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Old 04-01-2014, 11:28 AM
gregbradley's Avatar
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gregbradley is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 16,429
Best widefield lenses:

Nikon 14-24mm F2.8 ED
Zeiss 21mm F2.8
Zeiss 15mm F2.8
Contax Zeiss 28mm F2.8 contax yashica mount
Probably Leica R Elmarit 28m F2.8 V2 About $650 used. Some of the most stunning shots I have seen with a Sony A7r are with this lens.
I don't know how it is for Astro work though. I plan to get a copy in a month or so.
Nikon 18-35mm F2.8
Samyang 24mm F1.4 is good if you get a good copy.
Samyang 14mm also has a cine version. Not sure if its the same. I read a post about a Version 111 of this lens that addressed the distortion issue. Not sure if its true or a rumour.

I have a Canon FD 20 F2.8 I am about to try out. A Minolta Rokkor 24mm F2.8 (a little soft in the corners but should be ok for nightscapes if chromatic aberration is OK, I'll test it tonight probably).

Contax g Zeiss 28mm F2.8 - a bit of chromatic aberration.
Fuji 14mm XF on a Fuji camera is superb although a touch of coma in the top corners fo the last 10% of the image.

Nikon 28mm F2.8 - not so good. CA.

Canon 17-40 hmm, haven't seen a hot shot from that without a Polarie, longer exposures and stopping down to F5.6 (true of many lenses). Soft in the corners. Might need stopping down to F5.6. I am talking about lenses good wide open which you need if you want an image in 30 seconds ISO3200/6400. Zooms generally are a bit weaker with exceptions.
Zeiss Contax 35-70 I hear is a superb zoom lens and cheap. I have a Zeiss Contax Yashica 28 -85 I am about to try once the adapter arrives.
Its F3.5 though. That just means a bit longer on the Polarie so no biggie.

Generally speaking manufacturers seem to struggle big time making an ultrawide angle lens with little CA and distortion that is a reasonable size, that is sharp wide open corner to corner. The Nikon 14-24, Zeiss 15 and 21mm are the only ones I am aware of in that category. The Fuji 14mm is too but its an APS Fuji short flange distance lens (ie. won't work on any other camera - bummer). Canon 24-70 Mk 2 may be the way to go there. Or if budget is tight the Contax Yashica. I can post test results within a week and a half of that and the Canon FD.

I read good reports about Canon nFD 20mm F2.8 being sharp corner to corner.
Also Olympus 21mm F3.5.

I am talking about full frame lenses here except the Fuji XF14mm.

Nightscapes - the largest lens you'd really want to go would be 24mm ideally but with a squeeze and some mosaic work a 35mm.

In which case the Sigma 35mm F1.4 art series is considered the best lens in that class.I did see one MW shot on this site with that lens which was very very impressive indeed.

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