THE WIDE VIEW ON IMAGE QUALITY
Feel the width… and the quality. Here’s how the lenses fared in our exhaustive lab
Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UM C Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Nikon AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM II
Sharpness drops off at the short end of the zoom range but beats the Nikon 16-35mm at mid to long zoom settings.
Along with its extra-wide angle of view comes noticeable barrel distortion, which also has a rather irregular shape.
Barrel distortion at 12mm is well controlled, equalling the Nikon 18-35mm and bettering the other Nikon zooms.
The 18-35mm gives less barrel distortion than the other Nikon zooms at their shortest zoom settings.
Despite having a shorter focal length than the Nikon 24mm, this produces less barrel distortion, which is impressive.
There’s very little colour fringing, and the Samyang’s lab score for this almost matches the very pricy Nikon 24mm f/1.4.
It’s a bit disappointing at f/2.8 but hits its stride at f/4 and retains sharpness well through the rest of the aperture range.
Centre sharpness is very good even at wide apertures but there’s a real lack of any sharpness away from the centre.
Considering the angle of view at 12mm, sharpness across the frame is excellent, as long as you narrow the aperture a bit.
Performance for colour fringing is the best of any lens in the group, despite this one being the least expensive zoom.
Fringing can be noticeable towards the corners of the frame at the shortest setting, but improves at longer lengths.
Along with the major drop in sharpness towards image corners comes better news of minimal colour fringing.