Looking for the BEST wide angle lens for my money

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by angie_van_dam, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Hey everyone.
    I'm currently looking for a great wide angle lens that is reasonably priced. I've got the 50mm 1.8 (gettting the 1.4) and a 105mm (2.8). I've had many requests for wedding shoots but am needing a wide angle or a great zoom lens. I've been researching tons but would love some direct input and some online stores that carry a great selection. I wan thinking of renting but would rather invest in buying:)
    Thanks so much and look forward to some help:)
  2. It will help if you mention what camera(s) you're using, and how wide "wide" is, in the situation you're talking about. For event shooting, including things like weddings, and presuming you're using DX bodies, you probably want something like a 17-55/2.8 (Nikon's is wonderful, and Tamron's 17-50/2.8 is a well-liked, less-expensive option). If you're shooting FX bodies, then the 24-70/2.8 it the go-to lens, instead.

    Any wider than 17mm on DX or 24mm on FX is unlikely to be routinely useful when shooting people.

    Are the 50 and the 105 your only two lenses, right now?
  3. I'm so sorry:) Its a d300.
  4. You dont tell us if your body is Full Frame or Crop, or whether it can fully use Manual focus AI lenses (an option perhaps?) but this was my shortlist when it came to choosing a wide angle for my little D3100:
    Tokina 12-24 F4 PRO DX II (is there any more intitials?) was said to be the sharpest in its class by dpreview.com, but the trade off was slightly narrower field of view (12mm vs 10mm of its rivals).
    Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 ATX PRO etc. I predominantly shoot in low light, so the extra speed would be handy though this does come at increased monetary cost.
    I think the Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 is regarded to be fair for the price, but is somewhat lacking in build quality which turned me off it (I really knock about my equipment).
    EDIT: Ah just seen the responses. Well I think my words are still valid if you want to go wider still :)
  5. Sorry, I"m very new to this. I only shoot manually and mainly shoot children and families. I would like it to be auto.
  6. Matt yes those are my only 2 lenses ( I do have the 18-55 from my d60).
  7. OK, so you've got just what you need: you can use the 18-55 you already have (which will work fine on your D300!) in order to understand what focal length(s) are what you're looking for in a better, faster lens. That lens, as-is, can actually do you surprisingly well if you have enough light to stop it down some. But if you want the depth of field control that comes with a faster lens, you'll be better informed on just what you're looking for.

    I also use a D300, and Nikon's 17-55/2.8 would be more or less permanently mounted to my camera if I was shooting what you describe. If that's too spendy, then the Tamron 17-50/2.8 should be a real consideration. But first see if 17 or 18mm feels not-wide-enough. Though I suspect you really don't want to go wider than that. Luckily, you can test that theory with a lens you already have!
  8. Thanks so much! I've just been running into the problem of being from a small town and would love to TRY before I purchase. My biggest concern is getting the entire wedding party and family shoots that ae crisp. I've still got TONS to learn on this beautiful camera and the research seems endless:) I would love a MUCH faster lens for those indoor shots when using with my sb700.
    Thanks so much for the info:)
  9. The 17-55/2,8 DX is what I would use on that camera. Should be fine for groups, just make sure you stop down for
    enough depth of field when required. The results from this lens are crisp and clean. It's somewhat expensive but if you
    will be shooting weddings you should use good equipment.
  10. +1 17-55mm f/2.8 DX.
    It was perma-mounted to one of my D300s when I shot DX. I;m on FX now and it's equivalent 24-70mm f/2.8 is what is normally mounted to my D700.
  11. Another vote for the 17-55; mine is pretty much permanently attached to my D200. I also have the Tokina 12-24 F4 and it is a fine lens as well.
  12. Here's a vote for the Tamron - At $400 it's about 1/3 of the cost of the Nikon, also about 1/3 the size and weight. I've shot both and I stuck with the Tamron.
    PS - I also have the Nikon 28-70 F2.8 which is now semi-prem mounted on my D700.
  13. for weddings, you want a fast wide-mid (standard) 2.8 zoom. the sigma 17-50 OS is about as good as the tamron 17-50 optically (i've shot both). if you do this regularly you can justify the higher cost of the nikon 17-55, but until then, getting one of these zooms leaves enough money for a speedlight or two.
  14. some hint of your budget?
  15. I like my Nikor 12-24mm 1:4 G ED (Made in Japan). Excellent lens.
    - Leigh
  16. Any of the lenses mentioned above would be excellent for weddings and other such affairs. The Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 costs around $1400, the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 costs around $450, the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC and Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS HSM both cost around $650 and both are stabilized where the Nikon is not. The Nikon is also bigger and heavier than the others. It's your money and it's your choice.
  17. I shoot events with a D300s and Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC (vibration control), it's a great combination (any in that range would be a good choice), but since you will be using the SB700 flash, you could do well with the 18-55 for the time being.
  18. Any of the lenses mentioned above would be excellent for weddings and other such affairs. The Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 costs around $1400, the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 costs around $450, the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC and Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS HSM both cost around $650 and both are stabilized where the Nikon is not. The Nikon is also bigger and heavier than the others. It's your money and it's your choice.​
    +1 on this comment.
  19. Large groups and wideangles are problematic full stop. Wideangle lenses tend to give a nasty stretched look to faces at the edge of the frame, and the small reproduction size that comes with trying to squeeze 20 + people into one frame leads to fairly poor definition of each individual face. The way to overcome these basic problems is through technique, rather than through buying some miracle wideangle lens.
    1) Use the longest lens you can in the circumstances, and put as much distance as possible between the camera and the group. Once lined up and focused you can move closer to the group to direct them, firing the camera using a remote trigger.
    2) Group people to make best use of the frame area. Arrange people vertically rather than just horizontally.
    3) The olde-fashioned photographers used a swing lens camera for large groups, which didn't give the edge distortion of a wideangle lens. This can be imitated digitally by taking 2 or more separate shots of the group and stitching. BTW, this isn't the sort of thing to experiment with on a real job. It needs the total co-operation of the group and a bit of experience to pull off. To use this technique you also need to arrange the group in a semicircle round the camera rather than in a straight line.
    4) Failing any of the above and if you really have to use a very wideangle, then a lens that gives a fair amount of barrel distortion may be more suitable for faces than a lens that keeps buildings strictly rectangular. This is because the "face stretching" effect at the edge of the frame is less with a lens that has noticeable barrel distortion. Try hiring a moderate - i.e frame filling rather than circular - fisheye type lens to see if you find it suitable. The semicircular grouping arrangement needs to be used here as well.
    Maybe other posters can throw in a few more practical tips rather than simply reeling off a list of their favourite wideangle lenses.
  20. 12-24mm F/4 for me also on a D300, awesome lens but then I don't shoot weddings...
  21. When I was shooting weddings all the time, back in the film days, I shot mostly with a 35-105 f2.8 fixed aperture lens (none of this "I think that I'm shooting at this aperture plus or minus 1/2 f-stop" non sense). I would also shoot with a 50 mm about 10 to 20% of the time and 1 or 2 shots with a 20mm. I veered away from shooting a lot of wide angle shots since they took too much in and they are just so much more finicky about being leveled properly. Not that I don't love wide angle. I do. I just don't sell many really wide angle shots. So, if I was purchasing for a DX camera now, I would be looking at a 24-70 f2.8 lens (or possibly a 17-55 f2.8 lens) for my main lens and then augment it with a fast 50mm and either the Nikon 12-24 f4 lens or the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 lens. Now, it wouldn't hurt to have a 70-200 f2.8 lens to get those close up shots from back of the church during the ceremony. As long as I had plenty of memory cards, I would be a happy camper.

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