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The best super wideangle lens for nikon reviewed and compared

Updated on April 27, 2013

Choosing a super wideangle lens for Nikon

Is it worth getting a super wideangle lens for Nikon? The answer to this depends on what you want to do with your photography. Wide angle lenses are used to get "more" in to a photograph and they are perfect for landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes and interior shots.

There are many different wide angle lenses available and choosing the right one for your Nikon digital SLR camera can often prove to be a headache. This lens focuses on super wideangle lens for Nikon to help you find the best wide angle lens for your particular requirements.

Nikon 14mm - 24mm f2.8G ED

For the ultimate super wideangle lens for Nikon you are going to want the Nikon 14 - 24 f2.8G ED AF-S lens, which is the daddy of all Nikon super wide angle lenses.

Everything about this lens is quality. It is tough, durable and well made and capable of withstanding a lot of abuse. The image quality can only be described as superb with excellent contrast, good clarity and overall sharpness from the centre of the frame to the edges.

The Nikon 14 - 24 f2.8G ED AF-S lens isn't cheap but then quality comes at a price. That said, this lens is worth every every cent since it is an awesome lens and the best wide angle lens for Nikon dslr cameras. Buy one of these and you won't be disappointed.

Sigma 8mm - 16mm lens for Nikon

With an 8mm wide end the Sigma 8m - 16mm wide angle lens is seriously wide, which is great if that is what you want. Using a super wide angle lens takes some practice and whilst you are learning you will find distortion and perspectives going wrong all over the place. The wider the angle the more noticeable the distortion and the longer it will take to learn how to use the lens correctly. If you don't need the 8mm wide end you can buy a Sigma 10mm - 20mm for less money so before you go and splash out on this lens make sure you really want (and need) the 8mm wide end.

The Sigma 8mm - 16mm lens has a maximum aperture of 4.5, which means you may struggle in low light to take hand held photos. If you use a tripod this will not be a problem, although you do need to keep the narrow maximum aperture in mind if you are thinking of buying this lens.

The image quality of this lens is great and it is possible to take some awesome images. The images won't be as sharp as that of the Nikon lens but then given the price of the Sigma compared to the Nikon this is to be expected.

Overall the Sigma 8mm - 16mm lens is a great lens when you have a tripod to hand. The narrow maximum aperture can create issues with hand holding, which is a pain when you go to places that don't allow tripods.

Tokina 11mm - 16mm AT-X

The Tokina AT-X 11mm - 16mm Pro is an excellent alternative to the Nikon branded super wide angle lens. Like all Tokina lenses this lens is sturdy, well made and pretty much bullet proof. This is good in that it can withstand some punishment, but bad because it means it weighs more.

Whilst the focal length of this lens starts at 11mm, which is more than other super wide angle lenses, the difference really isn't that much unless you do some serious pixel peeping.

One of the biggest advantages of the Tokina lens is the price, which is considerably less than the Nikon lenses although the image quality isn't quite as good. The Tokina will produce awesome images and the quality is very, very good but if you do a direct comparison to the Nikon lens you can see the difference. The image quality of the Tokina will be more than good enough for everyday use so don't let this fact put you off if you are thinking of buying one.

With a maximum aperture of 2.8 the Tokina is a pretty fast lens which makes it good in low light conditions, although you are going to need a tripod at sunset or if in dimly lit rooms.

Overall, the Tokina AT-X116 Pro is a great lens and one well worth looking at. The image quality is good, the price is right and it is a durable lens, although it is heavy.

Rokinon 14mm

The Rokinon is a 14mm prime lens, which means it has a fixed focal length. Even though it may not be as wide as other super wide angle lenses, a 14mm focal length is still considered wide.

Being a prime lens, with simple optics, the image quality of this lens is simply stunning with great contrast and frame to edge sharpness throughout the image. The fast maximum aperture makes taking hand held photos in low light a doodle.

The one thing that lets the Rokinon 14mm lens down is the build quality, which isn't the same levels as the other wide angle lenses. The Rokinon is quite plastic looking and feeling, although don't let this put you off. Providing you look after the lens and treat it with care you should have no problems at all.

The Rokinon 14mm lens is cheap. If you don't need to go any wider than 14mm and are happy with a fixed focal length the Rokinon has to be a lens on your shortlist.

Nikon wideangle lenses on the cheap

If you are not too sure whether a wideangle lens would suit your style of photography and would like to "try before you buy" an affordable way of doing this is to buy a wide angle converter. Wide angle converters simply screw in to your standard kit lens and turn it in to a wideangle lens.

Using a wideangle converter will not produce images of the same quality as a specific wideangle lens, but the images will still potentially be very good and perfectly usable. One thing to note is when using wideangle converters you may experience some minor distortion, although this is easily rectifiable with some decent photo editing software.

Considering the cost of wideangle converters they are superb and represent great value for money. If you go down the wideangle converter route you need a "decent" model, such as the Nikon branded model. You do need to be careful because there are plenty of cheap and nasty models available, which aren't worth spending your hard earned money on.

Nikon WC-E67 Wide angle converter

If you want the best wide angle converter for your Nikon camera you need to buy the Nikon branded model, even though it is the most expensive on the market. The Nikon branded wide angle converter is made out of superior optics, which causes less distortion than other brands of wide angle lens converters. Because of this, the Nikon branded wide angle lens converter produces the best quality images.

Using the Nikon wide angle lens converter is easy. All you need to do is get the appropriate sized lens ring, the size of which depends on the filter size of the lens you will be using, screw in the wide angle lens adapter and then screw it in to the end of your lens. It really is child's play and you will be up and running in a matter of minutes.

When using the Nikon branded wide angle lens converter you need to make sure you clean the end of the lens as well as the converter as any dust, muck or debris will ruin your images and it will be impossible to sort them out afterwards, even with photo editing software.

If you want to experience wide angle photography without having to shell out a few hundred bucks then the Nikon branded wide angle lens converter will be right up your street. The images won't be as good as if you were using a specific wide angle lens, but they will be perfectly usable.

Full line up of Nikon lenses

If you want to view the entire range of Nikon lenses please click here.

Get the most out of your wide angle lenses

Wide angle lenses can be used for many different types of photography however they are best suited to landscape photography. If you plan to use your wide angle lens for landscape photography and would like some help, advice and tips to help you get the most out of your wide angle lens, check out the books below;

Digital Landscape Photography: In The Footsteps of Ansel Adams




Landscape Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots




The Digital SLR Expert Landscapes

How to keep your wide angle lens clean

If you want to get the most out of your wide angle lens you need to make sure you keep it dirt free, dust free and spotlessly clean. No matter how good you are with photoshop, or any other photo editing software, you will never get rid of a blemish caused by a dirty smudge or greasy fingerprint on the lens when the photo was taken. Therefore, you need to make sure you keep your lens immaculate at all times.

For a detailed video demonstration on how to clean a lens check out the following video footage, courtesy of Youtube.

Keeping your Nikon wide angle lens clean - Essential tools

If you want to keep your Nikon wide angle lens clean you are going to need to invest in some specific cleaning equipment which, fortunately isn't too expensive.

MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, 6 PACK
MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, 6 PACK

Micro fiber cloths are essential to ensure you don't leave lint and fluff on your Nikon wide angle lens.

 
Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System
Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System

A lens pen has a brush one end and a cleaning pad the other. Lens pens are great for when you are out and about in the field.

 
Carl Zeiss Optical Inc Lens Spray Cleaner (2-ounce Bottle)
Carl Zeiss Optical Inc Lens Spray Cleaner (2-ounce Bottle)

For those really stubborn marks I recommend using lens cleaning fluid.

 

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      mosaic-tiles 5 years ago

      These are some great tips for selecting the best wide angle lens.

    • alina nicoleta92 profile image

      alina nicoleta92 5 years ago

      Interesting lens and I can see that you are really into cameras. Love them too.

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