Available for Canon (EF-S) and Nikon (DX) D-SLRs, this constant-aperture, wide-angle zoom proves that independent lensmakers can build lenses that are every bit as good as, if not better than, those offered by the SLR makers themselves. We think its optical quality equals or beats that of its closest competitors, which include lenses with 10-20mm, 10-22mm, and 12-24mm ranges. And the Tokina is up to a stop and a third faster, since those competitors start out with a maximum aperture of f/3.5, f/4, or f/4.5. What's more, it maintains that speed throughout its range while other such wide-angle zooms end up at f/4.5 or even f/5.6 at their long end. In addition to increasing your low-light shooting ability, the wider aperture makes the viewfinder brighter -- good for manual focusing, which you do simply by pulling back the ring. (The lens doesn't autofocus with the Nikon D40/X or D60.) The new zoom does fall short of its competitors on the long end, but we're not complaining. About $570.