What's Best: Nikkor 10-20 Lens or 55mm 0.43x Auxiliary Wide Angle Lens

Hello, I'm still a novice but hoping to get the D5600 for work. There are packages on Amazon that include tripod, remote, etc. and they include attachable lenses and filters. I want the 10-20 mm lens for real estate photography and being less experienced, I want to buy the right equipment so my boss doesn't spend money unnecessarily. Should we get the actual 10-20 mm lens or this package with the lens attachments? I really don't know what the difference is or the pro/con for either. I had the D5100 and have exhausted it but have been spoiled by the multi-angle back screen. The Nikon site has a few options for lenses but the 10-20mm is backordered and we don't really need a macro lens. Any input is appreciated, it's a lot of money so I want to spend it correctly. Thank you!


  • The auxiliary lens will almost certainly be a huge disappointment. Those package deals with lenses and filters are likely to be junk of minimal quality. The tripod will almost certainly be a disappointment too.

    When shopping at Amazon and elsewhere make very sure too that the camera you get is a Nikon USA model and not a grey market one. Not only does Nikon refuse all service to grey market equipment, but many of the retailers substitute lenses and other package contents and you may not get the lenses that are usual, or the correct battery, etc.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with grey market equipment, but it's a gamble on repair work and you may not get the same kit that Nikon USA sells. You may also not get the correct instruction manuals and software if there is any. Read descriptions very carefully. If you don't see the retailer touting that it's a Nikon authorized USA product, assume it's not.

    The 10-20 lens is, from what I've heard, very good. But if you get the camera with an 18-55, or already have one, you'll get a fairly wide angle. While awaiting a good ultrawide lens (consider Sigma and others too for this), you might do well with stitched panoramas. Microsoft makes a free stitching program called "ICE," which, although it works only on JPG format files, does a surprisingly good job. While very wide panoramas can be difficult and tend to distort oddly, it's pretty easy and effective to shoot a few overlapping frames and get a very dense and nicely stitched picture. You can pan both sideways and up and down in the same sequence.

    I've gotten some decent panoramas this way. It's especially effective if you shoot in vertical rather than horizontal mode. Shoot three overlapping shots in vertical mode, and you end up pretty close to double the field of view you'd get ordinarily with a single horizontal shot.
  • Thank you for this information. I was skeptical about using an added lens rather than a 10-20mm. I would prefer to buy straight from the Nikon site (or Costco when they have the 5600) so I think that is the better way to go. I'm hoping this time around I'll be able to watch the user-guides so I know the camera better with all the new bells and whistles. Thank you again!
  • In addition to the above, you might look into B&H or Adorama, both of which are reputable and make it clear when they are selling Nikon USA versus gray market (they occasionally sell both, but specify which). There's not much leeway in Nikon USA prices, but both will be as inexpensive as possible, and ship fast, and usually free. I've done business with both and B&H, especially, is likely to ship surprisingly fast.
  • Well, we bought the D5600 with a 10-20mm lens and I LOVE it! However, I'm not sure what the HB-81 Bayonet Lens Hood is for. I have noticed that when I take a photo, there is a round shadow. My guess is that the flash is hitting the larger lens, making it have a large shadow. Is that what the lens hood is for? Avoiding shadow when a flash is used?
  • You're right about the flash hitting the lens, and the hood will actually make a flash shadow worse. A very wide angle lens like that simply cannot be used with the on-camera flash. If you must use "auto" mode, use the no-flash auto (the one with lightning bolt and line through it next to the green auto on the dial). For other modes that use the flash, you will need to turn it off. Ideally, don't use those modes at all, but learn (Moose here a good start, along with other on-line advice) to get out of Auto modes and take control.

    The hood is to minimize flare from oblique light. Its effect is fairly minimal on a very wide angle lens, but still very important, and I'd advise you use it as much as you can, even though it's a little clumsy. Flare can appear, not only as visible flaws in a picture, but as a general lack of contrast or haziness, and the less of that, the better.

    By the way, since my initial posting on this, I too have gotten that lens, and agree that it's a very nice one, especially for the money. I took it travelling (a trip to the Arctic), and found it good and sharp, very light and compact, and the pulse-motor focusing is silent and super-fast. If you have a camera recent enough to function at all with it (D3200 and below, D7000, D5200 and below I think, out of luck), it's well worth considering if you need wide angles. One of my major complaints about the DX format as opposed to FX is that it's harder and more expensive to get a good wide angle. This lens goes a good way in correcting that.

    The built-in camera flash will not work with this lens, even at distances, but the lens has good VR, and stays sharp at very low shutter speeds.
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