A Quick Look through the 10-24mm Nikon Lens

So far, so good.

Yesterday, the two lenses I rented from BorrowLenses.com arrived. This morning, Mike, @AnnTorrence, and I headed out for an early morning photo shoot to get a feel for them.

Nikon 10-24mm lensIt might seem odd, but I rented two almost identical lenses: the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX ED (shown here) and the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM for Nikon. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the challenge of wide angle photography and want the ability to get up close and personal with my subject matter while still fitting much of it in the frame. I like the oddness introduced by a wide angle lens — the way a wide angle photo makes you look closer to see what’s not quite right. I’ve had a lot of fun over the past two years with my 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye Nikkor Lens, but that introduces too much distortion. The photos I take with that lens look downright weird. I want a lens without that much distortion that still has the ability to frame big landscape backdrops to my foreground subjects.

This could be just a stage I’m going through, but I feel a need to explore it fully to see where it takes me as a photographer.

I want to buy the Nikon 10-24mm lens. I wanted to buy it before I rented it. It has the kind of range I’m looking for to complement the 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR Nikkor lens I keep on my camera most of the time. But it’s a costly lens and it wasn’t readily available from my first choice supplier. With an upcoming photo shoot, I figured renting it was a good alternative. And since my husband would also be shooting with his Nikon, it made sense to rent the Sigma so we could compare that lower-cost alternative.

The photo shoot is in Tucson, at the San Xavier Mission. About 15 members of the Arizona West Shutterbugs “Meetup” Group will be gathering there on Saturday to shoot the mission and then head into Tucson for a museum with an Ansel Adams exhibit. I’m looking forward to trying the lenses at the mission, although I am a bit concerned that my up-front-and-personal approach might put me in front of the other shooter’s lenses. I hope not. If the group shoot turns out to be a bust but the location has potential, I’ll likely return on a weekday when there will be fewer people around.

This morning, we headed out before dawn to nearby Rancho de los Caballeros, a local guest ranch. At night, their horses — all 93 of them — are kept in a big fenced in area at the south end of the property. At about 7:30 AM, the wranglers herd them all into a smaller enclosure closer to the ranch’s main buildings. They return the horses to their nighttime enclosure at around 5 PM. This movement is referred to as the “running of the horses” (even though they don’t actually run the entire mile or so). I thought it would be interesting for Ann and she did seem to enjoy it, although I don’t think any of us got any good photos. (I’ll try again another morning, perhaps from a different vantage point.)

Vulture Peak Near Wickenburg, AZ

The east side of Vulture Peak, shot at 10mm with the Nikon 10-24mm lens.

Afterwards, I took us all by Jeep down a few of the more rugged Jeep roads on the east side of Vulture Peak. The light was still good, at least for a while. We all made lots of photos from the two or three places I stopped and we got out. Then the light got too harsh and we headed back to my house.

Mike and I each tried each of the 10-24mm lenses. Mike thinks the Nikon may be better, although we really don’t have a good test yet. He’s in love with the lens and it’s very likely that we’ll buy one. But not yet. We still have 6 days with these rentals and we plan to shoot a lot of photos.

What do you think?