Top 10 ​​Best Budget Wide Angle Lenses for Nikon

I now enjoy using wide-angle lenses, but it took me a long time to get there. As a Nikon photographer, I had plenty of options; it was only that none of them appeared to fit my demands perfectly. If you’re frequently comparing broad angles, hopefully, this article can assist you in making a selection.

I’ve tried practically all of Nikon’s contemporary wide-angle lenses, as well as a few third-party options, during the last few years. Nasim has put in much more time and effort for our numerous reviews on Photography Life. Compromise is the one constant theme. There is no such thing as a perfect wide-angle. However, they are improving all the time, and some of the possibilities available now are just fantastic.

This article rates the top ten wide-angle lenses for Nikon full-frame cameras, in my opinion. (There’s a section towards the bottom for Nikon DX photographers.) Any list like this is bound by the author’s own choices, as you might anticipate. Lens manufacturers would not make as many various options if there was only one “best” wide-angle for everyone.

Our Top Pick

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

  • Impressive autofocus and stabilization.
  • Generous zoom range.
  • Good build quality with weather seals.
  • Ultra-wide coverage.
  • Image stabilization.

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What is a Wide Angle Lens?

First, let’s define what broad-angle means.

A wide-angle lens has a larger field of view than our vision, according to the most frequent description. This, however, does not simply translate to millimeters (mm) or degrees.

So, what focal lengths are considered wide-angle (in mm)? A wide-angle lens is defined as one that has a focal length less than or equal to 35mm. This corresponds to a diagonal field of view of 65 degrees.

What are the Benefits of a Wide Angle Lens?

There are various advantages to utilizing and mastering wide-angle lenses, as proved time and time again:

  • Enhanced depth of field : A crucial feature that every photographer employs.
  • To make landscape shots more interesting, add foreground interest : A wide angle lens will come in handy whenever you need everything in the frame to be in focus.
  • Portraits With More Context : Including the subject’s surroundings is one of the most effective techniques to create a successful portrait. A wide-angle lens enables you to catch any subject in the immediate vicinity.
  • Freedom to be creative : As you gain experience with a wide angle lens, you’ll see that there are many different methods to alter a single photograph.
  • Sports Photographs : The majority of sports stadiums are quite large! A wide angle lens is the greatest option if you’re photographing a sporting event and want to capture the full field or venue.

What to Look for in a Wide-Angle Lens

Before I go any further, here are the factors I used to rate the lenses below, from most important to least significant to me:

  • Image quality: Everything comes down to image quality, from sharpness to distortion. Even if a lens is perfect in every other way, few photographers will buy it if it fails every optical test.
  • Price/value: For most of us, the price (or, perhaps more properly, the value) of the lens is a close second to image quality – and another possible dealbreaker. Wide angles come in a variety of price points. The lenses listed below range in price from $290 to $1900 at the most costly.
  • Size : Wide angle lenses can be rather large and heavy. Some of them are as heavy as telephoto lenses, easily exceeding 1 kilo (2.2 pound). For many landscape and vacation photographers, a lightweight camera is a must-have.
  • Filter capability: Many wide angle lenses lack a front-mounted screw-in filter slot. You’ll need a large, expensive adaptor as well as larger, more expensive filters to utilize filters with non-threaded lenses.
  • Manual focus vs. autofocus: Three of the thirteen lenses listed below are manual focus exclusively. Manual focus isn’t the end of the world for many wide angle shooters, and it saves both money and weight. However, when all else is equal, most photographers prefer the option of autofocus.
  • Focal length(s): I consider anything 24mm and wider to be “wide angle,” albeit many of the lenses listed below go a little wider. Extra points go to lenses that reach 14mm or 15mm, as well as zooms having a wider “telephoto” range than expected.
  • Maximum aperture: This attribute is only important for astrophotographers, however astrophotographers make up a sizable portion of wide-angle photographers. Apertures of f/2.8 (or wider) can capture more light than apertures of f/4, resulting in a brighter, less noisy Milky Way than apertures of f/4.

Now let’s dive deep into the Top 10 ​​Best Budget Wide Angle Lenses for Nikon.

Buying Guide – 10 Best Budget Wide Angle Lenses for Nikon

1. Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD was released last year, about a decade after Tamron first released its original DX-format 10-24mm lens. It boasts a breakthrough HLD (High/Low toque-modulated Drive) focusing mechanism, as well as new and improved optical performance. The older lens’ autofocus is faster, quieter, and more accurate.

VC (Vibration Compensation) is also included in the new lens, whereas optical stabilization was not included in the old lens. Electromagnetic aperture control is also new, allowing for more consistent exposure in rapid-fire continuous photography, albeit it does render the lens incompatible with some earlier Nikon DSLRs.

In our tests, the Tamron outperformed both of Nikon’s upscale DX-format zooms in terms of overall sharpness, as well as color fringing and distortion. The new Tamron is the best wide-angle zoom for DX-format cameras.

Pros

  • Impressive autofocus and stabilization.
  • Generous zoom range.
  • Good build quality with weather seals.
  • Ultra-wide coverage.
  • Image stabilization.

Cons

  • Pricier than the original edition.
  • Slow autofocus.

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2. Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 FE

We appear to have come full circle, and classic prime lenses, which were previously the sole option, are being rediscovered and are once again in high demand. It’s easy to see why: it’s compact, high-quality, and competitively priced.

Optical designs have benefited from current technologies and glasses in some circumstances, and they can comfortably outperform their predecessors.

This is where we discover the Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 lens, which offers good performance, a small size, a low price, and a useful focal length. There’s nothing not to enjoy about it, and it’s an obvious Editor’s Choice.

Pros

  • Low price.
  • Lightweight.
  • Compact size.
  • Zippy autofocus.
  • Solid image quality.

Cons

  • A little soft wide open at some focal distances.
  • Lacks weather sealing and could be susceptible to dust.

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3. Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF

Tokina’s ATX 11-16mm was one of the first ultra-wide zoom lenses for DX-format Nikon DSLRs when it was initially released. The Mark II edition added an internal autofocus motor, allowing autofocus on cameras with no in-body AF drive, like the D40 and later D3000 and D5000 series cameras. Tokina’s ‘atx-i’ stable has released a new version, with the I standing for ‘interactive’ mutual communication.

It’s been rebuilt with a more streamlined, modern style and feel, yet it still has the same great build quality as the original lens. A quick and continuous f/2.8 aperture rating, as well as Tokina’s famous “One-touch Focus Clutch” mechanism, which allows switching between autofocus and manual focus with a push-pull movement of the focus ring, are other commonalities.

Pros

  • Good image quality and fast f/2.8 aperture.
  • Fixed physical length during focus and zoom.
  • Built-in Autofocus.
  • Hood supplied.
  • Internal focusing.

Cons

  • Relatively limited zoom range.
  • Not everyone’s a fan of push-pull focus rings.

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4. Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM

This was Sigma’s second DX-format 10-20mm zoom lens, which was released roughly ten years ago. It’s bigger than the original lens, but it has a fixed aperture rather than a variable one. It’s comparable to the Tokina 11-20mm lens in this regard, however, the Sigma is two-thirds of a f/stop slower.

Two ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) elements and an SLD (Special Low Dispersion) element are included in the premium glass. Despite being similar in price to Nikon’s cheap 10-20mm lens, this Sigma feels considerably more substantial and strong. It boasts a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus technology that is fast and quiet, and unlike Sigma’s 8-16mm lens, it has a filter attachment thread and a retractable hood.

Sharpness is excellent, especially in the center of the frame, and color fringing and distortions are almost non-existent. It’s impossible to beat for a high-performance, high-value DX-format lens.

Pros

  • High-performance autofocus system.
  • Constant f/3.5 aperture.
  • Very good resolution.
  • Good build quality.
  • Excellent value.

Cons

  • The filter thread is large at 82mm.
  • It’s not weather sealed.

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5. Nikon AF-P DX 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

Nikon’s AF-P DX 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is a new addition to the company’s lineup, and it’s tiny and light. In comparison, both competitive Sigma DX-format lenses weigh more than twice as much as the Nikon. However, there is a catch: the mounting plate is plastic rather than metal, and the whole construction feels much less sturdy.

Unlike Nikon’s older DX-format wide-angle zooms, this one includes VR (Vibration Reduction), which reduces camera shake by 3.5 stops. A nearly silent AF-P stepping motor autofocus mechanism is also included, which works well for both stills and movie capture. However, with a lot of older DSLRs, both autofocus and manual focusing are impossible, and there is no focus distance scavenging.

The center of the frame has excellent sharpness, but the corners suffer dramatically. In terms of distortion and color fringing, it could be better, but overall, it’s a tidy and highly travel-friendly lightweight zoom.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Includes Vibration Reduction
  • Covers a very wide angle of view.
  • Quite sharp.
  • Optical stabilization.

Cons

  • Plastic mounting plate.
  • No focus distance scale.

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6. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM | A

The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM | A for Nikon has a smaller maximum viewing angle than Sigma’s slightly older 12-24mm Art lens, but it has a faster aperture rating. As a result, the size and weight of both lenses are nearly equal. An ultra-high-precision molded glass aspherical front element, which represents a significant production challenge, is the major optical attraction.

Three FLD (Fluorite-grade Low Dispersion) and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements provide additional optical highlights.

Throughout, the supremely professional-grade build offers a high-precision yet very solid feel. The front and rear elements have a comprehensive set of weather seals, as well as fluorine coatings that keep them clean.

Even when shooting wide-open at f/2.8, the contrast and sharpness are excellent, with the latter being maintained way out to the edges of the frame. Furthermore, color fringing and distortions are virtually non-existent. The Sigma’s overall image quality outperforms Nikon’s more expensive 14-24mm lens, making it an absolute steal.

Pros

  • Fabulous image quality and all-around performance.
  • It’s virtually a distortion-free lens.
  • Outstanding sharpness.
  • Ultra-wide field of view.
  • Bright aperture.

Cons

  • Typically large, heavyweight build.
  • Built-in hood so there’s no filter thread.

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7. Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR

The Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR is noticeably smaller than most other FX-format lenses, weighing less than half the weight of some competitors thanks to a combination of a modest maximum viewing angle and an f/4 rather than f/2.8 aperture rating.

The only FX-format lens in the group with a filter attachment thread and a removable hood is this one.

A Nano Crystal finish decreases ghosting and flare, and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements in the optical path aid to optimize image quality. The build quality is excellent, and the mounting plate is weather-sealed.

The image quality is very high at the short end of the zoom range, however, sharpness deteriorates slightly at the long end. The ‘VR’ optical stabilizer is useful, especially when photographing in cathedrals, museums, and other places where using a tripod is prohibited. However, it only has a 2.5-stop efficacy and is outperformed by Tamron’s newer 15-30m stabilizer, which has 4.5-stop effectiveness.

Pros

  • Accepts filters on the front.
  • VR Vibration Reduction built-in.
  • Good center sharpness.
  • Optically stabilized design.
  • Ultra-wide field of view.

Cons

  • Not quite the widest.
  • ‘Only’ f/4 maximum aperture.

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8. Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM | A

Sigma’s 12-24mm Mark II lens, which had a huge maximum viewing angle and good overall image quality and performance, was always a favorite of ours. With a constant rather than variable aperture rating, the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM | A for Nikon from Sigma’s Global Vision series raises the stakes.

An extra-large diameter aspherical element, as well as five top-class FLD (Fluorite-grade Low Dispersion) elements, are included in the optical path. The mounting plate has a weather seal, and the front and rear elements have fluorine coatings. The new lens still uses a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus mechanism, but it now has more torque for better performance.

The Art lens is also compatible with Sigma’s optional USB Dock, which may be used to apply firmware updates and fine-tune the lens. The sole disadvantage is that it is larger and heavier than the previous version.

Despite the wide maximum viewing angle, image quality is good, and there is far less distortion than with the preceding Mk II lens, however, it is not as distortion-free as Sigma’s newer 14-24mm Art lens. Even so, for ultra-wide-angle coverage, this is the lens to acquire.

Pros

  • Incredible viewing angle for a non-fisheye lens.
  • Great performance, minimal distortion.
  • An ultra-wide lens with zoom capability.
  • Very sharp.
  • Solid edge performance.

Cons

  • Bigger and heavier than the previous Mk II edition.
  • Only the mounting plate is weather sealed.

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9. Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 DI VC USD G2

The original Tamron 15-30mm lens was roughly identical in terms of greatest viewing angle to Nikon’s powerful 14-24mm lens, had the same quick and consistent f/2.8 aperture rating, and incorporated optical stabilization.

A comprehensive set of weather seals and a fluorine coating on the front element were other highlights. It was also far less expensive than the Nikon lens.

The Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 DI VC USD G2 for Nikon is a significant improvement. The autofocus technology is faster and more precise, and the optical stabilizer’s efficiency has increased from 2.5 to 4.5 stops. In addition to the existing nano-structure and conventional coatings, the muck-resistant fluorine coating on the front element has been strengthened.

In almost every way, the G2 lens outperforms the G1. It’s a third more expensive to purchase than the original lens, but it’s still a great deal.

Pros

  • High-performance autofocus and stabilization.
  • Fast and constant f/2.8 aperture.
  • Full-frame compatibility.
  • Optical stabilization.
  • Ultra-wide angle of view.

Cons

  • The G2 is currently 33 percent pricier than the original.
  • As usual, there’s no filter attachment thread.

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10. Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S

Although it has a disappointing maximum aperture of f/4, this wide-angle is built exclusively for the Nikon Z series of full-frame mirrorless cameras, and it includes internal optics that ensure pin-sharp image clarity. It features a total of 14 elements divided into 11 groups, and the control ring can be assigned to the user’s desired functions like focus, ISO, exposure correction, and so on.

The stepping motor focusing technology is quick, precise, and virtually silent, making the lens a good choice for both video and still photography. The lens is very lovely and light, and it fits wonderfully on Z-mount mirrorless cameras. If you’re a Nikon DSLR user and want to give it a try, you can get the Nikon FTZ Mount Adapter.

The Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S is an incredibly strong lens all-around, providing superb clarity and excellent operability, as long as you can live with the f/4 maximum aperture.

Pros

  • Outstanding image quality.
  • Lightweight.
  • Dust, splash, and fluorine protection.
  • Front filter support.
  • Quick, silent autofocus.

Cons

  • Only f/4 maximum aperture.
  • No stabilizer.

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Faqs Over the Internet

Which is the best wide-angle lens for Nikon?

It can depend on the needs of the user. For example, a Nikon 20mm f/1.8 will be better for shots with shallow depth of field and great low-light performance but terrible in terms of handling or autofocus speed which makes it advisable to carry a supplementary lens if necessary. The other end of the spectrum is Nikon’s 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 lens that has excellent optics and ultra-wide-angle viewing, but isn’t as adept at capturing subjects in sharp focus or as well corrected for distortion – this affordable option offers suppleness when designing compositions and convenience by quickly going between focal length perspectives.

What is the best lens for wide-angle photography?

The answer to this question is very subjective, but the most popular wide-angle lens for photography is the Canon 18-135mm lens.

There are many different lenses that will provide a wide-angle view, and as such, it’s difficult to pinpoint one “best” lens. An angle of view of 18mm-45mm can be considered “wide,” but there are definite pros and cons to each type of lens. For example, if you need a zoom built into your lens (18-135), then you’ll want to go with the Canon 18-135mm Lens since it’s got an impressive 24x zoom capability. 

How much does a wide-angle lens cost?

The price of a lens can fluctuate greatly depending on the type, brand, and features of that particular lens. It pays to do your research and read reviews before purchasing. The best place to start would be looking at the list of lenses from some of the most well-known camera brands such as Canon or Nikon. For example, an entry-level wide-angle lens by Canon is around $599 while an intermediate model will cost about $1,399. A professional-level wide-angle lens by Canon costs upwards of $749 (while it’s currently not available for purchase). Ultimately whether it’s worth saving money now or spending more upfront will depend on what kind of user you are.

What is the best size for a wide-angle lens?

The size really depends on your subject and what you are trying to capture. Generally, with a wide-angle lens, less is not more as it makes the wider area look distorted, like a fish-eye lens.

The best size for a wide-angle lens really depends on what you are shooting and how much of the scene you want in the shot. A wider angle camera would be appropriate for landscapes or group shots where inclusion of foreground is important – but if movement and speed are your focus, then choosing something with a narrower field of view will give the necessary compression effect for faster moving subjects that near the edge of the image can still be tracked into the frame.

How do I choose a wide-angle lens?

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a wide-angle lens for landscape photography. A common misconception is that lighting and focal length dictate the most important requirement for wide-angle lenses (on cameras with crop sensors). However, what many photographers forget about is the filter size.

On cameras with crop sensors, your options are generally limited to standard or medium filters due to the sensor size, whereas full-frame cameras can use both standard or large filters depending on preference. Currently, there’s no crop sensor equivalent for large filters despite customer demand from companies such as Panasonic. 

Conclusion

The most difficult element of choosing a new lens for me is sorting through the vast array of possibilities and picking on a winner. It’s even more difficult with broad views because they all have tradeoffs – even the greatest ones.

However, hopefully, this list has made things a little easier for you. All of the lenses listed above are fantastic options, and you can’t go wrong with any of them (or a few others that didn’t make the cut). Choose one that connects with your requirements above all else, and don’t look back.

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