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Thread: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    I've been toying with the idea of replacing the old D80 with a D5100 and three light prime lenses as a light travel kit an an alternative to the GH1 that I now use for travel, the reason being that I have so much Nikon gear anyway that it would be convenient in some situations. It would also be an excellent low light setup (there must be an acronym for this, LLL the Light Low Light setup, can I patent it ).

    Nikon has actually launched a rather nice range of relatively lightweight primes the last few years, 35/1.8, 40/2.8 Micro, 50/1.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8 and 85/3.5 Micro, making this possible... almost. Anybody see the missing link? There's no wide angle lens. There's of course the 24/1.4 for FX, but it's big, heavy and "somewhat" expensive. Then there's the 10.5/2.8, but it's a fish eye and it doesn't even AF on a D5100. Then one could go for the D7000 and something like the 20/2.8, but the D7000 is also bigger, heavier and more expensive and it doesn't feature a flip-out LCD.

    It's strange, isn't it? I mean, for normal or telephoto use, there are always FX lenses available that work fine with the 1.5x crop factor, so not having dedicated DX lenses wouldn't be too much of an issue except sometimes size. But for wide angle, it's not that easy, and still, after more than 10 years of digital DSLRs, Nikon hasn't made one. A 16/2.8? Even a 20 or 24 would be better than what is available now, no?

    There are of course WA primes available for the GH1, 12 and 14 as well as a short "normal", the 20. But sometimes, a Nikon would suit my needs better, since it compatible with most of my other gear.

    Nikon! Can you hear me?

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    It is a shame, really! Not only Nikon, but Canon, Sony, or even a third party like Tamron, Tokina, and Sigma have all ignored this gap in the market. They are all relying on their old film-era 24mm lenses which simply don't do justice to today's digital sensors.

    The only way you can get a decent DX format wide angle is through zoom lenses, of which there are plenty available.

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    Member carl-b's Avatar
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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    There is a Sigma 20/ 1.8 which seems to do well in reviews. Maybe someone on here has used one?
    Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd

    Looking at it, it doesn't mention having HSM so may not AF on the D5100

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Quote Originally Posted by carl-b View Post
    There is a Sigma 20/ 1.8 which seems to do well in reviews. Maybe someone on here has used one?
    Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd

    Looking at it, it doesn't mention having HSM so may not AF on the D5100
    I've considered the Sigma many times, but it's large and heavy. Don't know about the AF either.

    Pentax has 2 crop format WA lenses btw., the 14/2.8 which has been available for ages and the newer 15/4 Limited.

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    There is the Voigtlander Color Skopar 20/3.5 wich has a CPU so metering should work but it's manual focus. That could be OK though if you don't mind zone focusing.

    -Thomas

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Quote Originally Posted by trisberg View Post
    There is the Voigtlander Color Skopar 20/3.5 wich has a CPU so metering should work but it's manual focus. That could be OK though if you don't mind zone focusing.

    -Thomas
    That's an option of course, but it has received mixed reviews, hasn't it? Have you tried it? Is it better than the Nikkor AF version (which won't AF on the D5100 either, but it will meter)?

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    I dunno, Jorgen. I took a quick look at the Nikon USA website and I see:

    14/2.8
    16/2.8
    20/2.8
    24/1.4
    24/2.8
    24/3.5
    28/2.8

    All current offerings for Nikon SLR cameras. True, the 14, 16 and 20 mm lenses are FX not DX, but there's so little call for primes of this quality and focal length other than from professionals I can understand why they see little profit in making a parallel line of DX lenses.

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I dunno, Jorgen. I took a quick look at the Nikon USA website and I see:

    14/2.8
    16/2.8
    20/2.8
    24/1.4
    24/2.8
    24/3.5
    28/2.8

    All current offerings for Nikon SLR cameras. True, the 14, 16 and 20 mm lenses are FX not DX, but there's so little call for primes of this quality and focal length other than from professionals I can understand why they see little profit in making a parallel line of DX lenses.
    The problem is that most of these are screw-drive lenses that don't autofocus on the D40/D60/D3x00/D5x00 bodies. By contrast, the Canon film-era EF autofocus lenses all maintain thair AF function on even the most humble Digital Rebel.

    I've used an older compact Sigma 24/2.8 AF - screw-drive AF only - as a manual-focus lens on the D60. It was fine, except in situations where fast, accurate focus mattered. Then it was hit or miss, with lots of misses.

    I agree with Jorgen - some compact AF-S DX-wide primes are very much needed.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I dunno, Jorgen. I took a quick look at the Nikon USA website and I see:

    14/2.8
    16/2.8
    20/2.8
    24/1.4
    24/2.8
    24/3.5
    28/2.8

    All current offerings for Nikon SLR cameras. True, the 14, 16 and 20 mm lenses are FX not DX, but there's so little call for primes of this quality and focal length other than from professionals I can understand why they see little profit in making a parallel line of DX lenses.
    No AF on the D5100, Godfrey, apart from the 24/1.4, and sometimes I need AF. Unfortunately, the best "semi-prime" WA lens, the Tokina 11-16/2.8, won't AF with the D5100 either.

    One of the situation when I need this is in pit lanes and repair shops during car races. The lighting is more often than not lackluster, so I need a wide aperture, and I often use low shooting angles which make the articulated LCD extremely useful.

    I might have to look in another direction though, and buy the Zuiko 12/2.0 for my GH1. That way I'll at least gain two stops over the 7-14/4.0, although I'll still have to carry two different camera systems.

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Nikon! Can you hear me?
    Brings back memories.

    It has not happened even before they introduced FF cams and when every Nikonite was praising the APS-C crop format as the more advantageous one.

    Not going to happen.

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    No AF on the D5100, Godfrey, apart from the 24/1.4, and sometimes I need AF. Unfortunately, the best "semi-prime" WA lens, the Tokina 11-16/2.8, won't AF with the D5100 either. ...
    I guess my shooting experience makes AF irrelevant. The more I work with all manual focusing camera systems again, the more I like it and find I want/need AF less and less of the time. I find it so much easier to just set a precise distance in the absence of enough light to focus accurately by determining sharpness or even collimating a rangefinder patch.

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Godfrey, I mostly prefer manual focusing too, but it isn't always practical for my use, so I prefer to have both options, at least when I have to deliver a relevant, sharp photo of a situation that might only be available for a fraction of a second.

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Godfrey, I mostly prefer manual focusing too, but it isn't always practical for my use, so I prefer to have both options, at least when I have to deliver a relevant, sharp photo of a situation that might only be available for a fraction of a second.
    Hmm. I find that it is those situations that are exactly where AF fails me most of the time. I'm better off, with any camera, if I have the camera pre-focused and the exposure pre-set than relying upon automation to get it right in the split second that I have to make a shot.

    But let's not get into a debate about it. You like AF for those situations and feel it's helpful, great. Now you've got to convince some manufacturers there's enough market to make the lenses you want for the camera you want to use...

    I usually go the other direction. I get interested in a particular kind of work, pick the lenses that I think will do it well, then look for a camera that allows me to use them. It's led me down some interesting paths ... it was how I got into Pentax in 2004, Hasselblad in 2002, etc.

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    That makes sense to me, Godfrey, and Pentax would actually be the logical way to go, except they don't offer any serious support here in Thailand, and the "serious" camera shops won't even touch them. So the solution for me is probably to develop within the limitations I have, and hope that either Nikon or m4/3 will come up with something in the future. An OM-D might be a good alternative for low light WA. I still wouldn't mind that lens from Nikon though 16mm f/2.0 AF-S DX?

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    If wide aperture is not the top priority then the Nikon 12-24/4.0 is a pretty good lens for DX. And there's the more consumerish 10-24 DX. Perhaps Nikon feels that between those two there's little need for a DX WA prime.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    If wide aperture is not the top priority then the Nikon 12-24/4.0 is a pretty good lens for DX. And there's the more consumerish 10-24 DX. Perhaps Nikon feels that between those two there's little need for a DX WA prime.
    That's a thought of course, and I forgot that the latest version of the Tokina 12-24/4.0 also has a built in focus motor. Although a wide aperture is a priority, the low light abilities of the D5100 does help a lot in that area, and I'm not looking for subject isolation in a WA lens. Thank you for the reminder, Lars.

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime


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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    Surprised I missed this thread earlier.

    The lack of of 16mm DX prime (or something giving me close to a 24mm equivalent on DX) was what ultimately led me to explore other options.

    I've kept my D200 and use it for specific occasions, but in general, my nikkors get used attached to adapters on m4/3. It's somewhat ironic to me that for m4/3, I can get 24mm, 28mm, 34mm, 40mm, 50mm, and 90mm equivalent primes...

    my preferred primes 24mm equiv, 40-50mm equiv (I used to prefer 50, but this has modified), and 90mm equiv. I also really enjoy my old 105mm f2.5 on an adapter on m4/3

    Nikon clearly gets the need for DX primes (otherwise why the more recent crop of DX primes from them).

    I long looked at the D700 just so I could use the primes I wanted, but the weight and the cost kept me at bay.

    But for me this is a:



    and I keep beating it whenever it comes up .

    Doug

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    Re: Isn't it strange... no WA lens prime

    In December 2005 (or maybe January 2006), Nikon announced the production stop of many lenses mainly in their AI-S line. I gave them about a year to use their production lines to be able to come up with a fix focal length DX WA lens, maybe a 16 2.8 or better a 2.0. Being on January 2012, it means I've been asking for it for 6 years and really expecting it for 5 years now! Thom Hogan has it on his wish list for ages too, as kind of a "we should have had this many years ago"!

    As someone said earlier, the issue is that with DX you can easily compensate in the higher focal lengths, but it's harder to do it in the lower focal lengths. Yes you can use the zoom, but it could be so nice to have a fix FL lens! That's probably the only lens missing to get a "complete" DX set, considering Nikon has really pushed that concept but didn't achieve the complete job in the execution. Just bring the long awaited lens and everything will be in order!
    Francois B.

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