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Wide Angles!

  1. Ambar

    I wanted to try and get some opinions on something I've ben grappling over for a little bit now.
    I'm the proud owner of a 50mm/1.4 and a 105mm/2.5 (both BEAUTIFUL!!) and I absolutely love them. But walking around while not having a wide angle has definitely made me loose some opportunities for some nice images. Some times it just won't fit right inside a 50mm!

    So, I guess I'm in the market for a wide angle fixed lense and I'll only buy an AI or AIS nikon for now (I have many reasons that conspire towards this so, I'll limit myself to this family).
    It basically boils down to which one! 28mm, 24mm? All of them f/2.8.
    I've resonantly come across the opportunity to buy an AI 28mm f/2 that seems to be in beautiful shape. Does anybody have any experience with this lense?
    The criterion I go for: is it sharp and constrasty? Barrel distortion is to be expected so, as long as it doesn't look like a fish eye I guess I'm happy.

    And should I be considering a 20mm? I know it's up to taste but are there any thoughts and feelings about it? I tend to stay away from it for I feel like it's too much image to control and compose.. At least in the urban settings I'm frequently in..

    ps:This is My first APUG post.. !

    "Shooting in a FM2n.. What a joy!!"
  2. Davidap2009
    I would go for the 20mm. Or the 24 I find the 28mm a little boring. The 20 is a lot of fun. Good luck what ever you choose.

  3. Ambar
    Nice image David! Turns out I bought the 28mm.. I'm still waiting for it but I'll put up some pictures as soon as I can!
  4. Davidap2009
    Thanks and congrats. I look forward to seeing your shots :0)
  5. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning, Ambar;

    The optimum, of course, is to have all of them; 35mm, 28mm, 24mm, 20mm, 16mm, 13mm, and on down to the circular image fisheyes.

    However, I find that the need for very careful work hits me right at about 20mm. At 24mm and longer, I can pretty much do what I want with framing and composition. At 20mm, I start needing to recognize that really I am working with a wide angle lens, and I need to more carefully watch what happens to the lines as they cross the frame and where I position them in the frame. The 24mm lens is what I use most often now for interiors of rooms and it is the last lens where I feel comfortable just taking a photograph without worrying about "I am using a wide angle lens."

    Below the "normal" lens, the 28mm is probably the most useful one. If I were limited to only one wide angle lens, it is the one I would also select. Have fun with your 28mm lens.

    Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
  6. Buttons C
    Buttons C
    I have owned the 20mm f/2.8 and the 28mm f/2.0 since the mid 1990's and used both thousands of times. They are both great lenses, but the 20mm has always struck me as a bit of a "stunt" lens. It's lots of fun to look through and everything always seems so great in the frame, but when I get the film back, I always thought I was closer and the subject filled the frame more.

    In the end I found the 28mm focal length far more usable and I got more consistant results from it. The 20mm suffers from more CA than the 28 and more fall off, but both are top-notch lenses. I stared with an 28mm f/2.8 E-series and used it in my newspaper work, as well as on a trip across the USA and it was really good, especially considering the cost.

    Some 28mm samples: http://www.stevenlungley.com/place/p...ve_desert.html

    Happy shooting
  7. AllenBaxter
    I have the 28mm f/2.8 AIS and really like this lens. It is sharp across all apertures and I really like how close one can shoot with it. Picture quality is better than the 50 mm f/1.4 which I also have. I do not have any experience with the 24. I will look for some pictures that I have taken with this lens and reply. I also have the Nikon FM2n. Great little camera.
  8. slowhand
    My small thoughts...

    As a beginner i would try with 28/2.8 no matter is it AI or AIs. AI is one lens shorter comparing to AIs. Who can spot the difference in final result? Of course if you shoot with FA, AIs is must...almost.
    Anyway, both are sharp and contrasty.
    Talking of maximum aperture? Well I would pursue the wider (and expensive) one only as an collector. Bigger-wider lens has much more resin between lenses inside, which sometimes can degrade sharpness.
    Also 28 and 24s should be distortion free. 20mm and less needs experience.
    Cheers and happy shooting.
  9. desertratt
    When I worked for a major news photo service in 1970 the company handed me a 20mm Nikkor to use. It was not very good. Lots of distortion. The newish 24mm was a fantastic lens, though. If you're buying an older 20mm I'd make sure to see if it meets with your approval first. As a side note, I just bought a 50mm f1.4 Nikkor S for chump change and it fits a Nikkormat I have like a hand in a glove. I have a dozen Nikon SLRs including an F and only one is digital. I have been finding great bargains out there on older Nikons.
  10. BradleyK
    As Ralph suggested, the ideal is to own the full complement of wide angles (lol). In my case, I have the 15mm F3.5, 18mmF3.5, 20mm F3.5, 24mm F2, 28mm F2, and the 35mm F1.4 (all AIS). In my experience, though, the 24mm and 35mm seem to get the most usage. That said, the super-wides have, on many occasions, proved to be absolutely indispensable for landscape and architectural work. As others posting here have pointed out, however, lenses below the 24-28mm range do take a great deal of care to use effectively; it becomes far too easy to let the drama of a wide perspective overwhelm - even diminish - an image. BTW: In selecting the 28mm, Ambar, you chose wisely.
  11. Aristotle80
    It's good to remember that some flashes can cover 28mm, but I haven't found a normal flash to cover a 24mm lens. I guess bare bulb maybe? My own Nikon wides jump from 20mm, which I LOVE, to 28mm for that reason. I can hand hold the 20mm at 1/15 without a problem if the subject isn't moving much, so with faster film I really don't need a flash for it most of the time! 20, 28, 35 are my wides. My first prime wide was 28mm, and if I had to limit myself to one of the three, that's the one I'd keep.
  12. narsuitus

    The 28mm focal length is very compatible with my shooting style. That is probably why 3 of my 7 wide angle Nikon lenses are 28mm.

  13. pon721
    I bought the Sigma 24mm 2.8 super wideII and use on my F4.Love it and its cheap compared to a newer af lense.
  14. Silver Halide / Zone
    Silver Halide / Zone
    Hi, I've had all of them at one time or another 35, 28 , 24, and 20. My personal favorite is the 24mm.

  15. M6F6E6
    I think you will do well with the 28, and if you shoot flash then the guys are right - a normal flash will conveniently cover that range. But I think that the 28 is really good journalistic lens. Most dummies won't relise that it is wide angle, so it suits newspapers, etc.

    I had a nonAIS 20 (3.5 I think) n that was a really sharp lens with some groovy effects. The 15 and 18 are too queer to be useful. They distort the subject so much that they ruin it. I think just go the fish-eye and the 28.

    28 is good for doing star trails too, w/o too much distortion. 24 and 20 make for weird gimmicky trails, whereas the good old 28 still reasonable.

    But really, if you wanna shoot wide just get a Leica and be done with it. SLR wides are such a compromise. Getting the lens closer to the film - a la rangefinder - is the best way to go. There might be a few times that you wish for more accurate framing, but not that many when you come to see the awesome sharpness of a good RF lens. I also have a wide angle for my Mamiya Press. It left the RB Mamiya lenses in the dust. You just cannot beat a well-built, tiny, slow RF lens for sharpness and clarity. They are so blisteringly incredible it will make you drool! Get one and forget the SLR wides
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