To buy or not to buy

Dear Blog, I'm in a bit of a quandary. Nothing remotely serious, mind you.

I was set to buy a UWA (that's ultra wide-angle for you) before the summer, eager to try out weird perspective shots and work on my landscape photography skills, which are sorely lacking. To this end I had decided to postpone the upgrade of my less-than-stellar Tamron 70-300, due also to severe indecision on what to upgrade to - I have at least 4 candidates, possibly 5. On the UWA front, things looked way easier: the Sigma 10-20 was clearly the winner in my mind: cheaper than Canon's 10-22, even cheaper considering it comes with a hood and the Canon does not, and not so distant in terms of IQ to justify the extra cash. The 12-24 from Tokina and Sigma I excluded from the start: I wanted to go wiiiiiiiiiide and those 2 mm count, especially since I'm not planning to go full-frame anytime soon. Finally, Tamron 11-18 didn't look so hot. Therefore, decision made. Right? Wrong!

While I was choosing the online retailer (I have a few favorites I always go back to, like most people I suspect), here goes Tamron announcing a 10-24 UWA that may or may not be on par or even better than the Sigma and may or may not cost less money. It's a mystery, because the lens isn't on sale yet, but it's not the good kind of mystery when you're about to fork out a nice amount of cash. It will be f3.5-f.4.5, and that is for sure better than what the wigma (its catchy nickname on english-speaking fora) has to offer.

To complicate matters even further, now Tokina is selling her new 11-16mm lens, which seems to be the new king of the hill in the UWA arena and offers a constant f2.8 aperture. Now, I may be a newbie photographer, but I can appreciate a large aperture as much as the next photography enthusiast. It's not such a big selling point if you're going to use your UWA for landscapes only, but really, if you could have it, wouldn't you want it?

So here I am, riddled with doubts once again. Although the real dilemma here is whether getting the Sigma and start having fun now or postpone my UWA purchase until the Tamron is out and there's some user feedback to go by. The Tokina appears to be a fantastic lens but 11-16 is such a small focal range that I'm afraid it will limit its use, at least for me. The 10-20 and, especially, the still up-in-the-air 10-24 from Tamron can function as walkaround lens: think a small medieval town (there's quite a few of those here in Europe, you know), with narrow streets and very little room to zoom with your feet. I don't think a 10-24 will ever leave my camera, in such a situation. I mean, on a crop-body that's the equivalent of 16-38. Plenty to work with.

I really want to see what Tamron will offer. Their 17-50 is considered one of the best lens in its focal range, the 28-70 is another very well-regarded lens of theirs and the new 70-200 f2.8 seems to be a cracker from the first reports.

So, I guess I'll be pondering this for a little while longer. In the meantime, I'll buy a real tripod. No doubts about that one, I did my research well and found a perfect solution for my needs. Amazing, uh?