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Old Jul 21, 2010, 2:07 PM   #1
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Default wide zoom

looking for a wide zoom
sigma 8-16
tokina 11-16
nikon 10-20
which do you think is a better buy

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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:57 PM   #2
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tokina
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 1:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pbjunkiee View Post
tokina

i was leaning to the Tokina at first
any experience with it?
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 11:37 PM   #4
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I have owned one for a few months now, and i absolutely adore it.

Any wide angle picture that you have seen me post was shot with that lens.
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 10:40 AM   #5
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B&H finally got the Tokina 12-24 DX II back in stock, so I just ordered one. I wanted this range because I use the 35mm prime for my standard lens, and wanted more zoom than the Tokina 11-16 gives. I am anticipating that I can put the 12-24 on my camera if I'm going to tour a building, say, and just use that lens for the duration. My feeling is that a zoom that didn't get up to the low end of "normal" would make me feel the need to swap out the lens more readily. We'll see how reality lines up with my expectations...
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 8:39 AM   #6
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I got back from a trip to the Litchfield Jazz Festival yesterday evening, and there was my new Tokina. I rushed outside with it before it got too dark to shoot anything and snapped a couple of photos. I must admit, I was shocked by the color skew -- we have a light green house. In the dusky light, the house looked pale blue. I presume that this was due to the lens coating, which apparently notches out a bit of the green range to make the lens more resistant to flare. I can see that I'm going to have to learn how to use this puppy. I'll be on vacation in a couple of days, so I should be able to spend some time playing with it then. I can't wait...
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Old Aug 14, 2010, 6:24 PM   #7
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I almost got the 11-16, but the range issue held me back. Tried the Tokina 12-24 and Tamron 10-24 in the store. The tokina wask clearly superior when I got home and compared at 100%. However, I liked that little extra 10 rather than 12. Ordered the Sigma 10-20 since no stores carried Sigma locally (or within 100 miles per dealer search).

Like the lens very much, however, was shocked at how difficult it is to use - and that would apply to the ultra wide class. Don't even want to think about an 8mm. Really have to be conscious how you compose the photo to minimize perspective issues with the angles. Sure, you can (and will) correct it with software, but the less correction, the better, due to the cropping issues involved. One thing that helped was turning the grid on in the viewfinder.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 8:44 AM   #8
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I know what you mean about these lenses being hard to use. I played with my new Tokina 12-24 a few days this week, while on vacation at my mother's in Michigan. My impression that the lens skews color just doesn't hold up -- I don't know what I did with those first practice shots, but I can't replicate that issue at all. But the perspective is tricky to use effectively. Part of the subtlety for me is that it varies wildly with how far the subject is from the lens. Up close and personal, the sides become very significantly widened. But, out just a few feet, that effect disappears completely. The apparent accentuation of z-axis distance similarly is very dependent upon composition. And tilting up or down has a massive effect on the apparent geometry of the view. But that's why I wanted one of these lenses -- to get familiar with these subtleties.

A couple of initial responses to the Tokina -- this is a very well-made and sharp lens. I really like the contrast and color fidelity. The DXII focuses quickly and the motor is quiet, even though it is not an ultrasonic. I honestly can't imagine being able to tell whether an ultrawide had a front focusing or backfocusing issue -- the depth of field is so huge that it could miss the focus point by a hundred yards and you'd never know. I've seen some people complain about back-focusing on this, but it makes no sense to me.

Also, I have seen people complain that their Tokina is hard to attach/detach from their camera. Mine fits as well as my Nikon lenses. I have no complaint at all on that score. I did once have the camera report that there was no lens present when the lens had been on for the better part of a day and working properly. I just twisted the lens a bit and that cleared the problem. It has not recurred, but I have not had anything like that with the Nikon lenses (this is my first non-Nikon lens.)

I do have one odd problem -- the included Tokina tulip hood just manages to get into the upper left and right corners of the field of view when I am fully-wide at 12mm. I'll probably grind off the edges of the lens hood. But it ticked me off, because all my 12mm images have little black triangles across the two upper corners, and it's a pain to edit them out.

I went to the Meijer Gardens and Scupture Park in Grand Rapids, and used the lens to photograph the Chihuly glass sculpture exhibit there. This exhibit places Chihuly's sculptures around the grounds in a way that blends in with the flowers and landscape, and is quite impressive. I found the 12-24 completely adequate for everything I wanted to do at that exhibit, although I didn't really make optimal use of the lens capabilities -- I'm still mostly treating it as a standard lens that just happens to be on the wide side. I'll try to upload a series of those photos tonight after work.

I also did a couple of photos that were specifically intended to take advantage of the properties of the lens. On one, I took photos of the Whitehall lighthouse on Lake Michigan. It is not completely successful, but it does begin to play with the perspective that the lens can deliver. I also did a couple of shots of the family gathered for a meal. In this one, the goal was to squeeze everyone in to the photo using the wide angle. Here, the perspective was a real issue -- folks on the side of the photo look very wide, indeed. I played with the distortion correction on Capture NX2, and found that introducing substantial barrel distortion made the people look right, but made straight lines like wall edges curve significantly. I think that can be perfectly reasonable to do in some cases -- keep the people along the middle of the horizontal axis of the lens and bend it like Beckham...

All-in-all, I am thrilled with this lens. I look forward to many months of exploration before I feel like it is a known tool in my kit, but the pleasure of learning these things is what I enjoy most about this hobby.

Last edited by tclune; Aug 18, 2010 at 8:49 AM.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 7:46 PM   #9
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Default Here they are...

I got the Tokina pics prepared. The first set is the family get-together where I tried to squeeze everyone in. In the first photo, you can see that my uncle on the left and my mother on the right look unnaturally stretched from left to right. In the second, I have added barrel distortion to mostly correct this effect, at the expense of losing the straight walls and picture frames. In the third photo, I've cropped the image. It is clearly a work in progress, but I think that it is possible to work with the lens in these extreme situations to get an acceptable result. The fourth photo is the Whitehall lighthouse. I rather like the effect wtih the fence, but the back wall of the house bothers me in how it is leaning in. Finally, here is a link to the Chihuly glass sculpture exhibit photos: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/63...EC4A0CC8863043
All of them were taken with the Tokina, and I am pleased with the set. FWIW
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 4:14 PM   #10
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Many thanks for the inputs,

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