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My UWA lens debate.

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Spectral, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. Alright so I am going to be in the market in about a month or two to get an ultra wide angle zoom lens.

    I am in a sort of predicament however because I cannot figure out which lens is going to best suite my needs.

    For my shooting the MAIN reason I am getting an ultra wide angle zoom is because I do a lot of automobile photography and will be making an auto rig for photographs soon. However I would also like to use the lens in landscape and architectural photography.

    The lens I am debating on getting are these lenses:

    Nikon 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 ($809)
    Nikon 12-24 f/4 ($899)

    Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 ($479)
    Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 ($649)
    Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 ($859)

    Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 ($479)
    Tamron 11-18 f/4.5-5.6 ($529)

    Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 ($599)
    Tokina 12-24 f/4 ($499)

    I would like to keep it at one of the lenses under $600 however if one of the lenses that is above $600 outperforms the other lenses by a pretty good margin then I would probably consider that.

    Anyone with experience with one or more of these lenses that doesn't mind speaking up it would be greatly appreciated.
  2. DavidKvapil


    Dec 17, 2008
    Boise, ID
    I am also in a similar situation, and seeing as how all of my current equipment was purchased used, and I have had no problems with any of it, I will be going with a used 12-24 f/4 Nikon. Just make sure what you buy wasn't owned by a photojournalist/reporter and you should be fine.
  3. You might want to look into the Tokina 12-24 f/4. I was on a shoot with a friend and a professional car photographers and he is shooting with the Tokina and said its reviews were better than Nikon's 12-24.
  4. Flynn


    Jun 28, 2009
    Livermore, CA
    I was very happy with my 10-24. Price is down to $799 at Adorama BTW.
  5. Does anyone have a full review with stats and all for the 10-24?

    That was really the only lens I was thinking of spending over 600 for.
  6. Never mind that last post found the site I was looking for.
  7. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    I would HIGHLY recommend the Nikon 10-24 simply because it focuses closer and wider than any of the other lenses as far as I know. Having a lens that's ultra-wide but also focuses super close allows you to get right on top of something yet still have a wide field of view. Other UWA lenses like the Tokina 11-16 leave you miles away.

    Some shots of a buddy's new Camaro.


    I took those with my D200 and a Nikkor AF 14mm f/2.8D, which is the closest and widest focusing rectilinear ultrawide Nikon makes as far as I know. I've compared just about all of the specs - it gets down to 0.2m @ 14mm. Even the 14-24 doesn't get as close and wide but I think the 10-24dx comes pretty close. Only the 10.5DX fisheye gets closer and wider, but that's not a rectilinear lens and would pose a lot of issues for automotive shots.

    As for the Nikon 10-24, Ken Rockwell reviewed it and was quite impressed. Full review at his site.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  8. oo74


    Apr 7, 2008
    Germantown, MD
    I used to own both the Nikon 12-24mm and the Tokina 12-24mm(w/o motor) at the same time.

    They were about the same as far as sharpness goes wide open at 12mm. When stepped down Nikon was sharper in the corners.

    At 24mm Tokina was considerably soft compared to the Nikon(corners and center), and stepped down Nikon was again the winner.

    If you are going to shoot mostly at around 12mm, buy the Tokina and save yourself $400-500 over the Nikon, but either lens is fine. I needed the 24mm, so I ended up selling the tokina.
  9. ZoranC


    Dec 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Very simple, alll you need to do is process of elimination:

    I was not happy with results from either when compared to Tokina 11-16. )BTW, I think imaging-resource and photozone have review of 10-24.

    Between these three first and third do not match Tokina 11-16 and second one might but I do not have enough samples nor hands on experience.

    I do not know about 11-18 but results I have seen from 10-24 were IMHO horrible.

    Everyone agrees 11-16 is better one.

    So when it comes to UWA _zooms_ in _budget_ category (thus Nik 14-24 and 17-35 not considered) Tokina 11-16 is IMHO top dog while Sigma 10-20/3.5 needs to be evaluated.
  10. Jeep Captain

    Jeep Captain

    Jan 28, 2009
    I can only speak for the Sigma 10-20 4/5.6. I use it on my D200 and it works out well for me. The IQ is good at all f/stops. I bought mine lightly used for $325. Below are a couple of shots taken with the lens on a D40X
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  11. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    I don't. And I owned one. :smile:
  12. I own the Tokina 12-24 without the motor; it's one of my sharpest lenses and amazes me every time.
    This is straight out of the camera.
  13. I have used most of these lenses and owned a few of them too. For my $$$ the Sigma 12-24 is the pick of the litter. There are a few here that might be sharper wide open. There are a few here that might be a bit contrastier. Still, the Sigma 12-24 is the most rectilinear wide zoom on the market. It shows almost no CA ... ever, and, it's unusual design allows me to stop it way way down without worrying about defraction.

    What you have listed here are lenses that are very different, even though
    they are all ultra-wide zooms. They are different IMO because when you get to lenses this wide every mm can make a big difference in your image. What I like about the 12-24 range is that you get the ultra-wide 12-18 and the more traditional 20-24.

    I don't think these have a performance envelope equal to the Sigma 12-24:
    Nikon 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 ($809) - Not impressive compared to the Nikkor 12-24
    Nikon 12-24 f/4 ($899) - nice lens but pricy and has distortions the Sigma 12-24 doesn't
    Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 ($479) - slightly soft but a good inexpensive alternative to a 12-24
    Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 ($479) - only used briefly and I prefer the Sigma 10-20
    Tamron 11-18 f/4.5-5.6 ($529) - Been around awhile but takes a back seat to Sigma, Nikon, and Tokina
    Tokina 12-24 f/4 ($499) - Sharp wide open and good bang for the buck.

    I don't know these lenses at all but reports are good. At 11-16mm the Tokina is a different lens than a 10-20 or 12-24 requiring a different approach to be successful. Looking forward to sampling one.
    Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 ($599)
    Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 ($649)
  14. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Here's how I look at it. :smile:

    Nikon 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 ($809) :0.24m close focus in AF mode, 0.22m in MF mode, 1:5 reproduction ratio
    Nikon 12-24 f/4 ($899) : 0.3m close-focus (through whole range), 1:8.3 repro ratio
    Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 ($1799): 0.28m close-focus (@ 18-24mm, less close wider), 1:6.7 @ 0.28m & 24mm
    Nikon 14mm f/2.8D: 0.2m close-focus, 1:6.7 reproduction ratio

    Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 ($479): 0.24m close-focus, 1:6.7 reproduction ratio
    Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 ($649): 0.24m close-focus, 1:6.6 reproduction ratio
    Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 ($859): 0.28m close-focus, 1:7.1 reproduction ratio

    Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 ($479): 0.24m close-focus, 1:5.1 reproduction ratio (@ 24mm)
    Tamron 11-18 f/4.5-5.6 ($529): 0.25m close-focus, 1:8 reproduction ratio

    Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 ($599) 0.3m close-focus, 1:11.6 reproduction ratio
    Tokina 12-24 f/4 ($499) 0.3m close-focus, 1:8 reproduction ratio

    If you like to get in close or put yourself right in the middle of or on top of something and then still have a wide view to exaggerate perspective, things in the 0.25m range are not bad, 0.3m is awful and leaves you miles away, and the ones that get down to 0.2m are awesome. That's the Nikkor 14mm prime and the 10-24dx. Some of the lenses might do a better reproduction ratio, but they do that by staying at the further away close focus and zooming the rest of the way in which severely cuts down on your wide angle of view.
  15. LSSE

    LSSE Guest

    for DX, I was impressed with the tokina 11-16 as have many thousands. no wonder it is still backordered in some places so that's what I'd recommend.

    However MParker makes a good point for the sigma 12-24. I wouldn't even consider a wide angle for the DX format that didn't go to 12mm and on top of that you'd get 12mm for full frame IF EVER you upgrade. Now that's just crazy attractive. If I didn't already own a 14-24, I'd consider that sigma.
  16. Jim_C


    Aug 17, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    So converted to inches, we are talking ~12 inches (0.3m) vs ~9.5 inches (0.25m) to take you from awful to not bad.

    2 1/2 inches of subject distances really matters that much?

    (I don't currently have a UWA lens - I rented one for a trip but used it mostly for architecture, and not having a lot of time with it didn't get spectacular results.)
  17. LSSE

    LSSE Guest

    only if you're into ramming stuff with it a lot. But regardless, you will certainly notice a difference in the distortion from just a few inches. the question is do you care for more than you already got. The final choice will depend heavily on your style. However if you're into that game and want to take it to an extreme, try out the fisheye dx nikkor. with 0.14m (5.5 inches) focus distance it will blow any of these rectiliniear out of the water for that ram-style shots with crazy distortion. I've seen a lot great automotive rigged shots with fisheyes so it may be another option to the OP. Not sure how much he's into fisheyes though.
  18. You forgot the version 1 of the Tokina 12-24mm f/4 which is $399 and is a great lens, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/360350-REG/Tokina_ATX124AFPRON_12_24mm_f_4_AT_X_124AF.html
  19. A.O.M.E.


    Feb 1, 2009
    This price can't be correct. Is it?
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