Nikon 24mm f/1.4: Initial impressions and RAW samples

Who loves ya, baby? I was supposed to be one of the first people in the world with the new Nikon 24mm f/1.4, but it came while I was on a work holiday in Jamaica. I’m still one of the first to sample its goodness, but instead of a sunny week in Jamaica, you get a rainy day in New York. Thanks to the people at Adorama for being so great, again and again.

I’m a nice guy, so to anyone who’s really curious about this new lens, I’m including some RAW samples. These are D3s RAW files, so make sure your RAW converter is updated so it can open them.

Initial impressions (full review after this weekend’s wedding): Sharper and more contrasty than it has any right to be. AF is not world-class in speed, like the 24-70 and 70-200, but still speedy and very accurate. If Nikon makes a 35mm like this, there will be nothing left in the Canon camp that makes my skin crawl with envy.

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Nikon has some new, hyper-shock resistant packaging, which I really appreciated given how pricey this darned lens is.

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Sharp, colorful, love it. RAW sample.

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f/1.4 isolation makes the buildings pop through the foreground in this puddle reflection.

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Can you say flare resistant? Heavily backlit statue. Still contrasty. RAW sample.

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Mmmmm isolation. Not generally a tight portrait lens, but this guy doesn’t mind. RAW sample.

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Water droplets in a cab window show the quality of foreground and background bokeh.

Also, you can see those qualities here, in a quick video. Also shows the focus throw and the sound of the manual focus, for video geeks. 720p version here. 1/50th, f/1.4 ISO 1600 on the D3s:

UPDATE: One from night-time:

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Krista - OMG!!!! I’m soooo jealoussss!!! Amazing clarity, colors and bokeh! You can’t freakin’ take a bad photo, can you??? ;-)

Steve Z - Damn thee gear lust.

brett maxwell - i hope that 35/1.4 is around the corner, that will cement my switch

Az - what a lens!

I’m holding out for the 35mm, this is a little too wide for me.

Domnic - Beauty

Avelaine Scyrup - Wowzers

Paul Von Rieter - AAHHH, another lover of the 24mm. Welcome to the club =). It is going to rock your world. I can’t wait to see the images from the wedding.

Dana Goodson - Ugh, I’m so jealous and torn! I have the 14-24 and love it but this seriously makes me drool. Now I’m torn.

Michael Hawkins - Looks sick dude. I should be getting a copy sometime this week and am ecstatic. I’ve been drooling over canons for too long!

Sam Obeid - Sweet and thanks for the RAW files. Can’t until one of my regular stores gets this baby in stock.

matt shumate - Oh dear. That glass looks dreamy. I’d probably have to give up my 24-70 to afford it, but wow, it almost looks worth it.

outsider again - fb is blocked, can’t use it at all = can’t see your video..
please use youtube or vimeo instead

Jamie M Swanson - Madison, WI - Wow…stunning. What a sharp, amazing lens!

Ali - ::drool::

William Hoiles - I would be curious to know how it handles fringing. The 85 f/1.4 and 50 f/1.4 both suffer from purple/green fringing, especially on things like tree branches against a white sky, or shiny reflective surfaces. It’s also common in the 35mm f/1.4 AIS.

Examples:

50mm – http://i43.tinypic.com/f19t9k.jpg
85mm – http://i42.tinypic.com/wgx4w6.jpg

Stan Jano - You were nice enough to post these images so I won’t knock them too much. They just don’t show me enough to even think of buying one.
Maybe it was the transmission quality because I heard your a great photographer. Stan

Ryan Brenizer - Patience; hese are from my first 30 minutes with the thing.

Josh - One word: Smooth.

Thanks a bunch, Ryan. It looks like a terrific lens, once again confirming my view that Nikon gets there second and best.

Cinal Studio - Looks like very good lens. Enjoy.

Naser - Freaking tight! Why should rich,competent New Yorkers have all the fun in the world :(

TQ - Im a canon chick… only been doing this for a year… im thinking I shoulda rolled with Nikon… any thoughts people?

Michael - Thanks for sharing. I now officially want one.

Josh - TQ: The Canon 24/1.4 II is a terrific lens too. It’s what the Nikon 24/1.4 will be judged against.

John - Damn! I am still waiting for mine to arrive and I need it for my cherry blossom photo trip in DC!

Adrian Rodriguez - Thanks, what a truly amazing lens. Have you ever done any photography workshops in NY from Adorama?

Ryan Brenizer - I do my own, but none for Adorama … yet.

Adrian Rodriguez - Checked out your website, fantastic body of work.

Eric Kotara - Yummy bokeh!

Michael (@TCRPMG) - Excellent shots! I need a better job! Thanks for sharing!

geoff - Who needs the ‘brenizer method’ anymore, just buy one of these gems!

Stan Jan0 - RB, the only one you posted that really interested me was the night time scene of the motorcycle, I think if that bright store front wasn’t there the image would really standout.

Stefan Elf - Thanks for posting RAW pictures! You can really tell this is a quality lens. You use this lens the way I’ve envisioned using it…

TQ - Thanks JOsh – qill check it out :)

Tabs

TQ - Ryan, do you ever do any workshops in London?????

Danny St - I have long been wanting to get this lens but was always hesitant because of it’s hefty price. After seeing your samples, I might just get one soon! It seems worth it.

Kevin Peden - Hi Ryan. many thanks for publishing your findings. I do a lot of landscape on Dartmoor here in the UK. I’m currently in the process of renewing one of my Nikon bodies (current D2x, D300 & D200 CONVERTED for infrared) and going for either a D3x or waiting for the D700 replacement, so I feel a need to buy a new wide zoom or prime as I’m currently using the Nikon 17-35. f2.8, with excellent results I must say, but feel that a new Nikon pro lens with the all new design and Nano Crystal coat will suit the new FX high pixel count sensors. It was between the 16-35mm f4 and 24mm f1.4mm, you have just convinced me to go for the 24mm. Thanks.

Robert aus Polen - Thanks for posting RAW pictures

fotograf żywiec - 24G is grate lens i agree, but price out of space

Wedding: Karen and Kamil at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, CA

Well, you knew from their engagement that I was excited to fly out to California to shoot Karen and Kamil’s wedding, but it topped even my lofty expectations. Any way you look at it, it was the epitome of “geek chic” (which is very much up my alley). Sure, you have an attractive couple getting married in the land of sand and sea, but instead of beaches and sandals we had Wall-E as a ring-bearer, XKCD-inspired table settings, and more Super-Mario-inspired details than I could ever imagine. When you start to get into an argument with your brother/assistant about whether one of the masks for the guests was a Mexican wrestler or Storm Shadow from the GI Joe movie, then you know the wedding has reached maximum, fabulous geekiness.

I had a great time at every moment, but the wedding party had even more fun, including singing the “Age of Aquarius” to mark the end of the ceremony (which is why the slideshow is set to it). And, with further thanks to my brother, we got a nearby merry-go-round working for them, and started having so much fun that they had to be reminded that somewhere out there, a reception was waiting for them.

Congratulations, you two!

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dani k - I LOVE how zany their wedding was! Great personality and color. And of course, the photos are gorgeous as always.

Steve Koo - Love these, Ryan. Love your silhouettes – the second one and the second to last one!

apj - Amazing. Feel like I was there. Great capture of the entire day! Congratulations.

Drew - Looks like my kinda wedding! Absolutely love the shot shot!

seth goodman - So Cool!!! What an awesome couple. I would love to hang out with them. Your shots are so impressive. I love the shot of the groomsmen by the pool. Excellent work!

Shyann - Awesome wedding!! It looks like sooo much fun! I love all the color!

Kyle - Dude. DUDE.

I have to admit, I stopped in my tracks at the words “geek chic.” But they seriously pulled it off in a fabulous way! Through the photos and the emotions that come through, you can just feel that every detail of this day was so them!

Renee Bell - wow – very cool!!!
love it when people do things differently

Ben Tomlin - Great work & colours! ….and looks like a really fun wedding to shoot too!

Leo Druker - Ryan – that looks like an incredibly fun wedding – great captures! Wall-E as ring bearer – brilliant!

Milena Dekic - Such an awesome and fun wedding. You really captured the vibe of the day, and I absolutely LOVE the ceremony dancing shots with their amazing “dance faces.”

Alan - Awesome, looked like an amazing day. The colours are great.

Marianne Taylor - Ooh the carousel!! LOVE! <3 And the one with hugging bride with lovely lights bokeh in the background, absolutely gorgeous.

cheshire wedding photographer - Stunning! Looks like a great party! Love the bokeh when he’s holding her. amazing shots here!

Kristi Wright - I love the fun personalities you capture in your weddings. Great fun!

matt shumate - What a great party! Oh and I guess the other parts were nice too. :)
Really love all the details that make this their own wedding.

Funmi Omotade-Tan - so cool – mad hatter playing air guitar, flames and couple kissing, wall-e ring bearer = amazing images :)

Laura Thomas - Looks like such a fun wedding! Amazing images! Great bokeh!

Tabitha McCausland - Such a cute wedding! Did a great job Ryan!

David - These are really cool. You have captured all the fun and romance in these pics. Great job.

Emily Porter - Not to get all fan-girl on your ass, but honestly, going through this post reminded me about how, almost 2 years ago, your work inspired me to consider shooting weddings myself. You bring out the JOY in these special days for these people. You let who they are shine through instead of doing so much posing and setup that the personality is lost. These days are all about joy and personality – your photos always reflect that. Thanks for sharing these. They brought a smile to this geek’s face. :)

Ryan Brenizer - Thank you so much, everyone!

Shane - Google is amazing. Ryan…here is a video of their processional and some action shots of you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J06ia28t36E

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Phil D - Wow – the colours just pop through!

Photo of the Day: Wind in the Water…

A 30-second exposure of huge surf breaking against the waves at the Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica. My season is about to explode, giving me all sorts of fun and excitement but not much rest for seven months, so I figured it would be nice to work casually down in the sun this week, processing a wedding that is the ultimate in geek chic.

I know there might be a number of readers of this blog who are considering, say, a honeymoon, and I can’t recommend the Rockhouse enough. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous at decent prices, but the practices of the ownership are fantastic. So many resorts have no connection to the community beyond their gates, but the Rockhouse has a foundation that invests in local education, opening a school and library. Heck, just the fact that the hotel room mini-bar prices aren’t inflated impresses me.

Tweets that mention ON THE BLOG: Photo of the Day: Wind in the Water… -- Topsy.com - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryan Brenizer, Vanessa Wozcniaki. Vanessa Wozcniaki said: RT @ryanbrenizer ON THE BLOG: Photo of the Day: Wind in the Water… http://bit.ly/af9XBg […]

susantha - gr8 capture

Photo of the Day: Above the Fray

Usually I like to mix it up in the horah, but at this wedding at the awesome Angel Orensanz Foundation, I seconded Dave Robbins and got to take a different look with a very, very wide-angle shot from the balcony.

Eric Kotara - This…. shot…. ROCKS!!!

Lisa - Love how a crazy wide lends can lend such an interesting perspective. Well done!

Joseph Yarrow Bristol Wedding Photographer - Oh my life Ryan Brenizer, this is incredible!
What did you say to yourself when you saw this image on the back of your camera?

Geoff Tischman - Awesome – Love this photo!

terry chay - Framed by lights on top and a tree/bush on the bottom.

William Skrainski - Nice burn…..how long did you hold this?

Bill Hollister - Long-time viewer on Flickr and now your blog. Pics like this are the reason. Love it! Curious about your ISO and shutter speed.

Ryan Brenizer - ISO 800, 1/5th of a second.

Engagement: Allie and Vilas

Vilas noted that yes, he waited 363 days since they were engaged to get around to taking the photos, but I think he made a wise choice, since it would be impossible to pick better weather for a jaunt around lower Manhattan than Saturday. We started and ended at the Corner Bistro, where they met and where, that day, I also met the new love of my life — Corner Bistro hamburgers. Unbelievable.

We had a great time strolling past packed crowds, at least two celebrities — Ira Glass of This American Life and some nameless Page Six celeb surrounded by paparazzi — as well as a High Line pulsing with people blinking in their first sunlight of the year. You’ll see them again soon, with a May wedding at the Tribeca Rooftop, and they only hope the weather is as nice!

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Jolene Oldham - Beautiful work, as always!

Mmmmm … albums …

The wedding albums for Kristy and Mike’s gorgeous wedding at the Belhurst Castle came in this week, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to show it off. These are from Kiss Wedding Books, one of the three main companies I work with and one that is very popular with my clients, because they do one thing and do it very well. If you like stylish, minimalist leather books with some great accessories, you like them, and I certainly like their great customer service.

I’ve been relaxing a bit to gather myself for the coming season, but I’m really aching to get out, shoot and shoot and shoot and try some new things. So here I asked myself “How have I NOT seen a lot of product photography done?” Well, I haven’t seen a lot of products shot at 1/8000th of a second to take advantage of high-speed sync flash. So I had a bit of fun:

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Heather Parker - Great product shots!

Gemma Schipani - Yummy! Thanks for sharing! I’m just about to order a new sample album from kiss

Daniel Stark - nice—i dig their albums too! love these shots!

gabe aceves - ryan these look great. simple, minimalist and classy. good stuff.

Photo of the Day: Round and Round They Go

The Hudson Theatre is a very cool venue where you can be married a reworked Broadway stage. If you thought children tended to be performative at weddings any way, you should see what happens when they have a stage to play on.

Becca Dilley - The girl in the middle really tells a great story, and I love the whole composition. Cool work.

fotograf lublin - Again great low light shot.

Andrea - Great picture!

I just took a look at the link, and that’s a really great looking venue. Adding it to my list of possible NYC venues. Thanks Ryan!

Portraits: Stephanie in Pasadena

Here is are some more from my session with Stephanie. We wanted to just have a little fun in the warmer weather and get some new looks, including some fitness looks for her book. And of course I had to get a palm tree in there. We don’t see much of those in New York.

And really, who knew all this time she could kick so high?

Reminds me of a story. One time, when I was much younger, slightly more foolish, and constantly practicing karate, I said to myself: “I wonder *exactly* how high I can kick…”

WHAM! Right in my own face. Bloody nose. Luckily Stephanie has orders of magnitude more sense than a younger me.

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Dognbird - Great session, love the determination in her eyes. PS the bloody nose story is a classic!

Phil - Why so serious?

Great pics as always.

gabe aceves - awesome photos ryan. i really love the first two images.

Photo of the Day: When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a photo I took of Jim Fisher, author of On the Irish Waterfront. A photo for this session was later used for the book’s author flap.

The clouds really looked like that. The only editing this photo has had is a white balance shift.

Kirsten - I loved this image when you first took it, and today I still love it. A terrific image every day!

fotografia ślubna - Very powerfull portrait.

FG - This is just such an amazing portrait. I really like the com, the treatment, and, indeed, the subject. Nicely done!

Photo of the Day: Stephanie, West Coast Girl

If one of my favorite subjects — actress and friend Stephanie Danielson — had to move to California, at least she did it a week before I headed out there, so we could finally shoot in warm(ish) weather. I love bringing out the color of the crazy lighting you can find at night. I love the natural feel of it, how good scouting can replace or ease the insane amount of work you’d need to deliberately recreate this, and how it feel like we’re exploiting new possibilities. In ye olden days, I might have needed to shoot this with T64 tungsten film — which would have required a full second exposure. Which would have required replacing Stephanie with a mannequin.

More to come soon.

fotografia ślubna - I see iso 3200, quite low iso like for You :)

Steve Koo - This is fierce. I like.

Portraits: Stephanie in Pasadena » Ryan Brenizer — New York City Wedding Photographer - […] is are some more from my session with Stephanie. We wanted to just have a little fun in the warmer weather and get some new looks, including some […]

Photo of the Day: When a Boy Eats a Lemon

I spent last week in the Los Angeles area for a Malibu wedding, which gave me opportunity to spend time with my brother and his awesome family. Here my nephew Dougie (voluntarily!) chomps into a lemon.

fotografia ślubna - I think it was his first and last lemon :)

Timothy E Kaldas - Hahahaha. That’s fantastic. The look of horror on his face is priceless!

Eric Kotara - Hilarious!!!

Avelaine Scyrup - haha awesome!

Mike - That could not possibly be cuter. Hilarious!

brett maxwell - I once ate half a lemon, rind and all, in a stupid high school contest. After that I hated even the faintest taste of lemon for several years.

Ginger Mauser - Love that!!!

Zainab - This is beautiful.

Tim - Dude, I got goosebumps!

Susan - This is a great capture! Love the look on his face. Perfect.

Jolene Oldham - Ooh! Just looking at him made my mouth pucker!

Photo of the Day: Multitasking

There will come a day when only the professional photographers know how to put the camera down and enjoy themselves unrecorded.

John Edgar - Great image Ryan, really great image!!! :)

Ryan Brenizer - Thanks, John!

Asma - LOLz totally loved it :)

I was doing more or less the same thing on my wedding ;)

scott neumyer - love this

Daniel Stark - great capture–love checking your blog for your “photo of the day” it’s a great way to start my day.

fotograf Łuków - WOW, superB shot but I think she has better :)

Kirsten - So classic.

Steve Koo - Ha! I love it!

Sawyer - way to see the moment…!

Photo of the Day: Depth of Feeling

Photos like these are why I am a “moment junkie.” This is a cheerful hug between the bride, her father, and her grandfather, right after Viviana and her grandfather had a featured dance. Is it envelope-pushing art? No. Is it a picture that will have meaning for Viviana for the rest of her life? I’d imagine so. Let’s not forget that weddings are about moments like these more than centerpieces.

But here’s a bone for the photo-geeks as well: This photo was taken on the D3s at ISO 10,000, with no noise reduction. The mixture of such a high ISO with flash is why the picture is sharp but still lets in all that colorful background ambient light. What a crazy camera.

Viviana - You are absolutely right. It will have meaning for the rest of my life. My grandfather struggled after my grandmother passed nearly 2 yrs go (they were married for over 60 yrs), and the thought of dancing at our wedding kept him going. He came from Ecuador for this day and since he’s returned he’s happier, doing well, and we all know why. Thank you, for capturing this moment. It seems like that’s not enough to convey what we feel, but it’ll have to do. :-)

almostinfamous - that’s such a heartwarming comment!

hooray for everyone involved :)

Ryan Gladstone - GREAT photo and equally excellent quote: “Let’s not forget that weddings are about moments like these more than centerpieces.”
Agreed!

Tim - This is a great moment and a wonderful response from the bride. Congratulations Viviana!
I am just curious about your settings here. Why shoot at 10000 ISO at 250th instead of a lower ISO and slower shutter speed? And where is the flash, on a stand, on the camera pointed up/back?
When a moment like this shows itself I know you don’t have time to sit down, consider all of the options and ask the group to hold for a moment while you put it together, you just need to get the shot.
Thanks for the inspiration, this kind of capture is the reason I am always checking your site for updates!

Ryan Brenizer - Thank you!

@Tim: Lower shutter speeds invite ambient ghosting. The flash was on camera, back and to the right.

Tim - Thanks Ryan!!! I’m hoping to get into one of your workshops sometime. Or maybe I’ll get invited to a wedding you are shooting and just follow you around all night!

fotograf Lublin - ISO 10.000 !!! But why flash ??

PJ - I choose flash with high iso because I love fill at times and there is an added “crispiness”(?) that makes the subject pop out. Really like the image Ryan, we all love these moments and following your lead.

Sawyer - Was the flash on camera? Settings please!! Thanks.

Sarah McGee - Ryan, this is why I got into weddings. Thanks for reminding me of that fact as I start this season.

Paul - That is an awesome moment captured. I had you pegged as primarily a prime shooter–70-200 on this one though?

Dustin Finn - Thanks Ryan, its the sharing of information from end to end (the creative through to the technical) that will keep you in the forefront of being the person to look to for gaining education on event photography.

I am thankful.

Steve Koo - I totally get what you mean about being a ‘moment junkie.’ This one is great! And the high-ISO performance on the D3 is really impressive.

Kyle - I love moments too. I also love beautiful portraits and mind-blowing artsy fartsy crap. I don’t think it has to be one or the other.

Graciela Valle - Estoy absolutamente de acuerdo en que esta sea una foto “especial”, en un acontecimieno como una boda que esta llena de emotividad, tener la sensibilidad de poder captar un momento donde en un abrazo se transmiten muchos sentimientos de los unos para los otros como los de agradecimiento, orgullo,respeto, y el mayor de todos: AMOR. Ese que nos profesamos en esta familia que estan representando 3 generaciones de VALLEs.

Wedding: Viviana and Henry at Fordham University

The wedding was at Fordham. The groom went to Fordham. I went to Fordham. My assistant went to Fordham. I shoot for Fordham.

(Sorry, Viv. Penn State is a good college, too.)

I knew Henry a bit when we were in school together, and I’d been looking forward to this one for a while. We’re talking about a couple who met in salsa dancing class — if that isn’t the recipe for an awesome reception, I don’t know what is.

And it didn’t disappoint. From a ceremony at the gorgeous Fordham chapel to a colorful and energetic reception, it was a blast the entire day. And that’s not to mention the groomsmen’s hilarious stop at White Castle on the way to the reception, or Henry bringing in a singer to re-enact a classic moment from one of Viv’s favorite movies: Coming to America.

Awesome.

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Hannah - These are really awesome, Ryan. I LOVE the one with her veil blowing about.

Dennis Pike - killed it. that first portrait of the two of them with the chapel(?) in the background i so good I want to hang it on my wall.

Kat Braman - too cool! what a fun couple. One of my husband’s groomsmen sang that same song to me at our reception!

Danielle Daigle - Gorgeous!! I love your work. I love the way you use light and capture moments. Just beautiful!

Steve Koo - Some beautiful stuff, Ryan. The reflections in the church shot are fantastic, and your portraits are great, too. The reception looked fun!

toks - I happened to stumble upon your blog. Nice set of images. I love the colors in the cake shot and the bride and groom on the dance floor. The framed portrait of the flower girls is lovely too.
Toks

leanna - me like me like :D

Kristina - The leading lines of that top portrait are simply exquisite. Loving your work!