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Thoughts on the Nikkor 14-24?


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Thoughts on the Nikon 14-24 2.8 ED? I currently have the Sigma 24mm 1.4 Art and although I love it - it's not as wide as I'd hoped - I do pet photography and I find the photos (from other photographers) that I love the most are either taken on super wide lenses, or on the 70-200 lens (which I already have).  I started looking at the 14-24 and found very good reviews, but also found some that said the 16-35 f4 was just as good and lighter.  So now I'm a bit torn - my other lenses and camera (except my 50mm) are pretty bulky anyways so I guess I am already used to larger lenses.  But quality wise - do you know if the two are comparable?

Hope you are doing well!

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I have a love affair with my 14-24 f/2.8G. LOL!! Here are my thoughts:

This lens is like a Fender Telecaster, if that makes any sense to you. A 24-70 is like a Fender Stratocaster and the 70-200 is like a Les Paul. Well, in my mind that's how you tell the personalities of each of those lenses. Just like working with a Telecaster, notice how I said "working with..." that's what you do with the 14-24...you work with the lens. The reason is when you get to 14mm, the distortion is quite noticeable. Just moving an inch or two in whatever direction will change the overall look of the photo, especially along the sides. For example:




Or stand a few feet from your subject and get something like this:



Or go really wide for photos like these:

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 5.57.15 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 5.52.33 PM.png

See how straight the Arches are further back? At 14mm, you will have to work with the Distortion. Same lens, different shot:

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 5.55.38 PM.png

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OK, so the 14-24 f/2.8. Here is the bottom line with the lens vs the 16-35 f/4:

14-24 f/2.8G

  • Heavier.
  • Way More expensive.
  • Can't use screw-in filters.
  • Amazing at 14mm - 24 mm. It's really awesome between 14mm-20mm and is sharp as a prime in that focal range. In fact, I'm hardly at 24mm with this lens.
  • Still holds up, image quality-wise, even after all these years and works very well with my D850, and my D850 really shows the flaws in lenses. That 46MP sensor is hungry for only the very-best glass.
  • The "Coffee Can" Lid can be a bit annoying. You will know what I mean when you get your hands on this lens.
  • The only regret you will have with the 14-24 is the amount of money that you fork out in the beginning. That said, a lot of things are on sale now and the current price is $1346, which is around $400 in savings. So in my opinion, this lens is a MUST BUY.

16-35 f/4G

  • Lighter
  • Cheaper
  • You can use screw-in filters
  • Image Quality...complete utter shit at 16mm and 35mm. The Pincushion Distortion is quite noticeable and can't be corrected that well in post either. Especially shooting at 16mm. So for your dog photos, I have a feeling you are going to be somewhat close and shooting wide...the 16-35 f/4 will just piss you off. The lens is "Fine" between 18mm - 30mm, it's just crap at the 16mm & 35mm ends. 
  • You couldn't pay me to use this lens, and I'm a Nikon OEM Lens Snob.
  • People that do buy this lens, often end-up purchasing the 14-24mm. So just save yourself the $1000, just buy the 14-24 and be done with it.


If you are on a tight budget and since you will be shooting Dogs, chances are you will be at f/5.6 - f/8 most of the time. In which case I highly recommend the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Lens. It's a much better alternative  that the 16-35. It's a very sharp lens, and the cost is around $800, which isn't too shabby.

So back to using the lens. It takes getting used to. You really need to pay attention to the distortion when shooting at 14mm or 16mm. You will need to think things through before clicking the button. Now don't get me wrong, it's not terrible...it's just the 14-24 is a lens that you need to learn how to use, it's not a lens you can casually pick up. Just like a Fender Telecaster Guitar, you really need to work with it to produce the best sound...

...and when you do, it's magic. Just like working with the 14-24.

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Those are gorgeous pictures!

Good to know about the 16-35!  I saw someone post about the 18-35 but to be honest I thought it was a typo and they meant 16-35!

I am currently selling my D3 and will be selling my sigma 24 1.4 so I will have a little money to play with so I may as well get the 14-24 - especially as it will be better long term.  These are my current favourites that I have taken with my 24 - and while I love them - I wish I could see what they would look like even wider (they might look terrible but I won't know until I try) - I just love how eye catching they look!  They create some fun expressions on the dogs and other furry creatures.  You're right - most of the time I will want to be close with a medium-ish f stop - but I will also want a few landscapes with dogs as the main focus point in there - so that will give me room to play with a lower f stop.

How important is IS? As I see the 14-24 doesn't have it?  I generally can't use a tripod as im often following the dog with my camera

Now this may be a very silly question but do you know the difference between these two?  I cannot for the life of me find the difference and I have not gotten a response from that company to my question:





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You really need VR / IS at the longer focal lengths. Honestly, with my 24-70 f/2.8G, it's fine when I shoot with my D4s and it doesn't have VR. The only reason that the 24-70 f/2.8 E lens has VR, is due to one thing: The Nikon D850. With the higher MP cameras, you really need to keep your shutter up or your images become soft, and not due to aperture or focus issues, it's just the little bit of hand-shake / vibration. When I shot with my original 24-70 with my D850, I could not go below 1/250th hand-held. 1/60th was out of the question. Even 1/125th was kinda iffy. In reality, in both my personal experience and what I've read online, with the D850, your Shutter Speed needed to be 4 over the focal length to make sure things were sharp and camera shake is kept to a minimum. With the newer 24-70 f/2.8E, that is no longer an issue, due to VR. It's like Nikon made that lens with the D850 in mind. Recently, I've taken a photo hand-held at 1/10th of a second:


Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 8.40.19 PM.png

The particulars: SS - 1/10th | f/11 | ISO 100 @ 32mm. Handheld with Nikon D850 and 24-70 f/2.8 E Lens. Nikon Circular Polarizer II was also used. Oh, this photo looks better on my computer and IG. For some strange reason, the screenshot that I used is kinda blurry. (Which is fine by me.) Without VR, that shot would have required a Tripod. Well, I do have a similar photo taken with my camera on a tripod and it is a bit clearer, especially the foliage, but I think you get what I mean. The Nikon 24-70 f/2.8E is awesome on a D850 and the VR is a much needed addition for shooting with a D850. For my Wedding work, my trusty D4s and 24-70 f/2.8G is still a great combo. I really only use the 24-70 VR lens with my D850.

Bottom Line: If you are shooting with a camera that's 24MP or less, you really don't "NEED" VR, except for a lens like the 70-200, or anything in that focal range or above. Honestly, I'm more worried about controlling and working with the distortion along the sides with the 14-24 that VR never enters my mind. Remember, people think they "Need" VR. The manufacturer's marketing departments are happy to oblige. VR lenses cost more. Makes them more money. ;)

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1 hour ago, 1234 said:

Now this may be a very silly question but do you know the difference between these two?  I cannot for the life of me find the difference and I have not gotten a response from that company to my question:

That is NOT a silly question at all and I'm SO GLAD YOU ASKED!!!

Here is the thing with Nikon, just like Apple, NIKON CONTROLS AND SETS THE PRICES. So Seller A and Seller B should have the same prices between them, give or take a few dollars. Seller A might have the lens for $1999.99 and Seller B will have it for 1995.00, or something like that. In either case the lens should be about the same IF the reseller is a Genuine Nikon Authorized Dealer.

So how do they offer a lens that's a few hundred less, but still is brand new? Hmmm...

The answer is the cheaper lens is what is known as "Grey Market." Or "Gray Market." In either case, the cheaper lens does not go through the normal Customs Routes, they just "appear" in the country. So without import fees / Tariff fees and the like being applied, the lenses are at a lower price point and provide a lot more profit margin to the store. 


I'm sure you are thinking, "So what's the big deal? I mean both lenses were made by Nikon in Japan, and they are both listed as being brand new?"

Here is the thing with Grey Market items, at least as far as Nikon is concerned: No Warranty whatsoever. Well, you have to return the lens to it's original country that it was produced in to get it repaired. The funny part is, NIKON REFUSES TO TOUCH *ANY* GREY MARKET ITEM!!! So if it breaks, essentially you have a $1800 paperweight. Even if you ship your lens to Japan or China or wherever it was made, Nikon won't accept it for repair.

Combine this info with the reseller not being up-front and honest, turns on ALL my warning bells inside my brain. In fact, I would shop somewhere else. Whatever you do, never-ever-ever buy a Grey-Market item that you can't afford to lose. If you were in the middle of nowhere, had an assignment that needed _____________ piece of equpiment to get the Gig done, then I'd might consider purchasing a Grey Market item; for example it was around $150 or less, I'd chalk it up to the cost of doing business. For something like a $2000 lens you plan on keeping for a long time? Forget it.

It's too bad you are up in Canada. Everything is so expensive up there. But do check around, the prices should be the same from website to website if the reseller is honest and on the "up-and-up." If they pull this shady crap or try to push you to the Grey Market item, it's just more profit for them and in the end you will get screwed if something goes wrong.

Aren't you glad you asked? :)


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Another lens to use in the studio, for your close-up shots like you posted, is the Nikon 105VR f/2.8 Macro Lens.

That said, the "look" you are going to get with a 14-24 when you get up-and-close it going to throw you for a bit. 14mm is still 14mm. Big noses and all that still applies. That said, yes a 14-24 is in your future for the shots you are talking about.

Oh, just for my curiosity, what body will you be shooting with when you sell your D3?

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44 minutes ago, Brian said:

Aren't you glad you asked?

Yes!  I have never bought from this store but it makes sense when all of the other camera stores are around the same price (Henrys, vistek etc.) and then that one has one that both more and less expensive than the competition!  Will steer clear from that one! 

and yes the prices in Canada really are a killer!

1 hour ago, Brian said:

You really need VR / IS at the longer focal lengths

Perfect!  Realistically I will either be using flash or shooting at a high shutter speed to catch action so I am good without it!  I can't believe that image was taken without a tripod! - Although I rarely go under 1/500 so I guess I am just used to a different kind of ballgame (but that's still impressive)


33 minutes ago, Brian said:

Oh, just for my curiosity, what body will you be shooting with when you sell your D3?

I have a D4 and a D500 for back up!  I found my D3 was too slow to focus and I was defaulting back to my d500 all the time - as my d500 RARELY misses the focus.  There was a store closing and had a used D4 for sale so I bought it and have been much happier with it!  My d500 is back to being my back-up as well as my camera I take on hikes and other places where I just want a light camera!

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12 minutes ago, Brian said:

Oh, if you are looking for Dog Photos taken with the 14-24, just do a simple Google Image Search. You will see what I'm talking about with big noses and the distortion.

Yes!  I know its not everyone's cup of tea but I LOVE the big noses!  I find the images way more engaging! 

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Yeah, just buy the 14-24. If that’s the look you are after, the 14-24 will be your next purchase. 

Remember, the D3 is from 2007...the D500 has the same focusing system as the D5, Big difference. In fact, if you ever shot with a D5 or even D4s, your D4 would drop out of favor. ;) 

Have fun with your new 14-24. 

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Yes that's why I refuse to try out a d4s or d5! I don't need any more gear envy! 

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE my d500 - but I do prefer full frame when I can get it - but if I'm just going for action my d500 is perfect!

Thank you for all your help!

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