The 16-35mm f/4 and the 14-24mm f/2.8 are two popular lenses from Nikon. Both these lenses have a dedicated fan following among photographers looking for the sharpest and the most optically gratifying lenses to work with. Especially if they’re looking for OEM lenses, in this discussion, we’ll try to figure out which of these two lenses makes the most buying sense in specific working situations.
The 14-24mm f/2.8 is a legendary lens because of its optical prowess. It’s incredibly sharp, wide open from corner to corner. This is why the 14-24mm is often the first choice for photographers looking for the best landscape lens and not afraid to doll out the cash for that superior performance.
But there are some essential considerations that you need to weigh in when deciding between these two lenses. First is the build quality. The 14-24mm and the 16-35mm are well-made lenses. However, the 14-24mm is built better. It feels like a tank in the hands and is expected to withstand anything that Mother Nature can throw at it. The only downside is the significant bulbous front element that sticks out. This is why you cannot use the lens in cramped spaces with too many people and obstructions. There is every chance that the front element can get scratched or damaged. That seems to be the only vulnerability of the lens.
The 16-35mm isn’t as well built as the 14-24mm, but it nevertheless feels excellent. On the bright side, the front element does not stick out, and there is an option to use a lens filter to protect the front element when needed.
In terms of practicality, the 14-24mm is more suitable for landscape photography than anything else. The 16-35mm offers a more practical field of view that comes in handy across various photography situations. One of them being weddings. If you’re photographing parties, group photos, or street photos, the 16-35mm is a better choice than the 14-24mm, simply because the 16-35mm covers the standard focal length of 35mm, which is ideal in these circumstances.
The 14-24mm is the better choice for astrophotography. As I mentioned above, it’s very sharp across the frame and wide open, making the lens such a fantastic piece for general astrophotography.
Price is also an important consideration; in that sense, the 16-35mm is a much more affordable choice than the 14-24mm. Especially if you don’t need the extra stop of light (f/2.8 against f/4) and you’re not going to use it for astrophotography.