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Thread: Newbie Taking Landscapes

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Newbie Taking Landscapes

    I recently took up photography and realised that i enjoyed taking landcapes. In an effort to further pursue and develop this interest of mine, i hve decided to get a wide angle lens for this purpose.

    Similar to most poeple the cost of owning one is a major drawback but i am prepared to get one. Given my "newbieness" i need the help of you guys to advise further which lens is the most suitable. Just a brief background im using a Nikon D5000 and will consider getting a 3rd party lens if necessary (if the price of getting a Nikon blows the mind). wont rule out 2nd hand as well but need to know which one to focus my attention to.

    Have been scouting around website for reviews and comparisions but most put it in a way that are either too technical to be understood or not in a language i can fully grasp. But anyways here is a list of what i would consider getting


    a) AF Zoom-Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF-ED
    b) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
    c) Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX
    d) Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
    e) Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG IF HSM Aspherical

    Apart from the varying zoom length i noticed that the apertures vary across brands also. Would need some expert advise on why this is the case and how it will impact my purchse decision.

    Looking fwd to your much valued and sincere advise

    sincerely - the newbie who is willing to try
    Kopiko

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    why 18-35? it is out of place here in a whole lump of Ultra Wide Angles (UWA)

    i would pick c or d, c has the best performance in terms of corner sharpness (most of these lenses are good in the centre), but has limited range

    d has the widest possible focal length you can get on a crop factor camera. that's what i use.

    why varying aperture is the case? it's just like that lor.. larger aperture means more flexibility... i have never shot at anything below f6.7 for landscapes though.

  3. #3
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    i used the 12-24/4 before, and most of my landscape shots were done at f8 and beyond, so for me i would not be too concerned with ultra wide zooms with larger aperture offerings.

    ryan

  4. #4
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    the 18-35 is certainly out of place in the list, since it's neither faster, nor does it cover any range that the D5000's kit lens might miss out on.
    I think Tokina is the way to go (i'm biased... haha!), though I think the f/2.8 is unnecessary for landscapes.
    I use the Tokina 12-24 f/4, which I got 2nd hand for about $500+. I do think that the 11-16 is more pricey, which I can't justify to myself.
    The Sigma's focal range (10-22) is hard to beat though. 2mm difference (between 10-22 and 12-24) at the wide end is a great deal.
    Exploring! :)

  5. #5
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kopiko79 View Post
    Apart from the varying zoom length i noticed that the apertures vary across brands also. Would need some expert advise on why this is the case and how it will impact my purchse decision.
    First: it's the minimum (widest) aperture the lens can have. The maximum (smallest) aperture is stated in the lens manual). Minimum aperture varies across different lenses (which also includes different manufacturers). Aperture is a ratio between focal length and diameter of the opening. Doesn't take much maths to see that a constant opening combined with a changeable focal length (vulgo: zoom) will result in a varying aperture. It's normal for many lenses and it is what makes constant aperture lenses expensive (e.g. constant f/2.8 across the entire zoom range like the Tokina in your list).
    As mentioned by others: for landscape it's rather irrelevant, most people will set an aperture of about f/8 anyway.
    EOS

  6. #6

    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Hi Guys,

    Thks for all ur feeback and valued comments seems like i gotta decide between the few.

    - Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX
    - Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
    - Tokina AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X Pro DX

    Have been reading thru more websites some hours back and it got me more confused...haha
    Maybe to really narrow down my criteria which among the 3 has an optimal balance of the below

    1. versatility (ie can easily take outdoor landscape & indoor architecture)
    2. focal length vs clarity(sharpness) which is more impt of the two if there really needs to be a choice?
    3. overall performance and value for money (anybody has a ballpark estimate of the price of each? so i wont kana ketok when i go bargain hunting nxt week)

    Last of all just to clear up my doubts coz alot of the website keep saying abt having stabilization technology for such lens but im of the view that this wont really be an impt factor? correct me if im wrong seems like my 3 choices may not have those VR or stabilization perks the bigger names offer and i probably wont need it coz i could always rely on the tripod?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Please note both the Tokinas will need you to manual focus with the Nikon D5000.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    1. All.
    2. Both are important.
    3. Read the reviews at photozone.de and for the price, read the price guides in the consumers corner or call up the recommended shops.
    Alpha

  9. #9
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Daoyin View Post
    Please note both the Tokinas will need you to manual focus with the Nikon D5000.
    oh darn... forgot about that point. I thought the TS was using D90! hehehe.

    Yes, if you need to use manual focus only, that can sometimes be a p.i.t.a.
    If you're using this lens primarily for landscapes, MF might still be do-able. But when you do need AF, then you'll be kicking yourself for spending so much money to get a lens that can't AF.

    Yes focal length is quite an important factor. I used to use my kit lens mainly at the wide end (approx between 18-30mm). My Tokina 12-24 can now pretty much replace it for this application. If i had the 11-16, I might have found myself changing lenses more often.

    I remember being quoted 820 or 840 for a new Tokina 12-24. There are 2 versions, if I'm not mistaken. I think some modifications were made to the lens to make it version II.
    Exploring! :)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Have you considered the newer Sigma 12-20mm f3.5 HSM? This one will auto focus with the D5000 but will cost a little more than the older Sigma.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    sigma 10-20 and tokina 12-24 are my top picks. personally i would prefer the sigma one as its wider. if want wide, go wider. that's my opinion, u may have a different one.

    i have heard of people saying the sigma one is not sharp. i used both before, my verdict is i can't tell a sharpness difference of the sigma vs tokina.

    some people like to use wide-angles for portraits. perhaps that's how the constant F4 thing comes in really useful in some ways. for landscapes, i shoot at F8 or even F16 most of the time.
    Last edited by Fotophilic; 22nd November 2009 at 06:42 PM.
    cameras are not made of tofu

  12. #12

    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Yea guys hve read abt it and how the Tokinas will not AF with a D5000. Personally i didnt realise it will be a Pain until some of u guys brought it up

    Daoyin - u said to consider a sigma 12 - 20 MM F3.5 any idea how much it will cost and does the 10-20MM Sigma have an AF?

    And to the rest who so generously offered advise and feedback can i ask again on the below for my prev post?

    Last of all just to clear up my doubts coz alot of the website keep saying abt having stabilization technology for such lens but im of the view that this wont really be an impt factor? correct me if im wrong seems like my 3 choices may not have those VR or stabilization perks the bigger names offer and i probably wont need it coz i could always rely on the tripod?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kopiko79 View Post

    1. versatility (ie can easily take outdoor landscape & indoor architecture)
    2. focal length vs clarity(sharpness) which is more impt of the two if there really needs to be a choice?
    3. overall performance and value for money (anybody has a ballpark estimate of the price of each? so i wont kana ketok when i go bargain hunting nxt week)

    Last of all just to clear up my doubts coz alot of the website keep saying abt having stabilization technology for such lens but im of the view that this wont really be an impt factor? correct me if im wrong seems like my 3 choices may not have those VR or stabilization perks the bigger names offer and i probably wont need it coz i could always rely on the tripod?
    well, i don't know about the 12-24 from tokina.. but here are some recent pictures from sigma 10-20.









    personally, i think corner sharpness is overrated. unless you pixel peep. i have done decent looking prints with this lens.

    i want focal length, as wide as possible.. 1mm at UWA focal lengths makes a world of difference sometimes. overall value for money, i think sigma 10-20 used to be that, especially if you get it grey, but i have not been checking prices for a while.

    stabilisation technology is needed only when you need to shoot in places where you cannot use tripods. out in the wild, that is not an issue.. it is usually cities, especially churches, where you cannot use tripods, or street scenes, and that is where stabilisation comes in.

    i won't worry too mcuh about it though, UWA is not hard to hand hold.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kopiko79 View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Thks for all ur feeback and valued comments seems like i gotta decide between the few.

    - Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX
    - Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
    - Tokina AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X Pro DX

    Have been reading thru more websites some hours back and it got me more confused...haha
    Maybe to really narrow down my criteria which among the 3 has an optimal balance of the below

    1. versatility (ie can easily take outdoor landscape & indoor architecture)
    2. focal length vs clarity(sharpness) which is more impt of the two if there really needs to be a choice?
    3. overall performance and value for money (anybody has a ballpark estimate of the price of each? so i wont kana ketok when i go bargain hunting nxt week)
    Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX
    Many good reviews, about $940 for new

    Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
    Review aren't bad, cheaper (should be 800+ ? not sure)

    go for Sigma if you like very wide effect. 1 mm can make a big difference

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Take a look at this:

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...=512058&page=2

    for some comments and idea of pricing. Note date of posting.

    VR/VC/OS etc comes into its own when you are hand holding. In taking landscapes, you should be using a tripod in the first place for optimal results. Hand holding is convenient but often result in compromises.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Shen siung View Post

    Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
    Review aren't bad, cheaper (should be 800+ ? not sure)
    two years back, a grey sigma 10-20 was going for $590.. have to check now.

    btw, best to also check the distortion profiles. sigma has the least apparent distortion, but i think, the hardest to correct - requiring either dedicated tool, like dxo optics plugin, or personal liquification. that's if, if you care about curved horizons, etc.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    thks guys my limited scope of knowledge had originally inclined me towards the 11-16mm Tokina. Seems that i shd be taking onto the Sigma 10-20MM for tht extra 1MM and focal length.

    Anyone can confirm whether the AF will work on my D5000 for the sigma 10-20MM or i hve to consider another model?

    The Tokinas are prolly out for me as ZeroccoolAstra said i dont wana pay and hefty amt for a lens where i cannot utilise the AF function

  18. #18
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kopiko79 View Post
    Anyone can confirm whether the AF will work on my D5000 for the sigma 10-20MM or i hve to consider another model?
    As suggested, you need the HSM model for your D5000. HSM is the built-in ultrasonic AF motor.
    EOS

  19. #19

    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Wow...price in USD is 950

    Translated into our ccy its almost 1350SGD might also hit mid 1.4K after GST

    didnt knw i had to pay so much more for AF ... super low morale now...

  20. #20
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Taking Landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kopiko79 View Post
    thks guys my limited scope of knowledge had originally inclined me towards the 11-16mm Tokina. Seems that i shd be taking onto the Sigma 10-20MM for tht extra 1MM and focal length.

    Anyone can confirm whether the AF will work on my D5000 for the sigma 10-20MM or i hve to consider another model?

    The Tokinas are prolly out for me as ZeroccoolAstra said i dont wana pay and hefty amt for a lens where i cannot utilise the AF function
    There is another model to consider, the Tamron 10-24 DX as reviewed HERE by DPReview.
    According to them, the Nikon mount version includes the AF motor, so no issues with your D5000. I remember being quoted 800+ for this one too, so it ain't cheap.

    and I just saw the DPReview site HERE stating that the II version also includes the AF motor for the Nikon mount. Again, no issues with the D5000.

    hehehehehe... so many lenses to choose from. I don't envy you
    Exploring! :)

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