DX: Nikon AF-S DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR £890/$1070 FX: Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR £2000/$2400
For build quality, handling and outright performance, Nikon leads the way in both DX and FX camps, with the 16-80mm VR and 24-70mm VR lenses respectively. There’s a clearer margin in the DX-format category, where the Nikon lens has a much more ‘pro-grade’ feel, construction and handling than the Sigma and Tamron lenses. However, the Nikon is also more than twice the price of those lenses, and it’s the Sigma 17-70mm that offers the best value for money.
Similarly, the Nikon 24-70mm VR is more expensive than the other FX lenses on test and, at less than a third of the price (in the UK), the Tamron 24-70mm VC lens is unbeatable value. If you’d rather go for a bigger zoom range, the Sigma 24-105mm OS edges ahead of the Nikon 24-120mm VR for performance and value.