I am slowly expanding my lens capacity and want to buy a wide angle lens. I am currently using a D40 but wish for the wide angle to be used in the future - at least to a D300 level body but may go FX or even film. If it was for just the D40, I would probably get the Sigma 10mm-20mm. I can justify paying for a good lens knowing it will be useful for me down the road. Thoughts?
I use my Sigma 10-20 on my D300 (and D50) and love it. DX lenses can be used on FX bodies in DX crop mode, so the lens shouldn't become obsolete. The price of used Sigma's may drop now that Nikon has announced their new superwide dx 10-24.
"The wisest follow their own directions" -Euripides "I thought there would be more elephants" -C. Columbus
If you want to do wide angle on DX, then your only decent choices are DX lenses. There are FX options, Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, which isn't super wide on DX, or Sigma 12-24mm f/4-5.6, which is pretty wide, but neither of these lenses take filters, which make them good for interior shots, but not great for landscape. My advice is that this is really the only lens range where you need to commit to DX, so unless FX is imminent, then just commit to this lens and sell it later if you decide to ditch DX. For my kind of shooting (landscapes and wildlife) I value the extra pixel density (reach) and DOF I get from DX, and I have no intention of moving to FX in the near future. I think we're reaching the limit of how many pixels you can realistically cram onto a DX sensor, but 12-14MP is really more than enough for most applciations.
Of the current crop of DX ultra-wides, I've used the Sigma 10-20 for years and IMO it remains the top lens in the category, for its outstanding image quality, and ability to go 10mm. The Nikkor & Tokina 12-24 f/4 lenses are also solid contenders. There is, however, a crop of new lenses you should consider: New Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 available probably summer Announced yesterday, Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 looks exciting Available now, Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (not sure if this will AF on D40, check the list)
> Nikon 14-24/f2.8 ... Sigma 12-24/f4-5.6 ... neither of these take filters
More precisely, neither of them accept standard, relatively inexpensive screw-in filters. Several solutions are available to use them with large filters, in particular with filter holders that clamp around the outside of the lens hoods. Quite effective, but not especially inexpensive. (4x5" Hitech filters are about $60 each, for neutral density and graduated ND, plus you still need the holders.) On the other hand, these lenses are also 82mm wide, so even "conventional" "relatively inexpensive" filters would be fairly pricey even if they were available.
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Tue 14-Apr-09 06:48 PM | edited Tue 14-Apr-09 06:53 PM by Mark V
I know I'm going FX and stopped buying DX lenses. Wide Angle prime lenses like the Nikon 10.5 F2.8 Fisheye and Nikon 14mm F2.8 will not auto focus on a D40....but with these short focal lengths your usually at infinity anyway. (It's the telephotos that are focusing nightmares.)
The 14-24 has put a lot of 14mm 2.8's on the used market.
Something that hasn't been mentioned is that DX lenses on FX cameras work in DX crop mode. So you needn't immediately ditch your DX ultrawide lens and get a twice as heavy and expensive FX equivalent when you go to FX, you can still use what you have. The downside is the loss of half of your pixels.
I have a D40 and a D90. I purchased the Sigma 10-20mm and have had a good run with it as I upgraded to the D90.
I thought about going for the Tokina 11-16mm (which won't AF on the D40), but after thinking about it decided to stick with the larger range 10-20mm. I found that I do use the 16-20mm range on the Sigma quite often, and wouldn't want to lose that on the Tokina. I don't think the Sigma will disappoint.
As to the other question, DX stands for digital, FX for film. It has to do with the size of the sensor when you're talking DSLRs. FX digital cameras like the D700 have larger sensors than DX-size sensor cameras like the D300, and so need the FX lenses. The mounts are the same, but the lenses are specifically designed for the form factor of the sensor.
>As to the other question, DX stands for digital, FX for film...
As far as I can tell, DX and FX don't stand for anything, but just represent different sensor sizes on digital cameras. I don't think FX stands for film because Nikon's film cameras aren't designated as FX cameras; meanwhile, the D3, D3x, and D700 are designated as FX cameras but are digital.