28mm 1.4E

WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,614Member
I purchased this lens a month or so ago. I have a very specific use in mind. It is part of my portrait set, which includes this lens, the 58 1.4G, 105 1.4E, 200 2.0E (when released) and 400 2.8E.

It is very very very sharp in the middle, which the Photography Life review points out. What it does not point out, but Thom and Rockwell do, is that it is soft in the edges and corners when shot wide open.

In practice, it does not matter. If you are shooting it wide open, you are likely trying to isolate something and corner sharpness is irrelevant. If you stop down, it is sharp in the corners, but this is not what this lens is for - my landscape set has a 28 2.8 AIS for this type of shooting.

This illustrates, I believe, the trade offs that are made in lens design. I would rather spend money on centre sharpness for a lens like this than corner sharpness and this seems to be the design philosophy behind the lens.

I thought that the Photography Life review, while good, missed this important point - this review earned a B in my view. I think that Ken Rockwell caught the point, but failed to point out why it might not be important (or why it might be). I think Ken's review earns a C. Thom on the other hand, while not as technical as the Photography Life review (and I do like the technical aspects of Photography Life's reviews), conveyed the important information that is really important in a lens decision and earns an A in my view.

The reviews are here:

https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-28mm-f1-4e

http://www.dslrbodies.com/lenses/nikon-lens-reviews/nikkor-prime-lens-reviews/nikon-28mm-f14e-ed-af-s.html

https://kenrockwell.com/nikon/28mm-f14-e.htm

And here is a shot of my second son (middle child) that I took today:

Boy

This is taken with the 28 on my D850 and the 28 is wide open. I really like the centre sharpness and how it pops against the background. A little self critique, I missed focus on the eye slightly. I think that plus or minus one or two on fine focus assist will fix that.

Does anybody else have experience with this lens and/or have any views on it?

Comments

  • flipflip Posts: 87Member
    How does the 1.4E compare with your ai lens stopped down for landscapes? Better color, microcontrast? Seems to me the 28MM 1.8 should be comparable to the 1.4E at say F11? I have the 1.8AFS and an old 28MM AF. No doubt the 1.8 is remarkably better than the AF lens. Thinking a move up to the 1.4E might be a further improvement. How is the 1.4E at infinity wide open? If the 58MM is any indication, the 28MM F14.E should be excellent.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,614Member
    flip said:

    How does the 1.4E compare with your ai lens stopped down for landscapes? Better color, microcontrast? Seems to me the 28MM 1.8 should be comparable to the 1.4E at say F11? I have the 1.8AFS and an old 28MM AF. No doubt the 1.8 is remarkably better than the AF lens. Thinking a move up to the 1.4E might be a further improvement. How is the 1.4E at infinity wide open? If the 58MM is any indication, the 28MM F14.E should be excellent.

    Alot of questions, I will try to answer what I can.

    At f/8.0 or more I doubt that there is any difference in any of the lenses because of diffraction.

    The AIS is very good at f/5.6 - keep in mind that in its day, the AIS was considered insanely sharp.

    Wider than 5.6 is where the 1.4E really starts to shine. Unlike the 85 1.4G or 58 1.4G and like the 105 1.4E, I do not let sharpness considerations influence my aperture choice. The only potential gotcha is the edges and corners wide open. However, I bought this lens for the purpose of shooting editorial/wide angle portraiture. The only shooting that I do where the corners matter is landscapes and the AIS at 5.6 or 8.0 is fine for that.

    Regarding colour, I have never had a complaint with the AIS, so I have not noticed a difference. Contrast would also be similar stopped down. Wide open, contrast is definitely better on the 1.4E and remember that the AIS has a two stop advantage because it only goes to 2.8. I suspect that flare, in addition to other abberations, may play a role in this, but it is hard to quantify, so I am not sure.

    No issues with the 28 1.4E at infinity, or nearly any distance. The only possible exception is field curvature which I believe that I have seen signs of. However, consider my above shot. Field curvature will be irrelevant in a shot like that. If I was shooting a flat surface I might have a better view. But I just don't shoot flat surfaces with this lens. I might notice field curvature if I was shooting at infinity wide open, but again, I don't do that kind of photography. If I am shooting at infinity I am most likely stopped down and if my ISO is a problem, find support and lower the shutter speed. So the field curvature does not concern me.

    This is very likely the best moderately wide angle lens that money can buy - well I hear the Otus is quite good. If you can afford it, I would not hesitate.

    Unfortunately, I have no experience with the 1.8 so I can not comment, though the Photography Life review compares the two and opines that the 1.4 is far superior. If money is no object, buy this or the Otus. If money is important, consider the 1.8 or the Sigma 24-35 2.0. Just remember when you read those charts, make sure you compare at the same aperture, not both wide open.
  • decentristdecentrist Posts: 26Member
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,614Member
    On the Photography Life review - the Imatest charts.
  • starralaznstarralazn Posts: 201Member
    I got this lens a bit ago. I'm still formulating an opinion on it.

    Ichimatsu - Yokai Vers

    Wide angle has in general done wonders for environmental portraiture, however 28 is feeling a little too narrow. I'll try to shoot some more portraiture with it, and let you know.

    While lens reviews, opinions and sample photos are always interesting, they never really matter so much as shooting with them.
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