My review of this lense is purely based on my experience as a working photographer. I won't be going on about the more technical aspects of it.
Firstly, I love this lense. It's so sharp and has fantastic depth of colour. I mainly use it for photographing super-wide landscapes such as in the Radcliffe Camera photo below.
I love the way it renders clouds so dramatic.
If you level your camera, the distortion is very low at 14mm and non exsistant at 24mm. The problem I found with its use for landscapes, is you can not use filters due to it's bulbous front element,which could be a problem on old cameras that lack good dynamic range.
A camera like the d800, lets you underexpose your photo, so you don't blow out your sky, but still recover details in the shadows. Lee filters does make a filter unit, but is very expensive.
It's heavy, weighing in at 1kg, but it feels and balances well on my d800. It has no vr ,but being so wide you don't need it. I have shot this at 1/10th handheld and still got sharp photos.
The focus ring feels great and is very smooth.
The Zoom ring can be stiff, but with a constant aperture of 2.8 it's not surprising. The bulbous front element does stick out when at 14mm and is a worry when you're walking around, as banging the front end could prove really expensive. Saying that, I've had mine for 6 years and haven't had a problem.
This is mainly a lense for landscape or architecture, but also think it's a great street and portrait lense (see the last photo sample). As long as you place your subject in the centre of the glass, you don't get much distortion. At 2.8 you get some subject separation and you get such large, dramatic backdrops.
This lense is outstanding, but at £1400 you need to weigh up what you really want out of photogaphy. If you're looking for the best wide angled zoom lense on the market and making money selling your work, this is a great investment. If you're still finding your way in photography and not sure if you like landscape or portrait, it's a lot of money to invest.
Solid great build quality
Stunning image quality
Some lense flair into the sun