Shutter Asia Forum  

Home Forum Shoutbox Mark Forums Read
Go Back   Shutter Asia Forum > Gear & Technique > Other Systems & 3rd Party Lenses
Register Facebook Flickr Rules

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-12-2007, 09:50 PM
ShaolinTiger's Avatar
ShaolinTiger ShaolinTiger is offline
Shutter God
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Petaling Jaya
Posts: 6,402
Thanks: 56
Thanked 148 Times in 80 Posts
Country:
Super Wide Angle Lenses for dSLR - Sigma 10-20mm, Tamron 11-18mm, Sigma/Tokina/Nikkor 12-24mm, Canon 10-22mm

Why Wide?

Most people have trouble decided which lenses to buy, especially when it comes to focal range and aperture.

You might at some point start feeling your kit lens or walk-around lenses just isn't wide enough some times. Most kit lenses are 18mm at the wide end (14mm for the 4/3rds system) and most replacement f/2.8 models are 16mm (16-35mm f/2.8 L) or 17mm (Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS, Nikkor 17-55mm or 17-35mm f/2.8).

16 or 17mm is fairly wide for a full frame or 35mm film camera, but on a cropped 1.5x or 1.6 sensor it's just not that wide.

That's where this new generation of super wide angle lenses come in 10-12mm at the widest aimed at digital SLR cameras with cropped sensor (APS-C sensors).

For landscape or cityscape junkies a super-wide lens is a must, you just cant back up far enough to get the right perspective.



The only thing you have to be careful with is perspective distortion, but even with that - you can learn to use it to your advantage.

You need a superwide if:
  • You always feel like you need to back up to get more in
  • You often find yourself in tight situations with a wall behind you and you need more focal width
  • You love landscapes
  • You are bored of all the 'normal' perspectives and want something different


The last one can also be satiated with a fish-eye lens, but that's a specialist lens and not as useful as a good superwide.

Which Wide?

Ok now you know you NEED a super-wide lens, which one do you buy?

The main choices are:
  • Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 EX DC HSM
  • Sigma AF 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 HSM EX DG
  • Tokina AT-X 124 AF Pro DX 12-24mm f/4
  • Tamron SP AF11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 Di-II LD ASPHERICAL
  • Nikon AFS 12-24 mm f/4 G ED IF DX Nikkor
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
I'll rate these in order according to my experience with these lenses, online reviews and a lot of research.

A couple of exemptions before I start, if you are using a 5D or other full-frame camera the best bet is probably the Sigma 12-24mm as it's the only REALLY wide full-frame lens. 16mm might be wide enough for you on a FF though.

If you are a Canon user the 10-22mm is probably the best bet, it's sharp, focuses fast and has nice colour/contrast. Between that and the Sigma it's a close call - I suggest you try them both.

The rest is mostly for Nikon users as our Nikkor lens (The 12-24mm) isn't great, so we really need to look at the 3rd party offerings.

The difference between 10mm and 12mm is considerable, go wide!

compare10-28.jpg

I have tested all of these lenses.

In 3rd place - Nikon AFS 12-24 mm f/4 G ED IF DX Nikkor

The main thing this lens has going for it..is build quality and it's made by Nikon!

Plus it's contast f/4 - but seriously who's gonna be shooting landscapes without a tripod wide open? If you are spending 2k on a landscape lens I doubt that's a consideration.

The Tokina build quality is just as good as this lens, plus it has better sharpness edge to edge.

Not that sharpness is a huge consideration for super-wide lenses, none of them are super sharp.

I think is probably the most over-priced Nikon lens - not to say it's completely crap...but it's certainly not the best choice. I'm a great fan of Nikon lenses, but I think the 12-24mm is a waste of space. I'd much prefer the 10.5mm Fisheye if I was gonna spend that kind of cash.

Plus it's 12mm, if you wanna go wide - go all the way!

Price around RM3300.

In 2nd place - Tokina AT-X 124 AF Pro DX 12-24mm f/4

If you are bothered by distortion (likely to shoot architecture), get the Tokina 12-24mm, it's second best in my books, sharper than the Nikkor, build quality can easily equal it and it's much cheaper.

This is a super lens, if you don't want the extra 2mm get this lens, build quality is superb, sharp, contrasty, nice colours and virtually no distortion

Price around RM1800.

In 1st place Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

I bought the Sigma 10-20mm, the HSM is fast and smooth and silent, it's sharp, the distortion is just fine.

I actually like it, it makes for more interesting pictures, I find pictures from the Tokina and the Canon 10-22mm which both handle distortion extremely well rather 'flat'.

The 10mm makes a BIG difference too, each mm towards the wide end works out as a lot of degrees. If I want wide, I want really wide!

If not I'd just stick to the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 as that is razor sharp.

The build quality is fine and the quality control issue is mostly end-user error - there are very few actually bad lenses. It has HSM so the focusing is fast and silent and it works on the New Nikon D40 and D40x.

The non-constant aperture isn't an issue as I mentioned above, usually on a tripod at f/8-11 anyway.

Owning the 10-20mm the only complaints I would have are:
  • Stupid coating which is liable to peel off
  • Stupid side-pinch lens cap which can't be used with the lenscap on (I changed mine for center-pinch Nikon cap - which is good)
  • Non constant f/4 aperture - but as I explained above in reality I don't find this a limitation
Price around RM2000.

The Others

Worst of the lot was Tamron 11-18mm, ugly distortion, bad build quality, slow focus, lacking contrast and muted colours, just what you don't want for a mainly landscape lens.

The Sigma 12-24mm is a HUGE lens, it lacks filter support and it's heavy. It's not particularly sharp but distortion is extremely well controlled. I'll suggest this one only for full frame users.

Pictures from the Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 EX DC HSM













Go get a super-wide - it'll add an extra dimension to your pictures.
  #2  
Old 08-12-2007, 10:13 PM
limgt's Avatar
limgt limgt is offline
Shutter Fan
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kuala Lumpur, MY
Posts: 259
Thanks: 3
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Country:
Cool article! I'm expected to get my Sigma 10-20mm by year end, hopefully in time for HK trip! Previously was pondering between Nikkor 18-200VR and the Sigma, but I figure I love landscapes too much to miss the 10mm - furthermore, it's cheaper! :p
__________________
"Stay hungry, stay foolish" - Steve Jobs

Flickr
  #3  
Old 08-12-2007, 10:44 PM
siew's Avatar
siew siew is offline
Serious Shutter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 335
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Country:
An ultra wide really adds a new dimension to your photographs. Some shots from the Canon EF-S 10-22









Last edited by siew; 08-12-2007 at 10:47 PM..
  #4  
Old 08-12-2007, 11:10 PM
limgt's Avatar
limgt limgt is offline
Shutter Fan
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kuala Lumpur, MY
Posts: 259
Thanks: 3
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Country:
I guess I'll just have to live with stitching pano before getting my hands on ultra wide

9 become 1 @ 18mm

tugupano_resized.jpg
Tugu Negara/National Monument
__________________
"Stay hungry, stay foolish" - Steve Jobs

Flickr
  #5  
Old 08-13-2007, 12:03 AM
bcteh's Avatar
bcteh bcteh is offline
Shutter Fan
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: KL, PJ and Penang
Posts: 264
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Country:
Yeah ...10mm is the ideal focal length for landscape.
  #6  
Old 08-13-2007, 07:13 PM
noordin's Avatar
noordin noordin is offline
Shutter Lord
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,045
Thanks: 0
Thanked 26 Times in 26 Posts
Country:
Very good article ST.

Guys, superb wide angle shots!
  #7  
Old 08-13-2007, 07:28 PM
ND40's Avatar
ND40 ND40 is offline
Shuttertastic
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 846
Thanks: 6
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Country:
ST, you are just too bad. You make me want to spend more. You make an additional item to my wist list.

Anyway, thx for you effort to put up the review!!
__________________
rencontre internet gratuit
  #8  
Old 08-13-2007, 07:30 PM
noruazumi's Avatar
noruazumi noruazumi is offline
Shutter Council
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: penang - shah alam - kuantan
Posts: 4,474
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Country:
great write-up ST.
this would be a great help for those who want to get super-wide lenses.
  #9  
Old 08-13-2007, 09:00 PM
limgt's Avatar
limgt limgt is offline
Shutter Fan
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kuala Lumpur, MY
Posts: 259
Thanks: 3
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Country:
Quote:
Originally Posted by noruazumi View Post
great write-up ST.
this would be a great help for those who want to get super-wide lenses.
Not great help, but great poison... :p
__________________
"Stay hungry, stay foolish" - Steve Jobs

Flickr
  #10  
Old 08-16-2007, 08:21 AM
ckchowov's Avatar
ckchowov ckchowov is offline
Shutter Council
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,811
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Country:
Wah...makes me wanna find a superwide converter lense for my FZ50.
__________________
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM vs.Tokina AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X Pro DX (Canon) na7ure Canon Equipment 29 06-14-2009 05:18 PM
Can Sigma EF 500 DG Super work with Canon Speedlite 580EX nitehawk Accessories and Other 14 12-21-2008 02:25 PM
[WTT] my Tamron 17-50 with your Sigma 17-35 (Canon Mount) mhafizahmad Buy or Sell at Shutter Asia 4 07-13-2007 12:01 PM
[SOLD] Like new condition in box with unfilled local Sigma warranty Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC HSM lens for Nikon [SOLD] ylcamera YL Camera Service Sold 3 05-13-2007 04:17 PM
Looking for manual focus Nikkor 24mm, 20mm red Want to BUY 0 04-24-2007 02:27 PM


All times are GMT +8. The time now is 02:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Site Content and Design Copyright 2007-2013 Shutter Asia - All Rights Reserved
Inactive Reminders By Icora Web Design