177 of 181 people found the following review helpful
Great lens for the price,
I'd imagine that many people are shying away from this lens due to some of the reviews. Rockwell's ultra-wide comparison is where I first heard about this lens, and it did not do too favorably there...
I was looking for an ultra-wide lens for Nikon DX format, with easy to correct distortion. I was originally looking for the Tokina 11-16, which has gone up in price considerably several times, and NEVER seems to be available. I was also thinking about the sigma, but the inability to correct the distortion easily wide open didn't make me too happy, and I couldn't find one locally to test. The nikon 10-24 isn't available yet, and the 12-24 is too expensive and not wide enough.
So, I decided to check this lens out at a local photo shop, and I'm glad I did. After a few test shots, I ended up purchasing it. It was sharp enough for my needs - A bit soft wide open, but I never shoot wide angle lenses wide open. F/8 looks near perfect to me on all edges and corners, with some slight color fringing that I REALLY had to look to see. The edges are occasionally soft, but I have only noticed this when I am pixel peeping.
It seems surprisingly well built. Metal mount is always nice, and the focus and zoom both have very good feels to them. It just feels RIGHT in my hands. I haven't drop tested it, and I don't plan to. I could see the AF mechanism going out on a bad drop, but that's just pure speculation.
Another plus - There is MORE than enough room to put whatever UV filter you would like on it with no vignetting. I don't know about filter stacking, but again, I never stack filters.
It does have it's quirks. AF stopped on me once when I was switching back and forth from AF to MF. A remount of the lens solved this, and I haven't had this issue since.
I'm also suspicious about the quality control. It looks like I got a good copy, but I can tell that a few out there have not. Just make sure you have a good return policy.
I'm not sure where you could go wrong with this lens. If you pixel peep and need ultimate sharpness wide open, go with the Tokina - It's a pro lens, and it's price has definitely increased to reflect that. I'm sure that the Nikon 10-24 will be an amazing lens as well - of course, at twice the price. For the non-pixel peepers who just want to make great ultra wide photos, it's hard to go wrong here. It's not optical perfection, but it's a damn good lens.
It all comes down to how you want to use it and what your budget is. Interior shooters, take note - Used in conjuction with a bounce flash, I get super-sharp and relatively distortion free images that look better than any interior shot I have ever taken.
Five stars because I couldn't be happier with this lens for my needs.
EDIT: After a couple of weeks, I've noticed something mentioned in an off-site review in which this lens was described as having a curved focus field - A ')' shape, if you will. After abusing this lens by shooting extremely (And I mean EXTREMELY) close up flat surfaces, I can agree with this. What this means in practice is that test charts and brick walls shot from a foot away may not be as sharp as they could, but real world usage is still great. What this also means is that if you shoot a lot of interiors or other scenes in which you have walls on both sides of you and a center of focus at the rear, the curved field will be very beneficial to the overall sharpness of the image. Just something to be aware of - I'm still happily shooting, it's exactly what I needed.
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Initial post: Jul 27, 2009 2:56:24 PM PDT
John W. Copland says:
As a result of reading Michael Jackson's April 30 review of the Tamron 10-24mm lens I took the plunge and acquired it as a second lens companion to my Nikon 18-200mm. Granted, I would have preferred to purchase the Nikkor eqivalent (10-24mm) but having a limited budget for my hobby I accepted what was within my means. I have had it two days now and have put it through its' initial paces. I am most pleased thus far and find that it will serve my needs well. I am not a professional photographer but rather fit into the category 'enthusiast' shooting with a D-80. I can understand that someone with more of an expert bent about them might not be satisfied with the Tamron but if you happen to be in a similar position as me then by all means take the plunge. Another interesting and in-depth review of this lens is posted on the Photocrati site by Peter K. Burian on May 25, 2009 .
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