The roads around Mom’s house vary between narrow state highway, freshly-paved blacktop, rutted and pitted country lane, and dirt or gravel track. I like to travel a little figure-8 loop from her house, up the highway to the charity shop, down the roller-coaster road I’ve shared previously, past a hippy-decorated house hidden behind a very high bamboo hedge, back past Mom’s, and then down around to where the road turns to dirt, through the creek, past the cattle ranch, and back up to Mom’s.

I regularly stop a the creek and photograph some, and I wish I’d get down there when the light was decent… Alas. It seems I only make it there in the middle of the day. For Round 3 of the Wide Angle Battle, let’s see how the Nikon FM3a and Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D fare against the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim and the Konica WaiWai.

Really, I don’t know what I photographed down there, or why. Mostly, “foreground interest” was the only thought in my head.

How about a pretty flower? Surely flowers make for nice subjects.

Other than slight exposure differences and, well, corner sharpness (or lack thereof) is there much difference in any of these?

Eh. Not so much, and, really, corner clarity and overall sharpness makes for the biggest difference. That, and, well, I was impatient with the wind and couldn’t wait for the flower to blow back my way when I took the photo with the FM3a, so it produced probably the most boring—if sharpest—picture.

Held down at water level, surely the creek itself makes a nice picture?

Or maybe through the weeds, back towards the road where Mom’s waiting patiently, perhaps photographing for her annual calendar? Can you even make her out?

Here, the difference in focal length again plays a role, though somewhat less than in other conditions, and I find it really hard to judge these.

For me, it comes down to the specular highlights in the water-level pictures, and I prefer the smeared highlights from the WaiWai to those of the UWS, and, while the FM3a and fancy Zoom-Nikkor really did the best job, I’m not necessarily interested in sharpness-for-sharpness sake. After all, I wear glasses and have a rather pronounced astigmatism, so the world tends to look a bit smeared to me… I also like the way the WaiWai handled the flower and slight ghosting from the midday sun.

I think the ranking is rather clear.

  1. Konica WaiWai
  2. Nikon FM3a & 17-35mm f/2.8 D
  3. Vivitar UWS

As an aside, the LC-W (which produced the cover image) had a strange light leak between two frames that produced an interesting effect that I can’t help but share…



Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.