Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD £850, $1200
A relatively new, high-quality FX contender
Launched last year, Tamron’s ultra-wide FX-format zoom is much more upmarket than its 10-24mm DX lens. It boasts ring-type ultrasonic autofocus, optical stabilisation and a fast f/2.8 aperture that is available throughout the zoom range. The maximum viewing angle is almost as wide as from the Nikon 14-24mm, but narrower than from the Sigma 12-24mm. Like these two competitors, the Tamron has a built-in lens hood.
High-end glass includes a large XGM (eXpanded Glass Moulded Aspherical) element in the front group, with several more aspherical and LD (Low Dispersion) elements further back. The weather-resistant construction includes a fluorine coating on the front element.
The Vibration Compensation stabiliser is worth about two f-stops in handheld shooting (almost as capable as the VR system in the Nikon 16-35mm). You need to stop down to f/5.6 for good sharpness around the edges but overall image quality is excellent, making this outstanding value at the price.