Some of our readers, especially those who are just getting into photography, frequently ask me if they should choose the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G or Nikon 50mm f/1.4G to be used for low-light photography. I decided to run a quick comparison between the two, along with some other technical information to hopefully make it easier for our readers to select the right lens in this Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Nikon 50mm f/1.4 comparison.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens that was released in August of 2010. The constant maximum aperture, mid-range Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR zoom lens is a major update to the Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G VR that was released back in 2003. The older, variable-aperture 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 had some optical problems that did not make it a popular lens among photographers, so Nikon decided to address those problems by releasing this highly-anticipated Nikon 24-120mm f/4.0 lens. Why highly-anticipated? Because the 24-120mm focal range is very useful for photographers who use full-frame cameras like Nikon D700/D3s/D3x and who find the 24-70mm f/2.8 either too short on the long focal end, or too heavy for everyday use. In addition, having VR on a mid-range lens like the 24-120mm is crucial for low-light photography, even on the wide end.
Did Nikon address all problems the Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G had in this new f/4 update? How does it compare to the legendary Nikon 24-70mm and the new 28-300mm lenses? Is it really on par with the 28-300mm when it comes to performance, making it a worse buy than the 28-300mm like some of the reviewers stated? In this review, I will do my best to provide a detailed analysis of the lens’ performance, including sharpness tests and comparisons against other mid-range lenses and answer the above questions.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens that was released in August of 2010 together with three other lenses – Nikon 85mm f/1.4G, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and Nikon 24-120mm f/4.0 VR. The Nikon 55-300mm VR lens is a major update to the existing Nikon 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6G ED VR lens that was released in 2007. Just like the 55-200mm VR, it is designed to be used with the Nikon 18-55mm DX VR kit lens to provide expanded focal range for telephoto shots. Nikon 55-300mm is currently the cheapest way to get to true 300mm focal length in Nikon’s current line of lenses, with a little more shorter range to work with than the Nikon 70-300mm VR lens.
It is an ideal lens to be used for family events and vacations to capture distant subjects, and the use of Vibration Reduction (VR) technology makes it easier to get sharp photographs at slower shutter speeds, especially when shooting at 300mm. Similar to the Nikon 28-300mm VR lens, the Nikon 55-300mm VR comes with two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Elements, which due to less air bubbles and glass deformities within the glass elements help minimize chromatic aberration and deliver sharper images at large apertures. The Nikon 55-300mm VR lens is only designed to work on Nikon DX (cropped) sensors and has an equivalent field of view of approximately 82.5mm-450mm (in 35mm equivalent), which makes the lens particularly good for reaching distant subjects. Autofocus is practically silent, thanks to the Silent Wave Motor (AF-S) within the lens.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens that was released in August of 2010 along with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G and 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR DX lenses. It is no secret that Nikon released the 28-300mm largely due to the popular demand of the 18-200mm lens. The large zoom range of the Nikon 18-200mm and its generally good performance made it a lens of choice for those, who wanted to have a good lightweight travel lens or only wanted to use one lens on their DSLR cameras. Despite the fact that the lens suffered from some serious issues such as lens creep, heavy distortion and sharpness issues beyond 105mm, some photographers and reviewers praised the 18-200mm so much, that the demand increased significantly, resulting in heavy lens shortages around the world. During this time, Nikon had a hard time keeping the lens on the shelves and the only way to obtain it was to either pay a premium and buy it from Ebay, or order and wait for months until Nikon sent another batch to retailers. I remember this period of time very well, since I had to wait for 3 months to get my copy of the lens. Ever since Nikon released the FX full-frame sensor, more and more photographers have been switching from DX to FX. Since Nikon 18-200mm is a DX lens, an FX camera would fall back to DX mode, giving less than half the resolution – a problematic situation for most photographers that use the current 12 megapixel cameras. Therefore, photographers that made the switch from cropped sensor cameras to full-frame, ended up selling or trading their DX lenses for the above reason, including the much loved Nikon 18-200mm.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G AF-S lens that was announced with three other lenses in August of 2010. Ever since the manual focus AI-s version of the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens was introduced back in 1981, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lenses have been used as references for superb sharpness, best-looking bokeh and beautiful color renditions. The last autofocus AF-D version of the lens produced in 1995, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4D, was often called the “king of bokeh”, yielding extremely pleasing out-of-focus areas, in addition to producing tack-sharp, colorful images when shooting wide open at maximum aperture of f/1.4. Its legendary performance made the Nikon 85mm f/1.4D lens a must-have for portrait photographers and many professionals have been heavily relying on this lens for their commercial work. The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G AF-S lens is the latest update to the 85mm f/1.4 line, which replaces the outdated AF-D version with the latest optical and technology innovations from Nikon. In this review, I will not only provide information on the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G lens, but will also compare it against the older Nikon 85mm f/1.4D and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II lenses.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens that was released in December of 2009, along with the TC-20E III teleconverter. When it comes to telephoto lenses, the Nikon 300mm f/2.8 line of lenses has always been a metric of sharpness, contrast and acuity. The Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II is no exception – it sports top of the line optical design and technology that are capable of resolving tons of details, delivering outstanding results for any kind of long-range photography. The Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II was released as a minor update to the existing Nikon 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED – the optical design stayed the same, with the exception of Vibration Reduction II (VR II) technology and a new A/M focus mode. In this review, I will not only provide general information about the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II and its performance, but also how it works with all current Nikon teleconverters (TC-14E II, TC-17E II and TC-20E III) and how it compares to other telephoto lenses of similar and lower classes.
This is an in-depth, long overdue review of the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens that was released back in August of 2007 together with the 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens. I have owned the Nikon 24-70mm ever since it came out and I have written a lot about it in my articles, but never got the chance to sit down and provide some detailed feedback about what I like or don’t like about this lens. After I got my hands on other FX wide-angle lenses such as Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR, Nikon 24mm f/1.4G and Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G, I knew it was time to put them all up to a real test and compare each one with the 24-70mm.
1) Lens Overview
The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens is a truly versatile lens that can be used for many different kinds of photography needs – from wide-angle landscapes and panoramas, to portraits and events. With its constant aperture of f/2.8 (meaning the aperture does not change while zooming) and state of the art optics, the lens is targeted towards enthusiasts and professionals, who work in various lighting and weather conditions and need exceptional sharpness, color and contrast in their images – something the Nikon 24-70mm was designed to deliver. It replaced the older Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8D lens and its optics were completely redesigned for superior performance and extra coverage on the wide-end. Featuring 15 lens elements in 11 groups, 3 out of which are ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements that reduce chromatic aberration and increase sharpness, the lens is a heavyweight monster weighing a whopping 31.7 oz. (900 grams), which is heavier than the Nikon D300 DSLR! In addition to the Silent Wave Motor (SWM/AF-S) that provides fast and quiet auto focus, the Nikon 24-70mm also features the Nano Crystal Coating technology, which reduces ghosting and flare. When it comes to weather sealing, the Nikon 24-70mm is designed to be well-protected against dust, moisture and tough weather conditions (read more under Lens Handling below).
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens that was released back in August of 2007 together with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens. I have been planning to write a review of this lens for quite some time now and I wanted to make the review as thorough as possible, comparing it to other Nikon FX wide angle lenses that are out in the market today. My plan finally came to reality, when I got a hold of Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G, Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 VR, Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G and finally Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lenses all at the same time!
1) Lens Overview
Let me start by saying that the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G is a work of art. Marketed as Nikon’s flagship ultra wide-angle lens, the Nikon 14-24mm is a beautiful craftsmanship that one can only appreciate after holding it in hands and trying it out. When Nikon introduced it to the world of photography back in 2007 as a full-frame lens to be used with the back-then newly released, Nikon’s first-ever full-frame DSLR D3, the lens set a new standard in zoom lens performance in terms of sharpness and contrast. It was the world’s first 14mm ultra wide-angle zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture and Nikon was proud to state that it rivals prime lenses when it comes to optical design and performance. As you will see from image samples that I posted in this review, the lens is truly very sharp, easily outperforming any other Nikon ultra wide-angle zoom lenses at all focal lengths, coming very close to the exceptional performance of the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lens.
This is an in-depth review of the professional Nikon 24mm f/1.4G ED lens that was announced in February of 2010 together with the Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0G VR lens. The Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lens is a professional-grade lens for enthusiasts and professionals that need the highest quality optics of a fixed wide-angle lens with a large aperture of f/1.4 for low-light situations and shallow depth of field to isolate subjects from the background. The lens incorporates the latest optical technology destined for both FX and DX sensors (equivalent of 36mm on DX), yielding amazing clarity and contrast in most challenging lighting conditions. The Nikon 24mm f/1.4G follows the footsteps of the legendary Nikon 28mm f/1.4D lens, which was known for its exceptional quality and sharp optics, even at large apertures. The new Nikon 24mm f/1.4 is no exception – it performs almost flawlessly at all apertures, most notably at f/1.4 with maximum sharpness from center to corner, as seen in the examples of this review. Nikon has incorporated the latest technology and optical formulas to this lens, including AF-S silent-wave focus motor and Nano crystal coating. The lens is also sealed against dust and tough weather conditions. Just like most Nikon professional lenses, the lens has a 77mm filter thread, which is great news for landscape and architectural photographers.
I have been spending all of my available time to test the new Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lens (which is stellar in every way), along with other Nikon ultra wide lenses and have been comparing them all at different focal lengths. The plan is to write an article comparing those lenses head to head at the same focal length, ISO, aperture and shutter speed to see how they stand against each other. Here is the full list of lenses that I am currently testing:
- Nikon 24mm f/1.4G (full review is coming up first)
- Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G
- Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G
- Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR
- Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D
This is going to be one heck of a comparison! My first priority right now is to finish the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G review, which I have been putting off because of: a) lack of time and b) horrible weather that we have been getting lately (it has been snowing and has been extremely windy during the last two weeks). This weekend does not look any better, so I am just going to use what I have so far.