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

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.

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Here's another view of the same image:

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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.

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