Nikon 10-24 or Tokina 11-16

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by hugh_sakols, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. I'm considering a wider option than my 17-55 Nikon zoom. There are days that I have missed the wide perspective of the 20mm that I used to use on my F100. As of now there have been no comprehensive reviews of this lens that I have read. At this point I'm leaning toward a Tokina 11-16 for landscape photography. Most of the time I will still use my 17-55. Why buy the Nikon 10-24 over the Tokina other than the fact that the Tokina is always out of stock?
  2. The Tokina is considered to be one of the best wide angle lenses on the market, excluding the 14-24. The new Nikon is certainly tempting for the more useful range. I think the 10-24 would be a great range, but I haven't found really any good reviews comparing it to its competitors.
  3. I don't know. But given the choice, I would get the Tokina 11-16 if for no other reason than the constant aperture. For what it's worth I have the 11-16 (and the 17-55) and I love it. The only thing I had to compare it to was the Canon 10-22, and there is no comparison, the Tokina is far superior.
  4. 11-16mm is a pretty narrow range though. I had the Tokina 12-24mm and really felt I could leave it on the camera for a while. I felt the same way with the Sigma 10-20mm as well. But 16mm is still a very wide angle, and I would be swapping lenses a lot if I had that lens. 20mm is a fairly decent semi-normal wide angle, and 24mm is a decent normal wide angle. I don't care about constant aperture so much, though I am interested in the Sigma 10-20mm f3.5, if it is anything as good as their old Sigma 10-20mm I'll pick it up.
  5. I LOVE the 11-16, but Dave suggests above that it is not a stay-on camera range, and I heartily concur. The early reviews seem to indicate that both take great pictures.
    If you need AF-S, get the Nikon.
    If you need speed, the Tokina.
    If you really want to leave it on the lens, get the Nikon.
    If you need the speed, the Tokina.
    If you want to go all the way out to 10mm (15mm equivalent), get the Nikon.
    If you don't mind a limited range and (again) need the speed, get the Tokina.
    What I'm saying is that the f2.8 speed might be the only thing that the Tokina has going for it. If I were buying today, I might just wait to try out the Nikon. That said, I really love shooting at f5.6 and only being two stops down from wide open, and I have had WAY more occasions to shoot wide open at f2.8 than I thought I would...
    That said, I'd also wait (if you can) to see what this new Sigma has to offer.
  6. I have the Tokina and agree completely with the comments above. It's not a stay-on-the-camera lens, but I love it when I want it. It's worth thinking of it as a very wide prime - a special purpose lens - even though it does zoom enough to be useful. It's probably the closest thing we DX users have to the FX 14-24mm although certainly not its equal - similar in range of use terms, however: sharp, fast, wide at both ends, but not particularly versatile.
    I would not spring for the Nikon, personally, simply because of price. A $570 lens is already expensive, for my tastes. To justify spending nearly $1k for a lens it would need have some fairly spectacular advantages over its less expensive equivalents, and of course that is a matter of individual assessment.
  7. Somewhere I read the Tokina being called "prime with wiggle room" - that summed it up pretty well for me. If I didn't already own the Nikon 12-24, I would be mightily tempted by the 11-16 - mainly for the f/2.8 - in fact, I am tempted and might at one point add it to my bag.
  8. i have the tokina 11-16, and it is outstanding. as mentioned above, you can stop down two stops and still be at f/5.6...and i've found it to be sharp even wide open. since you already have 17-55m covered, it might work for you.
    paired with my 16-85 i've got all the range i only complaint is that i need to carry two lenses, even in situations (hiking) when i would really prefer to carry only one because of weight considerations. i think a 10-24 would be a good one lens setup for those situations...but if you don't mind carrying your 17-55 as well as the 11-16, i would go with the tokina.
  9. I had the Tokina for a while, but I had to return it because of focusing issues. I loved the way it felt, it's weight and the overall sharpness (when I used manual focusing). I wanted so much for it to work properly, but unfortunately it failed me time after time when I used auto focus. I know I got a bad copy and I know Tokina have admitted to a problem with some elements being unaligned in some copies and were willing to repair them. However being afraid that I may recieve another dud copy I opted to pay the difference and swap it for a nikkor 12-24. I was happy with that but not overjoyed due to soft corners. I have recently traded the 12-24 for the new nikkor 10-24 and I have to say I am now overjoyed. It is so useful for my work (primarily interior and some landscapes) and the corner sharpness in my copy is a big improvement over the 12-24. Sharpness at the center is simply stellar. At 24mm it works fine as a standard lens on a DX sensor. There is almost no flare and ca's are excellently controlled. It does have a varying physical length and aperture as you zoom, but for me the pros with this lens definitely outway the cons.

    Here's a test shot I took in my garden @ 10mm a couple of days after I bought it. Taken straight into direct sunlight with absolutely no post processing.
    I also published a short and simple test in an earlier thread.
  10. The Tokina's range sounds a little better if you "convert" to FX equivalent - i.e., it is ~ 16-24mm. Paired with a 17-55 or something similar, it's a very logical choice unless you really want a wider range because you spend a lot of time at those focal lengths.

    Having a constant f/2.8 aperture is nice, not only when you trip the shutter but when you or the camera is focusing. As a design issue, something had to give when they went to f/2.8 and focal length range was a logical trade-off.
  11. Funny. My Sigma 10-20 is showing signs of wear, and faced with the same choice, I have bought the Tokina 11-16 just yesterday.

    Impressions? Well, it's stellar for what it does, and the 2.8 are just what I will need next long winter, when it's dark almost always when I'm out on the streets shooting.

    Other than that, the 16mm are really a tad wide, and there is another thing: the Sigma seems to focus closer, thus the typical wide-angle foregrounds are easier to achieve with the Sigma. But maybe that's only the effect of shooting for a whole month practically nothing but long lenses :)

    I guess, if you don't mind frequently changing lenses, the Tokina should be the better choice, especially if you like shooting in low light. If you hate changing, the Nikon will be better. Anyway, you can't really go wrong with either one.
  12. I had two Tokina 11-16s for a while, but I had to return them both because of auto focusing issues. This made me decide to stay away from Tokina, at least for a while!
    I used to have Nikon 12-24 (excellent), and Sigma 10-20 (very good). For the past month, I have had the Nikon 10-24mm. better than all of the previous ones, overall.
  13. At this point I'm leaning toward a Tokina 11-16 for landscape photography. Most of the time I will still use my 17-55. Why buy the Nikon 10-24 over the Tokina other than the fact that the Tokina is always out of stock?​
    for the longer zoom range. also, the 10-24 might be better in the corners at f/8 and 17-24 than the 17-55, though this might depend on sample variation.
    i think you could easily justify either lens, so you'll have to decide which is worth it to you. if you're happy with your 17-55 at the wide end, i'd probably go for the tokina. but the 10-24 does look like a winner, plus that extra 1mm might make a difference.
  14. I have the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 and I like it very much, but I bought it specifically for shooting in small rooms in which flash was not permitted (during small classes, workshops, etc.) For landscapes, the speed is wasted, because you're not going to shoot at f/28, and the limited focal length range will limit your ability to frame your image exactly the way you want. And don't ignore the extra width at the wide end -- with a lens this wide, one millimeter makes a big difference in the field of view.
  15. I had the Sigma 10-20mm (a good lens,) have tried the Nikon 12-24mm (overpriced but good,) and settled on the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. As a night photographer, I need the speed. I also have the Nikon 17-55mm f2.8, and use it on D300. I love the lens. It's out of stock everywhere, STILL? Doesn't that tell you something right there? Everybody wants it. It's my favorite lens. The 10-24mm range is a huge one on an ultrawide, and until I hear otherwise I'd be worried about distortion on it. Distortion on the Tokina 11-16mm is very good. (Look at the blue line in below photo.) At f2.8, it's very fast.
    Kent in SD
  16. If you choose the 11-16, just make sure you buy it from a dealer with a good return policy. There are numerous bad copies.
  17. I had said something to th effect of what Howard Owen said before. My two copies of Tokina 11-16 put me off so muc due to AF problems.
  18. Since sample variation has been mentioned twice, I'd add that I had an opportunity to pretty thoroughly evaluate two copies of the Tokina recently and although they were slightly different, both were entirely acceptable in every respect. With *any* lens more complicated than a 50mm f/1.8 I would only buy if I could test first or if I could return the lens to the vendor.
  19. It's more than mere sample variation—some are just BAD. And they can be good one day and go south the next. Let me explain...
    I had one rushed to me for a upcoming, short-notice job. I tested the lens thoroughly upon receipt and it checked out fine. I packed it along the next day and, somewhere in the middle of the shoot, it stopped being able to acquire focus in either auto or manual mode. Unfortunately, since I was shooting in release mode, I didn't discover this malfunction until I was processing the pics. This required me to travel to a retailer, buy a Nikkor 12-24, travel back to the site and reshoot several frames. Thank goodness no models were involved (it just cost me my time).

    Won't happen again, at least not with a Tokina lens. I won't own another.
  20. When the lens first came out, there was a problem with AF on some camera models. According to the B&H rep I talked to, Tokina has now fixed it. I bought one to use on my D80 (one of the affected cameras) and have had no problems. I have had no problems with it on my D300 either. But then, I'm not aware of AF issues with the lens on that camera (and the D300 has AF fine tuning anyway.) This might be one of the few lenses I would suggest buying new rather than used. But then, it's difficult to find one used anyway. When I emailed Tokina last year, they said they have a fix for the ones with a problem.
    Kent in SD
  21. Very interesting topic as I'm after a wide angle. I will add also the price difference since the Tokina is about 300 USD cheaper. Kent, do you walk at night like Henry Miller did in Tropic od Capricorn? You must get very interesting shots...
  22. Kent, here in Norway there was a shortage for a long time. I had been waiting several months. When I finally got one I attached it to my D300. The first few shots were clearly out of focus. At first I thought I was expecting too much from f2.8. So I stopped down to f11. Same thing - out of focus. I then looked at the focus scale and saw that on an object less than a meter away it was registering almost infinity. Over 1.5 meters away and the scale was past infinity. I tried AF fine tune and saw that at max (-20) the focus reading had moved in the right direction, but I needed -100 to get this one to work properly. I then tried it on my D80 and it wasn't any better or worse there. Exactly the same behavior. I could only use this lens on motives at or near infinity, or use manual focus.
    Needless to say the shots I took in manual focus were super sharp, but I needed a lens that did what it promised and having already cancelled several jobs I didn't have time to wait for a lengthy repair, so I bought the Nikkor 12-24. I have never had a problem with focus on any Nikkor.
    Maybe Norway got a batch of unfixed lenses or Tokina has only repaired the ones that have been returned.
  23. I would have returned the lens and asked for another. I need the f2.8; f4 won't cut it for me. As for walking the streets at night, keep in mind I actually live in a rural area. I sometimes get to Chicago and photo the commuter trains there at night though. Most of my night photos are taken in very small towns or farmland using an extensive strobe system.
    Kent in SD
  24. I think you can get frightened by some individual horror stories about the Tokina 11-16, and that's too bad. There is a reason they are always out of stock. They are exceptional. Mine came with an over exposure problem when stopped down at f16. I sent it to THK for repair because I wanted the lens and I wanted it right. Now, it's right. It is two great primes in one, 16mm and 24mm (full frame equivalent). What's more it is reputed to be a kick-axx 16mm on full frame cameras.
    As hard as it seems to be for companies to create great wide angle lenses, I have to believe that creating a great WA that spans from 10-24mm is darn near impossible. 12-24 seems difficult enough. My Tokina is fine now, and I'm happy with it. I know when I want wide angle, and it is not a spur of the moment thing, so I don't miss the 17-24 part of the range. I shoot with my 24-70 until I find a need for something wider, then I put on the Tokina. I see no reason this wouldn't be an even better situation if you use a 17-55 for your normal lens.

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