Thursday, March 23, 2006

Got a new lens??

Physician, heal thyself! After writing about getting off the upgrade cycle, the new lens I ordered a week ago arrived yesterday. I'm planning a trip to Peru for May, and I wanted to get a lens capable of taking some nice landscape shots while traveling to Machu Picchu, Cuzco, and Lima.

So, after a bit of research, I ordered a Tokina 12-24mm f/4 zoom lens from a company called "The Camera Box" for quite a discount--$ 463 delivered, or about $100 less than every other place I could find. I figure that it's a grey market lens; that is, a lens which is bought overseas then brought into the United States by someone other than the official importer. There wasn't a warranty card in the box. I figure that "The Camera Box" will handle warranty repairs, not that I'm expecting to need any.

Lucky for me, I had a search warrant this morning so I brought my D200 and new 12-24mm lens with me to take some photos. I have to say that this is a *very* nice lens. The angle of view at 12mm is superb--perfect for tight rooms. I was able to easily photograph the small dining area of an apartment, closets, etc. If you do any sort of interior real estate photography, this Tokina lens is the one to get! It focuses quickly and accurately, no problems at all. Images are nice, contrasty and sharp. I shot at f/8 and there's just a tiny bit of chromatic aberration visible at this f-stop. Chromatic aberration is visible as a purplish shadow in edge areas of high contrast. For example, I saw a purple line running along the edge of a white pillar contrasted against a dark shadow area behind the pillar. It was not objectionable and if I wasn't specifically looking for it, I wouldn't have noticed it.

I'll be playing around more with this lens to see if stopping down a little more eliminates or erases the chromatic aberration.

The lens itself has a nice lens hood and a good, center-pinch style lens cap. Lens quality seems very high to me. All in all, a worthy addition to my lens stable.


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