Wide-angle lense for Nikon camera.

JuiceyJuice

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 11, 2010
24
0
Philadelphia, PA
Hello all:

I'm pretty much a beginner with photography. I received a D3000 for Christmas, and have been practicing and reading photography books since. I have the kit lens along with a 55-200mm lens, but really would like some recommendations for a wide-angle lens.

I enjoy mostly taking urban architecture and landscape photos. I'm still unsure about a decision between zoom/fixed lenses, but am leaning towards fixed since they supposedly create a crisper end photo, and are supposedly better for learning. My budget would be somewhere between $500-$800 (or $1,000 if I'm in a spending mood).

Suggestions?:)
 

El Cabong

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2008
620
278
Sigma 8-16mm, unless you want filters. (The linked review tests a Canon-mount version, but it's available for Nikons.)

Available at B&H for $700 plus tax, etc.
 

leighonigar

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2007
908
1
They have a couple. There's an f/3.5 one too, IIRC.

I currently have all sigma lenses (well, barring manual focus and EOS fit) and I hate them. The lenses themselves are pretty good, but that stupid finish they put on them drives me mad. It gets dusty and it wears badly. I wouldn't buy another one for that reason alone. Not when Nikon and Tokina make nicely finished optics.
 

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,804
17
Monterey CA
A wide zoom will get you more properly framed shots in an urban environment. You often cannot move up or back to frame shots of huge buildings with a fixed lens.

What is better, a building taken by a zoom that fills the frame or the same subject taken by a great fixed lens that has to be cropped? The new zooms are modern designs that work very well.

You could make the best case for a fixed lens if you felt that you could really use the extra speed that is available. But, with digital cameras the speed isn't as important for most shots and you will not be longing to get a shallow depth of field in photographing buildings.
 

leighonigar

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2007
908
1
A wide zoom will get you more properly framed shots in an urban environment. You often cannot move up or back to frame shots of huge buildings with a fixed lens.
...
Even finding a really wide prime of any quality is a hard task.
 

pdxflint

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2006
2,407
14
Oregon coast
Don't spend more than $499 new, and get a Tokina 12-24mm f/4. Build quality is better than both your current lenses by a mile, and it zooms and focuses in the same direction as your Nikon lenses (opposite to Canon.) This lens goes plenty wide (12mm = 18mm full-frame equivalent, which is really wide) and the 24mm (36mm full-frame equivalent) long end will be more useful than you realize, speaking from experience. The lens is extremely sharp, even wide open. Nice contrast, great color rendition. Highly recommended. You'll need the version II, which has the built-in AF motor, and costs about $100 more than the previous screw-drive version. But, the new one has newer lens coatings to help reduce flare even more.

I can't speak for any other brand, since I haven't used them. They might be just as good, but I honestly don't know. The Tokina is a good choice, however.
 

runlsd

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2009
280
29
Wow! That Sigma is wide. I've always had a soft spot for the Tokina 12-24, you'd need the one with the built in motor. http://www.adorama.com/TN12242NKAF.html

It's a really solid lens.

Oh, and there's a review of it (well, the version without the internal motor, but it's the same) here: http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/273-tokina-af-12-24mm-f4-at-x-pro-dx-nikon-lens-test-report--review
+1 for Tokina 12-24mm. Way better construction than the Sigma UWA lenses.
 

RHVC59

macrumors 6502
May 10, 2008
397
0
Eugene, Oregon
Make that +2 for the Tokina 12-24mm.
I am very happy with mine. Purchased in part after seeing some of pdxflint's Oregon waterfront shots.
 

Gold89

macrumors 6502
Dec 17, 2008
263
0
UK
To get the most out of the landscape shots remember to consider filters including a set of ND grads :)
 

jcmc

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2008
82
2
I have a Sigma 10-20mm and I like it although I've never been convinced I've gotten the best out of it.

Just as a note worth mentioning, filters are very expensive for it indeed. A basic UV filter cost me the equivalent here in the UK of $80.
 

georgemann

macrumors regular
12-24mm Nikkor f/4 DX

Basically you are going to be told to get whatever the person who is advising you owns. So you might as well get the opinion of someone who only uses Nikon Nikkor lenses.

I am now using the second one of these lenses that I have owned because I lost the first one and could not stand to be without it. For my personal photography I use this lens probably 75% of the time. I have a lot of other lenses but I love wide angle and I really love this lens.

I think I have been using this lens for about 8 years now, some of the cameras I have used it on are the D70, D1, D2, D40, D80, D200, and D300 ( and a few Kodak and Fuji DSLRs).

Cost is a little high at around $1,000. (current price on Amazon in US) but you can probably get a good deal on a used one from one of your local lawyers or dentists who are mostly upgrading to FX format at this point.

Good shooting, George - http://nikondp.com
 

windowpain

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2008
590
100
Japan
I have a Sigma 10-20mm and I like it although I've never been convinced I've gotten the best out of it.
I have it too, and feel the same. It is a nice lens (a little slow maybe, but good for the price.)
I find it a really hard lens to use well.. easy to get a bad shot with it. But thats more a reflection on me than it.
 

El Cabong

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2008
620
278
Full disclosure

I don't actually own the lens I suggested (Sigma 8-16mm); just going by reviews, and by the fact that it's the widest subframe zoom currently available. I only have Nikkor lenses, and if I were to get a wide zoom, it'd be the 14-24mm, which is a tad more expensive than 800 clams.
 

M-5

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2008
1,088
87
I've been thinking about getting a wide-angle lens as well, because the only lens I own right now is the 35mm f/1.8. Everyone here seems to agree that the Tokina 12-24mm f/4 is a good lens, so I'll definitely consider this one. I'd prefer Tokina's 11-16mm f/2.8, but it won't autofocus on my D5000.
 

pdxflint

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2006
2,407
14
Oregon coast
Basically you are going to be told to get whatever the person who is advising you owns. So you might as well get the opinion of someone who only uses Nikon Nikkor lenses.

I am now using the second one of these lenses that I have owned because I lost the first one and could not stand to be without it. For my personal photography I use this lens probably 75% of the time. I have a lot of other lenses but I love wide angle and I really love this lens.

I think I have been using this lens for about 8 years now, some of the cameras I have used it on are the D70, D1, D2, D40, D80, D200, and D300 ( and a few Kodak and Fuji DSLRs).

Cost is a little high at around $1,000. (current price on Amazon in US) but you can probably get a good deal on a used one from one of your local lawyers or dentists who are mostly upgrading to FX format at this point.

Good shooting, George - http://nikondp.com
I just had to chuckle a wee bit at the irony... both somewhat downplaying or discrediting lens owners advice recommending a lens they own, I guess (?) because it's based on some kind of self-affirmation or self-convincing logic, and then doing exactly the same thing... but welcome to the party! ;) I do get where you're coming from because.. who else to honestly recommend a lens? Someone who owns one, right? :) At least it's better than someone simply offering up advice based on what they read or heard from third-parties or reviews. So, I'm glad you recommended the Nikkor 12-24 f/4. I've heard it was a good lens, but I haven't ever used one in the field. When I originally bought my Tokina 12-24 it was because I couldn't afford the Nikkor (more than double the money...) but now I am recommending the Tokina on first-hand personal experience and build quality and performance... because it's something I actually know about.

The same for you and your Nikkor. I have no doubt it's a real good lens or you wouldn't be touting its virtues. I happen to like Nikkor lenses as a rule, since I own six of them, with the Tokina wide zoom my only third-party lens. It fits right in there with the Nikkors both on looks, heft, build, ergonomics and IQ, so regardless of price I'd recommend it as a viable choice. For the price--it's a real deal. And there's nothing 'cheap' about it.

The more information for the OP the better-- it's not a contest. :)
 

schataut

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2010
44
1
Before I bought Tokina 12-24 I had Sigma 10-20mm for few months (nice friend let me borrow it). Sigma is a good lens too and 2mm on the wide end is a + However for me 5mm on the long side is more useful than 2mm on the wide end. You might have different needs ... also Tokina is definitely sharper compared to Sigma (again comparing the copies I had). Tokina 11-16 known to be really good .. but I'd rather have bigger range.
 

pdxflint

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2006
2,407
14
Oregon coast
One other interesting thing about the Tokina 12-24 f/4 -- although it is a DX lens, it can be used on FX bodies from 17-24mm, which makes it a pretty wide FX lens, too. You'll get some reduced image circle for full frame below 17mm, but it is a usable lens with a bigger than typical DX image circle.
 

194567

Suspended
Jun 16, 2008
302
0
One other interesting thing about the Tokina 12-24 f/4 -- although it is a DX lens, it can be used on FX bodies from 17-24mm, which makes it a pretty wide FX lens, too. You'll get some reduced image circle for full frame below 17mm, but it is a usable lens with a bigger than typical DX image circle.
That's true, I've shot with it on my Nikon F4 in shutter priority mode and auto (because of the lack of an aperture-ring). Great results. I actually used it on 16mm a couple of times to use the vignetting as an effect.