Wide angle prime?

Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Messages
49
Help, please. Looking to add a wide angle prime to the collection. I don't shoot a lot of landscapes, but would like to have a wide angle for travel photos and the occasional group shot. I am a primes guy, so really not interested in a zoom. Don't mind spending a little money, but the 14 and 18 2.8s are out. The short list is the 20, 24 and 28, all f/2.8 I do believe. FWIW, I currently have the 18-70, 50 1.8, 85 1.8 and 180 2.8.

Any thoughts/comparisons would be appreciated.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
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Atlanta, GA
The truth of the matter is that the new 14-24 zoom kicks every prime in that range firmly in the butt. It is an amazing piece of technology.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
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Laurel, MD USA
It might help us if you would supply the following info:

1. What camera body.
2. Your budget.
3. Any brand preference.

There are some great 3rd party lens out there and a lot of people like the Sigma 10-20mm. Tokina also makes lens that are well built.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Messages
49
1)d80
2)@300 (soft-but not soft enough for the 14-24:smile:)
3)I have always owned Nikon but am not adverse to a well recommended third party lens
 
N

Nuteshack

Guest
personally i wouldn't own a prime any slower than f2...so if you'e af that pretty well leaves u with the sigmas....;-)
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Messages
49
personally i wouldn't own a prime any slower than f2...so if you'e af that pretty well leaves u with the sigmas....;-)
I have been looking at the 35 f/2 as well, but not sure it is wide enough for the intended purpose - travel oriented landscapes, groups of kids. Also not sure the extra stop will really matter much with that use in mind.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2008
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SF Bay Area
20mm 2.8 is nice, I like being able to take wide shots and have bokeh. I also have a 12-24mm, and I don't really like it all. It's not that it's a bad lens, but Landscape doesn't interest me that much. I'd rather have a semi wide lens that I can use to take landscape, and also use for wide shots where I want better focus on a subject. If you don't think you need it for that last reason, I'd recommend the 12-24mm.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2007
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594
Location
Seattle
How wide is wide enough depends on your shooting preferences.

35mm on DX has a similar field of view as 50mm on FX. It might not be wide enough.

Sigma primes might work for you. But you might try out some of the super wide zooms that are available for DX. Nikon, Sigma, and Tokina all have decent super wide zooms.
 
T

Tim White

Guest
I have the 24 2.8 and like it, but it's not especially wide on a DX body. It's good for walk-around tourist type photos, and close-in people stuff.

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Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Messages
49
Thanks again guys. Tim, sounds like the you are using the 24 for exactly what I want it for. Can you give me an idea of the len's sharpness/rendition, etc?
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
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Location
Munich, Germany
Wide angle on DX leaves only two of the given choices:
  • 24/2.8 - 36mm equivalent by 35mm film standards. Not particularly wide, rather a "wide normal lens".
  • 20/2.8 - 30mm equivalent. Still not particularly wide, but "just wide enough" by standards of 15yrs ago or so (I started out with a 28/2.8 on my first Nikon film body).

Unfortunately, limiting yourself to primes and your budget range leaves you practically without many better choices. You might consider the Sigma 14/2.8 or /3.5 (used), however that's quite a step wider than a 20 (corresponding to 21mm on film, which already is in the "ultra-wide" region).

Also, the Nikon primes in the 20-28 region are quite old by design, and have a not so good reputation on 10MP or more DX sensors.

You might reconsider the zoom options. For example, I have the 20-35/2.8, which performs quite good on DX, and can be had used not too much outside of your budget (well, at least much nearer to 300 than that 14-24, or even a new 12-24/4). Alternatively, a used Sigma 10-20 or Tokina (I think) 12-24 would be a good choice.

BTW, I do like primes on the long end (50 and up), but for wide angles, I'm actually in favor of zoom lenses.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
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Location
San Jose, CA
Dan, the 20/2.8 was my widest angle lens for several years. It's a good lens, but I didn't realize what I was missing until I picked up a 12-24 wide angle zoom. I've owned the Tokina and the Nikon versions, and both of them outperformed the 20/2.8 at 20mm. Used mint copies of the Tokina are reasonably priced at $350-400, which is about what you'd pay for a 20/2.8, and only weigh 1.2 pounds.

I prefer primes, too, but based on my personal experiences, I'd suggest you consider a 12-24.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2006
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Indonesia
I'm Using ZF 25mm F2.8 as my prime wide angle lens.
This lens has minimum focus of 6cm, which is very nice for doing macro-wide angle shot :)
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
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Location
Hong Kong, China
The Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 AI-S is by far the sharpest lens in my bag. The price is right - assuming that you can find a clean copy. I took a late afternoon / early evening walk this evening (D300 - 28/f2.8 AI-S). View at:http://picasaweb.google.com/winecountrystudio/28mmAIS
Make sure it is the slightly newer version that will focus to 0.2m. It is quite a bit sharper than the older one that focus to 0.3m.

BTW, I really think Nikon's wide zooms are better than their primes. The 12-24 and 17-35 are probably better than any primes in their range. The Tokina 12-24 is not bad either. $3-400 should get you a very nice used one. I have a lot of primes, but for landscape I'll stay with the zooms.
 

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