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Thread: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    I know, prolly stupid, so talk me out of it -- or into it

    Seriously, I do like lenses with mojo and this one seems to have some. Not certain how often I would shoot it wide open though even though I like the look. I rarely used my Leica Luxes (f1.4 max aperture Leica M lenses) wide open, but preferred the way they rendered generally at other working apertures over the Crons (f2.0 max aperture Leica M lenses), even though in many cases the Crons were technically superior lenses at those working apertures. Conversely I do use my Nikkor 50/1.2 and 85/1.4 wide open a lot of the time.

    Obvious negs: Slow AF, relatively large, heavy, and expensive. I've also read only idiots buy it for day to day imaging

    Pluses are: Supposedly it rocks wide open and is so good it is still sought after for astral imaging.

    Alternative is the 28/1.8G at 1/3rd the cost, but I wouldn't bother since I have the 17-35/2.8 and am very happy with it for most of my wide walk-around needs.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    Jack

    You can always follow Oscar Wilde's suggestion, seeing as you quote him.
    "the only way to resist temptation is to give in to it".

    I've only heard good things about this lens, but personally I would go for the 24mm f1.4, as I prefer the FOV.
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    Super Duper
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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    Hi Jack,

    If memory serves me correctly, I've written about this lens a number of times here on Getdpi and fairly extensively over the years. A smaple of a past Getdpi posting of mine regarding this lens is posted below my comments here. Long story but I've tested and shot with numerious samples over the years, both with film and digital, espcially full frame digital.

    In my opinion there are a number of factors to keep in mind. This lens uses a hand ground aspherical element and no two lenses perform the same optically, espcially at f1.4 and f2. The differences are quite astonishing with some exhibiting a strong Leica like glow, as Graham also described in a previous thread. The number of samples that were truly optimal on full frame digital were relatively low and these differences could readily be seen, espcially at f1.4 What I love about th lens is it's non aspherical look. It often reminds me of versions of some of the well know Lecia lenses just prior to a aspherical version...such as the Leica 50mm Lux pre asph. or alternatively the Leica 75mm Lux-M.

    Many samples have the infamous cracked screw hole in the AF/MF ring where a cracked line radiates out from the screw. Hoe bad it is and whether it gets worse with time depends how often you use this ring and just basically how the lens is handled and stored physically.

    Here are my previous posted comments to Getdpi member Jason when he inquired about the lens:

    "Hi Jason,

    I can't speak directly for the newer 28mm f1.8, since I've only shot that briefly on two occasions. With regards the the 28mm f1.4, I tested more samples of that lens then I care to remember (over the years) both on film, DX and full frame digital. Wide open, the variability in performance is near stagering with the 28mm f1.4 on full frame DSLR's but a good sample renders quite nicely at f1.4 and f2 and exceptionally well at f2.8 and beyond. I too liked the colors from that lens.

    As for absolute sharpess at f1.4, both the current Nikon 24mm f1.4 and 35mm f1.4 easily outperform this fast 28mm...but there is both a look and overall level of performance that I find appealing in the 28mm f1.4. Some feel either they like the 28mm f1.4 or the current crop of fast single focal length wide angle lenses from Nikon. They are simply quite different".

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 13th October 2013 at 06:55.
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    Bottom line on the 28/1.4D - yes it has mojo. Yes it has sample variability. No it isn't perfect. However, if I were shooting Nikon seriously these days I'd get (yet) another one and use it. Avoid the stupidly priced 'collector' copies and get a used abused example for a good price and enjoy the wide open 'look'. As Dave mentioned, I've had a few over the years and each one has been slightly different so I'd be prepared to test a few to get one that suits the look that you are after. Let's face it, perfection is overrated and the 28/1.4D will render images sharp on center but really doesn't have a flat field performance unless stopped down. Find a copy with the level of 'glow' that you like. After f/4 it's like any other 28mm IMHO.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    I purchased one recently from the auction site and have Nikon performed a full service on the lens. Nikon replaced the whole lens element assembly including the cracked plastic distance cover for over $1000. While it is a very expensive service and I had to wait for about two months for Nikon to locate the replacement lens assembly from Japan, I have a 'new' lens now.

    I agree with much of comments wrote by Dave in the above thread. In term of sharpness and resolution, my 24/1.4 and 35/1.4 are better than 28/1.4, not so much with D3/D700. but very evident with D800. I felt that difference is in the lens resolution. Despite of that difference, I like the rendering characters of 28/1.4 better. I also like the color rendering of the 28/1.4. The 28/1.4 reminds me a lot of the 58/1.2 Noct. The images from 28/1.4 have certain special feel to them.

    My copy focuses dead-on with my D3 but require some fine focus adjustment (+5) on D800 to achieve accurate focus.

    For me, the 28/1.4 is a keeper. I use it almost exclusively on D3, with f1.4. For low light and environment portraits, this combo yields better and more consistent output than an Leica M9/Summicron 28 ASPH. One caution: if you are using the 28/1.4 on D800, you may not satisfy with the 'absolute' resolution and sharpness of the lens.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    Thanks guys. Let me clarify in case I wasn't clear enough up top: this lens is NOT about resolution, but a look -- call it a 'Mandler designs' look -- that is unique. So it sounds like a good direction for me even though I may have to do go through a few samples to get one I like.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    Hi Jack,
    when I was using Nikon I had a 28/1.4 and I would say it has a very smooth overall look.
    IMO f1.4 is easier to control with good AF (like Nikon) compared to f1.4 lenses on Leica M.
    I still think prices for the 28/1.4 are a little "overhyping" the lens.
    Tom

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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    Just to put in a word for the 28mm f/1.8, its a fun little lens, and refurbished they sell for pennies and its incredibly sharp and nice to throw on the camera every now and then for a different perspective from my other small primes.

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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    28 1.4D. I always loved this lens, and in a fit of regret sold mine. I have since righted 2 wrongs, selling this and my 58mm noct and rebought copies of both lenses...

    D800E/28 1.4 D @ f4







    D800E/28 1.4D @ f5.6 I am not sure what happened with the sky banding like issue here. I could have done this in post, not sure... have to check it.



    @ f3.5
    Last edited by Photojazz; 20th October 2013 at 20:23.
    /M-TP240/MM+Luxious trinity(24:35:50) + 75 2.0 APO ASPH Cron + Nikon D3X/D700, 58 1.2 noct, 28 1.4d,200VR + Zeiss 35/50/100 + 135mm 2.0 DC, 17-35/24-70/70-200VRII, Einstein studio...
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    So Jack, did you get one?
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

  11. #11
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    Graham, indeed I did! I found a good copy and went for it. I meant to post here, but forgot. This was the first test frame I grabbed with the lens and was immediately sold. D800E, lens wide open of course:



    Here is a center crop:



    And a welcome surprise in the lower left corner, part of which was on the focus plane:



    I have not shot it a lot yet, but suspect it'll remain a permanent addition to the bag
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member ryc's Avatar
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    Re: I am getting a hankering for the 28/1.4D

    Don't buy yet. My friend will be selling g his like new copy

    Will be a great deal.

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