Nikkor 14-24mm - A lens I want to have in my travel kit

Last week 3rd Mughal Motorsports Rally happened in Jammu and Kashmir. This Photo Journey shares some moments with these flying machines at various places on Mughal Road. Let's check out this Photo Journey and know more about Mughal Rally and how it went..This Motorsports rally is organized by Himalayan Motorsports with 'J&K Bank' and 'J&K Tourism department'. Usually it's a three days event, which started on 29th with vehicle scrutiny. Whole day is dedicated to certify all vehicles as per rally guidelines. Every vehicle is checked on technical ground and ensured that driver & navigator are well equipped to drive during next two days. For more idea around the same, check out - http://www.xplorearth.com/program.htmThere were two competitions in Mughal Rally. One is called 'EXTREME' which is about speed. Each vehicle is released from start point afterregular intervals and they have to cover a particular terrain to reach final destination. Of course, vehicle with min time wins this but there are some penalty clauses as well. So calculation of winners is not that simple. First winner gets 2 Lac rupees and there are 5 prizes worth 2Lac, 1.25L, 1L, 50K, 25K. Entry Fees for each vehicle is 20K.Other competition is called 'ENDURO', which is more about disciplined and controlled driving. Other name is TSD (Time, Speed & Distance), which means that each vehicle has to move with constant speed, to cover a distance in specific time period. Vehicle with minimum delta wins this competition.After scrutiny on 29th June, first day of rally had to start at 2:30am on 30th. First day was on Mughal Road which connects Shri Nagar to Jammu through Peer-Ki-Gali. It was a wonderful stretch and J&K Tourism is working on this region to developfor tourism. This whole stretch has wonderful landscapes surrounded by snow covered hills and of-course waterfalls which are created out of melting snow on peaks.Local administration had wonderful arrangements for the rally. Most of the these roads were frozen for civil traffic, as it could have been dangerous. There are more than enough security on each turn of the Mughal Road. Ambulances, support vehicles and all other relevant resources were deployed upfront. All these rallies need lot of planning from organizer's point of view as well as local administration.First day completed with few minor break-downs due to which some of the participants were disqualified for day-2. One of the gypsy toppled and two girls started again within few minutes. It's amazing to see the passion & energy of these folks. Also this sport needs disciplined planning and straegic approach to reach the destination with full safety measures and keep yourself in competition. Every Vehicle has a driver and a navigator. Navigator is very important role of this game, which has critical responsibility with him. S/he keeps record of whole route and all minute details. So S/he keeps guiding the driver about the next movements.After tiring day on 30th June, it was time to relax for some time as next day had to start at 3:30 am again. So on first day, we started from Shrinagar and came back to Shrinagar after long drive through Peer-ki-gali. Second day was on other side of the Mughal Road. So we started at around 3:30am from Hotel Centaur (Shrinagar) and reached Sinthan Top between Kishtwar & Daksum. Sinthan Pass is a wonderful place capped with snow all around. Chilly wind was flowing around Sinthan HillsSecond day stretch had all dirt roads with melting snow flowing all over. All the roads were extremely narrow and plenty of turns. From the top of Sinthan Pass, we could see a stretch of 20 kilometers which was full of curved roads into the valley. On first day EXTREME folks had come back to Shrinagar, while ENDURA folks had gone to Jammu. On second day ENDURA folks had to come back through Sinthan Pass only. So, for EXTREME folks it was to & fro stage and for ENDURA, it was one side stage from Jammu to ShrinagarDifferent kinds of vehicles were participating in Mughal Rally, many of them were gypsys and others were TATA vehicles like XENON, SAFARI... Mahindra XUV500 was also there... Maruti's Grand Vitara... Detailed information about eligibility criteria for participating in Mughal Rally, check out - http://www.xplorearth.com/program.htFirst day of the rally was towards Rajouri district of Jammu&Kashmir and second day was towards Anantnag district.Third day is kept for prize distribution and podium finish ceremonies. But this year, these ceremonies were cancelled due to death of a rally participant on second day. One of the ENDURA vehicle went out of the way and got down to a deep valley. Driver died on the spot and navigator went to coma for some time. So third day ceremonies were cancelled.Some high end motorbikes also participate in Mughal Rally. After the event, one another scrutiny takes place to ensure that all vehicles were in right state and none of them was using any avoidable material.
If you are into Travel Photography, you know that wide angle lens plays a big role in your kit. So far, I have used various wide angle lenses of different brands and price-ranges, I am super impressed with the quality this particular lens offers. Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used. 

It was Mughal Rally, when I used this lens. One of the journalist friend offered me to us this lens for an hour. Above photograph is clicked with same lens.

Look at the specifications below, if curious.

Main Features:

- Fast, ultra wide-angle AF-S zoom lens 
- Exceptional sharpness, contrast and color, rendering outstanding image integrity.
- Two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements and PGM aspherical lenses control chromatic aberrations while enhancing sharpness and contrast even at the widest aperture settings.
- Exclusive Nano Crystal Coat further reduces ghosting and flare for even greater image clarity.
- Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables ultra-high-speed autofocusing with exceptional accuracy and powerful, super-quiet operation.
- Internal Focus (IF) provides fast and quiet autofocusing without changing the length of the lens, retaining subject-working distance through the focus range.
- Rugged construction with professional-grade dust and moisture resistance.
- M/A focus mode switch enables quick response to changing situations between auto and manual focus operation.
- Nikkor 14-24mm is optimized for edge-to-edge sharpness on both the Nikon FX and DX format sensors.

Technical Specifications:

- Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet
- Focal Length Range: 14-24mm
- Zoom Ratio: 1.7x
- Maximum Aperture: 2.8
- Minimum Aperture: 22
- Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 90°
- Minimum Angle of View (DX-format): 61°
- Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 114°
- Minimum Angle of View (FX-format): 84°
- Compatible Format(s): FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
- Diaphragm Blades: 9
- ED Glass (Elements): 2
- Aspherical (Elements): 3
- Super Integrated Coating: Yes
- Autofocus: Yes
- AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
- Internal Focusing: Yes
- Minimum Focus Distance: 0.9ft.(0.28m)
- Focus Mode: Auto, Manual, Manual/Auto
- Dimensions: (Approx.) 3.8×5.2 in. (Diameter x Length), 98×131.5mm (Diameter x Length)
- Weight: (Approx.) 969g
- Lens Case: CL-M3
- Lens Hood: Built-in
- Supplied Accessories: CL-M3 semi-soft case, Lens cover, Rear lens cap


2 comments:

Shrinidhi Hande said...

I am looking for an even wider 8- 16mm, but not finding any off late

VJ Sharma said...

@Shrini - Ohh wow. That will be super awesome. I have been using 10mm fish eye and loving it. The only challenge to compose better photographs with fish eye perspective.

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