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Old 12-21-2018   #41
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Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
When I read the title of this thread, I rolled my eyes thinking it was a request for recommendations for "fast wide primes". Uggh. Then I read the OP's comment above and said, "attaboy".

There was never a need for a fast "wide prime" in any era. But I guess the question is "what do you mean by wide and what do you mean by fast?". Camera companies 'll make "whatever" spec'd lens that will sell, like silly fisheye lenses (because that's not a cliched one trick pony). If enough suckahs want to pay thousands for a lens, and don't mind lugging a brick around they'll gladly oblige. And charge you for that privilege.

But a 24/2.8 isn't a bad lens to have if that's "fast enough" and "wide enough" because these days I've read people say that spec is neither (which provokes eye rolls...) Here's one. I have it. Good luck finding it. The venerable (and old) 24/2.8 Sigma Super Wide II. Got mine on eBay for $60 or so years ago on the big auction site. It's the rebadged Quantaray variant which is even cheaper and harder to procure. Photodo rates it higher (MTF) than the Nikon version. Autofocuses (if your camera has a focus motor -- think "D" not "G" series) and everything. It focuses closer than the Nikon too (Bills itself as a "macro lens". I don't know about that but it focuses pretty darn close...)

I picked up an ultrawide zoom a year or so ago when I was toying with the idea of doing some real estate work and also for landscapes. To me ("me") there's really only one sensible choice in this category -- the Tokina 17-35/f4 ATX. It's f4! It's slow! It "only" goes to 17mm, not 16 or 14! It's not "sharp in the corners" until f8! Well, yeah. It's also 1/3 the cost and 1/2 the weight of the other choices. You shoot these things at f8, f11 mounted on a tripod outdoors or with a speedlight indoors anyway. And the Tokina doesn't skimp on build quality. (They never do.) Don't use it much.

And who gets a WA lens for its "bokeh"? Who are these people? None of them have good "bokeh". I love reading reviews that criticize an optic of a 35mm or wider lens for its "nervous bokeh." I'll tell who must get "nervous" -- the optical engineers who design them when they read this crap. I'd be reaching for the cheap bourbon in a brown paper bag to quell my "nervousness" if I was them. They're wide angle lenses! You're not shooting headshots and portraits with these things, are you? I hope not. The whole point (just about) of them is for wide depth of focus, at least that's what I thought. Yes, I want to take lovely fun house mirror portraits with lovely watercolor-esque blurred out backgrounds. It's art! Make sure it has 25 rounded aperture blades -- perish the thought of angular bokeh balls. (First world problems, these angular bokeh balls...) And nothing slower than f1.2! I'm a "natural light"(tm) photographer (because I never learned how, when, why to use a speedlight...)
I had that Sigma when I last had a DSLR... it was good, I bought the Nikon version and it was not much better, but I sold it for a great profit. The only reason I have for so called fast primes and its the 1.8 versions is they are either what is available or are better quality. I avoid 2.8 zooms though they are much too heavy.
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Old 12-21-2018   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
There was never a need for a fast "wide prime" in any era.
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Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
And who gets a WA lens for its "bokeh"? Who are these people? None of them have good "bokeh".
Staggering.
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Old 12-21-2018   #43
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Staggering.
Why would you seek out a wide angle lens for its "bokeh characteristics"? Bokeh is as much (actually more) of a characteristic of focal length (tele) and distance to subject than wideness of apertures. Bokeh is used for subject isolation. It is something you look for in 50mm or longer focal lengths. Why would you get a wide angle lens and shoot so close to a subject -- especially human subjects, so as to distort them? Then fret because you don't like how the out of focus areas render? WA lenses are for getting as much of the X, Y axis in the frame and as much of the Z axis in focus as possible. The only time I use the 24/2.8 I referenced's close-focus capability is if I stumble upon a blot or a knot or something and happen to have that on the camera and want to shoot in tight -- not something you typically do with a lens this wide and not something anyone does very often. I'm not worried about the lens's "bokeh" in those rare cases.

As for speed. You gain a good stop or two just by virtue of the fact that you can shoot handheld at lower shutter speeds with a WA lens. This is why having a WA lens with vibration reduction is far less important than with a telephoto. Sure -- it's better to have wide apertures than not and speed is always better. But performance suffers more wide open, they're bigger, and they cost more. It's less important because the application of a wide angle lens in not usually for low light candid photography and you gain a couple stops in shutter speed (like I said).

You're better off using a flash with these lenses indoors, maximize their depth of field and get a nice crisp image and shoot at working apertures instead of "wide open" at slow shutter speeds hand-held and then worrying about "bokeh" in a WA lens.

"Staggering"
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Old 12-21-2018   #44
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Why would you seek out a wide angle lens for its "bokeh characteristics"?
Because bokeh is a buzzword and using it shows you are in the know.
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Old 12-21-2018   #45
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Because bokeh is a buzzword and using it shows you are in the know.
Still?

(This unnecessary sentence is being inserted to fulfill RFF's silly 10 character minimum message requirement.)
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Old 12-21-2018   #46
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Actually, know what you really want with a WA lens? NO bokeh! Ever!
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Old 12-21-2018   #47
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Actually, know what you really want with a WA lens? NO bokeh! Ever!
Why would you want everything in perfect focus at all times? Why would you not want flexibility and control over your images?
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Old 12-21-2018   #48
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Why would you want everything in perfect focus at all times? Why would you not want flexibility and control over your images?
I don't. And in those times I use a lens with a different focal length. A 50? An 85? A 135? Heck -- even a 35. But when I do want everything in focus all the time, and I want to fit everything in the frame, I might use a WA lens.
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Old 12-21-2018   #49
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Why do you keep lobbing this stuff and beating people over the head with it? Good god man, live and let live ok?

A few years ago I shot an entire kids pajama ad campaign using a 20mm 1.8 wide open, the A.D. and the client were floored at how fun the images were, some of the whimsical lifestyle stuff quite close.

I have an assignment coming that is advertorial for lack of a better term. In some shots I will be using either or both my 24mm 1.8 and 20mm 1.8 to make close up portraits of people off to one side that will create lead in and lead out negative space for text.

These are tools for creative vision so I just don’t understand all the limited scope thinking displayed in this thread. Maybe you need to hear what I tell the young photographers I mentor: learn the rules so you can break them in all the right ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
Why would you seek out a wide angle lens for its "bokeh characteristics"? Bokeh is as much (actually more) of a characteristic of focal length (tele) and distance to subject than wideness of apertures. Bokeh is used for subject isolation. It is something you look for in 50mm or longer focal lengths. Why would you get a wide angle lens and shoot so close to a subject -- especially human subjects, so as to distort them? Then fret because you don't like how the out of focus areas render? WA lenses are for getting as much of the X, Y axis in the frame and as much of the Z axis in focus as possible. The only time I use the 24/2.8 I referenced's close-focus capability is if I stumble upon a blot or a knot or something and happen to have that on the camera and want to shoot in tight -- not something you typically do with a lens this wide and not something anyone does very often. I'm not worried about the lens's "bokeh" in those rare cases.

As for speed. You gain a good stop or two just by virtue of the fact that you can shoot handheld at lower shutter speeds with a WA lens. This is why having a WA lens with vibration reduction is far less important than with a telephoto. Sure -- it's better to have wide apertures than not and speed is always better. But performance suffers more wide open, they're bigger, and they cost more. It's less important because the application of a wide angle lens in not usually for low light candid photography and you gain a couple stops in shutter speed (like I said).

You're better off using a flash with these lenses indoors, maximize their depth of field and get a nice crisp image and shoot at working apertures instead of "wide open" at slow shutter speeds hand-held and then worrying about "bokeh" in a WA lens.

"Staggering"
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Old 12-21-2018   #50
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Actually, know what you really want with a WA lens? NO bokeh! Ever!
The bold text seemed to be telling me what I want, which is no bokeh ever with wide angle. And that's incorrect. What I want is control.

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Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
I don't. And in those times I use a lens with a different focal length. A 50? An 85? A 135? Heck -- even a 35. But when I do want everything in focus all the time, and I want to fit everything in the frame, I might use a WA lens.
I don't think this thread is about 135 and 85mm lenses, but what I want from those focal lengths is the same as what I want from wide angle: control.
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Old 12-21-2018   #51
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Originally Posted by jawarden View Post
Speed is good. If all else fails, speed is good.
To an extent, yes; I'd say: speed is *fun*.

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Originally Posted by jawarden View Post
Why would you want everything in perfect focus at all times? Why would you not want flexibility and control over your images?
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Originally Posted by jawarden View Post
The bold text seemed to be telling me what I want, which is no bokeh ever with wide angle. And that's incorrect. What I want is control.

I don't think this thread is about 135 and 85mm lenses, but what I want from those focal lengths is the same as what I want from wide angle: control.
Wait wait wait, you want control more than you want fun? Hmmmm... a humble Volkswagen is much easier to control than a Porsche, let alone a Ferrari...

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Old 12-21-2018   #52
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To an extent, yes; I'd say: speed is *fun*.

Wait wait wait, you want control more than you want fun? Hmmmm... a humble Volkswagen is much easier to control than a Porsche, let alone a Ferrari...

I'm not sure what to say, but I never used the word fun in this thread so I don't know how you reached your conclusion about Volkswagens, which I also didn't mention. Sheesh.

Fun, since you mentioned it, is why I photograph because it's not my job but an enjoyable hobby. If it wasn't fun I wouldn't do it.
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Old 12-21-2018   #53
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I'm not sure what to say, but I never used the word fun in this thread so I don't know how you reached your conclusion about Volkswagens, which I also didn't mention. Sheesh.

Fun, since you mentioned it, is why I photograph because it's not my job but an enjoyable hobby. If it wasn't fun I wouldn't do it.
Look, since I'm also just a hobby photographer, the entire debate is absolutely furrfu, IMHO
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Old 12-22-2018   #54
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...
Wait wait wait, you want control more than you want fun? Hmmmm... a humble Volkswagen is much easier to control than a Porsche, let alone a Ferrari...
Perhaps you were being sarcastic.

But if you weren't, I can say from first hand experience a Porsche is much easier to control than a VW. I have not had the opportunity to drive a Ferrari so I can't compare one to a VW.
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Old 12-22-2018   #55
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Perhaps you were being sarcastic.

But if you weren't, I can say from first hand experience a Porsche is much easier to control than a VW. I have not had the opportunity to drive a Ferrari so I can't compare one to a VW.
Perhaps you don't live in a mountainous region. Anyways, in mountainous regions a VW is much easier to drive
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Old 12-22-2018   #56
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Perhaps you don't live in a mountainous region. Anyways, in mountainous regions a VW is much easier to drive
What age VW? What elevation?
If were talking air cooled, the Porsche wins hands down. Above about 8500ft, both start to suck but at least the Porsche can get out of its own way.
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Old 12-22-2018   #57
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Old Porsche cars resemble VW cars in appearance.
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Old 12-22-2018   #58
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What age VW? What elevation?
If were talking air cooled, the Porsche wins hands down. Above about 8500ft, both start to suck but at least the Porsche can get out of its own way.
Phil Forrest
Phil, I profoundly doubt that they have 4,600 or 5,400 ft elevations (like the passes in my immediate vicinity), let alone an 8,500 ft elevation where willie_901 lives -- actually, there in Show Me State, they call little hills of mere 1,630 ft huuuuge *mountain peaks*

I guess, we can agree: it's useful to have more than one vehicle. (And when one has more than one house, in different environments, this applies the more; our Subaru and our Ford are the right choice when we go skiing in the resort where we have our weekend cottage; when we go swimming, playing tennis, whatever, it's something different of course! Wait, the Ford is also good when I'm my children's fencing chauffeur )

Back to lenses: the ultra-fast WA lens may be useful under certain conditions; but it's certainly not the ideal all-(a)round lens!
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Old 12-22-2018   #59
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Old Porsche cars resemble VW cars in appearance.
They had the same designer.

As for "mountains", I grew up in New Mexico and Colorado, so I expect when people say that word to mean it. I live in Philadelphia and I have heard that there are mountains on the east coast, an entire range in fact. I've driven over these hills numerous times but I wouldn't call them mountains.
When the actual altitude (from sea level) of a peak is less than the average ascent of a western USA mountain bike race, its not a mountain by any stretch of the word.

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Old 12-22-2018   #60
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They had the same designer.

As for "mountains", I grew up in New Mexico and Colorado, so I expect when people say that word to mean it. I live in Philadelphia and I have heard that there are mountains on the east coast, an entire range in fact. I've driven over these hills numerous times but I wouldn't call them mountains.
When the actual altitude (from sea level) of a peak is less than the average ascent of a western USA mountain bike race, its not a mountain by any stretch of the word.

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Fun fact the highest and lowest points in the lower 48 states are with in a two hours drive of each other.
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Old 12-22-2018   #61
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They had the same designer.
Not only that —— at least in Austria, all car dealerships where you can buy new VWs belong to the Porsche family
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