Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 vs Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8: In-Depth Comparison

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Are you captivated by the beauty of sprawling landscapes or the intricate details of architectural masterpieces? If so, then choosing the perfect wide-angle lens to capture the essence of these awe-inspiring scenes is a crucial decision. In the world of photography, every photographer seeks that perfect lens that combines functionality, performance, and value.

In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll dive into the world of wide-angle photography and evaluate two popular contenders: the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED and the Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm F2.8 DX II Nikon F (DX).

Both lenses offer unique advantages and are designed for DX-format Nikon cameras, but how do they perform when it comes to capturing those stunning visuals? From low-light performance and distortion control to build quality and weather sealing, we’ll provide an in-depth analysis to help you make an informed decision that best suits your photography needs.

Whether you’re an avid landscape photographer, a passionate architectural explorer, or simply an enthusiast looking to expand your creative horizons, this article will guide you through the nuances and intricacies of these two lenses.

So grab your camera, put on your photographer’s hat, and join us on this exciting journey to discover which of these wide-angle wonders will elevate your photography game to new heights!


Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G EDTokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm F2.8 DX II Nikon F (DX)
Max ApertureF3.5-4.5F2.8
Aperture TypeVariableFixed
Focal Range (mm)10-2411-16
Mount TypeNikon F (DX)Nikon F (DX)
Zoom Ratio (X)2.41.5

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is a variable aperture lens with a focal range of 10-24mm, making it versatile for various wide-angle shots. It has a maximum aperture of f/3.5-4.5, which means that it performs well in well-lit environments and when a deeper depth of field is required, such as in landscape and architectural photography. The zoom ratio of 2.4x allows for greater flexibility in framing your shots. However, due to its variable aperture, it may struggle in low light conditions and may not provide the same level of image quality as a fixed aperture lens.

On the other hand, the Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX II Nikon F (DX) is a fixed aperture lens with a focal range of 11-16mm, making it a more specialized wide-angle lens. The constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 offers better low-light performance and more consistent image quality across the zoom range. Its 1.5x zoom ratio is slightly lower than the Nikon lens, but it compensates with its superior low-light performance.

The Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 offers a greater focal range and versatility in framing, but the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 excels in low-light situations and provides more consistent image quality due to its fixed aperture.

Design and Ease of Use

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G EDTokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm F2.8 DX II Nikon F (DX)
Diameter x Length (mm)⌀82.5×87mm⌀84×89mm
Weight (gr)460550
Filter Thread (mm)7777
Zoom MethodRotary (internal)Rotary (internal)
Zoom LockNo ZoomNo Zoom
Distance ScaleYesYes
DoF ScaleYesNo
Hood SuppliedYesYes
Hood CodeHB-23BH-77B

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 has a diameter and length of 82.5x87mm and weighs 460 grams. This makes it a relatively compact and lightweight lens, which is beneficial for portability, balance, discreetness, and ease of storage. The lens features an internal rotary zoom method, which maintains a consistent size while zooming and allows for better weather sealing and handling balance.

On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is slightly larger and heavier, with a diameter and length of 84x89mm and weighing 550 grams. While still manageable, the increased size and weight could impact portability and handling balance, as well as make the lens more noticeable in certain shooting situations. Like the Nikon lens, the Tokina also uses an internal rotary zoom method, offering similar advantages in terms of weather sealing and handling balance.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens is the more compact and lightweight option, making it easier to carry and handle during extended shooting sessions. However, the difference in size and weight between the two lenses is not significant, so the choice between them should also consider other factors.

Lens Mount and Barrel

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 features a dull-chromed brass lens mount with a rubber seal, offering protection against dust and moisture. The lens barrel is crafted from durable polycarbonate material with a matte black texture finish, giving it a lightweight yet robust feel. Additionally, the bayonet mount mark and case mark facilitate quick installation of the included plastic HB-23 hood.

On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 has a bright-chromed brass lens mount, which may feel unusual when sliding in due to its chrome finish. It also includes a metal mount surrounded by a rubber gasket at the rear, although no official weather sealing is declared. The lens barrel is primarily made of plastic with some metal components, providing a sturdy and well-built feel. However, the front element extends and retracts slightly when zooming, changing the lens’s physical size.

In conclusion, both lenses offer decent lens mounts and barrels. The Tokina lens has a more robust build with metal components in the barrel.

Weather Sealing

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 offers a degree of weather sealing, with a rubber seal around the lens mount, providing protection against dust and moisture. However, there are no internal seals at the rings or switches, which might leave the lens more vulnerable in challenging weather conditions.

On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 also provides basic weather sealing with a rubber gasket surrounding the metal mount at the rear. While this offers some protection, there are no internal seals at the rings, switches, or front of the barrel. Tokina does not officially declare the lens as waterproof or water-resistant.

Weather sealing is crucial for photographers who often shoot in harsh environments, as it protects the lens from dust, moisture, and light water splashes, ensuring durability and performance. Fully weather-sealed lenses offer better protection and durability, while non-sealed lenses may require extra care or additional protection in inclement weather.

In conclusion, both the Nikon and the Tokina offer basic weather sealing with rubber seals around their respective lens mounts. While neither lens is fully weather-sealed, they provide a degree of protection against dust and moisture. If you often shoot in challenging weather conditions, it is important to consider that neither lens offers comprehensive weather sealing, and extra caution should be taken in adverse conditions. When it comes to weather sealing, both lenses have their limitations, and the choice depends on your specific needs and preferences as a photographer.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 features 2 rings – a wide, ridged, rubberized zoom ring and a narrow focus ring. The zoom ring is located towards the front of the lens, allowing for smooth rotation without zoom creep, while the focus ring provides about 90° of rotation for the focusing range. The lens extends its length as it is zoomed, and the rings have a tactile and ergonomic design. There is a windowed distance scale, but no depth-of-field scale or infrared marks. Additionally, there is no extension lock switch on the zoom ring.

On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 also has 2 rings: the manual focusing ring at the front and the zoom ring at the rear. The zoom ring is well-positioned and strongly ribbed, rotating smoothly with no play. The focus ring is smooth and offers a relatively wide range of adjustment for an ultra-wide-angle lens. The lens features a windowed distance scale but no depth-of-field indicator, and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:11.6. There is no extension lock switch on the zoom ring.

When comparing the rings of both lenses, the Nikon lens provides a more ergonomic design with a rubberized zoom ring for improved grip and comfort. However, the Tokina lens offers a smoother focus ring with a wider range of adjustment for an ultra-wide-angle lens. The choice between the two depends on your preferences and shooting style.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 lens sports a focus switch labeled ‘M/A – M’, which facilitates auto focus with constant manual focus priority. This simple yet effective switch enables photographers to quickly shift between auto and manual focus modes. However, there are no other switches or buttons present on the lens.

In contrast, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 employs a unique One-touch Focus Clutch mechanism instead of traditional switches or buttons. This innovative design allows for seamless switching between auto-focus and manual focus by simply sliding the focus ring forward or backward. It’s worth noting that there are no other switches or buttons for features like focus limiter or image stabilization.

When comparing the two lenses in terms of switches and buttons, the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 provides a straightforward focus switch that is easy to use and understand. Meanwhile, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 offers a more innovative approach to switching focus modes with its One-touch Focus Clutch mechanism, making it quick and intuitive for photographers to adapt during a shoot.

Filter Thread

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 boasts a 77mm filter thread made of plastic, which might not be the most durable choice for those seeking a robust option. Nevertheless, its internal focusing system ensures that the front element and filter thread do not rotate when focusing, simplifying the use of polarizers and graduated neutral density filters. To avoid vignetting with this wide-angle lens, thinner filters are recommended.

On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 also features a 77mm plastic filter thread located close to the front glass element. The filter thread remains stationary during focusing, allowing for hassle-free filter usage. However, to prevent vignetting or darkening of corners, thicker filters should be approached with caution.

Both lenses share the same 77mm filter thread size, which is a popular size offering a good balance of compatibility, availability, and cost. This similarity enables you to share filters between the two lenses, thus reducing expenses. The main difference lies in the material used for the filter threads, with both lenses opting for plastic construction. While this choice may not be the most durable, it provides a lightweight and more forgiving alternative in case the lens is dropped.

In conclusion, neither lens has a clear advantage in terms of filter thread superiority, as both have 77mm plastic filter threads with non-rotating designs. Your personal preferences and photography needs should guide your decision-making process. However, it is important to note that using the appropriate filters and considering the use of step-up rings can help optimize your photographic results with either lens.

Lens Hood

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 comes with an included petal-shaped HB-23 plastic bayonet hood, which features a smooth matte interior finish. This hood design not only protects the lens from glare, impacts, dust, and moisture but also contributes to the overall aesthetics of the lens.

On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 includes a BH-77B lens hood in the box. This hood is characterized by its plastic-ribbed interior, which is highly effective at preventing light reflections and maintaining image contrast. Additionally, the ergonomic bevel on the hood’s exterior facilitates easy attachment and detachment. The hood’s ability to rotate smoothly allows for adjustments to accommodate different shooting angles.

While both lens hoods offer protection and light reflection prevention, the Tokina lens hood has a slight edge due to its ribbed interior, which is more effective at reducing flare. Additionally, the ergonomic bevel and smooth rotation make it more user-friendly, allowing for better handling and adjustments during shoots.

In conclusion, the Tokina lens hood emerges as the superior choice, thanks to its ribbed design, enhanced grip, and ease of use. However, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and shooting requirements when choosing between these two lenses, as both hoods provide valuable protection and glare reduction for their respective lenses.

Focusing and Optical Stabilization

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G EDTokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm F2.8 DX II Nikon F (DX)
AF MotorUltrasonicMicromotor
Rotating Front ElementDoes not rotate on focusingDoes not rotate on focusing
Min Focus Distance0.24m0.3m
Max Magnification (X)0.20.09
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, thanks to its SWM motor. With a generous close-focus point of 24cm, it’s ideal for capturing foreground interest in landscape and architectural photography. The manual focus action is smooth and offers the right amount of resistance for fine adjustments. Its internally focusing design keeps the lens length constant and prevents the front element from rotating during focusing, making it suitable for use with polarizers or graduated neutral density filters.

In contrast, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 has a mixed autofocus performance. Some users find it reasonably fast and quiet, while others report it to be slower and noisier than other brands. Its micro-motor AF drive isn’t the fastest and often requires a second focus adjustment, increasing overall focus acquisition time. The lens doesn’t have full-time manual focus operation, but its manual focus ring is smooth with a wide range of adjustment. Its AF system is usually unchallenged by depth of field, and like the Nikon lens, it has an internally focusing design.

When comparing the two lenses, the Nikon lens stands out with its superior autofocus performance, which is fast, accurate, and virtually silent. This is especially important when capturing moving subjects or shooting in low-light conditions. The Tokina lens, while satisfactory, doesn’t quite match up to the Nikon lens in terms of autofocus performance. Thus, the Nikon lens emerges as the better choice for focusing performance.

Optical Stabilization

Both the Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 and the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lack optical stabilization. Although optical stabilization is not as critical for wide-angle lenses as it is for telephoto lenses, it can still be beneficial in certain situations, such as handheld shooting in low-light conditions, at slower shutter speeds, or when recording video.

However, many modern cameras offer in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which can effectively work with wide-angle lenses to minimize camera shake, even if the lens doesn’t have built-in optical stabilization. Additionally, for common wide-angle lens applications like landscape and interior photography, a tripod is often a more effective tool for achieving stability and sharpness.

Image Quality

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G EDTokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm F2.8 DX II Nikon F (DX)
Special Elements2x ED glass elements and 3x aspherical lens elements2 aspherical elements and 1 SD element
Diaphragm Blades79


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 exhibits chromatic aberration, mainly at its widest focal length of 10mm and when used wide open at the longest focal length of 24mm. However, modern Nikon camera bodies can automatically detect and remove most chromatic aberrations through their smart JPEG processing engines. The lens’s aspherical element helps control lens flare and coma, which can reduce contrast. The aperture choice doesn’t significantly influence chromatic aberration, except at 24mm.

On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 shows noticeable chromatic aberration with strong green and purple fringing on contrasting edges, especially on window panes. This aberration persists throughout the focal length range, resulting in a less sharp-appearing image. When shooting in strong direct light sources, like the sun or moon, a strong coma effect is almost always present and difficult to avoid. Spherical aberration near the edges is also noticeable but can be somewhat corrected in post-processing.

Based on the comparison, the Nikon lens has a superior aberration control, especially when used with recent Nikon camera bodies that can automatically remove most chromatic aberrations. This feature helps produce clearer and sharper images compared to the Tokina lens, which struggles with more persistent chromatic and spherical aberrations.


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

On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is generally very sharp, delivering excellent center sharpness and decent corner sharpness. The sharpness at wide open aperture varies, with some lenses being tack sharp and others being soft with noticeable chromatic aberration. Stopping down generally improves sharpness, though the sharpest aperture may vary depending on the lens.

In conclusion, while both lenses offer impressive sharpness, the Nikon lens has a slight edge due to its consistent center sharpness and improved edge sharpness when stopped down. The Tokina lens also provides excellent sharpness but exhibits more variability in performance at wide open aperture.

Bokeh Quality

The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 features a 7-segment diaphragm with rounded blades, resulting in pleasing bokeh quality. The out-of-focus areas in photographs taken with this lens are often described as smooth and creamy. However, it’s worth noting that with an ultrawide-to-wide zoom, achieving a substantially out-of-focus background tends to be rare and requires conscious effort to zoom in, focus close, and use a wide aperture.

In contrast, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 exhibits disappointing bokeh quality, especially when there is a narrow depth of field. The bokeh is described as harsh and distracting. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that for an ultra-wide-angle lens, producing blurry backgrounds is not the primary focus.

Although bokeh quality is not typically a primary concern for wide-angle lenses, there are instances where it can play a role in wide-angle photography, such as environmental portraits or close-up photography.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens offers superior bokeh quality compared to the Tokina lens. However, given the nature of wide-angle lenses and their common applications, bokeh quality may not be a crucial factor for most photographers when choosing between these lenses.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 exhibits a tendency for flare when pointed towards strong light sources, such as at night or during sunrise/sunset. However, it is reasonably free from ghosting, with only slight flare or ghosting occurring when the camera is pointed directly at a strong light source. This is a commendable result for a wide-angle zoom lens. Although the 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 Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 has more pronounced issues with flare and ghosting, especially when shooting into bright light sources like the sun. This flare can be challenging to remove during post-processing. However, some photographers may find the flaring effect desirable for enhancing the appearance of the sun in their photos. To avoid flare, it is best to purchase the lens from a retailer that allows returns or exchanges if it does not meet your expectations.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens offers superior flare and ghosting resistance compared to the Tokina lens. While both lenses may exhibit flare under certain conditions, the Nikon lens demonstrates better overall performance in this aspect.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 exhibits noticeable corner shading, also known as vignetting, particularly when used wide open at the wider focal lengths. At 10mm, the corners can be 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. Although 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 like Lightroom or Photoshop.

On the contrary, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 shows very little vignetting, making it an impressive performer in this aspect.

In conclusion, the Tokina lens outperforms the Nikon lens when it comes to vignetting, with a much better control over this aspect. While some photographers might appreciate a certain level of vignetting for an artistic touch or to draw attention to the center of the image, those who prefer minimal vignetting should consider the Tokina lens. However, it is essential to remember that vignetting can be corrected using post-processing software or by stopping down the aperture if needed.


The Nikon DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 exhibits noticeable barrel distortion at 10mm, a common trait of ultra wide-angle lenses. However, this distortion is dramatically reduced in JPG files by the Nikon D7100’s in-camera correction. The distortion pattern is consistent across the frame, making it relatively easy to correct in image editing software. At 24mm, pincushion distortion is present but relatively low and rarely an issue. Distortion becomes a non-issue at focal lengths where the aperture is stopped down, such as f/8. Although the lens has a healthy amount of distortion, it is usually invisible in most shots, except when straight lines are placed along the edges.

On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 has some barrel distortion at 11mm, but it transitions to almost no distortion at 14-16mm. While distortion is present, it is well-controlled compared to many competing lenses in this focal length range. However, when shooting at ultra-wide angles, people may appear perspective-distorted, so caution is required for group photos and environmental portraits.

In conclusion, the Tokina lens demonstrates better distortion control than the Nikon lens, especially at the longer focal lengths. While both lenses exhibit distortion at their widest focal lengths, the Tokina lens transitions to almost no distortion at 14-16mm, making it a more suitable choice for photographers who prioritize minimal distortion in their images. However, it is crucial to remember that distortion can be corrected in post-processing if needed.

Final Verdict

For wide-angle photography enthusiasts who prioritize versatility in framing and a more extensive focal range, the Nikon lens offers the advantage with its 10-24mm range. However, those who often shoot in low-light situations and desire consistent image quality across various focal lengths will appreciate the Tokina lens with its fixed f/2.8 aperture.

In terms of functionality, the Nikon lens boasts superior autofocus performance and aberration control, while the Tokina lens excels in distortion and vignetting control. Both lenses provide basic weather sealing and decent build quality, with the Tokina lens having a more robust build due to its metal components.

Considering the price, the Tokina lens is currently $15 more expensive than the Nikon lens. While this may not be a significant difference for some, it’s essential to weigh the features and performance of each lens against their respective price tags.

When it comes to portability, the Nikon lens is the more compact and lightweight option, making it a better choice for those who frequently shoot on-the-go or during extended sessions. However, the difference in size and weight between the two lenses is minimal, so other factors should also be considered when making a decision.

In conclusion, the choice between the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED and the Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm F2.8 DX II Nikon F (DX) lenses ultimately comes down to your individual preferences and photographic needs. For those who value versatility, compactness, and superior autofocus performance, the Nikon lens is an excellent choice. On the other hand, photographers who prioritize low-light performance, consistent image quality, and better distortion control should opt for the Tokina lens. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons of each lens and consider how they align with your specific photography style and requirements.

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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