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Nikon 16-35 ?


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#1 John Bantin

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:59 AM

I have enjoyed great success with the Sigma 15 on both the D700 and D800, with sharp pictures from edge to edge, but have envied some divers I've seen going in with the Nikon 16-35 lens. What are the drawbacks to using this lens? How closely does it focus? Does one need to use dioptres?
Only those with real world experience, please let me know your thoughts.

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#2 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:14 PM

What about all of us with mere unsubstantiated personal opinion? How are we to contribute to this thread??!!?
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#3 loftus

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:35 PM

John,
I use both the 16-35mm and 15mm. I like both. The only drawback of the 16-35 in my opinion is that it requires a larger dome than the 15mm for the best corners , but I think that applies to all wide angle rectilinear lenses over fisheyes. It focuses to about 11 inches. No dioptres are needed at least with the Zen 230 dome which I use.
There are times for the 15mm like really big animals - particularly in poor viz where getting close is essential, and there are times for the 16-35 for a more normal perspective and more flexibility to zoom.
On my recent trip, the images I posted that you commented on, I chose the 15mm for the giant mantas in less than perfect viz. Most of my pool work and for wide angle in clear water I'd mostly choose the 16-35.

Edited by loftus, 18 September 2012 - 12:54 PM.

Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#4 udi62

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:40 PM

Haven't got my D800E housing yet, but, I do own the 16-35/4 and know it very well from above water photography and from using it on my D7000 underwater.
I"ve replaced it from my 14-24 2.8 which I"ve found the best wide angle lens, but a very heavy with short zoom range.
I"ve found the 16-35 very sharp in the center, even at F/4 but soft on the edges and with distortion on the sides on my D700.
Stoping down a bit, the edges are very sharp too and as a miracle, on the D800, the distortion disappears !!!
The lens is fast,accurate and has no problems in low light conditions.
It focuses at around 28 cm'/11.02"
I love the lense and going to use it with my Sigma 15 FISHEYE.

#5 adamhanlon

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:41 AM

Hi John,

I've used the 16-35mm with the D800. It works very well and focuses pretty close. Certainly, I've not been aware of any issue with close subjects. It does not need a diopter.

It does need a big dome though, 9" or more to get good corner sharpness. This may be an issue for you with your travelling.

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1/25 at f18 ISO1250. Lens at 16mm.

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#6 eric black

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:24 AM

due to travelling I am planning on using this lens with an 8 inch dome port on an Aquatica rig. Can someone comment on just how soft the corners are using this lens with a smaller than 9" dome port? For example, does the softness go away with increasing f-stops or by zooming a bit? I'm really hoping to cover the wide end of the spectrum with just this lens as travel restrictions to some of the places I go are getting pretty strict. I should also mention, Ill be using a D800 as well.

Edited by eric black, 19 September 2012 - 09:26 AM.


#7 loftus

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:35 AM

due to travelling I am planning on using this lens with an 8 inch dome port on an Aquatica rig. Can someone comment on just how soft the corners are using this lens with a smaller than 9" dome port? For example, does the softness go away with increasing f-stops or by zooming a bit? I'm really hoping to cover the wide end of the spectrum with just this lens as travel restrictions to some of the places I go are getting pretty strict. I should also mention, Ill be using a D800 as well.

There was a discussion on this here; Rene Zuch found he was able to get acceptable corners by adjusting the extension he used
http://wetpixel.com/...ic=46334&st=160
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#8 Michael

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:36 PM

Hi John,

I bought the 16-35mm one year ago and use it on my two D700 for both topside and uw (with the Aquatica glass 9.25 dome and 63.5mm/2.5 extension ring). I've used it with/wo diopter and can't tell the difference. I love the lens and at one point used it for 200+ dives straight without switching to my other favorite, the Nikon 16mm. To me, occasional corner softness catches my eye (depending on settings) but doesn't bother me at all bc image buyers don't notice it/care. I guess only photographers catch these details). I also notice some distortion along the edges but again to me no big deal.

It's a fast focusing lens but not as fast as the 16mm, in my experience. Low light? No worries. I've done three cold & dark trips this year (British Columbia 2x and North Carolina - just back last night. Conditions were challenging: low viz due to swells from Atlantic storms and deep wrecks. Lens focused spot on sand tigers and other deep sea goodies.

What I especially like is the zoom. I rarely, if ever, have to crop an image. I hope this helps.

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#9 Longimanaus

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:08 AM

I have this lens on my D700 and I use the Zen 230mm dome. I have a hard time finding a fault with this rig. Perfect for large pelagics, walls, schools and very sharp in low light. I find this lens very useful when I run the ISO up to 400 and try to shoot sub 1/100 (for saturation) with the tightest f stop I can manage (low light shots of pelagics just below the surface). I am after that rich blue background. The corners are sharp, although I have not tried a smaller dome.

I am very happy with the fast focus in low light too. No hunting at all. I don't find the zoom to be an issue. Most of the subjects you will drop this lens on for will be within a few metres so you can pick your focal points and get super sharp results. This means you can zoom and crop in post-production (heresy to some).

Its an expensive lens but worth every penny both topside and underwater. There is a reason Ken Rockwell has it in his top 5.
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#10 buddy

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:23 AM

I have used the 16-35mm /f4 VR lens within the last 2 years (last time in Cocos this June) on full frame D3s with Subal standard 8 inch port with extension ring 60. It works well, no diopter. Will use it further on with D4 in Subal with same dome/ext.ring.

Was thinking to switch to the 14-24 /f2.8 (since the new subal port type 4 would let me allow to use this lens). But being unsure regarding IQ and usability.
I read Ken Rockwells test notes about both lenses and he definitely prefers the 16-35 over 14-24 for sharpness, corners, moiré, aliasing, etc.
Subal told me the combo 14-24 and 9 inch dome port is much better...

Any opinions/experiences on that?

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#11 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:44 AM

The 14-24mm is a better lens than the 16-35mm above water. However, underwater the 16-35mm works much better than the more expensive 14-24mm when behind a dome port. Both lenses are OK for shooting pelagics, but on the 'reef' (where there will be something other than blue water in the corners of the frame) then the 16-35mm is a much better bet.

Subal's 9" port is the one made by Zen (AFAIK). I have used this with both the 14-24mm and 16-35mm and I can assure you that (not for the first time) Subal's port advice is incorrect. I still don't know who they rely on for this information - especially when you consider that some of their dealers are highly experienced and properly informed about these things.

For John, I think it is unnecessary because the D800 and Sigma 15mm should provide all the versatility needed (given the cropability of the files).

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#12 loftus

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:10 AM

I read Ken Rockwells test notes about both lenses and he definitely prefers the 16-35 over 14-24 for sharpness, corners, moiré, aliasing, etc.

I would be cautious of anything Ken Rockwell says for topside photography, never mind applying it to underwater. The 14-24 is a superb lens by any standards, just difficult to use underwater behind a dome. Love the hammerhead pic...

Edited by loftus, 25 September 2012 - 05:12 AM.

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#13 eyu

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:54 AM

Question, should I junk my 17-35 mm and get a 16-35 mm instead?? Will I see that much of a difference between the two lens?
With the 8 inch dome, what extension works best?

thx, Elmer

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#14 loftus

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:59 AM

I think the edges are a little better with the 16-35, and you do not need a dioptre, otherwise you will not see a difference.
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#15 eyu

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:11 AM

OK. I'll give the 17-35 a try then.

thx,

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#16 buddy

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:04 PM

ok, thanks...so I think I better remain with the current combo of 8 inch dome and 16-35 and even save some big $$$$$$ (by not investing in 14-24 and bnigger dome port and new zooms rings, extension rings etc. etc.). Wonderful...usually it is the contrary....
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