Well, after wanting an ultra wide angle zoom lens for months and months, I finally bought one today. I’ve been scouring around trying to find the sold-out-everywhere Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX PRO DX lens for some time now, and until today was considering just going for the highly praised 12-24 f/4 from Tokina as it is readily stocked by many dealers. I’ve been checking back at places like B&H every morning for a few weeks (that’s how I was able to snag my hard to get AFS 35mm 1.8G), with no success in finding the 11-16 in stock. This afternoon I did a search for Tokina dealers in the San Francisco bay area, and found that there’s only ONE in San Francisco. Not expecting much, I called and asked if they had any 11-16’s, and WHAT!? One Nikon mount left!
I rushed over and picked it up without hesitation. While I was there the guy at the shop (really cool staff there) let me try a bunch of lenses while he rang up the bill. I tried the Tokina 12-24, and while I liked that it extends out to 24mm, I was more swayed by the 1mm extra on the wide end of the 11-16 AND the 2.8 constant aperture, despite it’s very limited zoom range. I tried the very interesting (and very new) Tokina 16.5-135mm lens, as well as Nikon’s highly regarded consumer lens, the 16-85mm 3.5-5.6 VR, which I found of similar to size to the 18-70 I used to use on my D70, but it felt much heavier! I really liked the 16-85mm’s range and the fact that it has built in VR, and I may want to pick that lens up for travel when more money comes in.
But back to the important lens! My wife and I (and doggie) strolled around downtown after leaving the shop and I got to snap off a few shots before the sun went down (I really wanted to get some sunset and dusk shots but we hadn’t eaten dinner!). Initial impression is veeery favorable. I am absolutely floored at the sharpness of this Tokina, even at its widest aperture. The build quality is outstanding as well, and overall I am really excited about putting this thing to use. I’m going to bed with a huge grin on my face! More shooting tomorrow!