mirrorless, are pretty nice when one has a bag full of gear to begin with.

Back when I had the way-too-big Nikon D2x because it was the only 12MP camera around, I also had the then-cutting-edge 17-35mm. That was big enough for me, for sure. Probably today, like with the Nikon 70-200mm 2.8, we found out when full frame arrived that it was not *that* hot. (A pro friend of mine actually loved the 70-200mm *because* it was so soft at the edges, but he’s nuts. :-)

I enjoyed my time with the Pentax 10-17 fisheye zoom.. wish it were still with me.

Real estate agent's lens ;-)

[Most RE agents take pictures with their phones, I think. So at best it's a very GOOD RE agent's lens. --Mike]

Wow. Big! Heavy! Why?

I’ve had fun with the Panasonic 7-14mm on my little GX85 while traveling. It’s small, lightweight, and sharp.

Guggenheim Museum, New York,, 2016

Why an f:2.8 ultrawide zoom? Because folks want 'em for astronomical photography.

Me, I still get by with Sigma's EX 12-24/4-5.6, in the daytime only.

I learned (the hard way) that using built-in flash on my Canon 7D does not play well with my 17-85 zoom with the petal shade. You end up with a nasty petal shaped shadow cast on the scene.

I imagine a similar issue would arise with the petal shade on the Sigma lens, and it's fixed to the lens. At least I could take my petal shade off of my 17-85 Canon lens, if I remember to...

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