Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 vs. Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5: Discover the Winner in Our Comprehensive Comparison

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Welcome, fellow photography enthusiasts, to an exciting deep dive into the world of wide-angle lenses! As a passionate photographer and lens aficionado, I understand the importance of choosing the perfect lens for capturing those breathtaking landscapes, intricate architectural masterpieces, and atmospheric urban scenes. That’s why today, we’ll be exploring an in-depth comparison of two popular wide-angle lenses – the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED and the Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Nikon F (DX).

These two lenses, renowned for their exceptional performance, versatility, and reliability, have captured the hearts of photographers worldwide. But how do they truly stack up against each other in terms of functionality, performance, and portability? Which one will help you transform your wide-angle photography game, elevating your landscape, architectural, interior, street, astrophotography, panoramic, and environmental portraiture shots to new heights?

Fear not, as we delve into the nitty-gritty of each lens’s unique features, strengths, and weaknesses, providing you with invaluable insights to help you make an informed decision. Join me on an exciting journey as we delve into the secrets of these two remarkable lenses and assist you in finding the ideal wide-angle companion for your photography escapades!


Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G EDTamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Nikon F (DX)
Max ApertureF3.5-4.5F3.5-4.5
Aperture TypeVariableVariable
Focal Range (mm)10-2410-24
Mount TypeNikon F (DX)Nikon F (DX)
Zoom Ratio (X)2.42.4

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED and the Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Nikon F (DX) both have variable apertures, with a maximum aperture of F3.5-4.5, and share the same focal range of 10-24mm. They both also have a 2.4x zoom ratio and are designed for Nikon F (DX) mounts.

A larger aperture can provide better low light performance, shallower depth of field, and improved image quality. However, wide-angle lenses like these can still deliver excellent results even with smaller apertures, depending on the lens design and build quality.

In terms of distortion, wide-angle lenses with larger apertures can sometimes exhibit more distortion or vignetting, especially at the widest focal lengths. This can be corrected in post-processing, but it’s essential to be aware of this potential trade-off.

Design and Ease of Use

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G EDTamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Nikon F (DX)
Diameter x Length (mm)⌀82.5×87mm⌀84×85mm
Weight (gr)460440
Filter Thread (mm)7777
Zoom MethodRotary (internal)Rotary (extending)
Distance ScaleYesYes
DoF ScaleYesNo
Hood SuppliedYesYes

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 has a diameter of 82.5mm and a length of 87mm, while the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 has a slightly larger diameter of 84mm but a shorter length of 85mm. In terms of weight, the Nikon lens is slightly heavier at 460 grams, whereas the Tamron lens weighs 440 grams.

Dimensions and weight play a crucial role in photography, as they can affect portability, balance, discreetness, storage, and lens swapping. A more compact and lightweight lens is easier to carry and handle, making it more comfortable for extended shooting sessions.

The zoom method for the Nikon lens is an internal rotary zoom, which means that the lens does not change its physical size when zooming in or out. This can provide better weather sealing, consistent balance, and a more compact form factor, but it might be more complex and heavier. On the other hand, the Tamron lens uses an extending rotary zoom, which means that the lens physically extends when zooming. This design is usually simpler and lighter but may be more cumbersome to handle, harder to weather-seal, and affect the balance of the camera.

In conclusion, if you value a more compact design, consistent balance, and better weather sealing, the Nikon lens might be the superior choice. However, if you prioritize a lighter and simpler lens, the Tamron lens could be a better fit for your photography needs.

Lens Mount and Barrel

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 features a dull-chromed brass lens mount, which is surrounded by a rubber seal for protection against dust and moisture. This lens also has a bayonet mount mark and a case mark for quick installation of the included plastic HB-23 hood. The lens barrel is crafted from durable polycarbonate material with a matte black texture finish, giving it a sleek appearance.

On the other hand, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 has a metal lens mount with a weather-sealing gasket for additional protection against dust and moisture. Its lens barrel is made of tough polycarbonate material, and it changes its physical size slightly when zooming in and out, with full retraction happening in the mid focal length range.

Both lenses offer good build quality in terms of lens mount and barrel materials. The Nikon lens features a brass mount, which is generally more durable and resistant to wear and tear than a plastic mount. The rubber seal around the mount adds an extra layer of protection. The Tamron lens, with its metal mount and weather-sealing gasket, also offers a high level of protection against the elements.

When it comes to lens barrel materials, both lenses use polycarbonate, which strikes a balance between weight, durability, and cost. However, the Tamron lens extends and retracts while zooming, which may be a consideration depending on your shooting preferences.

Weather Sealing

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 features a rubber seal around the lens mount, providing a degree of protection against dust and moisture. However, there are no internal seals at the rings or switches, which means it may not be as resistant to environmental elements as a fully weather-sealed lens.

In contrast, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 boasts comprehensive weather sealing, with a gasket at the lens mount and internal seals at the rings, switches, and front of the barrel. Additionally, the front element has a fluorine coating that resists dust and smudges, making it more resilient in various conditions.

Weather sealing is crucial for photographers who often shoot outdoors or in challenging environments, as it offers better protection against dust, moisture, and light water splashes. Fully weather-sealed lenses, like the Tamron lens, typically have better durability and performance in adverse conditions compared to lenses with partial sealing, such as the Nikon lens.

In conclusion, when considering weather sealing, the Tamron lens is superior to the Nikon. Its comprehensive weather sealing and fluorine-coated front element make it a more reliable choice for photographers who need to capture images in various conditions and challenging environments.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 has 2 rings: a wide zoom ring and a narrow focus ring. The zoom ring, located towards the front, features ridged rubber for better grip and rotates smoothly without zoom creep. The focus ring is narrower, with no hard stops at either end of the focus range. Both rings have a tactile and ergonomic design.

The zoom ring requires about 60° of rotation to go through the entire focal length range, while the focus ring takes about 90° to run through the focusing range. A windowed distance scale is provided, but no depth-of-field scale or infrared marks are present. In manual focusing mode, the focus ring rotates 90 degrees without stopping at extreme positions, and there is no extension lock switch on the zoom ring.

The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 features 2 rings as well: a rubberized zoom ring and a narrow plastic manual focus ring. The zoom ring, located at the top, has a smooth rotation, while the focus ring has a less satisfying feel, akin to plastic rubbing against plastic.

Both rings have raised ribs and ridges for grip. The zoom range extends from 10mm to 24mm, with full retraction occurring in the mid focal length range. The lens has a windowed distance scale but lacks depth-of-field markings. Manual focusing distance is precise, and full manual override of the AF system is available. There is no extension lock switch on the zoom ring.

Considering the factors that contribute to the design of lens rings, the Nikon lens offers superior ergonomics, better tactile feedback, and a more satisfying user experience overall. The Tamron lens provides full manual override and a smooth zoom ring, but its focus ring may feel less premium due to its plastic construction.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens has superior rings compared to the Tamron lens. Its ergonomic design, better tactile feedback, and overall user experience make it the preferred choice for photographers who value precision and control in their lenses.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 features a single focus switch labeled ‘M/A – M’, which enables autofocus with constant manual focus priority. This switch offers simplicity and ease of use, but no additional controls or buttons are present on the lens.

On the other hand, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 is equipped with 2 switches located close to the camera body. One switch is the standard AF/MF toggle, which controls the autofocus and manual focus functions. The second switch controls the VC (Vibration Compensation) system, allowing users to turn it on or off as needed. These switches are designed with low profiles, raised edges, and an ergonomic shape that makes them easy to use without accidentally changing settings.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens offers superior switches/buttons compared to the Nikon lens. The additional VC switch and ergonomic design make it more versatile and user-friendly for photographers, providing greater control over lens performance and settings.

Filter Thread

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 features a 77mm filter thread made of plastic, which might not be the best choice for those seeking a more robust option. Nonetheless, the internal focusing system ensures that the front element and filter thread don’t rotate during focusing, simplifying the use of polarizers and graduated neutral density filters. To avoid vignetting due to the lens’s wide angle, thin filters may be necessary.

In contrast, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 also has a 77mm filter thread but is made of high-quality materials, ensuring greater durability. Similar to the Nikon lens, its front element and filter thread remain stationary during focusing and zooming, making it convenient for using directional filters.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens boasts a superior filter thread compared to the Nikon lens. The Tamron lens’s high-quality materials provide enhanced durability and reliability, making it a better option for photographers who require a robust filter thread for their lens.

Lens Hood

The lens hood of Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5, included in the package, is a petal-shaped HB-23 plastic bayonet hood with a smooth matte interior finish. This design is aesthetically pleasing and provides adequate protection for the front lens element.

On the other hand, the lens hood of Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5, also included in the package, is a plastic petal-style wide-angle hood. It offers a considerable amount of protection to the front lens element while shielding the lens from flare-inducing lights. The ribbed interior of the hood reduces reflected light from entering the lens, and it can be attached or removed even with the lens cap on.

The bayonet mount mark and case mark enable quick installation, and the hood moves with the front of the lens when adjusting the focal length. The outer lens threading, which is 77mm, remains stationary during zooming or focusing. Overall, the Tamron lens hood is well-designed and practical.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens hood outperforms the Nikon lens hood. The Tamron hood’s ribbed interior design effectively reduces light reflection, and the bayonet mount with alignment marks ensures quick and secure installation. The Tamron lens hood offers a practical and efficient solution for protecting the lens and enhancing image quality.

Focusing and Optical Stabilization

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G EDTamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Nikon F (DX)
AF MotorUltrasonicHigh/Low torque-modulated Drive
Rotating Front ElementDoes not rotate on focusingDoes not rotate on focusing
Min Focus Distance0.24m0.24m
Max Magnification (X)0.20.19
Full-Time Manual FocusYesYes
Focus MethodInternalInternal

Focusing Performance

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 boasts a fast and virtually silent autofocus performance, courtesy of its SWM motor. With its accurate focusing and generous 24cm close-focus point, it’s perfect for landscape and architectural photography. The manual focus action is smooth and provides just the right amount of resistance for fine adjustments. An internally focusing design ensures the lens length remains constant, and the front element doesn’t rotate during focusing, making it compatible with polarizers or graduated neutral density filters.

In contrast, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 has an autofocus performance that depends on the camera used but is generally quick and accurate. The autofocus motor emits a low whirring sound, and the lens features Tamron’s new High/Low Torque Modulated Drive Motor (HLD) for higher torque in still autofocus and smoother, quieter focus in video. Although not lightning-fast, the autofocus speed is sufficient for most users, and it can capture subjects accurately. The lens supports full-time manual focusing and performs well in low-light situations, thanks to its Vibration Compensation system (VC). Like the Nikon lens, it also has an internally focusing design.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens offers superior focusing performance, with its fast and virtually silent autofocus and smooth manual focus action. The Tamron lens is reliable and suitable for most photography situations but doesn’t quite match the speed and silence of the Nikon lens. Overall, the Nikon lens is the winner in terms of focusing performance.

Optical Stabilization

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 does not have optical stabilization, which may not be a significant drawback for a wide-angle lens, as camera shake is generally less noticeable. However, in low-light conditions or when recording video, the lack of stabilization could be a disadvantage.

On the other hand, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 features Tamron’s Vibration Compensation system (VC), providing up to 4 stops of stabilization for sharper pictures in low light conditions and smoother video work. The VC system operates quietly and has an on/off switch on the lens body. With just one mode of stabilization, activating the system leads to a noticeable improvement in image sharpness at slower shutter speeds. The lens performs well in reducing camera shake and providing better image stability, making it effective and useful for various photography situations.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens offers superior optical stabilization compared to the Nikon lens. Although optical stabilization may not be as crucial for wide-angle lenses, the Tamron lens provides an added advantage in low-light conditions and video work, giving it an edge over the Nikon lens in this aspect.

Image Quality

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G EDTamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Nikon F (DX)
Special Elements2x ED glass elements and 3x aspherical lens elementsBroad-band Anti-reflection & fluorine coatingsLD, XLD, aspherical, and hybrid aspherical elements.
Diaphragm Blades77


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 exhibits chromatic aberration, most noticeably at its widest focal length (10mm) and when used wide open at the longest focal length (24mm). However, recent Nikon camera bodies have intelligent JPEG processing engines capable of automatically detecting and removing most chromatic aberrations. The lens also has an aspherical element that helps control lens flare and coma, which can reduce contrast. Chromatic aberration presence isn’t significantly influenced by the choice of aperture, except at 24mm.

Conversely, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 displays various types of aberrations, including axial chromatic aberration (CA), spherical aberration, and lateral CA. Axial CA is persistent and increases with defocusing, while spherical aberration shows little change with defocusing but can be reduced by stopping down one to two stops.

Lateral CA is especially strong at 10mm and can be seen along lines of strong contrast running tangential to the image circle. Coma is visible in the corners of the frame at wide angles but can be resolved by stopping down. Chromatic aberration is well-corrected at the image’s center but is visible at the edges and corners, especially at wider apertures. Despite these aberrations, they can be corrected in post-processing or reduced by stopping down.

In conclusion, while both lenses exhibit aberrations, the Nikon lens performs better than the Tamron lens in terms of chromatic aberration, especially when considering the smart JPEG processing engines in recent Nikon camera bodies. However, it is essential to remember that post-processing techniques and stopping down can help reduce these aberrations in both lenses, ensuring optimal image quality.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 delivers generally sharp images, with exceptional center sharpness. At maximum aperture, edge softness might be present, but this significantly improves when stopped down to around f/5.6. At 15mm and 24mm focal lengths, center sharpness is maintained, while edge quality drops off noticeably. Stopping down enhances edge performance considerably, with peak performance achieved between f/5.6 and f/8. The lens performs better at the telephoto range of its focal lengths, with peak performance at f/5.6. It is important to note that sharpness may vary slightly between individual shots due to manufacturing tolerances.

On the other hand, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 exhibits good center sharpness throughout its focal length range. Stopping down can improve sharpness, with the sharpest aperture depending on the focal length. At wider angles, the edges of the image are softer, especially at wider apertures. However, the lens is still capable of producing sharp images with good detail, and its close-up image quality is also decent. Overall, the Tamron lens offers good sharpness, but there may be some compromises depending on the shooting conditions and the specific focal length used.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens demonstrates superior sharpness, particularly in the center of the frame and at the telephoto range of its focal lengths. While the Tamron lens offers good sharpness, its performance varies depending on the shooting conditions and focal length used. If sharpness is a critical factor for you, the Nikon lens is likely the better choice.

Bokeh Quality

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 utilizes a 7-segment diaphragm with rounded blades, creating a pleasing bokeh effect. The out-of-focus areas in photographs taken with this lens are described as smooth and creamy. However, achieving substantial out-of-focus areas with an ultra-wide to wide zoom lens is a rare occurrence and requires conscious effort to zoom in, focus close, and use a wide aperture.

In contrast, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 produces pleasant and reasonably smooth bokeh, particularly when used for close subjects. The out-of-focus specular highlights display a good roundness due to the rounded aperture blade design. Overall, the bokeh quality of the Tamron lens is attractive and considered one of its positive features.

Although bokeh quality is not typically a primary concern for wide-angle lenses, it can still play a role in certain photography situations. Both lenses offer pleasing bokeh quality, but the Tamron lens appears to have a slight edge in terms of smoothness and roundness of out-of-focus specular highlights.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 is prone to flare when aimed towards a strong light source, such as during nighttime or sunrise/sunset photography. Nevertheless, it is reasonably free from ghosting, and only slight flare or ghosting may appear when the camera is pointed directly towards a strong light source. This is an impressive achievement for a wide-angle zoom lens. Overall, while the Nikon lens may not be as resistant to flare as some other lenses, it still delivers good image quality and sharpness.

On the other hand, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 incorporates the company’s BBAR coating to help minimize flare, which is often an issue when shooting with bright light sources in the frame, particularly at wider angles. Flare is not entirely eliminated, but it is well controlled, with streaks of flaring potentially visible at narrower apertures. Additionally, the Tamron lens demonstrates resistance to ghosting and maintains contrast even when shooting directly into the sun.

In conclusion, both lenses show some susceptibility to flare, but the Tamron lens appears to have better overall control of flare and ghosting, thanks to its BBAR coating and resistance to loss of contrast.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 exhibits noticeable vignetting, particularly when used wide open at wider focal lengths. At 10mm, the corners can be two-thirds to three-quarters of a stop darker than the center, but this decreases 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. Thankfully, it can be easily corrected using lens-profile correction in software such as Lightroom or Photoshop.

On the other hand, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 also shows noticeable vignetting at wider apertures, with the most pronounced effect at 10mm and f/3.5. As the aperture is narrowed, vignetting is reduced and nearly vanishes at f/8. The Lightroom lens profile can also correct for the vignetting effect in this lens.

In conclusion, both lenses exhibit vignetting, especially at wider apertures and shorter focal lengths. However, the Tamron lens appears to have a slight advantage in controlling vignetting, as it almost disappears at f/8. Keep in mind that vignetting can be easily corrected in post-processing, and some photographers may find it artistically appealing in certain situations.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 exhibits noticeable barrel distortion at 10mm, which is common for ultra wide-angle lenses. However, the Nikon D7100’s in-camera correction significantly reduces this distortion in jpg files. The distortion pattern is consistent across the frame, making it relatively easy to correct in image editing software. At 24mm, there is some pincushion distortion, but it’s relatively low and rarely problematic. When the aperture is stopped down (e.g., at f/8), distortion becomes a nonissue. Although the lens has a fair amount of distortion, it is usually invisible in most shots, except when straight lines are placed along the edges.

The Tamron lens displays barrel distortion in the 10-15mm range, shifting to mild pincushion distortion between 15-24mm. At 10mm, the barrel distortion is quite evident, measuring approximately -3.35%, while at 24mm, the pincushion distortion is moderate. Distortion correction can be applied during post-processing, but this process is pixel-level-destructive.

In conclusion, both lenses exhibit distortion, with the Nikon lens having more consistent distortion across the frame and better in-camera correction. The Tamron lens shows a shift from barrel to pincushion distortion as the focal length increases. While both lenses have their unique distortion characteristics, the Nikon might be the superior choice for photographers who prioritize more consistent distortion and better in-camera correction. However, it’s essential to remember that distortion can be corrected in post-processing for both lenses, and it may not be a significant concern in everyday photography.

Final Verdict

Taking all factors into consideration, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED and the Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Nikon F (DX) both have their respective strengths and weaknesses.

If you prioritize a more compact design, consistent balance, better weather sealing, superior focusing performance, and improved sharpness, the Nikon lens might be the better choice for you. This lens is also ideal for photographers who value precision and control in their lenses, as well as those who prefer better in-camera distortion correction.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a lighter and simpler lens with better optical stabilization, superior control over flare and ghosting, and slightly better vignetting control, the Tamron lens could be a better fit for your photography needs. The Tamron lens also offers a more user-friendly design, with additional switches for more control over lens performance, and a superior lens hood.

Considering the price difference of $40, the Tamron lens might be worth the extra investment if you need better weather sealing and optical stabilization. However, if these factors are not as crucial to you and you value better focusing performance and sharpness, the Nikon lens could be a more cost-effective choice.

Ultimately, the decision depends on your specific photography needs and preferences, including the type of wide-angle photography you engage in, such as landscape, architectural, interior, street and urban, astrophotography, panoramic, or environmental portraiture. Both lenses offer unique features that can cater to a wide range of photographic situations, so it’s essential to carefully consider what matters most to you before making a decision.

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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