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Thoughts on the Nikon 12-24 AFS F4

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by C Reinhardt, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. C Reinhardt

    C Reinhardt

    Nov 21, 2005
    Thinking of purchasing this wide angle in the future -- yet there are mixed reviews as to its quality especially at the wide end. Nevertheless many seem to use this lens for lots of shots I see around the net. Please advise... Also thinking of the 10.5mm -- played with it a few times. I probably would only use it infrequently and feel the 12-24 would get higher rotation. I currently have the Sigma 15-30 but can't use filtration with this momma... however nice to have if I ever pull the F80 out of the back corner to use up those 10 or so rolls of assorted film I have left over...
  2. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Have a look at these photos :


    The shots in Taos were pretty much all with the Nikon 12-24mm AFS, and many were "wide end". The airplane photo was as "wide" as the lens gets at 12mm. As a complete change of pace, the leaf photo was done using a Canon 500D diopter on the 12-24mm. Check the EXIFs for each photo to see the specific shooting conditions.

    I use the 12-24mm extensively, especially when I photograph in industrial environments. It's been a consistent performer for me, particularly at the 12 - 15mm range. I couldn't use the 10.5mm as it would introduce just too much "fish" to the images for my work shooting.


    John P.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  3. I love this lens. I don't think any of the other options are quite as good; acquired mine by accident (not really knowing any better at the time), but very glad I did. :biggrin:

  4. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
  5. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    The 12-24 mm is my favorite lens. Sharp with great color and contrast. I have the 10.5 mm also. Great little lens.
  6. I've recently started using this lens more (I switched from the 17-55 to the 28-70 in the mid range) and I'm finding that I really like it. Here is a recent photo at 12mm f/11.


    NIKON D2X    ---    12mm    f/11.0    1/200s    ISO 400
  7. MattKuether

    MattKuether Guest

    I don't own the 12-24 (yet), but I've had pretty much the same debate in my head over whether or not to get it. I finally decided that even if it's a little soft/distorted at 12mm, I don't really care. The lens is just a tool, and I've seen a ton of great shots with the lens, even at 12mm. Whatever faults the lens has, it doesn't seem to stop people from taking great pictures with it. That's what is really important to me. I'll definitely be getting it once I sell a few items on ebay.

    That being said, I am sure there are a few applications for which this lens is ill-suited (e.g. architecture at 12mm). But if you aren't doing one of those I'd get it without hesitation.
  8. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    This lens is definately on my wish list. It is a lens that should be in most serious photographers bag because it offers outstanding sharpness with a minimum of vignetting. Papa Tony has one and he loves it.
  9. moffo


    Oct 20, 2005
    Central TX
    Aw, heck, let me 'me too' on this one. Quality piece of glass. Love mine. Quick focus; great color and contrast.
  10. I would get the 12-24mm first. ( I have the Tokina and like it). The 10.5mm is great and I use it a fair amount. The 12-24mm is more versatile.
    You can't go wrong with either lens, or both.
  11. My thoughts about my "evolution" as a photographer......

    Like so many I started out as a voyeur of sorts, shooting from a distance with longer lenses.
    As I 've progressed (I hope) I find that getting up close and personal with subjects is so very much more gratifying.

    To this end I find that wide lenses are more enabling in that gratification.

    Without my 12-24 and/or my 17-55 I'm totaly lame feeling.

    The 10.5 is fun but of limited use. Get it later, certainly not "instead of" a rectilinear wide.

    If money's tight look at a 20mm....empowered by your feet it'll do much of what the zooms will. The 12-24 or 20mm are both superb. Don't be put off by a little distortion at 12-15mm or so unless you do buildings a lot. As others observe, the lens is so good you will hardly notice.

    Below...people at 12 and 20mm......not just for landscapes....get up close and personal.

    NIKON D2X    ---    12mm    f/4.0    1/25s    ISO 560

  12. C Reinhardt

    C Reinhardt

    Nov 21, 2005
    12-24mm AFS F4

    Right now I'm debating on buying a used Fuji S3. I can't get this guy to move on the price -- he wants $1525 CDN for a 1 year old unit -- mint. I think that's too much considering the advent of the D200 and possible S4 on the horizon. So I ask, what would make the bigggest difference in my shooting -- the S3 body -- or -- new glass+filtration? I know it's not the camera that makes the shot it's what is behind the view finder. Nevertheless, my ideal camera bag would contain say an S3 and D200. I like the D70 but it can be a PITA when I have to constantly PS afterwards. It drives me nuts that I almost always have to dial up the exposure compensation on the D70 and D1h because they chronically underexpose. I notice this especially when I shoot hockey -- I set to +1, min +0.7. Argg! Thanks to TOlady for her help on questions re: the S3. She's a valuable member to the cafe!

  13. My thoughts are threefold.

    1. Take your time on the bodies. Parity has been reached. Nikon, Canon, Fuji....all make cameras you can use for years, unlike a very few years ago...but that's arguable because your D1H can probably get great shots forever PITA-PP permitting
    2. Buy the glass that allows you to shoot what you want. It holds value.
    3. Shoot more often but less/better...less post-work......and this is the biggie I need to work on.
  14. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    I'd concur with Vernon in his insightful post, and I'll further address several points.

    Good glass can be seen as tools that hold value for resale reasonably well. Digital camera bodies are a fast depreciating item, and treating them as any kind of investment is not prudent. If you've bought mainstream quality glass, you can almost always find a buyer, but bodies just don't have the staying power. Look at the selling price on lenses like the Noct or the 50mm f/1.2, and you can see that even "obsolete" lenses will not completely lose their value (and might even increase !).

    I also wholeheartedly agree with Vernon on the need to nail the exposure, composition, WB, etc. in camera, and not depend on processing/post-processing to fix these issues. It was darned hard for me to get a handle on these points with the D100 (and arguable that I'm still trying to do that), but when I reached some level of accomplishment in this arena, my photography improved markedly. Every camera has its own quirks in these things, but getting your arms wrapped around them is good practice.

    Look at all the posts on the D2X after its release, see the ones currently floating around about the D200, and you can see that new technology will solve a few problems, but add others. As technogeeky as I can be, I have no illusions that the D200 will intrinsically make me a better photographer.

    Echoing and amplifying on Vernon's last comment, the sometimes popular idea (with some - this isn't aimed at you) that blazing away with a big buffer solves problems is incorrect. The only time that helps the photographer is trying to land a sequence of events like Frank/Flew's recent eagle series, or perhaps SRT/Scott's dance sequences. However, it's pretty important to note that both men have a firm grasp on their respective camera bodies and the compositions they use, allowing the buffer to support that effort.

    Sandi/TOLady, does wonderful work with the S3, for example, catching a lovely moment of nature with swans. Frank makes the D2H stand up and shout with eagles in flight. Scott captures elegant and graceful dance moments with a D70. All very different digital camera bodies, but great performance nonetheless...

    Great camera bodies and wonderful glass only offer opportunity, as useful tools for the photographer. Henri Cartier-Bresson lacked almost all of the tools we take for granted in these cameras, and his work has become iconic in the photographic field. It's the eye and the execution of the photographer that dominates their art. Of course, there are limits to what one can accomplish - a 50mm lens won't be ideal for long distance photography, for example - but speaking for myself, the limits are almost always ones that I set for myself, through lack of insight, care of the photographic process, or just plainly not thinking for a spare few seconds about what I'm trying to capture. The equipment's almost never to blame for my poor photography - it's me.

    Spend a little more time thinking hard about what you want to do with your photography, and the path forward will become clearer for you. What will make the biggest difference in your photography will be having an understanding of and comfort with the equipment in your hands, whatever that equipment is, and then applying that with confidence in what you see in the environment around you. It's like reaching a level of "photographic satori", so to speak.

    IMO, anyway. :rolleyes: 

    John P.
  15. As I've mentioned before about the S3Pro, it's not a camera for everyone. It takes a patient photographer, not a machine-gunner. It excels in areas, in lacks in others. It excels in natural colours, a must for wedding and nature photogs... and also can shoot with no blown highlights no matter what you throw at it - again a must for nature and wedding photogs. I have no need to shoot RAW with this camera as colour and exposure are dead-on each time, I'm using the live histogram on each shot. If it ever doesn't deliver, it's usually down to me, not the camera. If you want a very fast camera for rapid continuous shooting, it's not for you. It loves good quality glass and does very well in low light situations. Most would say this is a great second camera to cover the features it offers: low light in high ISO with no noise, no blown highlights in high light. I bought it because it offered beautiful photos, I love the look of them, I love the lack of PP needed. I gave up the speed of a D2something for the velvety smooth photos of the S3Pro. At the time of purchase, I could look at any camera with the idea of purchasing. The dynamic range had me hooked from first instant when I saw Dirk's pics over on DPR. That is what I found frustrating from my experiences in the Coolix lineup. As far as $1525Cdn, that ain't bad at all. That's like buying $1,326+taxesCdn for a mint condition camera from Vistek or Henrys. The price point of the S4 is going to be at least in the high $3K's in Canada so this is less than half price. If you want to hook up for a day of shooting, I'm game. You can see it, use it, feel it, test it with your glass and see if you really like it.

    Thankyou so much for your kind words, John. You're such a dear to say so.
  16. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Sandi :

    Credit where due, milady. < tipping hat respectfully >

    John P.
  17. C Reinhardt

    C Reinhardt

    Nov 21, 2005

    Wow -- I'd buy you all a drink if we were sitting at a round table somewhere. Some really fantastic points! - Thanks! I'm not a machine gunner -- and it's funny because with the D1h, I've never fired off to fill the buffer. Not even come close -- nevertheless, the fast buffer and always-ready-to-shoot attitude are appealing when it comes to action/sports photography. I remember my bro-in-law 2 years ago when we were shooting the Toronto Molson Indy and he was cursing (sometimes audible even over a passing engine song) his S2 for the frustrating pauses while the full buffer had to write. But he still got great shots -- some blown up to 20x30. Still, the S3 excites me for the great shots out of camera and would free one up to create in the field rather than parked in front of the compter nursing problem shots to healthy calibre. Great point about concentrating on getting the shot right when it's shot instead of afterward-- I agree. Appreciate all your comments. Others should read this thread for it's full of good information.
  18. Talking to you guys just sucks the $$ right out of my pocket - just called B&H and ordered the Tokina 12-24.... now I'll have to drum my fingers until it gets here....of course, the weather here is the pits, dark grey skies, so no loss of great pics! Decided on the Tokina after extensively reading all the reviews on the net. Some great info out there! Thanks, all, for your input and the help in dropping the savings account down a touch! *LOL*
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