< ! --Digital window verification 001 -->

Fotodiox Wonderpana 145 adapter kit for the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens review

Pin It

Fotodiox-Wonderpana-145-adapter-kit-for-the-Nikon-14-24mm-f2.8-lens-review

This is Steve Perry's review of the Fotodiox Wonderpana 145 filter adapter kit (check prices and availability on Amazon) for the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens (click on images for larger view):

As a professional landscape photographer, I have to say I fell in love with the Nikon 14-24mm the moment I attached it to my (then) state-of-the-art D3. It was amazingly sharp, and the zoom range just begged for wide open spaces and big skies.

However, there were more than a few times I found myself wishing I could attach a polarizer to the front of the lens to take reflections off of leaves and water. Enter the Fotodiox Wonderpana 145 Kit.

I’ve been using the Fotodiox adapter kit for my Nikon 14-24mm for about 6 months now and I wanted to let other 14-24mm owners know about this little gem. It’s a great way to add a polarizer (or neutral density) filter to your lens – check it out!

Here are the 100% crops mentioned in the video above to compare the sharpness of the polarizer to the naked lens (as noted in the video, these were deliberately shot in a situation where polarization would have a minimal impact). Honestly, I just don’t see much difference between the two – it’s just too close to call. Focused with LiveView, and shot with mirror lockup. Both are unsharpened RAW files.

sidebysidecomp-large
Here's another view of the same image:

topandbottomcomp-smaller
Pretty darn close. If there is a difference, it wouldn’t take very much sharpening to fix it, that’s for sure.

I can also attest that this adapter kit and polarizer rocks in real life. I’ve been exceedingly pleased with the sharpness, color, and amount of polarization. Highly recommended for 14-24mm owners who love shooting in the woods or near water. Available from Fotodiox.

PS – I’m not affiliated with Fotodiox in any way, I just really like this setup!

Sample Images

Crabtree-Falls

Crabtree Falls

Camera: NIKON D800E
Lens: 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 14mm
Shutter: 1 sec
ISO: 200
Aperture: F/9.5

This image was taken on my trip along the Blue Ridge parkway. I had seen photos of Crabtree Falls from time to time and I always wanted to stop by and pay it a visit. Plus, with all the water this year I had a feeling it probably looked pretty good. The falls is located through a closed NPS campground. It looked like it was a pretty cool place at one time, but now it’s just an eerie stroll past overgrown campsites and shuttered buildings. My son was with me and I think the word “creepy” rolled off his tongue about a dozen times.

We made our way to the trail, I think it was about a mile and a half and downhill all the way – so neither of us were looking forward to the climb back up! All I could think was I hope it’s worth it!

I needn’t have worried – once we arrived it was so TOTALLY worth it – it was magnificent! It just towers above everything else and almost seems to create it’s own light as the water dances off the nearly jet black rocks. I was really excited and was able to try several different compositions before it got too dark to shoot. Despite the fading light and uphill hike back, I was smiling all the way.

Lindy-Point-Sunset

Lindy Point Sunset

Camera: NIKON D800E
Lens: 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 14mm
Shutter: 1/10 sec
ISO: 100
Aperture: F/8

This was photographed during my very first evening at Blackwater Falls State Park. We had come for the waterfalls, but when we discovered this view I just knew I had to try and shoot it!

We got VERY lucky in that the air was really turbulent - thunderstorms had just come through and there were all manner of cool clouds putting on a show. I knew if the sun wasn't blocked there'd be a good light display, so I worked hard to find a composition I liked and, frankly, that I hand't really seen before. After some messing around, I decided on this location - it was a little close to the edge (too close if you ask my wife), but I really liked the way the stone leads out to the valley and sky.

As the sun sank below the horizon the clouds really started to light up. I snapped away for about 15 minutes before everything started going grey. If you're guessing we hiked back to the car with big 'ol stupid grins on our faces, you're right!

Soco-Falls

Soco Falls

Camera: NIKON D800E
Lens: 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 14mm
Shutter: 4 sec
ISO: 200
Aperture: F/9.5

The first time I saw Soco Falls in North Carolina I all could say was, “Ahh $#%##, OUCH!”

Sounds strange I know, but when your footing gives way and you end up hooking your leg around a jagged rock to stop a nasty downhill roll, you do take a little damage. Probably more to my ego than body (a laughing 12 year old reminding me of my age didn’t help any).

Fortunately, this happened during scouting and I didn’t have any gear with me (or the right shoes). Needless to say, when I went down the next morning for this image, I had better footwear and exercised a LOT more caution during the descent. Bleeding extremities aside, I really enjoy this falls. There was a LOT of water this year and they were going like crazy. Plus, there’s just nothing quite like a good double (triple, quadruple?) waterfall to get your juices flowing.

Amazingly, I had the area to myself for 2 hours while I tried different compositions. The trickiest part was actually picking a favorite composition – you could just about throw a camera at this one and get a cool shot.

Tremont-Rush

Tremont Rush

Camera: NIKON D800E
Lens: 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 18mm
Shutter: 1/2 sec
ISO: 200
Aperture: F/9.5

The Tremont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of my favorite spots. The middle prong of Little River flows though it and zig zags its way through the boulders and drop offs, constantly coaxing photographers to its banks. This particular area of cascades has always held a certain fascination for me. Getting to it involves a nearly vertical climb down, but it’s well worth the effort (you know, if you don’t kill yourself in the process).

I set the gear up on a large boulder out towards the center of the river and worked several compositions before I found this one. This was shot with a wide angle lens, so the foreground rock you see was actually part of the slippery boulder I was standing on! (And you do NOT want to lose your footing when the river is raging like this – yikes!)

This particular evening seemed to have a bit of mist in the air and I really like the “feeling” it gave the image. As I snapped away, I knew I had finally captured a photo of this area that I really liked!

Triple-Falls

Triple Falls

Camera: NIKON D800E
Lens: 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 20mm
Shutter: 2 sec
ISO: 200
Aperture: F/9.5

This might be my favorite waterfall in the Smoky Mountains – And only a handful of people even know about it. It’s located off a rough, unmarked and unmaintained trail. It’s only  8-10 feet high, but what it lacks in stature it more than makes up for in character. When the water flow is just right, it has 3 distinct chutes – too little water or too much and the magic disappears.

I’ve actually tried this one a few times. The first time I didn’t like the composition. The second (and third? – can’t recall for sure) didn’t have enough water. Then there was the time when there was WAY too much water. Oh, and then I missed the shot because I didn’t get to it early enough – too much sun ruining the image.

Then there was this one I took the short hike back, crossed the creek, and made my way to the falls. The conditions were perfect – it had just rained and the surroundings were exceptional – between the wet rocks and leaves, the colors were off the chart. Water flow was in the Goldilocks Zone and – as usual – I had the place to myself.

I took my time and set the camera up in the creek to capture the water coming right at the lens. The camera was low – just a foot or so from the surface of the water. Made it awkward for framing the shot, but well worth it.

I normally work a waterfall pretty well, but in this case I knew just what I wanted. A few shots later I packed up, but instead of hiking right back, I lingered on for a bit longer, just soaking in and enjoying the falls.

This entry was posted in [NR] Reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Jeff Hunter

    Thanks so much for the user tips. I just bought one of these a few weeks ago. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. I found it to be so easy to take on and off the lens that I plan on not leaving it on the lens when it’s in my bag. The way the pockets and compartments are arranged in my bag makes storage far easier with it detached.

  • David G.

    Great images.

  • Global

    Wow… the 14-24/f2.8 can get bigger?? Hey — how come the ones on their website & also on Amazon have a red ring; but the one you are using doesn’t have the red ring? Are these different models?

    Beautiful pictures, btw; inspiring.

    • MyrddinWilt

      Umm exactly what would I be looking to focus on that is less than 1m away and get a 120 degree field of view?

      Even if it does get wider, the outer edges are going to be further away and at some point leave the focal plane.

    • Steve Perry

      Thanks for the kind words. I believe the one with the red ring is for using square filters.

  • Spy Black

    The vignette “adjustment” is pretty hilarious. Yeah, you really need something like Lightroom to fix that. Yep, can’t do it any other way…

  • Bonetti

    All but one Pic is shot at ISO 200, Why?

    • Steve Perry

      Hi –

      Strictly for a little extra shutter speed. All the waterfall images were shot in either overcast or at dusk / dawn to avoid unwanted dappled light from the sun.

      The shutter speeds I was getting were slower than I really wanted at ISO 100, so I bumped the ISO to 200 to cut them in half. Some (soco falls) were still a bit slower than I wanted, but I didn’t want to go to ISO 400 since many of my clients order REALLY large prints (although it wouldn’t have been the end of the world). ISO 200 was a good compromise.

      I could have opened up a stop, but then I wouldn’t have the DOF I was after (and the 14-24 isn’t any fun to focus blend with – it changes focal length as you change the focus point – better to get it all in one shot).

      ~Steve Perry

  • Joseph

    I have no idea where your vantage point was at Blackwater, but nice shot. I’m sorry I missed that view when I was there. I had never been to WV, but found my way to that park just before sunset, but only saw the falls and no high lookout points like that. Not used to that kind of scene – I live in the deep south, where our highest point in the county is like 50ft.

  • Filter Tester

    FYI, I’ve owned the lens and Fotodiox polarizer for over a year now and it does, in fact, vignette at 14mm when you focus at around a 1 meter or less, which is something that I do very often (hyperfocal distance). The reason for the vignetting is that the lens focal length gets wider as you focus closer. Unfortunately, Fotodiox didn’t read the lens owners manual beforehand. My estimate is that the focal length changes by about half-a-millimeter in focal length when focused around one meter or less, so at 14mm, it’s really 13.5mm.

    It’s sturdy, well-made, and very affordable for such a rugged and durable piece of equipment, but still the vignetting can cause very dark corners that cannot be fixed with software. One potential workaround is to compose the image with some breathing space, then crop later, though you’re losing some pixels.

    As for the WonderPana split grads, the holder causes vignetting, too, even more so, because they left a large gap between the grad holder and round filter holder, which could have easily been reduced when they designed it. If they did, I think that would have solved the problem.

    It doesn’t matter though, the split grads are worthless in the field. The holder does not turn, like every other holder on the market, so if the horizon isn’t always perfectly horizontal, which it rarely is in the real world, you can’t tweak it to compensate. And, worst of all, you can’t turn the filter when you change from a horizontal to a vertical composition. Instead, you have to disassemble it and reassemble it using several very tiny screws that I cannot help but drop, even when I’m working over a table. It’s impossible.

    Another issue is that the grads are too short. Granted, they’re longer than anyone else’s, but you can’t raise and lower them very much, so you’re stuck with taking pictures with the horizon nearly centered in the frame, which is bad composition in most situations.

    Luckily, I have a Nikon D800E with a very wide dynamic range and, therefore, I can take most of my shots without the need for a split grad. The D800E is a lifesaver. But, there are those times that I would really like one.
    I’ve given Fotodiox my input when I met with them last year at their headquarters, and hopefully they’ll make these improvement if they come up with a new version. If they do, I’ll the be first one to buy them because they are so well made. I wish they would have met with a professional landscape photographer like me before they designed it.

    Conclusion: The polarizer is great and its round metal filter holder also helps protect the lens and reduces flare, but just know that you’re going to get vignetting at 14mm if your focus distance is less than 1m. As for the split grads, wait for the next version.

  • doodle

    Wow. The loss of sharpness is actually quite noticeable, as I can easily see it on my Note 2. This would make the D800E look much worse than the D800 without the filter. A big FAIL in some books, but I guess it still beats not getting the shot: you can’t add the effects of an 8-stop ND filter in postprocessing.

    I ended up selling my 14-24 in favor of the 16-35 because the lack of filtering options drove me nuts. Very few regrets.

    • Ineluki

      Same is with me. The 16-35mm is also very good. I have 200$-Filters for 77mm. Why shall I spend another 500 bucks to get that lousy filters on a prime lens?

    • Remedy

      Oh sure because getting extremely sharp 36Mpix photos is THE ONLY WAY. Forget all the rest with D3x, D600, D700 etc. Are You fking serious dude? How about You get some grip with reality again? Get a life, seriously.

      • Neopulse

        The only time I think I have ever agreed with you.

        • Remedy

          So You are finally on the right path. Slowly but surely? Keep it that way, there is still hope for You ;P :*

  • Maji

    Lovely images. I think the eyes behind the camera were responsible for those great images more than the gear :)

  • mark papke

    Cool, will it work with the Tokina 16-28mm 2.8. Probably not huh.

    • Steve Perry

      Looking at their site, it appears they do make a wonderpana for that lens. It’s listed under the Wonderpana 145 Essentials Kit (there’s a drop box)

    • joshcarlisle

      I use this with my Tokina 16-28 2.8. Work great – same as Nikon 14-24. I’m very happy with the Wonderpana system other then it seems to grab every dust and water particle for 20 feet around – add a few minutes of dust removal to your post processing :)

  • mark papke

    Cool, will it work with the Tokina 16-28mm 2.8. Probably not huh.

  • Mauricio Fernandez

    A very well done video.

  • Craig Bailey

    I love this system. Got mine 3 weeks ago. Only problem is now the size on the front of the lens. Get so many odd looks now. Ah well. Long as I get the shots I’m happy.

  • Dover

    Well done tutorial. Covered all the bases and alerted us to the things to watch out for. I wish all tutorials were this complete.

  • BernhardAS

    Great post.

    I liked the video and the pictures are stunning.

  • gromit

    Is the Fotodiox filter system better than the Lucroit System that is also available for the 14-24? Has someone experience with both?

  • Mansgame

    If there was a way to put a filter on this without ruining image quality, Nikon would have figured it out and released it. It’s not like Nikon hates money.

    • neonspark

      false. Nikon very much likes money and the cost of adding that huge frame would have missed target entry price points for this lens.

  • MLN

    Anything wider than a 28mm and the polarizer will be uneven. This has to do with how light funtions and is independent of brand. A polarizer on a 14mm is almost useless as it will only polarize a small fraction of the frame.

    • neonspark

      did you even bother watching his video? apparently not. polarizers remove reflections silly.

  • Tim

    Just my opinion but i actually KNOW that a polarizer on anything wider than about 28mm on FF is the biggest nonsense of all time…

  • Elia

    Nice images and review! By the way, I have seen some of the photographers reviewed the RAVPower filehub, which can transfer the photos wirelessly and you can edit one whenever you want. Do you think it is useful for photographers?

  • Back to top