Welcome to the ultimate showdown between two popular wide-angle lenses from Nikon that have captivated the hearts of photographers across the globe: the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED and the Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm F4.5-5.6G VR.
As photographers, we often find ourselves at a crossroads when deciding on the perfect lens to complement our camera bodies and elevate our creative expressions.
Whether you’re an intrepid traveler capturing the grandeur of foreign landscapes, a seasoned professional documenting the magic of events, or an aspiring content creator immortalizing moments in time, the right wide-angle lens can make all the difference.
Both of these lenses have garnered a dedicated following due to their ability to render stunning images, provide versatile focal lengths, and offer unique features suited to various shooting scenarios. However, each lens also has its distinctive strengths and weaknesses, catering to different user priorities and photographic styles.
In this article, we will embark on an enlightening journey, exploring the nuances and subtleties that set these two lenses apart, helping you make an informed decision that resonates with your creative vision and passion for photography.
So grab your camera, fasten your seatbelt, and let’s dive into the exciting world of wide-angle lenses with these two Nikon marsterpieces!
|Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED||Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm F4.5-5.6G VR|
|Focal Range (mm)||10-24||10-20|
|Max Format||APS-C / DX||APS-C / DX|
|Zoom Ratio (X)||2.4||2|
When comparing the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED and the Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm F4.5-5.6G VR, we can see some significant differences. Both lenses have variable apertures, which makes them more affordable and lighter than their fixed aperture counterparts.
The Nikon 10-24mm lens has a wider maximum aperture (F3.5-4.5), which allows more light to enter the camera, making it better for low light situations. This wider aperture can also result in a shallower depth of field, allowing you to isolate your subject from the background more effectively. Furthermore, the 10-24mm lens has a longer focal range (10-24mm) and a higher zoom ratio (2.4x), giving you more flexibility in your compositions.
On the other hand, the Nikon 10-20mm lens has a narrower maximum aperture (F4.5-5.6), which makes it less suitable for low light situations and creates a deeper depth of field. However, this lens is still versatile with its 10-20mm focal range and 2x zoom ratio.
Lens Mount and Barrel
Comparing the Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 in terms of their lens mounts and barrels, we can observe differences in their materials and designs.
The Nikon 10-24mm features a robust and reliable lens mount made of dull-chromed brass with a rubber seal for added protection against dust and moisture. It also has a bayonet mount mark and a case mark for quick installation of the included plastic HB-23 hood. The lens barrel is made of durable polycarbonate material with a matte black texture finish, reflecting a premium, professional feel.
On the other hand, the Nikon 10-20mm has a plastic lens mount, which is lighter and more budget-friendly compared to metal mounts. There is no rubber gasket around the mount; however, the lens is well-built and comes with a five-year warranty. The lens barrel is also made of polycarbonate plastic, contributing to its lightweight and portable nature. The design is ergonomic, with a wide zoom ring and a thin manual focus ring, making it easy to operate.
In conclusion, the Nikon 10-24mm’s lens mount and barrel are superior in terms of durability, protection, and a professional feel. However, the Nikon DX 10-20 offers a more lightweight and budget-friendly option, making it an attractive choice for those prioritizing portability and affordability.
Comparing the weather sealing of the Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6, we can see notable differences in their protection against environmental elements.
The Nikon 10-24mm offers a degree of weather sealing with a rubber seal around the lens mount, providing some protection against dust and moisture. However, there are no internal seals at the rings or switches, which could leave the lens vulnerable in extreme conditions.
On the contrary, the Nikon 10-20mm lacks weather sealing entirely. There is no gasket at the lens mount or internal seals at the rings, switches, and front of the barrel. This absence of weather sealing may be a concern for photographers shooting in humid, wet, or dusty environments, as the lens would require additional protection to avoid damage.
In conclusion, the 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5’s weather sealing is superior to that of the 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6., offering better protection against dust and moisture. However, neither lens is fully weather-sealed, so photographers who often shoot in challenging conditions should consider this factor when making their decision. If weather sealing is a priority, it might be worth exploring other options or investing in protective accessories to safeguard your lenses in various weather conditions.
When comparing the rings of the Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6, we can discern differences in their design, ergonomics, and overall functionality.
The Nikon 10-24mm features a wide, ridged, and rubberized zoom ring that rotates smoothly without zoom creep, providing comfortable and precise control during use. The focus ring is narrower, and while it has no hard stops, its ergonomic design allows for easy manipulation. The lens also includes a windowed distance scale, though it lacks a depth-of-field scale or marks for infrared spectrum shooting.
On the other hand, the Nikon 10-20mm lens is equipped with a large zoom ring, marked at various focal lengths and covered with a textured rubber grip for easy operation. However, its manual focus ring is narrow and situated near the front element, which might make it slightly challenging to turn. The lens lacks a windowed distance scale, depth-of-field indicator, and zoom lock switch.
In conclusion, the rings of the 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 are superior to those of the 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6. The 10-24mm lens offers better ergonomics, smoother rotation, and a more precise control experience, thanks to its wide, rubberized zoom ring and windowed distance scale. Though both lenses have their merits, photographers seeking a more refined and user-friendly ring design should opt for the Nikon 10-24mm lens.
When examining the switches and buttons of the Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 lenses, we notice differences in their design and functionality.
The Nikon 10-24mm lens features a focus switch labeled ‘M/A – M’ that enables auto focus with constant manual focus priority, providing users with a seamless transition between focusing modes. However, this lens lacks any other switches or buttons on the barrel.
In contrast, the Nikon 10-20mm lens has no switches on its barrel, affecting compatibility with some Nikon cameras. Focus mode changes must be made using the camera’s switch, and there is no physical VR (Vibration Reduction) switch, requiring users to disable VR via their camera’s menus. Although this lens lacks an AF/MF switch, it offers manual override and fully manual focusing through an electronically coupled focus ring.
In summary, the 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 has a superior switch design compared to the 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6. The presence of the ‘M/A – M’ focus switch on the 10-24mm lens allows for greater convenience and control when transitioning between focusing modes. While both lenses have their strengths, photographers who value more accessible and user-friendly switch designs will find the Nikon 10-24mm lens more appealing.
Delving into the filter thread specifications of the Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 lenses, we find notable differences in their design and materials.
The Nikon 10-24mm lens boasts a 77mm filter thread made of plastic. While this may not be the most durable option, it still offers convenience due to its internal focusing system. This means the front element and filter thread do not rotate during focusing, making it easy to use with polarizers and graduated neutral density filters. However, thin filters may be necessary to avoid vignetting because of the lens’s wide angle.
On the other hand, the Nikon 10-20mm lens is equipped with a 72mm metal filter thread, encircling the front element. This sturdier design is compatible with conventional filters and is easy to use. Additionally, the filter thread doesn’t rotate during autofocus, which is standard for most lenses today, making it convenient for polarizing or graduated filters.
This time the 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 offers a superior filter thread compared to the 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5. The metal construction of the 10-20mm lens provides greater durability and reliability, while still maintaining ease of use and compatibility with various filters.
Design and Ease of Use
|Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED||Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm F4.5-5.6G VR|
|Diameter x Length (mm)||⌀82.5×87mm||⌀77×73mm|
|Filter Thread (mm)||77||72|
|Zoom Method||Rotary (internal)||Rotary (extending)|
|Zoom Lock||No Zoom||No|
Focusing and Optical Stabilization
|Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED||Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm F4.5-5.6G VR|
|AF Motor||Ultrasonic||Stepper motor|
|Min Focus Distance||0.24m||0.22m|
The Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 both exhibit impressive focusing performance, with some distinctive differences.
The Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens boasts a fast and virtually silent autofocus system, thanks to its SWM motor. Its close-focus point of 24cm is great for incorporating foreground elements in landscape and architectural shots. The manual focus action is smooth and provides optimal resistance for fine adjustments. The internally focusing design ensures a constant lens length and non-rotating front element, making it suitable for polarizers and graduated neutral density filters.
On the other hand, the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens features a quick and quiet autofocus performance due to its AF-P stepper motor, which helps eliminate handheld video jitters. Its manual focus override ring allows for sudden manual focus adjustments. The lens performs well in low-light situations, and its manual focus action is precise and smooth. However, it does produce a slight hum when focusing, which may be noticeable in quiet environments.
In conclusion, both lenses provide excellent focusing performance. However, the 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 edges out the 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 due to its virtually silent autofocus, generous close-focus point, and internally focusing design.
The Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon AF-S DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 lenses differ significantly in terms of optical stabilization.
The Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens does not offer optical stabilization. This is not uncommon for wide-angle lenses, as they are generally less prone to camera shake due to their shorter focal lengths. However, it may be less advantageous when capturing video.
On the other hand, the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens features built-in optical stabilization, which Nikon claims can compensate for camera shake up to 3.5 stops. This allows you to shoot handheld in lower light conditions and at slower shutter speeds, such as around 1/10 or even 1/6 of a second, with varying degrees of success. The lens’s VR system operates silently, ensuring quiet operation.
In conclusion, the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens boasts superior optical stabilization compared to the Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens.
|Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm F4.5-5.6G VR||Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED|
|Special Elements||3 aspherical + Super Integrated Coating||2x ED glass elements and 3x aspherical lens elements|
The Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon AF-S DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 both exhibit chromatic aberration, but they differ in their severity and the circumstances under which they occur.
In the Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens, chromatic aberration is most noticeable at the widest focal length (10mm) and when used wide open at the longest focal length (24mm). The aspherical element helps control lens flare and coma, which reduce contrast. Aperture choice doesn’t significantly influence the presence of chromatic aberration, except at 24mm.
On the other hand, the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens suffers from noticeable chromatic aberration, particularly near the edges of the frame when shooting wide open at 10mm. Spherochromatism can cause colored fringes on out-of-focus highlights in some situations, but it is not a major problem.
In both cases, recent Nikon camera bodies’ JPEG engines do a good job of removing most chromatic aberration, and any remaining aberration can be corrected in post-processing.
In conclusion, neither lens is perfect in terms of chromatic aberration, but the Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens performs slightly better due to the aspherical element and more consistent aberration control across different apertures.
The Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and Nikon AF-S DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 both offer good sharpness, but their performances vary across different focal lengths and apertures.
The Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens exhibits excellent sharpness in the center of the frame, with some softness at the edges at maximum aperture. However, stopping down to around f/5.6 improves edge sharpness considerably. At 15mm and 24mm, the center sharpness is maintained, but the edge quality drops off noticeably, improving when stopped down to between f/5.6 and f/8. This lens performs better at the telephoto range, with peak performance achieved at f/5.6.
In contrast, the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens has good to very good sharpness, with even performance at 10mm from wide open up to f/14, peaking at around f/8-f/11 at other focal lengths such as 12, 14, 16, and 18mm. The edge and corner sharpness may be less impressive and a little poor at 20mm, but the center sharpness is very good throughout most of the zoom range even when shooting wide open. The sharpness is affected by diffraction at f/11 and smaller apertures.
In conclusion, both lenses have their strengths and weaknesses in terms of sharpness. The Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens performs better at the telephoto range and has excellent center sharpness, while the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens has a more consistent performance across different focal lengths. Overall, the Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens edges out the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens in terms of sharpness, especially when considering edge-to-edge performance at narrower apertures.
The Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon AF-S DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 lenses both produce bokeh, although achieving substantial bokeh with these ultrawide-to-wide zoom lenses can be a rare occurrence due to their slower apertures.
The Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens features a 7-segment diaphragm with rounded blades, which contributes to pleasing bokeh. The out-of-focus areas in photographs taken with this lens are often described as smooth and creamy. However, to achieve notable bokeh, one must make a conscious effort to zoom in, focus close, and use a wide aperture.
On the other hand, the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens produces a restrained and subjectively good bokeh, though it can appear nervous at times due to its slow aperture. Achieving substantial bokeh with this lens is rare, but it is still possible to capture decent bokeh with careful subject selection, camera settings, and composition.
Considering that bokeh quality is not a primary concern for wide-angle lenses, both the lenses provide satisfactory bokeh for their intended purposes.
When it comes to flare and ghosting, both the Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon AF-S DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 display admirable performance for wide-angle lenses. The Nikon 10-20mm lens excels in handling flare and ghosting, exhibiting minimal reduction in contrast or image artifacts. It even surpasses some fixed prime lenses, such as the FX Nikkor 20mm AF-S f/1.8, when the sun is in the frame. Additionally, side light striking the front glass rarely poses an issue.
The Nikon 10-24mm lens, on the other hand, is slightly more susceptible to flare when directed towards intense light sources at night or during sunrise/sunset. However, this lens manages to maintain good image quality and sharpness despite minor flare or ghosting occurrences when pointed directly at a strong light source. Overall, it still offers decent resistance to flare and ghosting for a wide-angle zoom lens.
In conclusion, the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 boasts superior flare and ghosting performance compared to the Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5, making it the better choice if minimizing these optical issues is a priority for your photography needs.
The Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon AF-S DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 both exhibit some degree of vignetting, but with distinct characteristics at different focal lengths.
The Nikon 10-24mm lens demonstrates noticeable corner shading or vignetting, especially when used wide open at wider focal lengths. At 10mm, the corners can be up to two-thirds to three-quarters of a stop darker than the center, but this reduces to around a third of a stop by f/11. While the amount of vignetting is relatively low for a wide-angle zoom lens, it may still be visible in some situations. Nevertheless, it can be easily corrected using lens-profile correction in software such as Lightroom or Photoshop.
On the other hand, The Nikon 10-20mm lens experiences significant vignetting at 10mm, particularly when shooting wide open. However, the vignetting improves at 15mm and 20mm. Despite its prominence at 10mm, vignetting can be corrected in post-processing software and tends to be less noticeable in real-life circumstances than it may appear in sample images.
In conclusion, both lenses exhibit some vignetting, but the10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED displays a more consistent and easily correctable vignetting performance throughout its focal range. Consequently, the Nikon 10-24mm lens is the superior choice in terms of vignetting control.
The Nikon DX 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 and the Nikon AF-S DX 10-20 f/4.5-5.6 both exhibit some degree of distortion, which is typical for wide-angle lenses.
The Nikon 10-24mm lens has noticeable barrel distortion at 10mm. However, this distortion is significantly reduced in JPG files when using in-camera correction, such as with the Nikon D7100. The distortion pattern is consistent across the frame, making it easy to correct in post-processing. At 24mm, pincushion distortion is present but relatively low and rarely an issue. Distortion is practically nonexistent at smaller apertures like f/8. Although the lens exhibits a fair amount of distortion, it usually remains invisible in most shots, except when straight lines are placed along the edges.
The Nikon 10-20mm lens, on the other hand, displays barrel distortion, which is more pronounced at its shortest focal length of 10mm and diminishes as you zoom in. At 10mm, the distortion is noticeable, measuring at 3.55%, but remains a commendable result for a consumer lens in this category. In real-world shooting, the distortion is not severe and can be corrected in-camera for JPGs or through software like Lightroom Classic for RAW images. Although wide-angle lenses often exhibit some distortion, correction may be needed for those seeking exceptional results straight out of the camera.
In conclusion, both lenses display some distortion, but the 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 offers better in-camera correction and more consistent distortion patterns across the frame, making it the superior choice for managing distortion.
I would recommend the Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens for those who prioritize image quality, versatility, and professional features, such as landscape, event, and low-light photographers. This lens boasts a wider maximum aperture, better sharpness, and superior focusing performance, making it ideal for capturing detailed images in various lighting conditions. Its longer focal range, better ergonomics, and build quality also cater to professionals who require reliable gear for their work.
On the other hand, the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens is an excellent choice for photographers who value affordability, portability, and resistance to optical issues, such as travel photographers, amateur photographers, and content creators. Its lightweight and compact design make it perfect for those who need to carry their gear around for extended periods, while its superior optical stabilization, flare, and ghosting performance make it suitable for outdoor shooting.
Ultimately, the right lens for you will depend on your specific needs and photographic interests. The Nikon 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 lens is better suited for those seeking higher image quality and professional features, while the Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 lens offers an attractive and budget-friendly option for those prioritizing portability and affordability. By considering your individual requirements, you can make an informed decision on which lens will best serve your creative vision.