There’s nothing more exciting to a photographer than acquiring a new lens. Today I received my 14mm f/2.8, finally a wide-angle for my full-frame camera!
I had put off getting a wide-angle when I bought my D700 because I find that I don’t always go wider than 24mm. I use my favorite 24-70mm about 90% of the time, and it usually gets the job done. But lately there have been a few instances that I wished I had something wider. When I was in Valencia, for instance, I could not get the Opera House covered in one frame even if I backed up into the middle of the road and oncoming traffic! And yes, I’ve considered that.
I did have other choices when I was making my decision on what to get. Since I had the Nikon 24-70mm and the 70-200mm, the 14-24mm did come to mind (very briefly though) — those are the perfect trio of lenses that Nikon users like to call the “trifecta” or the “holy trinity” of lenses. But aside from its jaw-dropping price, the 14-24mm turned me off due to its humongous size. I have no doubt it’s a beautiful lens as I have yet to see a bad review of it, but it had more cons to me than pros, the biggest of which is the weight which I can no longer handle when accompanied by my other 2 monstrous lenses.
I also considered another Sigma (15-30mm) since I was happy with the last Sigma I had. I had the Sigma 10-20 for my D200 and was impressed by it. But I thought the 15-30mm was still a little too big for my use.
And then there’s also the new Nikon 16-35mm which everyone I know seem to have these days. Still a little too big.
So, what it all came down to for me, other than quality, is the size and weight. Since I seem to need a wide-angle for only about 10% of the time as of yet, I looked at primes. The 14mm seems to fit the bill. It’s a nice chunk of metal in a sturdy compact size, weighs 670 grams, and it feels nice on my little fingers. As Ken Rockwell has said, “It feels like an iron softball,” and it sure does. It has a 114-degree picture angle and fast f/2.8 aperture (although I don’t think I’ll need that for my shooting style), aspherical, superior ED glass (ED stands for extra dough! in my opinion), and with what I’ve read it’s perfect for architectural photography because it’s rectilinear which means little barrel distortion and more straight lines. I do a lot of architectural photography, so this appeals to me.
I have not taken this baby out for a road test yet, so I can’t back up what I’ve just said. But I will let you know, or you can judge for yourself when you see my photos. Hopefully, it won’t put a damper to all these excitement.