I need a wide angle lens for low-light/club photography with my Nikon D5000. I was going to pick up this one, but then I realized that it won't autofocus on my body. What is the closest equivalent in terms of price and performance that will?

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    Bear in mind that AF doesn't work very well in low light situations anyway - might open up a few more choices if you just go manual. – ElendilTheTall Aug 17 '12 at 17:11

If you can try it out before buying, the Tokina 11-16 might still be the best option. It is less expensive than the Nikon 12-24. The Nikon is the runner up in my opinion. The two lenses are significantly different: the Nikon 12-24 is part of the 3 lens continuous zoom coverage set, the Tokina 11-16 is a Prime with wiggle room.

I say that the Tokina might be your best option since focus does not have to be very precise. The focus scale is 1/4 turn on this lens, it goes from 1ft to infinity. 2ft is over halfway across the scale. Another consideration is whether auto-focus will be effective in a club environment. It is probable that neither the Tokina or Nikon will auto-focus in a club without the af assist light on-- and that is so bright you will annoy people and disrupt your composition.

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I own the Tokina 11-16. It's a great lens, but you'd be surpirised how wide the lens is. I use it on a D7000. Also, the limited zoom range (it's really wide even at the 16mm setting.) Unless you're literally a meter in front of the subject, it's going to look small.

Also - it's so wide, your flash won't light the whole frame.

I am looking to solve a similar problem to what you have - and I'm currently planning on purchasing the Nikon 17-55mm lens as the solution to the problem.

I've been testing the concept - standing at the back of the room with my 80-200mm 2.8 on my D7000, ISO at about 3000 and shooting around 1/60 - 1/100 sec. With Aperture at 2.8.

No flash - using the stage lighting only - it produces a fairly decent image. You can see the grain, but it's acceptable if you frame your shot well and don't have to zoom in too much.

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Tokina apparently makes a D5000 compatible version of your original lens.


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You'll need an AF-S lens. Unfortunately most of the lenses available will be more expensive or have a smaller maximum aperture.

I think the Sigma is probably the closest in price/performance to the Tokina.

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  • The Tokina is an excellent performer while the Sigma you mention here is not. The closest would be the Nikkor 12-24mm F/4, only a tad narrower and one stop less bright. It is very sharp from wide open though. – Itai Aug 17 '12 at 12:01
  • Whatabout this lense? I would be worried about the relatively low maximum aperture, but the wide angel can't be beat and it's relatively inexpensive on Amazon. link Sigma 8-16 – Taylor Huston Aug 17 '12 at 20:41
  • @Itai, yes, I own the 12-24mm, great lens, but it's a much more expensive lens. Very subjective this relative price/performance stuff :) – MikeW Aug 18 '12 at 2:23

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