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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 11:18 pm 
Hi Experts

How are you all?

I recently purchased my Nikon D7000 and looking to buy a decent landscape lens for it.

After a long research, I narrowed it down to these three below

- Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens
- Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor AF Lens
- Nikon AF-S Zoom Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens

If I was to go for one of the DX lenses, should I go for the 10-24mm? or 12-24mm?

Or should I just go and get the 14-24mm as I am planning to change my camera to full frame in 3 years.

When you buy a good lens and maintain it well, how long does it last?

Any advice would be much appreciated.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 5:08 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1831
Hi James

This depends on several things:

1 - what other lenses do you have? If you have a 18-xxx kit lens with the camera, how often do you see yourself needing wider than 18mm?
2 - where you live? If you go for a DX lens, will you be able to readily resell it if you want to move to a 14-24 or 16-35 on FX in the future?
3 - what are you mainly shooting?
4 - your bank balance. 14-24 will hit your wallet hard.
5 - have you used an ultra wide angle before?

I thought that I wouldn't use under 18mm that much, so I went for the considerably cheaper Sigma to fill my wideangle needs. It has done the job, but I had to hunt for a good copy. I live in a part of the world where Nikon lenses are pretty expensive and the resale market is very small, so this affected my purchasing decision.

However, looking back at some of my photos, I could have done with better corner to corner sharpness which the Sigma lacks. You have to look for it, but if you know it's an issue you see it. Still, I paid 1800AED (300GBP) 18 months ago and sold it recently for 1500AED (250GBP) so I can't grumble.

I've now moved to FX and the 24-70mm is wide enough for most moderate wideangle needs, but I managed to get a "like new" condition 14-24mm - absolutely stellar!

I wouldn't recommend the 14-24 on DX. If you were to use it as a walkabout wideangle with the ability to close focus and isolate the subject at f2.8, it's fantastic. Using FX lenses on DX cameras can be an advantage as it masks corner sharpness, but that's no issue with the 14-24 anyway - it's stunning on FX.

That extra jump from 14 to 12 to 10mm is massive.

If you're not shooting with the camera level you will get vertical perspective distortion on any wideangle. If you're correcting this on your PC, you will lose some effective 'wideness' to your shots to correct this. Therefore if you're shooting architecture you may want to go as wide as you can. Similarly, you can shoot with the camera level, mitigating the vertical perspective distortion, but then cropping out the unwanted foreground later. Either way, wider is better.

My choice in your situation would depend on what you're going to be shooting. If you're big into architecture, I'd go for the 10-24 Nikon (maybe looking for a good second hand version) - straight lines remain straight (obviously there will be some distortion but it's correctable). If you're not necessarily into architecture, I'd look at the Tokina 11-16 or Sigma 10-20 (variable aperture, cheaper and better than the f3.5). They're cheaper and can be as good quality.

Either way, I'd see if I could rent a 10-xx mm wideangle first, just to have a play with the focal length for a weekend to see if its something you want to invest heavily in. You mention that you see it as a landscape lens, and renting one may change you perspective (no pun intended) on this. The sense of depth you get from a wideangle at 10mm on DX is massive and you need to compose carefully with foreground interest as middle and background subjects get smaller quicker than you think.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 6:06 am 
Thank you for your excellent input :)

1. Lens I own:
- 35mm 1.8G DX
- 50mm 1.4G
- 18-105mm kit lens

2. I live in Sydney. I am not too sure whether I will be able to re-sell DX lenses quickly here but I recently sold 50mm 1.8D lens in 2 days.

3. I go camping, hiking and travel alot to outdoors (i.e. Australia). I use 50mm for my portraits and was looking to buy a lens which I can use for taking pictures of mountains, beaches etc

4. My max budget is $2000. I was originally just gonna invest in 14-24mm so I can use the lens when I move to FX camera in about 3 years

After reading your post, I think I will just get the DX wide angle lense for my D7000, practice hard for couple of years then go for the 14-24 when I get my FX camera.

5. Nope, This is my first time purchasing a wide angle lens

Thank you again for your reply.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:29 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1831
James - I'd definitely try before you buy. You'll love any of the options, but getting anything but the 14-24 will open up more readily available and cheaper filter options as well.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:33 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1831
You'll be getting lots of detail with the D7000, so thinking about it the Sigma may not be your best option anyway, even if you were thinking about 3rd party alternatives. Cityscapes, nightscapes, landscapes - any of these will benefit from a good tripod too.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:40 am 
the 14-24 is brilliant & you could use it's full potential once you get on full frame.
as for a cheap alternative,the only sharp ultra-wide lens I know with a bright constant aperture it's the Tokina 11-16 F/2.8,sharper than the Nikon wides. If you don't really need the F/2.8,another great alternative is the Sigma 8-16mm. Very sharp & has decent distortsions & CA,compared to the Tokina. Also,on the D7000 the Sigma would be a 12-24mm lens,much better in terms of wide reach compared to the expensive Nikon 14-24mm.

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