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Wide Angle lust - what should I buy?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by andreasb, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. I'm trying to figure out what to do in the superwide angle lens space. pre requisite the D2X although of course no one except Bjorn knows how they perform on it...

    What I'm looking for is experiences, comments, feedback critique, things that I'm missing, links to more info etc.

    My criterias:
    I want to use this for Landscapes, panoramas, sunrises and sunsets mostly on a tripod so I think I need
    1. Very very sharp
    2. Doesn't have to be that fast (aperture) since it will be on a tripod
    3. Flare resistant shooting into sunrises (the 17-55 does not excel in this space :) 
    4. Prefer recitlinar although one can fix them with PT lens and with the 10.5mm directly in Capture
    5. Lower price is of ocurse bettrr but quality of pictures is paramount.

    My options as I see it in focal length order:
    1. Nikon 10.5 Fisheye with NC 4.2 conversion to rectilinear. Fisheye is the crux of course, but can be fixed in NC 4.x with some sharpenss losses in the corners.
    2. Sigma 10-30 newly announced Zoom. Supposed to be rectilinear? Have seen no feedback of course since it was just announced
    3. Nikon 12-24. I had this lens, performed well but ended not using it much, needs to be held very level or everything starts "leaning"
    4. Nikon 14 2.8 AF (Bjorn does not like this lens, and it is expensive)
    5. Nikon 15mm AIS 3.5 MF, Old design (not been able to dig up much feedback on this lens, the older 5.6 has varying feedback)
    6. Nikon 16mm AF Fisheye, use PT lens to fix the fisheye (Bjorn thinks this lens is great)
    7. Sigma 15-30 Older design, I beleive Yves used it once?

    I'm currently totally open but would love to get your insight
  2. hans


    Feb 5, 2005
    The Netherlands

    I have the 10.5 use it not often,so don't know about flare,it's a sharp lens that's for sure
    My experiences with the 17-55 are great,indeed flare is a problem but I've learned to deal with it
    I like the 17-55 a lot one thing it stops at 2.8 ,since it always dark out here I bought the 28 f 1.4 I lose on the wide angle but win on the light.

    The fisheye in NC 4.2 doesn't give me always satisfaction !
    Up till now I never used a tripod,gonna try it with "night "shots
  3. hans


    Feb 5, 2005
    The Netherlands

    Sorry didn't finish,I'll mount my fisheye tomorrow and shoot some landscapes will post them here if you want or mail them to you
    That way you can play with them yourself in capture,let me know
  4. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    The 'leaning' thing is caused by perspective, and any superwide will do that if not held level. If low flare is very important, the Nikkor 12-24DX may be the only rectilinear lens in your list (that is commonly available) that satisfies that requirement.

    But be assured that leaning buildings is not lens distortion, but just the way wide angle lenses represent perspective.
  5. I have both the 10.5 and 12-24DX. The 10.5 is actually rather disappointing. Even when you use NC to rectalinearize the image the outside edges are soft and distorted. If you are shooting high contrast stuff (tree limbs against a cloudy sky) you get beacoup CA.

    I use it on vacations/holiday at castles, cathedrals, ruins, etc. where a fence prevents venturing further into an area. You get a good image of the space with the lens.

    Given a choice of one or the other, I'd stick with the 12-24DX.

  6. A couple more choices...


    I am thinking about this too, but I won't make a move until a few months from now, as my 17-55 serves my current needs. The Nikon 12-24DX is well regarded unless, particularly if you are using PTLens on it. But, just to throw a couple of monkeys in the wrench, have you looked at the Tokina 12-24 (see the Nikon Lens Forum at DPR and search for it): it looks pretty good so far, and is substantially cheaper than the Nikon, yet takes the same 77mm filters. Then, look out for the 11-18 Tamron, which won't ship until May or so...

    Have fun with your choices. At the moment, for me, it would be between the Nikon 12-24 and the Tokina 12-24. But, I'd rather wait and see what the Sigma 10-20 (I think it's 10-20, not 10-30) and the Tamron 11-18 look like.

    Good luck!
  7. Re: A couple more choices...

    OK I think I will also wait for the new Sigma 10-20 and see what kind of reposne it gets (and what it costs) the 10.5 is out of the race now for me. probably also the 16. Wich I could find someone whop had the 15mm 3.5 MF, that might be interesting.


  8. THe Nikon 10.5 has top sharpness and contrast but it is a special effect lens in my book even when corrected, too much sharpness lost.

    The Sigma 10-20 ... not out yet ... nice coverage but I would be concerned about CA and PF

    The Nikon 12-24 is what I am currently use. I can'tr say enough good things about it especially when I am doing landscapes but also special shot effects... Best contrast on the W-A Zoom in my opinion.

    Avoid the Nikon 14mm 2.8 with a DSLR, CA and PF are too present. Flares alot too.

    Nikon 15mm AIS 3.5 is fine not on par with the ...
    Nikon 16mm AF Fisheye wich is the sharpest prime fisheye with tons of contrast. Put the sun face to it and shoot, no flares. It is still a fisheye, not as wide as the 10.5 (wich I would chose for a fisheye DSLR).

    Sigma 15-30 is sweet, had one for over a year. It is sharp but lacks contrast and has a slight color cast (warmer). It flares easier than the other although controlable. No possibility to put in a CP filter easily and has no threading for ND filters ...
  9. What about an alternative for the Nikkon 28 f1/4

    I saw Gales and others' glowing comments about ths lens, but boy howdy, almost $1700 US! Not cheap, is it? Are there any other brands which make a 28 1.4 which comes close to this, or would it be better to get the 28-70 2.8 which costs a few hundred less.

    Thanks, Rich
  10. Re: What about an alternative for the Nikkon 28 f1/4

    There is the 35mm 1.4 AIS MF , one can get it at Ebay quite cheap, maybe that would be a candidate?

  11. Thanks Yves great info: Do you see any problems with correcting the contrast and warm cast of the Sigma in post processing?

  12. Sigma's new 30/1.4 may be interesting. Wait until others have tested it unless you want to take a chance though.

    For a superb lightweight medium-WA, consider the 24/2.8D. $300 new, $200 used.

  13. Example of 35mm f/1.4 photo

    Taken at The Huntington Library in San Marino. This is a photo of Gainesborough's Blueboy. Conditions for the photo were far from ideal. It is in a very dark room and hangs high. There is a reflection from a small window on the opposite side of the room.

    I used the D2x with AIS 35mm f/1.4 lens @ 1.4 and 1/10second - handheld (no tripods). I normally would have used the AF 28mm f/1.4 lens but it is in the shop to have the focus ring rubber replaced. I am very pleased with the 35mm. Since most 28 f/1.4 lens type shots are going to be manual focus anyway, I think the 35mm is a great alternative. For art it may even be better because it gives a better perspective. This shot's perspective was also adjusted in PS.



    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  14. Re: Example of 35mm f/1.4 photo

    Wow! and they are not expesive to get at all, I will get one of these!

    thank you!


  15. Andreas - further to Ron Reznick's comments I have both the 20/2.8 and the 24/2.8. Why don't you borrow them and see how they fare on your D2X?
  16. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Andreas :

    If the rectilinear nature of a wide-angle is critical for you, I'd suggest using a perspective-control lens instead of many of the others being suggested. Short of software fixes, that's about the only way to capture the images you want without distortion. See : http://www.naturfotograf.com/ for some good discussions on this.

    I personally use the 12-24mm AFS/DX a lot. The ability to capture the wider angle does come with distortion to the wider ends, but digitally stitching together several images isn't always a good addition to my workflow, especially where I have to do this for ten or twenty necessary (final) images. One or two stitches, well, that's not so bad.

    John P.
  17. I don't know why people say the Sigma 15-30 lacked contrast? That lens was the most rich when it came to colors and that sucker was sharp! It's like a macro wide angle because it was so sharp! Anyways, I really liked that lens, but like everyone else I wanna to see how the Sigma 10-20 stacks up. I like the fact that it takes 77mm filters and has HSM. If the reviews come out favorable, I'm all over that baby. If not I'm going to get the Tokina 12-24 f/4. Also Tamron is releasing that 11-18, so don't count that out.

    So many good choices! I think Nikon should reduce the price on the 12-24.
  18. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Jonathon :

    Bite your tongue ! They can't drop the price until at least two years after I purchased mine ! :twisted:

    John P.
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