FX Wide Replacement for Tokina 11-16

pyanezpyanez Geologist Gone to SeedRegistered Users Posts: 212 Major grins
edited October 28, 2012 in The Big Picture
Apparently I can shoot my Tokina at 11-16mm on my new Nikon D600 FX body without any serious vignetting at 16mm, not a huge deal since this gets me back to about 11mm on my DX body, which is where I shot 80% of the time. HOWEVER, while the lens is fantastic on DX the corners really start to show a pretty good drop off in terms of quality even when not vignetting @ 16mm.

Question is... what do you recommend in the general price range for what I can get for my minty but used Tokina to replace it with on FX. Probably puts me in the price range for only a prime lens, but this is fine, since the Zoom from 11-16mm was fairly limited to begin with. Would not like it to be much longer than 17mm, and would probably prefer an f2.8 lens since I plan on using it in very low light conditions including astrophotography.

Thanks,
P

Comments

  • perronefordperroneford Major grins Registered Users Posts: 550 Major grins
    edited September 26, 2012
    You want an FX lens. You want a zoom. You want it 2.8, and you want it to be priced in the neighborhood if your 11-16? You don't want much do you! You have two realistic options from what I can tell.

    1. The Tokina 16-28/F2.8 for about $850
    2. The Nikon 14-24/F2.8 for about $2k.

    Nikon makes a 17-35/F2.8 for about $1750...


    Take your pick.
  • pyanezpyanez Geologist Gone to Seed Registered Users Posts: 212 Major grins
    edited September 26, 2012
    I think you either mis-read what wrote or I wrote it poorly... I'm not expecting a zoom in that price I'm expecting an FX prime.

    .... Probably puts me in the price range for only a prime lens, but this is fine, since the Zoom from 11-16mm was fairly limited to begin with...

    "You don't want much do you!" - nope I just want to get the best that I can in my budget. I see that you are from Florida, enjoy a nice sunset and chill a bit.
  • babowcbabowc Casual amateur photog Registered Users Posts: 510 Major grins
    edited September 26, 2012
    16-35 f4 is in the ballpark of $1000
    -Mike Jin
    D800
    16/2.8, f1.4G primes, f2.8 trio, 105/200 macro, SB900.
    It never gets easier, you just get better.
  • GuillaumeGuillaume Begrinner Portland, ORRegistered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
    edited October 17, 2012
    Wide angle recommendations
    pyanez wrote: »
    I think you either mis-read what wrote or I wrote it poorly... I'm not expecting a zoom in that price I'm expecting an FX prime.
    .... Probably puts me in the price range for only a prime lens, but this is fine, since the Zoom from 11-16mm was fairly limited to begin with...
    "You don't want much do you!" - nope I just want to get the best that I can in my budget. I see that you are from Florida, enjoy a nice sunset and chill a bit.

    Well, you are asking for quite a bit, understandably though.
    The problem is that the D600 has so much resolution that you can't really cheap out too much on a lens. If you don't have a lens that can put out the performance than what's the point of having 24mp? Money is always better spent on lenses that last 20 years vs. cameras that you have to replace every other year... All of the sudden, the better investment, you are better off with a $1000 camera and a $2000 lens. I am saying all of this and I own the D600 as well.

    On that note, there are stuff out that could maybe work for you. On a 11-16mm budget, you'll have to give away a few things. You'd like to not go longer than 17mm and there's your challenge. Wide angle primes, especially 2.8 ones are not any cheaper than zooms in that category. Actually the good ones tend to be more expensive for fewer features. It's super hard for manufacturers to build wide angle lenses for SLR cameras, let alone DSLRs with the stupid resolutions we have today (it's much easier to build a wide angle lens for a viewfinder camera). It's even harder to make them fast (2.8) and make them sharp at those extreme apertures.

    Nonetheless, here's what I know about.

    Auto-focus primes:
    The Nikon 14mm f/2.8 (which is not as good as the 14-24mm f/2.8 beast) will set you back $1,700 (though I found a beat up one with scratched glass for under $500 on eBay).
    Tokina makes a 17mm f/3.5 that isn't the best optically but is tiny and can probably be found for $200-$300 used.
    Autofocus fisheyes:
    The Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye is fantastic but is fisheye and cost $900.
    I think Sigma makes a 15mm f/2.8 fisheye that people love for $600.
    Manual primes:
    Zeiss makes an 15mm f/2.8 that should be spectacular and it should at almost $3,000.
    Zeiss also makes a much more manageable 18mm f/3.5 for $1,300 which should perform just as well.
    Pro-Optic/Bower/Bower/Samyang knock-off brand makes a 14mm f/2.8 that is pretty poor optically but costs $400. It's probably the worst option out there, especially for 24mp but hey, better than nothing. Maybe it's ok at f/8.
    Auto-focus zooms:
    Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 is a great lens but huge, heavy, can't use filters, doesn't have VR and costs $2,000.
    Nikon's 16-35mm f/4 is a stellar lens for $1,200 but is slower than what you'd want. This lens allows you to use filters and adds VR which effectively lets me shoot even slower than an equivalent 2.8 lens without VR.
    Nikon also makes a 17-35mm f/2.8 which is supposed to be very very good as well but sets you back $1,800 and doesn't have VR.
    Tokina has 17-35mm f/4 is also a great performer at $700.
    Tokina also has a 16-28mm f/2.8 that is supposed to be spectacular for $800 but can't use filters and doesn't have VR. It's supposedly better than Nikon's 14-24mm but not quite as good as 16-35mm; I doubt anyone would notice a difference for 99% of the shots. Maybe that's your lens.

    So, with the options I know of, you have to give away some stuff and pick either quality, small aperture, manual focus or cheap... That's your choice. I would recommend the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 which is a stellar lens and gives you a usable zoom range. Otherwise, I'd go a little longer with a prime, such as some of the Nikon 20mm which are very good. Even consider the Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5 if you want a tiny manual focus lens with amazing performance. The Nikon 14mm f/2.8 won't be spectacular wide open but should perform great when slowed down a few stops, if you can find one for cheap...
    It seems like the only possible exception is the Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 lens if you can do without VR and filters.

    As for astrophotography, you have to make sure you consider "coma" which kinda makes the stars look like smeared blobs at larger apertures. This is a very common issue with wide angles at large apertures and most of them have that issue. The best wide I know for that is the Nikon 24mm f/1.4 but that's a $2,200 amazing lens. I can't really speak for a lot of those lenses as I haven't tried them in that situation.

    I hope all of this helps you in your search.
  • pyanezpyanez Geologist Gone to Seed Registered Users Posts: 212 Major grins
    edited October 17, 2012
    Guillaume,

    Thanks for all the good info. Here is an update with where I am.

    1. I tested the Tokina 11-16mm a bit more at 16mm and found that while it does fill the frame at 16mm, the corners are pretty poor unless you stop down quite a bit 5.6 to 8.
    2. I tried a Nikon 18-35mm. At 18mm is was about as good in the corners as the T11-16, had lots of coma at 18 until you got to f5.6, and was not as good as my "kit" 24-85mm VR for the 24-85mm range.
    3. VERY importantly my budget, remained unchanged in the $600 range.
    4. Tried the Tokina 17-35mm f4, nice size, but not too impressed as far as optical quality.
    5. Tried the Tokina 16-28mm, better optically, but made my neck and back hurt just thinking about carrying this monster around.
    6. Finally after a LOT of research I ordered the Samyang 14mm f2.8 (chippy one) from B&H and will assess once it arrives. Interesting that you say " It's probably the worst option out there", as this does not seem to fit with the reviews that I have read which say the resolution is outstanding as is the lens's coma wide open (see links below). Obviously distortion is an issue, but to be honest not to me as I don't plan on doing architectural photography with it and even if I did apparently it can be corrected or significantly improved with SW. So what was your statement based on -- personal experience or a review somewhere?

    Most significantly I was VERY impressed with the coma test of the lens wide open (from the first review below at lens tip):

    3086_sam14_koma.jpg

    Looks VERY good, no? (or at least much, much better than either the Tokina 11-16, Nikon 18-35 or Tokina 17-35mm that I tried out when wide open f2.8-f4)

    http://www.lenstip.com/239.1-Lens_review-Samyang_14_mm_f_2.8_ED_AS_IF_UMC_Introduction.html
    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Samyang/14mm-F2.8-IF-ED-MC-Aspherical-Nikon/(camera)/767/(cameraname)/Nikon-D4
    http://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/samyang-14mm-f2-8-ed-if-umc.html
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3214367
    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/532-samyang14f28eosff
  • GuillaumeGuillaume Begrinner Portland, ORRegistered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
    edited October 17, 2012
    I had forgotten the little 18-35mm from Nikon. This lens was great in film but didn't keep up when I got the D700.
    That's interesting for the 14mm, I didn't give it a second chance when I tried it on my camera. It was a little while back. I've heard they sometimes have variations between samples but can't remember if it's for auto-focus accuracy or other stuff. I had read reviews too that weren't raving about it.
    Let me know how yours work out, maybe I'll give it another shot.
  • GuillaumeGuillaume Begrinner Portland, ORRegistered Users Posts: 12 Big grins
    edited October 27, 2012
    Hey there. Any update on the 14mm?
    pyanez wrote: »
    Guillaume,

    Thanks for all the good info. Here is an update with where I am.

    1. I tested the Tokina 11-16mm a bit more at 16mm and found that while it does fill the frame at 16mm, the corners are pretty poor unless you stop down quite a bit 5.6 to 8.
    2. I tried a Nikon 18-35mm. At 18mm is was about as good in the corners as the T11-16, had lots of coma at 18 until you got to f5.6, and was not as good as my "kit" 24-85mm VR for the 24-85mm range.
    3. VERY importantly my budget, remained unchanged in the $600 range.
    4. Tried the Tokina 17-35mm f4, nice size, but not too impressed as far as optical quality.
    5. Tried the Tokina 16-28mm, better optically, but made my neck and back hurt just thinking about carrying this monster around.
    6. Finally after a LOT of research I ordered the Samyang 14mm f2.8 (chippy one) from B&H and will assess once it arrives. Interesting that you say " It's probably the worst option out there", as this does not seem to fit with the reviews that I have read which say the resolution is outstanding as is the lens's coma wide open (see links below). Obviously distortion is an issue, but to be honest not to me as I don't plan on doing architectural photography with it and even if I did apparently it can be corrected or significantly improved with SW. So what was your statement based on -- personal experience or a review somewhere?

    Most significantly I was VERY impressed with the coma test of the lens wide open (from the first review below at lens tip):

    3086_sam14_koma.jpg

    Looks VERY good, no? (or at least much, much better than either the Tokina 11-16, Nikon 18-35 or Tokina 17-35mm that I tried out when wide open f2.8-f4)

    http://www.lenstip.com/239.1-Lens_review-Samyang_14_mm_f_2.8_ED_AS_IF_UMC_Introduction.html
    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Samyang/14mm-F2.8-IF-ED-MC-Aspherical-Nikon/(camera)/767/(cameraname)/Nikon-D4
    http://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/samyang-14mm-f2-8-ed-if-umc.html
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3214367
    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/532-samyang14f28eosff
  • Mike JMike J Having Fun! Registered Users Posts: 1,029 Major grins
    edited October 28, 2012
    babowc wrote: »
    16-35 f4 is in the ballpark of $1000
    This is exactly the route I took when I went FX. Still have my 11-16 Tokina that I eventually need to sell...
    Mike J

    Comments and constructive criticism always welcome.
    www.mikejulianaphotography.com
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