NIKKOR AI 35 VS 28 VS 24

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by jmal, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. jmal

    jmal Member

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    Hello all,

    After experiencing more than a few situations where I could not back up enough to fit the shot in the frame of my 50mm (alleys, traffic, etc.), I'm thinking about getting a wide angle. I guess there are other reasons one could use a WA, but the above problems are what make me really think about dropping the dough on a lens. The problem is that I don't know how wide to go. I do a good deal of "street photography" and know many people use 35 or 28 for their wide angle lenses. My only real fear is any sort of extreme distortion of people's faces. Also, I have to wonder how close I'll need to be in order to fill the frame similar to a 50. I have read that the 24 is the sharpest of the bunch. Is this too wide? Anything I should ask myself that will help with the purchase? Thanks.

    Jmal
     
  2. GoGo

    GoGo Member

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    opinion

    http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

    This fellow has extensive experience with Nikon and Nikkor lenses, he has posted his comparisons of many nikkors on his web site. The info is pretty good and many versions of the lenses are tested, though we all have some bias.

    Personally I think that if you can keep the camera level and not use an extreme low or high camera angle most wide angle lenses are just fine for shooting people as long as the lens does not get to close to the persons face.

    I like the wide nikkors quite a bit.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Why not get a Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8 zoom. Then you'll have multiple focal lengths for almost any situation. That's what I use with my Nikon F100.

    Personally, from a 50mm lens, I'd make the jump to a 28mm. 35mm is a wonderful focal length, but it is close to your 50mm.

    Which 24mm have you heard is the sharpest? (Not that sharpness is an issue with the 28 or 35.) I had a 24mm f/2.0 lens years ago and it was a dog. Never sharp. So if you go with a 24mm (not good for close face shots) get the f/2.8.

    Well, back to lens choice. After getting a 28mm, I'd then jump to a 20mm.

    With my Leica M6 I work differently. I have a 24mm, 35mm & 75mm lenses.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com
     
  4. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    I won't comment on the particulars of Nikon lenses, but in terms of focal length, I have all of 24/28/35mm on Pentax screwmount. The 35mm is the one I'm using the most right now because it has the angle I like for street scenes, and does not distort the image visibly (the "Walker Event" shot in my gallery was made with a 35mm). I have not tried it on faces, but I wouldn't suggest getting too close.


    I found the 24 most useful for cramped interiors. It has an added ooomph that the 28 length has not, but I'm selling it anyway because I need the money and shoot little interiors. If you want some variety in wide primes, then go for 24/35, they are different enough to warrant the purchase.

    The 28 I'm not sure yet. It can be a bit tight for space-augmenting interior shots, but I'm thinking it might be more useful outside for landscape or similar subjects.
     
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Nikon, in its infinite wisdom, used to recommend getting NIkkors whose focal lengths were approximately integral powers of two times normal. In other words, 24, 50 or 55, 105, 200, ...

    Back when I was starting out I didn't know better, so I took Nikon's advice. I still find it good, but also find the gap between 24 and 55 a bit much at times so added a 35. When it was stolen I replaced it with the despised 35-70/3.3-4.5 manual focus zoom, which is also very useful and not a bad lens at all.

    On 35 mm I don't use the 24 that much, but note that I'm not a street shooter. FWIW, I went out shooting in the Pine Barrens this morning with my 2x3 Graphics -- the Nikons stayed home -- and took one (1) shot. It was with a 47, which sees the same angle on 2x3 as a 20 does on 35 mm.

    Go figure,

    Dan
     
  6. jmal

    jmal Member

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    Pinholemaster,

    The 24 I was referring to was the 2.8. By the way, I checked out your website and like the photo from Catonsville. I think it describes the area well. Perhaps this is because I'm familiar with it, but it definitely tells a story. If you haven't eaten at the Indian restaurant there, give it a shot. It's one of my favorites.

    Dan,

    I read a book about the Pine Barrens a number of years ago. Pretty interesting. I think it was by John Mcphee. Or Joe. Can't remember any longer.

    Anyhow, I can't remember who wrote what, so I'll ask one last question. Is the Nikkor 28/2.8 known to be a bad lens? It seems I've read this around various forums, but I might be mistaken. Thanks.

    Jmal
     
  7. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    The 28 2.8 Nikkor comes in a couple of guises, the early one was a seven element design from the early to mid seventies, not the greatest.

    About 1981 or 1982 Nikon released a new version which had CRC (Close Range Correction) or floating elements, this is a cracker of a lens.

    If you are after a cheapish 28 OEM brand lens then the Nikon series E 28 2.8 is very cheap and as good as the early Nikkor was but at a fraction of the cost. I myself decided that the Nikon E 2.8 was good enough for me when money was short, I haven't decided to replace it as it is quite good.

    Regarding a 24 mm lens, have a good look at the Sigma 2.8 Super Wide II macro AIS with 52mm filter mount. This lens came out in the 80's and was a viable alternative to the far more expensive Nikkor lenses. It came with a cutout type of lens hood and also has 1/2 stop indents, something no Nikkor lens has, AFAIK.

    I have one of these as well and find it very good, not as cuttingly sharp as the Nikkor but in a test (not scientific) with a friend's 24 Nikkor it performed good enough for my friend to ask how much did I pay for it. The answer was, approximately 22% of the price he paid for his Nikkor.

    Mick.
     
  8. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    My Nikkor Wides

    I shoot with the Nikkor O 35 f2 and a 24 f2.8. and I like the 24 a lot, it gives you just a bit more room the 28 focal length.
     

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  9. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Between 35, 28, and 24, I'd opt for the 28 for street photography. 35 is rather close to 50. Faces aren't distorted if you keep a fair distance and the face isn't near the edge of the frame. To fill the frame with a face, you'd have to get a little over half the distance of the 50mm, and you'll get plenty of distortion. If you want the subject and his environment, a 24 or 28 will do fine. National Geographic often has photos with wide lenses. My ready-to-go Nikon outfit has a 20, 50, 105, and 200. Such a large jump between focal lengths isn't too restrictive to one who does his own B&W darkroom work. My Leica rangefinder system is 20, 35, 50, 90, and 135. It was fine for transparancies that would receive no cropping. For a few dollars you can get a cheap 28mm and see if it is the right focal length before spending money on a good lens. Then, when you've got a quality WA, the cheap 28 is handy as a magnifying lens.
     
  10. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    If you want to go wide, go for the 24mm, I had one AF 24mm f/2.8D and man, what a chunk of glass that was, I prefer it to my 20.

    Cheers

    André
     
  11. Colden

    Colden Member

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    Uncle Bill, the second picture, "Serving Coffee," what city was that taken in? Thanks.
     
  12. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Personally, I'd also opt for the 28mm for street shooting - even though a 24mm is my favorite WA lens in 35mm - as the best balance between angle of coverage and possible distortion. The exception might be if lens speed is an issue. A 35/2 is will be much less expensive than a 28/2.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I use Olympus rather than Nikon equipment, but I really like using a 24mm, 35mm, 85mm kit.

    Here is an example of a shot with my 24mm:

    Matt
     

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  14. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I recommend to get a 35mm lens instead of other two because it works as a nice alternative to a 50mm lens. And with these two, you don't have to worry about the frames going too wide for any shots. With a 35mm lens, you can just step back a little, and you can snap away. This only works outdoors, and the indoor situations (cafe, train/subway, etc) are a lot different.

    Meanwhile, using a 28mm or 24mm lens, you really have to be in a certain distance from your subject. That means you might have to get closer than you want to. If you don't want to crop your pictures later, you crop when you shoot.

    Anyway, you should try them all in a camera store or something, and pick the one you like before buying it!
     
  15. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    By the way, my current street photo kit is Nikon FM with 50mm F1.8 and 35mm F2.8, and Contax T3 (35mm F2.8) with 400 ASA film.
     
  16. mayokevin

    mayokevin Member

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    I had the 24mm F2.8 AI it had a real problem with flare. I liked the 28 it is wide enough to feel the difference but not to wide. Once you get to 24 you have a harder time filling the frame. The 28 to get is the 28mm F2.8 AIS that is the one with the CRC
    Kevin
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have lenses of all these focal lengths and if you already have the 50mm standard lens go for the 28mm, IMHO this will give the best bang for your buck
     
  18. Parsifal

    Parsifal Member

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    Ultimately, it boils down to your comfort level. I've got the 35 1.4 Nikkor (super), the 28mm 2.0 (spectacular) and the 24mm 2.0 (very good)--at least my particular lenses, doing what I do.......