Nikon 16-85mm or Sigma 10-20mm?

jamiebjamieb Posts: 2Member
edited August 2013 in Nikon Lenses
Right, hi guys. I've just joined, basically to ask this question. :) I'm an enthusiast photographer, and I own the D5000 with the kit lens 18-55mm (also a 50mm and a 70-300mm). I'm looking to go wider, and the auto-focus on my kit zoom is infuriating! So I'm wondering, should I get the Nikon 16-85mm, or the Sigma 10-20mm? Both I've heard are really good, and secondhand they are both about £290. Another question, how much does the extra 2mm make in the 16-85mm compared to the kit zoom in terms of width? To be honest, I would quite like to replace the 18-55mm at some point anyway...

Your help/advice would be much appreciated.


  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited August 2013
    the 16-85 is a replacement for the 18-55 while the 10-20 is an ultra wide which gives you a new vision/capability

    It depends on how you like your wide end. the 16mm is = to 24mm FF and the the 24mm FOV is the most favored of all FOV by professional photographers. ( however i think that survey probably leans towards Press Reporters/photographers ) the 16-85 is probably the sharpest DX normal zoom. So you will be getting a great kit.

    However the 10-20 is a different beast all together. You may love it or you may hate it. see the current Utrawide discussion thread where I am frustrated that I don't much use my Ultrawide.

    What do you find "infuriating" about your autofocus?
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,324Member
    Here's Thom Hogan on the 16-85 -
    (he also notes that the 16-85 has better AF than the 18-55; but see his comments on IQ on the wide end)

    I've thought about this lens too, as well as the 17-55/f2.8. Haven't pulled the trigger yet on a change from the 18-55 or 18-200 that I already own. The 18-55 does have it's charms (cheap, lightweight) and I've seen some very nice shots taken with it.

    For wide I use the 12-24/f4. Guess it depends on what you want to shoot.

    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member

    As always, it depends upon why you want the lens.

    I have the 16-85mm on my D7100 and really like it. I have had the 10-20mm and found it sort of mushy.

    The 11-15mm Tokina or Nikon's 10-24mm are much better wide zooms.

    You'll likely find the range very suitable for most day-to-day shooting, but the 17-55mm f2.8 is a really great lens, too, although heavy and expensive. I have it and use it a lot, but keep in mind, I don't travel with it. It's a heavy mother to tote around and I would wish it on my worse enemy to carry, but the extra stops are nice for some shots.

    Keep in mind that fast lens speeds can be a curse with some shots, too. That minimal DOF has it problems with some pictures - there are plenty of times you want more DOF, and actually the sweet spot for most lenses lie at a closed down aperture around f5.6 or so. The VR on the 16-85 lens is terrific, too, all things to consider with any lens.

    Again, it depends upon _your use_.

    My best,

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,536Moderator
    edited August 2013
    I changed out my 18-105 for the 16-85 because when I analysed my library I was often shooting at 18 or if I changed to my Tokina 11-16, I was up at the 16 end. I now have that area covered and have no problems.

    Your autofocus problem could be the body rather than the lens because I use my wife's 18-55 on my D7000 sometimes and I find it excellent and sharp. That one is the VR version.

    If I were you I would get the Tokina 12-24 f4 over the Sigma.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • jamiebjamieb Posts: 2Member
    Wow! Thanks guys, and that was quick. :)
    heartyfisher - That's really interesting. I do tend to shoot at 18mm (but I try not to to minimise distortion...). Why I find my autofocus infuriating; well, it's really slow. My lens is the Nikon AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED DX. It tends to go from end to end of the focal distance before it finally properly focuses. (However, my 70-300mm has incredibly quick AF - the Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4-5.6 G IF ED VR.) It may well be a fault somewhere (I bought it second hand...) but it is quite likely me being impatient. :) Having said this, I have to agree that image quality is very good and I've had some really good results.
    dissent - Cheers, I'll definitely take a look at that. I already have looked up other questions and posts about the 16-85mm on this website, which have been helpful. And yeah, I'll take a look at those other lenses... :)
    Mike - Right, that's cool. I heard/read somewhere that the Sigma 10-20mm was the best (of the cheaper ones) wide zoom there was, so thanks. I might have a rethink and further investigate. To be honest, I'm not too bothered about getting a faster lens than I already have - I usually use a tripod anyway, and shoot around f11. And yeah, I've been impressed with the VR on my 70-300mm.
    spraynpray - That's interesting. Like I said, I find myself at 18mm a lot too, and in some situations want just a little bit wider. :) And if I do decide to go wide-angle, I'll definitely do some more research...
    Thanks, that was all really helpful. It's great to get some other opinions. :)
    Cheers, J.
Sign In or Register to comment.