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Thread: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

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    Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Hi guys. I have recently bought the D800E. I am now wondering which lens to put on it. I only do landscape and I want a sharp as can be wideangle. I have to choose between the Zeiss 21mm and a new tripod or the 14-24mm and a new filter holder. If anyone has any high-res samples from both I would be very grateful. Any advice would also be appreciated. Thanks.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    HI Fredrick. I bought the 14-24 and then I purchased the Zeiss 18mm instead of the 21mm.i have used the 21mm and 18mm previously on my canon gear. Hence i was familiar with these two lenses when i switched to the Nikon D800. Here are my comments. The 14-24 is very sharp corner to corner. Probably the best wide angle zoom I have ever used. The real issue is that it is subject to flare-- more than I would like. Really has messed up some otherwise great shots. In addition it is kind of big and bulky and the the filter options are expensive and not optimal. The Lee system is expensive and good for ND and graduated ND filters but there are no polarizer options. Fotodiox has a polarizer option but also expensive and the two are not compatible. The 14-24 distortion is nicely fixed in PS or LR. The zeiss 18mm is smaller and less glare. Also sharp corner to corner. Some pincushion distortion harder to fix than the 14-24. THe 21mm is a great lens but suffers from more distortion than the 18mm. I think the 18mm is underrated because the 21mm is so highly rated but in my opinion it is outstanding for a super wide. My 2c
    Last edited by mark1958; 4th July 2012 at 14:55.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Hi Fredrick, I too like the 21mm angle of view. I suggest renting the much maligned 17-35mm lens and see for your self. It is very much a flare resistant lens, it takes a standard 77mm filter. It focuses within 4" of the nodal point of the lens. It has very low distortion that is easily corrected in PP. It is a little lower in contrast than the Zeiss but that is easily adjusted for in PP. (people make a big deal about it because very little is wrong with this lens but it is an older design so something must be wrong with it.) At the optimal f/stops for resolution it is as sharp as any other lens at that focal length or f/stop. See Photozone for the MTF and compare with the 14-24 and the Zeiss 21mm at 21mm and f/5.6-f/8. In the extreme, extreme corners it is not as sharp as the other two lenses. But the two questions are, what do you do with the extreme, extreme corners, and if that matters will it matter if you then crop a bit? You have 36Mp that is a lot of Mp. As Mark mentions the Zeiss has an unusual distortion that for staight horizon lines is disconcerting, and difficult to fix. My 2c, for what it is worth, I went through the same process as you as I await my d800e, I have the d700 and bought the 17-35mm and I have been using the 17-35mm for landscape and urban shooting and for just an every day lens to get used to it. As I process the images I see why people who like this lens are mystified by the negative comments on it. It is a remarkably sharp lens, and its flare resistance is amazing. I have to go to 100% and pixel peep in the corners to find any softness, since I darken the edges a bit anyway it is irrelevant. Rent these lenses and see what you like, cheaper in the long run then buying a lens you might not like. Joe

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    While I agree with most of the posts here in this thread, I do completely disagree with what is said about the 17-35. I owned this lens for years and while some 10 years ago it really was stunning compared to anything else available, it finally is not up to modern sensors. And it produced a lot of flare! SO bad that I did not use it under lighting conditions which caused flare. It also was never very contrasty. I first used it on APSC bodies (D1, D100, D200, D2X) where it was somehow ok, but overall I did not like it on my D3 / D700 FX bodies, so I finally sold it.

    Then I had the 14-24 and 24-70 combo, which was ok, but also I do not agree that the 14-24 is so much shining, as mine always had pretty soft corners. And the 24-70 is not the strongest lens anyway, I found the older 28-70 much more appealing, so I do hope Nikon soon replaces the current 24-70 with a newer VRII version.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    The 14-24 was the first lens I purchased with my D800. I was mainly interested in it for night photography, thus the F2.8 to F5.6 range. My initial results I posted on this site in an earlier post, net I was not too pleased. Corners were soft and smeared, center was very good. By F7.1 to F8 excellent lens corner to corner, and this hold up to F14.

    I worked with 3 different 14-24's and finally keeping the 3rd one. I found that by using Live view, with the Lloyd Chambers setting, that this particular lens did very well, still not stellar, but I figured I would have to upgrade to the Zeiss 21mm to get sharp corners wide open.

    I recently was able to borrow a brand new Zeiss 21mm and a D800e. That was a great day! The results were surprising. I had to shoot this setup a couple of times to make sure of my results.
    The 21mm Zeiss was considerably softer than 14-24 @21mm from F2.8 up to around F8. Once you got to F11, the Zeiss was laser sharp, but it was the performance in the F2.8 to F5.6 range I was hoping for.

    Once I looked at both test shots side by side I realized that the Nikon 14-24 had a better hyperfocal distance than the 21mm Zeiss until you got to F11, then the Zeiss was a bit better. This was a surprise for me. My testing was pretty straight forward, I keep the lens level and then lay out a measuring tape and target for the near lower corner, then shoot up the range of apertures. Net, I was impressed enough with the results of the Nikon 14-24 to keep it. Here are a few observations.

    The 14-24 is a beast, as already mentioned. It's heavy, and the lens cap design "sucks". For as expensive as the lens and the overall importance of the front element I am surprised by this.

    The 21mm Zeiss, is tiny compared to the 14-24, takes standard filters and has an excellent hood. Flare is possible but not as bad as the 14.24.

    The 14-24 will flare and you just have to be prepared for it. Most times I have found that you can spot out the flare with your hand, or a flare buster type of blocking device. Shooting towards or at the sun will be a disappointment unless you are prepared for this.

    The 14-24 is relatively easy to polarize. You can hand hold a Schneider or Tiffen 5.65 x 5.65 square CL-PL in front of the lens. You don't get a issue with the lens hood tulips as I did with the Mamiya 28. This was a pleasant surprise. The 5.65 x 5.65 is large enough to hand hold and keep you fingers out of the shot. You do have to watch for the top of the filter and reflections back towards the camera, but this is easy enough to fix with a cover. It's not a pretty solution but it works. There are times where I like being able to use a CL-PL especially around water.

    Lee doesn't make a big stopper for the 14-24, but High Tech/format does. It will fit the Lee 150 kit for the 14-24. It seems that High Tech may have some color cast issues, (see thread on LuLa). But you still have the option to get to 10x ND

    Lloyd Chambers reports a focus shift issue on the 14-24. What you have at F2.8 may be off a bit by F5.6. I have not really seen much of this and I tend to dig into images pretty deep. I have used both Live View and AF for focus on the 14-24 and results have been pretty even. I am not sure if this mean that Nikon may have fixed the issue that Lloyd reported or if it's a issue that is not consistent across the 14-24 lineup.

    I found color/contrast between the 21mm Zeiss and Nikon 14-24 to be very close using raw capture, and LR 4 or Capture One for conversion.

    Sharpness to me was a wash, at 21mm the Nikon was equal to or better than the 21mm zeiss, due to the hyperfocal distance.

    As of yet, I have not found any lens Nikon or non-Nikon that is really sharp in the corners of a D800 at F2.8 in the 14mm to 21mm range. I have not tried any Lecia glass however.

    Paul Caldwell

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    My 14-24 is a dissapointment, unsharp and smearing at the edges and corners.
    It was ok at the D3, but at the 800E its a disaster I think.
    But I havn't test it properly at tripod at all the apertures, just at fast shutterspeed.
    I can't understand how Guy manage to get those sharp pictures with the 14-24 but he does.
    I would have asked how the 21 Zeis behaved, but now I've got the answer. So it seems like no alternative.
    So one have to wait until Nikon will produce a proper 20mm I guess.
    Thorkil

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    I worked with 3 different 14-24's and finally keeping the 3rd one. I found that by using Live view, with the Lloyd Chambers setting
    Paul Caldwell
    Hi Paul. I have a paid subscription to Digilloids, but cannot find those settings. Can you guide me to the link for those settings?? Thanks.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Antonio:

    Here is the link: http://diglloyd.com/prem/prot/DAP/Ni...reControl.html

    I ended up not importing them, but just creating a new Landscape setting. it's not as straight forward as it seems. But does seem to make a diff. when using Live View.

    Paul

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    While often there were vast differences between the Nikon 14-24 f2.8, 17-35 f2.8 and some other wide angle zooms and single focal length lenses on a D700/D3s, their use on a D800 has certainly changed things, especially regarding corner and edge performance. The D800 places much demand on these lenses and each to varying degrees often struggles with edge/corner performance. Distortion is quite seperate. Where I would normally place the 14-24 well ahead of the 17-35 on a D700/D3s, after testing hand selected samples of each on a D800, I felt optical performance regarding sharpnes fairly close at the middle apertures. Higher contrast certainly went to the 14-24 and maybe to a degree central sharpness if one as measuring, but even in that area of the frame it was close. Both lenses had weakness in the corners, but at somewhat different ends of their zoom range. The 17-35 in my opinion was far more flair resistant than the 14-24 and in addition, the 17-35mm took filters easily with its 77mm filter thread size.

    I found the distortion on the Zeiss 21mm could be problematic depending on type of subject photographed but sharpness/resolution was generally outstanding.

    In another thread, I posted my observations regarding use and testing of the 17-35mm f2.8 on the D800.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/...ervations.html

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 5th July 2012 at 06:57.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Thanks for all your advice and help guys! I was really torn between the 14-24 and the zeiss. But seeing that many have experienced problems with the 14-24, I decided to go with the zeiss. It will be arriving in a few days and I will try and post some full-size samples and raw files from this lens. Again, I thank you all and will gladly give back to the community!

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Antonio:

    Here is the link: http://diglloyd.com/prem/prot/DAP/Ni...reControl.html

    I ended up not importing them, but just creating a new Landscape setting. it's not as straight forward as it seems. But does seem to make a diff. when using Live View.

    Paul
    Thanks Paul.!

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    or Voigtländer Color-Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SLII Aspherical ?


    There's also the more affordable Voigtländer option, but I don't know if it meets your requirements.

    Here's an illustration at f/8 with the Voigtländer Color-Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SLII Aspherical, a manual focus AI-S type lens.

    I opened up the shadows a bit to enable you to see some more details at the edges and corners.

    If you'd like to do the RAW conversion to your own taste you can download the RAW file,
    only please keep any posted conversion result here on the GetDPI forum
    801_1614_Voigtlander_20mm.NEF


    © • click for native size (8.5 Mb) • in some browsers the F11 key maximizes and again minimizes <-> the web browser window


    © • Nikon D800E • Voigtländer Color-Skopar 3.5/20mm SLII Aspherical • 1/15 sec. at f/8 ISO 100 • Capture NX2
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Fredrick-

    Personally, I would stick with prime lenses only for landscape, less glass elements = cleaner image. I also think the Zeiss lenses in the wide range are pretty good. For me, the Zeiss 35mm or 25mm are best because less CA and distortion, and manual focus is a must with landscape photography.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Fredrick-

    Personally, I would stick with prime lenses only for landscape, less glass elements = cleaner image. I also think the Zeiss lenses in the wide range are pretty good. For me, the Zeiss 35mm or 25mm are best because less CA and distortion, and manual focus is a must with landscape photography.
    +1

    I agree. And the Zeiss 21mm is a super sharp lens. The Zeiss 35mm is my new favorite with the D800E.
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Not that bad at all, Steen, the Color-Skopar 20mm. Do you know if anyone got it in Copenhagen.
    Best Thorkil

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    or Voigtländer Color-Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SLII Aspherical ?


    I do not know of any Voigtländer vendor in Denmark, but in UK and in Germany there are big photo stores with Voigtländer equipment, e.g. Robert White in UK and Foto Mundus in Germany.

    Lenses - Voigtlander - Shop by Brand | Robert White Photographic Ltd

    fotomundus24.de

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Thanks
    But Photozone claim that the not too cornersharp Nikkor 20/2.8D is better, any opinion on that?
    Thorkil

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Fredrick-

    Personally, I would stick with prime lenses only for landscape, less glass elements = cleaner image. I also think the Zeiss lenses in the wide range are pretty good. For me, the Zeiss 35mm or 25mm are best because less CA and distortion, and manual focus is a must with landscape photography.
    Another +1 to this.

    Zeiss 21/2.8, 25/2, 35/1.4, 50/2 and 100/2 are all killer lenses. I went with the 35/1.4 over the 35/2 because it's my go-to focal length so I wanted maximum flexibility. The 35/2 is also an excellent lens and arguably easier to focus.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    I'm picking up the zeiss in 8 hours. I'll try posting some samples later, I'm sure that many people wonder how this lens performs on the D800(E).

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    Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm


    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrick View Post

    (...) I'll try posting some samples later, I'm sure that many people wonder how this lens performs (...)

    Great idea, Fredrick

    Only picture samples (and preferably linked to full size versions) can really illustrate a lens' performance.

    The rest is just words.

    Of course that does not in itself solve the second problem we face in these discussions: sample variation, but at least it solves the first problem with all the claims and endless statements never backed by any sort of evidence or illustration.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    +1

    I agree. And the Zeiss 21mm is a super sharp lens. The Zeiss 35mm is my new favorite with the D800E.
    Joe,

    which Zeiss 35 - the 1.4 or the 2.0?

    Thanks

    Peter

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    I ran into i slight problem today. The camera won't shoot with the zeiss, unless the zeiss is at f/22. I had to unscrew the lens slightly in order to shoot. Is this a problem with the lens or am I doing something wrong?

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Joe,

    which Zeiss 35 - the 1.4 or the 2.0?

    Thanks

    Peter
    Peter,

    Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm F/2.0 ZF.2



    A jewel of a lens.
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    And the Zeiss 21mm, looking up into the Fresnel lens of the Umpqua River Lighthouse in Oregon:

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrick View Post
    I ran into i slight problem today. The camera won't shoot with the zeiss, unless the zeiss is at f/22. I had to unscrew the lens slightly in order to shoot. Is this a problem with the lens or am I doing something wrong?
    Fredrick,

    Seat the lens securely in the mount. Don't unscrew it. Make sure you hear a "click" when the lens is securely mounted. Set the aperture ring on the lens to f/22 (orange markings). The small button on the aperture ring of the lens will pop out slightly and the ring will be fixed at f/22. Then set the aperture you desire using the command dial on the camera. That should do it.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joe Colson; 10th July 2012 at 07:39.
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Joe, this is a superb image.
    You are using the Zeiss 21mm and 35mm f2 as your wide angles for landscape work with the D800?
    I used to own the Zeiss 25mm, 60mm makro and 85mm lenses with my Contax RTS II. I always regretted selling those amazing optics.
    I am looking for good wide angle primes to use with my D800E, if it ever appears!
    I already have the Nikon 85mm PC and a Leica 100mm Macro-Elmarit.
    Thanks very much for posting,
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    Peter,

    Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm F/2.0 ZF.2



    A jewel of a lens.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by nikonf View Post
    Joe, this is a superb image.
    You are using the Zeiss 21mm and 35mm f2 as your wide angles for landscape work with the D800?...
    Mike
    Mike,

    Thanks very much. Yes, I'm using the Zeiss 21mm, 35mm f/2, and 100mm Makro with the D800E for landscape photography. For a recent Oregon trip, before my D800E was delivered, I used a D800 with those lenses. I know your question and this thread are on the subject of wide angles, but in fact, the 100mm proved to be as useful as the 35mm. Here a link to the gallery.

    Cheers,

    Joe
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Thank you Joe. I was quite baffled by this.

    Here is one test picture from today's adventure into the forest around my house.



    _DSC0017.NEF

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Joe,

    Your images are magnificent! Love your Oregon work.
    I was there in 2005 with a lowly 8MP and I want to go back there and to Washington state, Bryce and Zion.
    I noticed you were using a Hasselblad H4D and also a IQ180 DB?
    How do you think the D800\E compare to the Hasselblad and IQ 180?
    Did you switch to the IQ 180 with a technical camera?
    I can't afford to make another expensive mistake......Been there, done that....too many times!
    I have both Canon and Nikon 12MP DSLRs and I want superior image quality.
    Still shoot 4x5, except labs have all but disappeared and their quality is not what it used to be.
    All the best,
    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    Mike,

    Thanks very much. Yes, I'm using the Zeiss 21mm, 35mm f/2, and 100mm Makro with the D800E for landscape photography. For a recent Oregon trip, before my D800E was delivered, I used a D800 with those lenses. I know your question and this thread are on the subject of wide angles, but in fact, the 100mm proved to be as useful as the 35mm. Here a link to the gallery.

    Cheers,

    Joe

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrick View Post
    Thank you Joe. I was quite baffled by this.
    Here is one test picture from today's adventure into the forest around my house.
    Fredrick,

    Glad I could help. That's quite a forest scene! I've never seen anything like that. There appears to be some type of growth on everything.

    I downloaded the NEF and took a look at 100%. Thanks for sharing.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikonf View Post
    Joe,
    Your images are magnificent! Love your Oregon work.
    ...
    I noticed you were using a Hasselblad H4D and also a IQ180 DB?
    How do you think the D800\E compare to the Hasselblad and IQ 180?
    Did you switch to the IQ 180 with a technical camera?
    ...
    All the best,
    Mike
    Mike,

    Thanks. That was my first trip to Oregon and I'd definitely go back. There's a lot more to explore.

    So as not to hijack the OP's thread, email me at "joe at joecolsonphotography dot com" and I'll tell the tale of gear evolution in the Colson closet.

    Cheers,

    Joe
    _________________________________
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    There's also the more affordable Voigtländer option, but I don't know if it meets your requirements.

    Here's an illustration at f/8 with the Voigtländer Color-Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SLII Aspherical, a manual focus AI-S type lens.

    I opened up the shadows a bit to enable you to see some more details at the edges and corners.

    If you'd like to do the RAW conversion to your own taste you can download the RAW file,
    only please keep any posted conversion result here on the GetDPI forum
    801_1614_Voigtlander_20mm.NEF
    Wow the Voigtlander 20mm really cleans up nice in C1. I can totally live with the corners after a few lens corrections. Thank you for posting, I might just pick up one!

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    Senior Member Antonio Chagin's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Nikon D800 14-24mm @ 24mm f/11


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    Senior Member Antonio Chagin's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    I don't like the 14-24 that much. My first intention was for the 21mm Zeiss but as I do architectural backed up for the mustache distortion..

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    Peter,

    Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm F/2.0 ZF.2



    A jewel of a lens.
    Joe.. This is just amazing, my friend! I've just got this Zeiss too but haven't tried it yet.
    How are the Zeiss 21mm and 100mm? Do you plan to buy a 15mm?
    Pramote

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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    Joe.. This is just amazing, my friend! I've just got this Zeiss too but haven't tried it yet.
    How are the Zeiss 21mm and 100mm? Do you plan to buy a 15mm?
    Pramote
    Pramote,

    I love both the 21mm and the 100mm, but use the 100mm more. I don't plan on getting the 15mm because the 21mm is wide enough for 99% of my super-wide shooting. Thanks very much for the kind comment. The 35mm shouldn't sit in your bag. Once you try it, you'll love it.

    Joe
    _________________________________
    Joe Colson Photography

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    Peter,

    Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm F/2.0 ZF.2



    A jewel of a lens.
    Just ordered the Zeiss 1.4/35 ZF.2 after some intense investigations on the web. I know it is much heavier than the 2 / 35 but it seems to be better optically corrected and also delivers the advantage for stunning sharp to unsharp process when used at 1.4. I also want to use it for environmental portraits besides landscape.

    Really looking forward to it, as it is my FIRST Zeiss lens for Nikon

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    I hope your picture will be better than Joe's. It would be amazing.
    I am looking forward to seeing it

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrick View Post
    Thank you Joe. I was quite baffled by this.

    Here is one test picture from today's adventure into the forest around my house.



    _DSC0017.NEF
    Hi Fredrick
    Would you care for showing some more 21mm Zeiss pictures? Or a homepage?
    Would be nice with some from Lofoten. And what are your expiences so far?
    Thorkil

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    There is a difference between having the best lens and got the shot! I use the Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8MM with my RTSIII and love it when there is no such thing as very good to excellent 14-24/2.8 zoom available.
    This is not to say 21mm lens lots its value, sure no! But it is a just a lens, and one can occassionally get the perfect situation to bring the best of this lens but what about when you need it wider? Besides doing stitching work?
    So the choice is whether 14-24/2.8 good enough? To me, it is more than good enough. And I think Mark II will be better, and Mark III better still. But will its 21mm better than Zeiss 21/2.8 Distagon? I would care less - this is of course - for generation purpose.
    Yes, the 21 is a wonderful lens and I still keep my old 21/2.8MM along with my RTSIII but today I would not going out thinking it is the lens to carry, in stead, I would bring 14-24/2.8mm to use with my Nikon.
    I do quite a few interior/architecture work, besides using a P3 and Sinar backs, I try to save my time to use Hasselblad HTS 1.5 for the job, and I want to use Canon TS-E 17 or 24 or 45 to do the job - those were the lens for specific paid jobs, I would not put them in my camera bag to go for a walk or a trip to Badain Jaran.
    Best choice is often the combination of many factors than considering a lens excels in particular focal lens or situation. But yes, I have in my time of photography travel with 2 bodies and 12 lens, and sure, I brought the 21/2.8 with me. But that does not happen to every trip, every day.

    BR,
    Pingang

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Wish to have a back yard like this! Beautiful, almost can feel the fresh air!

    BR,
    Pingang



    Quote Originally Posted by Thorkil View Post
    Hi Fredrick
    Would you care for showing some more 21mm Zeiss pictures? Or a homepage?
    Would be nice with some from Lofoten. And what are your expiences so far?
    Thorkil

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    But for me the 14-24 doesn't sing on my 800E. It might be me that is unpatient, doesn't use tripod, but I've tried up til about f.11, but still smearing at the edges I think. But even in the center it doesn't shine.
    I know I should go for R-lenses, but investments, investments.
    So I might give up. But would just like to see some 21mm Zeiss shots on the 800E before I do.
    Yes I would like to have some wider too, but my bankaccount do not agree, and there I'll have to be somewhat democratic
    Best
    Thorkil

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    I have had Zeiss 18mm f/3.5, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and Nikon 24mm f/1.4 and Zeiss 35mm. I think they are all great lenses and good enough for 24x30" print.
    There were times when I was using the Zeiss 18mm and thought I should have the 14-24mm with me to get wider view. In addition, zooming and AF can be a big deal in some situation.
    It's not fair to compare 18mm with 14-24mm. They are difference types of lenses. Being able to use 14mm is a hugh advantage compare to 21mm. It's like comparing 70-200mm VRII to 85mm G/1.4
    GND is just an option. You can always bracket 2-3 pictures and work for few minutes in PS and get the same/slightly better result than using GND especially when sky/ground are uneven. Don't get me wrong, I've been using GND all the time in my landscape work. If you include blue sky, polarizing filter may not be a good idea.
    I've found flare (only when you shoot to the sun) and very long exposure are only the limitations for the Nikon 14-24mm. Otherwise, it is an excellent lens and one of the best Nikon zoom lenses.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    HI Fredrick. I bought the 14-24 and then I purchased the Zeiss 18mm instead of the 21mm.i have used the 21mm and 18mm previously on my canon gear. Hence i was familiar with these two lenses when i switched to the Nikon D800. Here are my comments. The 14-24 is very sharp corner to corner. Probably the best wide angle zoom I have ever used. The real issue is that it is subject to flare-- more than I would like. Really has messed up some otherwise great shots. In addition it is kind of big and bulky and the the filter options are expensive and not optimal. The Lee system is expensive and good for ND and graduated ND filters but there are no polarizer options. Fotodiox has a polarizer option but also expensive and the two are not compatible. The 14-24 distortion is nicely fixed in PS or LR. The zeiss 18mm is smaller and less glare. Also sharp corner to corner. Some pincushion distortion harder to fix than the 14-24. THe 21mm is a great lens but suffers from more distortion than the 18mm. I think the 18mm is underrated because the 21mm is so highly rated but in my opinion it is outstanding for a super wide. My 2c
    Mark summed it up perfectly! +1 on the 18
    Jack
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Thanks both!
    ..also for keeping my memory adjusted
    I had it(the 14-24) adjusted together with the camera, but not satiesfied.
    I'll see.
    Thorkil
    think I have also to learn about posting. Steens advice to post via link and oploaded some place fullsize might be better.
    (But Fredrick, anyhow, do post some 21 from Lofoten)

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    I have the Z 18 and now the Z 25 I just got but I really like the 18 over having the 14-24
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Mark summed it up perfectly! +1 on the 18
    +2 on the Zeiss 18mm. When the 14-24 is set at 21mm and compared to the Zeiss 21mm, it was mostly often a toss up when both were used on a 12MP body. Each had certain areas of strengths and weaknesses, such as Mark pointed out...flair with the 14-24 and distortion with the 18mm. I've found though the 14-24mm sometimes struggles optically on a D800/e and would prefer then to use the Zeiss 21mm, on that body, save for it's noticable distortion.

    The older venerable Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 actually holds up quite well on the D800/e and with a little give and take, I actually prefer it's overall use on the D800/e over the 14-24. Corners with the 17-35mm aren't perfect either on a D800/e, but improve siginificantly upon stoping down and the lens distortion levels are kept reasonably low. The zoom range is a useful one and the lens fairly compact for a wide angle f2.8 zoom.

    As discussed, the Zeiss 18mm accounts quite well on the D800/e and a good sample of the 18mm is superior to the zooms mentioned above, in my opinion when all factors are taken into account. The Zeiss 21mm is a bit sharper than the 18mm but the 18mm as Mark pointed out, has somewhat less distortion. Sort of a toss up when the two are compared and depends on what they are being used for.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    for the most, I'm just crazy about sharpnes, unless its some wierd or dreamy grainy, perhaps B&W, shots. Then sharpnes doesn't matter, but else. In a calm and steadty picture, it does. And it might be that point that sometimes almost can justify a picture. (do I dare say: seems that some DP2Merril and OM-D shots sparkles more than a lot of the D800's - but I'm aware of perhaps most of it lyes in posting- and uploading-method)
    Thorkil

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post

    The older venerable Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 actually holds up quite well on the D800/e and with a little give and take, I actually prefer it's overall use on the D800/e over the 14-24. Corners with the 17-35mm aren't perfect either on a D800/e, but improve siginificantly upon stoping down and the lens distortion levels are kept reasonably low. The zoom range is a useful one and the lens fairly compact for a wide angle f2.8 zoom.
    I have found the same thing using a friends to test. The extreme edges remain poor, but the center to 85% out remain quite excellent. I want it as a travel zoom to pair with my 24-120 -- even though it isn't as good at the extreme edge, I think it makes a nice travel wide zoom.

    As discussed, the Zeiss 18mm accounts quite well on the D800/e and a good sample of the 18mm is superior to the zooms mentioned above, in my opinion when all factors are taken into account. The Zeiss 21mm is a bit sharper than the 18mm but the 18mm as Mark pointed out, has somewhat less distortion. Sort of a toss up when the two are compared and depends on what they are being used for.
    I would agree 100%, except I would quantify the difference in "sharpness" between the two is minimal, while the difference in wave-distortion is fairly prominent, and in fact half the reason I chose the 18 over the 21. The other half of the reason is 21 isn't always wide enough for me
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Jack Wrote--->"I would quantify the difference in "sharpness" between the two is minimal, while the difference in wave-distortion is fairly prominent, and in fact half the reason I chose the 18 over the 21.<<<

    I could most definitely agree with your assesment as to minimal sharpness difference between the Zeiss 21 and 18mm. Interestingly enough, I originally felt when both were used on a D700/D3, that there was noticeably more of a difference with regards to sharpness when used with those 12mp bodies as opposed to their comparison on a D800/e. For what I most often use a wide angle lens for, the wave-form type of distortion of the 21mm often got in the way. Other than that, I do love how the 21mm performs.

    Jack, I too have paired the 17-35mm f2.8 with a overlaping mid range zoom and they do make a nice combination for travel.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 20th August 2012 at 10:31.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 14-24mm

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post

    Jack, I too have paired the 17-35mm f2.8 with a overlaping mid range zoom and they do make a nice combination for travel.
    I know we're getting way off topic, but having overlapping zoom ranges while traveling is a HUGE benefit to my kind of shooting, and is unfortunately (for them!) too often viewed as "redundant" by many photographers...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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