14mm F/2.8 or 12-24 F/4
I am looking into possibly getting in the near future a nice wide angle lens. Currently, I have the D50 kit lens which is 18-55 F/3.5-5.6, and a 70-300 F/4-5.6 telephoto lens. While I have found some limits to my current setup (ie. lack of fast apaeture for indoor/dimly lit spaces) I am fairly happy with what I have.
One problem I am experiencing with what I currently have is that I just cant get a wide enough photo. Yeah, 18mm is pretty wide, but I am an architect (not a capital "A" Architect because I am not licensed yet) and in my field of work I go into a lot of people's homes, take photos of the existing home and use those photos to help me see existing circumstances, like outlet locations, heat duct vents, and anything else I may miss when drawing the as-builts. Anyways, the problem occurs where I stand in the corner of a room and I cant even see two full walls in the picture. I could take a bunch of photos in the room and stitch them together in post processing, but I don't want to mess with that, plus I really like the look of a nice wide angle photo.
So I have been looking into some wide angles. I don't really want much barrel distortion so I am going to rule out fish eye lenses. So that starts me at 14mm primes. Nikon and pretty much all third party manufacturers make a 14mm F/2.8 and I have to say that the photos I have see of these lenses are absolutely amazing. I like the wide angle of the 14mm and the large apaeture should work well for dimly lit spaces, which happen all the time is some of the old homes I go into.
I have been doing some research and came across the 12-24 F/4 as well. I have see some photos that these lenses take and they look very nice as well. I should do some more research and look at more photos from the different manufacturers to get a better feel of the capabilities of the lens.
Here are my likes and dislikes:
Nice fast apaeture of 2.8 which will work well in dim spaces.
114mm angle of view with almost no distortion.
Excellent color and clarity
Fills in all the wide angle gaps that I am missing with my 18-55.
Can use filters on outer glass
Regular lens cap for safe storage and less chance of scratches
Can not use regular filters on outer glass, must use filters at innermost glass
Possible scratching of lens if not using the most extreme of care.
Apparently has odd lens cap that tends to fall off is hit abruptly
Kinds big and bulky lens for carrying around all day
More barrel distortion at widest angle
Slower F/4 apaeture may still lead to darker/underexposed pictures
Cost wise they are about $50-100 apart, not that bad. So I would like some of your opinions on these two lenses.
Keep in mind that I use my camera for personal use as well, and like to take photos indoors a lot when Im with friends, so I dont carry a tripod with me when I go out. I have added a couple links to images that both of these lenses take. Take a look and tell me what you think. Im not looking to buy either of the lenses immediately, and more than likely I will try to rent both of them and see how they feel and what they can do in teh circumstances I plan on using them.
Sorry for the long post.
Nikon D300 | MB-D10 | Nikkor 12-24/4 | Nikkor 50/1.8 | Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VRI | Sigma 18-50/2.8 | SB-800 | SB-80DX (x4) | Radiopopper JrX Studio |