Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 vs. Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8: An In-Depth Comparison of Ultra-Wide-Angle Powerhouses

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Welcome to the ultimate showdown between two of the most sought-after ultra-wide-angle zoom lenses: the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8.

In the world of photography, the right lens can make all the difference, and that’s especially true when it comes to capturing stunning landscapes, breathtaking architecture, or intricate interiors. With their impressive focal ranges and fast apertures, both of these lenses have built a loyal following among photographers. But how do they stack up against each other in terms of performance, build quality, and overall user experience?

In this in-depth comparison, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of each lens, revealing their strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision on which ultra-wide-angle marvel is best suited for your creative pursuits.

So, let’s gear up and explore these two optical giants in a battle that will determine the ultimate champion of the ultra-wide-angle realm!


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G EDTamron SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon F (FX)
Max ApertureF2.8F2.8
Aperture TypeFixedFixed
Focal Range (mm)14-2415-30
Mount TypeNikon F (FX)Nikon F (FX)
Zoom Ratio (X)1.72

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 are both fixed-aperture, wide-angle zoom lenses designed for Nikon F (FX) mount cameras. They share a maximum aperture of f/2.8, providing good low-light performance and relatively shallow depth of field for a wide-angle lens. However, there are some key differences between these two lenses.

The Nikon lens offers a slightly wider focal range, starting at 14mm compared to the Tamron’s 15mm. This can be advantageous for capturing more of a scene, particularly in landscape or architectural photography. On the other hand, the Tamron lens has a longer focal range, extending up to 30mm, which provides more versatility and a higher 2.0x zoom ratio compared to the Nikon’s 1.7x.

Design and Ease of Use

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G EDTamron SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon F (FX)
Diameter x Length (mm)⌀98×131.5mm⌀98×145mm
Weight (gr)10001100
Weather SealingYesYes
Distance ScaleYesYes
DoF ScaleNoNo
Hood SuppliedYesYes

When comparing the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lenses, we can see some differences in their physical attributes.

The Nikon lens has a diameter of 98mm and a length of 131.5mm, making it slightly more compact than the Tamron lens, which has a diameter of 98mm and a length of 145mm. The Nikon lens also weighs less at 1000g, compared to the Tamron lens at 1100g.

Considering the importance of dimensions and weight in photography, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens offers better portability, balance, storage, and ease of lens swapping due to its smaller size and lighter weight. This can be especially beneficial in situations like travel, street, or outdoor photography, where carrying lighter gear and blending in with the environment are crucial.

Lens Mount and Barrel

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens mount is crafted from metal with a rubber gasket for protection against dust and water. This durable design ensures longevity, although it does not support gel filters inside the mount. The Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens mount also boasts a metal construction, along with a rubber gasket that offers moisture-resistant construction, effectively preventing moisture and rain infiltration.

As for the lens barrel, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 features a textured metal finish, while the zoom and focus rings are made of plastic with ridged rubber coatings for a secure grip. The physical length remains constant during zooming, with the inner lens tube moving slightly depending on the focal length.

On the other hand, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens barrel is a combination of metal and plastic, providing durability, temperature resistance, and a lightweight feel. When zooming, the front element and interior lens hood extend and retract within the built-in exterior lens hood. The beveled portion above the zoom ring offers a natural finger position and prevents accidental engagement of the zoom ring, showcasing the ergonomic improvements in the G2 design.

In conclusion, both lenses have their advantages when it comes to lens mount and barrel design. The Nikon lens offers a robust metal mount and barrel construction, with a more premium feel, while the Tamron lens delivers a balanced combination of metal and plastic materials, making it lightweight and more portable. Furthermore, the Tamron lens features improved ergonomics in its G2 design.

Weather Sealing

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens boasts weather sealing with rubber seals that effectively repel dust, dirt, moisture, and other grime. Its metal mount is secure and features a rubber gasket to protect against dust and water infiltration. Furthermore, internal seals are located at the rings, switches, and front of the barrel.

On the other hand, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens offers weather sealing with leak-resistant seals throughout the lens barrel, as well as gaskets at the lens mount area and other critical locations to prevent moisture and rain infiltration.

Like the Nikon lens, the Tamron also has internal seals at the rings, switches, and front of the barrel. Additionally, a fluorine coating on the front element helps avoid dirt, dust, and water drop adherence, making cleaning a breeze.

In conclusion, both lenses provide impressive weather sealing, but the Tamron lens has a slight edge with its fluorine coating and leak-resistant seals throughout the lens barrel. This added protection ensures optimal performance in various weather conditions and environments, giving you peace of mind when capturing the perfect shot.


The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens features 2 external rings: a 25mm wide zoom ring situated close to the camera body, and a 15mm wide focus ring positioned just behind the lens hood. Both rings boast ridged rubber coatings for a secure grip, with the zoom ring having wider ridges and two notches cut into each ridge for enhanced grip security. The zoom ring has a short rotational travel, taking about a quarter turn to move through the entire focal range, while the focus ring has a throw of around 50 degrees, providing smooth movement.

In contrast, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens comes with a zoom ring and a focus ring, both covered with a rubberized texture for easy gripping and tactile feedback. The zoom ring is located further out, while the focus ring is situated between the zoom ring and the camera body. The zoom ring rotates smoothly with proper resistance, and the focus ring has a 113-degree rotation, ideal for precision work. The focus ring is narrower than the zoom ring but offers a nice amount of dampening and resistance for precise focusing.

In conclusion, both lenses have well-designed rings, but the Tamron lens appears to have a slight edge in terms of precision and control. Its 113-degree focus ring rotation allows for more precise adjustments, particularly at the minimum focus distance.


The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens features a slider switch for engaging autofocus with manual override (M/A) and manual focusing (M). However, it does not have built-in image stabilization, so there is no IS switch. Additionally, this lens lacks a focus limiter or any other switches or buttons.

On the other hand, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens sports 2 switches on the left side: one for selecting autofocus (AF) or manual focus (MF), and the other for turning vibration compensation (VC) on or off. The AF/MF switch is positioned higher on the lens than on Nikon or Canon lenses, and the VC on/off switch is easily reachable. The G2 lens switches are raised, more definite, and can be used even with light gloves. The lens does not offer customization of the autofocus distance range, but the TAP-in Console accessory can be used to update the lens’s firmware and customize focus position and VC control. The switches and buttons on this lens exhibit a sleek and functional design.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens offers a superior switches/buttons experience compared to the Nikon. The Tamron lens provides more options, such as VC on/off switches, and their design is more user-friendly and functional.

Filter Thread

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens lacks a traditional filter thread, which means that physical filters cannot be directly attached. However, third-party filter options, such as the LEE Filters SW150 Mark II Lens Adapter or the Kase Rear Lens ND Filter Kit, are available to accommodate this lens. While these solutions can increase the overall size and cost of using the lens, they do offer photographers a range of filter options.

In contrast, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens also does not have a standard filter thread for using traditional screw-on filters. However, it comes with a rear drop-in filter holder for gel filters, providing a more elegant solution. The rear element moves in and out when zooming, but it doesn’t rotate, making filter use with the rear holder straightforward. The front element also moves in and out with a secondary hood but does not rotate on focus. Although the inability to use front filters is a typical limitation of fast ultra-wide-angle zoom lenses, there are workarounds for those willing to modify lenses or filter holders.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens offers a superior filter thread solution compared to the Nikon. The Tamron lens includes a rear drop-in filter holder, allowing for a more streamlined and elegant approach to using filters. While both lenses have limitations when it comes to filter use, the Tamron lens provides a more user-friendly and integrated solution.

Lens Hood

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens features a built-in, non-collapsible, petal-shaped lens hood made of plastic. Although it doesn’t offer full protection to the front element of the lens at the wide end, it does serve as a guard against accidental damage. The hood cannot be rotated or detached.

On the other hand, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens has a built-in, fixed lens hood made of engineered plastic, which is more durable than the flocked design used in the previous version. This hood provides double-walled protection to the front element with both an inner fixed lens hood and an outer one. The front element and the two lens hoods move together when the zoom is adjusted, but never extend past the outer dimensions of the lens. The hood is not threaded and does not accept standard filters, which can be a drawback for landscape photographers. The lens cap is a rigid plastic friction-fit slip-on cap that fits over the fixed lens hood and is bulkier than a typical lens cap. A thin, soft drawstring pouch is included for protecting the lens from scratches and dust, but Lowepro Lens Cases are recommended for better protection during transport and storage.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens hood offers superior protection compared to the Nikon. The Tamron lens features a double-walled design that provides enhanced protection for the front element. While the built-in design of both lens hoods has some limitations, such as not accepting standard threaded filters or conventional lens caps, the Tamron lens hood’s durability and design make it a better choice for protecting your lens.

Focusing and Optical Stabilization

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G EDTamron SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon F (FX)
AF MotorSilent Wave MotorRing-type ultrasonic
Rotating Front ElementDoes not rotate on focusingDoes not rotate on focusing
Min Focus Distance0.28m0.28m
Max Magnification (X)0.150.2
Full-Time Manual FocusYesYes
Focus MethodInternalInternal

Focusing Performance

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens boasts fast and accurate autofocus performance, featuring a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus that operates almost silently and has a speedy initial autofocus acquisition. However, when recording video, focus movements produce an audible clack.

The lens offers a manual focus override feature for instant switching between autofocus and manual focus. Though the manual focus action is generally smooth, some users find the relatively short rotational travel of the focus ring to be slightly fiddly for applications like astrophotography. With its internally focusing design, the lens maintains a constant length regardless of focus and zoom settings. In low-light situations, the lens performs well and focuses accurately for sharp images even at slow shutter speeds.

In contrast, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens delivers very fast and virtually silent autofocus performance, thanks to its Tamron USD motor. It focuses with remarkable accuracy and consistency, as shown in FoCal measurements. The autofocus acquisition speed is impressive, and there is manual focus override with smooth focus action.

Additionally, the lens boasts an internally focusing design, with the front element remaining stationary during focusing and not rotating. It is barely audible from the outside, although focus movements during recording start and stop with a clack. The lens exhibits minor focus breathing on the wide end, a common issue for videographers and those critically framing a scene.

In conclusion, both lenses provide excellent focusing performance, but the Tamron lens takes the lead with its virtually silent and lightning-fast autofocus, thanks to the Tamron USD motor. The lens also maintains impressive consistency and accuracy across various focal lengths. While both lenses offer similar features like manual focus override and internally focusing designs, the Tamron’s overall performance makes it the superior choice when it comes to focusing.

Optical Stabilization

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens lacks built-in optical stabilization. While optical stabilization is not as crucial for wide-angle lenses, it can be advantageous in specific situations, such as handheld low-light shooting or video recording.

On the other hand, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens features image stabilization, known as Vibration Compensation (VC) in Tamron terminology. This effective system is particularly useful for handheld shooting in low-light situations requiring slower shutter speeds. Boasting up to 4.5 stops of assistance, Tamron’s VC has earned the highest rating for wide-angle zoom stabilizers from the Camera & Imaging Products Association of Japan.

The VC system operates quietly, is barely audible, and offers one mode of stabilization. The lens stabilizes everything well without optical cost, but it’s worth noting that there is a limit to how low of a shutter speed one can personally handhold. At a 400mm and 1/13th second shutter speed, you can consistently achieve good results, equivalent to 5 stops of stability.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens takes the lead with its superior optical stabilization, offering a valuable advantage in handheld shooting, particularly in low-light situations. The Nikon lens, on the other hand, lacks this feature, which might make it less versatile for certain shooting scenarios. If optical stabilization is a priority for you, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens is the clear winner.

Image Quality

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G EDTamron SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon F (FX)
Special Elements2 ED glass elements, 3 aspherical lenses and 1 Nano Crystal Coat2 eXpanded glass molded aspherical + 1 molded glass aspherical + 3 aspherical elements, Anti-reflection eXpand + BBAR + fluorine coatings
Diaphragm Blades99
Circular ApertureYesYes


The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens displays impressive performance regarding chromatic aberration, with only negligible to low amounts present throughout most of the aperture range. However, at 24mm and larger apertures, chromatic aberration becomes more noticeable. Thankfully, this can be rectified with post-processing software or the built-in chromatic aberration correction found in some camera models.

In contrast, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens exhibits some noticeable lateral chromatic aberration, especially in challenging scenarios, with purple fringing and magenta and green chromatic aberration. Fortunately, this can be easily corrected in raw images using software like Lightroom or ACR’s one-click Remove Chromatic Aberrations feature.

As for coma, the Tamron lens handles it well, delivering crisp star points with minimal deformation of shapes, even near the edge of the frame. However, spherical aberration produces a hazier image quality at the widest apertures, but stopping down one to two stops generally eliminates this aberration.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens performs slightly better in terms of aberration, especially chromatic aberration, throughout most of the aperture range. Although the Tamron lens demonstrates noticeable lateral chromatic aberration, it can be easily corrected in post-processing.


The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens boasts exceptional sharpness performance, particularly at the short end of the zoom range. At 14mm, it delivers excellent center and mid-frame performance, with a sweet spot at f/5.6. Corner performance improves when stopped down, and the corners benefit from closing the aperture to f/8 at 24mm.

However, sharpness at the short end exhibits some astigmatism and a noticeable dip towards the corners. Despite this, the lens demonstrates outstanding sharpness overall and is optimized to be sharpest at 14mm. Some focus shift and corner shading occur, especially at wide-open aperture.

On the other hand, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens provides very good sharpness performance overall, achieving outstanding sharpness at f/8 across the frame. Center sharpness is excellent at maximum aperture, but sharpness towards the edges of the frame only reaches fair levels.

Stopping down improves performance across the frame, with the sharpest aperture varying with focal length: f/8 is ideal for sharpness at wider angles, and f/4 for the long end. Corner sharpness may suffer, particularly at f/2.8 when shooting at 15mm, but stopping down enhances periphery performance, with sharpness becoming good into the full-frame corners at f/8.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens slightly outperforms the Tamron lens in terms of sharpness, especially at the short end of the zoom range. However, the Tamron lens still offers very good sharpness performance and improves when stopping down. If sharpness is a top priority, the Nikon lens is the superior choice, but the Tamron lens remains a strong contender with its solid overall performance.

Bokeh Quality

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens isn’t renowned for producing spectacularly attractive bokeh, which is expected for an ultra-wide lens with aspherical elements. Nonetheless, taking pictures of subjects at close range with the longest focal length of 24mm can produce satisfactory outcomes. However, the bokeh might appear slightly agitated due to some outlining.

In contrast, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens is capable of producing nice blur quality in out-of-focus portions of an image, particularly with wide apertures and longer focal lengths.

Typically, bokeh quality is not a primary consideration for wide-angle lenses. Nonetheless, the Tamron lens holds a minor advantage over the Nikon lens in this aspect. The Tamron lens’s capacity to create a pleasing bokeh can contribute a creative flair and aid in distinguishing subjects from the background in specific scenarios, like environmental portraits or close-up photography.


The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens tends to exhibit flare and ghosting when shooting against the sun, especially towards the border opposite the light source. While flare and ghosting are common issues with most lenses, this lens may produce a higher amount under such conditions. Thankfully, the Nano Crystal Coat helps reduce these effects, and post-processing software like Lightroom can further mitigate any vignetting issues.

In contrast, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens demonstrates impressive flare and ghosting control, thanks to advanced coating technologies like eBAND, BBAR, and the newly developed AX coating in the G2 version. The lens performs exceptionally well even when shooting against bright light sources, with minimal ghosting and flare. However, some flare effects may still be visible at narrower apertures, and moderately strong flare effects might appear at f/16. Flare and ghosting appearance can also vary depending on factors like aperture and the angle of light hitting the lens.

In terms of flare and ghosting control, the Tamron lens outperforms the Nikon lens.


The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens displays some vignetting, particularly at wider focal lengths and larger apertures. However, this effect can be easily corrected in post-processing software like Lightroom. At 14mm and f/2.8, corner shading can be up to 2 stops darker, but with other focal lengths and aperture combinations, it doesn’t exceed a quarter-stop. The amount of vignetting also depends on shooting distance and angle relative to the light source. While some photographers may appreciate a touch of vignetting, it’s not a major concern with this lens.

The Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens exhibits vignetting at wider apertures, especially between f/2.8 and f/4, but can be corrected in post-processing or by stopping down to f/5.6 and beyond. Canon cameras don’t correct vignetting for third-party lenses, but Nikon cameras’ Vignette Control feature may help. The effect decreases as you zoom towards 30mm, with vignetting reduced considerably beyond 20mm. Overall, the vignetting is manageable and doesn’t detract from the lens’s performance.

Between the two lenses, the Tamron lens exhibits less vignetting, especially as you zoom in. Thus, if controlling vignetting is a priority, the Tamron lens would be the superior choice.


The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens exhibits a minimal amount of distortion for an ultra-wide-angle lens. Barrel distortion is present at the widest focal length but is generally well-controlled. As you zoom towards 24mm, the distortion becomes negligible, making this lens a solid choice for architecture and landscape photography where distortion can be a concern.

On the other hand, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens also showcases a well-controlled distortion profile. At the widest focal length of 15mm, some barrel distortion is visible but can be easily corrected in post-processing. As the lens is zoomed in, distortion gradually decreases and becomes less noticeable.

Both lenses perform admirably in terms of distortion control, which is vital for ultra-wide-angle lenses used in architecture and landscape photography. However, the Nikon lens has a slight edge in distortion control, particularly at the longer end of its focal range.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, both the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lenses have their unique advantages and trade-offs. The Nikon lens provides a slightly wider field of view, superior sharpness, better distortion control, and a more premium build quality. On the other hand, the Tamron lens offers a longer focal range, better bokeh quality, superior optical stabilization, improved ergonomics, more user-friendly switches and buttons, a better filter solution, and enhanced weather sealing.

The Tamron lens also demonstrates a better flare and ghosting control and less vignetting compared to the Nikon lens. Furthermore, the Tamron lens has an advantage in terms of focusing performance and is more affordable, with a price significantly lower than the Nikon lens.

In the end, the choice between these two lenses depends on your specific photography needs and priorities. If you’re looking for a lens with a wider field of view, better sharpness, and a more robust build, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens is the ideal choice.

However, if you value a more versatile focal range, better bokeh quality, optical stabilization, improved user experience, and a more budget-friendly option, the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens is the clear winner.

Meet the Author

Wei Mao

Wei was a cruise photographer who worked at Disney Cruise Line. He is a lucky traveler who has been to more than 20 countries with his camera while working on an around-the-world cruise. Photography has changed his view of the world forever. Now he wants more people to benefit from photography through his blog.

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