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Ok so I've decided its time to add a new lens to my setup, and since I didn't win the lotto its going to be something more modest than the 300mm - so time for a wide angle lens.
I've done some reading around and I've boiled it down to the following options:
Tokina 11-16mm f2.8
Bonus of this lens is both its constant aperture and the fact that it offers the widest aperture of all the macro lenses on offer - it does however have the smallest focal range coverage of the set
Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6
Bonus of this is that it offers the widest possible focal range (without going fishy) of the set. It's downside is the variable aperture and its not the widest aperture either.
Note from what I've read this one is also a cut above (image quality wise) than the sigma 10-20mm and canon 10-20mm offerings as well (esp with less field curvature at 10mm).
Note 2 - this lens is also not compatible with regular filter systems though there are some tricks out there and LeeFilters are said to be working on a specific filter holder for this lens.
Sigma 10-20mm f3.5
A solid choice for many (the variable aperture version) this version offers around the midpoint in aperture coverage.
So far I think I am warming a lot to the 8-16mm lens even with its no conventional filter factor (sue me I like the idea of working with square filters in a filter holder). However I'm open to being convinced of the merits of the others as well.
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Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 is fantastic, at the 11mm things will start getting distorted, no comments on the 8-16mm.
The fast aperture on the tokina is a massive bonus, especially considering the min. focal distance.
Thanks Swwils - the only thing I do notice though is that the Tokina has a regular focusing system and not some form of fulltime manual focusing. This is something that I know I would miss in a lens (I already miss it greatly in my 70mm macro) since I do AF control through the backbutton on the camera - so I just default to pressing or not pressing it for the difference. Having to flick the AF/MF switch isn't hard, but it is a pain if you have to remember to actually do it in a split second.
The thing is I'm feeling more and more that, even though it has the variable aperture and the smallest aperture range, the 8-16mm might be the best option for going wide and having a nice larger focal range coverage (I've also read some saying that its distortion at 10mm isn't as bad as the 10-20mm at 10mm)
The tokinas AF/MF is a pull-back of the entire ring. This is really a very nice way of doing it for a wide angle in my opinion.
The lens is so wide that really I only ever used it at 2 focus points. Min. and Max. - it encompasses everything past 2m at the max.
So I would disregard any AF/MF feature with lenses this wide.
Have you thought of the Tokina 12-24 F4 had it myself and it was fantastic, probably exactly the same image quality (less distortion?) and abit better focal range. Constant f4 aperture is very useful too.
I have the Sigma 10-20 and it's tremendous, does everything I want in a wide-angle. I recommend it.
...And another vote for sigma's 10-20 from me...though I'd like a play with that 8-16 of theirs..!
another for the 10-20 Sigma - FTM focus fantastic!
Ahhh forgot to update the thread!
In the end whilst I've heard great things from all the options (honestly I don't think there is an optically poor choice to make here) the 8-16mm won out in the end for me! Though I've still to get used to using it (sooo wide!) it appears very sound optically and I hope to get some great results once I get the hang of it and get out there shooting more!
Got the Sigma 10-20 4-5.6 dc hsm....fantastic love this lens...silent and so sharp. I have taken photo's 2 foot in front of what I want and got it all in...question - how wide do you need...8mm might get the tripod leg/ your feet in??
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