The Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 is is a state of the art wide angle zoom lens, capable of producing stunning quality images. Mount it on a full frame camera like the D700 and you get a superb combo for ultra wide photos.
I have only used this lens only once and I thought i give it one more try. I always use the Voigtlander 15mm and 21mm on a film Leica M when I want to shoot wide angle, but the ease of digital tempted me to try the Nikkor.
The image quality of this lens is excellent, and the 14-24 range logically makes it easier to capture what you want. Being a wide angle means that you shoot with extreme caution since its very easy to produce distorted images if you don’t pay attention.
The images above present very good examples of this distortion. I could shoot a little bit wider the second image and try to correct it with Lightroom, but being confined in closed spaces does not make this always possible.
The above images is HDR composed from five different exposures to produce the final result. The fast (for a zoom) f/2.8 aperture makes it easy to shoot at higher speeds without increasing much the ISO.
Now, when I look at these images I can definitely say that they are some of the worst wide angle images I have ever shot (with the exception maybe of the first one). The problem for me, is that I just don’t enjoy shooting a DSLR camera with a huge zoom lens. It’s large, heavy, and my hand easily gets tired from carrying all this weight. If I compare it to the Leica M7 / Voigtlander 15 or 21 combo, the difference in bulk, weight and ease of use is huge. I have also made some images with the Leica M at the same day, and I am sure that when I develop the film, I will get much better images.
It all gets down to what tool really inspires you for going out and making images. For a professional shooting the D700 / 14-24 setup is excellent, but for my photo trips it just doesn’t serve my needs. So, I will stay with my usual gear for now !!
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