tokina 11-16 or 12-24

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by chuck_fry|1, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. I would like to get an uwa lens, nikon to expensive for me Ive pretty much decided on tokina 11-16 or 12-24. my question is will i see much diff. in image quality between these two lens? I really dont shoot alot indoors but thought 2.8 would be nice to have if needed. Or will I be just as happy with the 12-24? Thanks for any help.
  2. Based on my own experience - the 11-16 is slightly better, depending on how close you look or how large you print. Since a newer version of the 11-16 has already been announced, it may be prudent to wait with a purchase decision (if you can). The Tokina 12-24 performs about at the same level as Nikon's 12-24/4 - at half the cost. The only difference I found is a little bit more flare with the Tokina and a little higher level of distortion.
    I am planning on doing a comparison of quite a few lenses - maybe as early as next week. I am growing increasingly skeptical of the online or magazine-published lens tests - which generally are performed at quite close focus distances; this is not how I generally use a UWA zoom and I have doubts as to the "everyday" relevance of the test results.
    IMO, the question whether to go for the 11-16 or the 12-24 should include consideration of which other lenses you already have. My next lens starts at 16 and 17mm, so the 11-16 fits in nicely without overlap. Before, I had a 24-85, and the 12-24 was a better fit - but I had to change lenses a lot. With a "break" at 16mm, I have to change lenses less frequently - which means that the 11-16 doesn't see nearly as much use as the 12-24 did before. Also, the focal length range of the 11-16 is quite narrow - make sure you are happy with that.
  3. I picked the 11-16. Not because I actually use it at f2.8 very often, but more because I wanted to shoot it a lot at f5.6.
    At f5.6, it's two stops down... right in the sweet spot. With most of the UWA lenses you are only one or even zero stops down at f5.6... not in the "sweet spot" of lens performance. (f8 is nice, too. No reason to go beyond that for most photography.)
    I think most people, however, are better served by the 12-24. When I use the 11-16, I have to do a lot more lens swapping than I'd like, since it's pretty wide at the "long" end, and the 12-24 is more useful more of the time.
  4. Thank you both for your feedback. So If I had a 17-55 or 17-50 then the 11-16 would be a better choice?
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The main problem with any 11-16mm DX type lens, similar to Nikon's 14-24mm/f2.8 AF-S, is that the zoom range is very limited. Those are not even 2x zooms. If you shoot super wide a lot, 11-16 can be great. However, it also means every time you zoom from 16mm to 17mm, in either direction, it will involve a lens change. That can be annoying if you need to do that frequently.
    IMO, a 12-24mm zoom or a 10-24mm zoom would be a safer choice for most people; they are more general purpose wide zooms. Those 11-16mm DX zooms and 14-24mm FX zooms are for those who are seriously into super wides.
    Do you belong to the super-wide group?
  6. However, it also means every time you zoom from 16mm to 17mm, in either direction, it will involve a lens change. That can be annoying if you need to do that frequently.​
    I found it a lot more annoying - because it happened so frequently - to change lenses when the "break" was at 24mm (on DX). With a mid-range zoom that ends at 16 or 17, I only need to mount the 11-16 when I want to enter "serious" wide territory. Granted, if you then mount a 12-24, you may not need to have to switch back to that 16/17-xx so soon. To me, the 11-16 is a specialty lens - it only comes out when I really need it. The real advantage of the 12-24 comes out if that's the lens you have mounted most of the time. Too bad that there isn't a 10-24/2.8DX....
  7. Though I really go thumbs up on the above reasons for the 12-24, I also have to agree with Dieter. The 16-85 is an F5.6 slug, but it is carried more often when traveling light for outdoor stuff.
    I seldom carry both.
  8. 12-24 is a more usable range for an UWA on DX; 11-16 only works if your next lens is a 16-, 17-, or 18- zoom, especially as 18-22 is generally where you want to shoot people. 12-24 stays on the camera longer, though 10mm would be nicer and 2.8 would be pro-spec (tacular). the 11-16 might be optically better but the design is so similar, it might be fair to say it gets sharper faster than the 12-24 but stopped down the 12-24 is dependably sharp and contrasty. i shoot the 12-24 at f/8-11 for landscape, 4 or 5.6 for people. works for me.
  9. tokina 17/3.5
  10. tokina 17/3.5​
    Not ultra-wide on DX by any stretch.
    The thing about needing to be an "ultra-wide" junkie to appreciate the 11-16 is true. I am, so I enjoy it. If you're just looking at adding another versatile piece to our kit, it's not the best option.
    btw, also consider, if you think the 11-16 range will be good, that the Sigma 8-16 might be a good solution. It wasn't yet available when I made my choice. Today, I'd at least try that first.
  11. I owned the 11-16mm Tokina and used the Sigma 10-20 and Tokina 12-24. For me the 12-24mm was wide enough and had a much more usable range. If I needed something for indoors and up close only I would go for the 11-16mm otherwise generally speaking I found the 12-24 range much better even though I like faster glass. I suggest you define your needs closely and match the lens that meets them.
  12. I have Tokina 11-16mm and Nikon 17-55mm f2.8. It's a great combination. What I like about the tokina vs. the other ultrawides I've used is the Tokina did the best with distortion. I also love that wide f2.8 apeture. The 11-16mm is only a 1.5x zoom, and I think that really helps it tame distortion.
    Kent in Sd
  13. Almost like Kent, I use a Nikon 17-55 but I have the Tokina 12-24 instead of the 11-16. The 12-24 is a little more versatile; the IQ is probably very similar between the two Tokinas, and I've never had much of a distortion problem with my 12-24. I'm very happy with mine, but if I did it all over today I'd probably get the 11-16 because it's a better match with the Nikon 17-55 (which I love) and the 2.8.
  14. Another vote for the 11-16 here.
    My 2.8 zooms are Tokina 11-16, Nikon 17-55, and Nikon 70-200 VR1 so it's a good fit. The 17-55 is wide enough most of the time to make the Tokina a speacialty lens as mentioned above. I don't use it a lot, but I'm glad I have it. No issues with excessive lens swithing.
    A great set of lenses - and the reason I'm eagerly awaiting the D400 as opposed to buying the D800 (or D700).
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Of course, if you don't use the 11-16 very often, as I don't with my 14-24mm, there is no issue with excessive lens switching. That seems obvious. On paper, the 11-16 matches very well with any 17-50/55 f2.8 zoom, but actual usage pattern varies for each individual.
    The thing is that only the OP can determine his own usage pattern and preferences.
  16. When I was shooting Nikon DX cameras, I was very pleased with the with the 12-24mm f/4.0 DX lens. I was sorry to sell the lens when I went from DX to FX bodies.
    I liked the 12-24mm's constant aperture, the fast, accurate AF-S focus and that the lens took pro-sized 77mm filters. I also liked that the lens was very sharp through its range and very rectilinear.
  17. the Sigma 8-16 might be a good solution. It wasn't yet available when I made my choice. Today, I'd at least try that first.​
    the same thing goes for the 8-16 as for the 11-16: works as a second UWA or in tandem with a wide zoom. if that's your only wide lens maybe not so great.
  18. I use the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 and partner it with the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 non-VC. I don't find that I need to swap lenses around much as the 17-55 is pretty wide. When I use the Tokina, it's usually at 11 or 12 mm.
    The Tokina is superbly sharp, with minimal distortion and what little distortion there is can be corrected very easily in post if needed.

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