Today’s post involves some different photos than the ones I usually shoot. I was at a beautiful old building which houses a restaurant and I was really amazed by the different rooms. Old style, with beautiful vivid colors, a great place to visit (and with excellent food also !!)
Although i rarely do interiors I had to take some images. I was lucky enough to have with me the Nikon D700 with the Nikkor 14-24 f2.8 lens (actually this is my wife’s gear but I had the clearance to use it !!).
The Nikon 14-24 is really a spectacular lens. Probably the greatest ultra wide zoom lens ever made and surely equal to every wide angle prime from 14mm to 24mm (well, the just recently announce Zeiss 15mm prime maybe better, but it’s a fixed focal length, does not autofocus and costs a lot).
I really like ultra wide angles and have been shooting often with the Voigtlander 15mm and 21mm lenses on my Leica M (film, which means full frame), and i know that at these focal lengths you must have good technique in order to produce good images. Distortion is very easy to occur and you can’t easily fix it in post process.
If I had the free time, I would have used a tripod and level the camera properly but since I was there with friends having a good time, I spent about ten minutes making images. So, no tripod and no proper leveling, furthermore I was constantly shooting wide open due to the low light. I will sure go back someday to make a proper shooting (and after that have a great lunch with a few drinks !!).
The D700 with the 14-24 is a wonderful combination, excellent high ISO performance, the lens is superb even at f2.8 and distortion is very well controlled for a ultra wide lens. Since there was very high contrast due to the light entering from the windows I decided to bracket and compose HDR images. I don’t really like the look of HDR images, but in this case the vivid colors on the walls together with the high dynamic range led to painting like images that I really enjoy looking at. Is this a proper representation of how the rooms look ? Not exactly but still are very close. After all this was not a professional work but my way of showing this wonderful place.
I tried to be as careful as I could leveling the camera handheld and choosing good shooting angles but as you can see, distortion is evident in some areas. I used the specific lens profile in Lightroom 4 and also did some manual adjustments by moving the horizontal and vertical sliders. All these led to much better looking image.
Overall, I was really impressed by the Nikon 14-24, it’s a real gem for wide angle photos and a lens I will try to use more often at the future.
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