2010-06-18

Nikon 16-35mm f/4 & Heliopan 10 Stop ND Filter


Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens


This is a sharp lens, Probably not as sharp as the 14-24mm at the corners but still happy with the sharpness. However, the is definitely noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end, around 16-18mm. I don’t have this problem with my 14-24mm.

Samples


Here are some shots I took with the lens, coupled with a Heliopan 10 stop ND filter, at Turimetta Beach last weekend.

LT3_13976

LT3_13960


LT3_13951_2_3

LT3_14018LT3_14015

LT3_13944

LT3_13968

The results were tack sharp with zero colour cast. I really love long exposures and its effect on water.

Distortion

LT3_14010-2
Original
There is noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end. This was taken at 16mm, notice the distortion of the horizon and where it starts dipping at either end.

LT3_14010
Fixed using CS4
No biggie, easily fixed in CS4 using Filter>Distort>Lens Correction. Used +8 and did a little cropping and alignment of the horizon. LR 3 can also be used to correct any lens distortion.

LT3_14010_PTLens
Fixed using PTLens
The example below was fixed using PTLens. I used the plug-in for CS4 instead of the stand alone app. I like the way it fixes the distortion. The difference is subtle but it is there. See if you can spot the difference. PTLens is very easy to install and use.

Thanks again Andy for the heads up on PTLens.

Panoramas

I was interested in seeing if this lens was any good at doing panoramas. So I did a couple in both landscape and portrait modes.

LT3_14047_61_F-2
ISO 200 f8 1/400 16mm

LT3_14047_61_F_PT
Distortion fixed using PTLens.

This 180° panorama consist of 5 separate frames in portrait mode. Each frame contains 3 separate exposures (-1, 0 +1). This was then fused/blended using Photomatix Pro and stitched together in CS4 and tweaked in LR 2.7. Actual size is 5759 x 2881.

LT3_14107_127_F-2
ISO 200 f8 1/400 35mm
This 180° panorama consist of 7 separate frames in landscape mode. Each frame contains 3 separate exposures (-1, 0 +1). This was then fused/blended using Photomatix Pro and stitched together in CS4 and tweaked in LR 2.7. Actual size is 10985 x 2373.
I am very happy with how both the panoramas turned out.


Conclusion

If you are still trying to decide whether to get this lens (16-35mm) or the 14-24mm. I recommend that you get this one. It is tack sharp, cheaper and much lighter. This would be an excellent lens for travelling.

It is also much easier to get filters for this lens. You can use either screw-on filters, as it has a 77mm thread, or opt for square/rectangular filters made by Lee or Cokin.

If I didn’t already have the 14-24mm I’d be happy with just this lens. Besides being tack sharp, I really like the colours and contrast this lens produces.

Turimetta Beach – North Narrabeen


Map picture

2 comments:

Andy said...

Despite the fact that LR3, CR6 and PSCS5 come with a lens specific correction tool, I still prefer PTLens ( http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/ ). If you care a lot about straight lines, then this is the tool to go with. It has a wide range of supported lenses and cameras. And what's good is that the developer himself selects the best samples to use for correction. That way you get the best correction instead of dozens submitted in the future to Adobe database.

lozzmann said...

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the heads up. I've downloaded PTLens, I've had a quick play with it and it looks really promising. I like the way it fixes the distortion without losing too much of the content.

Thanks for visiting.

Regards