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Best WA lens for landscapes ???

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Johnnymg, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. OK Guys and Gals

    Give me your best sell on a WA landscape lens. Candidates must be <17mm and can be either primes or zooms.

    I'm considering picking up another 17-35 (known quantity to me) but would like to hear from folks who use the "new" WA zooms from the various third party vendors. I'll be using this lens at > F9 only so I don't give a hoot about wider apertures.

    FWIW, my only hesitation with the 17-35 is that this lens will be used for a "light" backpack trip (up/down the Grand Canyon loop) and I'm just a tiny bit worried about the size/weight/$ of this lens for a backpack trip. :rolleyes: 

    Let me have it! :biggrin:
  2. whyhan


    Jun 14, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I once debated the 17-35 vs 12-24, and the hesitation i had with the 17-35 was the longevity of AF-S motors and its costly replacement. I'm a happy tok owner now.
  3. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    John, the 20/2.8 prime in ur kit is fairly close to 17mm, and it's sharp & tiny. Perfect for travel light. What don't you like about it?
  4. Brent M

    Brent M

    Aug 13, 2006
    I really like my Sigma 10-20. And I know that the Tokina and Nikon 12-24s both have lots of advocates around here as well.

    Since I've only used one of the three, all I'll say is that, for me anyway, the 10(12)-17 range is invaluable for landscapes. Of course YMMV.
  5. I love the pics from the 20mm. I just don't think it's wide enough for The Grand Canyon.

    That being said, my fallback plan is to use the the 20mm and pano the shots. ???. I have autopano and will have to tune up my skills with it before I leave.

  6. Hi Brent

    Can you point me to some 10-20 pics on your site please?

  7. I've had 3 of the 4 DX zooms and here are my thoughts:

    12-24 F4 Tokina - Sharp, solid, but flare is an issue (common with other Tokina designs)
    10-20 F4-5.6 Sigma - Not as sharp as Tokina, but HSM motor is sweet, 10mm is actually quite a bit wider than 12mm. Also more compact and lighter (some people like that)
    12-24 F4 Nikon - Sharpest of the bunch, very solid, AF-S, pretty much only downside is $$$, lol (pretty much the only downside of any Nikon lens)

    Never tried the Tamron 11-18, seems pretty useless range, not as wide and not as long, pricey too.
  8. lamk

    lamk Guest

    I actually prefer my sigma 10-20 over my 20mm prime: sharper,less CA and distortion
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    View attachment 107584
  9. Ken

    NICE landscapes! Thanks for posting these.

  10. Brent M

    Brent M

    Aug 13, 2006
    No problem:

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  11. Hi Brent

    Can't do that with my 20mm unless I attempt the pano tricks. LOL.

    GREAT images. Did you get a good 'copy' the first time out? I'm curious if this is a buy two send, one back sort of lens? I also see a fair # of these have been sold on the for-sale forum.................. makes me wonder. ???

  12. Brent M

    Brent M

    Aug 13, 2006
    This is my first and only copy of the lens.

    It could just be that I'm less discerning than others, or maybe I got lucky. Whichever way I'm happy with mine. What sold me on the Sigma was the extra room at the wide end (yes those 2 mm do make a big difference), the acceptable (to me) sharpness, and the lack of CA.

    But really I'm more of a proselytizer for ultra-wides in general than I am for the Sigma in particular. :wink:


    Just for grins compare the slightly cropped shot at 10 mm from my previous post:
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    to this shot from a similar shooting location at 16 mm (also made with the 10-20):
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    I just can't bear to be in the outdoors without my ultra-wide after doing comparisons like this one.
  13. haze2


    Mar 18, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I've shot the Tokina 12-24 and the Nikon 12-24 and I opted to spend the extra money and get the Nikon. I've hauled it all over northern AZ and southern UT and I really love this lens. Highly recommended.
  14. Sigma 12-24 - High IQ, high sharpness, no CA, best rectilinearity in its class.
  15. Preston


    May 2, 2005
    Reno, NV
    I would have to agree with Edward. I have both the Nikon 10.5 and 12-24 and most of the time the 12-24 sits at home while the 10.5 is always with me. It takes some practice because it is soooo wide but if that isn't your cup of tea get the Sigma 10-20.
  16. Nikkor 17-35


    The 20mm/2,8 nikkor is far from Nikons high standards when it comes to primes . I would actually takes sigmas 20mm/1,8 over the nikkor.
  17. stefan_elf


    Jul 18, 2007
    Well all I can say is that the 17-35 Nikkor hasn't ever let me down. In test after test the Sigma 10-20 has shown itself to better most of the other 3rd party lenses in almost every area, except in sharpness. OTOH, the 17-35 is one of the sharpest lenses ever made. Is sharpness a priority, or is shear 'wideness'? - after all said and done, different tools for different jobs...
  18. Hi Edward

    Thanks for the pics...............

    Looks like I've got a couple of top candidates:
    Nikon 10.5
    Nikon 17-35 (a fav of mine)
    Sigma 10-20

    Question to all: Is it possible to use Grad ND filters with mega wide lens'? I often (almost always) use a grad ND when shooting landscapes. Just curious how people deal with high contrast scapes. :confused: 

    Brent: GREAT pics! :eek: 

    Thanks again for the very informative posts!
  19. Grad ND like Cokin works on most wa, dont know how they will work on Ultra wa and fisheye though.

    Hdr is also one alternative.

    1 shot

    Hdr blended from 28 rawfiles.
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