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Keep Shooting! Photography Assignments (04 Feb 2013)
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Sigma 10-20 or ToKina 11-16
I was in a similar situation to you last year when I was wondering which of these two wide-angles I should buy. In the end, I went for the Sigma and I'm very glad I did. I'll try and make a strong case for the Sigma here.
I had read an extensive number of reviews before I made up my mind about what lens I was going to buy and in almost all of those reviews, the Sigma came out on top (even above the Nikon and Canon wide-angle lenses).
The resolving power of the Sigma is excellent and although I don't like to get too hung up on MTF charts, the Sigma scores highly.
I have been fairly impressed with the Sigma's build quality. Although it is made of plastic, it's a good, tough plastic and I don't get the feeling that the lens is cheap or weak in any way. The 11-16 from Tokina is made of metal but that means it is also heavier than the Sigma, if that earns any brownie points for you.
The AF is also better on the Sigma too. The Sigma has HSM which means the focus should be quick and quiet. In reality, it does hunt sometimes but is generally very reliable. In comparison, the Tokina has an older clunky AF system that whirrs when you half press the shutter.
The main appeal of the Tokina I feel is that f/2.8 aperture. You have to ask how often you are going to use f/2.8 in reality though. You won't be getting much bokeh at either 11mm or 16mm with f/2.8 so it's a case of extra light. But f/2.8 is only half a stop in reality over the Sigma so it therefore seems less important in my opinion. Plus, I find that the type of things one photographs with a wide-angle usually warrants a tripod. I am rarely ever without my 10-20mm and Manfrotto tripod.
I think you have to ask yourself overall whether the better build and f/2.8 aperture of the Tokina is worth it for you over the better image quality, lighter weight, wider and longer focal length and better AF of the Sigma. Both are made in Japan btw. If you are doing work in low light where every drop of extra light is needed, the Tokina wins hands down. That is the only circumstance where I would pick the Tokina though and I found the 11-16mm focal length was a bit restricting.
If it was me in that situation again, I would still go for the Sigma hands down. I think it's a great lens and I really enjoy shooting with it.
thanks again Conor
At 5:00 in the video, he shows you the autofocus of the lens and you can see for yourself.
I like Dom Bower a lot (although I don't agree with all his videos) and I think his review is very good but the main problem is that it was made in 2009, before the 10-20mm f/3.5 was released. His main argument for buying the Tokina is that compared to all other wide-angle lenses at the time, the Tokina was by far the brightest with f/2.8, compared to f/4-5.6 of most others. Now that the Sigma f/3.5 is out, that argument seems less viable as you are losing just half a stop of light, but gaining all the benefits of the Sigma.
As I said, I would go for the Sigma again; it's a cracking lens.
Let us know what you decide.
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