The best of all the 3rd party wide angle leness was the Vivitar Series 1 f1.9 28mm, it out performed most of the OEM's equivalents. They rarely come up for vsale as most want to hang onto them.
There's plenty of superb 28mm & 35mm Nikon lenses S/H for a fraction of your budget.
I generally agree with your reply but I'd like to hear which ones you think are dogs.
Originally Posted by epatsellis
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
To start with, I'll concur with crazy man KR here (not a term you're likely to see from me very often, btw): http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/10-worst.htm In my experience, the 43-86 is an utter pile, unless I'm actually looking for flare, that is.
Out of 3 35 1.4's that I've had, two were horrid, far beyond unsharp in the corners, with significant coma and SA. The third was far better, but it didn't start to look even remotely sharp until around 2.8 or so. I know, it's in the same category as my 55 1.2, sometimes you have to give up something for the speed, but the variability is what really bugged me, enough to return 2 copies in a row before finding one I could live with. Sadly, sold years ago, before they commanded the crazy prices they do now.
I've had good and bad 28 f2's, one absolutely horrid at the corners, even Nikon admitted it was an issue and realigned it, but it never matched my other, beater lens that looked wretched, but took great images. The one I use now, is the Vivitar branded Kiron 28 f2 (cost me around $25 at a used camera store).
I've had a few longer lenses that were not up to third party quality, a 200 micro that would just look horrible from infinty to macro, serious SA and coma issues in the corners, though it's generally thought of as an excellent lens.
An early 300 2.8 that flared like nobodies business, oddly enough one just a few serial #'s higher that replaced it was great.
But the most egregious to me, is the 20 2.8, the f4 version is stellar, sharp as a tack, no falloff in the corners and as immune to flare as if God himself created it. The 2.8, on the other hand, only excels in the flare area, with significant fallof, sharpness doesn't come into it's own until at least f4 to 5.6, and has an odd distortion pattern, almost moustache shaped.
Lenses that I think are the best Nikon has offered for the cost include the 20 f4 (or the 3.5), any version of the 24 2.8, the Non AI 35 2.8, the lowly 50 1.8E or the f2, the much maligned 85 f2 and the 180 2.8 (pre ED). All of which sell for 1/2 or less than the faster or better known versions, all are stellar performers and can make you enjoy shooting again. (except for the taunts of you well heeled (or deeper in debt) friends who claim more expensive is automatically better...)
You first need to decide how wide you want to go. I prefer a 24 but a 28 is a good starting point, wide enough to make a big difference but long enough that it doesn't have weird perspective. Some find a 24 to be too wide; I am certainly not one of those people. Similarly, a 35mm, while "wide" technically, is not that wide. Some call it a wide normal and that fits with my way of viewing it.
With an AF Nikon, I'd probably get the AF 28/2.8D as a starting point (it's terrific - second only to the AI-S 28/2.8 among Nikkors - and oodles better than its predecessor non-D brother). Another option is to get one of the inexpensive 28-70 or 28-85 zooms, which are slower but far more flexible. They have more distortion but not so much that you'll hate them, I expect.
I picked up a 24-120 recently from a fellow APUGger for under $100 - really high distortion but a terrific walking-around lens. It wouldn't replace a 24 or 28 prime for me, but I'm glad I got it.
For the record, I own the 17-35/2.8D, 28/2.8 AI, 24/2.8 AI, 24-85/3.5-4.5 AF-S, 24-120/3.5-5.6D, and 35-80/4-5.6D (1st version), so I like my wides. Oh, and a 16/2.8 AI-S fisheye
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?
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I own the 20/2.8 and I agree. It's a superb lens.
Originally Posted by clayne
There have been a ton of suggestions on this page. I think it's up to the OP to determine the focal length he needs and then choose an AF or AI lens with the proper aperture within his budget. I don't think you could go wrong with any single one of the suggestions, provided you first determine it's the proper lens for your use.
I have always heard the same about this lens, but I tried to sell my M42 Series 1 28mm f/1.9 here on A.P.U.G. and got no interest whatsoever. Go figure. I guess I will just hold onto it.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Hey guys- a question: Which 20mm f/2.8 are you talking about? The AF-D or the AI-S?
I'm at a deciding point between the Tamron 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 AF, or Nikons 24mm f/2.8D AF/ 20mm f/2.8 .
(As long as I can hunt them down, found the 24mm and the Tamron on eBay)
Last edited by bl1nd; 07-05-2010 at 01:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The AI-S. The AF-D, apparently, is not quite as good (and also less expensive - right around your budget actually), but as far as I am aware the optics are the same design.
Originally Posted by bl1nd
If worse comes to worst, KEH.com will almost always have what you are looking for.
If I were you, I would get the Nikkor AF-D 24mm f/2.8. It's $265 for EX condition on KEH, lightweight, will autofocus with your F5, and 24mm tends to offend fewer people than 20mm, so it's likely that you will like it as well. But of course it's your choice.
Focal length choice is up to your own personal tastes.
All I can say is, DON'T get off-brand lenses. It'd be like putting bald tires on a Porsche...what's the point, really.
Quality Nikkor optics are available so inexpensively these days - no reason you can't fit your budget AND get top results together. Good luck!