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Cheaper alternative to the NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8?


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#1 Leaviathan

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 11:30 AM

The 20mm f 2.8 is just what I'm looking for but the price is well above what I can justify for my skill level, is there a less expensive alternative that gives you pretty good results that comes in an AF-S format?


Nikon D-3300 18-55 VRII, 1971 Nikkor 135mm Q-Auto, Tamron 70-300 AF. Not much! But I'm working on mastering what I do have.


#2 480sparky

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 12:18 PM

"AF-S format" meaning........... you need lens-motor autofocus?


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#3 Peter

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 12:44 PM

I don't think many third-party lens manufacturers make a 20mm f2.8 prime, so a wide zoom for DX sensor (assuming it is for your D3300) with continuous maximum aperture of f2.8 would do the trick if you are not concerned with being able to use the lens on an FX body. The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is a good value lens for about $500.

 

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Edited by Peter, 07 August 2016 - 12:46 PM.


#4 Leaviathan

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 01:16 PM

"AF-S format" meaning........... you need lens-motor autofocus?

Yes, I have a D3300


Nikon D-3300 18-55 VRII, 1971 Nikkor 135mm Q-Auto, Tamron 70-300 AF. Not much! But I'm working on mastering what I do have.


#5 480sparky

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 03:56 PM

The Nikkor is pretty much in a class by itself in this case.


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#6 Peter

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 06:25 PM

And remember that that 20mm FX lens on a DX body will only have the angle of view of a 30mm lens on an FX body. 30mm focal length is not truly considered superwide, so if you want to get really wide using a DX body then you will perhaps need to look at something much wider, like in the 10mm to 12mm (or lower) focal length range.

 

Also, used Tamrons (17-50mm f2.8) can be had for well under $300USD. But like I state above, on the wide end that 17mm will have the same field of view as about a 26mm lens on an FX body - wide, but not superwide.

 

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#7 480sparky

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 06:37 PM

.....30mm focal length is not truly considered superwide..................

 

 

'Superwide', used only in conjuction with focal length, is meaningless.  FOV is a combination of both focal length and the medium used.

 

30mm on a 6x6 would be quite wide, and 30mm (if such a best existed) would be hellaciously wide on a 4x5.


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#8 Peter

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 07:28 PM

I didn't know Nikon made a 6x6 or a 4x5 body.


Edited by Peter, 07 August 2016 - 07:28 PM.


#9 480sparky

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 07:30 PM

I didn't know Nikon made a 6x6 or a 4x5 body.

 

They do make lenses.  Yes, even for large format............


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#10 Sailjunkie

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 08:35 PM

I don't think many third-party lens manufacturers make a 20mm f2.8 prime, so a wide zoom for DX sensor (assuming it is for your D3300) with continuous maximum aperture of f2.8 would do the trick if you are not concerned with being able to use the lens on an FX body. The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is a good value lens for about $500.

 

Peter

 

I agree with Peter on the availability of third-party 20mm lenses.  In addition to the Tamron, you may also want to consider a Sigma 10-20mm lens.  Available a f3.5 or f4.  Prices vary.

 

Speaking from personal experience, the Sigmas are very affordable, versatile lenses.  :)


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#11 480sparky

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 09:16 PM

Given the ability for tremendous DOF with such a lens, is AF truly needed?  If not, then you open yourself up to tons of options.


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#12 Black Pearl

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 06:37 AM

I'm not sure why you'd want a fixed 20mm for a DX camera as its a bit of a 'meh' focal length. It's certainly not what you'd call wide, it's not long enough to be a 'standard' lens and f2.8 isn't really fast so you'll struggle to get subject separation.

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#13 Leaviathan

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 06:07 PM

I'm not sure why you'd want a fixed 20mm for a DX camera as its a bit of a 'meh' focal length. It's certainly not what you'd call wide, it's not long enough to be a 'standard' lens and f2.8 isn't really fast so you'll struggle to get subject separation.

The website said it's wide angle, perhaps a Fisheye would be a better choice?


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#14 Arlon

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 06:22 PM

My first question would be "what do you want to shoot?".. If you want to shoot sports indoors in a confined area, the faster 2.8 lens makes sense. If you want to just get wider for outside shots then a cheaper slower zoom with a wider useful range would probably be more practical. My favorite DX lens is the 18-300mm Nikon lens. It is just so versatile. It is the lens that lives on my D7100. I have a ton of other lenses but that one just does everything so well. Third party, there are a lot of great lenses in the wider range (much wider than the 20mm will be on a D3300).. 


Edited by Arlon, 08 August 2016 - 06:23 PM.

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#15 Dennis

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 06:30 PM

Yeah, I agree. You need to articulate what you want to be able to do with it. That is always the first step.

Thanks, Dennis.

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#16 480sparky

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 07:33 PM

The website said it's wide angle, perhaps a Fisheye would be a better choice?

 

Fisheyes will come with the distortion they're known for.


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#17 Black Pearl

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 02:37 AM

The website said it's wide angle, perhaps a Fisheye would be a better choice?

 

The website?

 

I'm guessing thats Nikon's site and you're reading about FX lenses - in which case Nikon would assume you would be putting it on a FX body where 20mm will be wide. On your camera with the 1.5x crop you'd get the equivalent of a 30mm which is neither wide or long or much of anything if I'm honest. I know with the Fuji X system the 23mm f1.4 is popular but that gives (as near as makes no difference) a 35mm equivalent which is a very popular 'street lens' length so I suppose you could kind of argue a 20mm is similar but f2.8 isn't anywhere near bright enough and really its a bit too wide to be properly useful for that kind of shooting.

 

 

 

Remember you have an 18-55mm on your camera now so a 20mm won't even be as wide as you current have - you need a focal length lower than you have to get wider but as luck would have it this is a very popular range so there are lots of fantastic lenses available:

 

Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM - I used to own this lens, I actually bought one from the very first batch to hit the UK shores when it was launched and had years of stellar performance out of it. Its very wide, sharp when used correctly, its not too heavy and reasonably priced. The HSM is the same as Nikon's AF-S so you will get auto focus on your D3300.

 

Tamron SP 10-24MM F/3.5-4.5 Di II - very similar to the Sigma but with a little extra range and a tiny bit brighter. Performance is similar but from memory the Sigma can just pip it but you'd be splitting hairs in most day-to-day situations. 

 

Tokina AT-X 11-20 F2.8 PRO DX - this lens gets superb reviews and is a very popular choice for astro photographers because of its larger f2.8 fixed aperture. 

 

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED - if you want to stick with Nikon then this is the baby - its (hideously) expensive and if I'm honest doesn't offer any extra optical performance but I know some people like to stick with OEM kit so its here to compare.

 

There are others - including prime lenses - to chose from but these are the most popular and will give you an idea of what you need to be looking at and what sort of results you can get with them. Go on Flickr and search for groups dedicated to each lens to see what people are doing with them or just Google reviews to get a feel for their relative performances. 

 

Hope this helps.

 

BP


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#18 Leaviathan

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 05:25 AM

Actually it was the FX lens on the Nikon site.


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#19 Leaviathan

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 05:30 AM

My first question would be "what do you want to shoot?".. If you want to shoot sports indoors in a confined area, the faster 2.8 lens makes sense. If you want to just get wider for outside shots then a cheaper slower zoom with a wider useful range would probably be more practical. My favorite DX lens is the 18-300mm Nikon lens. It is just so versatile. It is the lens that lives on my D7100. I have a ton of other lenses but that one just does everything so well. Third party, there are a lot of great lenses in the wider range (much wider than the 20mm will be on a D3300).. 

It's sort of a neo conceptual art for music videos, a series of shots to mimic movement within a miniature stage set. So the shots will be close in, but not macro, and the shots need to cover areas about 20" x 20" wide with good detail.


Edited by Leaviathan, 09 August 2016 - 11:34 AM.

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#20 Sailjunkie

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 09:52 AM

BP has made some excellent suggestions, concerning alternative lenses.  I have the Sigma lens that he is talking about.  It served me well for many years.

 

Thanks for explaining what you want to do with the lens.  However, I fear that you might find that the fish eye doesn't give you the results that you are looking for.  

 

If you don't feel that a super wide zoom will give you the results that you are looking for, perhaps consider trying out a fish eye by renting it?  If you like the results; and if the need is ongoing, you can make a purchase.  However, if the results aren't what you are looking for, then you are only out the cost of the rental.  :)


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#21 Arlon

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 09:41 PM

It seems like if your building a mini stage you would have a lot of control of the light so fast sense might not be necessary unless you have to have the narrower DOF. 


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#22 Dennis

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 09:48 PM

20x20 inches, is it on the ground, where you going to shoot above? Are you looking for good DOF?

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#23 Leaviathan

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 05:23 AM

Yes mostly from above at an angle, a good DOF is desired


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#24 Black Pearl

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 09:51 AM

The lens you have will do that and as you want a deep DoF then you will need to stop down to f11ish so even your zoom will give corner to corner sharpness.


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#25 Leaviathan

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:51 PM

Thanks, I was experimenting from f5-f7 figuring that would be enough. I'm still new at this  B)


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#26 Arlon

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 02:27 PM

Thanks, I was experimenting from f5-f7 figuring that would be enough. I'm still new at this  B)

IF you are shooting in the F5-7 range there is really no reason to pay for the fast glass. Of course you can't experiment at F2.8 unless you have that lens. Fast glass is nice but it comes at such a cost that in my opinion, you really need to have a specific reason to buy it. It certainly has value for a lot of things but it also has issues with others. Everything is a trade off. 


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#27 Black Pearl

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 02:43 PM

Thanks, I was experimenting from f5-f7 figuring that would be enough. I'm still new at this  B)

 

Depending on how close you were shooting from you might even need a smaller aperture than f11 but you're going to run into diffraction issues so I'd run some experiments.


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#28 Pete

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 03:54 PM

The Nikon 20 2.8 AF/ AFD is one of the finest 20mm lenses available and has been around a long time so is quite reasonable on the used market.  I have had mine since using film and on my first DX camera, it was an awesome (30mm) walk around lens.  If you invest in a lens like this, it will last a lifetime.  Mine is an early Non-D AF version and I still use it today on FX.  You could go with an older MF 20 but metering and possible AI issues would be a challenge on the D5300.  If you plan on staying with DX for a while, the WA zooms mentioned above would probably be the best option.

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#29 Leaviathan

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 05:38 PM

I threw together a tile just to give everyone an idea of the concept I'm looking for, some will be bright, some will be dark, so I'm really going to have to play with the ISO and shutter speed as well.

 

1-tile2_zpsfz67tfs5.jpg


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#30 Leaviathan

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 06:10 PM

After recording an original song in Reaper 64 bit, I then insert the WAV file into Mixcraft 7 where I can also align hundreds or thousands of photos I take along the timeline the same way you would with Windows Moviemaker except I'm using better software. But the final painstaking product should look a lot like this. 


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