Budget Ultrawide Prime Options on FF

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Aaron WillisChang
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Budget Ultrawide Prime Options on FF
Apr 26, 2012

I'm looking for an ultrawide lens to use on my D4, and am having some trouble deciding. I've currently got a 24 2.8 but that's just not wide enough. I used to rent a 17-35 on my D700 and I loved the range and speed but now they're out of production they are getting increasingly hard to find new and I've heard too many scary stories of the AF squeak to risk a used model.

I want something for a) landscapes b) timelapses c) stars and d) crazy close focus action portraits.

I've kind of narrowed it down to the Samyang 14 2.8 and the Tokina 17 3.5. The Samyang seems to have some pretty awful distortion and I'm not one to do much post work and fixing distortion. Also won't be possible with video. I figured I could zone focus but the lack of DoF markings and anecdotes of inaccurate focus readings make it seem like focus might be an issue. Most cases i can check via live view, but not with action portraits or stars. The Tokina then looks better as it has AF and overall better IQ. However, it seems to be pretty hard to ge my hands on one, whereas the local shops carry the 14 2.8. Also the Samyang is wider and faster.

I'm interested in what previous or current owner of these lenses have to say, and whether you thought the tokina was too slow, or the samyang having noticeably bad distortion, or you wished the tokina was wider, etc.

I do care about wide open quality as it can make all the difference in star shots. Are there any other Nikon or 3rd party lenses I am missing? Wider than 20mm, cheaper than $1000?

Nikon D4 Nikon D700
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