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Oh-Oh! I have LLD again...28mm f1.4-Question

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Rich Gibson, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. These puppies are very expensive. B&H has imports at a significant savings ($1490) while KEH has a used one for $1369. Since this is not a zoom I wonder if there are "issues" with getting an import lens.

    Anyone have experience with KEH. The lens is rated at excellent plus. Do they sell on consignment or are they resellers?


  2. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Rich :

    All the usual cautions apply about getting an import lens with respect to maintenance. You can, of course, get repairs made through third-party shops.

    As well, it seems that USA lenses command a bit better resale value than imports.

    KEH is a pretty good outfit. Their ratings tend to be a bit conservative, which is in the buyer's favour. I believe they are just a reseller, but others may have different information.

    The 28mm f/1.4 is a sweet sweet lens. Until another recent acquisition, it was my preferred "night time lens", and still ranks very highly with me.

    John P.
  3. And that was......?

  4. Rich,

    I've got one. Not the sharpest. Dont be fooled by this. Some people dont own one and they comment on it as being the best lens.
    However (!), this lens is invaluable. It's clearly a legendary lens for low light work.
    The whole secret in this lens is the focal lenght for ff bodies: making a decent luminous 28mm lens is a very hard task. Think about it: The next 28mm you have is f2.8. Besides, luminous is not enough. It has to be distortion free, contrasty... The DX format kills it all. However, I believe the FF format is finally near and from then on, finally, this lens will gain its whole reputation back.

    Okay, about gray market: the focus ring breaks easily as it is placed right where you instinctively hold the lens. This is really a bummer. Mine broke as well as others. It is pretty documented.

    My lens also got dusty pretty fast. I believe it is because of that broken ring.

    All in all, I recommend a USA lens. You pay a bit more but the lens is invaluable. Again, NOT because it's sharp but because it's a 28 1.4 FULL FRAME lens. In that respect it will never lose value, ever
    ! (except if they make an AF-S one or if they solidly plan to keep the 1.5 crop and decide to make a 17mm 1.4 DX AF-S lens... but don't count on that IMHO).

    In conclusion, I guarantee the focus ring will crack one day so just go for the USA lens and be free of worries. It is a great lens if you value photography as a whole. If you measurebate by sharpness alone, then just don't consider losing 1300$-1500$. (IMHO).
  5. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Rich :

    Oh nothing terrribly major - a 58mm f/1.2 manual Nikon lens. Y'know, old stuff... :twisted: :roll: :twisted: No metering with the D100, handset aperture on the lens, need to estimate the shutter and then correct (quickly) using the preview and the histogram, and of course, manual focus. But it is pretty sweet for the night work ! I'm still getting the hang of using it after about ten days.

    But I will say that the 28mm f/1.4 is a close second to that other new lens for low light shooting, and, quite naturally, has a wider FOV.

    John P.
  6. NB
    Thanks for the thorough analysis; It's just the information I needed. I purchased a grey market 1.7 tc and don't regret it, however there isn't much to go wrong with something like a tc. With a known issue of the focus ring, that pretty much takes the uncertaintiy out of what to buy. I've found that buying at the lowest cost possible you usually get what you pay for.

    As for motivation, I'd like to think I'm free of measurbation, but being a guy, "if some is good, more is better, right?" I can't be absolutely certain. No, I'm not zeroed on tack sharp focus. I'm interested in low-light capabilities.
    The wife and I travel overseas and when we retire later this year we'll be doing even more traveling. We enjoy castles, ruins, cathedrals, and out of the way back-street markets, etc.; all can be rather low light situations.

  7. Hi Rich,

    About the sharpness: The 28 1.4 is very sharp. This is not the real issue. But we just cannot expect it to be the "sharpest" Nikon lens just because of its price tag.

    The sharpest lenses are always the longest ones while the wide angles suffer the most. I believe it's in the physics.

    The 28 1.4 is a real jewel and I don't believe it can be better made or be sharper. Nikon has surely hit the limits on this one.

    Just don't expect super sharpness (super sharpness can only be expected with longer focal lenghts IMHO) but you can expect a whole new world :D  (And no, the sigma 30 1.4 is just not in the same league IMHO).
  8. hans


    Feb 5, 2005
    The Netherlands

    I got the 28 1.4 and the 17-55 dx the 28 is sharper the 17-55 more versatile

    Up to now the 17-55 is still my favorite than the 70-200 than the 28
  9. JB


    May 27, 2005
    Washington, DC
    I agree with NB23

    Hi Rich,

    I hope you've been well!

    I just bought the 28 1.4D and was surprised and dissapointed that it wasn't a 28mm version of the 85 1.4D. Given the high price I had sky high expectations. Between 1.4 and 1.8 in tripod testing the 28 is soft. That said, it produces twice the "keepers" of a 28-70 at 28mm f/2.8. (Which is very sharp at f/2.8.) Over f/2 the 28mm can hold it's own.

    Bottom line - It is a special purpose lens for hand-held shooting in poorly lit, available light situations. And for that use it is particularly effective.

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

    Nikon D2x, Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D AF
    1/60s f/1.4 at 28.0mm iso200

    Regarding the US vs Import option; If the difference is significant I'll go for the Import on simple lenses (i.e. not the VR models). For the 28mm I went for the Import. NB23 is correct, this style of Nikon lens is known to have problems with the M - A focus ring cracking. I guess I'm just a risk taker. :wink:
  10. JB,
    Thanks for getting back. If you've been following my other LL thread I was about to compafe the 35-1.4 against the 28-2.0 but KEH sent me a 28-2.8 instead. Rats!

  11. icetraxx


    May 7, 2005
    I fell victim to LL the other day with this lens. I found one that was 5months old for $1475 with everything including the recipt. It should be here on Monday. Now I just have to save for that 200mm F2.0 that I have been drooling over since it came out.
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