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Old 01-02-2013, 01:10 PM   #1
PrincessMe
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Help Me Spend Money

After months of debating, I've decided I need a wide-angle lens.

Top choice right now is the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 DX (original version) but I'm having so much trouble hitting the 'Buy' button that I decided to seek outside opinions. I'm not questioning the utility of the lens at this point - I know it will get plenty of use - I just can't commit to the specific model.

Would the Tokina DX-11 be worth the extra $100? I shoot a D7000 so the auto-focus motor is not an issue.

I've ruled out the Nikon and Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5s (although I'm open to alternative arguments regarding these lenses) and want to keep this purchase below $800 or so. Less is always nice.

How would you spend my money?
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessMe View Post
Top choice right now is the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 DX (original version) but I'm having so much trouble hitting the 'Buy' button that I decided to seek outside opinions. I'm not questioning the utility of the lens at this point - I know it will get plenty of use - I just can't commit to the specific model.
What are your doubts about that model? What if anything is giving you pause?

Quote:
I've ruled out the Nikon and Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5s (although I'm open to alternative arguments regarding these lenses)
What made you rule out those lenses? It's hard to pitch for buying one of these lenses without knowing what made you feel you should cross them off your list - if it was worry about the image quality, there might be a worthy argument to reconsider one of these, but if it was about your like or dislike of the company, the design of the lens, weight or size, or some other specific reason, then any counter-argument might be a waste of breath as it wouldn't be apropos to your reasons.

Here's the good news: They're all pretty good - no UWA lens is drastically worse, or drastically better, than the others. They're pretty close in overall performance, very close overall in focal range, not terribly different in max aperture, and pretty close in build quality. Pricing tends to be the biggest differentiator, and even that isn't too drastically far apart. So whatever you decide on, it won't be a bad lens.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by zackiedawg

Here's the good news: They're all pretty good - no UWA lens is drastically worse, or drastically better, than the others. They're pretty close in overall performance, very close overall in focal range, not terribly different in max aperture, and pretty close in build quality. Pricing tends to be the biggest differentiator, and even that isn't too drastically far apart. So whatever you decide on, it won't be a bad lens.
Thank you for this. It makes me feel better.

My primary concern is that I'm missing something regarding the differences between the original version of the Tamron and the DX-II. The auto-focus motor is a big deal if you need it but since I don't, it seems to make sense to just save the extra $100. I just worry that I overlooked something else between the two.

I ruled out the two 10-24s because I read a lot of complaints about image quality - particularly in the corners. The convenience of the slight extra range (in both directions) didn't seem worth the potential trade-off in sharpness.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:39 PM   #4
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I have owned the Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 and Tokina 11-16 f2.8. Both are good lenses. I never really shot either at large apertures. I usually keep it around 5.6-11 for landscapes. On my past trip I had the Tokina and wished I had the Sigma 8-16 because I love the wider coverage. I ended up using my Rokinon 8mm fisheye more. I would look at the Sigma 8-16 also.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PrincessMe View Post
Thank you for this. It makes me feel better.

My primary concern is that I'm missing something regarding the differences between the original version of the Tamron and the DX-II. The auto-focus motor is a big deal if you need it but since I don't, it seems to make sense to just save the extra $100. I just worry that I overlooked something else between the two.
I'll qualify this by saying I do not have direct experience with the two versions, but I really don't think there are any IQ differences to worry about between the two versions - I think you nailed it with the focus motor being the difference, so if you don't need it, I can't see any real serious benefits to paying more - the only difference if any will be maybe in motor/focusing noise and/or speed, but rarely is that an issue with a UWA lens.


Quote:
I ruled out the two 10-24s because I read a lot of complaints about image quality - particularly in the corners. The convenience of the slight extra range (in both directions) didn't seem worth the potential trade-off in sharpness.
Gotcha. When I was buying my UWA lens, the Tokina wasn't yet available in my mount, so my comparisons were down to the Sony version, the Sigma, and the Tamron. I was down to the Sigma and the Tamron in the end - and own both brands of lens - but I found the Tamron to be a touch sharper on center wide open, better distortion correction, and more flare and fringe resistant, with the additional focal range just being a perk. The lens' worst performance is between 20-24mm range - which is fine by me since I bought it to use it wide open and at the widest end very often. I can't say I've had anything to complain about with the Tamron 10-24mm lens - sharpness has been very good for me across the frame, plenty usable wide open, and really crisp and sharp stopped down a bit. But that's just one person's word, and you have to go on the overall sense of the reviews and feedback you have seen - knowing that some lenses can be lemons in the batch, and some can be jewels in a batch, one person having an excellent or poor experience doesn't really give you a reliable sense of the lens - the average of 1,000 experiences is better - so if you've seen a larger number of mediocre to poor reviews, then go with that.

And remember there will always be some bad reviews for ALL UWA lenses - with at least a percentage of those being related to the difficulty of adapting to the UWA style of shooting, and not having perspective of how other UWA lenses will perform in the same scenario. My own experiences so far with the Tamron & the Sigma, and a friend who has the Tokina (older version), is that the three are really pretty close in performance, and if we took a bunch of shots from the three stripped of EXIF, we both couldn't tell one from another!
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
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Thank you for the thoughtful and thorough responses. I really appreciate hearing people's first hand experiences in the non-review context.

I think I need to read through reviews and specs one more time, including the super-wide Sigma, which I hadn't even previously considered.

I'm really just terrible at making buying decisions. My husband doesn't even like sending me to the grocery store because I spend so long debating which potato or pepper appears to be the best choice.

I really am glad to know that I will likely be happy regardless of final choice. After the learning curve, of course.
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