Sigma 10-20mm 4-5.6 or Tokina 11-16mm 2.8?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dezarc, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. dezarc

    dezarc New Member

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    I just got into photography and picked up a Canon T3i with the 18-55 mm lens. I also have a 75-300mm but will probably sell it. There is no specific type of photography I am interested in at the moment. If anything, I will be taking pics. of friends, city life, and snowboarding.

    I will be going to Maui, Hawaii in the next two weeks and would like some suggestions about what lens I should purchase. I will be taking the typical tourist photos - landscape, people, beach, etc.; pretty much everything.

    I was looking at these two lenses: Sigma 10-20mm 4-5.6 or Tokina 11-16mm 2.8. I will be using the lens for the wide-angle shots, to absorb as much detail in the environment. However, I also snowboard, so I will be using whatever lens I purchase when winter comes around.

    Which lens would you guys recommend? The only other lens I will be bringing is the 18-55 mm 3.5-5.6, and, maybe, if my friend lets me borrow it, a 50 mm 1.8 lens. Or are there other lenses I should look into?
     
  2. Nikon_Josh

    Nikon_Josh New Member

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    I have the Sigma 10-20, find it pretty decent in all respects! If I had the money though, I would get a Nikon 10-24 without a second thought!

    I hear the 11-16 Tokina is great, highly rated. 11 is not as good as 10 in my mind. Clearly a wider aperture will be useful if your doing handheld night shots.

    The Canon 10-22 is pricier, but a great great wide angle lens from what I hear. If you can afford it your probably best with this one.

    The long and short of it is you can't go wrong with any of them!

    But be careful about photographing friends and city life with a wide angle lens (anything people related for that matter, it can be done but you need to stand WAY back), get too close and you have alot of one thing-- DISTORTION and big noses and little ears!
     
  3. analog.universe

    analog.universe New Member

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    I would recommend the Tokina over that particular Sigma, when I was shopping around I found it to be sharper with about equal distortion. The Sigma that impressed me was the 8-16, it was actually sharper than the Tokina, but it doesn't accept filters, so that was a no go for me. The Canon would be my last choice. Quite soft, and quite distorted, and quite expensive. With any of these of ultra-wide zooms you make compromises. The Tokina has a little CA, and only goes to 11... the Sigma 10-20 is a little softer but doesn't suffer CA... the sigma 8-16 is wicked sharp and wicked wide, but has a strange shaped distortion and doesn't accept filters... the Canon, was released because they needed something in that range, and is priced at twice what it's worth.
     
  4. Nikon_Josh

    Nikon_Josh New Member

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    Did you own the Canon 10-22?
     
  5. analog.universe

    analog.universe New Member

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    I never owned it, but I did a lot of research from whatever sources I could get my hands on when I bought my Tokina. (weeks and weeks, I don't really jump into purchases) The Canon was originally a lens I was considering, but the overall opinion of reviewers and folks I spoke to was that it was a soft lens, and not worth the money. That sentiment was backed up by the sample photos I saw, as well as the data from performance tests. It's not so terrible that you can't get good shots out of it... I just think that with the other lenses on the market, there's really no reason to consider it. It does have USM, but with a lens this wide I find myself manual focusing most of the time anyway. I ended up with the Tokina because it had the best balance of faults for me, so to speak. All of the lenses in this class distort, but the Tokina did so in a way that bothered me least, and the constant 2.8 was a nice factor also. As I said, if I didn't want to use filters, I'd probably have gone with the Sigma 8-16, seemed like a very nice lens.
     
  6. Nikon_Josh

    Nikon_Josh New Member

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    Interesting, I was intrigued as I thought if I ever went Canon I would go for the 10-22. I remember seeing a review somewhere completely raving about it, it maybe was just one review.

    With my recent discovery that the Sigma 50 1.4 is an amazing lens design, it has made me think twice about the theory that all 'Third party glass' is not as good, I'm starting to realise its a myth! It would seem if you look deeply into it, that you can get some great finds in the third party lens market.

    So maybe the Tokina 11-16 is the best buy here, its better than the Sigma I agree with that. The Sigma is a great budget option though, it really is very cheap for a decent lens.

    I'm envious of your Zeiss aswell analog! haha
     
  7. analog.universe

    analog.universe New Member

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    Third party can be great, and I think lately Tokina and Sigma are both really trying to compete on the same level as Canon and Nikon. I've been really happy with the Tokina so far, the build quality is really nice, and that little bit of CA is my only complaint with the optics... not a big deal.

    And that Zeiss has me totally spoiled! I'm already hatching plans to replace my Canon lenses one at a time with Zeiss primes. They're too good, no going back now :lol:
     
  8. Markw

    Markw Well-Known Member

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    I've owned both. I sold my Sigma to buy the Tokina. I would never go back. The Sigma has some crazy distortion. It's kind of hard to deal with anytime under 12mm. Te color rendition is AMAZING. It's tack sharp. Focus is spot on, super fast, and completely silent. It's a great lens for the money, for sure. On the same note, the Tokina is amazingly sharp as well. Focus is a tad less smooth and silent, but you can definately tell it has a motor in there, and it is always spot on and just as fast. I would say that the Tokina is definately sharper than the sigma. CA is also much better controlled. In distortion is where this lens really shines. It has almost NO distortion, especially when compared to the Sigma. The absence of distortion justifies the extra cost for the Tokina by itself. Having the ability to go to 10mm is great, but if you can't keep 85% of the photos, what good is the extra range? The f/2.8 aperture is also a great plus, giving you much better control over the DOF at such wide angles. Another great thing is the build quality. It is EASILY much better than the sigma. ALOT better.

    Get the Tokina. It's the best on the market both in terms of distortion and image quality.
    Mark
     
  9. dezarc

    dezarc New Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the input. I still don't know some of the photo lingo you guys use...like CA, distortion; not really sure what that means. In any case, I was talking to a friend and she recommends a 18-200 lens. Man, I'm getting so confused now. Is it better to have like a good all-around lens to use? Or do you guys have separate lenses for different things? I guess what I mean is this: for instance, is it better to have a 18-200 lens or a 11-18 lens for snowboarding?
     
  10. analog.universe

    analog.universe New Member

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    CA is chromatic aberration. Chromatic aberration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Essentially it occurs when different colors focus to different locations... it's a common problem in wide angle lenses, much less so in tele. Distortion is the lens's ability to render straight lines straight. There are various shapes of distortion, but they pretty much all have to do with a deviation from a perfectly linear rendering. Sometimes it shows up as "stretching" near the edges, sometimes straight lines get a little wavy, or have a single large curve around or away from the center of the frame.

    There is no such thing as a good all around lens. There are lenses that are good at specific things, and then there are lenses that try to do everything, and are just barely passable at most of it. The advantage of the 18-200 is that it covers an extremely wide range... unfortunately, that's all it's good at. The differences in sharpness and distortion that we were discussing earlier are insignificant compared to how soft and distorted the results would be from a "super-zoom". Also, I think if I was shooting snowboarding, I'd want wider than 18. Lots of the snowboarding stuff I've seen is shot very wide. If you're willing to invest the money, buying several lenses that each do a couple things really well is a much better way to go than trying to find one or two lenses you can use for everything. If it was possible to engineer a perfect 8-500mm f/1.4 zoom, we'd all have one (assuming it didn't cost $50k, which it might, if it existed). As it is though, it's not even possible to engineer a perfect ultra wide angle, so we can debate about them for days.

    So, if I were you, the choice would be between the sigma 8-16, and the tokina 11-16. The sigma being 3mm wider is sweet, especially for snowboarding... but it does have a wavier distortion than the tokina, and it also doesn't accept filters. They're both wicked nice lenses though. I'd search around on flickr for photos taken with each of them, so you can see what kind of results they get. If you're into the numbers game, Welcome to Photozone! has some pretty nice lens tests.
     
  11. Nikon_Josh

    Nikon_Josh New Member

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    Have to say I think you guys are right, the Tokina is the better buy. i think this wide angle will replace my sigma eventually,but i don't think the distortion makes the 10-20 unusuable as it was put. Distortion can sometimes be a great effect if you ask me, specially in architectual photography. And I personally have never found the distortion of the Sigma to mean that I end up throwing away 85% of my shots. My only point is sometimes the word Distortion is made out to be a Cardinal sin in a lens, distortion sometimes makes a photo more interesting in my opinion. And this is a view held by quite a few pros I have spoken too.
     
  12. Markw

    Markw Well-Known Member

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    When I say distortion, I don't mean the perspective distortion, as in things look deeper/longer/wider, etc. As a 10mm would make a 10x10' room look like a cathedral. All UWA will do that, and that's the exact reason why most people want them. I mean arond the edges. If you have a scene with alot of people, and you are looking at them at eye level, about 15-20% of the total edge amount will be "stretched" to the point that it looks like their heads were made out of playdough and were pulled on a little too much. Vertical lines will have a terrible bend to them on either side, horizontal lines will do the same on the top and bottom. It's quite bad, I'd say. I think I cropped it out of all my remaining samples, but I'll try to find a memory card around here someplace with some examples on it to show you.

    Mark
     
  13. dezarc

    dezarc New Member

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    Guys mind posting some shots taken with your wide-angle lenses?
     
  14. Dao

    Dao Well-Known Member

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  15. Markw

    Markw Well-Known Member

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