My lovely wife surprised me for Christmas by purchasing the landscape lens I’ve wanted for over four years now. It had been sitting on my Amazon wish list, and I’ve gone back looking at it every chance I’ve gotten. The lens is the Nikon 14-24 f2.8 Wide angle zoom.
It is widely considered to be one of the best Landscape lenses on the market. Roger and I joke about G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) all of the time. I don’t do a lot of impulse buying for camera equipment. I tend to research-exhaustively and then debate with myself until I am convinced I have built a strong case for it. There are lots of great lenses out there and each has an ideal purpose out there. Once you have decided to move beyond the kit lenses that come with your camera, you realize that a: they can be very expensive, and b: the quality in most cases is directly related to the price.
Landscapes and outdoor photography are what I prefer to shoot, while Roger, dare I say it, is much better with people images. Roger got a good deal a few years ago on the Nikon 16-35 f4 wide angle. He has been gracious enough in fact to let me borrow it, even on my extended Western Road Trip last year. It is a really nice lens, and I considered buying my own, but after shooting both, realized that for me, the 14-24 was a better choice. So then, what is the key difference between the two? Well, the answer is really construction quality which leads to sharpness in the edges and less distortion overall.
There are lots of interior components to the 14-24 which add to the weight, but also make the resolution.
Here is an image I shot with my 50 mm lens before Christmas. You can see how the tree appears to lean backwards.
Here is the very first shot I took with the new lens, with some of the Xmas carnage still visible. A straight tree, as it should be.
Now there is still curvature in the lens, especially when you shoot from much closer that is intended for a landscape lens. Here is one shot of the mantle.
You can see that while the mantle itself is level, the side windows are leaning in. Of course, with the newly added Upright feature added to the Lens Correction panel, you can easily correct those windows.
The processing may force you to crop as it corrects the perspective in your image, which may introduce blank sections.
I was going to do a whole bunch of test shots this last weekend, but it rained and rained. I've got plenty of projects planned out for the rest of the year however, to put the lens through its paces.