Nikon wide angle question

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GregY

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Kowloon, I myself would choose the 20mm, since it's a much smaller lens...& cheaper.
Getting everything in is not always the answer. Shooting up at buildings, or trees, or mountains for that matter gives a particular view ....that keystone effect. Is it possible to access some buildings higher floors & photograph across at others?
 

Sirius Glass

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One problem with very wide angle lenses is that they may everything in the background very small.
 

ic-racer

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One problem with very wide angle lenses is that they may everything in the background very small.

Wait a minute you are fooling with me....don't they make everything up close very big??

download.jpg
 

rulnacco

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As it hasn't been suggested, may I humbly throw out the option of the 17-35/F2.8 AFS lens, if you're not limiting yourself to primes? It may indeed have a bit more distortion than some of the primes--you will want to read reviews carefully--but it has a reputation as being a very fine lens nevertheless. I have one, and I will vouch for it overall, although I generally *don't* use mine for architecture so I can't offer an opinion there.

It is wider--and faster--than some of the lenses recommended above. It is an autofocus lens, but as it has an aperture ring, it will work just fine on a manual focus camera, and indeed the focus ring is better for that than on a lot of other Nikon lenses. It is bigger than a prime, but not nearly so insanely massive as modern fast wide angle zooms. I frequently mount mine on my manual focus film Nikons, and it pairs quite well with them.

They can often be found at very reasonable prices, despite their once being super-expensive "pro" workhorse lenses. That's the one thing, do check the lens carefully if you're considering buying it, as many of these tended to stay glued on the front of pros' bodies, or at least one of their bodies, and may be a bit banged up internally.

You didn't say which body you have, but if you are using an autofocus body, this one will autofocus with practically all of Nikon's AF film cameras (and digital as well, including the Z-series with an adapter) because it has a built-in focusing motor. And of course you have the option of choosing the focal length you wish to use for a particular shot with this lens.
 

xkaes

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As it hasn't been suggested, may I humbly throw out the option of the 17-35/F2.8 AFS lens, if you're not limiting yourself to primes? .....

Back on Monday -- when this post started -- I suggested an 18-28mm zoom. There are others of course, such as an 18-35mm -- all full frame. I just got a new Sigma 12-24mm AF for $100 -- too good to pass up. No shortage of options.
 
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Kowloon

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Kowloon, I myself would choose the 20mm, since it's a much smaller lens...& cheaper.
Getting everything in is not always the answer. Shooting up at buildings, or trees, or mountains for that matter gives a particular view ....that keystone effect. Is it possible to access some buildings higher floors & photograph across at others?

I have read some reviews and so far I am going towards the 20mm (the 18mm is way too expensive but the 20mm is not cheap either regardless of it being 2.8 or 3.5). I can access buildings across but most of the time it is impossible.

You didn't say which body you have, but if you are using an autofocus body, this one will autofocus with practically all of Nikon's AF film cameras (and digital as well, including the Z-series with an adapter) because it has a built-in focusing motor. And of course you have the option of choosing the focal length you wish to use for a particular shot with this lens.
Nikon F from 1963. So not AF unfortunately. I can only get a manual focus lens.

Here is a practical example of how far I can be from what I want to take. In that example a picture of the fire station visible on street view. Down below is my result with a 28mm.

000035630035-min.jpg



And down below is what I would like (more or less) to get.

Sans titre.jpg
 

xkaes

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I just got an 18-28mm full-frame, manual-focusing zoom for $15 on EBAY. I already had one, but this was too good to pass up. They were made in Nikon F mount as well. There are other similar zooms too from Vivitar, etc.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/164930494680
 

grain elevator

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I think you need a perspective correction / tilt-shift lens. Otherwise you will have converging verticals on a picture like that, and to an extent that will incur a big resolution loss if you correct a scan in pp.
 

GregY

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Absolutely.... perspective control lens is the only way to get a photograph like that
 

Rolleiflexible

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Don't @ me but getting a rectilinear image of tall buildings from ground level is next-to-impossible for a 35mm film camera. Your options, realistically, are a large format film camera with front and rear adjustments, or digital camera images with keystoning and proportions adjusted in post. You could shoot 35mm film, scan it, and make adjustments to the scan in post, but by then you will have overtaxed the limits of 35mm film. If you are fully committed to a 35mm SLR, you need to rethink the kinds of images you realistically can make with it.

And if you do stick with the Nikon F, I repeat my earlier rave for the 1960s 20mm Nikkor-UD -- a fantastic lens, and easily found for not a lot of money on the used market.
 

xkaes

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As I've mentioned above, another option is to keep the lens level and use a wider lens -- in portrait format.
 

Mick Fagan

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And if you do stick with the Nikon F, I repeat my earlier rave for the 1960s 20mm Nikkor-UD -- a fantastic lens, and easily found for not a lot of money on the used market.

This is the second time Sanders has suggested this lens, not knowing anything about it I decided to look it up in my Nikon Compendium.

The very first 20mm was the Nikkor-UD 20mm, f/3.5 consisting of 11 elements and easily distinguished by its large 72mm filter thread. At the time it appeared in 1967 it was Nikon's most extreme wide-angle lens and also the first retrofocus design of this focal length.

Source: Compendium Handbook of the Nikon System, Rudolf Hillebrand, Hans-Joachim Hauschild. Page 129.
 

rulnacco

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Nikon F from 1963. So not AF unfortunately. I can only get a manual focus lens.

Well, that was one point I was making--you *can* use the autofocus lens on a Nikon F. It won't immediately work with the meter, if you have a metering finder, because it lacks the "rabbit ears" coupling for the meters of earlier Nikons. Although if you want to, you *can* attach the meter coupling ears! Given Nikon's one-time commitment to backwards compatibility, all or nearly all autofocus lenses they made with aperture rings actually have two little dimples on them showing where the screws to hold the meter coupler in place can be inserted and screwed in--if you get the coupling ears and screws, in less than two minutes you can convert the lens to work perfectly with a Nikon F, including metering.

The reason I recommended the 17-35/2.8 AFS, besides it being faster and wider than some of the lenses suggested previously (and more flexible, being a zoom), is that it actually works particularly well on manual focus Nikon cameras: it isn't enormous, like current zoom lenses are (it should balance quite well on an F), and it features a very good focusing ring for manual focus. Many Nikon AF lenses had crappy focusing rings, but this particular lens has a focusing ring that makes manual focusing very easy indeed. As I mentioned, I do fairly frequently use my 17-35 on my manual focus Nikons (FE, F2 and F3), and it works very well!
 
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ic-racer

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Depending on the type of enlarger you have, you may not need a shift lens to straighten converging parallel lines.
Durst Perspective correction.jpg
 

Sirius Glass

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Well, that was one point I was making--you *can* use the autofocus lens on a Nikon F. It won't immediately work with the meter, if you have a metering finder, because it lacks the "rabbit ears" coupling for the meters of earlier Nikons. Although if you want to, you *can* attach the meter coupling ears! Given Nikon's one-time commitment to backwards compatibility, all or nearly all autofocus lenses they made with aperture rings actually have two little dimples on them showing where the screws to hold the meter coupler in place can be inserted and screwed in--if you get the coupling ears and screws, in less than two minutes you can convert the lens to work perfectly with a Nikon F, including metering.

The reason I recommended the 17-35/2.8 AFS, besides it being faster and wider than some of the lenses suggested previously (and more flexible, being a zoom), is that it actually works particularly well on manual focus Nikon cameras: it isn't enormous, like current zoom lenses are (it should balance quite well on an F), and it features a very good focusing ring for manual focus. Many Nikon AF lenses had crappy focusing rings, but this particular lens has a focusing ring that makes manual focusing very easy indeed. As I mentioned, I do fairly frequently use my 17-35 on my manual focus Nikons (FE, F2 and F3), and it works very well!

In 2004 my girlfriend won a new Tamron 28mm to 300mm AF zoom lens for me at Bel Air Camera. Since I was about to fly out of town back to work in Rochester New York at Kodak, I wanted a camera to use it with. I had for decades used Minoltas and mine could not use the lens. I was shown a Nikon and a Canon camera. Time was too short to go through the features so I remembered the Canon had changed it lens mount for wider diameter lenses while Nikon had kept the upward and downward lens capability. I chose Nikon based on that alone.
 
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Kowloon

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I wasn't even aware of the existence of PC lenses prior to making this thread. And as far as I can see, it looks complicated to use. Especially if I need to have a tripod and so on. But I will look more into it.

Don't @ me but getting a rectilinear image of tall buildings from ground level is next-to-impossible for a 35mm film camera. Your options, realistically, are a large format film camera with front and rear adjustments, or digital camera images with keystoning and proportions adjusted in post. You could shoot 35mm film, scan it, and make adjustments to the scan in post, but by then you will have overtaxed the limits of 35mm film. If you are fully committed to a 35mm SLR, you need to rethink the kinds of images you realistically can make with it.

And if you do stick with the Nikon F, I repeat my earlier rave for the 1960s 20mm Nikkor-UD -- a fantastic lens, and easily found for not a lot of money on the used market.

What kind of large format camera? A Mamyia RB67, for example?
I did see the 20mm Nikkor-UD but I also read that there is much more distortion compared to the AIS ones, so I do not really know what to think.
Depending on the type of enlarger you have, you may not need a shift lens to straighten converging parallel lines.
I guess that an enlarger is used in the dark room? I give all my films to develop, I am still very much a rookie.
 

ic-racer

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I guess that an enlarger is used in the dark room? I give all my films to develop, I am still very much a rookie.
Exactly! If you are shooting slide film then you need a shift lens. Otherwise corrections can be done when making prints from negatives in the darkroom.
Shift lenses are really easy to use with an SLR. You can watch the image as you shift the lens upward to see things as you go.
shift lens.png
 

xkaes

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A shift lens would help, but it is not likely to help you in your situation. First, you have to have one for your camera mount. And most are only made in 35mm and 28mm. If you are close to the subject, it won't help very much. More importantly, they are very expensive.
And since you don't have a darkroom, forget about the enlarger trick.
Your best options are to move back as much as you can, get the camera as high as you can, get the widest lens you can afford -- AND HOLD IT LEVEL. Then chop off the bottom of the picture.
 

abruzzi

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What kind of large format camera? A Mamyia RB67, for example?

thats medium format. The comment about "large format" should probably have been specifically a "view camera". They are usually large format (4x5 or larger) but are sometimes medum format. The trick with view cameras is you buy a lens with significantly more image circle that you need, then you adjust the position and angle of the lens or the rear of the camera. This lets you look higher without pointing the camer up and causing the parallel lines to converge. My guess is this isn't what you want. Its a very slow deliberative process that requires a tripod.
 

Sirius Glass

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I wasn't even aware of the existence of PC lenses prior to making this thread. And as far as I can see, it looks complicated to use. Especially if I need to have a tripod and so on. But I will look more into it.

A PC lens can be used hand held. I use it that way.
 

lxdude

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Correction: Going wider than the Nikon 30 20mm lens may add distortion. Check the wider lenses carefully for distortion.

Yeah I was thinking, I know Pentax made a 30mm, but I never heard of Nikon's 30mm...
 

Sirius Glass

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Yeah I was thinking, I know Pentax made a 30mm, but I never heard of Nikon's 30mm...

Hasselblad has a 30mm lens and it is a FishEye. Think out side 35mm.
 
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