Input on Wide-Angle Lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Artful Dodger, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #1
    Hello to all.
    I'm looking at buying a wide-angle lens in the next week or so and have it narrowed down to two models. I have a Nikon D90 and have given my D50 to my girlfriend along with a few lenses and makes a nice backup system not to mention we can shoot together and exchange lenses as well.

    Originally I was going to purchase the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ultra wide-angle lens but this past week I've been leaning more towards the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 ultra wide-angle lens instead. Both have really great reviews and photos out there however most are just reviews and then like most things, the longevity and how the lenses have performed in the real world are in short supply. Last, is having the standard on Nikkor/Canon lenses, the lens gasket to help keep dust out, a huge advantage or very little on most models? I understand the beach and dessert is a no brainer and the weather seal would be handy which is one reason why I've stayed with Nikkor thus far but input is always welcome.

    With that said who here either owns, rents or uses either lens on a regular basis and what is your like dislike of the lens? I would also like to ask others that don't use Nikon for feedback on wide-angle information because wide is wide to me no matter what brand folks use :D

    My shooting in mind consists of architecture, landscape, various works of art and some creative fine art photos for print on canvas or Bristol board.

    I should list a few of the current lenses I have for coverage info:
    Nikkor 16-85mm (D90)
    Nikkor 70-300mm (D90)
    Nikkor 50mm (D50 & D90)
    Nikkor 18-55mm (D50 kit lens)
    Nikkor 18-200mm (D50)

    I don't mind the overlapping of lenses for coverage sake and to be honest both wide-angle lenses have been close on sharpness at just about every site I can compare them at. Most images aren't that big to compare photos like we would at home/work from the original but it's a start. This also means all the other fun issues that accompany ultra wide-angle lenses as well, you know, the stuff that others have reported or have left out because of personal bias or not.

    Thanks and sorry for the long post however I hope it helps others down the road :)
     
  2. cube macrumors G5

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    #2
    Well, I got a Sigma 12-24 for full frame, so I think the new 8-16 DC makes crop something that can be considered.
     
  3. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #3
    Thanks cube. I just looked that up and it seems very interesting for what I'm looking for. I don't know how I missed that one but I did :eek:
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #4
    I suggest you take Tokina's 12-24 mm into consideration: it has a much wider focal length range than the 11-16 mm. It is superior in build quality and optics to the Nikkor. The 11-16 mm is supposed to be better, but I'd rather have a wider focal length range.
     
  5. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

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    #5
    If you are considering ever shooting indoors with this lens, get the f2.8 11-16 (which I use on my D90). If I didn't do so often, I would have got the Tokina 12-24 (or Nikon's version 2nd hand).
     
  6. HBOC macrumors 68020

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  7. tekmoe macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I've been shooting with the Nikkor 10-24mm for the past month. It's a really great lens. I have no regrets.
     
  8. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #8
    It's really odd, I was going to get the Tokina 11-16 this past Friday and some how/way I've missed looking at the Nikkor 10-24 for quite some time which is the odd part because it hasn't been listed under my searches :rolleyes: Also the local shop hasn't carried it as of late because I've been in there looking around for a few to compare.
    I am now checking out the Sigma 8-16mm which seems really interesting yet it could be faster and thus might be a deal breaker in the end.

    Glad you are happy with your lens and feel free to post any samples if you so desire.
     
  9. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Really depends on what you have envisioned to use it for. Landscapes? Indoor tight spaces? Also I would ask, do you own/use a tripod.

    8-16mm on DX is extraordinarily wide, and honestly getting into specialty lens territory, kind of like a macro or tilt-shift lens. It is not a trivial task to compose a frame with that kind of width (I believe 8mm is something around 120 degrees horizontal FOV).

    The 11-16 has a very limited zoom range, it's almost more like a prime than a zoom. It can be useful if you really need that f2.8 but if you're shooting landscapes, the extra speed is not going to do you any good.

    Lastly consider having some overlap between your lenses. If you are using a 16-85 and an 11-16, there is no overlap on the wide end. So if you have the 16-86 on and want a little wider than 16, you'll have to change lenses. Same goes for the 11-16: you will be limited to taking superwides only with that lens. Something with a little more range, however, like the 10-24, you will have that ultrawide capability but can still get into more conventional territory by being able to go to 24mm without having to swap lenses. If you tend to shoot a lot in that "crossover zone", a little overlap is a good thing otherwise you'll be switching lenses constantly.

    I'd recommend the 10-24 if only because I have the 12-24 which I use for landscapes and it's awesome. The 10-24 gives a little extra reach and costs less. If you are looking to take landscapes, I'd highly recommend this lens.

    Re: the rubber gasket- don't look too much into it. It's nice to have but considering your D90/D50 are not weather sealed, the protected lens isn't doing you that much good. I am not 100% sure but I also heard that unless your camera body also had the mount ring gasket (D200/300 models and up) then the lens gasket wasn't sealing anything. It needs the accompanying lens mount gasket for the protection. Suffice it to say, however, that I have taken my 12-24 and D80 into many outdoor situations (sandy beaches included) and have never had a problem.

    Ruahrc
     
  10. georgemann macrumors regular

    georgemann

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    #10
    Nikkor DX - Wide Angle Zoom

    My recommendation is to take a very careful side by side look at the Nikkor 10-24mm and 12-24mm DX lenses. Both externally for construction differences and on the camera for handling and image quality.

    My personal choice is the 12-24mm Nikkor DX, it has been my favorite wide angle lens for over 6 years now and I have used it on everything from the D40 to the D2x.

    Third party lenses just don't feel right in my hands and I think you have to be comfortable with your camera to get good use out of it.

    George
     
  11. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #11
    I'll put in a vote for the Tokina 12-24 f/4.0. It's a great lens, and built like a tank. The focal length range is very useful, and for the money it's a bargain compared to the Nikkor 12-24. The original version is screw drive, but that's not an issue since it focuses very fast. The version II has a built-in motor, but I haven't used one. For the difference in the price, I'd get the original classic Tokina without hesitation.

    Just my $0.02 worth. ;)
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #12
    8-10 mm is really, really wide. At these focal lengths it's difficult to compose a photo because you almost certainly have stuff in there you don't want in there.

    Also, I think you're overemphasizing the need for a fast lens: you're looking at ultra-wide angle lenses and not tele lenses. If you're working indoors, you'll probably do architectural shots. (Ultra-wide angle lenses are not well-suited to take pictures of people, you get a lot of distortion at the edges -- an effect that can be funny, but wears off quickly.)
    Sounds like you've never used Tokina lenses: their build quality is much closer to Nikon pro glass and a joy to use. My 12-24 mm Tokina feels great in my hands. :) The focal length range is quite useful and you can even use it indoors for people if you keep on reminding yourself to forgo anything between 12 and 16/17 mm. Especially women get cranky when you transform their faces into pancakes ;)
     
  13. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #13
    While this may be true in some cases, it needs to be qualified. There's no doubt that the Tokina 12-24 has better build quality than either Nikon choice. It has a full metal barrel whereas the Nikons are plastic. Also, many Zeiss lenses (third party, remember) make Nikon lenses feel like toys. A third party lens requires no better or worse knowledge of your camera than a "first party" lens for optimum performance.

    Ruahrc
     
  14. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #14
    Cheaply constructed, plastic-y, sloppy lenses with "play" in them don't feel right in my hands--which is one reason why I like the Tokina wide angles. And, for you Nikon shooters, Tokina lenses focus and zoom the same way Nikkor lenses do (opposite direction from Canon.) I read that the company was originally founded by former Nikon engineers--I don't have verification of this, but it would explain that similar DNA "feeling."
     
  15. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #15
    Yeah I'm going to stay within the 10-24mm range as that should be more than enough for my needs.

    pdxflint I can't believe my local shop doesn't carry Tokina as I called there and they won't even take in used Tokina lenses :rolleyes: I was thinking when looking at certain situations the where, when and why for my wide angle purchase but this makes it a tad more of a leap of faith for the final decision.
     
  16. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #17
    ^^^^ Isn't that a kick ;) I just got the 16-85mm to photo the Tibetan Monks last week here in Buffalo/Niagara Falls and used the short/wide end and then changed over to my 18-200mm (forgot the 70-300mm @ home :rolleyes:) on the long end. Oh how I would have liked something like this last week for before dinner and just after with them…also fwiw I had lost my bookmarks due to the dreaded HDD failure and replacement in my MBP 5 days before that…sigh.
    Thanks for the link as it will help in the future.
     
  17. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #18
    Well, there is certainly more than one place to buy photo gear...

    Looks interesting expecially for full-frame. I've already got a 17-55f/2.8 for DX, so it would not bring me anything I don't already have, but depending on it's performance, and it's price... I could see it being something I'd consider if I make the move to FX. It's definitely a nice looking lens-- again, that Nikkor DNA I was talking about. ;)
     
  18. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #19
    Oh I know that it was just somewhat funny since they stock everything else. It's always nice to try it out and decide right there but I've been looking to order either from B&H or Adorama depending upon price and of course stock. Just to keep the thread in the same ballpark, A local fellow just got a new 25ft pocket trawler from Washington and is proud to show it off and not just from the outside. I'm hoping to get some wide shots from the inside while docked and from a quick ride. We don't have many like that around the area by the Erie Canal where I'm from so it would be a real treat.
     
  19. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #20
    With Tokina lenses, it's not a leap of faith. Although I have noticed that they're harder to get in the US than in Europe. Makes them seem `exotic' and perhaps `not worth being in the store,' but in terms of quality, that couldn't be further from the truth. Older Tokina lenses are on par in terms of build quality with pro grade Nikon glass. I've once owned Tokina's 28-70 Pro SV which literally cost a fraction of what Nikon's own 28-70 would have cost at the time. The lens survived a crash with over 30 km/h on the pavement with only minor cosmetic blemishes. My body was killed, though.

    If you have `trouble' selling your Tokina lens, there is always ebay. ;) All the buyer needs to do is read reviews like this one:
    Compare that to the review of Nikon's 10-24 mm:
    The beauty is that while here in Germany, the Nikkor costs ~800 € while I can pick up a used 12-24 mm for ~310-350 € or 530 € new. Some people fear getting third-party products, but in many occasions, it's not really justified. There are damn good third-party lenses and there are mediocre third-party lenses.
     
  20. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Not to hijack this thread, but while I love my Tokina 11-16 (and I think it totally beat Sigma to the punch to fill this gap), I think the newly announced 16-28 seems moronic. It doesn't have a filter thread (there goes sunsets, waterfalls, etc.), it's FL range is inside of what Nikon offers, and it's terribly priced ($1400). I mean, why wouldn't I get the 16-35 f4 (with VR!) for $300 less, or get lucky and find a 17-35 used in great shape for $500 less?

    Tokina is a great company, but this seems like a weird business decision. If it were 2/3s the price of the best competitor, I'd get it. Maybe the IQ is nuts. Who knows.
     
  21. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #22
    I don't think the 16-28 was ever intended to be a landscape lens. f2.8 is not needed for landscapes and putting it in just adds weight and cost. This lens is more geared towards things like photojournalism where you might be shooting in tight spaces but need a wider aperture for lower light (indoors, etc). Therefore, lack of filter threads is not really an issue. I wouldn't say it's necessarily fair to compare it to the 16-35, which really is more of a landscape lens.

    The better comparison is to the 14-24- which at $1800 retail is almost 33% more expensive. I guess it really depends on the IQ, although with the reputation the 14-24 carries, it has pretty big shoes to fill. If it cost half what the Nikkor does, then you could get away with some lower IQ, but if you're going to spend $1400 on a lens, what's another $400 to get one of the Nikon legends?

    Ruahrc
     
  22. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #23
    If you use gels, the lack of a thread really doesn't matter, and you don't have to worry about vignetting with thicker filters too.

    Paul
     
  23. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I am not entirely sure I would agree with this, or maybe I just don't understand your logic. As a photojournalist (which I am not), wouldn't you want more reach/range than something with just 12mm from front to back? I agree with your f2.8 assessment, it wouldn't be needed for landscape, more for low-light indoor shooting. However, wouldn't you want to use a lens with this FL for landscape too?

    Let me put it another way - it's pretty much the same lens for FF as their 11-16 is for DX. I wouldn't use that lens if I were a photojournalist. That's just me.

    Now, I'll bring it allllllllll the way back for the OP: make sure you know what you want a UWA for before shelling out the dough!

    Good point (esp. with vignetting at these FLs) - but sadly I don't use them, nor would I want to accumulate a collection for just one lens.
     
  24. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

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    #25
    You are dead on the money here regarding price and IQ. I still think the 16-35 is the main competitor.

    I think maybe this is just bitterness that the 50-135 was taken off the market with no news of a successor model.
     

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