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Thread: Help me decide between a 24 f/1.4 or upcoming 35 f/1.4

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    Member kiat's Avatar
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    Help me decide between a 24 f/1.4 or upcoming 35 f/1.4

    Hey guys, I've been reading this Nikon forum for a long time, but I seldom post (sorry about that, I'll try to post more in future). I am currently using D700 with my old 24-70, 50 1.4 and 70-200 VR. Lately I've become interested with prime lens, I think they're much easier to move around with, instead of lugging the heavy 24-70 and the prime has a large f/1.4 aperture which is good for low light & indoor photography.

    I do not have a wide-angle lens and I don't think I want to get a 14-24 (I know it is a good lens), but it is large, heavy and does not accept filters (except Lee filters). I want something lightweight, easy to travel with and large aperture for low light & indoors, and street photography. So I've narrowed down to either 24 f/1.4 or the upcoming 35 f/1.4.

    I read on internet 24mm is good for landscape & 'stylo' shots, but not very suitable for people because of the stretching wide angle distortion, whereas 35mm is good for photographing people, it is about the widest possible without distortion, but may not be wide enough in some situation.

    I am told that the 35mm is too close to 50mm that I already have. So 24mm seem like better choice and I can take a few steps closer if I want 35mm-equivalent, but I am worried about the stretching issue (maybe I need to practice more how to shoot at 24mm). On the other hand, I can take a few steps back when I'm using 35mm to get a wider shot (but if space is limited indoors I still can't make it). The 35mm unfortunately uses a 67mm filter thread, which means I can't use my existing 77mm filters & need to get a new filter.

    Apologize if this sounds like a silly question. But it has been spinning in my mind lately. Maybe some of you have had such a question before. Appreciate your kind advice / opinion.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Buy both.

    If not, just the 24mm would be my choice.

    If you are still thinking about the 35mm, a very thin step down ring for your filters would solve that problem
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Based on what I have seen of pics using the 24 it's distortion is quite under control, say compared to the 24-70

    I think it's a nice looking lens......not that Id every get one. I have the 20 2.8 and find it excellent....I know it's "only" 2.8 but with modern ISO capabilities I think it's fast enough for most low light work
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    I have the 35mm f/2 for quite a long time and i have to say it is the one lens that is used the most by me.

    Not sure about the performance of the f1.4, but the f2 is a really good lens.

    I really recommend the 35mm

    Nikon D80 | Nikon D700 | 18-135mm | 35mm f2.0 | 50mm f1.4 | 80-200mm f2.8 | Heaps of lights and modifiers
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    It's a tough question to answer as it really depends on what photos you like to take and I assume you are using it on a FF camera?

    As an all round travel lens and if you were only going to use one lens for some street photography, then the 35 would be it, but if you are more of a landscaper, then the 24 is possibly more the lens to use. 24mm is great for those "near subject matter to far off distance shots" that give that sense of scale and exaggerated perspective.

    Something along the lines of this photo using 24mm of the 24-70 f2.8 which has leading lines of foreground interestof the road leading you into the photo and then to the buildiings and the schloss on the hill behind as the points of interest.



    This is using the 35mm end of the 16-35 f4, but doesn't quite have the same dramatic slightly exaggerated perspective that the 24mm has. Still with leading lines leading to a point of interest.



    Whatever you're doing with a wide angle lens, it's good to have foreground interest so as to not have a flat looking photograph. All with the 24mm end of the 24-70 f2.8:



    Last edited by Lance B; 04-11-2010 at 5:50pm.

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    only you can really make the decision. for me, 35mm no question. it is the lens I use 80% of the time, but it may not be the right one for you. then again, you could get the 24mm and then dump the 24-70 zoom lens, and have plenty of cash in the pocket. with that, you could also dump the 70-200 and buy a 1.4/85mm. so you'd have a 24 or 35mm, a 50, and an 85mm....what more could you want?

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    Wow, quick replies from you guys.. thank you all for your feedback. I really appreciate it. Lance, thank you for posting the photos, very excellent example of landscapes. I love it. My friend told me, that if I am not sure, just get the wider lens ie. 24mm. However, the 24mm is still a 24mm perspective even though I make a few steps forward.

    It is a very difficult decision to make, as I photograph both people and landscape. Both lens works well for landscape photography, with 24mm giving more advantage. For photographing people, 35mm renders (group shots, meetings or events) without any distortion which is what I like. With 24mm, I have to avoid placing them at the edge of the frame.

    ok.. I will have to re-think again... can't afford both.

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    Somewhere In Between

    I have the 24/2.8 and 35/2 but am considering the 28/2 as I don't find the 35 wide enough sometimes and the 24 too wide. The 28 might be a good general purpose walk around lens.

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    It really depends your main use of the 24mm, I find the 24mm great for landscapes or story telling in a wedding. The slight distortion can sometimes add to the picture if you know how to use it properly. The 35mm would be more portraits and group photos.

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    I suppose, the answer really depends on one point.

    Do you travel with all of; the majority of; only a few of; or only one of; the lenses you own.

    I'd be inclined to go with the 35mm lens, as it's probably the better all rounder. It will render slightly nicer bokeh(when required), will have a slight advantage in terms of thin DOF(if ever required) and is still relatively wide.
    The reason that the 35mm kind of makes more sense(initially), is that you say that you already have the 24-70mm lens.
    OK, so to me that means that you have the benefit of the wider angle 24mm FOV(even though it is only @ f/2.8).. the point being that for general landscapes, or wide angle shots, there is a tendency to stop down more so, than with a longer focal length lens.
    Therefore it makes more sense(to me at least) that if I were to get a very fast lens, it would be of a longer focal length, not shorter. While 24mm and f/1.4 would see some nice creative imagery, with the 35mm lens, it woudl just seem just that little bit more creative by comparison.
    So ask yourself, how many group shots of people, or landscape shots have you ever shot at apertures larger than f/2.8?

    So in having the f/1.4 lens..... in 35mm flavour, you still get that super fast almost zero light capable camera/lens combo when it's required, which will render slightly nicer images of people.. when required.
    All this means that you need to be prepared to lug around both the big huge 24-70 as well as the 35/1.4.

    Alternatively sell the 24-70 now, you should get at least 75% of the value of the 24/1,4 lens for it and go with TOM's recommendation.
    I'm pretty sure that the fast prime lenses sell for approximately $500-600 more than the zoom lens does.

    24-70 + 35/1.4 makes the most sense to me... at least until soem point in the not too distant future, when the funds become available to own the 24/1.4 as well
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    Get the 14-24, very versatile and you will use the 14mm more than you think.
    The lens hood protects the front element.
    I no longer use filters.
    After many years and millions of photos, I have never scratched the glass.
    The new cameras have all the controls I need without filters.
    If you really find the need, Lee's are available.

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    Yes, I plan to carry 2 lens at a time when traveling (3 maximum, no more). A wideangle and maybe a short-tele. I don't shoot birds or distant objects, so I don't need long telephoto lens. The 14-24 lens is very good. I love the optics, but i think it's heavy like the 24-70. But I will try mount it to the body when I'm at the shop to get a feel of it first. But in general, I need a setup that I can use/carry conveniently (incl indoors low light situations).

    Anyone got the new Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 AFS yet? Any sample photos?

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day kiat

    From my perspective, the major difference between the lenses you are talking about is the angle of coverage - and there is a huge difference between these two. While each of us can rave on about 'our' particular lens and how much we love it, only you can decide what to buy and base the decision upon what your specific needs are ...

    In my early days of wide-angle lenses, 'everybody' told me to get a 35mm "coz itz a great lenz" so I did. It was a great lens, very sharp etc, but I soon got disappointed as it wasn't wide enough so bought a 28mm and a year later swapped that for a 24mm - because it suited my style of photography at the time

    Your style of photography will determine what you need - each of the lenses you are asking about are/will be very sharp and beaut lenses - it comes down to the angle of coverage and then the big Q: what do you need and what are you going to shoot with it??

    Regards, Phil
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    I will be photographing people indoors (people located at indoors, seminars, meetings/workshops, events, speeches, anniversaries, parties, ballroom, cafe lounges, hotel lobby, occasionally group photos). For outdoors (streets, shops, cafes, pubs, towns/village, resorts/houses/cottages, sea/river ports, landscapes, cityscape, national parks, about anything scenery & places to go and people at these places). I will be photographing indoor & streets at night also.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day kiat

    Thanks for the above info ~ it makes a big difference to my thoughts
    If this is what you 'need' to shoot - I would be getting a zoom ... sorry if that disappoints - maybe other APers with w/a zooms can help you more

    Regards, Phil

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    Thanks for the input Phil. I already have a zoom. That is why I started this thread in the first place. I am looking for something lighter, with larger aperture so I can shoot at faster shutter speeds particularly at low light conditions. Hence, I am narrowing down between the two lens. Thanks anyway.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day kiat

    Okay then - all's well and a good response
    I would go for the 24mm lens for the foll reasons

    1- you can crop the edges of an image to replicate a 35, but you can't stretch a 35 to look like the 24
    2- you will be able to squeeze into smaller rooms to include "all" the image, but you will need practice in doing it to its best

    To succeed with 2- I would suggest that you practice, practice, practice with lots of internals where your camera back MUST remain 100% vertical to avoid any perspective distortions intruding into the image; and also if you have any control over subject posing, to try to arrange people in the image into a 'curve' where they are equally distanced from the camera, thus avoiding as much as poss, the distortions from the person on the outside being so different from the person in the middle

    Hope this helps ...
    Regards, Phil

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    Hmm... I guess you're right, can't stretch a 35 to 24. I never thought about cropping the 24mm. Yeah, I am concerned about the perspective distortion when photographing people. I guess I have to try to learn to keep the focus plane vertical. Good idea.. now I am settling towards 24mm. Thanks Phil

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day kiat

    Whichever way you go - show us some of your pix {please, please}
    It sounds like a wonderful upcoming trip you've got ahead of you ...

    Regards, phil

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    Not going anywhere so soon. I think I need to get used to the lens first.

    But I hope to post here again when I get the lens.

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