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This past weekend, for the Herbie Hancock/Chick Corea concert, I decided to rent a wide angle lens as I do not currently own one.  Lensrentals.com is my favorite go-to camera rental source and for the Chicago trip, I picked up the Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro FX lens.

Being a wide angle lens, the lens is fatter than my 24-70mm, but was able to fit in my Think Tank backpack without having to re-adjust the configurations on the backpack.  It was easy to handle and weighs 2 lbs.  When we arrived in Chicago, I attached it to the D750 and we went exploring.  Here are some sample photos from over two days use:

Dark Sky Fountain Chuck bar GlassesAs you can see, I tried to capture different vantage points in different lighting situations.  The lens worked wonderfully on landscape photos like the top photo of the lake, to intimate photos of the pub glasses, and everything in between with ease.  The photos are sharp and I was able to capture images like the pub glasses, without having to switch to my point and shoot camera.  I didn’t use the lens for the concert but I can easily see it being a valuable asset to capture big stage productions and candid back stage images.  The lens has a permanent hood and the zoom and focus rings were easy and comfortable to use.

The only thing I didn’t like about the lens was the lens cap.  I know it sounds silly but Chuck and I began calling the cap The Ashtray because it literally looks like an ashtray one would find in a seedy bar back in the 1970s.  It was bulky and unwieldy.  I’m used to flat lens caps that slip easily into a back pocket when not in place.  With the Ashtray Cap, I had to either hand it off to Chuck or make sure I had big enough and deep enough pocket to hold it in.  I’m sure for normal photographers, this wouldn’t be an issue.  However, in a pit, space is limited and the temperature is usually hot.  I’m not really sure how I would handle a cap that isn’t flat and easy to slip into a pocket.  Have a special pouch that could be attached to my strap?  I’m not sure.

Despite the Ashtray Cap, I really liked this lens and will rent it again, especially for landscape and personal photography.  As a concert photographer who normally wears black Tshirts with black pants but no jacket, though, I would have to either conciously dress differently to accomodate the cap or rig a pouch to my strap to keep it in.  The sharpness of the images really outweigh the bulkiness of the cap, though.  And with a cost that is one third of the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, the Ashtray Cap easily becomes tolerable.

For more detailed lens specifications or to rent it for yourself, please click here.

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