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Nikon 14-24 vs. Nikon 17-35

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Steinar, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    This is only an interpretation, because I have only shot with both lenses for some days, but read a lot.

    Tune in, please, if something wrong:

    Nikon 14-24:

    The sharpest WA ever. Fantastic.

    Sharp alleready from f. 2.8 and stopped just a little down sharp corner to corner

    Huge and heavy

    Prone to flare/ghosting - you can work around it, but you have to do that and you are not shure, that you can everytime.

    Can not wear filters.

    Nikon 17-35

    Sharp, but not from f/2.8, and generel not as sharp as the 14-24, but as sharp as the 14-24 at 20mm and f/8.0, also in the corners, and maybe also at other settings stopped down ?

    Can use filters

    Lighter and easier to travel with

    NOT prone to flare/ghosting and good for backlighting - in fact fantastic "feature" for at wide angle for landscapes.
  2. I have both on a D3.

    Both great.

    17-35's my everyday all-purpose lens.

    14-24's my special occasion lens.

    If I had to keep ONE....the 17-35 would be my choice.
    More usable, practical and way-wide to begin with.
  3. AndyE


    May 2, 2005
    Vienna, Austria
    I have both, and use them on DX/FX bodies.

    AFS 14-24mm/2.8
    + you get additional 14-17mm range (huge difference)
    + less ghosting and flare than the 17-35mm
    + No CA at the edges
    + sharp (incl. corners) in the edges.
    + better contrast then 17-35

    AFS 17-35mm
    + cheaper
    + smaller
    + can use filter

    If you have the 17-35mm you might upgrade your lens kit in a different range.
    If you need the best quality - no question - the AFS 14-24.
    If you can grab a 17-35 at a reasonable price - get it.

    I did compare a couple of ww lenses on the D700/D3 for corner sharpness.
    AFS 14-24mm/2.8
    AFS 17-35mm/2.8
    AFS 18-35mm/3.5-4.5
    AF 20-35mm/2.8
    AiS 20mm/2.8
    Ais 35mm/1.4

  4. Great test andy! Why are some of them so dark? What was your distance to the chart?
  5. Great test Andy E - the el cheapo 18-35 holds up VERY well at f/8 which is a typical landscape aperture.

    The 14-24 as expected wipes the floor with everything to my eyes.
  6. AndyE


    May 2, 2005
    Vienna, Austria
    Thanks everybody.
    The darkness is due to different level of vignetting, which I did not correct.

    Distance to the chart was approx 24inch.

    Vignetting can be easily corrected, CA can be corrected as well. I have seen some old lenses which show strong fringe CA with overblown highlights (very hard to correct). Loss of sharpness is hard to correct as well.

    I've done approx 25-30 lenses to check for FX-readiness.

  7. Have you tested the 24 AF f2.8? When I go full frame, I hope to be able to use that lens. I also have the 17-35, but like the compactness of the 24.
  8. AndyE


    May 2, 2005
    Vienna, Austria
    Not yet

    Among the tested lenses:
    AiS 20mm/2.8
    AiS 28mm/2.8
    AiS 35mm/1.4
    AiS 25-50mm/3.5
    AiS 50-135mm/3.5
    AiS 105mm/2.5
    AiS 135mm/2.8
    AiS 200mm/4 Micro
    AiS 50-300mm/4.5
    AiS 200-400mm/4
    AiS 180-600mm/8

    All 80-200mm/2.8 models
    AiS 80-200mm/2.8 ED
    AF 80-200mm/2.8
    AF 80-200mm/2.8 D
    AF 80-200mm/2.8 two-ring
    AFS 80-200mm/2.8
    AFS 70-200mm/2.8

  9. jimeast


    Mar 17, 2008
    Metrowest. MA
    Lens Test

    Hello Andy,

    I enjoyed seeing your results, I have at least four of the lenses you tested, so the interest in your work was high for me.

    I'm curious what you did for sharpening during the tests. I notice when I am using my lenses, some are sharp with little or no sharpening and some seem to want more sharpening than others. On the 400 2.8 I rented several weeks ago, the unsharpened results were surprisingly sharp. This idea has got me thinking more along the lines that sharpness is not everything if the other qualities of the lens are good. (By "no sharpening" I mean with all sharpening set to "0" in NX)

    I have a 35 1.4 AIS and a 28 2.8 AIS that I will now have to play with a little more, to make sure I understand where "sweet" spots are as a result of your test pictures. (I thought the 35 would be best a little wider and the 28 a little more stopped down then your work portrays.)

  10. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Thank you Vernon and Andy.


    Andy, as others have said: Great test.

    You wrote about the 14-24:

    + less ghosting and flare than the 17-35mm

    I really don.t understand that.

    Even small lights in my flat gave so many ghosts with the 14-24 (not the 17-35), and I have later seen, that photozone also wrote, that it was prone to flare/ghosting - and a lot of others have written it.

    I have to say, that it was on DX (D200), and some writes, that it is better on FX ?
  11. AndyE


    May 2, 2005
    Vienna, Austria

    I have done so many pics with lights in the frame and my observation is this way around.

    BTW, I have done a post a while ago on the causes of reflexions (flare and ghost) in lenses.
    Most of the time it is not the type of lens you are using, but how you expose, care for the lens and frame the pic.
    You might find it worthwhile to read: https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=146763

    some examples with the AFS 14-24mm : High resolution
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    High resolution
    View attachment 238610

    High resolution
    View attachment 238611

    High resolution
    View attachment 238612

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  12. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Andy, thank you, yes I have read your fine thread, and thank you for the pics with no flare/ghosting, but as earlier written:

    - you can work around it with the 14-24 - sometimes you get it, sometimes you do not, and when you get it, and my experience is that it is easy, you can try to work around it, but you do not have to do that with the 17-35
    (even you c a n get it of course), and

    - backlighting - much better with the 17-35.

    With the D200 there was a HUGE difference - much, much more from the 14-24 than the 17-35, and as mentioned just lights from small lamps gave 3 ghosts - nothing with the 17-35.

    But there really can be a differnce using DX camera, than FX-camera, I have read, and the photozone-test.



    says the same about the flare/ghosting, but notice: It is from a D200, and maybe it is another story on FX - which I think the lens was made for ?
  13. Steinar,
    on FF, 17-35 is to me a much more useful range than a 14-24.
    My opinion, though.
  14. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Thank you, Dino, you are probably right, but the most important issue for me is the flare/ghosting and backlighting resistance, and that it c a n be as sharp as 14-24 in some settings - but the Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 is also really on my mind, because it is sharp, so fine color and fine resistance against flare/ghosting (there have been a thread about it, and the lens looks SO fine).

    I thought I would wait for Bjørn Rørsletts review, but I have just few minutes ago ordered the Nikon D700 - it should land the day after tomorrow, because it was in stock here in Denmark.

    And now I have the lens desicion to make:

    Zeiss 35mm f/2.0, really sharp, so fine (special, and I like that)) color, resistance against flare/ghosting, but MF and not so wide. Maybe MF no problem on FX for me - bright viewfinder.

    Nikon 17-35, really sharp stopped down, fine color, reistance against flare/ghosting

    Nikon 14-24, top sharp, fine color, but my experience is... prone to flare/ghosting (that was on DX)

    but I am beginning to be well dressed (Denmark-language ?:smile:)  to take it soon, thanks to the cafe.

    Thank you all.
  15. AndyE


    May 2, 2005
    Vienna, Austria
    congrats to your new camera. :smile:

    regarding lenses:
    I just came home. So the only place where I could see some (extreme) sunrays were in the attic. Here are 2 pics, shot within the same minute and same camera settings. The pictures were only reduced in size, nothing whatsoever has been done with them. Full EXIF data are in the pics - in case you are interested. I stand by my observation - the AFS 14-24 is the better lens in the criteria's you are interested. :smile:

    Shoot me a PM in case you want to get the NEF's.


    D700, AFS 17-35mm/2.8
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    D700, AFS 14-24mm/2.8
    View attachment 238614
  16. The 14-24 has the newest coatings, so it makes sense that it has less flare and ghosting.
  17. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Andy, thank you very much for this job.

    Now I am really in doubt, because that is totally new to me, because

    - my own experience is the opposite (with D200)
    - others have written it - have seen it many times
    - photozone writes it in the test

    Bjørn Rørslett claims it about the 17-35 (very good resistance), but at the same time he mentions another photographer, that had the opposite experience.

    I will try to find it and come back.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2008
  18. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Bjørn Rørslett:

    "The 17-35 performs extremely well when shooting into bright light, in fact its performance in this respects surpasses most prime lenses. Flare and ghosting evidently are strictly controlled. I've never used a zoom with this degree of superior flare and ghosting control before. Likely the fancy optical formula and the bizarre front element pay dividends in this respect, too. However, an early report by "Moose" Peterson claims this lens flares easily. His sample may differ from mine, or test conditions may be quite different."

    My own experience with the 14-24:

    Shot with it some hours on a photocourse and I was in WA-heaven - (it was overcast).

    Ordered it and shot with it 2 days:

    Just I said "light" it begin to flare and make ghosts - as mentioned even some small lamps in my flat gave 3 ghosts and totally lost of contrast from a window, and it was not even sunny outside (if it was it could be expected)

    Then I send it back.

    Moose Petersonabout the 14-24

    "The scalloped shade shape permits light to stray in from the rear of the filter. This in turn causes a ghosting or flare reflection to be seen by the lens"


    Well, is all this because of sample variations ?

    The thing is, that I have 2 very, very fine lenses - the 70-200VR and the 35-70 f/2.8, and both are very prone to flare/ghosting - I worked around it - ex. bought a longer hood, but this is not usefull on FX

    ..so I want a WA without this problem for scapes with the sun in the image and for backlighting (love that) - also for shooting at night with the city-lights.

    I have the 10,5mm and this lens have great resistance against flare/ghosting, but is for DX, and my interpretation is, that the 16mm fisheye is not as good as the 10,5mm.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2008
  19. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Here is a test, that in many ways support your findings - though in the backlighting situation there are some ghosts when you enlarge the pic as he writes, but that is minor, so I must say - mixed review, maybe it is ending with the "sample variations"

  20. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Yes it helps, but there is a lot of other things, that it is depending on.
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