Tam­ron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD £850, $1200

NPhoto - - Gear Zone The Big Test -

What’s good: Im­age qual­ity, ul­tra-wide view­ing angle, fast f/2.8 aper­ture, op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion. What’s bad: Edge sharp­ness isn’t as good as from the Nikon 14-24mm or 16-35mm lenses at f/2.8 to f/4. Our ver­dict: It’s a fab­u­lous lens with ex­cel­lent han­dling, and is very rea­son­ably priced.

Make no mis­take, the Nikon 14-24mm is a phe­nom­e­nal lens with spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mance, but it is ex­pen­sive. Un­less ul­tra-wide shoot­ing is your thing, the Tam­ron 15-30mm is a bet­ter buy. It matches the Nikon for its con­stant f/2.8 aper­ture yet adds op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion, is beau­ti­fully built with a weather-re­sis­tant con­struc­tion, and de­liv­ers fab­u­lous im­age qual­ity. It marginally loses out to the Nikon for max­i­mum view­ing angle and edge sharp­ness at very wide aper­tures, but is much less ex­pen­sive.

If you don’t need quite such a gen­er­ous max­i­mum view­ing angle, or such a wide aper­ture, the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR is another very good buy, while the Sigma 12-24mm is un­beat­able if you want to take view­ing an­gles to the ex­treme.

In the DX camp, the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 is the best choice for per­for­mance and it’s a steal at the price. For an even wider view­ing angle on a DX body, the Sigma 8-16mm is the di­rect equiv­a­lent of the 12-24mm FX lens on test.

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