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please help me pick a 20/24

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by dCap, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. hello Nikon Cafe, I found your rather cool looking forum today and have been browsing some of the LensLust ... I joined today and said hello where I was supposed to, now to my Q:

    I'm new to Nikon, as of 13-Jul-07
    was Canon FD/EOS/D30 from 1987-2004 + primes
    was KM/Sony from Jan-05 to Jul-07 + primes

    Yesterday I got my D200 & 50/1.8
    Tomorrow I pull the trigger on a 85/1.8 & 180/2.8 ... after finding the best deals on theBay.
    I guess one day I'll get the big grip. And I might also get the 60 macro too (want to see if I can live without macro first).
    I shoot all sorts of stuff, but I want to change what I shoot - was a lot of animal stuff with a 300/2.8, but I'm forcing myself off the big guns now.

    But, I need your help guys and girls. I'm stuck on my wide.
    - Nikkor 20/2.8 AF-D
    - Nikkor 24/2.8 AF-D
    - Sigma 24/1.8 D EX DG

    I read the reviews over on Fredmiranda and photozone of the Nikkor 20/24 and there appear to be some concerns.

    I know the Sig 24/1.8 from personal experience, and I also had the Sig 20/1.8 ... both are cool, the 24 has the edge.

    But the plan is to 20/24 & 85 for most day trips. The 180 as the tele of choice for when I need to bring a long one in. The 50 is my solo lens when I am travelling light and want a challenge.

    Nik 20 ... gets a real knocking over on Photozone, and I respect Klaus' opinion
    Nik 24 ... ditto, but some have had the Nik 20/24/28 and favour the 24

    I am totally happy with a 20 or 24 ... kind of wanted the Nik 20 to be stella, but the reviews seem to knock it.

    The 20/24 will be used for building shots, I don't shoot full buildings (i find that uber dull), I take odd angled views of the sides and parts, so the 20 or 24 is whatever. But I want the best. I would rather not take on the size of the Sig 24 ... but if its the best of the three, then so be it. Its a good price.

    Sorry, long 2nd post, but I'm hoping I've laid down what I want there and hoping that some of you can tip the balance on which to get. I've considered getting all three and trying them all out, but I knock the new price to resale. And I want to buy new (I've bought used for 20 years, treating myself now).

    Looking forward to your replies. Its a general walkabout, travel, fast prime to use at f4-8 ... and hopefully at 2.8 when I want to play. No need for 1.8-2.8, love the Sig 24/1.8, but the size and different color to my other Nikkors will perhaps bug me?
  2. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    I have a 24/2.8 D and I love it. It's tiny, well-built and sharp from f3.5 and up... f2.8 is very usable. I can't give opinion to 20/2.8 since I don't have it. From what I understand, it's equally stunning. Maybe people like Ed or UncleFrank can give you a better perspective 'cause they have put their 20/2.8 in well use.
  3. slappomatt


    May 13, 2006
    San Diego CA
    its all personal preferance as anything, but I would go for a 20mm. I have 24 on my 12-24 and when I use that lens I really feel 24mm isnt a useful FL.
  4. Even if you don't think you will use the 1.8-2.8 range I still would recommend the Sigma 24mm f1.8 again, I have it and its the best night party lens I've ever used, Its a little bulky, but the close focus it has and really sharp DOF (at f1.8) are irreplaceable IMO.

    I never use it stopped down, but It can only get better! I actually use it on my film camera all the time aswell (wide open for Velvia 50 film)
  5. genehsu


    Apr 15, 2007
    I can't help with any comparisons. I've only briefly used the Nikon 20/2.8, but not enough to have any opinion about it. I have the Sigma 24/1.8, and I like it a lot for the wide side. If you're thinking wide anyway, why not any of the ultra-wide zooms: Nikon 12-24, Tokina 12-24, Sigma 10-20?
  6. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    The Tokina or Nikon 12-24mm are sharper any of the old 20mm or 24mm prime lenses because they've been optimised for use on digital sensors, infact the 20mm suffers especially with digital and is one lens I would only use on film sensors.

    Personally, I don't think either 20 or 24mm is wide at all on a digital sensor with the crop factor, and the only way to get real wide lenses on digital sensors without a huge chunk of glass is to go for DX zooms.

    I can't see any color redentition difference between modern Sigma and Nikon glass, or Tamron or Tokina so I wouldn't worry about it.

    Ouf your choices, I'd get the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 because thats the widest you specify, but if you want real wide then personally it's the Tokina 12-24 or Sigma 14mm if you have to have a prime (its not as sharp as the Tokina).
  7. thanks guys and girls, I tried to keep my Q and background brief, but I shold have mentioned that I will be adding the 17-55 & 70-200 VR next year ... and I've also once had the Tam 11-18, loved the funkiness of the very very wideness. But back in my film days I used to shoot at 35/1.7 or 35/2 ... I had 20 and 21mm lenses in the filum days, but so very very very rarely used them - not really my bag. Whereas 36mm is where i used to live.

    Yep yep yep, gotta be prime. I've had some grade A zooms, and yes the are flexible, but just don't suit the way I shoot. The 17-55 & 70-200 are what I consider to be the best of the options, but I need some cash and time for those.

    I also have a Sony α100 & 16 FishEye to keep my wild side going.

    But I simply must have f2.8 when I need it and be able to shoot with good sharpness at f4-8 .... the only thing that bugged me on the Tam 11-18 was that it was really an f8 lens in use. I would find the 10-20 and 11-18 too wide for my need. I just see the world at about 35mm

    I was hoping that the net had got it all wrong and that the Nik 20 was a brilliant lens, 20/85 is a super travel pair .... its looking firmly like the Sig 24/1.8 EX DG is going to get me again, I was hoping to gain the size advantage and grab a smaller Nikon 20 or 24 prime. But it looks like the biggy siggy is the one to get by default as well as its strengths.

  8. AF Nikkor 20/2.8D is hard to beat for your intended purposes I think. I have to tell you that I only use mine for panoramas because it is very rectilinear and I get f2.8 when I need it. So, I can't address it's use as a general purpose lens except by reputation. I still prefer the IQ of my 12-24 between 20mm and 24mm.
  9. ffb2t


    Jan 16, 2006
    Between f4 and f11, both the nikon 20 and 24 should be sharp enough and both are probably not going to be the weak link in the chain (unless you have an obsession with pure sharpness). You could also consider AI/AIS versions of the lenses as they will meter on your d200 and quality wise they are first rate). If you did consider the AI/AIS, you could get a 20 f3.5 which is sharp at all apertures and is tiny (smaller than the 50 1.8).
  10. darn it, I'd sold myself on the idea of the Sig 24/1.8 EX DG ... even though I wanted bad to be all Nikkor in my new line-up. Pricewise I'm happy to pop for either. And sorely tempted to get them both to see for myself (but I'd rather not). I'm not anti-zoom, just have longer term plan to get the 17-55, and I've shot my stuff with 35mm-ish equivalent primes for years (probably the last 10 years? 35mm film and 20/24 on digital), dabbled in zooms, and I see the 17-55 as the one to get, but not today. I'm looking to get my 3-4 lenses all lined-up for a combined price less than the 17-55. The 17-55 bumps the 12-24 off the list for me, so its very much a 20/24 prime race.

    At the mo, I already have the Sony 16/2.8 FishEye, which I will probably sell and replace with the Nikkor 16/2.8 FishEye, I much prefer 1.5x crop I get on the old FilmType Fisheye. That said, I'll probably give myself a fisheye break for 6 months or so (I've already found a good deal on a used one, just need a break and to do different stuff)
    Here is my mini-fisheye-website: fisheye.vividoptic.com
    if it doesn't sell, then I'll keep the Sony FishEye and dedicate my old a100 body to it and be covered for the Uber wide creative stuff.

    This is a selection of the sort of thing I want the 20/24 prime to do for me, they are all 20/24/28 prime stuff (please excuse the border, it was for a project website):
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 106089
    View attachment 106091
    View attachment 106092

    And these are some sample fisheyes, I do not believe in de-fishing, so they are as is, with some color pumps
    View attachment 106093
    View attachment 106094
    View attachment 106095
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2007
  11. As Frank said, the Ais (I only can speak for it, not sure about the AF) is highly recommended and cheaper when bought used.
    You mentioned that you want it to shoot buildings partially. I found mine very useful to do that because of its low level of distortions - as straight lines remain straight. Sharpness, contrast and colours rendition are also in a good level. One sample:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

  12. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I'm getting a 24mm AIS soon for film use, but I'll be sure to test it out with the 12-24mm on my D80. Infact I can even do a film test as the 12-24 fills a full 35mm frame towards the 24mm end.
  13. I have the 20mm F2.8 Nikkor lens. I use it a lot and it works very well for me. On digital, it is not so wide.
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