Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Review

October 31, 2017 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens is a tiny, lightweight and highly enjoyable lens to use. For barely more than £320/$300, you can get your hands on a lens that quite literally widens your horizons and opens up a whole range of new possibilities in your photography – if you own a recent Nikon DSLR body, that is. Sure thing, it has a plastic mount and barrel, and doesn't offer much in the way of features – except for Vibration Reduction, that is –, but it's still a rectilinear UWA zoom that's available for less than half the price of its closest stablemate. And that's big news. Especially given that it's not at all shabby in the optical department. Its distortion and vignetting characteristics are no worse than what you'd expect from any lens this wide, its flare resistance is way better than it has any right to be at this price point, and its colour and contrast are nothing to sneeze at, either. The only flies in the ointment are the extensive chromatic aberrations and the sub-par sharpness uniformity across the frame at certain zoom and aperture settings. The former can be dealt with either in-camera or via a software solution – and indeed the compatible cameras' JPEG engines do a pretty remarkable job of removing the lion's share of chromatic aberrations. The latter may be more of a problem, but the sharpness of the images is still good enough for on-screen viewing and mid-size prints. 

As for the lens' competitors, the AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED offers a metal mount, a more robust construction, better protection against the elements, a wider zoom range, faster maximum apertures, a bona-fide distance scale, less extensive chromatic aberrations and better sharpness uniformity – but focuses slower, lacks Vibration Reduction, and costs more than twice as much as the AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR. Tamron's remarkable 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens is also a strong competitor, with a shower-proof construction, better build quality, a similarly effective image stabilisation mechanism, and superior image quality – but again, it's considerably more expensive, suffers from a greater degree of barrel distortion at the wide end, and doesn't offer the same level of flare resistance. 

In short, the AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR offers a great entry to the world of ultra-wide angle photography at an unbeatable and previously unthinkable price point. It's not a perfect lens, of course, but most of its shortcomings can be addressed either through in-camera processing or software solutions; so at the end of the day, we are happy to award it our “Recommended” rating.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 4.5