Nikon AF-S DX 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED £840, $1100
This lens is a real old-timer that still commands an extravagant asking price – but should it?
Whereas the Nikon 1024mm was launched back in 2009, this lens dates from 2003, preceding even the D70 camera which brought D-SLR photography to the masses. Even relatively ancient lenses can still be extremely good, and you’d certainly have high hopes for this one, given that it’s the most expensive DX-format ultra-wide lens on the market.
Features include fast, quiet ring-type ultrasonic autofocus and a constant aperture. Even so, it’s a stop slower than the Tokina 11-16mm lens, and is also marginally beaten by the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5. It lacks the weather-seal ring on the mounting plate which is featured on the Nikon 10-20mm and both Tokina lenses. As for handling, there’s nothing to choose between the two Nikons, although the maximum angle of view is reduced in this lens.
Considering its high price, performance from this lens is disappointing. Lab results for sharpness were the poorest in the whole group, and while colour fringing is low at 12mm, it’s worse than average at mid to long zoom settings. Taking everything into account, the Nikon looks overpriced compared with independently made competitors, as well as its own 10-20mm stablemate.