Best ultra wide-angle lens for nikon dslrs: 8 tested

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 SP AF - £370/ $470

Five years ago, the main contenders on the ultra-wide zooms market were the Sigma 10-20mm and Tamron 11-18mm lenses. While the Sigma is still available, Tamron has upped its game with a newer 10-24mm lens that rivals the Nikon in terms of zoom range.

The Tamron is quite light but feels a little flimsy compared with most lenses in this test.
A few luxuries are lacking, such as the way the focus distance scale is only printed on the end of the focus ring, rather than beneath a viewing window. Autofocus is based on a slightly sluggish but fairly quiet conventional motor, so there's no full-time manual focus override available.

Performance

The Tamron frequently overexposes shots at the 10mm end of the zoom range, usually requiring exposure compensation. At a 20mm focal length, exposures are mostly accurate. There's a slight lack of sharpness at the largest apertures, but performance improves between f/8 and f/11. Good results are possible, but watch the exposure settings.

Sharpness

Best ultra wide-angle lens for nikon dslrs: 8 tested

Outright sharpness is best at the crucial ultra-wide focal lengths, and remains consistent throughout the aperture range.

Lab test at f/8
Sharpness at 10mm: 1681
Sharpness at 15mm: 1766
Sharpness at 24mm: 1488

Fringing

Best ultra wide-angle lens for nikon dslrs: 8 tested

Fringing is only slightly noticeable in the 10-15mm zoom range. At longer focal lengths, chromatic errors are negligible.

Lab test at f/8
Fringing at 10mm: 0.33
Fringing at 15mm: 0.35
Fringing at 24mm: 0.96

Distortion

Best ultra wide-angle lens for nikon dslrs: 8 tested

Distortion is well controlled overall, although barrel distortion is clearly visible at the 10mm focal length.

Lab test at f/8
Distortion at 10mm: -3.86
Distortion at 15mm: -0.23
Distortion at 24mm: -0.81

Image test verdict

Best ultra wide-angle lens for nikon dslrs: 8 tested

See full res image

The Nikon delivers supremely accurate and consistent metering, and acquits itself excellently in all aspects of image quality.