I bought my first wide angle lens about six months ago – the Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 – and took it with me on a trip to Jordan. You can see the results here – all images were either taken with the Tokina or the superb Nikon AF-P 18-55. Just as this trip was ending, the Nikon 10-20 was announced. I was immediately interested – not only was this lens cheaper, it was also lighter which, as a travel photographer, appealed. Today the lens arrived and I’ve had a chance to test it out versus the Tokina in a variety of conditions.
My first two conclusions were easy to reach:
1. The Nikon 10-20 is tiny – perfect for travel photography.
2. The Nikon 10-20 focuses silently – something that becomes particularly evident next to the clunky and slow-focusing Tokina.
My next conclusion was based on the specs, and testing both lenses at f2.8 (the Tokina) and 10mm (the Nikon).
3. 10mm vs 11mm is as useful a difference as f2.8 vs f4.5-5.6
At least in normal shooting situations when travelling with a tripod, I think that having the extra 1mm at the wide end is probably as useful a benefit as the benefit of having the larger aperture on the Tokina 11-20mm. This is different of course if you are into astrophotography, and is only my opinion.
At this stage, I was 80-90% certain I’d keep the Nikon and ditch the Tokina. However, this was soon to change. After testing, I can definitely say that:
4. The Tokina outperforms the Nikon at all apertures and focal lengths in sharpness
Despite all the advantages of the Nikon on paper, it is very hard to justify keeping one lens over another when you know that the image quality is inferior. As such, I’ll – unfortunately – be returning the Nikon 10-20.
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