The reason why Nikon hasn’t rushed to improve some its older ultra-wide fixed focal length models is due to the phenomenal AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8G ED. Even the Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15 prime struggles to match the Nikkor at 14mm in sharpness though it can’t match the Zeiss in its correction of distortion and chromatic aberration. Even so, at $2,000 the Nikkor lens is still considered to be excellent value, and its flexibility means that’s often chosen for architecture and interiors over the firm’s PC-E Nikkor 24mm f3.5D ED model (though that could change should Nikon ever introduce an 18mm with perspective control in the future).
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED||2000||27||17|
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED||750||25||16|
|Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Nikon||849||23||15|
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR||1260||22||14|
|Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED||1764||20||12|
|Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF-ED||610||20||12|
|Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM II Nikon||1400||17||10|
|Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Nikon||840||16||10|
If the extreme field of view isn’t crucial, the firm’s recent update to the more modest 18-35mm f3.5-4.5 model is an excellent performer on high-resolution DSLRs, especially at the wider-end where it compares in sharpness with the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8G ED. Chromatic aberration is similar at 18mm but distortion is higher and vignetting isn’t quite so well controlled either. Still, this model’s small size and compatibility with filters is promising.
In third place is Tokina’s 16-28mm f2.8 Pro FX. It’s a good performer generally but full aperture performance is behind both the two Nikkor models. Center sharpness is good at 28mm wide open, but this lens needs stopping down to f8 for edge-to-edge sharpness. Unfortunately, like the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8, the bulbous front element and built-in petal-type sunshade means attaching filters is tricky.
If you have a Nikon D610 and a favorite lens, we would very much like to hear from you. Please leave a comment below, stating what lens it is and why you like it.