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Old Jun 4, 2006, 7:57 AM   #1
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I'm interested in peoples views on the following lens line up, considering use on film as well as digital.

Nikon 14mm f2.8D ED
Nikon 17-35mm f2.8D ED-IF
Nikon 50mm f1.4D
Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 ED AF-D (non VR)

I know they come at a price, but I'm interested if the quality is in proportion to this price.
Do good film lenses mean good digital lenses, or is there something out there thats better quality wise for digital?
With the exception of the 80-200 VR lens, is this as good as it gets with Nikon?

Does anybody out there own any of these and use both film and digital?

Thanks

Peter
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Old Jun 5, 2006, 1:44 AM   #2
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In reply to your question I haven' taken my film bodies out of the drawer, except during about of nostalgia, for several years. However I still have the 17/35 which is considered one of the finest zooms Nikon ever made and still is a fine lens on the D2X even though it is now 26/52 in field of view terms if not magnification. However I use the 17/55 more and more because of its convenience. Similarly the 80/200 was my standard portrait/telephoto for over 10 years but sits all alone in the cupboard since the release of the 70/200VR. That isn't to say though that it doesn't work well on a digital camera and for me it is better balanced than its replacement.

I don't have the 14mm but do have the 12/24 which again works well on either film or digital bodies. As regards the 50mm f1.4 I have used a different f1.4, the 105, but frankly find that buying this lens is more down to lens lust than a necessity since the depth of field is so wafer thin that for me it is more a studio lens if actuallyused at f1.4. I have a feeling that many people buy the lens and then later only use mostly from f1.8 down since it is so difficult to get consistently good results at f1.4. This then gives rise to consider the price difference and compare the serious money effectively wasted. In my bag are normally two bodies, SB800 flash, 12/24, 17/55 and the 70/200 with the TC14E. That will get me by in virtually all situations. I have loads of lenses I never use now, including an old 24/120, 75/300 500mm mirror, 18/70and also in the cupboard a 50mm f1.8 which I bought since at the price it seemed silly not to but which afterwards makes me look silly because I never use it!

In conclusion if a lens is good it is good and will work with either body type except the DX lenses which are purposely conceived for the digital market. In digital terms though a 50mm lens, effectively 75mm fov, is between a useful wide angle and a portrait length and not too much use really. Others will disagree though!
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Old Jun 5, 2006, 2:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for taking the time to answer my question Cameranserai,

Could I ask your opinion on the quality of the images using your 2 DX lenses, compared to the 17-35mm D?
How would you rate the three against each other for sharpness from centre to the corners of the image, and vignetting. Even if you don't use film anymore, your opinion on digital would be great.

Thanks

Peter
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Old Jun 5, 2006, 2:43 AM   #4
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Hmmm, a good question. The 17/35 is without doubt the finest zoom I feel Nikon have ever made and in a straight fight with the 17/55 wins hands down in terms of image quality no matter whether you are using digital or film. However lets not get too concerned here since you really have to look for ghosting to find it on the 17/55 and it is a physical fact that the more elements the greater the risk of ghosting. I use it more because the focal length is more practical. If you were to buy the 17/35 there will never be a day you will regret it. It is often referred to as "the warhorse of Nikon zooms"

When I am in the pits at Goodwood or many other circuits I can get really close to the machinery so the 12/24 and 17/35 are great lenses, but today after the practice of the 24 hour Le Mans race I have to stand outside the actual garage so the 17/55 will have to go with me and the 28/70 on the other body. Just for fun I have attached a photo. I bet you didn't know James Bond was racing! They numbered the car like that for the publicity.
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Old Jun 5, 2006, 3:05 AM   #5
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Thanks for help, thats what I needed to know.
Nice pic, how did Bond do?

Peter
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