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24mm vs 28mm

Wandering Pugilist

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I'm looking to buy some Nikon glass and I have a budget that fits in the range of a 24mm f/2.8D prime lens and the 28mm f/2.8 prime lens. Correct me if I'm wrong, but my assumption is that the only difference between these two lenses is the length (is that the right term?)

I do a lot of work in low-light situations and I don't like flash all that much. I am mainly looking to use this as a portrait lens (I already own the 50mm 1.4) so I'm looking for something that can shoot a bit wider.

I also would like to find a nice prime lens to possibly shoot some landscape shots. Anyone with experience with either lens would be helpful or just advice in general.

Thanks!
 
I was literally comparing the 24mm f/2.8 and 28mm f/2.8 less than half an hour ago. Unfortunately, I couldn't find much info either, except that the 28mm costs less. Hopefully someone else knows.

If you don't mind, can I add a question? Is the "G" version only differentiated by its compatibility with that matrix metering sensor Nikon has?
 
First do a search online for reviews. sometimes the difference between 2 lenses is a lot more than (in this case) 4mm.

I do a lot of work in low-light situations
Which is cool, I do too.

and I don't like flash all that much. I am mainly looking to use this as a portrait lens (I already own the 50mm 1.4) so I'm looking for something that can shoot a bit wider.
First off, you are you missing out on INCREDIBLE opportunities by not learning how to control your own light via off camera flash. You can do things in controlled light that you NEVER will be able to do without it.

Second, wide lenses are TERRIBLE portrait lenses. The best portrait lenses are above 70mm, and are often as high as 200mm (85mm and 105mm are absolutely FANTASTIC for portraits). The reason for this is simple... distortion. EVERY wide angle lens has massive distortion. In terms of your portraits, can you say "chipmunk cheeks"?

I also would like to find a nice prime lens to possibly shoot some landscape shots. Anyone with experience with either lens would be helpful or just advice in general.

Landscapes... wide angle lenses are good and ULTRA wide angle lenses absolutely rule here. In landscapes, you do not care about that wide angle distortion. Since 99% of all landscapes are done in daylight, I would suggest that you look at the Sigma 10-20mm. Awesome lens. It is not fast, but it is incredible:

3063793831_14bb67e76f.jpg


And if it is dark, the nice thing about landscapes is that they do not move... lol. A tripod and a good location and you can get some really nice shots too:


(click on picture above for larger version)

BTW, to know about each of the individual lenses you asked about, visit HERE.
 
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First do a search online for reviews. sometimes the difference between 2 lenses is a lot more than (in this case) 4mm.

I did, but all I'm finding is that BOTH purchasers are saying BOTH lenses are awesome and there isn't much on contrasting and comparing the differences. Well, maybe I didn't look hard enough. Any suggestions?

Which is cool, I do too.
Great. Now we have something in common.

First off, you are you missing out on INCREDIBLE opportunities by not learning how to control your own light via off camera flash. You can do things in controlled light that you NEVER will be able to do without it.
I do own a SB-600 and am capable of taking flash portraits. The reason I am trying to get away from flash is because I am trying to do a photo documentary and I feel "flash" makes the photographer less "invisible" and distracts the subject from forgetting that there is a camera in their face. But thanks for making the assumption that I never learned how to control my own light before even asking. :thumbup:

Second, wide lenses are TERRIBLE portrait lenses. The best portrait lenses are above 70mm, and are often as high as 200mm (85mm and 105mm are absolutely FANTASTIC for portraits). The reason for this is simple... distortion. EVERY wide angle lens has massive distortion. In terms of your portraits, can you say "chipmunk cheeks"?
Great info. I do own a 50mm f1.4 but the subject is always so crammed when I try to take any type of portrait (and yes I know why). I am just tried of backing up (sometimes it is because I don't want to, most times it is because there is not enough room in the place I am shooting). I imagine a 70mm would make that situation worse. Is there anything you can suggest to help remedy this issue?

Landscapes... wide angle lenses are good and ULTRA wide angle lenses absolutely rule here. In landscapes, you do not care about that wide angle distortion. Since 99% of all landscapes are done in daylight, I would suggest that you look at the Sigma 10-20mm. Awesome lens. It is not fast, but it is incredible:

3063793831_14bb67e76f.jpg


And if it is dark, the nice thing about landscapes is that they do not move... lol. A tripod and a good location and you can get some really nice shots too:


(click on picture above for larger version)

BTW, to know about each of the individual lenses you asked about, visit HERE.
Awesome landscape shots. While I know a 24-28 would probably not generate the same quality shots, I was wondering if you thought it would be better to buy a 24-28 prime lens than use the kit lens of 18-55.
 
You don't state whether your are using a DX or FX body, but have you looked at the 35mm f/2. I think it makes a good protrait lens if you're going for a bit wider shot with limited space. Nice build quality, contrast and color rendition. Very sharp and good for low light.

I'm thinking the 24 or 28mm would give more distortion than desired for portraits..... but not completely sure. I'm looking at the 20mm or 24mm for landscapes.
 
I think a 28 is probably a good length on a crop body for doing documentary portrait work. Obviously it's not an ideal length for headshots but for environmental images a wide lens beats a telephoto every time. The problem is that the closer you get to your subject with a lens, the more distance increases relative to the lens. If you are 15 feet away from someone, a half an inch worth of difference between their eye and the tip of their nose is negligible, but if you are 15 inches from them it becomes a much more exaggerated distance because the nose is relatively much closer to the lens than the eye, making it appear huge. In other contexts you can play with this effect to make interesting images.

To me, a 24-70 would probably be an ideal lens in this situation-- wide to long, so you can do everything. Assuming that such a lens is out of your price range, I think any of the lenses discussed would be good length wise, but the 28 is probably best.
 
I will second the distortion issue as you go to a wider angle lens for portraits..

Remember, on a crop body camera, your focal length is 50 to 60% longer than it was on full frame film cameras.

I don't think that you should go shorter than about 35mm so you don't end up with long ears or humped shoulders on your subjects..

The obvious solution for you, in the long run, is to use good glass, but plan on a FF body if this is your passion and you are unable to "back-up".
 
Thanks for the replies!

I am using a Nikon D80. I guess I am trying to "get the best bang for my buck", which I know almost never works out in photography. My biggest concern is the room I have for shooting in a low-light situation (boxing gyms, so as you can imagine, not a whole lot of room). I'm not really looking to do headshots, as my 50mm has worked out, at least to my satisfaction it has. I am rather trying to capture entire subjects and with the 50mm, I have to back up, more than I want to at least.

So on Jerry's advice (Thanks bro), I am reading through many reviews on the net. It looks like I'd get more distortion with the 24 than the 28, but I also like to take landscape and I'm reading a 28 offers less versatility. So, in my situation, should I go for a 28 and save up to buy something SUPER wide angle, or just put in the extra $100 for the 24?
 
Wide-angle distortion is *less* significant on a crop when looking at a given lens. Perspective distortion is entirely a function of how far away the camera is from the subject. You could shoot a full body image with a wider angle (say, 28-35ish) and you wouldn't see any WA distortion in their facial features, etc. Wide angle is probably perfect for doing documentary shots of boxers-- I'm very jealous, really :)

My main concern is that 2.8 won't be fast enough.
 
Remember, on a crop body camera, your focal length is 50 to 60% longer than it was on full frame film cameras.
Please explain how the focal length will be longer on a cropped body(sensor). This is a misnomer often spewed on the net. It is the Field of View that is affected between the DX and FX sensors and the focal length does not change.
 
My thinking was always that 28mm was too wide for most of my shooting, but not wide enough when I want wide. Hence, it's usually 35mm or 24mm for my wide angle shots.
 
To expand on that-- the ONLY difference is that the edges are cropped off of the frame. If you stand in the same place and shoot with the same lens, but once with a crop and once with a full frame, and you cropped the full frame shot, the images would be identical. The difference in perspective happens because in order to get an image with similar *framing* on both cameras, you would need to change your position, therefore changing the distances between the camera and subject and altering the image's perspective.

Hence, a 50mm lens on a 1.5 crop and an 85 on a full frame will provide very similar perspectives for images with the same framing.
 
I was wondering if you thought it would be better to buy a 24-28 prime lens than use the kit lens of 18-55.

Kit lenses are... kit lenses and are cheap for a reason. A prime will give you better quality results each and every time. The thing is... is this prime the right focal distance for you when it comes time for your needs, well that is up to you to maybe rent or go to a local place and test it out... and as I mentioned, for landscapes, its about the same in focal length (little less wider, but nothing drastic) but for portraits, a lot of distortion, no matter what lens of that focal range you need (kit lens or prime). In terms of which prime, the link at the top will give you the info to select which is the better prime, but either will be better than a kit lens by far.

I am not understanding the making the photographer more invisible... I feel that a photographer cannot/should not be invisible to their subjects whenever you lift the camera to your eye... but what you could do is engage and connect with your model and make them feel comfortable. That way we don't need to become invisible, but are part of the process, even in a docmentary mode.

I can see how using the flash on camera "points" to you and explodes this light right into the face of your subjects and that is distracting as hell, and that is a secondary reason to get that flash off camera... first reason being superior results, of course.

This is more a style concern than anything else, and I am sure you have your reasons and ways of working that do good by you.

Good luck with your project and lens choice.
 
Kit lenses are... kit lenses and are cheap for a reason. A prime will give you better quality results each and every time. The thing is... is this prime the right focal distance for you when it comes time for your needs, well that is up to you to maybe rent or go to a local place and test it out... and as I mentioned, for landscapes, its about the same in focal length (little less wider, but nothing drastic) but for portraits, a lot of distortion, no matter what lens of that focal range you need (kit lens or prime). In terms of which prime, the link at the top will give you the info to select which is the better prime, but either will be better than a kit lens by far.
That's what I figured. Just wanted to be sure. I guess that was my biggest concern. How drastic was the 4mm in a landscape situation. I'm reading on the net that some people think 4mm is VERY noticeable, others, not so much. Of course I would like to save the $100 and just get the 28mm, but down the line, would it be better to just put in on the 24mm and have more versatility for the future, or what.

Also, is the distortion on subjects, well people, much more on a 24mm than a 28mm, or are we looking at similar distortion?

I am not understanding the making the photographer more invisible... I feel that a photographer cannot/should not be invisible to their subjects whenever you lift the camera to your eye... but what you could do is engage and connect with your model and make them feel comfortable. That way we don't need to become invisible, but are part of the process, even in a docmentary mode.

I can see how using the flash on camera "points" to you and explodes this light right into the face of your subjects and that is distracting as hell, and that is a secondary reason to get that flash off camera... first reason being superior results, of course.
I see your point. I mean if you can't see anything, what's the point of a photo right? But I guess the thing is, I'm trying to capture the subject and their behavior as natural as possible for both the subject and the viewer. Regardless of how comfortable you become with a subject (which may be an issue given I do not have a lot of time to build a good repertoire with them), I believe they will act differently, perhaps only slightly, but still differently than if they knew a camera wasn't there.

The other reason is I want to try and present the environment to the viewer as I see it. For instance, (and I am taking the words of a fellow boxing photographer), "If a gym is lit by only one hanging bulb, I want the viewer to see that."

But again, I see your point. That's is why I do go between flash and non-flash in this project, but I lack heavily in comparison in the non-flash department. Just looking to enhance it.

This is more a style concern than anything else, and I am sure you have your reasons and ways of working that do good by you.
Yeaahh...that's is what I am disappointingly realizing after reading all the reviews on the net and responses to this thread. I am indecisive as hell when it comes to purchasing lenses. I'm always just looking for the best lens to cover multiple situations (impossible I know), and thinking about the future, which inevitably changes. Guess I'm kinda stuck huh?

Good luck with your project and lens choice.
Thanks man. Same to you on your endeavors.
 
Wide-angle distortion is *less* significant on a crop when looking at a given lens. Perspective distortion is entirely a function of how far away the camera is from the subject. You could shoot a full body image with a wider angle (say, 28-35ish) and you wouldn't see any WA distortion in their facial features, etc. Wide angle is probably perfect for doing documentary shots of boxers-- I'm very jealous, really :)
Yeah I'm blessed really. Do you like shooting boxing as well?

My main concern is that 2.8 won't be fast enough.
Yeah I hadn't really thought about that (don't know why), but looking at my price range, the only other thing that fits is the 35mm f2.0. Would that be a better choice between the three given the speed?
 

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