Lens for Travel Blog

nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
Looking for a little bit wider lens than the widest lens I currently own which is a 50mm 1.8g for taking shots in potentially dimly lit bars and restaurants. I'm torn between adding a 35mm or a 24mm. Another option would be a 24-70mm 2.8 zoom, not exactly inconspicuous, but maybe that doesn't matter. So far I'm thinking:

35mm Good all around lens. Can get a little of peripheral action while being able to focus on detail still.

35mm 1.8g - least expensive and lightest least intrusive, but can't open the aperture up as wide.
35mm 1.4g – expensive, but has great color and contrast although not pin sharp wide open (I have a D810)
35mm 1.4 Sigma Art – Mid range price, but heard of problems focusing in low light. Not crazy about how the bokeh renders in certain situations and how highlights falloff.

24mm Wide enough to capture more of the interior. Might be a better pair with my 50mm.
24mm 1.8g – haven't heard a ton about this lens yet, but seems to be fairly nice like all the other 1.8g series
24mm 1.4g – expensive, great color and contrast. Being so wide probably be able to hand hold 1.4 and still get quite a bit in focus. Only option would be get one used.

24-70mm 2.8 – Covers all the bases, most convenient in that while it's heavier I don't need a bag with a ton of stuff (multiple lenses) but again it's much bigger and more intrusive and can't nearly gather the same amount of light the rest of the lenses can. 24-70mm with VR might be cool for showing action to make places look busy... Probably can't find one used, but who knows.

Anyone have experience with this kind of photography? Suggestions on lenses?

Comments

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited March 2016
    I got my Tamron 24-70 VC for these type of lighting ... However, I would consider the new Tamron 35 mm 1.8 VC now ...

    Still cameras these days are really quite awesome .. what camera are you thinking of ? You probably have an FX? any of the modern FX would be more than capable of working with any of the zooms. Even the Kit 24-85 with F3.5 at the wide end, wont be too shabby ...
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I would be inclined to get the 24. That will give you the most flexibility to complement your 50. There are lots of situations where a 24 or wider is needed, particularly interiors etc.

    The 24-70 2.8E VR is also worth considering. Not as fast and sharp, but he VR will get you there in low light situations.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,491Moderator
    What about this: Sigma 24-35 f2. Excellent lens.
    Always learning.
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member

    I got my Tamron 24-70 VC for these type of lighting ... However, I would consider the new Tamron 35 mm 1.8 VC now ...

    Still cameras these days are really quite awesome .. what camera are you thinking of ? You probably have an FX? any of the modern FX would be more than capable of working with any of the zooms. Even the Kit 24-85 with F3.5 at the wide end, wont be too shabby ...

    I already have a D810 so it's no slouch in low light. I have a 50mm 1.8g, 85mm 1.8g, and a 105mm macro. I usually lean towards shooting portraits and details hence why I have that line up so far. I feel like having a wider lens even though the 50mm is f/1.8 I could hand hold it a bit slower and also get a little more of the environment in.

    I forgot about the new Tamron. The images I've seen look great and I didn't even consider it had VC. I'm wondering how the autofocus performs in low light.

  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member

    I would be inclined to get the 24. That will give you the most flexibility to complement your 50. There are lots of situations where a 24 or wider is needed, particularly interiors etc.

    The 24-70 2.8E VR is also worth considering. Not as fast and sharp, but he VR will get you there in low light situations.

    Definitely thinking about the 24mm either 1.8g or 1.4g used. I've been wanting a little bit wider lens for landscape as well. My only issue is that I feel like 35mm might be the perfect walk around prime, but carrying two lenses isn't so bad. If Nikon came out with a new 35mm 1.4g today that maintained the same esthetic, but was sharper wide open it would be an insta buy... My other thought was 35mm 1.8g or maybe that Tamron 35mm 1.8 VC and get a 20mm as well for landscapes, but then again I've always really liked 24mm.

    How are you liking your new 24-70mm VR?

  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member

    What about this: Sigma 24-35 f2. Excellent lens.

    Haven't really considered this lens at all actually. I'll have to dig up some reviews. Seems a little limited in range for a zoom, but then again f/2 zoom is interesting.
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    Although I haven't considered the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 lens either, it sounds like a worthy alternative to a fixed focal length lens. The Nikon 24-70mm (either version) will be a long lens so it's up to you as to how big of a lens you'd like to carry into these environments. Personally, I'm drawn to "bar or club" photos that show action, movement and excitement. Those photos can have a bit of lens distortion as well and still look pretty cool - so wide is good.

    Sounds to me like the 24mm is what would give you most of what you're looking for although here's a sample from my Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art shot at f/2.0 in a bar. I'm standing probably 4 feet from her and there's a big window for natural light behind me. I rather like how the scene behind her is rendered. I've had no real focus issues although it does focus more correctly using the center focus point. D800.

    Kristina_Set4-7-2.jpg
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    Beautiful shot! I definitely like the 35mm look. But thinking 24mm might be a better match with my 50mm. Carrying two lenses isn't so bad I suppose. The 24-70mm seems like it might be too big for my style, but I've never tried using one really. I had a 16-35mm but hated the distortion and mostly just used it at 24mm and 35mm second.

    Here's an example of the shot's I want to take of detail, but also want something to capture a bit more of what's going on and exteriors.

    Bobcat Cafe
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    How about a curve ball

    nikon 14-24mm I almost always shoot it at 14mm and when I need 24mm i use this vs the 24-70mm.

    There is also sigmas 24-35mm
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    nek4life said:

    I would be inclined to get the 24. That will give you the most flexibility to complement your 50. There are lots of situations where a 24 or wider is needed, particularly interiors etc.

    The 24-70 2.8E VR is also worth considering. Not as fast and sharp, but he VR will get you there in low light situations.

    Definitely thinking about the 24mm either 1.8g or 1.4g used. I've been wanting a little bit wider lens for landscape as well. My only issue is that I feel like 35mm might be the perfect walk around prime, but carrying two lenses isn't so bad. If Nikon came out with a new 35mm 1.4g today that maintained the same esthetic, but was sharper wide open it would be an insta buy... My other thought was 35mm 1.8g or maybe that Tamron 35mm 1.8 VC and get a 20mm as well for landscapes, but then again I've always really liked 24mm.

    How are you liking your new 24-70mm VR?

    For less than the price of a 1.4G, you can bet two 1.8Gs. The half stop less light on your D800 will likely be acceptable. You could get a 20 and 28 or 24 and 35.

    24-35 is a pretty small zoom range. I would wonder if it is worth it.

    I like my 24-70 2.8E VR. 2.8 is probably a more useful depth of field than 1.4 on a travel lens. With the VR I end up with better low light performance. I suspect the primes are much sharper, but it is likely sharp enough.
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member

    How about a curve ball

    nikon 14-24mm I almost always shoot it at 14mm and when I need 24mm i use this vs the 24-70mm.

    There is also sigmas 24-35mm

    The 14-24mm has crossed my mind. I had the 16-35mm F4 but I didn't like the distortion. I think the 14-24mm is much better in this regard. It would probably make a great landscape lens although I probably wouldn't be investing in too many filters with it because of the front element on that sucker!

  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member


    For less than the price of a 1.4G, you can bet two 1.8Gs. The half stop less light on your D800 will likely be acceptable. You could get a 20 and 28 or 24 and 35.

    24-35 is a pretty small zoom range. I would wonder if it is worth it.

    I like my 24-70 2.8E VR. 2.8 is probably a more useful depth of field than 1.4 on a travel lens. With the VR I end up with better low light performance. I suspect the primes are much sharper, but it is likely sharp enough.

    Yeah it's definitely crossed my mind getting two 1.8g lenses for the price of a 1.4g. I really love the color and contrast of the 1.4g lenses, but the 1.8g lenses are no slouches either.

    I had a 35mm 1.4g for a week before I had to return it because it wouldn't accept filters anymore due to a slightly bent filter ring. I got that for slightly over $1,000. I loved the rendering of that lens, but hoped for more sharpness wide open. The tamron actually has a nice look to it and it's priced really well.

    The 24-70mm seems like I could just throw that one lens in a bag and pretty much be set for most situations. I've definitely though about getting one of these quite often. Definitely the most expensive lens of the bunch. Well 24mm 1.4g is expensive as well, but I think there are probably more used copies available.



  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    nek4life said:

    How about a curve ball

    nikon 14-24mm I almost always shoot it at 14mm and when I need 24mm i use this vs the 24-70mm.

    There is also sigmas 24-35mm

    The 14-24mm has crossed my mind. I had the 16-35mm F4 but I didn't like the distortion. I think the 14-24mm is much better in this regard. It would probably make a great landscape lens although I probably wouldn't be investing in too many filters with it because of the front element on that sucker!

    The 14-24 is an option, but I think it is less useful than you would think. The vast majority of my land and city scapes are more than 24mm. I can think of only a few situations where going wider than 20mm is really necessary. The vast majority of wide angle lenses have distortion. But Nikon cameras can correct for this on Nikon lenses, so no big deal. I don’t have my camera set to correct distortion. The few times it bothers me, Lightroom does the trick.
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member

    nek4life said:

    How about a curve ball

    nikon 14-24mm I almost always shoot it at 14mm and when I need 24mm i use this vs the 24-70mm.

    There is also sigmas 24-35mm

    The 14-24mm has crossed my mind. I had the 16-35mm F4 but I didn't like the distortion. I think the 14-24mm is much better in this regard. It would probably make a great landscape lens although I probably wouldn't be investing in too many filters with it because of the front element on that sucker!

    The 14-24 is an option, but I think it is less useful than you would think. The vast majority of my land and city scapes are more than 24mm. I can think of only a few situations where going wider than 20mm is really necessary. The vast majority of wide angle lenses have distortion. But Nikon cameras can correct for this on Nikon lenses, so no big deal. I don’t have my camera set to correct distortion. The few times it bothers me, Lightroom does the trick.
    Yes when I had the 16-35mm I rarely shot it at 20mm and the majority was 24mm and 35mm. I actually sold it to replace it with the 24-70mm but then the new version was coming out so I waited and now it's been so long I'm reevaluating what I really want since I bought the 85mm in the mean time which covers the 70mm of the 24-70mm. Although again one lens might be nice for this work.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,491Moderator
    nek4life said:



    Yes when I had the 16-35mm I rarely shot it at 20mm and the majority was 24mm and 35mm. I actually sold it to replace it with the 24-70mm but then the new version was coming out so I waited and now it's been so long I'm reevaluating what I really want since I bought the 85mm in the mean time which covers the 70mm of the 24-70mm. Although again one lens might be nice for this work.

    There ya go see, 24 & 35. Check out that siggy, it's great wide open.
    Always learning.
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member

    nek4life said:



    Yes when I had the 16-35mm I rarely shot it at 20mm and the majority was 24mm and 35mm. I actually sold it to replace it with the 24-70mm but then the new version was coming out so I waited and now it's been so long I'm reevaluating what I really want since I bought the 85mm in the mean time which covers the 70mm of the 24-70mm. Although again one lens might be nice for this work.

    There ya go see, 24 & 35. Check out that siggy, it's great wide open.
    Yes the Sigma and Nikon lens rebates are what got me thinking about this as well as a project and some travel coming up. Too many choices and not enough $$$... I'd just buy them all if money was no object :D

  • picturetedpictureted Posts: 153Member
    I'd recommend the 28/1.8G and the 20/1.8G - I have both along with the 16-35/4 and a Rokinon 14/2.8. The 1.8G lenses focus well in dim light and by f4 are already stopped down and extremely sharp. Neither are large and intimidating either. I'd rather shoot wide and crop, especially with the D810's capability.
    pictureted at flickr
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    edited March 2016

    I'd recommend the 28/1.8G and the 20/1.8G - I have both along with the 16-35/4 and a Rokinon 14/2.8. The 1.8G lenses focus well in dim light and by f4 are already stopped down and extremely sharp. Neither are large and intimidating either. I'd rather shoot wide and crop, especially with the D810's capability.

    Yeah I just went through a ton of pictures on flickr and curiously enough 20mm had more images than those that caught my eye at 24mm. I noticed it seemed like 24mm for the most part starting to get to wide for portraits, but yet not quite wide enough for dramatic landscapes. Of course a good photographer could do both well, just an observation of the photos on flickr in those categories.

    I also think I prefer 35mm over 28mm, but then again I already have a 50mm and have always liked that. How do you like your 28mm? Anything you don't like about it? I read a little about field curvature, but I think I'd be using this more for interiors and not so much landscapes.

    Also both of the lenses you suggested happen to be on sale right now.
    Post edited by nek4life on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I also have the excellent 20mm f/1.8 and 28mm f/1.8 The 20mm is way fun, and you can crop pretty handily out of it as well. Curvature is minimal on both, the 28mm is pretty much non-existant, and one click in your post process fixes it (or on the camera itself depending on model, etc...)
  • picturetedpictureted Posts: 153Member
    edited March 2016
    Most photographers I know gravitate to certain focal lengths. Ever since I can remember I'ved liked 20, 28 and 90-105mm. 20mm is dramatically wide, but easy to use (unlike 14, which requires more care), 28mm has a reportorial feel just a little wider than 35 (too normal for my taste) and 90-105 provides the field of view my eye first sees when I look at something
    The 1.8G lenses are great to shoot with and a bargain. I wish Nikon would make another 105mm that would match the old 105/2.5 AIS - 1.8 would be nice there too it it wouldn't get too large or heavy.
    Post edited by pictureted on
    pictureted at flickr
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    Really thinking about this 28mm, especially while it's on sale for $100 off. Then later grabbing the 20mm or getting the 58mm which I've also been lusting for or maybe getting some more lighting equipment for my studio work. I'm also wondering since the 28mm has been out for a while if it would be worth finding one used. Is the 5 year warranty worth it saving maybe $100-$150 bucks off the rebate price?

    I haven't really even thought of getting a 28mm because I really wanted to get a 1.4 lens that I could keep on the camera 90% of the time for a walk around lens. I thought that would be a 35mm, but I ended up getting a 35mm 1.4g for $1050 and having to return it due to a bad filter ring and after using it I'm not sure it's worth much more than that to me. I really like the rendering, color, contrast, but it's just not sharp enough at the widest apertures.

    I've thought about the Sigma, but in many situations the bokeh is also sharper so while the lens is extremely sharp there are a lot of occasions where the bokeh is busy to me especially when there are straight lines. I also don't like how it transitions from dark to very bright, think mountains with blown out sky or windows in a dark room. I think the latest canon 35mm does a great job at balancing the sharpness and bokeh, albeit it's probably the biggest and most expensive of the bunch. I'm secretly (maybe not so secretly) hoping Nikon updates their 35mm 1.4g soon. I'm also curious as to why Nikon released a newer version of the 28mm 1.4D

    Also I did some fact finding yesterday and brought my 50mm and 85mm out to a local brewery to make some observations on using prime lenses for this type of work. First it was nice to have small lenses simply because they are light and less intrusive when using them. Although I have a big ass D810 so it's still not like my setup is stealthy.

    Changing lenses was kind of a pain in the ass being by myself with my top loader and a lens pouch on the side. Think I'd rather have a messenger style bag for this so I could swap lenses easier inside of the bag.

    I was also able to use apertures even up to f/8 while still being under 3200 ISO although this particular place had big garage doors on front, but even in the back I didn't have to go as wide at f1.8. I think WestEndFoto said it, but f2.8 is probably a more usable depth of field if I can get away with it. So the 24-70mm might work even without VR. Which is definitely more affordable (especially used or refurbished) and also a bit smaller, which after checking out photos online of the lens on the camera body, that sucker is huge and could possibly be pretty intimidating (or maybe just make myself more conscious about using it.)

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @nek4life you should probably rent a few of these lenses and try them out, or grab used ones that have a good return policy. The 28mm f/1.8g is well built, no VR (not needed) so not too much to break, I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up used.

    Not sure what you meant by the newer 28mm f/1.8d, haven't seen that.

    The Sigma's are all bigger and heavier than their Nikon counterparts (something to consider) and the 24-70 f/2.8 is a beast. I think all of the f/1.8 primes weigh less combined.

    You did remind me that I have a hole in my f/1.8 lineup... Of course the 24mm isn't on sale :((
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    Ironheart said:

    @nek4life you should probably rent a few of these lenses and try them out, or grab used ones that have a good return policy. The 28mm f/1.8g is well built, no VR (not needed) so not too much to break, I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up used.

    Not sure what you meant by the newer 28mm f/1.8d, haven't seen that.

    The Sigma's are all bigger and heavier than their Nikon counterparts (something to consider) and the 24-70 f/2.8 is a beast. I think all of the f/1.8 primes weigh less combined.

    You did remind me that I have a hole in my f/1.8 lineup... Of course the 24mm isn't on sale :((

    Whoops, I meant the 28mm 1.4D. They stopped making it and never made a 1.4G version.

    Renting isn't probably a bad idea, but I don't live in a city so shipping can get expensive.
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    Ironheart said:


    You did remind me that I have a hole in my f/1.8 lineup... Of course the 24mm isn't on sale :((

    Sorry about that :D haha You definitely need that one though :D

  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    Looked a ton more photos then found a good deal on a used 28mm 1.8g so I went with that. We'll see how it goes when it gets here! Thanks for the feedback!
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