Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I am into fishing photography and I would like to do more landscape stuff. I am considering adding a wide angle lens to my gear.

What are the most important features to evaluate such a lens? Is there some specific lens that can be expected to perform well in these cases? (I have a Nikon D5100.)

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3  
Budget needs to be known. –  Russell McMahon May 19 '12 at 21:22

2 Answers 2

It depends a bit on what you want, but I would consider the following.

  1. You almost certainly will want a good polarizer. Make sure to include one in your budget.
  2. You definitely don't want a fish eye lens, but it probably doesn't matter if it is a perfectly rectilinear lens.
  3. Figure out how close you might want to be from the subject, and plan appropriately for the correct size.
  4. Consider what kinds of light you will be shooting in, and if you might need an IS.
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I would recommend the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S.

  • Very versatile focal length range
  • Significantly fast aperture for a UWA
  • Designed for your D5100 DX format
  • High quality optics with ED glass, great sharpness, etc.
  • Reasonable cost for the high grade of the lens
  • Newer design and all of the current technologies such as SWM

If you are going to be using the lens around the water, I would recommend picking up a circular polarizing filter. It can help you to cut through the glare in the water and potentially see fish better with the camera. It also has other benefits in bringing out blue skies for example. Some considerations have to be made when you are using a CPL filter with UWA lenses, such as the change in blue across the sky though.

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Are there downsides? Are there reasonable alternatives? What are their pros and cons? –  mattdm May 19 '12 at 22:04
2  
The 10-24mm is rather soft compared to most Nikon lenses, particularly towards the edges. Vignetting is also significant at all focal-lengths until you stop down to F/11 which case it is still very high for 13mm and wider. –  Itai May 19 '12 at 22:41
    
@Itai - It doesn't look soft at all to me when I compare it to the excellent Canon 10-22mm that I own: the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/… As for vignetting, this is something that you can correct for the most part in post, and really is not something I would worry about when looking at this lens. –  dpollitt May 20 '12 at 15:31
    
@mattdm - Yes many alternatives exist, but this is a DX format specific recent lens that many people find suitable for the D5100. If you are thinking of going full frame I might consider other options, but I think this is a great one considering what info I know about the poster. If you want to know the pros and con's of other options I would suggest taking a look at an existing question that we have that addresses where to find Nikon lens reviews - photo.stackexchange.com/questions/9530/… –  dpollitt May 20 '12 at 15:33
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Really I would not recommend this lens so easily, given the Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 is much sharper and consistent across the frame. So is the Nikkor 12-24 F/4 IIRC. The comparison you showed is rather meaningless, comparing a DX lens on a full-frame camera which would have a much lower (cropped) resolution than the cropped sensor 50D. My experience with both the lens in question is that the Canon 10-22mm is noticeable sharper in the center much much sharper towards the edges. –  Itai May 20 '12 at 21:58

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