Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Nikon 12-24 or 17-55? Looking for the experts opinions


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 ViperDoc

ViperDoc

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 18 posts
  • Location:Little Rock, AR, USA
  • Interests:Scuba Diving, Photography, Flying, Model Aircraft, History

Posted 14 August 2007 - 05:11 PM

Divers,

I just got back from Bonaire and got some great pics with my 60mm and some with my 10.5 however i feel that the 10.5 is just a little too wide. I've been searching the forums but haven't really seen any consensus. Heading to Australia in 2 months and feel like I need to add a wide angle zoom and so I am wondering which of these 2 lenses would be the best way to go.

Any opinions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Dave

#2 rinjani

rinjani

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 115 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oakland, CA

Posted 14 August 2007 - 06:32 PM

I think you might want something wider than the 17-55 for U/W. Also, since you didn't mention your housing, I think (though someone correct me if I'm mistaken) that the 17-55 doesn't fit in an Ikelite port. Most folks here, and there are lots of threads over the past year or so, recommend variously the 12-24 (from Nikon or Tokina) or the 10-20 from Sigma. I've used the Tokina 12-24 in the Ike 8" dome sucessfully but haven't taken enough images with it to say more than it's fine on a D200 (it's been a slow diving year). I would need to take a lot more images with that combination before making any definitive comment. But I would look at the wider options than the 17-55 (which is my favorite lens for topside work).

Rinjani
Jon Bertsch
Website: http://www.jonbertsch.com, http://www.thalassagraphics.com
D200...Ikelite Housing...Ike DS125...Nik 105mm|Tam 90mm, Tokina 10-17mm...Nik V

#3 ATJ

ATJ

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 638 posts
  • Location:Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
  • Interests:Diving, Photograph, Marine Biology

Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:04 PM

I'm not an expert, but...

I use a 18-55mm lens on my D70 for most of my dives. I can't remember a time that I have thought "I wish I could go wider than 18mm", but that just may be the subjects I choose to shoot. The great thing about the 18-55mm is that it has reasonable macro capabilities. It is nowhere as good at the 60mm, but does still allow taking photographs of small subjects. It is a very cheap lens.

#4 ViperDoc

ViperDoc

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 18 posts
  • Location:Little Rock, AR, USA
  • Interests:Scuba Diving, Photography, Flying, Model Aircraft, History

Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:23 PM

I guess it would help if I describe my kit. I'm shooting a Subal housing (absolutely love it alhough heavy) with the dome for the 10.5 and a flat port for the 60. I know that if I get a new lens I will probably need an extension for the dome along with some zoom gears. Anything else I might need?

D.

#5 The Octopus

The Octopus

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 265 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kingsville, MD

Posted 15 August 2007 - 12:07 AM

tokina 10-17 and the 17-55 nikon would be ideal. The 12-24 has worked fine for me, but the first 2 give you the most flexibility
D300, Aquatica Housing, Dual Inon z240 strobes, Lenses: tokina 10-17, tokina 11-16, Nikon 12-24, nikon 17-55, nikon 60, nikon 105, nikon 70-200

#6 Christian K

Christian K

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm

Posted 15 August 2007 - 12:32 AM

Ok, no expert. But I can relate to your situation and though this might help:

I wanted a wide rectilinear lens to complement my 10.5FE. I ended up with the Sigma 10-20 instead of the 12-24 (or the Nikkor 14/2.8 which I also tested UW), because it has a better CFD which makes it more suitable for UW usage behind a domeport. I can use it behind my Hugyfot FE dome (7") without dioptres or extensions. Good sharpness from corner to corner (this will never be perfect behind a dome). If you like to keep it simple, it might be worth checking if you can use it behind your Subal FE dome just as it is? I think it might work as the Sigmas front iris-position is almost exactly the same as the 10.5:s. With the 17-55 you will need extensions and dioptres, most certainly with the 12-24 as well. The Nikkor 14/2.8 prime, at least to my eyes, didn't stand out in any way for UW-use when I looked at the final images. And it was very heavy and double the price of the 12-24 and triple of the Sigma.

/christian

A couple of images taken with the 10-20:

wall200kb.jpg anemone200kb.jpg

Edited by Christian K, 15 August 2007 - 12:39 AM.


#7 cor

cor

    The Hacker

  • Admin
  • 1993 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amsterdam, Netherlands

Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:53 AM

Hi Dave, although I love the 10.5 and have made a lot of good photos with it, im really starting to like the Tokina 10-17. For me personally the 10-17 will probably replace the 10.5. The 10.5 basically already replaced my 12-24, ive not taken it underwater for over a year now, because I found it a little soft for my taste. I would take the 10-17 over the 12-24.

Cor
Cor Bosman - Nikon D2X Subal ND2 - Nikon D7000 Subal ND7000
website | tripreports/journal | facebook | wetpixel map | twitter


#8 NWDiver

NWDiver

    Orca

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1273 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:02 AM

No expert but the Tokina 10-17mm has replaced my 10.5 for use. Sold my 12-24mm and take out the 17-55mm when I don't know what I will run into. I even tried shooting "Macro" with the 17-55mm w/+4 diopter behind a dome port. The nudi is not a great shot but was only slightly cropped. The shark shot was taken at the wide end, no diopter of course.

Posted Image

Attached Images

  • ynweb.jpg

Edited by NWDiver, 15 August 2007 - 07:06 AM.


#9 ScubaSpen

ScubaSpen

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Location:Phuket, Thailand
  • Interests:spending more than 500 hrs a year underwater gawking at marine life and taking the odd picture.

Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:19 AM

If I had the money I would have got the Nikon 12-24. I got the Tokina instead and I am very happy with it. I also use the Nikon 60mm and find it a great piece of glass.

IMHO, but I am no expert.

#10 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8374 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:La Maddalena

Posted 15 August 2007 - 08:01 AM

I use nearly all these lenses and quite a few more. Zoom lenses are very handy, but there is no lens that will suit all situations. The key to getting "expert" quality results underwater is to use the right lens for the right job. Of course if a once-in-a-lifetime presents itself, take the shot.

The lenses you need in Australia depend entirely on what you plan to shoot. The 10.5mm would be great for hard coral vistas on the GBR. While the 12-24mm might be better for Ningaloo whale sharks, and the 17-55mm a very useful focal range for leafies.

Since you already own a 10.5mm and want a wide angle zoom I would get a 12-24mm as a complementary partner. Should you one day decided to swap the 10.5mm for the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, for a bit more flexibility, then you will find this an ideal partner for a 12-24mm. The 17mm end of the Tok-fisheye has about the same coverage as the 12mm end of the rectilinear lens. The 17mm end onm the 17-55mm DX is not really wide angle enough underwater.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (waiting for housing).


#11 John Bantin

John Bantin

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1857 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Teddington/Twickenham UK
  • Interests:former Technical Editor of
    Diver Magazine (UK) and www.divernet.com
    occasional contributor
    SportDiver (Aus)
    Undercurrent
    Author of Amazing Diving Stories (Wiley Nautical)

Posted 15 August 2007 - 08:08 AM

I use nearly all these lenses and quite a few more. Zoom lenses are very handy, but there is no lens that will suit all situations. The key to getting "expert" quality results underwater is to use the right lens for the right job. Of course if a once-in-a-lifetime presents itself, take the shot.

The lenses you need in Australia depend entirely on what you plan to shoot. The 10.5mm would be great for hard coral vistas on the GBR. While the 12-24mm might be better for Ningaloo whale sharks, and the 17-55mm a very useful focal range for leafies.

Since you already own a 10.5mm and want a wide angle zoom I would get a 12-24mm as a complementary partner. Should you one day decided to swap the 10.5mm for the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, for a bit more flexibility, then you will find this an ideal partner for a 12-24mm. The 17mm end of the Tok-fisheye has about the same coverage as the 12mm end of the rectilinear lens. The 17mm end onm the 17-55mm DX is not really wide angle enough underwater.

Alex



Corr Blimey Mr Mustard, I was going to say that!

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#12 Cerianthus

Cerianthus

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 647 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hasselt, Overijssel, Netherlands

Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:11 AM

snip .....a better CFD .... snip


Sorry to be a bore, but what is CFD, google didnt give me the answer. Close focus something I guess ???
Gerard

My photo's on flickr
Crop the world ! (Using Canon 20D, 60mm, 100mm, 10-17mm FE, Ikelite)

#13 Christian K

Christian K

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm

Posted 15 August 2007 - 01:07 PM

Sorry to be a bore, but what is CFD, google didnt give me the answer. Close focus something I guess ???


Short question, long answer.

CFD=Close Focusing Distance, the closest distance which the lens is able to focus on. It is important when using a dome port, because the port 'creates' a curved, virtual image some distance in front of the dome, which the lens focuses on. The distance to the virtual image is aproximately double the dome diameter. So ideally you want a lens that can focus closer than the distance to the projected virtual image with no add-ons. The things to play with is getting a larger dome, extensions to move the dome and image further away and then dioptres that alters the cfd-capabilities of the lens. I picked up the Sigma 10-20 because it simply didn't need any add-ons. I could use it without extra stuff and get good results (at least to my standards). This off course differs depending on what equipment you have and - what your standards are. Also worth mentioning, because the image is curved - it is always a bit tricky to get acceptable sharpness in the edges and corners with rectilinear lenses behind dome ports. Shooting a higher aperture is normally needed. Dioptres certainly can help, even if your lens is already within 'range'.

/christian

Another example of 10-20, in blue water:

hammerhead200kb.jpg

Edited by Christian K, 15 August 2007 - 01:15 PM.


#14 The Octopus

The Octopus

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 265 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kingsville, MD

Posted 15 August 2007 - 04:00 PM

I used the 12-24 on my sperm whale shots, I got the 10-17 after the trip to Dominica and wished I had it with me. The tokina is a super all purpose underwater lens. hope this helps.
D300, Aquatica Housing, Dual Inon z240 strobes, Lenses: tokina 10-17, tokina 11-16, Nikon 12-24, nikon 17-55, nikon 60, nikon 105, nikon 70-200

#15 Undertow

Undertow

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 441 posts
  • Location:Bermuda

Posted 17 August 2007 - 08:45 AM

I have given up on my 12-24 UW - I find it a little too soft. I've complimented my 10.5 with a sigma 15mm FE which is sharp with super close focus.

Its designed for 35mm, so the distortion is minimal and not noticable UW. You should not need any extensions or zoom rings either.

People also rave about the tokina 10-17 but I have not tried it.

The 17-55 is nice but not really a wide zoom when taken UW.

Edited by Undertow, 17 August 2007 - 08:46 AM.

D200, Aquatica, 10.5, sig 15, 12-24, 17-55, 60, 105
3x SB-105

#16 Tom_Kline

Tom_Kline

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 755 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 19 August 2007 - 10:46 AM

There may be a new 12-24 on the way.
See down about a half-dozen or so posts into this thread:
http://forums.dprevi...thread=24422285
Tom

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.
www.flickr.com/photos/tomkline/