Quick test of the new Nikkor 10-24mm DX

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by hamish_gray, May 28, 2009.

  1. Today I recieved my Nikkor AF-S 10-24mm f3.5-4.5 DX IF ED lens and have spent the afternoon doing various tests. For those of you that are interested I have published a quick and dirty test here (please be patient as the wordpress server seems to be a little slow at times)< /p>
    I expect there will be a more detailed test soon on photozone but for those that cant wait I hope you find my tests helpful.
    Hamish
    http://hamish1975.wordpress.com/quick-and-dirty-test-of-af-s-nikkor-10-24-f3-5-4-5-dx-if-ed/
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Great Hamish. In particular, could you show corner performance at 10mm? That is my main concern about this lens.
     
  3. Shun, yes I have posted several shots at 10mm at varying apertures, each with corner sharpness in a picture under.
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Thansk Hamish. That looks pretty good; it may be better than the 12-24mm/f4 AF-S, but only a side-by-side A/B test can really show the difference.
     
  5. Yes you are right. Unfortunately I swapped my 12-24 for this one so I am unable to do a side-by-side test. But from my personal experience I can honestly say that I notice more corner sharpness in the 10-24. Of course it may just be sample variation...
     
  6. Thanks Hamish. When the 10-24 was announced, my immediate thought had been to trade up from my current 12-24. A closer look revealed the variable aperture and the change in length when zooming - wonder why Nikon couldn't just keep the old design and added the 2mm on the lower end? Your test now swayed me from "against" back to "undecided" - will have to wait for the photozone test I suppose.
     
  7. Thanks Hamish for the update, I was nearly going to ask in the forum again. I'm really excited to buy this lens (possibly this summer if I have the funds). What a great focal length range it offers! I don't mind the variable aperture at all, it's a little faster than f4 at the top end, and a little slower at the long end. I suppose to make it a straight f4 could have added a few hundred dollars to the lens. I say they made the right decision. Certainly an improvement over the Sigma 10-20 with a very slow 20mm at f5.6!!
     
  8. Hamish.... Have I met you somewhere else? Your name sounds familiar! :)
    Sorry but I am lost? Where are the samples? I look at your portfolio but couldn't find them!
     
  9. Never mind!
     
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I updated the original post so that the link becomes more obvious. Initially I missed it also.
     
  11. thanks for this, hamish.
    KR points out another difference between the 12-24 and 10-24 besides the extra 2mm is the loss of IF. he seems to think the build is more plasticy but that could be hogwash.
     
  12. Eric, without IF the front of the lens would spin. I highly doubt the lens has a turning front element.
     
  13. Sorry the link was a little unobvious at first. Thanks Shun for correcting that.
    René, yes I believe we have met somewhere... aren't you that famous bird photographer from Japan ;-)
    Erik, the lens is still IF as the physical length does not change while focusing. It does however change a little while zooming, as I pointed out in my test. Zooming from 10-13mm it shortens by about 5mm and from 14-24mm it extends again by approximately 10mm. I presume that is what KR was refering to, as the 12-24 remained the same size regardless of focal length.
    As for the lens being more plasticy, well that is indeed hogwash. In fact it appears to be exactly the same build quality of 12-24 and in fact weighs a little more too (515g as oposed to 465g).

    Something I forgot to mention in my review was that min. focus distance is a little closer than the 12-24. I haven't measured it, but in the first barrel distortion photo at 10mm the front of the lens was approx 12cm from the A3 page.
     
  14. Hmm . . .
    I did a quick test outside the camera store with my D80 at 10, 12, 15, and 24mm and could not get the corners to sharpen up to an acceptable level at 10 and 12mm even going to f/11. They certainly improved over being wide open, but they were sill fairly blurry. At 15 and 24mm the corners were just fine.
    I should note that I photographed a building across the street with the top of the building in the upper right hand corner and the street pavement in the lower corners. The building in the upper corner definitely improved (like in the lemondedelephoto tests http://www.lemondedelaphoto.com/TEST-AF-S-DX-NIKKOR-10-24mm-f-3-5,2126.html), but the corners showing the near pavement, which should have been in focus, was still fairly mushy even stopped down.
    Even at infinity focus everything from ~2-3 ft. on out should be in focus at f/5.6 on up.
    I wonder if sample variation is coming into play - some samples the corners get much better stopped down while others the corners are really bad and don't ever get to be good. Ken Rockwells few pictures seem to not show mushy corners like some others have shown.
    On the other hand I was impressed with the wide open center and edge sharpness at 10, 12, and 15mm, while it seemed to be slightly less sharp at the 24mm end of things.
    I would not mind forking out ~$900 for this lens if the corners actually do clean up like the OP has shown, but if they are as bad as the one I quickly tested I might as well go with the Sigma. I hope to post my pictures over at dpreview sometime this weekend.
    Thanks for the test and posting of the results!
    - John
     
  15. "Erik, the lens is still IF as the physical length does not change while focusing. It does however change a little while zooming, as I pointed out in my test. Zooming from 10-13mm it shortens by about 5mm and from 14-24mm it extends again by approximately 10mm. I presume that is what KR was refering to, as the 12-24 remained the same size regardless of focal length."
    yes, that's what i meant, telescoping zoom tubes. the nikon and tokina 12-24s dont do this. probably not a big deal, and wouldnt stop me from getting a 10-24 if i was in the market for a wide.
     
  16. John (and everone else), I have now posted some more crops of the corners @ 10mm. My lens does indeed seem to suffer from the same "mushyness" you speak of (and that we see in the link you posted). It does however seem to be most prominent in the top corners (or perhaps the corners nearest infinity) as the bottom corners seem to be acceptable.
    As far as center sharpness goes I found it to be sharp all the way from 10-24. And at 24mm I find this lens is every bit as good as the 12-24 is at 24mm.
    One other thing. When I weighed the lens my scales read 515g with lens cap and hood on. I see that the weight of the lens given in the French review is 460g so I presume that is without the plastic on.
     
  17. Thanks for posting your shots mate! This is one lens to consider. IMO corners seems much better at 10mm/F8 than the 10-20 sigma I used to own. Definitely worth considering if I ever needed an ultra-wide again.
    Alvin
     
  18. John H,
    Could depth of field be the problem? A textured wall is usually best for corner tests as everything is on the same focal plane.
     
  19. Could depth of field be the problem? A textured wall is usually best for corner tests as everything is on the same focal plane.​
    Dan -
    I did the DOF calculation for my quick test. The building was across the street about 20 meters or so and if you do the calculation everything from 1.3 meters on out should be in focus at f/3.5 and 0.8 meters at f/5.6. So DOF should not have played a role here.
    I've read reports that it's extreme field curvature in the corners that causes the problems. I'd be interested in someone with a brick wall changing the center focus until the corners are as sharp as they can be to see if field curvature is in fact the culprit or that it's just plain not sharp in the corners.
    - John
     
  20. John (and everone else), I have now posted some more crops of the corners @ 10mm. My lens does indeed seem to suffer from the same "mushyness" you speak of (and that we see in the link you posted). It does however seem to be most prominent in the top corners (or perhaps the corners nearest infinity) as the bottom corners seem to be acceptable.
    As far as center sharpness goes I found it to be sharp all the way from 10-24. And at 24mm I find this lens is every bit as good as the 12-24 is at 24mm.
    One other thing. When I weighed the lens my scales read 515g with lens cap and hood on. I see that the weight of the lens given in the French review is 460g so I presume that is without the plastic on.​
    Hamish -
    Thanks for supplying the additional corner crops - it appears to be consistent with what I found, maybe even a bit better than the copy I tested. I'll try to submit my photos this afternoon. I should also say that I agree with your center sharpness results - even though I indicated that I thought the center sharpness at 24mm was less than at the wider FLs I did not mean to imply it wasn't sharp, but rather slightly less sharp (but still plenty sharp-enough for me for sure).
    I'm not sure why the near corners appear sharper in yours while the corners farther away are more "mushy" - I kind of found the opposite. Will post pics later on - gotta get some work done first!
    - John
     
  21. Thank you, Hamish. Now I have to control my NAS... :)
     
  22. Hamish.... I didn't have time to reply yesterday coz I was leaving my hotel, in a hurry coz I was already late.
    Anyway, I am not an expert and i am not interested on this lens, never the less I wanted to see what you have wrote about it.
    I just want to congratulate you coz I think you did a pretty good job. Very easy to understand, specially for people like me who don't know much bout the technical aspects of a lens. So well done.
    PS.
    "aren't you that famous bird photographer from Japan ;-) "
    Well, YEAH! In my house I am very famous coz I have the biggest camera of all! :)
     
  23. LOL :)
    Thanks René.
     
  24. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I talked to my local Nikon rep today, and he had the D5000, 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX and 10-24mm AF-S DX on hand. I took some quick shots with the 10-24 on my D300 inside the camera store. Those are hand held at ISO 400 around 1/30 second, so perhaps there is a bit of camera shake.
    In any case, corner sharpness at 10mm seems reasonable and perhaps somewhat better than the 12-24mm/f4 AF-S DX.
    Construction quality is pretty much identical to the 12-24mm/f4 AF-S DX; both are high consumer grade with a plastic barrel, which is fine for a small lens like these. The barrel does extend a bit when you zoom on the 10-24.
    00TVyE-139355584.jpg
     
  25. OK, well I finally got a chance to crop some of my own quick test images taken outside the camera store here in Seattle. Not the best test, but it should give you a sense of what the sharpness and corners look like. Shot with my D80, ISO 100, RAW, converted to jpg in CaptureNX without sharpening or other corrections other than automatic CA correction (this is needed in the corners, but cleans up nicely). Here's the full image with crops to be taken at the center, upper right corner and lower right corner. Only wish I'd gotten the top of the building closer to the corner.
    00TW6D-139457684.jpg
     
  26. Upper Right Side Corner - 10mm, f3.5 - f/5.6 - f/8.0 - f/11.0
    00TW6U-139461584.jpg
     
  27. Lower Right Side Corner - 10mm, f3.5 - f/5.6 - f/8.0 - f/11.0
    00TW6X-139461684.jpg
     
  28. Center - 10mm, f3.5 - f/5.6 - f/8.0 - f/11.0
    00TW6a-139463584.jpg
     
  29. Well, at least to my eyes, the center is pretty darn sharp wide open and doesn't really change all that much up through f/11
    The corners are another matter. Sharpness @10mm wide open is pretty bad in the far corners and only becomes OK at f/5.6 and cleans up fairly well except for the extreme far corners at f/8.0. At f/11 it loses a tiny bit over f/8.
    I have similar crops at 12mm and things look very similar except the corner problems are moved out to the extreme far corners as one would expect from the slight zoom. So 12mm is a bit better, but the soft corners are still there somewhat.
    At 15mm the extreme far corners are a bit soft wide open, but are really pretty good just stopping down to f/5.6 and only get slightly better at f/8 and f/11.
    That's it for now - gotta get to bed.
    - John
     
  30. Lower Right Side Corner 12mm f/4.0 - f/5.6 - f/8.0 - f/11.0
    00TWQT-139651584.jpg
     
  31. Lower Right Side Corner 15mm f/4.2 - f/5.6 - f/8.0 - f/11.0
    00TWQb-139651784.jpg
     
  32. I recently returned my first sample of the 10-24. It had severe focus issues in the range 14mm to about 20mm. When using an object at infinity as the focus point, the lens would actually focus at about 8 feet. This was visible in unsharp infinity images, and simply by looking at the distance scale at the top of the lens. In other words, the lens would focus correctly at 10mm, and then be grossly different using the same focus point when moved to 14mm.
    Hopefully, my second sample will be better. Please keep in mind, however, that there is NO post production quality control testing done on consumer SLR lenses: not Nikon, not Canon, not anyone. Wide zooms are very hard to make, and as a result, the failure rate is going to be very high. After two or three poor samples, I will abandon trying, and buy a 14-24, where there is some actual quality control. Maybe I will get lucky.
    About 1/3 of all consumer lenses are grossly deficient, and another 1/3 are marginal at best. Don't believe me - look at Photozone.de's test results, or better yet, conduct a few careful tests yourself. It is frustrating and time consuming, but if you want good tools, you have to be willing to make a few tests. The era when most photographic products were well made is long over.
     
  33. James -
    Funny - I just replied to your similar posting over on Nikonians.org. As I said over there, I unfortunately have to agree with you based on my own experiences with Nikon consumer grade lenses.
    Where did you buy it from and let us know how the second sample comes out!
    - John
     
  34. I used to have a Sigma 10-20 with pretty good corner performance . Then I bought a 12-24 at a great price and convinced myself that I am better off with the Nikon and sold the Sigma. I was wrong, wrong, wrong, I missed the 10-12mm range a lot, so I bought a new Sigma last week, with absolutely terrible decentering issues (note how the entire left side of the frame is softer than the right side). As of tonight it is on the truck back to the dealer and I did something I thought I would never do --- I bought the 10-24 from J&R for $770 when everything was said and done (live.com cashback). It better be at least as good as my old Sigma and I will not complain about the extra $450 I spent on it...
     
  35. Count me among the dissapointed --- significantly so. Over the past 5 years I have owned, in order:
    1) Tokina 12-24: good lens but not wide enough, got tired of CA corrections all the time
    2) Sigma 10-20: had a great copy and sold it like a complete idi*t because someone sold me a Nikon 12-24 at a price that was difficult to refuse, and I managed to talk myself into believing that I will not miss the 10-12mm range
    3) Nikon 12-24: good lens but not wide enough, sold it
    4) Nikon 10-24: my latest toy and the subject of this post
    With the exception of the 10-24 I had taken each of the lenses to the brick wall exactly once to make sure there are no gross issues. I have been back with the 10-24 three times to confirm that I am not making a stupid mistake, and I keep getting the same results.
    Samples are below, all at 12 mm and f/8. The changes in WB, image size, etc, are because these images were taken over a span on 4 years with a D70 (Tokina), D200 (Sigma), D40 (Nikon 12-24) and D90 (Nikon 10-24). I am not posting 100% crops intentionally to see if people agree with me that the 10-24 is loosing the battle handily. Any comments?
    Nikon 10-24 12mm f/8
    [​IMG]
    Sigma 10-20 12mm f/8
    [​IMG]
    Tokina 12-24 12mm f/8
    [​IMG]
    Nikon 12-24mm 12mm f/8
    [​IMG]
     

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