Tokina 12-24

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by obelix, May 5, 2005.

  1. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Thinking of pulling the trigger on that one. I have a Mono lake, Bodie, Bishop photog weekend coming up in 4 weeks.

    Good buy? Any advise?

    Right now, my lens collection is:

    18-70 DX
    70-200 VR
    105mm micro nikkor

    I am mostly set in terms of range :D. [Yeah, I read the other thread]
     
  2. Anand, jmho, but I'd think your bigger need would be to upgrade your normal range than to expand your wide angle coverage. The 18-70 already does a pretty good job for you in that area, and having a big aperture isn't all that important for wide angle work.

    As far as the Tokina is concerned, I haven't seen anything that makes me think it's the equal of the Nikkor version. Since you've already been through it with the telephoto, you know that saving on price now will just lead to a costlier round of upgrades later on.

    The Sigma seems to have an advantage in terms of distortion, but it can't take filters, and I don't know if it matches the Nikkor in terms of color rendering, and contrast.
     
  3. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Thanks UF.

    I can't bring myself to shell the $1000 extra for the 17-55 lens. I don't need speed in that range, and I can't justify it. Phils recent experiences are a huge dampener.

    The tokina seems much better distortion wise than the nikkor and seems to have good sharpness as well. Colors are not as good as the nikkor and that is the choice.

    The sigma is good - seen great photos from it, but the absence of filters is a big turn off.

    Hmm. Let me ping Roman and see what he thinks.

    anand
     
  4. I was suggesting the Nikkor 12-24, Anand, not the 17-55. But I think there will be a few mint condition 17-55s showing up on the For Sale forum in the near future, and I'm guessing they'll be closer to $500 over the price of the Tokina.
     
  5. Do you feel that the 18mm on the kit lens isn't wide enough? If so then go for the 12-24.

    I really don't do enough landscape to justify a 12-24, and even when I do landscape I'm around 24-35. Eventually I'll upgrade to the 17-55.
     
  6. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    The Tokina 12-24 is a good lens. It will stomp the kit lens in the 18-24 range (sharper, less distortion, the wide end is the weak point of the kit lens in my experience). And of course that 12-18 range can open up a lot of shooting opportunities particularly if you like landscape/travel photography.

    Don't believe that anything with Nikkor on the name plate is automatically better. I'm willing to pay the premium for a Nikkor if I perceive it to be better quality than the competition (that's why I bought the 70-200VR), but IMHO the Nikkor 12-24DX is overpriced for what it delivers.

    I had a chance to compare the 12-24DX and Tokina 12-24 head to head. Conclusion I came to? Tokina was sharper, with less distortion, less flaring, better build quality, and somewhat worse CA. I sent the Nikkor back and have been very happy with my decision. In real-world shooting at typical apertures CA hasn't been much of an issue for me but if you're wanting to shoot wide open at night a lot I suppose it could be (in which case you might not be happy with the Nikkor either).

    Of course I'm just one guy. But there have been several head-to-head comparisons that came to similar conclusions. One on an Asian review site back in Feb or so, one in a recent German magazine (foto magazin I believe), and also a guy over at DPReview a week or two who tested using a a D2X. Then there's the guy who posted a comparison review today but his tokina shots look so bad that IMHO the results are highly suspect (I don't see how a lense can cause aliasing like that). Pop Photo also gave the Tokina very good ratings.

    At $499 it's one of the best bargains in Nikon-mount lenses out there right now.
     
  7. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Jeff

    That is precisely the reason I am looking at this lens. The 18-24 range is the weakness of the kit lens and on a D70, there are not enough flaws in the kit lens otherwise.

    Very interesting. I went for the 70-200 VR for the same reason (over the sigma 70-200 HSM). I have mixed feelings for the 17-55 and 12-24 as you so eloquently put it.

    What about colors and contrast? My interest in the lens is primarily driven by pop photo and the japnese review you are talking about.

    Appreciate the comments.
     
  8. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Got it UF. Thanks.
     
  9. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Hey Mike

    We have had this discussion many a time :)

    As Jeff tells below, my pain with the kit lens is the distortion in the 18-24 range :). Remember my white walls from the SF photo op?

    I see that I use 18mm end of the kit lens a lot - particularly when I walk around. When I walk around, I use 3 focal lengths, 18, 70mm and 200mm :), I ran my photos through iMatch and was quite stunned at the results.

    If the tokina takes care of the 18-24 end, it will be my walk around lens along with the 70-200 VR (have to figure out a way to carry it without the backpack though!).

    Thanks - the tokina is being restocked in B&H and adorama. I have to decide on this quick before all stock disappears.
     
  10. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Contrast is good, I wouldn't say it was better or worse than the Nikon 12-24DX, they seemed pretty similar in that regard for the most part. That said the Tokina does seem less prone to flare/ghosting, which can rob you of contrast. At the time of my original testing I thought this was primarily because of the slightly larger lens hood. But somebody mentioned elsewhere that they tried it on a full frame camera to see how much of the focal range was useable, and discovered that up to about 18mm it had vignetting as you'd expect, but the vingetting was retangular in shape not circular, so it looks like the Tokina has some kind of internal mask to help prevent flare/ghosting.

    Color-wise, the Tokina was slightly warmer than the Nikkor, but not objectionably so. This is a non-issue for me though because I use ACR and calibrate for each lens, giving me pretty consistent color from one lens to the next. IMHO the slight warm cast of the Tokina is preferable to the greenish cast of the 18-70 kit lens though.
     
  11. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Thanks again. This is very helpful. B&H has them in stock again.
     
  12. Nikon 12-

    Hi,

    GeeJay just put her Nikon 12-24 up for sale at a very low price. Only 10 shots taken with it. You could buy it and then re-sell it (probably for a profit) after your photo shoot. Includes uv filter and there is a transferable warranty.

    Just a thought.

    Glenn
     
  13. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Thanks Glenn
     
  14. You're quite welcome.

    Glenn
     
  15. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I think it's worth pointing out that with Nikon lenses, the full warranty is not transferrable. Nikon lenses come with a one-year warranty supplemented by a 4-year extended service contract for a total of 5 years... but the 4 year ESC specifically states that it is non-transferrable.
     
  16. Jeff,

    I believe you are absolutely right about Nikon warranties being limited to the original purchaser. But people who buy import/gray models often buy a Mack warranty and that warranty can be transferred for a $15 fee. I'm presently locked out off the For Sale Forum (under 25 posts), but from emails with Gaye I'm 99% certain that Gaye's lens is an import with a Mack warranty.

    Glenn
     
  17. You're 100% correct, Glenn. Here's the text from Gaye's listing.

    Btw, if you're not logged onto the Cafe, you can read the listings in the For Sale forum.
     
  18. Frank,

    Thanks for the tip on accessing the For Sale Forum.

    Hey, it never hurts to look!

    Glenn
     
  19. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Well, I got a great deal on a mint nikkor af 20mm f/2.8 lens, had to buy it :). Hopefully it solves my distortion issues.

    I am also going to borrow a friend's sigma 15-30 lens to see if I need any wider than 20mm. If yes, then I will have to revisit this.

    Thanks a lot Jeff, it was very helpful to hear from an owner.
     
  20. I think I was looking at the same lens on the 4Sale forum. It definitely appeared to be a good deal. If I had known
    the seller better, I would have jumped on it, but he was brand new to the Cafe when he listed it.
     
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