Boat on Shore by Marc ManthaUltra Wide Fun!

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This lens has turned out to be a ton of fun. Starting at 12mm, it dips into the fish eye range, topping at 24mm. It’s not a really fast lens, nor does that matter if mainly outdoors and still photos where you can use a tripod.

So let’s see what this baby can do. As usual, add a pinch of HDR with sharpening. You have to sharpen photos you’re optimizing for the web. The re-sampling when you re-size makes them soft. Added here is a test drive of the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 PRO FX. I sided with the Sigma…more on that ahead.

Some Favorite Shots

I’m smitten with this lens so far and looking forward to more in the coming months. I’ve quite a few photos to review including some indoor architecture. It’s the outdoor photography that seems to fit this lens deliciously.

Deliveries were delayed by about 3 months I would assume because of the earthquake in Japan earlier this year.

photocrati gallery

Details on the New Sigma 12-24mm II

Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM IIMSRP $1400, you can easily get it for $300 less from major online retailers.

This fits into the Wide Angle Zoom Lens category.

Sigma’s new 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM is an update to the 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM, which has been a photographer favorite since it was first introduced in 2002.

Revisions to the lens include:

  • The inclusion of one Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass element and four of the company’s new “F” Low Dispersion FLD glass elements to compensate for color aberration and provide high image quality.FLD glass is the highest level, low dispersion glass available with extremely high light transmission and performance equal to fluorite glass.
  • The new 12-24mm contains three glass mold elements and one hybrid aspherical lens for advanced performance and compact and lightweight construction.
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting, and a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) to ensure quiet and high-speed autofocus, while allowing full-time manual focus override.
  • Minimum focusing distance is 11 inches throughout the entire zoom range; its maximum magnification ratio is 1:6.4.

Marc’s Review on the Sigma 12-24mm

Nice build, notable precision fit on the special lens cap design for this bubble tipped lens. The cap for the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 could have been better. It’s just molded plastic and falls off.

The Sigma lens is DG, for full frame sensors. For smaller sensors, you might look at the very well priced 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM MSRP $740. Again, shop the web, you can do better with a little Googling.

The permanent lens hood is solid. Feels like some kind of alloy. The end of the lens glass protrudes quite a lot, so that’s important when your out in the forest trails.

You’ll be able to exercise your scenic composition skills. Scenic’s can be greatly improved with interesting foregrounds to visually step into a photo. With this lens, it’s easy. A full 122 degrees! Careful your hiking boots don’t end up in the shot too often.

This lines up nicely with my total focal length as follows:

12-24mm, 24-105mm, 100-400mm. The follow through works out nicely. The 24-105mm is useful as the “walk around” lens with a range of wide angle to telephoto. Where one lens focal length tops out, the next lens pick up. You don’t have to have a flow through like this. You need to get what suits you shooting style and creative direction.

Sigma VS Tokina (BTW, both made for Full Frame Sensors)

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens

Sigma’s new 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM Versus Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 PRO FX. You can use lenses designed for Full Frame Sensors on smaller sensor digital SLRs which moves the perceived focal length higher (crop factor). Simply put, the smaller sensor reduces the captured field of view, so it’s cropped. It’s like looking out the window at the same scene, but through a smaller window (sensor).

My point of view is based what I was best for me. Subjective it is.

The Tokina is fast constant f2.8 for added value. That would be pretty awesome for hand held indoor ultra wide angle photos where light is usually less than optimal and shutter speeds slow down. My shooting tends to be outdoors, so the feature gets discounted. Next, the difference in focal length between the Tokina’s 16mm and my 24mm – (the starting focal length of my next lens up – was trumped by the Sigma 12mm starting point.  So I was getting a little more focal length considering what I already owned. 12mm also dips into the fish eye focal range. Not that fish eye is important to me, but a nice little extra focal length stretch when you’re dropping a G note on a lens.

FYI, with the Tokina, in warm weather, the lens cap will likely fall off when the camera is hanging downwards. Seems to be fairly widely noted. Lens cap aside, it is a nice value for a fast wide angle zoom lens.

Tokina’s One-Touch Focus Clutch

A notable feature with the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 PRO FX is the One-Touch Focus Clutch Tokina’s exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows the photographer to switch between AF and MF simply by snapping the focus ring forward for AF and back toward the camera to focus manually.

Have fun, take lots of photos.

Keep those comments and questions coming.

It’s always my pleasure to help.