Upgrading your wide-angle lens to a Nikkor can make a huge difference. Nikkor, Nikon’s lens brand, makes excellent quality lenses at a great price. If you’re looking to use a wide-angle lens to take pictures of real estate, architecture, landscapes, or interiors, having a sharp wide-angle lens makes a huge difference in stressing the expansiveness and beauty of a space. One major factor to consider is that with all of these lenses, their focal length is given for a full frame camera (called FX in Nikon terms). If your camera has a DX-sized sensor, every lens here will have a higher focal length. For instance, a 35mm lens is 50mm on a DX camera; the multiplier is 1.4x. This can transform the nature of the lens, for better or worse, depending on your particular needs. Beyond this, however, other attributes of the lens are constant across sensor sizes.
With all of that in mind, here are the top 10 best Nikon wide angle lenses available in 2018:
1. 35mm f1.8
Topping our list is the wonderful 35mm f1.8. While it’s not very wide, it does shoot pristine images, very similar to those seen by the human eye. It boasts a quiet autofocus silent wave motor system, manual focus override, and a short one-foot focusing distance. Some minor drawbacks include a lack of image stabilization. Despite performing well in low light due to its quick speed, the autofocus can struggle to focus in the dark. Despite some minor issues, at this price, if you have a full frame camera, this is a sharp lens to add for wide-shooting. Otherwise, it may not be the best choice for a DX camera, unless one is fine with a more telephoto look.
- Silent wave motor system
- Prime lens
- Manual focus override
- Excellent for portraits, night photography
- Close focusing, one foot minimum focusing distance
- No image stabilization
- Some found bokeh to be too creamy
- Tough to focus in the dark
- 50mm lens on DX sensor, meaning it’s hardly a wide-angle for one of these cameras
2. 24mm f2.8
With a wide 81-degree look, pristine optics, and colors that pop, the 24mm f2.8 is loved for its low price and great features. With an integrated coating to reduce ghosting and flare, this lens is also tack sharp wide open at f2.8. A small minority of users had issues with two aspects of this lens: slow autofocus and lens flares. Beyond these minor quibbles, however, it’s a great lens to use for stills or video, and a solid performer in low light.
- 84 degree (61 degree on APS-C) wide angle lens
- Superb optics ideal for taking pictures of weddings, landscapes, buildings and other expansive subjects
- Integrated coating reduces ghosting and flare
- Excellent color
- Unbelievable sharpness at f2.8
- Praised as a great value
- One user found autofocus to be slow
- PIctures on the soft side when fully open
- Lens flare can be a problem for a small percentage of users
- 34mm on DX format is less wide
3. 18-140mm f3.5-56 VR
For those looking for a one-size-fits-all lens that can do anything one would need it to, this 18-140mm brings a lot to the table. With included vibration reduction, outstanding range, and quiet, fast autofocus, it’s hard to think of a situation where a lens like this wouldn’t work. Perhaps if one needs the utmost in optical quality, this won’t suffice, but for anyone else looking for a lens that will allow for stills shooting in virtually anything but a low light situation, this lens has your back.
- Vibration reduction for effective image stabilization
- Excellent range with extra-low dispersion glass
- Silent wave motor ensures fast and reliable autofocus
- Super integrated coating enhances light transmission
- Praised as versatile and superb walking around lens
- Great lens for the price
- One user had an issue with sharpness at 70mm
- Lack of lens hood
- Prime lenses yield better sharpness
4. 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 VRII
While it’s a bit less sharp than number three on our list, this 18-200mm boasts a range that is bound to appeal to some users. One can see in the photo below that it’s plenty capable of macro photography and while it may not be the sharpest lens in existence, it’s certainly sufficiently clear for most use cases. It boasts a silent wave motor, a short minimum focusing distance of 20 inches, and is a great all around-er. Note: it does have Vibration Reduction II, but this is actually an identical system to its previous version; the II is marketing talk. Still, it works quite well, most users attesting to the manufacturers’ claim that it’s for up to four stops of stabilization.
- Minimum focusing distance of 20 inches
- ED elements minimize aberration
- Silent wave motor with vibration reduction
- Great lens for amateurs, sharpness and image quality more than acceptable for most
- Excellent range allows for covering huge distances
- If one wants to own just one lens, this is a great choice
- Not the sharpest lenses
- One user had an issue at 18mm
- Cover does not fit with filters
- A few users found quality unacceptable
5. 28mm f1.8
This dreamy wide-angle has a look that’s hard to argue with. It isolates subject beautifully with creamy bokeh, and excellent sharpness in the middle. Great for food shots, real estate, and even interesting portraiture. The contrast and sharpness are undeniable. It works great in low light and focuses effectively. If you’re into the shots this lens takes, it’s a great buy.
- Fast, prime lens for Nikon FX cameras
- Stunning bokeh
- Isolates subjects in a great way
- Sharpness is superb
- Contrast is superb
- Works well in low light, fast focusing
- One user founds images to be soft
- A small percentage of users had issues with chromatic aberration
6. 10-24mm f3.5-4.5 ED
Boasting an ultra-wide open range of 10mm, this is one wide-angle that is definitely borderline fisheye. It boasts a silent wave motor, excellent optics, and great color. For users who don’t need speed or vibration reduction, this is a great way to go for nabbing those ultra-wide shots.
- Superb wide angle lens
- Silent wave motor is quiet and effective
- On APS-C praised for width yet solid mid-range focal length
- Praised as having great optical quality, contrast, and color
- Great for landscape pics
- Some users had issue with excessive distortion
- A small percentage of users found optical quality unacceptable
7. 16-80mm f2.8-4 ED, VR
This lens offers one of the more interesting ranges on the list: 16-80mm. While it’s not quite a sniper rifle, it does offer a reasonably tight aperture range of f2.8-4, meaning wide open it offers solid speed, but even up tight it’s still reasonably fast. This lens is great for video shoots who need some flexibility and stills shooters who want great sharpness but don’t need the extra reach. It’s a strange lens and not for many, but it does offer a unique combination of fast wide-angle and medium speed telephoto.
- Vibration reduction stabilizes four stops
- Almost no glare with Nano Crystal Coating
- Excellent zoom lens
- Tack sharp at f8
- Anti-glare praised by users
- Praised as superb value
- Not good for macro photography
- One user had issue with optics
8. 16-35mm f4 ED, VR (Editor’s Choice)
For those who want to shoot wide, but don’t need the utmost in speed, this f4 offers a great balance of value and performance. Boasting vibration reduction and fast autofocus, it’s great for stills. While f4 isn’t the best for night shooting, having a consistent aperture is a great aid for video. It’s the editor’s choice for being an all-around excellent performing lens. While f4 isn’t very fast, this limitation will only apply to video since with the vibration reduction of four stops, one should be able to capture any moment, no matter the time of day.
- AF motor with full-time manual override
- VRII reduction stabilizes up to 4 stops
- f4 constant aperture
- Ideal for wide-angle and standard focal length (24-52.5mm on aps-c, DX cameras)
- Praised as having superb optical quality
- One user found build quality cheap
- Some blurring around the edges fully open
9. 14-24mm f2.8 ED
This bulky but powerful lens packs a lot of punch. Allowing users to show from very wide to wide, it has outstanding sharp optics with great color and contrast. Construction is top notch, but as mentioned before, it is a bit on the heavy side. Another minor negative here for filter users is that lens requires a special adapter; it doesn’t mount to filters without it. Still, for most who need fast speed and a solid range in the wide focal lengths, this is a great lens to have around.
- Outstanding optical quality
- Great for night photography, landscapes, and real estate
- Stunningly sharp with great color and contrast
- Autofocus is fast and silent
- Construction and build quality is top notch
- Requires filter holder to attach filters
- Top of the line but overkill for most users
10. 17-35mm f2.8
Praised as extremely sharp, with silky smooth zooming, and outstanding build quality, this lens is the highest priced one for a reason: it boasts a nicely flexible range from super-wide to right on the edge of telephoto at a solidly fast speed of f2.8. Users love it for its crisp color, sharpness, and overall mind-blowing quality.
- Silent wave motor for quiet, accurate autofocus
- 5 year warranty
- Praised as being built like tank
- Smooth zooming
- Extremely sharp, excellent for video
- Can be a bit soft all the way open
- A small percentage of users had issues with the motor becoming squeaky
- No hard stops on minimum and maximum focus which can make it tough to find when manually focusing
Still looking for the right camera lens? Browse more top-rated wide-angle lenses on Amazon. Interested in what the other side has to offer? Check out our list, the best portrait lenses for Nikon.
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