I'm in Santa Barbara today at my favorite camera chain branch (Santa Barbara is ALWAYS better than driving to L.A., as I live equal distant from both). Anyway, I brought my D40 for a sensor cleaning and also check out some lenses I'm interested in (Tokina's 11-16 F/2.8 and 12-24 F/4 generation II that will auto-focus on my D40). The salesman pulls out a D90 and lets me try out both lenses to my heart's content. Both have great attributes in their own right, and both function as they should on the D90.
Fast forward to try the lenses on my D40. Tokina 11-16, even though it won't auto-focus on the D40, is easy to do manually (I guess what I've read about super-wide with its depth-of-field is true, focusing-wise). Then I put on the 12-24 that is supposed to auto-focus on my D40, and all I see through the viewfinder and LCD is no info except a flashing: F _ _. Salesman says it must mean that the lens isn't fully secured to the body, so we double check and it is. I adjust the lens collar between manual and auto-focus several times and get the same result.
Salesman pulls out another new 12-24 and the same thing happens. He even wipes the connectors, but the same F _ _ flashing and no other info. I put the 11-16 on the D40 and it works fine (in manual mode of course).
I take my D40 over to repair department for the sensor cleaning and it's the same desk as rentals. I explain to the tech what just happened. He says he only has a 12-24 Nikon mount first-generation non-auto-focus and we try that. Works fine, except again with manual focus, and very easy at that.
Two bad 12-24 new lenses or has anyone heard of problems Tokina is having with that second-generation lens on non-internal motor bodies?
Good news is that the tech gave me a free sensor cleaning and I'm renting the 12-24 non-auto-focus lens next weekend to try it outdoors. If it works as well for me then as it did indoors today, I've saved $100 over the price of the second-generation model (although that 11-16 F/2.8 is s-w-e-e-t).
#1. "RE: Want to help solve a mystery?" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 13-Sep-10 12:35 AM by musical
I like wide I have an 11-16. If you want a serial number to simply date it, just ask. It is one given to me bought new from New York, one year ago. I want other members to answer your questions much more, but I do have one reply. I wish to disagree on one point you have said, but very respectfully. I loved your letter and hope many write to respond, and it's great topic. I have the d60 and the only 2.8 lens I have is the tokina 11-16. It has no motor in it and does not focus itself. I was heart broken-- though admittedly I tend to have strong emotional reactions to things, but it does not focus itself. The point of disagreeing was just that I find it hard to focus, just not "easy." I am aware of the feelings suggested on easy focusing; just stop down more, increase dof, it's wide anyway. Here's the thing, I am very finicky about focus. If it is not clear as can be, I hate the picture. Here's an imaginary example, if the hairs on the cheek are sharp as a tack and the eye lashes are not, it almost ready to be tossed out-- well the picture not the lens. It is a well-built lens. I would agree with that. I wish that the d60 could magnify the picture before I shoot it, but it doesn't and it of course has no live view. All this will push me and the latest is that I'll go to a d300. I probably took 80 pictures since yesterday with the tokina. My software does give me data. This is at 11mm. It is not so great as a picture, but I was focusing on the instruction book on the clothesline (well hung upside down for some reason) (I like that) and the rest was supposed to be out of focus...
Next here is one of people (my kids)... Again 11mm. See how it tends to be just a little too contrasty, and I find it very hard to really grab focus in a very exact way.
That was at f8. The Tokina is always in P mode for me. This final one,just a silly or whimsical picture, is at f6. All these are at 100iso; it was a bright day. That's my son, a cool kid sure, but fine details are not too easy with the tokina. I do plan to get nikon's 16mm fisheye, and before I beam away someday nikon's truly awe-inspiring 14mm zoom. For now, the samples seen here seem hopefully fun; I hope so. I will trust my thoughts seem a little helpful.
#3. "RE: Want to help solve a mystery?" In response to Reply # 1
As a point of information, when I made reference to the ease of manual focusing, either on the 11-16 or the rental 1st generation 12-24, I was referring to the fact that as I focused, regardless of focal length, I had no problem getting a solid green light in-focus indicator in the viewfinder, regardless of f-stop. There was effort involved of course, but "easy" when compared to my practicing manual focus earlier with my kits 18-55 and 55-200, when it was very difficult to achieve the solid green. Lots of blinking green, but few solids. I have yet to closely examine the results of my downloaded pics from yesterday, but am looking forward to field testing these lenses next weekend.