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Bower14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon
 
4.2

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Durable (9)
  • Strong construction (9)
  • Easily interchangeable (7)
  • Rugged (5)
  • Consistent output (4)

Cons

  • Heavy (4)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (14)
  • Night photography (9)
  • Low light (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (7), Semi-pro photographer (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (15)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Value

Being my first Full Manual lens, i was a bit apprehensive about getting sharp images.however, with a bit of trial & error, it was relatively easy to master focus on this...Read complete review

Being my first Full Manual lens, i was a bit apprehensive about getting sharp images.however, with a bit of trial & error, it was relatively easy to master focus on this lens. I find myself shooting mostly in daylight and around F11 for the best results. sometimes in aperture priority or full manual.As many reviews online state, the focus ring is a bit off so don't trust the markings on the lens for the distance of the subject on which you're focusing. It is not 100% accurate. more like 90-95%. instead i use live view+zoom or focus with the view finder.Aside from that, you may find that exposure is more challenging. this is my first lens wider than the kit 18mm-55. At a 21mm equivalent on Full frame, My DX D5000 has a bit of trouble metering with so much of the sky in the frame. you will find yourself shooting by instinct and ignoring the metering all together. Same for the AF chip--it is not necessary and is often wrong. Just use trial/error and intuition. not as hard as it sounds coming from a first timer. it is refreshing to be able to depart from your camera's electronics and JUST SHOOT.overall, this lens is a great value, it achieves incredible sharpness (even in the corners) on DX format and is a real pleasure to use.Interior shots may always meter as too dark and exterior shots may always meter as too bright. simply use your instinct and depend a bit on your camera's LCD for proper exposure.I strongly recommend it, especially if you don't already have an UWA lens. another benefit is that this lens is compatible with FX bodies and will be even more useful once i upgrade.Don't listen to ken rockwell's review on this one.Great buy for the money. I got it at B & H on a special. it's built like a tank. one last thing i hadn't considered: the lens cap is so large that it can't be carried comfortably in a pant pocket. you may need to lug a bag around for this one. especially since the front element is round and exposed and one couldn't reasonably produce a whole shoot from just this one lens. you'll probably tire after a while and need a bit more range. This lens is no good for portraits unless you're looking to distort your subject and exaggerate the size of their extremities near the edge of the frame.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

good fun for the price

A lens this wide is a revelation for someone like me who's never used ultra-wides. This one seems reasonably well made, and the hood actually stays on well though it only 'latches' at...Read complete review

A lens this wide is a revelation for someone like me who's never used ultra-wides. This one seems reasonably well made, and the hood actually stays on well though it only 'latches' at a specific orientation. Vignetting is noticeable at apertures wider than f8, and very noticeable wider than f5.6, but I would mostly use it stopped down anyway. Distortion is strong near the edges of the frame. Flare is an issue when a bright light is within the huge field of view, as you'd expect, and I couldn't get crisp sunstars at any aperture. It is sharp on a D800, even far from the center. Critical focus is hard to achieve through the viewfinder (the camera reports the lens to be in-focus over a surprising range), but most of the time being close will be good enough at this focal length.

Reviewed by 17 customers

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3.0

Tough fit

By Ernesto

from Michigan

Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

Like everything about this lens BUT it is such a tight fit on my camera body (nikon d80) I literally have to twist it with great force when mounting and removing. I guess I will have to send it back for exchange as much as I hate to. I did shoot a few images and they looked great.

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5.0

Excellent of landscape

By JS

from Potomac

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery

    Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

    Excellent for landscape.

    For architecture, like other extreme wide-angles, it needs correction for complex "W" shapped (moustache) distortion correction. Easy: after NEF processing I export to jpg, then I use PTLens.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Great budget friendly UWA

    By ninadmw

    from State college, PA

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Inexpensive
    • Rugged

    Cons

    • Distorsion
    • Manual only

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Landscapes
    • Night Photography

    Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

    Ultrawide for FX format for relatively less money. Get AE/focus confirm version for Nikon. Its worth the extra money. Decent image quality for an ultrawide. Nowhere as marvelous as 85mm 1.4 that the company offers. But still better than other options in the price range.Good build quality. Wish the hood was removable and had ability to add filters. Heavy distortion for a rectilinear lens. Make sure to get lens profiles from net.Worth the money. Will keep it till I can afford Tokina 16 28. BnH is great as always with shipping and support.Thanks.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    4.0

    Good Wide Angle Cheap

    By dj_elite

    from new hampshire

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • First Copy Was Soft
    • First Copy Was Too Soft
    • Heavy
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

    Got my first copy and it was a little soft on the left side and in the middle. I heard these were really sharp lenses and there are soft copies out there. I sent it back for another copy. Im hoping the new one is sharper. Even though it wasnt as sharp as it should be it was a nice lens. Very nicley made. I would recommend, just test you have a sharp copy. BH is good and will exchange for a copy and pay shipping.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Picky, crusty old pro is impressed

    By SLODave

    from San Luis Obispo, California USA

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Low Chromatic Aberation
    • SHARP SHARP SHARP
    • Smooth focusing
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Difficult to focus

    Best Uses

    • Astrophotography
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Photography
    • Video

    Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

    I'm a longtime (read: old) part time pro. Despite some of the rave reviews, I didn't expect much from this lens, thinking that the other reviewers' standards weren't as high as mine. I am really picky when it comes to image quality because I often have to deliver 40x60 inch prints.Boy, was I wrong. I've tested this lens meticulously as various distances and apertures on my Nikon D600 full frame camera. Wide open at f2.8 it's sharper than my Nikon 16-35mm at f4 and has much less chromatic aberration, especially on the borders and corners. It stays noticeably sharper through f8. (that's a good lens that costs $[$]!) Compared to most super-wides, at f4-f8 the Bower is phenomenally sharp.(Some people that have been disappointed may be expecting this lens to be as sharp as a real good 50mm lens; that's an unreasonable expectation for a super wide. Or they gotten a bad copy. But it is very close.)It does have major distortion, (not usually a problem for landscapes) but there are third party profiles available for Lightroom that make that mostly a non-issue even for architecture. (I've tweaked the profile I downloaded.)The construction is good with very smooth focusing and a well machined mount.All-in-all, this is the buy of the century.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes

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    5.0

    Great Lens

    By Justin

    from Texas

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Photography

    Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

    I've used this lens for multiple landscape shots and it has done nothing but exceed my expectations. The pictures are crystal clear and turn out amazing.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Great for the price

    By JK

    from Chicago, IL

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Night Photography
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

        Very sharp center of the image, but unfortunately far corners are soft with slight vigneting.For the price is the best extra wide lens you can ever get though.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        Competative Lens for the Price

        By gab

        from Albuquerque, NM

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good bang for the buck

        Cons

        • Distortion Issues Maybe

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Photography

        Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

        The lens seems to be a good value for the price. The build quality is adequate but not stellar, that said, I can drop several of these on concrete for the price of a 16-35.

        Image quality is surprisingly good. Good sharpness and color. The distortion is kind of funky but so far have been able to control it in post, for most types of photos. If you need real straight lines...not so good. It is pretty easy to manually focus the lens.

        Bought the lens for night/Milky Way shots but haven't had the opportunity to do that yet. From initial use I think it will be fine for that purpose.

        All said, I would buy the lens again. It's one you may have to learn to use but it has a lot of potential.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        Great budget performer for astro stuff

        By nerdybails

        from San Francisco

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Cannot Handle Filters

        Best Uses

        • Astro Photography
        • Night Photography

        Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

        The lack of autofocus makes this a great budget purchase, I read a ton of reviews and for taking photos of stars (milky way) etc it is great, it actually beats a fair chunk of the major brand lenses in this space for this purpose due to it's coma performance wide open. The infinity on my copy isn't actually infinity and so I have to move a tiny bit off there to get true infinity focus (so it loses a star from its rating). But otherwise, rock solid for the money.It's also a very wide angle and has a bulbous front element which means there is no way to attach filters to the front of it. This limits its use in landscape work for me due to not being able to attach a circular polarizer or neutral/grad Density filters (which have challenges at that width anyway). So this isn't so much a negative as more of an FYI for purchasers.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Bower 14mm f/2.8

        By Trung Tran

        from Tigard, OR

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Difficult to Clean

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

        Wide angle shots are really sharp edge to edge wide open.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Great potential, poor QC

        By Brett

        from Norman, OK

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Price
        • Sharpness
        • Wide Field Of View

        Cons

        • Quality control

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

        If you get a good copy, this is possibly the best value on the market for an ultra-wide rectilinear lens on full-frame cameras. Getting that good copy may not be a task for the faint of heart, though.

        I've purchased this lens twice: once for Canon, once for Nikon. I had to go through 3 copies and 2 copies, respectively, before getting one that didn't show significant de-centering issues (manifesting as severe softness on one side of the image).

        Once I found good copies, though, they were simply tack sharp corner-to-corner, even on full-frame. If you're looking at sharpness only, this lens is a match for Canon and Nikon-branded primes that cost 5-8x as much.

        Of course, you sacrifice certain luxuries to hit this price point; build quality and autofocus being the most obvious. In addition, I've seen evidence while reviewing my landscape images that the colors and contrast aren't quite up to par with pro-grade OEM lenses. This is one reason I'd still recommend carrying a wide zoom like the Canon/Nikon 16-35mm to compliment this prime.

        I should also mention the considerable (read: very obvious even to the untrained eye) "mustache" distortion. You will definitely want to shoot RAW and apply a lens profile in Lightroom, Camera RAW, etc. to get anything resembling straight horizons.

        One particular strength of this lens is nighttime landscapes and starfield photography. It has very little coma, and thus outperforms far more expensive options like the Canon 14L for this purpose.

        Every full-frame camera owner who shoots landscapes should have one of these in his or her bag. Just make sure you're prepared to take advantage of the return/exchange policy, because it takes considerable luck to get a winner on the first try!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        good fun for the price

        By Bob in Maryland

        from Washington DC area

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery

          Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

          A lens this wide is a revelation for someone like me who's never used ultra-wides. This one seems reasonably well made, and the hood actually stays on well though it only 'latches' at a specific orientation. Vignetting is noticeable at apertures wider than f8, and very noticeable wider than f5.6, but I would mostly use it stopped down anyway. Distortion is strong near the edges of the frame. Flare is an issue when a bright light is within the huge field of view, as you'd expect, and I couldn't get crisp sunstars at any aperture. It is sharp on a D800, even far from the center. Critical focus is hard to achieve through the viewfinder (the camera reports the lens to be in-focus over a surprising range), but most of the time being close will be good enough at this focal length.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Extremely sharp but terrible distortion

          By Kaew

          from Claremont, CA

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction
          • Very Sharp
          • Well controlled CA

          Cons

          • Difficult to Clean
          • Distortion
          • Heave Vignette
          • No Filter

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery

          Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

          This lens has plenty of sharpness to offer. The image center looks terrific from wide open, and you get edge to edge sharpness stop down. The mustache distortion is pretty ugly. If there is a straight line in the image, you'll see it. The images need to be corrected in post. Vignette is also pretty bad, but I like my edges to be darker anyway, so that's fine with me. CA is very well controlled.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Excelent

          By Ielorriaga

          from Santiago, Chile

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery

          Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

          Great lens for Low budget!!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          4.0

          Well Pleased

          By Leo

          from Missouri

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easily Interchangeable

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

            I had read that the manual focus would be a problem for some, however with the Focus Confirm Chip, the lens was easily focused. Manual focus was not a problem. The lens prefomed very well and it was easily attached and removed from my D700. The quality of the photos were excellent.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            3.0

            It takes time to learn how to use it.

            By CatWithTripod

            from Washington DC

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Lightweight
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Architecture
              • Interiors
              • Landscape/Scenery

              Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

              This lens is unusual. It takes time to learn how to use it properly. I use it for 3 weeks and results are very inconsistent. I use it on FF Nikon. Center is excellent. Corners...er... Most times they are so-so. But sometimes they are quite good. Constuction is good, focus ring is excellent, but focusing is quite a challenge for me (I used to manuals, BTW). Great price. No flare. Rating reflects my short experience with the product.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great Value

              By DFBP

              from Miami, FL

              About Me Photography Student

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

              Being my first Full Manual lens, i was a bit apprehensive about getting sharp images.however, with a bit of trial & error, it was relatively easy to master focus on this lens. I find myself shooting mostly in daylight and around F11 for the best results. sometimes in aperture priority or full manual.As many reviews online state, the focus ring is a bit off so don't trust the markings on the lens for the distance of the subject on which you're focusing. It is not 100% accurate. more like 90-95%. instead i use live view+zoom or focus with the view finder.Aside from that, you may find that exposure is more challenging. this is my first lens wider than the kit 18mm-55. At a 21mm equivalent on Full frame, My DX D5000 has a bit of trouble metering with so much of the sky in the frame. you will find yourself shooting by instinct and ignoring the metering all together. Same for the AF chip--it is not necessary and is often wrong. Just use trial/error and intuition. not as hard as it sounds coming from a first timer. it is refreshing to be able to depart from your camera's electronics and JUST SHOOT.overall, this lens is a great value, it achieves incredible sharpness (even in the corners) on DX format and is a real pleasure to use.Interior shots may always meter as too dark and exterior shots may always meter as too bright. simply use your instinct and depend a bit on your camera's LCD for proper exposure.I strongly recommend it, especially if you don't already have an UWA lens. another benefit is that this lens is compatible with FX bodies and will be even more useful once i upgrade.Don't listen to ken rockwell's review on this one.Great buy for the money. I got it at B & H on a special. it's built like a tank. one last thing i hadn't considered: the lens cap is so large that it can't be carried comfortably in a pant pocket. you may need to lug a bag around for this one. especially since the front element is round and exposed and one couldn't reasonably produce a whole shoot from just this one lens. you'll probably tire after a while and need a bit more range. This lens is no good for portraits unless you're looking to distort your subject and exaggerate the size of their extremities near the edge of the frame.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review