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Old Apr 28, 2010, 11:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lesmore49 View Post
Is the 12-24 :
  • pin point sharp...I consider my 16-45 and 50 F1.4 to be excellent in this category. Is the 12-24 at their level or better in your view ?
  • Colour rendition- how would you rate ?
  • build quality- plastic or metal ? Is it a robust lens ?
  • reliable or problematic as I've read about the 16-50 ?
Hi Les,

My 12-24 other than my 31 Ltd is the sharpest lens I have. Due the to wide angle, the 12-24 puts more image across the sensor, so each pixel represents a larger area in the image as compared to the 31. If you like the 16-45 you will absolutely love the 12-24. It is that good. I consider f8 to be the best aperture and 18mm the focal length for sharpest images. Here are some links (check the resolution sections):
Its color again is better than the 16-45, in my opinion with glasses. Lately, I have been shooting with the 31, but I am toggling back to the 12-24 because it stitches better (wider view). Between the two lenses, its really impossible to go wrong.

Build quality, I would say is a tad better or at least the same as the 16-45. The build quality of the 10-17 is very similar to the 31 Ltd, and there is a difference between the 10-17 and 16-45.

Absolutely no reliability problems that I have encountered. It is a screw drive and not a SMD lens (as is the 16-50).

The 10-17 and the 12-24 complement each other perfectly. It is not apparent from the focal lengths (given the 10-17 is an FE), but the 10-17's field of view is 180 to 100 degrees wide. The 12-24's FOV is 100 to 60 degrees.

You can get incredibly close with the 12-24, so in that respect its almost a macro (its a stretch, but you can get really close). The front lens is very large, especially when compared to the 16-45. In that its a constant f4 lens, it gathers quite a bit of light, so compared to the 16-45, it feels like a faster lens. I use it quite a bit for night shots and it is excellent (I also use a tripod - as it still f4 and not f1.4).
"I'm really looking forward, with the 12-24, to getting landscapes with stretched out skies "
You will not get really distorted stretched out skies - distortion is very well controlled, you will get a very accurate view, but it will pull in the width of the vista you are seeing. With the 10-17 you will get the really stretched out skies....

So, I went looking for a very difficult shot. Here is one from San Diego with the 12-24 at night (midnight), f8, ISO 100, 19mm and 19 seconds. Then I took a 100% crop.

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Last edited by interested_observer; Apr 29, 2010 at 12:15 AM.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 11:54 PM   #12
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.... and the 100% crop. No mods or adjustments, just a RAW converted to JPG and re-sized for posting.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 12:01 AM   #13
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and here is a full crop with out any resizing.....
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 9:52 AM   #14
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Interested Observer,

Thanks for the detailed answer. Your review of the 12-24 has upped my anticipation for this lens. I've checked a lot of tests/reviews and boy they sure seem to consistently regard this lens very highly.

The width at 12 mm is certainly an appeal for me, but the fact that for a zoom it seems to give little away to primes is also another big plus.

Les
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Old May 1, 2010, 7:11 PM   #15
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The DA12-24mm is the only zoom I use regularly. It replaced my DA16-45mm, an excellent lens, which now sits unused. It is the sharpest wide-angle zoom available, and the one with the least distortion. However it is not sharp compared with longer focal lengths as mentioned above: there is more detail to fit into the same number of pixels given the wide angle of view. That is a reality of optics.

Build is OK but would not win any awards. But I like it better than the Sigma I once played with.

An essential lens for travel.
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