I am currently exploring the area of real estate photography. I am shifting my business from weddings to real estate due to health issues. Weddings are just more of a strain on me than I can handle at this point in my career. I currently own Nikon gear and use a D200 APC format camera. From what I've been reading, I will need to purchase a wider lens than I currently own. My problem is that I would like to go to a full size sensor on my next body. The obvious issue is how much lenses cost that will cover a full frame sensor. I hate to purchase an APC lens and then have to buy another lens when I move up to full frame. In the meantime I may have to build some business and use what I have until things get rolling. What are your suggestions for a good lens in the APC format? I've been looking at Sigma, Tamron and Tokina as far as prices go. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
First of all, there is a summary of all your options on the PFRE lens page. The page also has a reader popularity poll of all the standard wide-angle lenses. While there are about 10 lenses that will work on your D200 (see the Nikon 1.5x section) and other Nikon APS-C DSLRs, the two most popular are the Sigma 10-20 mm f/4-5.6 and the Tokina 11-16 mm. They are both just over $400.
If you could spend more you could go with a Sigma 12-24 mm or the Nikon 14-24 mm that are both designed for full frames DSLRs but will work on APS-C DSLRs like your D200. While these would not be as wide on your D200 as a full frame DSLR they would be acceptable. These lenses are considerably more ( 2 to 3 times) expensive. However, if you intend to upgrade to a full frame DSLR in the future, you're going to have to purchase one of these anyway.
What are other's experiences with wide-angle lenses for Nikon APS-C DSLRs?