The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

Started Jul 2, 2013 | User reviews
depscribe Senior Member • Posts: 1,223
The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

What's to be said, other than this lens deserves to have a body all its own, so it will always be available. It is sharp, distortion is well controlled (and such as there is, easily fixed in post). I'd love if it were a stop faster, but I'd love winning the lottery, too.

A truly great lens. It has been around awhile, but that's because there's been no need to improve it. It's expensive, but it's worth it.

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Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF
Wideangle zoom lens • Nikon F (DX) • 2144
Announced: Feb 18, 2003
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Marvin Doering Senior Member • Posts: 1,599
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

I assume you know that Nikon has replaced it with the 10-24.

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MRD

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sd40 Senior Member • Posts: 1,555
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

As I recall the 10-24 was as sharp and contrasty as the 12-24 from 12mm on up, with no downsides.  I owned both and had problems with 12-24 corner sharpness at 12mm or so.

About the only thing I liked better about the 12-24 was the zoom ring action was silky.

I do not own either one currently because I no longer shoot DX.

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steven2874 Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

I prefer the 10-24 F3.5-4.5 after owning both. I always seem to be reaching for the wide end.

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steven2874 Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

Marvin Doering wrote:

I assume you know that Nikon has replaced it with the 10-24.

In fairness to the OP the 12-24 hasn't really been replaced. It's still readily available new after the intro of the newer lens. As I posted earlier I kept the 10-24 for wider framing but many prefer the constant F4 of the 12-24 and the nostalgia factor.

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brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 15,883
Uhm...

depscribe wrote:

What's to be said, other than this lens deserves to have a body all its own, so it will always be available. It is sharp, distortion is well controlled

This Nikkor actually has more pronounced barrel distortion than some other UWA APS-C zooms. So it is not actually that "well controlled" to make it stand out.

(and such as there is, easily fixed in post). I'd love if it were a stop faster, but I'd love winning the lottery, too.

Or just get a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. A stop faster, less expensive, sharper across the frame.

A truly great lens. It has been around awhile, but that's because there's been no need to improve it. It's expensive, but it's worth it.

It has been replaced for a few years now by the Nikkor 10-24mm f3.5-4.

Also, the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 and Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6 are more interesting propositions. The Tokina goes a bit wider and one full stop more open, and has the edge sharpness-wise. The Sigma goes considerably wider, is also very sharp, and has way less distortion than the Nikkor at 12mm (and much lower CA).

If the Nikkor is a truly great lens, how to rate that Tokina and Sigma? Truly a bit greater?

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brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 15,883
Huh?
1

steven2874 wrote:

Marvin Doering wrote:

I assume you know that Nikon has replaced it with the 10-24.

In fairness to the OP the 12-24 hasn't really been replaced. It's still readily available new after the intro of the newer lens. As I posted earlier I kept the 10-24 for wider framing but many prefer the constant F4

The Nikkor 10-24mm f3.5-4 is just as "constant f4" as the 12-24mm f4 is! It just is not "constant f3.5". But the 12-24mm f4 is never f3.5.

Just try it.... Set your 10-24mm on f4 and notice how constant it is through the focal range. 

of the 12-24 and the nostalgia factor.

VadymA Senior Member • Posts: 1,494
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

I prefer Tokina 11-16 2.8 because it is wider and faster; which for my shooting is more important than the range of 12-24. I often find that I wish Tokina were even wider. And since I use D300 and don't want to go above ISO 800 I use f2.8 almost 50% of the time. I cannot compare technical characteristics though as I never used any other UWA zoom but I consider Tokina on par (or sometimes even slightly better) than all other Nikon AF-D 2.8 lenses that I have. Most reviews seems to agree with my impression as well. Not to mention that it is much less expensive. So IMO that would be the "must-have wideangle for DX cameras" right now.

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brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 15,883
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

sd40 wrote:

As I recall the 10-24 was as sharp and contrasty as the 12-24 from 12mm on up, with no downsides. I owned both and had problems with 12-24 corner sharpness at 12mm or so.

About the only thing I liked better about the 12-24 was the zoom ring action was silky.

I do not own either one currently because I no longer shoot DX.

You could still use the 12-24mm f4 as 18-24mm UWA zoom on full frame. And the 10-24mm as 15-24mm UWA on full frame....

steven2874 Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re:Double Huh?

brightcolours wrote:

steven2874 wrote:

Marvin Doering wrote:

I assume you know that Nikon has replaced it with the 10-24.

In fairness to the OP the 12-24 hasn't really been replaced. It's still readily available new after the intro of the newer lens. As I posted earlier I kept the 10-24 for wider framing but many prefer the constant F4

The Nikkor 10-24mm f3.5-4 is just as "constant f4" as the 12-24mm f4 is! It just is not "constant f3.5". But the 12-24mm f4 is never f3.5.

Just try it.... Set your 10-24mm on f4 and notice how constant it is through the focal range.

of the 12-24 and the nostalgia factor.

Since you don't understand variable aperture... let me explain. At 24mm the largest aperture of the 10-24 is F4.5. For the 12-24 it is F4. I really have no idea of the T-stop values for the two- which is another kettle of fish.

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brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 15,883
My bad

steven2874 wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

steven2874 wrote:

Marvin Doering wrote:

I assume you know that Nikon has replaced it with the 10-24.

In fairness to the OP the 12-24 hasn't really been replaced. It's still readily available new after the intro of the newer lens. As I posted earlier I kept the 10-24 for wider framing but many prefer the constant F4

The Nikkor 10-24mm f3.5-4 is just as "constant f4" as the 12-24mm f4 is! It just is not "constant f3.5". But the 12-24mm f4 is never f3.5.

Just try it.... Set your 10-24mm on f4 and notice how constant it is through the focal range.

of the 12-24 and the nostalgia factor.

Since you don't understand variable aperture...

Oh, but I do understand variable aperture.

let me explain.

No need, I mistakenly "remembered" the 10-24mm to be f3.5-4 )as I wrote in my post above). That was my error, of course it is an f3.5-4.5 lens. My apologies for my mistake and any confusion I caused.

At 24mm the largest aperture of the 10-24 is F4.5. For the 12-24 it is F4. I really have no idea of the T-stop values for the two- which is another kettle of fish.

The "new" lens will act like a "constant f4.5" when set at f4.5. My error was just remembering it to be f4 instead of f4.5

Again, apologies.

adamba Contributing Member • Posts: 732
Re: Uhm...

I had Tokina 11-16, 12-24 and Sigma 10-20. All found other users. They all were sharp but lacked the contrast and "crispness" of Nikon 12-24 which I'm using now. You can get used one in mint, I mean really mint condition for around $500. That's what I paid for mine whit a serial number starting wit 367.., originally purchased in 2009. Also Nikon 12-24 is unbeatable in flare resistance comparison.

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bravozulu Contributing Member • Posts: 897
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

In DX format, 12mm works out to have a FOV of an 18mm lens. That is plenty wide for me. Anything wider would be too crazy in my taste.

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Mohammad AlLawati
Mohammad AlLawati Regular Member • Posts: 139
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

The Siggy starts from 12 eq on FF while the Tokina at 17 or 16.5 haha...
Got to love the fact it allows you to use filters.
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Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach Forum Pro • Posts: 14,027
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras
1

The 10-24 Nikon is a far better lens in every respect except maybe build quality, which doesn't amount to much:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=658&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=2&LensComp=659&CameraComp=614&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=2

They're all sharp in the center, but it's the corners that make the difference, that and flare, both outright blobs and sneaky veiling.

I only wish my 14-24 had as good flare resistance, which on the 10-24 is in a class all by itself.

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kymarto Contributing Member • Posts: 642
Sigma 8-16
1

Actually IMO the must-have UWA is the Sigma 8-16. Beats the Nikons for sharpness, and that at max aperture. And 8mm is considerably wider than 10mm and very much wider than 12mm. Check Photozone for more info.

Mohammad AlLawati
Mohammad AlLawati Regular Member • Posts: 139
Re: Sigma 8-16

kymarto wrote:

Actually IMO the must-have UWA is the Sigma 8-16. Beats the Nikons for sharpness, and that at max aperture. And 8mm is considerably wider than 10mm and very much wider than 12mm. Check Photozone for more info.

Yeah I saw photos at f11 where the Sigma 8mm beats the tokina in sharpness... They stated the photo was from the sigma... and I saw it to be sharper.

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teirnav Regular Member • Posts: 157
Re: Sigma 8-16
1

Mohammad AlLawati wrote:

kymarto wrote:

Actually IMO the must-have UWA is the Sigma 8-16. Beats the Nikons for sharpness, and that at max aperture. And 8mm is considerably wider than 10mm and very much wider than 12mm. Check Photozone for more info.

Yeah I saw photos at f11 where the Sigma 8mm beats the tokina in sharpness... They stated the photo was from the sigma... and I saw it to be sharper.

I have both the Nikon 12 - 24mm, f4 and the Sigma 8 - 16mm, as well as other wide angle DX lenses.

I purchased the 12 - 24 second hand, over seven years ago, and first used it on my F80 film camera where it works well without problems from 18mm on.

In late 2006 I purchased a D200, which I still use, - until the D400 arrives!

The 12 - 24mm is an excellent lens, still highly regarded by experts like Thom Hogan. See: http://www.bythom.com/rationallenses.htm

His article was last updated 2/12/2012, so it's fairly current. In that article he has a section on the best lenses at various focal lengths. At 12 and 14 mm the 12 - 24mm is highly regarded by him on DX bodies. At 12mm he regards the 12 - 24 Nikon this way:

12mm – Again, the lack of choice pretty much gives you the 12-24mm f/4G DX lens. On the APS-sized sensors there’s a hint of softness and chromatic aberration wide open, and depth of field is very difficult to get right (the lens is only marked at five distances). In general, I’m mostly happy with the 12-24mm at 12mm on my bodies, but there’s room for a better lens here (please, Nikon, a 12mm f/2.8 fixed!). The Nikkor 10-24mm is nearly the same optically as the 12-24mm, but the build quality is lower and it's variable aperture. In my samples, I'd still have to rank the 12-24mm over the 10-24mm, but only slightly. Sigma does have a 12-24mm lens that covers the full frame that you might want to try out (I haven’t) if you need this focal length for an FX body. Note: while I haven't reviewed the Tamron and Tokina options that cover this range and this list isn't about third-party lenses, the Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina options are all viable at this focal length. None are perfect. The Nikkor 12-24mm has one thing going for it the others don't, though: it can go DX or FX. That's right, it makes a perfectly fine 18-24mm lens.

The need to go wider than 12mm for architectrual wide angle shots in limited spaces saw my next wide angle lens purchase being the Nikon 10.5 mm, f2.8 fisheye.

When the Sigma 8 - 16 mm became available a few years ago, I purchased it shortly after its release, as de-fishing the fisheye for ultra wide angle shots was not an ideal solution for me.

Each of the three lenses, along with a Nikon 17 - 55mm f2.8, are still in my bag, and each has its own purpose. All are regularly used.

The Nikon lenses are more consistent and far faster when focusing. Their miss rate for out of focus shots is quite minimal.

The Sigma by comparison is a lot slower when focusing and it is relatively easy to get out of focus shots when shooting quickly and back to back with the Nikon lenses in the same situation.

The build quality and construction of the Nikon lenses is also superior.

In short, there are horses for courses, and lenses suitable to suit your needs and particular requirements. Your shooting will determine what those needs are.  Good luck with your research.

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teirnav

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newfounder Contributing Member • Posts: 584
Re: Sigma 8-16

I have Tokina 12-24 mm DX (the cheaper version). It's very good. The only thing I do not like is its lens cap which is hard to grip with finger. But I had no comparison with other brand and models.

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DH100 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: The must-have wideangle for DX cameras

I bought the 12-24 but is not very happy with the sharpness of the lens.

Sometimes I have trouble in focussing.

I experience sharpness loss with group portraits.

Can you please give me some advice on focussing & the taking of group photos

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