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View Full Version : Moving to Sweden need a (wider?) lens!




NathanCH
Jul 4, 2011, 12:18 AM
Hey guys,

I've been doing a lot of research looking for a lens but I'm really running out of time, and need some expert help coming to a decision. I've done enough research to narrow it down to a few lenses.

Current gear:
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 50mm 1.4, Nikkor 18-55mm (Kit), Nikkor 35mm 1.8 (Borrowing)

Budget: $700~

So to keep this short, I'm moving to Sweden in 10 days to live with my girlfriend and her family until the fall. We will be be travelling to Europe a few times during the summer (Germany, England, Denmark, Iceland). I feel like the three lenses I have are not good enough for landscape and architecture (indoors and out).

I've been looking for awhile and some people say telephoto lenses are better for landscape, and others say wide. I've decided I probably want to go wider because it would have more use for me (besides landscape.) So here are the lenses I've been looking at:

1. Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 (OR) Sigma 10-20mm F4.0-F5.6
2. Tokina 17-50mm F2.8

I've never played around with anything wider than 18mm, but looking at the 10-20mm Flickr Group, I really love some of those photos. I feel like the Tokina would be a solid replacement for my kit lens but doesn't provide anything new in terms of focal length.

Am I on the right track? Right now I'm thinking the one of those Sigma's would be a good buy for me, but feel like I could be missing on something. Maybe these are too wide and im looking in the wrong place? Bleh! Too much reading :(



tmagman
Jul 4, 2011, 12:24 AM
The Tokina is going to be very similar in range of your 18-55 kit lens so I wouldn't bother with this. If I had to pick one from your list I'd pick the 10-20 3.5 cause its a little bit faster than the other one and very good wide angle range.

handsome pete
Jul 4, 2011, 12:52 AM
How about the Tokina 11-16 2.8? Great lens.

Vudoo
Jul 4, 2011, 01:12 AM
I hope you know that the wider you go, there is an increase chance of curvatures on the sides.

With that said, if you want wide then I would recommend the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 since I don't like variable aperture lenses. If you really want to go wide, take a look at the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens.

The 35mm and 50mm prime lenses will cover the rest of your needs and it will make you a better photographer. I wouldn't bother using the kit lens. :D

By the way, Vancouver is a beautiful city and I would hate to move away from there.

fitshaced
Jul 4, 2011, 03:42 AM
How about the Tokina 11-16 2.8? Great lens.

Aren't ultra wide lenses more for distance than landscape shots? i'm certainly no expert but have this very lens and done some research on it when i discovered that landscapes always seemed too far away. I use this lens now only for things such as a long hallway or arena type pics to give more distance to the picture. i use an APS-C but it doesn't really matter as the distance is the same. There's obviously more width with this lens but as I said, the horizon always seems too far away. Perhaps, for landscape shots on an APS-C, panoramic stitching with a 18-24mm focal length is the best solution.

Be advised, I'm a total newbie.

OreoCookie
Jul 4, 2011, 04:35 AM
I don't think you need a wider lens, 18 mm on a crop sensor is a classic wide-angle focal length. Ultra-wide angle lenses are already quite different in their effect. I have a Tokina 12-24 mm lens which is excellent, but the UW effect gets old really quickly.

If I were you, I'd much rather replace the 18-55 mm kit lens with something better, e. g. the Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 you've mentioned. Tokina only makes a 16-50 mm, that'd also work for you.

cube
Jul 4, 2011, 12:10 PM
I would get the Sigma 8-16. You already have a 18-55 and you can later get the Tokina 16-50 f2.8 or the Nikon 17-55 f2.8

mofunk
Jul 4, 2011, 09:14 PM
At my local camera shop, the salesman let me test a D7000 with Nikkor 10-20mm. I wasn't a fan of this lens, but when I saw what I was getting with it on the D7k I fell in love with that range. It looks great too when recording video.


However I'm wondering if you are willing to keep changing your lenses. The 17-55mm would work too. or 24-70mm range.

Vudoo
Jul 4, 2011, 11:13 PM
Shooting ultra-wide can be tricky, but quite doable. Here's a photo at 14mm on a Nikon D700 FX with the 14-24mm f/2.8 FX lens.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b28/vh_bu98/2010-Mass/2010-10-16_12-03-48_PAS_4743.jpg

Ravaroo
Jul 4, 2011, 11:34 PM
Another option for that price range is http://www.adorama.com/NK18200DXNR.html
that's 27mm at the wide end on your D7k and will outperform your kit lens by far. Plus, if you come across any situation where you need more distance then your 50mm, you'll have a great zoom with VR

Nostromo
Jul 5, 2011, 12:41 AM
Moving to Sweden - need a wider lens.

I liked that thread title.

But I need to say that Sweden isn't that small that you need a wider lens. You can take a few steps back without falling into the North Atlantic ;)

NathanCH
Jul 5, 2011, 02:40 AM
Thank you so much for all your advice! You have given me even more to think about :)

Yea Vudoo, but I will be back. Also, great photo.


Nostromo, haha! Are you sure? Just kidding. Have you been or live there?


Ravaroo, that looks like a pretty good lens. But a bit out of my price range (especially since I'm getting it here in Canada).

Thanks again everyone for your help. Been looking through POTD for a few years now and love everyone's work thats why it's so valuable to hear what this community has to say.

carlgo
Jul 5, 2011, 10:29 AM
You could check out used or refurb lenses. Don't feel you are being "amateurish" by using kit lenses. They have the most modern design and are very, very good.

Having to hop fences or back out into roads or interject yourself into someone's space doesn't make you a better photographer...You can still do that with a kit lens and use the zoom to change the perspective of it and so you actually have more choices of how to depict a scene, not fewer.

And I agree that general outdoor scenics are usually awful when shot with a wide angle. They just seem so much more useful when shooting interiors, in tight outdoor situations and close-ups as in the solar panels posted earlier.

El Cabong
Jul 5, 2011, 09:00 PM
Your current kit will be fine for many things. If you're buying before you leave, do it ASAP so that you'll have time to test for any flaws in the glass/autofocus problems, and make an exchange if necessary.

Haven't used the Tokina 17-50, but the Tamron (non-VC) with the same specs is quite nice; it's a useful lens to have, though it obviously replicates the focal range of your kit lens. If you go for the Sigma, know that the f/3.5 version has soft corners at 10mm throughout the aperture range. In any case, it's very convenient to have a wider lens when you're crammed into an alley, or somewhere similarly confined.

For instance, I wish I'd had something a wee bit wider than 18mm (DX) at this old church in Skåne:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5320/5907330980_37e68517ec_z.jpg

You'll probably want to correct for distortion/perspective when shooting architecture (unlike above). Definitely pick up a tripod if you want to do indoor architectural shots.

Nostromo
Jul 5, 2011, 09:43 PM
Nostromo, haha! Are you sure? Just kidding. Have you been or live there?




I know from experience that Europe isn't as small as it looks on the map...

tinman0
Jul 5, 2011, 11:38 PM
How about the Tokina 11-16 2.8? Great lens.

+1 Great lens. Especially for general purpose (well for me anyway).

No idea why people have trouble with UWAs - if you want to lose the UWA effect, hold the camera straight. The converging lines only becomes a real problem if you tilt the lens forwards or backwards.

OreoCookie
Jul 6, 2011, 01:12 AM
No idea why people have trouble with UWAs - if you want to lose the UWA effect, hold the camera straight. The converging lines only becomes a real problem if you tilt the lens forwards or backwards.
Things are not that easy: UW lenses still distort the subject. Try to take a picture of a group of people so that they fill the frame. You will notice that the persons at the corner of the image will appear fatter than they actually are. Especially women don't really appreciate this ;)

Ruahrc
Jul 6, 2011, 01:49 AM
Don't let the detractors sway you- my Nikon 12-24mm DX is my favorite and most used lens. UWA is not for every subject but it is certainly capable of taking great shots. Perhaps most compelling is that humans "see" in the ~50mm focal range (hence why it's called a "normal lens") and so when you take shots with the UWA lens, it gives a new perspective on your subjects that humans don't see natively, which can make the shot more appealing.

That said, I found I have most success with getting really close to things, yet still be able to include background objects because of the large FOV- Vudoo's shot is a good example. Using a UWA lens to get it all in one shot is a recipe for boring and empty photos as the large FOV just makes everything too small. You definitely need to learn how to use a UWA but it is a great lens to have in anyone's kit.

As far as suggestions, honestly I'd not bother screwing around and just buy the Nikon 10-24 DX. Buy once buy right and all that. It's a fantastic quality lens, universally considered to be a little better than the 3rd party alternatives, and every bit as good as my 12-24 (actually even better because it is a little wider). It may be slightly above your budget but IMO worth the expenditure, as it is a Nikkor it will also hold its value quite well.

The only suggestion I'd have if you do get a lens like this is to make sure you also have a tripod. These lenses work best for landscape/nature type shots with static subjects (hence the smaller maximum aperture) and also like I mentioned earlier- because you will often find yourself getting close to things, it helps to have a tripod to be able to compose carefully and also provide the steady platform to get a longer exposure and maximum sharpness.

fitshaced
Jul 6, 2011, 02:04 AM
Don't let the detractors sway you- my Nikon 12-24mm DX is my favorite and most used lens. UWA is not for every subject but it is certainly capable of taking great shots. Perhaps most compelling is that humans "see" in the ~50mm focal range (hence why it's called a "normal lens") and so when you take shots with the UWA lens, it gives a new perspective on your subjects that humans don't see natively, which can make the shot more appealing.

That said, I found I have most success with getting really close to things, yet still be able to include background objects because of the large FOV- Vudoo's shot is a good example. Using a UWA lens to get it all in one shot is a recipe for boring and empty photos as the large FOV just makes everything too small. You definitely need to learn how to use a UWA but it is a great lens to have in anyone's kit.

As far as suggestions, honestly I'd not bother screwing around and just buy the Nikon 10-24 DX. Buy once buy right and all that. It's a fantastic quality lens, universally considered to be a little better than the 3rd party alternatives, and every bit as good as my 12-24 (actually even better because it is a little wider). It may be slightly above your budget but IMO worth the expenditure, as it is a Nikkor it will also hold its value quite well.

The only suggestion I'd have if you do get a lens like this is to make sure you also have a tripod. These lenses work best for landscape/nature type shots with static subjects (hence the smaller maximum aperture) and also like I mentioned earlier- because you will often find yourself getting close to things, it helps to have a tripod to be able to compose carefully and also provide the steady platform to get a longer exposure and maximum sharpness.


I wouldnt advise against buying an UWA as I have one and I love it. Its is really sharp. I'd just advise against buying it for landscape shots without knowing how to use it. There needs to be something in the foreground. Here is one I took at the weekend. It is at 16mm so not entirely ultrawide but still gives the effect I wanted from ultrawide.

[IMG]http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/4386/img1530nr.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/706/img1530nr.jpg/)

Vudoo
Jul 6, 2011, 09:59 AM
Here's a landscape photo at 14mm on full-frame. You have to pay attention to the distortion on the sides and learn to use it to your advantage.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b28/vh_bu98/2010-Mass/2010-10-16_11-20-39_PAS_4720.jpg

compuwar
Jul 6, 2011, 02:04 PM
Hey guys,

I've been doing a lot of research looking for a lens but I'm really running out of time, and need some expert help coming to a decision. I've done enough research to narrow it down to a few lenses.

Current gear:
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 50mm 1.4, Nikkor 18-55mm (Kit), Nikkor 35mm 1.8 (Borrowing)



1. Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 (OR) Sigma 10-20mm F4.0-F5.6
2. Tokina 17-50mm F2.8

I've never played around with anything wider than 18mm, but looking at the 10-20mm Flickr Group, I really love some of those photos. I feel like the Tokina would be a solid replacement for my kit lens but doesn't provide anything new in terms of focal length.


The 35mm should be great for landscapes stopped down to around f/8. I'd go with the 17-50 before a 10-20mm. I don't think my 10-20mm has been on my crop body more than once in the last two years, while I've shot lots of landscapes and panoramas at 35mm on both DX and FX. You get a lot of sky in ultra-wide shots, and the field of view is such that you lose a lot of good details, so it only works for some shots, where a narrower lens tends to work for more shots, at least for me.

Paul