Roofjac wrote in post #18540934
Hi all. The Tonika 11-20mm f2.8 sounds like the perfect lens but is about $300-$400 above my budget. I will keep looking for something used but not seeing much right now. Thanks again for your insight and ideas.
The Tokina lenses are nice... but unless you are going to be shooting at night a lot or doing photojournalism, you probably don't need the f/2.8 aperture. With typical uses other than those, it's more common to stop the lenses down for maximum depth of field, than to use it wide open.
Instead of a Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 DX for $469 (on sale currently, usual price is $599)...
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM for $279 (on sale, list price is $299). It's one of the most compact, lightweight and affordable ultrawides available. Rather plasticky, but that's part of the reason it's light and affordable. It was the first lens of this type and still is one of the few to have image stabilization, which can be helpful for hand held shooting in lower light conditions (but can't help freeze moving subjects). And its image quality is surprisingly good for such an inexpensive lens. Note, like most Canon non-L-series, the Canon EW-73C lens hood for it is sold separately, $25 (there are also cheaper third party hoods, such as Vello for $12.50). It uses 67mm filters, if you want one. A circular polarizer can be handy for scenic shots, although with ultrawides it can give an uneven effect (B+W C-Pol are among the very best available, for their price: MRC... $60; F-Pro MRC, High Transmissive... $65; XS-Pro Nano MRC, High Transmissive, Slim... $76).
You'll have a pretty hard time finding a new or used ultrawide for much less than the price of the Canon 10-18mm, but...
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM for $600 (on sale, + $25 for hood) is quite good too, better built with higher performance USM focus drive. Bigger and heavier, it costs more. Even used, it typically runs $350 or more.
Tokina 12-28mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro DX is on sale right now for $260 (usually $449). It's a very good lens with excellent built and image quality just a tiny bit below the Canon lenses. It's bigger and heavier than either of the Canon. too.
Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro DX II and Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro DX are discontinued older versions - superseded by the Toki 12-28mm - that are pretty decent and you might find used. In the Canon mount, there's not a lot of difference between the two versions. Size and weight are about the same as the Canon 10-22mm. I've used one of these Tokina extensively and while it's a nice lens, I like the image quality of my Canon 10-22mm better (it's got less chromatic aberrations in the corners and is one of the most flare resistant of all the ultrawides).
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX are discontinued predecessors of the 11-20mm f/2.8. You might find them used and they are a little smaller than the newer lens, but not a lot. Still pretty large and hefty. These are both super sharp lenses, but they also are quite prone to flare problems. Like the 12-24mm above, there's little difference between the two versions in the Canon mount. (In Nikon mount the "II" versions introduce lenses that incorporated an in-lens focus motor a much bigger deal. Other than that there might have been some changes to lens coatings.)
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM... $399 new (on sale, usually about $650), is decent, but is one of the largest and heaviest lenses of this type.
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM... was a lower priced, somewhat smaller/lighter (but still bigger/heavier than the Canon 10-18mm), but it's been discontinued and is no longer available new. You might find one used. While pretty decent, IMO it's image quality is not as good as either of the Canon.
Tamron SP AF 10-24mm f / 3.5-4.5 DI II... $379 new (on sale, usually $499), has a wider range of focal lengths than most. It's okay, but IMO doesn't have as good image quality as the Canon, Tokina, or Sigma. It also uses lower performance "micro motor" autofocus (as do the Tokina).
Sigma also offers the widest of the wide, an 8-16mm DC. It tends to be more pricey and will show quite a lot of wide angle distortion effects at it's widest focal lengths.
Sigma also offers a 12-24mm, but it's actually a full frame capable lens (DG), so is bigger, heavier and more expensive.
Many of the sale prices above are likely in response to Canon introducing the EF-S 10-18mm a year or two ago. At the time you couldn't find a new ultrawide for much less than $450 or $500... then Canon offered the 10-18mm for under $300... and it was smaller, lighter than any of them... plus it was the first to have image stabilization! And it had as good or better image quality than most, too!
Since then Nikon has introduced a similarly priced Nikkor 10-20mm (with stabilization).... and all the third party ultrawide lens makers have had to reduce their prices.
I haven't followed the used prices closely, but no doubt those have also been effected by the Canon 10-18mm (and the Nikkor 10-20mm) budget pricing.