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Bower24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras
 
4.3

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Consistent output (3)
  • Durable (3)
  • Nice bokeh (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Night photography (7)
  • Landscape/scenery (5)
  • Low light (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (8)

Reviewed by 9 customers

Displaying reviews 1-9

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good Optics, Poor Quality Control

By Tim the Nature Photographer

from Rio Vista, CA

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fast aperture
  • Minimal Coma

Cons

  • Poor quality control

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Night Photography

Comments about Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras:

It may be a bit of a moot point reviewing a discontinued lens, but I still think this might be helpful for those looking to buy used or hoping to glean information about other Bower (aka Rokinon and Samyang) lenses. Like many others, I bought this lens primarily for wide field astrophotography because of its excellent reputation for having little to no coma. I quickly tested out the lens inside of my home right after I received it, and while I wasn't blown away with the image quality, it seemed to be "good enough." Then life got in the way and I didn't have much of a chance to use the lens in real world situations until after the 30-day return window had passed. Unfortunately, my first copy of this lens turned out to be decentered (or otherwise defective). When focused at or near infinity, the entire right 25-30% of the images were unacceptably soft at f/1.4 to f/2, and still very soft even stopped down to f/8. This issue didn't really present itself at closer distances, which is why I didn't notice when I tested the lens indoors. Needless to say, this just wouldn't do for astrophotography. Since it was too late to return the lens to B&H, I emailed Bower via the form on their contact page. A week went by and I received no response. I finally called and explained the issue to a representative. He told me that the lens was being discontinued and he wasn't sure they would receive any more, but that he would get back to me soon with a solution. A week went by with no update. I called back and was told that they just received a new lens with which mine could be replaced. I had to pay to ship them my lens and send a check for return shipping of the replacement lens. I was not happy about this and I was also worried based on some other reviews out there that I would either be denied warranty coverage or that I would receive some other customer's defective lens. But this was still cheaper than buying a new lens, so I went along. I had also been keeping B&H in the loop on the situation and they said they would back me up if Bower didn't honor their warranty. B&H had great communication and service as always, but luckily Bower made it right on their own; I finally received a good copy of the lens. So how does a good copy perform? It's fairly sharp at f/1.4 in the center, but the images are hazy and the vignetting is very strong. I would recommend shooting at f/2 or smaller. The images are a little sharper, the haze is gone, and the vignetting is not nearly as pronounced. Plus, it's not even a full stop slower in practice (f/2 @ ISO 6400 is noticeably brighter than f/1.4 @ ISO 3200). When inspecting at 100%, f/2 could be a little sharper, but I still find it acceptable for astrophotography (it's not like ISO 6400 looks that good at 100% anyway). There is some coma in the corners and far edges, but it's not bad. I still think this lens is the best option coma-wise for a 24mm f/2 or faster full-frame. Nikon, Canon and Zeiss are probably better options for sharpness, but only marginally and at a huge cost disadvantage. On a side note, I also had to return my first Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens due to extreme softness that was immediately obvious. So in my personal experience, Samyang/Rokinon/Bower have a 50% track record for defective lenses; that is very poor quality control. In the end, I would still recommend them because they are an excellent value, but be sure to buy from a reputable dealer and thoroughly test them before the return window is up.

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  • No

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5.0

Glad to Have This

By Sluggo

from MI

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Nice Bokeh

Cons

  • Slow Focus

Best Uses

    Comments about Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras:

    Haven't had it long but pleased with results so far. As always, B&H ships lightning fast.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Not a great lens

    By Banditsuni

    from Salt Lake City, UT

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Night Photography

        Comments about Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras:

        The lens is quite soft at f/1.4. It is sharpest at f/4 and f/5.6. The focus ring is quite loose, hard to do any fine focusing. I wanted this lens for astrophotography, but test shots of the stars showed very heavy comma effect and not just at the very edges.

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        • No

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        5.0

        Nice sharp, fast lens.

        By Stevewetzel

        from Wisconsin

        Comments about Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras:

        Great price and performance if you don't need auto focus. It's the perfect night photography lens

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Great Lens for the Money

        By Bill P

        from Logan, Utah

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • No Coma
        • Sharp

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Night Photography

          Comments about Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras:

          Like another reviewer, I purchased this lens specifically for wide-field astrophotography. Just got back from using it in Arches National Park, and must say that I am impressed by the image quality that I got with this lens on my D800. Good sharpness and little to no coma, even wide open. Focusing at f1.4 is tricky (as expected), and the use of Live View for this is must.

          The lens is solid. I compared it to my Nikkor 24-70mm at f2.8. The Nikkor was only marginally better, which is remarkable given the price difference.

          I have four other Samyang family lens: ProOptic 8mm, Rokinon 14mm, Samyang 24mm Tilt/Shift and the Samyang 800mm f8 Mirror. With the exception of the 800mm, which is quite soft, all are excellent. If you are willing to live without autofocus, these are great deals.

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          • No

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          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Fast Super WIde Angle Value

          By DP

          from Northern California

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography

            Comments about Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras:

            I bought this lens for one reason - wide view Astrophotography. I needed a fast wide angle lens for my Nikon D800 for photographing sky and landscapes that include the Milky Way. This is the Samyang/Rokino/Bower 24 f1.4 - made by Samyang at $100 less than the Samyang branded version. The results are astonishing at this price over the more expensive Nikon 24 f1.4 - over 3X less. Wide open at f 1.4 this lens does not exhibit any coma aberrations and is sharp. There is some vignetting at the corners but I compensate for this in photoshop. Stopped down to f2 eliminates all vignetting and this lens is sharp and has great contrast at all f stops beyond f2. It links directly with the Nikon auto exposure metering system on my D800. It doesn't have auto-focus but you don't need auto-focus for infinity sky and landscape photography. The build quality is good especially for the price. This is my first non-Nikon lens purchase and I've been using Nikons for over 25 years and I'm pleased with the results. I'm really impressed with the overall price / performance of this lens.

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            • No

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            4.0

            Solid, same as Samyang but $ less!

            By PhotoJohn

            from Bellevue, WA

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Mimimum To No Coma Report
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Photography

              Comments about Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras:

              Solid construction with no play evident in any functions. Purchased specifically for night sky photography as reviews advise it has little-to-no coma vs. premium-priced Canon & Nikon lenses that do.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              No problems here

              By Ethan

              from San Diego, CA

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography

                  Comments about Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras:

                  I've been using this lens with a Sony NEX + tilt adapter (35mm focal length after crop). I've not noticed any vignetting even with max tilt. This combination has worked great for landscape shots (portraits too), allowing me to keep the majority of my subject in focus even when wide open.

                  Build quality is solid, but the focus ring isn't as smooth as the old Nikon lenses I have. There seems to be more resistance in the middle of the focusing range.

                  For high contrast scenes, I noticed slight purple fringing and green fringing on the subject when out of focus, but it clears up when the subject is in focus (almost works better than focus peaking, hah). I hear that is normal for fast wide primes.

                  Looks sharp in the corners, but the NEX's APSC sensor is probably only using the sharper part of the lens image.

                  For what it's worth, this lens was slightly looser in the adapter than my AI-s lenses (but that specific adapter was loose to begin with). There was no noticeable wobble in my better adapter.

                  B&H service was great as usual.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Better Than People Say

                  By Gator Bride Videography

                  from Gainesville, FL

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Lightweight
                  • Looks professional
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Sharp
                  • Smooth focus ring

                  Cons

                  • Focus breathing
                  • No auto-focus

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F Mount Cameras:

                  There's a lot of people on the internet talking bad about this lens, but, from my experience, this lens is an extremely good value, is well-built, and is really quite sharp (even at 1.4). This lens definitely holds its own for what it is and at what price point its offered at.

                  We use this lens for wide-angle shots at night in dimly-lit receptions (works great at f/1.4 in this scenario!) as well as the go-to lens for glidecam work with the Nikon D600 (~f/8 to f/11 usually).

                  The lens can focus quite close to the subject (about 2.5" from the front element).

                  Maybe I'm lucky and got a good copy, I dunno... Got this lens during a promotion B&H was running so I guess that made it even better!

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