The Roving Photographer



Based on my sheer love of my 50mm f/1.8, I started looking at a few other primes to acquire before the end of the year.  The nifty-fifty gives great mid-range reach, but I need something wider and something longer to make a useful prime kit.  Longer was easy to pick, but wide caused some issues.  Basically I was looking at the 28mm f/2.8, but it bothered me to drop the cash on it when I already had a great wide-angle lens, the 17-40mm L; have two separate wide angles a single stop different seemed just as silly.

But that extra stop of light is critical in many of the places I end up, so I sucked it up, sold the 17-40, and ordered a Tokina 16-50mm f/2.8 – which I figured would cover both regular and prime-type usages.

Oops…  FAIL

Out the window with the Tokina 16-50mm

The other Tokina lenses I’ve owned over the years have been very impressive tools; sharp, fast, and with incredible builds.  Unfortunately, the 16-50mm must be the ugly stepchild of the family, since it’s just blah.  Nothing really wrong with it – still a good build and sharp – just blah.  The AF is slowwww and I simply hate how it extends when zooming.  Nit-picky, perhaps, but it’s already back in the box and awaiting an RMA # so it can head back to B&H.

Now I’m stuck without a wide angle lens again for a while, trying to decide what to do to fix this situation.  f/2.8 is a given, which rules out another 17-40L; and the 16-36L is WAY out of the budget.  I’m thinking the 17-55mm IS, where the B&H refund + the good ol’ tax return will cover it.  But frankly I’m just annoyed right now.  I’m not used to being disappointed once I settle on buying a lens.

Brent Pennington

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2 Comments to Disappointing

  1. Mike's Gravatar Mike
    March 20, 2010 at 21:08

    The 16-35 II might be way out of range but the 16-35 I can be had for under $1,000 on the used market. With the crop sensor, it’s become my primary lens and it a wonderful piece of glass.

    • Brent Pennington's Gravatar Brent Pennington
      March 21, 2010 at 12:36

      I hadn’t thought about the price difference between the Mk I & II versions – thanks for pointing that out. I’m still a little on the fence about the 17-55, although I do really like the fact that it has IS. I tend to have shaky hands, so it always helps. The Tokina is RMA’d and ready to ship tomorrow, so I’ll have a few days before the refund arrives to figure it all out.

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