After a long pause of lens-gathering and now wanting to slim down, I wanted to put down some comments about the lenses presently in my bag.
Nikkor 16mm f2.8 Fisheye (with the hemi photoshop plugin to go some way to sort the fisheye distortion): A nice compact, metal bodied old school lens that is easy to slip in the pocket. Its a bit blurry at the edges of the frame and not hugely sharp – though definitely sharp enough.
I have gone off this lens a bit as I’ve found it hit and miss in terms of correcting its distortion. The plugin I have is good at correcting horizontal distortion (or is it vertical?) but not the other way round. Some of the pictures I’ve taken of interiors recently are just uncorrectable and end up looking a bit unpleasant. I have thought about selling but will probably keep it for now.
Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8. This produces much better images than the above, though doesn’t quite have the 180 degree view. Images are very sharp though sometimes the edges look a little less sharp (maybe because they are often not in the focus plane). The lens is big and heavy though. I never keep it on the camera but always put it on for particular sessions. I’m using it almost exclusively at the moment to record renovation work on my house in London which it is absolutely perfect for.
Definitely a keeper.
Nikkor 24mm f2.8. An old school D lens and the second full frame lens I bought (after a 50mm see below). It was very useful at the time and is sharp enough and definitely compact (I took it on a rail trip across eastern Europe) – but it has not been on the camera for over a year I think because I have used the above or the wide end of another zoom. Will be selling it.
Nikkor 35mm f2D. Another old lens. I don’t know why I bought it. It compares poorly to the next lens and I will definitely be selling it.
Nikkor 35mm f1.4. This is my most used lens. I like the unusual ability to have a relatively narrow depth of field with a wide angle lens. It is rather big – and a bit ugly – but I like its natural angle of view. Another keeper.
Nikkor 50mm f1.4D. My first full frame lens after buying my D610. As a teenage photographer I thought lenses this wide were amazing. Now I have one. It can produce lovely shallow depth of field and is good for low light. It is pretty sharp and very compact – though occasionally images are a little creamy – I’m not sure why.
I like it but haven’t used it much recently. I am attached to it and will be keeping.
Nikkor 24-120mm f4 zoom. I end up taking this out quite a lot, for example to a motorcycle show. It is compact and has a really useful zoom range. It has VR so the f4 aperture has never felt like a restriction. Its not hugely sharp in the corners. I am exercised by the prospect of buying the new Nikkor 24-70mm VR lens. People say that lens is very sharp but not only is it hugely expensive (£1800) but it is considerably bigger and heavier so more of a decision to go out with it. But I am lured. I’m not sure if I’d keep this if I bought it. I might need to to gather the pennies.
Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8. I bought this to use at gigs and it is great at this, being incredibly sharp wide open. I really like it. It is probably the overall sharpest lens I have. Clearly a keeper if rarely used at the moment. Another approach to photographing gigs would be to (dare to) get in closer and use a different lens – for a bit more dramatic perspective.Read more →