Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.
Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!
This ultra-wide angle zoom lens for Nikon DX format SLRs costs around £670 and sports fast silent internal focusing with full time manual override. At only 460g, it is a quite a lightweight lens too and it balances perfectly on the Nikon D300 body used for testing.
Alternatives include Nikon's 12-24mm f/4G lens, which sports professional build quality and a constant f/4 aperture, but with a widest angle of 12mm, doesn't capture as wide a view as the 10-24mm.
Sigma also manufacture two different lenses covering a focal range of 10-20mm. Both sport fast, silent internal focusing and full time manual focus override. The cheaper of the two has a slower maximum aperture of f/4-5.6 and costs around £430. The more expensive model has a constant maximum aperture of f/3.5 and costs around £490. Those who wish to go really wide may also consider Sigma's 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6, which costs around £550.
Tamron also offer a 10-24mm lens with a maximum aperture of f/3.5-4.5, which costs around £370, however this lens does have a silent focusing motor.
Finally, Tokina offer two ultra-wide zooms for DX format cameras. Their 12-24mm f/4 AT-X PRO II costs around £630, sports a constant f/4 maximum aperture, rugged build quality and although it doesn't support full time manual focus override, it does have a quick clutch mechanism for engaging manual focus. The other lens in this range from Tokina is the 11-16mm AT-X PRO f/2.8, which has a fast constant maximum aperture of f/2.8, costs around £545 and has the same rugged build quality as Tokina's 12-24mm.
As focusing is performed internally the 77mm filter thread does not rotate during use, making this lens ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. Due to the wide angle of the lens, thin filters may need be used to avoid vignetting. Focus speeds are quick and the thin manual focus ring offers just the right amount of resistance to make fine adjustments easy.
The minimum focus distance of 24cm makes this lens suitable for shooting in claustrophobic environments, which wide angle lenses are particularly suited for. Care may need to be taken to avoid the distorted perspective you get when close in on your subject though, unless it is desired.
At 15mm overall sharpness drops a little, but it still remains excellent in the central portion of the frame. Clarity towards the edges is still very good, but just the same as at 10mm, the far corners are visibly softer. Again this phenomenon disappears as the lens is stopped down and peak quality across the frame is achieved at f/8.
Finally at 24mm, the excellent centre sharpness is mantained, but the quality towards the edges of the frame drops off noticeably. Stopping down improves matters considerably towards the edges, with peak performance being achieved between f/5.6 and f/8.
Resolution @ 10mm
Resolution @ 15mm
Resolution @ 24mm
How to read our chartsThe blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.
The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.
For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D300 using Imatest.
Chromatic aberrations can be visible on close inspection in high contrast areas towards the edges of the frame at 10mm. Here Imatest recorded levels exceeding 0.75 pixel widths, which is just acceptable. This level of CA is fairly constant throughout the zoom range, only dropping off slightly at 24mm.
Chromatic aberration @ 10mm
Chromatic aberration @ 15mm
Chromatic aberration @ 24mm
How to read our chartsChromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.
Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.
For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D300 using Imatest.
Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is incredibly low for an ultra-wide angle lens. Maximum aperture throughout the zoom range the corners are only 0.4stops darker than the image centre and stopping down 2/3 of a stp results in visually uniform illumination.
Most ultra-wides suffer to a certain degree with distortion, and the Nikon 10-24 is no exception. Even so, compared to lenses of a similar focal length the amount of barrel distortion at 10mm, which is 5.87% as recorded by Imatest, is relatively low. At 24mm 0.547% pincushion distortion is present, which will rarely be an issue. The distortion pattern is consistent across the frame, which should make it relatively easy to straighten in image editing software afterwards.
As is the case with many ultra-wide lenses, this 10-24mm optic can be prone to flare, especially with strong light sources in the frame, such as the sun. With a little care this can be avoided quite easily and contrast remains high. A shallow petal shaped hood is provided with the lens, which is of limited use shadeing the front element due to the extreme wide angle of view.
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Sample Photos
When used at optimum apertures, this lens can produce images with outstanding sharpness across the frame | 1/100 sec | f/6.3 | 13.0 mm | ISO 320
The minimum focus distance is a handy 24cm | 1/100 sec | f/5.6 | 24.0 mm | ISO 360
Flare can be an issue when shooting into the sun | 1/125 sec | f/6.3 | 10.0 mm | ISO 200
But it can be avoided with a little care | 1/50 sec | f/8.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 800
1/250 sec | f/5.6 | 10.0 mm | ISO 200
1/320 sec | f/5.6 | 24.0 mm | ISO 200
1/100 sec | f/8.0 | 10.0 mm | ISO 250
1/125 sec | f/8.0 | 17.0 mm | ISO 200
The lightweight of the lens and reasonably good build all stack in favour of this lens. If the price were a little closer to that of the third party opposition, then it would be difficult to separate them in terms of value.
|The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm produces images of excellent sharpness, especially when used at optimum apertures.|
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED ProsExcellent sharpness in the centre
Very low vignetting for an ultra-wide
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED ConsSoftness in far corner regions at maximum aperture
Flare when shooting into the light
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Specifications
|Focal Length||10mm - 24mm|
|Angle of View||61° - 109°|
|Max Aperture||f/3.5 - f/4.5|
|Min Aperture||f/22 - f/29|
|35mm equivalent||15mm - 36mm|
|Box Contents||Lens hood, Lens Caps, Soft Case|