Going Wide - Sigma 10-20mm vs Tokina 12-24mm

Rhubarb

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Hi all,

I plan to purchase one of these lenses this Sunday but after extensive research and reading what would probably add up to around 100 reviews I still find myself unable to make a decision one way or the other.

It seems that the major weakness for the Sigma is that it is softer around the edges than its competitors, however it is 2mm wider, something I do find appealing. Also it seems to not suffer to badly from flaring and doesn't seem to have any nasty issues with chromatic aberrations.

Chromatic aberrations is the major weakness of the Tokina, and it would seems some copies of this lens suffer quite a nasty CA affect. On the plus side this lens seems to have excellent sharpness (including the edges) for this class of lens, something I also find highly appealing. :) Also some have noted that the distortion at the wider end of this lens is more uniform than that of the Sigma and is thus easier to correct for in PP. (That said DxO Optics supports the Sigma while it doesn't seem to support the Tokina).

This will be going on a Nikon D200, thus far I haven't invested in any 3rd party lenses, but due to the fact that the Nikon 12-24mm doesn't review much better and is double the price of these two 3rd party lenses I don't think it is worth the extra considerable investment.

If anyone can weigh in with there own experiences or just there opinions I would be most grateful. Any insights or alternatives likewise.

Thanks for reading,
Rhubarb
 

ranmyaku

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Not sure I can really add much b/c I have the Nikkor 12-24.

I've never shot with the others but did the exact same reviewing that you did when I was going to make my purchase. If I had to do it over again I would still buy the Nikkor, but given that you don't want to do that...I'd say go for the Tokina. And I base that mostly on the superior build quality compared to the Sigma. So unless you think the 2mm are what swings you I would go for the Tokina.
 
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Rhubarb

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Ranmyaku thanks for the quick response, I value your advice. Nice lens you have there :)
 

cherylmuhr

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i also have the nikkor 12-24 and don't *love* it....so i would save your money and buy the tokina!!!
 
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Rhubarb

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i also have the nikkor 12-24 and don't *love* it....so i would save your money and buy the tokina!!!

Thanks cherylmuhr, anything in particular that you don't love about your nikkor? Or is it just not what you would expect for a $1000 lens?
 

shorty6049

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I have the 10-20 and its an amazing lens. That and my beercan are fighting for first place in my lens collection currently.. I like the 10mm and even though the tokina is a constant aperture, mine BASICALLY is, because when i'm going THAT wide, i usually have it at 10mm and dont really even go up into the 20 range so its usually at f4 anyway, and camera shake isnt a huge problem with such a wide lens anyway.
 

Rick Waldroup

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I only own two zooms and one of them is the Tokina 12-24 zoom. It is a really nice lens. The build quality is excellent and matches the Nikon, and optically, I think they are just about equal. And the Tokina is half the price.
 
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Rhubarb

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Thanks for the input everyone. I ended up picking up the Tokina yesterday.
It was a super hard choice, I still hadn't made up my mind when I went to the camera store, I was hoping that after I had had a look at them and had a play the choice might be easier, it wasn't! The Sigma at 10mm is WIDE! I think it would be an extremely fun lens to have as part of anyones kit.

However I'm a sucker for sharpness and everything I looked at the Tokina trumped the Sigma, and usually by a reasonable margin. And to add to that Sigma seems to still have quite a few QA issues with this lens, seems to be very common to have to send this back to Sigma at least once, often twice, to correct issues with the sharpness. Which could of been a reasonable option - reviewers did point out that once Sigma dealt with the issues that they were extremely pleased with the lens, however I live in Australia, I travel quite a bit to the US, where I buy all my camera gear - it is so much cheaper!! I decided that it could of been a real head ache to return the lens to Sigma if the copy wasn't up to scratch, especially if had to be returned more than once.

On top of that I think the Tokina had the best build quality out of the Nikon and Sigma. In fact I found the quality of the Nikon to be a bit disappointing for a $1000 lens. Also the extra 4mm of on the long end will be quite useful for me - I shoot a lot at the 17 - 24mm range currently so it should lessen the potential lens swapping.

Anyway I took a bunch of shots with Tokina yesterday and I'm happy with the initial results - haven't actually had time yet to play with the pics properly.

It is really nice to use and feels really good attached to the Nikon D200 - very solid.

Give me a couple of weeks and I will post some pics - in the hope that it may aid others trying to decide between this duo.
 

JerryPH

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Build quality? The Sigma has it all over the Tokina for build quality and feel. I've held both in my hand and taken shots with both. Shot quality is very close, but the few added wider mm for the Sigma again is in it's favor.

The Tokina seems to give an overly warmer shot while the Sigma seems to give more natural colours.

When I made my choice... the Sigma 10-20mm is the one that I decided on and is one that will come with me on next week's vacation for sure.

Hand held in low light:
934142721_bfff63b46b.jpg
 

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