I've previously talked about the Nikon 28mm f1.8 prime lens when comparing it to the wide end of the Nikon 28-300mm and on that occasion noted how wonderfully sharp the 28mm prime lens is not only in the centre but edge to edge also. Since doing that test, I've paid much more attention to edge to edge sharpness in my final images and it has encouraged me to use the 28mm prime more regularly. Undoubtedly, the results are significantly more satisfying if you want the highest quality images and a sunny winter's day just before Christmas saw me head out with the D800 with the 28mm attached for a walk around the Limehouse basin: it looks so nice it is hard to believe it's within Greater London.
Grabbing a quick shot inside Canary Wharf DLR station also highlighted the capabilities of both lens and camera. The light ranges from the bright sun lit skies through the glass ceiling to heavy indoor shadows but the overall result, which is also pin sharp throughout, really allowed me to capture the scene as I saw it right there and then (and with minimal fuss, for TFL/Canary Wharf is not a camera friendly environment). Furthermore, despite the complex geometry of the station, distortion is marginal and while you might expect chromatic aberration to be a disaster on an image with so many bright light to dark transitions, the lens hardly suffers chromatic fringing at all.
While the colours in the shot below might not seem quite as punchy as you would ideally hope for (though saturation could be further boosted in Lightroom), it is nevertheless a triumph for the camera since the marina is almost entirely in shadow while the sky is super bright. Recovering all of the detail in the marina and having it framed by a beautiful blue sky without use of bracketing or 'on camera' graduated neutral density filters shows what a potent combination this lens is with a camera like the D800.
A 100% crop of the above shows just how much detail you are getting through both the 36MP of the camera's body and the ability of the lens to resolve sufficiently to do it justice.
I do love the winter light but the sun is continually low in the sky and walking around London where you are always in the shadow of buildings and the buildings are always in shadow is a continued challenge. The combo is nevertheless up to that challenge and it opens up available scenes that might otherwise fail to render a result and I was amazed and delighted to get imagery with canal boats and Canary Wharf in the same frame. Even though I've lived in the area for some time, familiar with the marina, I still found much that was new and much that delighted. It all seemed so remarkable that this was central London.
Oh, and the other great thing about the 28mm lens, it weighs just 330grms which is simply nothing at all, especially for something which can produce images of this quality. Of course, that means it is of plastic construction, not metal, but it also makes it a 'no brainer' to put in the bag when you are out and about without making you feel like a pack-horse. I especially like to pair this lens on a walkabout with say the Nikon 70-200mm giving me a good range from wide to telephoto and the gap between 28 and 70mm is hardly missed as you can 'zoom with your feet' some of that time. If you put the Nikon 24-70mm in your bag to fully bridge the gap, that will also add almost a whole kilo in weight to your camera bag.
If you own a Nikon D800 body, the chances are that quality is really important to you and the lens needs to do the camera justice - more generally, good glass is more important than the latest camera body as almost every pro shooter will tell you. After a session shooting with this lens, when I get home and look at the results full size on my PC, time and again I just go 'wow'. This lens produces stunning images that are sharp corner to corner, rendered in beautiful detail with stunning colours even in difficult conditions. It's fair to say that this lens is now a staple of my camera bag: I simply love it.
This blog is a mix of many things, with articles on the technical side of photography, equipment reviews as well as simply presenting pictures which are favourites of mine.