Go Wide or Go Home

I have owned the renowned Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for Nikon since earlier this year.  It started my love affair with ultra wide lenses.  The Tokina is razor sharp, even wide open, and sports a 2.8 max aperture allowing for some creativity in low light.  I have really enjoyed it and it has become one of my three lenses that comes with me everywhere! 

Sigma introduced the widest lens for crop sensor cameras earlier this year...the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.  On a Nikon crop sensor, this gives a 12mm field of view (in 35mm equivalent) which means I can now go even wider!  Needless to say, I recently purchased the Sigma 8-16mm lens to test head to head against the Tokina.  I'll be taking a trip to Alaska in May 2011, and I'm going to need the best ultra wide I can get for that trip!

I did a variety of tests on the Sigma and the Tokina and various apertures.  The biggest difference many may be interested in is the 8mm to 11mm difference.  It doesn't SOUND like that big of a difference, does it?  To test it out, I took the following two photos on a tripod with the same settings at 11mm on the Tokina and 8mm on the Sigma.  The first image shown below is the Tokina at 11mm, f/4.5, 1/640.  Below that you will see the Sigma at 8mm, f/4.5, 1/640.  Both of these photos are straight out of the camera (SOOC).  No editing has been done. 

Tokina 11-16mm @ 11mm, f/4.5, 1/640

Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, f/4.5, 1/640

That's some serious wideness, huh?  I have to say, I was expecting to see a small difference in the 8mm vs 11mm width but nothing as obvious as this.

One thing to keep in mind is that, at shooting at f/4.5 this is "wide open" for the Sigma lens, but f/4.5 is actually stopped down for the Tokina (since it has a max aperture of f/2.8).  In reality, you would expect the Tokina to perform even better than the Sigma.  As you can see, though, the Sigma has much better color and contrast SOOC than the Tokina.

The Sigma also has a shorter minimum focus distance than the Tokina, allowing for some creativity!  The Sigma has a minimum focus distance of 24cm (keep in mind, that distance is from the sensor and NOT from the front of the lens), and the Tokina has a minimum focus distance of 30cm.  That doesn't sound like a lot, but I have to say after trying out both lenses myself, there is most definitely a noticeable difference.

To demonstrate the close focusing ability...my dog Marley at 8mm.  Her nose was very close to the front glass!

The Tokina is always touted for its sharpness, but I found the Sigma to be equally sharp or sharper (after I received my second copy).  As with all lenses, there are bad copies out there.  The first Sigma 8-16mm lens I received from B&H backfocused and was pretty soft.  In addition, it suffered from some pretty severe CA.  After returning that lens to B&H and receiving a new copy, I've been thrilled with the lens.  My second copy was MUCH better!  It is sharp and has very little CA.  I didn't test CA specifically between the Tokina and Sigma, but I have read that the Sigma tends to have less CA than the Tokina, as well.  However, during my time of owning the Tokina, CA never proved to be an issue with it, so I wouldn't discount the Tokina for that reason.

I know I've raved about the Sigma, but I have to say...the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is nothing to sneeze at!  It's a fantastic lens, as well.  If I had unlimited funds, I would have kept the Tokina AND the Sigma, but unfortunately I had to sell the Tokina to fund the Sigma.  The Tokina beats the Sigma with its 2.8 maximum aperture.  It works incredibly well in low light, and it is pretty darn sharp even wide open.  If you plan to shoot in low light a good bit, I would absolutely recommend the Tokina.

All in all, the Tokina and Sigma are two wonderful ultra wide angle lenses.  I chose to keep the Sigma 8-16 and sell the Tokina 11-16, and I absolutely adore my Sigma! 

At the time of this writing, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is priced at $599 and the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 is priced at $699.

If you have any questions about the lens, feel free to leave a comment and I will respond!


I Heart Faces {Pets}

This week's challenge over at I Heart Faces is "Pets."  Let's be honest...I'm pretty sure it's clear that I have a love for pet photography and all things animal related.  At home, I run a small petting zoo consisting of a Chocolate Lab, a Yellow Lab, a Shih-Tzu, and a Heinz 57 Grey Cat.  They all steal my heart in their own little way. 

The two Labs were my husband's before we met, so the Shih-Tzu is really MY baby (along with the cat).

Cami (the Shih-Tzu) is quite possibly the sweetest dog known to man.  She loves being loved, she loves people, she loves children, she loves Gracie (the cat) and plays with her daily, and she has the cutest face alive.  I swear I'm not prejudiced! 

This is one of my favorite photos I've taken of her...as she was romping through our backyard...

SEE!  I told you she was cute!

Head on over to I Heart Faces and enter your pet too!



Shutter Love Tuesday {Stuffed Animals}

Ted E. Bear has resided with me since I was 18 months old...and I turn 30 years old this coming Monday, June 14.  He was brand new when my mom bought him for me as a baby, but he now shows the worn threads, bald patches, missing mouth, and scratched eyes of a bear that has been loved dearly for over 28 years. 

He has seen me through all the ups and downs in life.  The good times and the bad times.  Teddy has been there for a lifetime of momentous times...beginning elementary school, graduating high school, graduating college, moving to Atlanta for my first job, returning to Huntsville, Alabama a few years later, and, most recently, getting married.  I may be knocking on 30's door, but Teddy still sleeps in the bed with me every night.    

Teddy's face is sweet, sentimental, and endearing.  His scratched eyes are soft and understanding.  There really isn't much else that symbolizes love better than Teddy.



Shutter Love Tuesday {Pets}

I'm always up for any way to share photos of my pets, so when I saw Shutter Love Tuesday's theme was "Pets," I knew I had to enter. 

However, 3 Dogs + 1 Cat + 1 Trigger Happy Pet Parent = 1,000,000 Pet Photos...so I had a really difficult time deciding which photo to submit for this theme.

Fortunately, I can't resist the sweet face of my little Shih-Tzu, Cami...so her photo won out.  The best part of Cami is that she is seriously just as sweet on the inside as she is cute on the outside.  She melts my heart on a daily basis!

To see other entries, or enter your own favorite pet photo, click the button below...



Fix-It Friday

One last Fix-It Friday before my vacation to the Florida Keys TOMORROW!!  This week's photo had some white balance issues and was underexposed.

Original Image from I Heart Faces:

My first "normal" edit:

My second edit with a little more flare:

Finally, a black and white conversion (my personal favorite for this image):


Fix-It Friday

I went overboard on Fix-It Friday this week and did three total edits. 

Original image from I Heart Faces:

My first (normal) edit:
Using Photoshop CS4, corrected white balance and used TRA actions.

A little more stylized...

And...a black & white conversion:



Fix-It Friday

Another Friday = Fix-It Friday!  This image wasn't nearly as bad out of camera as last week's!  It was still good editing practice, nonetheless.

I Heart Faces "Fix-It Friday" Original Image:

My Edited Final Image (using Photoshop CS4 and TRA Actions):

And a black and white conversion for fun...


About Me

My photo
- I always have a camera, and I take too many photos - I can't carry a tune, but I love to sing - I prefer meatless, but I'm not a vegetarian - I think ice cream makes the world go round - I watch too much TV - I can sleep all day if allowed - I can name that tune in five notes (if we're listening to a country station)

Contact Me

I offer prints (including fine art canvas prints) of all nature and wildlife photos you may see on this blog or on my Flickr site.

I also allow licensing of my photos. All of my work is copyrighted. Please do not use any of my photos without my permission. Please contact me if you are interested in licensing my photos for your use.

Contact me for more information: MLHScott@gmail.com