Ultrawide Trials and Tribulations

Started Sep 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Brev00
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Ultrawide Trials and Tribulations
Sep 24, 2012

I am just finishing a weekend rental of the Nikon 12-24 f/4. A month or so ago I bought a Sigma 10-20 4-5.6 with the full expectation after researching here and elsewhere of keeping it. A lack of contrast and sharpness was apparent in some real world shots and then was confirmed in some testing. Although I thought it might have been a bad copy, I returned it taking it as a sign that I should try a different lens company. The last two lenses I bought were Sigmas (17-70 os, 70 2.8 Macro) and I have been happy with them. Maybe i should try something new. Reports of flare and ca with Tokina led me next to this Nikon. Flare seems pretty well controlled but ca's are sometimes visible at normal viewing levels and are easily seen when viewed more closely. Even though I have not fully examined my test shots yet, problems along the edge seem apparent in this real world shot:

The referee seems to be suffering from motion blur, but he is really not moving at all and the image was shot with a shutter speed of 1/250. More such issues have been visible in the test shots I have viewed so far. Even if this were a normal landscape, wouldn't I want a rock or tree to be clearer than this?

Is this how all ultrawides perform? Maybe this is fine. Or is it just a rented copy that has seen better days? Even if that is the case, I was planning on buying used since the new price is out of reach. So, that seems no longer an option.

Am I being too picky? I have been happy with consumer zooms so far. I find my 17-70 os to be superior to either wide angle I have tested at shared focal lengths and it is not supposed to be a superstar.

Next up: the store also rents the Tamron 10-24. It reviews poorly but the lenses I tested so far reviewed well. Worth a try. Then, there is also the Tokina 12-24 II. Its main weaknesses are supposed to be flare and ca's. Ca's seem to be everywhere anyway. I might be able to live with some flare if the lens performs well in terms of sharpness and contrast.

Buying my other lenses was so much easier.

The pursuit continues.
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 Brev00's gear list:Brev00's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD +2 more
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