Suggestion for new lens please.

Started May 7, 2012 | Discussions
AngshuArun
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Suggestion for new lens please.
May 7, 2012

Dear Photographers / Photo enthusiasts,

I want to buy a new lens for my D5100 and 'm confused between the following:

1. Nikon AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8G
2. Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM
3. Tokina AF-X Pro 16-50mm f/2.8 DX
4. Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF)
5. Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)

My personal favorite is the 1st (Nikon) one but its very much costly. Used one at amazon is around 1000 USD :(.

2nd (Sigma) & 4th (Tamron) have image stabilization. 5th (Tamron) one is the lightest amongst all - others are bit heavier. Apart from Nikon, all are in the price range of 500 USD to 700 USD (could not get the price of Tokina at Amazon, but I assume that it falls in this range).

Now, which one will you choose (or already chosen) for yourself and why? If you already have hands on experience on either of these lenses, then please share sample images and your experience with it.

Please make all suggestions keeping in mind that I posses D5100 , so the lens should be equipped with built-in focus motor to auto focus successfully on D5100.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

One more question I'd like to ask you (not related to these lenses). There was a news that Tokina had launched DXII version (with built-in focus motor, hence of my interest :P) of its 11-16 wide angle lens. Any idea, by what time it will be available in the market?

Thanks to all :).
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 AngshuArun's gear list:AngshuArun's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
Nikon D5100
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Vladi Stoimenov
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to AngshuArun, May 7, 2012

5. Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
Vladi

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Cha Chief
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to AngshuArun, May 7, 2012

I used to own 17-55. It's a decent lens but I don't think it's worth what they are asking for it and I don't like that it's a dedicated DX lens. Also no VR. Even on DX, the 16-35f4G is wider at 83° as the 17-55 goes to 79° wide. The 16-35 has VRII and Nano. Yes you give up the f2.8 and 36-55mm but the 16-35 also costs a lot less and I can live with that. VR will give you those extra stops lost by it being an f4.

I haven't gone FX and I may never, but if I do, I don't want a $1550 lens that is no good to me.

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Windancer
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My Opinion......
In reply to AngshuArun, May 7, 2012

AngshuArun wrote:

1. Nikon AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8G

This is a very good lens albeit big, heavy, expensive and lacks VR but IMO it is the best of all the lenses you listed.

All these shots were taken wi this lens. http://www.pbase.com/windancer/adirondacks

Terry

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lrv890
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Re: My Opinion......
In reply to Windancer, May 7, 2012

Hi have you considered the Nikon 16-85

I have had this lens and the 17-55 , there is very little difference quality wise and it is lighter and cheaper ( but also slower )
Hope this helps

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JaronRH
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to AngshuArun, May 7, 2012

I've used both the Sigma 17-50 OS and Nikon 17-55G. I used to rent the Nikon 17-55 for weddings myself (I usually prefer prime lens usually but they just don't cut it for weddings!). I personally went for a Sigma 17-50 OS and lucked out with a really good copy. While the OS is extremely nice to have (works just as good as the VRII on my 70-200!) and was a big selling point for me, the Nikon does still [barely] edge out the Sigma in AF speed and corner sharpness wide open. I just personally didn't find the Nikon's differences worth another $1200 for me like I did when comparing, say, the Sigma 70-200 OS to the Nikon 70-200 VRII.

Sigma:
(+) Lighter (but still very good build quality)
(+) OS
(+) Almost no CA's (FLD glass works as advertised!)
(-) Slightly softer corners (then Nikon) @ 2.8
(-) Slightly slower AF (then Nikon) and no AF/M mode.
(-) Canon zoom ring
Nikon:
(+) Build Quality
(+) Weather Sealing
(-) No VR
(-) $1200 more!

Just for fun, these two test shots were both taken in dimly lit rooms (lit by a bounced flash) and both are of squirmy kids. Which one was shot with what lens? (OS was not on)

(Sorry, I did not have both lenses at the same time to do a side-by-side comparison)

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-Jaron

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JamesRL
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Why are you unhappy with what you have?
In reply to AngshuArun, May 7, 2012

First off, what are you using now?

Why do you want a new lens?

That will really help us narrow the field.

 JamesRL's gear list:JamesRL's gear list
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Logge
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to AngshuArun, May 7, 2012

i went for the nikon 17-55 (bought it for my D2H and D200 and now use it mostly on the D7000). i prefer it for it's better build quality and weather sealing (my camera bodies are weather sealed as well and i have used that lens with all my cameras in heavy rain). adding to this the nikon still has the quickest AF of all these lenses.

the lack of VR doesn't really bother me, as i use mainly for either moving subjects or landscapes (where i just prefer tripods). now i of course know that tripods aren't allowed everywhere but looking through my images this simply doesn't matter for my shooting.

on the image quality front i still think the nikon is best at f2.8. not just sharpness but also color and contrast, giving the shots a tad more pop, but this isn't the main factor imho.

given that the whole bit about weather sealing and build quality probably is of lesser importance to you (as the D5100 isn't sealed anyway) i think you should consider the third party offerings. i would clearly prefer the tamron VC version, then the nonVC. tokina tend to have CA problems and i have mixed feelings about sigma quality control (altough i'm very happy with my 10-20)
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Ian
Ian
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to AngshuArun, May 7, 2012

I get fed up with saying this but hear goes.

Why buy a Rolls Royce and put a Ford engine in it.

Why buy a Nikon and put independent lenses on it that sometimes do not work in all modes.

Its the lens that m,akes the picture not the body, the light goes threw the lens and how it is treated improves the image.
Buy Nikon lenses for Nikon bodies

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JaronRH
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to Ian, May 7, 2012

Ironic http://jalopnik.com/5743897/when-ford-built-rolls+royce-engines

I'd have to disagree: its the photographer that makes the picture. The lens is a tool - that's it. I've used some very good third-party lenses that work just as well as the Nikon variants.

Ian wrote:

I get fed up with saying this but hear goes.

Why buy a Rolls Royce and put a Ford engine in it.

Why buy a Nikon and put independent lenses on it that sometimes do not work in all modes.

Its the lens that m,akes the picture not the body, the light goes threw the lens and how it is treated improves the image.
Buy Nikon lenses for Nikon bodies

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-Jaron

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Skipper494
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to AngshuArun, May 7, 2012

I have five Tamrons, as well as Nikors, for my D700. All the Tamrons are sharp, and you should not need VC at that focal length.

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AngshuArun
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to Cha Chief, May 8, 2012

Cha Chief wrote:

I haven't gone FX and I may never, but if I do, I don't want a $1550 lens that is no good to me.

I got your point, somehow my thoughts are similar. Thanks
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 AngshuArun's gear list:AngshuArun's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
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AngshuArun
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Re: My Opinion......
In reply to Windancer, May 8, 2012

Windancer wrote:

This is a very good lens albeit big, heavy, expensive and lacks VR but IMO it is the best of all the lenses you listed.

All these shots were taken wi this lens. http://www.pbase.com/windancer/adirondacks

Terry

Remember, it's not the CPU that's in your camera that makes great images, it's the one located about 4" behind the viewfinder that does.

Thanks Terry for sharing your experience. These images are beautiful :).
I liked your punch line at the end of your message - quite true.
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 AngshuArun's gear list:AngshuArun's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
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AngshuArun
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to JaronRH, May 8, 2012

JaronRH wrote:

I've used both the Sigma 17-50 OS and Nikon 17-55G. I used to rent the Nikon 17-55 for weddings myself (I usually prefer prime lens usually but they just don't cut it for weddings!). I personally went for a Sigma 17-50 OS and lucked out with a really good copy. While the OS is extremely nice to have (works just as good as the VRII on my 70-200!) and was a big selling point for me, the Nikon does still [barely] edge out the Sigma in AF speed and corner sharpness wide open. I just personally didn't find the Nikon's differences worth another $1200 for me like I did when comparing, say, the Sigma 70-200 OS to the Nikon 70-200 VRII.

Sigma:
(+) Lighter (but still very good build quality)
(+) OS
(+) Almost no CA's (FLD glass works as advertised!)
(-) Slightly softer corners (then Nikon) @ 2.8
(-) Slightly slower AF (then Nikon) and no AF/M mode.
(-) Canon zoom ring
Nikon:
(+) Build Quality
(+) Weather Sealing
(-) No VR
(-) $1200 more!

I got your point Jaron, thanks :). So as per you - Sigma is more preferable.

Just for fun, these two test shots were both taken in dimly lit rooms (lit by a bounced flash) and both are of squirmy kids. Which one was shot with what lens? (OS was not on)

(Sorry, I did not have both lenses at the same time to do a side-by-side comparison)

I could not identify the source lens of the two, but the 2nd one looks sharper to me.

 AngshuArun's gear list:AngshuArun's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
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AngshuArun
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Re: Why are you unhappy with what you have?
In reply to JamesRL, May 8, 2012

JamesRL wrote:

First off, what are you using now?

I'm using Tamron 18-270 VC PZD & Nikor 35mm DX for this focal length range.

Why do you want a new lens?

It was a stupid decision by me to sell my kit lens (Nikor 18-55) to compensate for the Tamron 18-270. Definitely Nikor 35 DX is superb but it does not cover me the 18mm range. Thats why I want a new lens. And reason to shortlist all these lens just because of f/2.8 - added flexibility.

That will really help us narrow the field.

 AngshuArun's gear list:AngshuArun's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
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AngshuArun
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to Logge, May 8, 2012

Logge wrote:

i would clearly prefer the tamron VC version, then the nonVC. tokina tend to have CA problems and i have mixed feelings about sigma quality control (altough i'm very happy with my 10-20)

Thanks Logge :). Surely there is no doubt that the Nikon is the best option but its ridiculously costly :(. I'm using Tamron 18-270 VC PZD for the moment to cover the desired focal range. When I compare the images with a Nikon one - it doesnot motivate me to go for another Tamron :(. Thanks for your suggestion, I will give it a thought.

 AngshuArun's gear list:AngshuArun's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
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AngshuArun
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to Ian, May 8, 2012

Ian wrote:

I get fed up with saying this but hear goes.

Why buy a Rolls Royce and put a Ford engine in it.

Why buy a Nikon and put independent lenses on it that sometimes do not work in all modes.

Its the lens that m,akes the picture not the body, the light goes threw the lens and how it is treated improves the image.
Buy Nikon lenses for Nikon bodies

You have a valid point Ian. But everyone is not lucky enough to afford Rolls Royce engine. And thats the point of introduction for Ford engines.

As I mentioned in my first post - the Nikor one is available at whooping $1000 at amazon ( USED! ). And after considering extra deliver charges (applicable for me) - it becomes really an expensive matter which I (or many like me) simply can not afford (in my local market, getting used lens is very rare; and the new one is available at around $1750).
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 AngshuArun's gear list:AngshuArun's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
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AngshuArun
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to Skipper494, May 8, 2012

Skipper494 wrote:

I have five Tamrons, as well as Nikors, for my D700. All the Tamrons are sharp, and you should not need VC at that focal length.

Thanks
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/arun_angshu/

 AngshuArun's gear list:AngshuArun's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
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4Motioner
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to AngshuArun, May 8, 2012

This issue has been beaten to death at least a gazillion times on this forum! The general consensus is:
Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 = sharp and light, inexpensive

Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC = inferior IQ when comapred to the non-VC version, bigger, also inexpensive

Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 OS = sharp, rather pricy, fair corner performance, good OS, reversed zoom ring

Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 = Best IQ hands-down, expensive, large, no VR, weather sealed, built like a tank

I went for the Nikkor after testing the Sigma 18-50mm OS. The Sigma OS takes a bit of time to engage so it's useless for fast paced shooting. I was also put off by the focus ring which rotates during AF and the Canon style zoom ring.

The Nikkor 17-55mm is crazy sharp with excellent IQ even wide open, which can't be said for the competition, especially the Tammy VC version which has very soft corners wide open. The Nikkor is big and expensive, but in my opinion it's worth every penny. It's optically just as good as the venerably 24-70mm f2.8, which means prime lens sharp with super fast focusing. The bokeh is also surprisingly good for a zoom.

A few samples with the 17-55mm:

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AngshuArun
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Re: Suggestion for new lens please.
In reply to 4Motioner, May 8, 2012

4Motioner wrote:

This issue has been beaten to death at least a gazillion times on this forum! The general consensus is:
Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 = sharp and light, inexpensive

Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC = inferior IQ when comapred to the non-VC version, bigger, also inexpensive

Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 OS = sharp, rather pricy, fair corner performance, good OS, reversed zoom ring

Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 = Best IQ hands-down, expensive, large, no VR, weather sealed, built like a tank

Thanks for sharing those beautiful (& most importantly sharp) images. Thanks also for making short but to the point conclusions.

Keeping aside the Nikon's superiority, which one you will chose between Tamron (non-VC) and Sigma? Any opinion about the Tokina one?

 AngshuArun's gear list:AngshuArun's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
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