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Lens of a Lifetime Winner • Daniel Zafra

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA • Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, f/8, 1/6sec, ISO 640
I am an amateur landscape photographer from Spain living in the US. My main passion is to travel where you cannot only capture beautiful pictures but experience moments that leave a mark on you for life; from dancing with the northern lights in the arctic to sleep under the Milky Way in the desert.

Which lens has changed your life and why?
The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 was a life-changer regarding photography for me. It is said that gear doesn't matter in photography, and I agree, but I found a completely different result in my images after I got this lens, mainly because of the type of photography I do; landscapes during low-light hours, night photography and vast landscapes.

This lens is also very special to me as I photographed the first Northern Lights of my life with it and has always come very close in many unforgettable locations such as the Canadian Rockies, Lofoten Islands, Kamchatka Peninsula and many national parks across the US.

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How long have you been shooting with it?
I have been shooting with this lens since the end of 2016 when I bought it from a friend who was not using it.

What drew you to that lens initially?
The ultra-wide angle which lets you get very close to the foreground while capturing a broad landscape at the same time.
The controlled distortion that keeps elements straight and doesn't produce a strong 'coma' effect in the stars when shooting night photography.
The sharpness throughout the entire frame, even in the corners.
The luminosity for shooting some of my favorite topics such as Northern Lights.

Has this lens lived up to or exceeded your expectations?
It has completely lived up to my expectations. I read many good reviews about it, but the quality – once I started using the lens – was even better than expected.

What advice would you give to other photographers considering this lens?
If you are passionate about landscape photography and you enjoy shooting things close to you to make them appear larger, if you do night photography and want a high-quality lens, then this is the lens for you. It is also perfect for architecture following the little distortion it produces.

What is your future lens purchase?
Probably a brighter lens dedicated to astrophotography. Meanwhile, for my current projects I hope to keep shooting with this lens for many years, this is definitely my lens of a lifetime!

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