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14-24 sharpness at f2.8 at infinity? Advice requested.

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by fishbio, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Hi All

    I posted a while ago about a disappointing introduction to the Nikkor 14-24 f2.8.


    The store has a new shipment and has tested one for me. They are saying that at infinity the picture sharpens up at f7.1! at close distances they say it is sharper opened up. I thought this lens was supposed to be sharp as a razor at f2.8. Perhaps this one is back focusing, too. They are awaiting my decision before shipping.

    Any experience anyone has at larger openings at infinity would be appreciated.

    I'm tempted to give it a pass.


    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  2. Well no, its not sharp as a razor @ F/2,8 at infintiy. If thats what your looking for you be dissapointed.
  3. Thanks, Paul

  4. Larry, after looking at the shot you posted in the earlier thread, I'm wondering how consistent this problem is. A couple of months back I took my D200 intona shop and took a few shots with their 14-24. Out of about twenty shots, not one was sharp.

    That said, I have issues with that particular body being soft with a few of my lenses. I bought a different 14-24 for my D700, and on that body, it is razor sharp. Now, razor sharp at 2.8 at infinity? That's asking a lot from any zoom or prime!
  5. I'd also be a little wary of what a store says regarding their having performed any kind of accurate "test". Such is not a trivial exercise.

    In any case, good luck with your search, Larry. The 14-24 is definitely worth the effort.
  6. Thanks, Vinman (I'd really like to use your real name)

    My other lenses including the Tokina don't appear to suffer on my D200 which leads me to believe it's a 14-24 issue. Perhaps your D200 has a focus problem

    Thanks Jeff

    They didn't claim an "accurate test". Shooting a distant building from the parking lot certainly is real world shooting, though!


  7. carlsson


    Jul 29, 2006
    The 14-24 is very special- terribly sharp and terribly susceptible for misfocus.

    Mine gave completely blurred images right off the box, just like the linked examples.
    Some testing showed a perfectly aligned lens with not a trace of decentering, just not focussing as expected. Especially far focus fell behind infinity leaving absolutely nothing on the plane of focus.

    For testing try live view on a capable camera, you might be surprised. On other bodys test near to middle range of flat field at an angle to find out if anything is really sharp, even if far from your intended plane of focus. Dont expect the depth of field work for you if focussing is not accurate. A wide angle at great distance uncovers the slightest focus error.

    My (seemingly) blurry copy of the 14-24 works absolutely perfect on the D3 with a heavy focus adjustement. At infinity f2.8 the detail clearly exceeds the resolution of the sensor, smaller apertures better the contrast.
    The same lens is completely unusuable at the D2x and works fine on two other bodies without any correction. Next stop at NPS shall tune everything to cooperate.

    Shortly, try to eliminate decentering as source of blur. Test in near field to have a chance something is in focus. If fine, let the AF be tuned, it might be false with other lenses too but not so obvious.

  8. Thank you for telling me about your experience. It's a pity that some? copies of this lens seem to come from the factory mis-calibrated for infinity focus.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2008
  9. Larry, I think the issue may be one of tolerance within the camera bodies, not the lens. This theory seems supported by anecdote - people with multiple bodies having to perform different lens tuning operations on each body for the same lens. The lack of tuning on bodies prior to D3/300/700 makes a Nikon service necessary to tighten the tolerance on some bodies. My guess is that some lenses have historically been more forgiving of these tolerance variances than others. That's why, for example, my D200 takes sharp photos with some lenses, and soft with others. I hadn't considered this until getting my D700 which captures sharp images with ALL my lenses.

    I'm not suggesting that some lenses don't require calibration - we all know they do. I'm only suggesting that I think the predominant issue lies within the camera body the majority of the time - maybe :wink:

  10. This is worth looking at; It is well known that short focal length, and especially short focal length zooms are hypersensitive to back focus(back focus in the original, technical meaning: The distance from the mounted lens to the plane of focus.) Even a small error in the flange to focus distance(a camera body issue) will cause focusing inaccuaracies when setting the focus by scale(whether manually or electromechanically). I used to refer to this as "the Shell Game of Focusing Errors" in the old days when the flange to screen distance in my Nikon F2 didn't agree with the flange to focus distance; they both have to be correct, AND they both have to agree.
  11. Nikon D2x ,Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED 1/500s f/8.0 at 14.0mm iso100

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    115% crop

    View attachment 258076
  12. dreams202:

    Looks pretty sharp for f/2.8! BTW, great shots, especially the first one. Absolutely beautiful. Where is the location, may I ask?


  13. Cape Neddick, York, Maine, Nubble Lighthouse

    the shot was taken at f/8 the lens is a 14-24/2.8
  14. Thx Bob!
  15. It's a possibility as is an out of spec. focusing unit in the camera. I haven't noticed any problems with my other lenses, but I guess that's your point! Did your lenses all work fine on the D700 without a camera fine focus adjustment?

    I'm sure there was back-focus in the 14-24 I tried, - focusing past infinity (can't speak to wrong distance from lens to focal plane). Manual focus improved sharpness a bit but didn't produce the sharpness I was expecting, i.e. it couldn't match the Tokina 12-24 at the same aperture.

    Thanks, Bob

    At f8 I wouldn't expect less!


  16. this one looks sharp all the way at f/2.8..

    Nikon D2x ,Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED 1/3000s f/2.8 at 14.0mm iso100

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  17. carlsson


    Jul 29, 2006
    You won't break the circle that way. MF with focus indicator is not better than AF, and focussing on the D200 screen is really impossible. You need to have live view or reliable AF to exploit the 14-24.

  18. carlsson


    Jul 29, 2006
    By the way, i think the camera to let the 1424 shine is still to come.

  19. Larry,
    All my lenses are incredibly sharp with my particular D700 with no lens tuning. I shoot the Tokina 10-17, Nikkor 14-24, old Nikkor 20/3.5, Tokina 28-80/2.8, Nikkor 50/1.4, Nikkor 80-200AF-S, and Nikkor 500/4P.

    By the way, if you are using ANY manual focus lenses AT ALL with your D200 - get a KatzEye Optibrite split screen/microprism focus screen immediately! The difference is more than incredible...
  20. Well the focus ring on the 14-24 isnt made for MF, regardless of liveview or not,you need to zoom in fully and move the focus ring back and forth in very small incraments (wich is hard given its a AF lens, and geared as one)

    Ill try to see if i can dig up a sample of the 14-24/2,8 at a distance subject, as you understand most people using it @ F/2,8 will use it upclose.
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