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Author Topic: Looking at Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 and 17-35 f/2.8 - Flare  (Read 8603 times)
pwatkins
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« on: April 18, 2013, 10:37:39 AM »
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I'm looking to get one of Nikon's wide-angle zooms to go with a D800E.   The 14-24 f/2.8 of course caught my eye, but the Photozone review of this lens emphasizes that flare is an issue.  Is that true in practice?  How big a deal is it?

My alternative choice is the 17-35 f/2.8.

Thanks,

Paul
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jwstl
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 11:54:13 AM »
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I haven't used either lens on my D800E but I'd shy away from the 17-35 unless you must have the 2.8. The 17-35 is an older design and is a little softer than the newer lenses. If you don't need the 2.8 consider the 16-35 f/4 VR. Here's a comparison of some wide angle lenses including the 14-24 and 16-35 Nikkors:

http://www.sandeepmurali.com/blog/2013/3/mother-of-all-ultrawide-shootouts---nikon-vs-canon-guest-starring-sigma
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 12:25:03 PM »
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How often do you shoot into the sun or include specular light sources in your photos?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 05:06:07 PM »
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I shot the 17-35 f2.8 a lot in my D3 days, and its performance on FF was excellent.

As far as I recall its flare performance was pretty good, which is clearly not the case of the 14-24 f2.8.

Cheers,
Bernard
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kers
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 06:02:34 PM »
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It is true that if you you use the 14-24mm in strong backlight ( example- but retouched) you will see flarespots everywhere in the dark zones...

If you use it and let the sun hit the glass you get coloured spots  - you have to use your hand-shade to solve the problem...

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Pieter Kers
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 08:37:45 PM »
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Flare on the 14-24, especially at 14mm can be very destructive on an image.  If you are shooting into the sun, it's by far the worst as you will get a Magenta rainbow in the image towards the opposite end from the light source.  It's not a great lens for sunrise or sundown when the sun it in the shot. I have attached two images to show this, note the strong magenta bands on the rock face.  So far most times I can get this out using Content aware, but it's very dependent on where the flare shows up as to whether content aware can remove it.

You can see the effect in the both the full image and in the crop.  

If you are shooting where the sun can reach into the frame, it will cause flare, but not as destructive as the examples.  The 14mm focal length will reach around and fool you sometimes and produce flare, but more indirect.  The best way I know to prevent this, is use the "flare Buster" setup.  The large card with the longer extension so far has been able to block out in direct flare for me.  It attaches to the flash bracket, but they also make one that will attach anywhere if you happen to be using a flash.  

Also the Lee SW-150 setup, will many times block a in direct flare just due to the mass of the filter holder.  Of course unless you plan to use the larger Lee or other brands 150mm size filters, it's too expensive just to block out flare.  I use the SW-150 most times with the 14-24 and love it, leaving the mount on all the time.  

One other aspect, night photography, I love to use 14mm as I can get a greater view of the sky and still have some good landscape subjects in the image.  I stack, so if I have flare, I have to remove it from each image before I run the stack.  Flare at night can be even more destructive and for sure more time consuming to correct.   At night it's the moon causing the flare, I prefer to use moonlight to provide illumination to my foreground and it give the sky a much more pleasing color.  The moon creates a more pure magenta/yellow flare and the flare will change in shape as the moon moves across the sky during your shoot.  Again I have found the flare buster card to be invaluable to prevent this.

The 14-24 is however such an excellent lens, at least mine is, that I am more than willing to find workarounds for this.  Just be aware that it's going to bite you if you are near a strong light source.

Paul Caldwell


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Paul Caldwell
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 08:58:06 PM »
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I've used the 17-35, 16-35 and currently own the 14-24 so I'll chime in a few thoughts:

From a flare point of view, the 14-24 is going to be tricky. It doesn't like the sun coming in on that oblique angle from the side, and if the light is aiming straight at you, you may also have problems. However, none of the other zoom alternatives are much better at the stuff coming straight at you. I've compared the 14-24 and 16-35 in the "straight line" flare scenario and to my amazement, I preferred the 14-24. But that was one scenario - with the 14-24 you just have to be constantly aware of the flare scenarios and be ready for some retouching. It's for this reason and also because of the demands of the D800E that I've moved on to a combination of the 14-24 (for the ultra wide focal lengths) and then primes from 21mm onwards; the flare resistance of something like a Zeiss 21/2.8, Nikon 24/1.4G or 28/1.8G is quite a bit better than the 14-24 and optically they are stronger in these focal lengths across a wide variety of real life scenarios (including distant objects, which are not what the test chart folks examine). As good as the 14-24 is, and I do believe it is a great lens deserving of the reputation it has, after extensive testing over the past year I've been a D800E owner across a very wide variety of subject distances and scenes, I really only use the lens for the ultra wide end of things. It seems to have a sweet spot right near the wide side, maybe at 14-16mm,, and then I use my primes for the other focal lengths. The 17-35 isn't going to compete optically even though it was quite nice during that era. I haven't shot the 16-35 on the D800E; I wasn't really happy with that lens on the D700 I used to shoot at anything except the middle focal lengths, so I sold it. Some people are reporting nice results from that lens in the middle focal lengths on the D800/E however so it might be worth a look. I wouldn't expect much from it at 35mm though; that's a known weak spot on that lens.

Are you in an area where you can consider renting? If you're in the states, try lensrentals dot com and see for yourself whether you want to deal with the flare issues or not.

-m
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jonathanlung
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 11:36:46 PM »
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I've been using the 14-24 on my D800 occasionally over the last two months and on a D300 for a few years. Echoing kers' comment, a well-placed hand generally solves the problem of flare. The 28mm f/2.8 AF-D is much more problematic.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 11:38:26 PM by jonathanlung » Logged
arlon
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 09:01:35 AM »
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Have the 16-35 and use it on a D800E. Not the greatest lens in the world in my opinion. It does do really well off the ends of it's range, something like 20-30mm it's really good. Distortion is a real issue but easily fixed. I often wish I had just gotten the 14-24 instead. I guess it's probably sharper at wider settings than the 16-35. I consider the wide zooms a specialty lens and don't use mine very often as I almost always have a 28-300mm on my D800E. Just not that often I have to have more angle than the 28mm provides. I also do a lot of hiking and need more range then the wide zooms provide. On those few ocassions I really do need a wide and can't simply stitch a few 28mm shots togather, the 16-35 works and I imagine the 14-24 would work just as well or better.
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kers
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 06:19:24 PM »
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Flare on the 14-24, especially at 14mm can be very destructive on an image.  If you are shooting into the sun, it's by far the worst as you will get a Magenta rainbow in the image towards the opposite end from the light source....

In this occasion a simple method would be making two images.. one with a hand on the place of the sun and one without. then you mix it together in photoshop.
About the 14-24mm..
I think it is an awkward big lens but an outstanding one... one of the best Nikon has made.
Weak points.. the flare as mentioned in some critical occasions- and it is very sensitive if you hit it; then you can go back to Nikon repair..I am a heavy user i guess, but i am on my 4th ( good insured of course). great points: very sharp from 14 to 24mm from d2,8 to 11. If you need sharp corners you need d11 other wi=se d8 is best overall...Autofocus works good too. ( adjust the focus on the d800 maybe) So i have had 4 copies and they were all good...
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 06:21:56 PM by kers » Logged

Pieter Kers
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pwatkins
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 09:57:39 PM »
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Thanks everyone for your advice.  I'm going to rent the 14-24 and see how it works out.

Kers, I hadn't thought of taking two shots, one with your hand blocking the sun and one without and combining the photos later.  Great idea - I'm going to try it.

--Paul
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arlon
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 04:47:14 PM »
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Forgot to mention that I do use a filter from time to time and that is easy on the 16-35 since it has 77mm filter threads. If you are a filter user, the 14-24 is going to have some issues.
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langier
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2013, 12:36:49 AM »
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I own both. Flare, even with the sun behind, can be an issue.

On the d800, the 14-24 is sweet for landscape and tight interiors. However, for travel and events, the 17-35 is my lens of choice. 1/2 to a stop down the lens is so sweet. This is one of only a couple of lenses I bought in the 20th century that I still use and it's made the test of time for me.

If you tripod your camera and flag the sun, you'll be happy with the 14-24. But if you travel and weight and size is an issue, the 17-35 is a nice lens on the D800.

As I would advise anyone, rent them both and see what works best for your vision and style.
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Larry Angier
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Petrus
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2013, 05:12:11 AM »
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Shooting with the sun in the frame causes quite a bad flare in 14-24mm lens. You actually have to take it into account in your composition. Then, on the other hand, you need not add fashionable flare in post...
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BobDavid
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2013, 10:01:59 PM »
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I'm torn between the 14-24 and the 16-35. I intend on using the lens mostly in a studio with strobes.

I like the practicality of the 16-35, but I wonder how correctable the distortion is at 16mm. Is it complex mustache or simple barrel distortion easily fixed in ACR 7.X?
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orchidblooms
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2013, 06:58:35 PM »
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have you considered the new zeiss 15?   i really like this lens - i use the zeiss cpl with it...  pal has a 10 stop 95mm nd and we are getting very nice photos
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2013, 07:31:29 PM »
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Hi Bob,

I have both the Nikon 14-24mm and 16-35mm lenses.

In the studio you will have the problem of flare due to the large front element. The Nikon 16-35mm is less prone to the flare problem and the barrel distortion is completely corrected in ACR. The Nikon 16-35mm is get for my landscape and panorama work due to the fact it can take neutral density filters and the VR is great for low light shots like when I am shooting stills for TVC’s. I tend to use the Nikon 14-24mm lens for interior architecture shots.

I use these lenses mostly for car interiors in my studio..

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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