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Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX SD

atx116
Review Date: Jul 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $579.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ultra-wide angle, quick focus, very sharp, great colors.
Cons:
Lens hood does not lock in place very well.

My EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 has been my wedding workhorse for a couple of years now. It's an excellent lens on many levels, but on more than one occassion, I've needed more real estate. I pondered several options, from fisheye to other Ultra-wide zooms/primes, but when I happened upon this lens and checked the reviews, I called my local shop and they had two available, so I snagged one. A few test shots at home at ISO1600 and f/2.8 convinced me that this lens was quite sharp. So I brought it with me to my wedding on Saturday and it performed so well that I found myself shooting almost all the getting-ready shots and reception shots with it instead of my 17-55mm. In fact, at 11mm this lens has less distortion to contend with than my 17mm.

I was able to snag this shot of the couple leaving their reception at 11mm and f/4.5. It was pretty dark in the reception hall and the lens had absolutely no trouble nailing the focus.

http://charlotte-nc-photography.smugmug.com/photos/595283401_rTrcc-L.jpg

Only negative I have found is that the lens hood kept sliding off throughout the day. I'm not sure if it was the way I mounted it or if that will be par for the course with this lens. I did not have time to play with it yet.

I highly recommend this lens to anyone that needs a fast Ultra-wide. You won't be disappointed.


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: Aug 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Wide angle, lightweight, fast aperature.
Cons:
Not nearly as sharp as 17-55 EF-S for same $$. I witnessed flat colors, limited contrast on my 30D.

My 17-55mm f/2.8, which is my wedding workhorse, was sent to Canon due to an IS malfunction, so I rented this lens as a stand-in, using it on my 30-D. My 5-D is dedicated to my 70-200mm IS f/2.8L and I shoot with both the 30D and 5D during weddings. I was VERY disappointed in the 16-35mm. Compared to my 17-55 which is in the same price range, this lens is soft and grainy, even at f/5.6 and 35mm. I would only recommend this lens for full-frame cameras. If you're shooting with a 30D or 20D, GET THE 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens without thinking about it. In a recent "side-by-side comparison", my associate photographer shot a wedding with the 16-35mm on his 5D and my 17-55mm shots on my 30D look sharper and have more color saturation and contrast than his. Obviously, the L build quality is useful and if you are shooting full-frame, you don't have a choice, so those are some considerations as well. Overall, I'd consider the image quality of this lens on-par with my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8.

 
Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

l217_efs1755
Review Date: Jun 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,180.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide Angle Zoom with IS and f/2.8. There is nothing else on the market with these specs.
Cons:
Wished it went to 85mm, but realistically, that's just a few steps forward anyway. Lens hoods next to impossible to find and had to pay a premium for it. For that price, can't they just include a hood?

This lens in nothing short of outstanding. It is not only a low-light wonder for indoor weddings, but it makes terrific portraits as well. I've never owned an L lens (first one is on the way this weekend) and am eager to compare. This is the EF-S version of an "L". I don't think you can make an EF-S "L", officially, simply by definition of what an EF-S lens is.

Focus is dead on and fast and the EF-S makes it much lighter than I am certain it would be as an L. Yeah, the skin suffers in quality but again, you can't have everything!

This gallery was shot entirely with this lens, proving its worth for portraits, if you ask me, since the 1.6x factor makes it a portrait length:

http://charlotte-nc-photography.smugmug.com/gallery/1560399

I also shot a wedding in St. John, USVI last weekend and this lens was a ready and willing workhorse. I have one shot posted as of the time of this review...more will be posted in the next month:

http://charlotte-nc-photography.smugmug.com/gallery/1575994

By this lens without fear. If by some reason you don't like it, I think it will hold its value quite nicely.