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| p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · FS: Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 14mm f/2.8D ED lens - PICTURES ADDED |
I don't really know, since I've never owned the 14-24 zoom. I tend towards primes for my personal stuff, and I've never had the need for a focal length that wide in the few paid assignments I do.
Just a cursory Google search seems to indicate that many prefer the 14-24 at 14mm over the 14mm prime, but there are a few who swear by the prime. One person noted that the 14mm prime actually lets in more light, even with the same aperture, vs. the zoom because of light transmission loss with more elements in the zoom (approximately 2/3 of a stop difference). Weight is also another reason. Apparently the prime is about 12oz lighter.
In terms of image quality, they seem to be judged about the same in the center, but the 14mm prime is softer in the corners and has slightly more vignetting. They both require special setups to use filters because of the convex front element.
So, I'd say if you don't need the range of the zoom (i.e., you just want the ultra wide angle view), want less weight in your bag, and need all the light-gathering power you can get (e.g., star photography), then go with the prime. If you'd rather have the range, higher IQ in the corners, and don't mind the extra weight, then get the zoom.
I've added a photograph of the stars and the Milky Way in my back yard, taken with the 14mm prime wide open. It's around a 30 second exposure, I think.