Lens reviews update: DxOMark data for Nikon-fit full frame wideangles
DxOMark has just reviewed Nikon's latest budget full frame wideangle lens, the AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED. As part of our ongoing collaboration we've added the results to our lens comparison widget, along with a number of other Nikon-fit full frame wideangle zooms. You can compare it to its predecessor, the AF Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF ED, the AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, the legendary AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, and the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX. Follow the links below to see the comparisons in our lens widget, and for the full data on DxOMark..
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED on D7000 and D800
The 18-35mm f/3.5-54.5G is no slouch on the DX format D7000, and comprehensively outperforms the 18-55mm kit zoom. But as expected it really comes into its own in front of the larger FX sensor in the D800.
New vs old on D800: 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G vs AF Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF ED
The new 18-35mm is clearly better than its predecessor, with much improved sharpness at larger apertures and reduced chromatic aberration. However stop down F8 or F11 - common working apertures for full frame wideangles - and the sharpness advantage more-or-less disappears.
Budget vs stabilised: 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G vs AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
The 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G is at least a match for the more expensive 16-35mm f/4G in terms of sharpness, across their shared range. Chromatic aberration and vignetting characteristics are broadly similar too, but while the 18-35mm shows varying amounts of barrel distortion, the 16-35mm VR veers between barrel and pincushion.
Budget vs the reference: 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G vs AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
The 14-24mm f/2.8G is pretty much the benchmark for wide angle zooms. It's very different to the 18-35mm f/3.5-3.4G, of course, in terms of focal length range, aperture and price, but what's impressive here is how closely the budget lens matches it for sharpness when compared like-for-like.
Third party competition: compared to Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX
The only really modern third party full frame wide zoom is the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX, but again this is a very different lens in terms of capabilities and price. The Tokina struggles a bit with edge sharpness, especially wide open, but stop both lenses down to F5.6 and and the differences are much smaller.
Our lens test data is produced in collaboration with DxOMark. Click the links below to explore the full lens test data on the DxOMark website.