Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 12-24 mm f/4G IF-ED

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 12-24 mm f/4G IF-ED
11 March 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2007-10-12 on Optyczne.pl

It has been known for some time now that small dimensions of APS-C, DX or APS-H class sensors with a really wide angle cause problems. It is not perhaps so visible if you move within the fields of view on the level of 70 degrees; practically from the very beginning of the digital reflex amateur cameras’ era the producers have been equipping them with kit lenses which focal lengths start from 17-18 mm, so producing the same field as a 28 mm lens on a 35-mm frame.

What happens, though, when a fan of really wideangle landscape photography would like to reach the field on the level of say 100 degrees? In the days of analogue photography he/she had a wide selection lot of zoom lenses, which focal lengths started from 16-17 mm. The choice, no matter whether you thought more about the price or the quality of the image, was so rich that it could satisfy practically every customer.

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The photographic companies realized that, as smaller sensors became more and more widespread, they would have to face the problem of ultra wide angles. Nikon reacted the quickest because already in March 2003 the company announced the launch of the Nikkor 12-24 mm f/4.0G ED-IF DX lens with the field of view ranging from 99 to 61 degrees. The Canon owners had to wait more than a year because only in September 2004 the Canon EF-S 10-22 mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens hit the shelves with the field ranging from 107.5 to 63.5 degrees. In 2005, though, we witnessed a real crop of wideangle zoom devices - lenses for Konica-Minolta, Pentax and Olympus digital cameras and plenty of lenses manufactured by independent producers like Sigma, Tokina and Tamron were launched at that time.

By unintentional coincidence, the ultra wide-angle lens for small sensors which appeared as the first on the market is tested as sort of the last one. Its high price undoubtedly influenced such an order, hardly encouraging the purchase; the customers have been more interested in buying cheaper and optically good Sigma or Tokina constructions. Of course it is always worth checking whether paying for the Nikkor about 500 $ more we also get something more in the sense of optical properties, comfort of work or build quality. We invite you to read our latest test and review.

The lens was lent for testing purposes by the Cyfrowe.pl shop.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

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