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Thread: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

  1. #1

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    Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    I'm going to Paris early next year and I am thinking of buying a ultra wide angle lens to try and capture the fantastic architecture. I have a Nikon D90 and the widest lens I have at the moment is the Nikon 18-200mm, which I don't feel is quite wide enough in cities. The main contenders are the:
    Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 - which would match well with the 18-200mm but I feel it's a bit of a limited zoom as a stand alone lens.
    Nikon 12-24mm f4 - which is a great lens. I owned one once, but my head has been turned by the new Nikon 10-24mm lens (the third contender), which has a bit more at the ultra wide end. I feel that either of these lenses would be more versatile as they zoom up to 24mm as apposed to 16mm.
    Any views or advice?

  2. #2
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    Quote Originally Posted by clive kirby View Post
    I'm going to Paris early next year and I am thinking of buying a ultra wide angle lens to try and capture the fantastic architecture. I have a Nikon D90 and the widest lens I have at the moment is the Nikon 18-200mm, which I don't feel is quite wide enough in cities. The main contenders are the:
    Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 - which would match well with the 18-200mm but I feel it's a bit of a limited zoom as a stand alone lens.
    Nikon 12-24mm f4 - which is a great lens. I owned one once, but my head has been turned by the new Nikon 10-24mm lens (the third contender), which has a bit more at the ultra wide end. I feel that either of these lenses would be more versatile as they zoom up to 24mm as apposed to 16mm.
    Any views or advice?
    24mm on a DX sensor camera is a potentially a good walkabout focal length for you. You may be able to use either of the Nikkors at the zoomed end more - so not just for architecture but also for street scenes. Therefore you may not be changing lenses so much.

    The flip side - they are slower lenses. The Tokina's an f2.8 - this may be useful in the museums that you are bound to be visiting in Paris, where flash may not be permitted.

    With the 12-24 vs 10-24 debate I personally would go for the 10-24. Sure, the 12-24 is better built and fixed max aperture, but 2mm makes a big difference.

    So if you're wanting to go Nikon, I'd go for the 10-24. Add in the versatility of zooming to 24mm compared with only 16mm for the Tokina.
    If you're going Tokina, then you'll have a great lens which will be better suited for interiors, but that zoom range may be limiting for you.

    The swinger for me would be to look at photographs you have taken from previous trips to cities. If you're shooting a lot in the 18-24mm range then I'd definitely consider the 10-24. If you're just shooting a lot at 18mm (i.e. going as wide as you can with your 18-200 and still found a little lacking) and missing that 20-24mm range then I'd go for the Tokina.

  3. #3
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    With any of the lenses mentioned a tripod is necessary for night time images. I've tried the Nikkor 10-24mm and it is a very good lens. I learned very quickly that you have to get close to your intended subject, so watch out for traffic.

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    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    I used the 10-24mm on a D300. It is really a good sharp lens.

    Cheers

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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    I have up until, I got a full frame nikon, used a Sigma 10-20mm on my D90 and D7000. I have had very good sucess with it. Any wide angle that you plan to get and use architecture make sure you have good study tripod with you. If I was going with the nikon I would choose the 10-24mm as Phip states that extra 2mm can make a difference.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  6. #6
    groovesection's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    Maybe i am way off the mark, But if you plan on shooting that wide then i assume you are shooting landscapes/architecture.
    In this case you will most certainly have to stop down for pin sharp images. (f-8 - f-16)
    So is it worth buying a lens with an aperture more open than f-4?

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    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    Well if you're shooting architecture, you can get away with f5.6 or larger if you haven't got anything in the foreground. If you're in museums or cathedrals and can't shoot with a tripod (highly likely) then there's no substitute for a faster lens. With a D90, 1/30th and sharp at 1600ISO f2.8 for a vaulted ceiling is far better than 1/30th, f4 and 3200ISO.

    You can focus really close with these wide angles as well, so f2.8 will allow you to throw the background more out of focus - you can be more creative...

  8. #8
    Cogito's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    Why not read the reviews on FredMiranda?

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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    Another possible contender might be the Tokina 12-24mm f/4 Mark ii. I have the Mark I model and am quite happy with it. I have not experienced the flare which resulted in Tokina issuing the Mark ii model and I am very happy with the image quality of this lens.

    Roman Johnson shot many of his gallery images with the Tokina 124 on a Nikon...

    http://www.pbase.com/romansphotos

    These images were among the reasons I selected the 12-24mm as my UWA lens.

    The Tokina 12-24 ii is probably the least expensive of the lenses in question. I carried one to China but, seldom used it. However, it could have limped along as a mid-range zoom on my 1.6x cameras if my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens went belly up!

  10. #10

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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    For a trip to Europe to specifically photography the architecture I'd be looking at one of the perspective control lenses. The 24mm is way too pricey for use on one trip but $200 renting one for a couple of weeks would certainly be an option.

  11. #11
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    I'm a fan of the fast lenses and superwide lenses. When I got my D90 almost 4 years ago, I picked up the Tokina 11-16mm lens, because the wider Nikkor was not available at the time and the one of the reasons I went with the D90 was that the D5000 did not have the built-in focus motor. The lens is fast and sharp and the mechanical and optical build quality is every bit as good, if not better than, the Nikons (which is not true of the Sigma or Tamron lines). It has recently been released with an internal focusing motor, but you won't need that on your D90.

    If I were buying today, I would have a good look at the 10-24mm, just because of the extra 1mm wider focal length, but the Nikon being 2/3 of a stop slower wide open might have been a show-stopper for me. Optically, especially from a distortion standpoint, I understand that the Tokina is better. I usually shoot the lens at 11mm. I have the kit 18-55mm lens, and frankly do not miss the extra mm where the two lenses do not overlap. You would have quite an overlap with the 10-24mm with your existing 18-200mm lens, so I wouldn’t get too excited about the fact that the Nikkor goes up to 24mm.

    Anyhow, a couple of shots, in Paris, with the Tokina. These shots were taken in the Louvre. In this image, I wanted to make it look like I was virtually alone with the Mona Lisa.

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/for...chmentid=22158

    In this shot, I wanted to make it look like the room with the Mona Lisa was bursting at the seams.

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/for...chmentid=22159


    This is why I love the ultra-wides, same place, same lens, a few seconds apart and a totally different view of the world.

  12. #12

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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    Thanks to you all for your helpful comments and experience. I've always fancied the Tokina 11-16mm, but didn't get one as it wouldn't auto focus on my daughters D40. However, now I know there is a mkII (thanks Manfred) I am very tempted. On the other hand to have a lens that zooms to 24mm gives me a more versatile set up (as several of you said) especially if I used my 50mm f1.8 for a little more zoom and/or indoor shots. This would minimise the clutter I am carrying around and avoid taking a camera bag - which I like the idea of. Thanks for your comments on the Nikon 10-24mm, it would seem that it is a lens worth getting. Similarly, thanks to Richard for reminding me of the Tokina 12-24mm. I had dismissed this lens because to the potentail for flare and CA described in reviews - it sounds that it too is worth consideration.
    Of course the problem is me - I want a wide angle lens that is good at everything, but which ever one I choose will be good for some situations but a compromise in others.
    Again thanks for the help and advice - I'll have to think some more, read reviews and look through images.

  13. #13
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a Nikon wide angle lens

    Cliver - I think you have hit the nail on the head. Getting what is right for you involves figuring out what what is most important to you, and that will of course vary from person to person.

    The technique I use is that I define my requirements in three categories; Must Have, Should Have and Nice to Have and put them into rough rank order and then judge to products against these categories. Often doing this pops out a winner before even considering the cost.

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