DxOMark: best lenses for the Nikon D800 camera (part 3, wide angle lenses)


DxOMark published their third part on best wide angle lenses for the Nikon D800 camera (see part 1 and part 2). As you would expect "normal" wide angle prime lenses performed better than ultra wide and zoom lenses. Here are the top rated lenses grouped by lens type:

Ultra wide lenses:

Lens Price ($) DxOMark Score
Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15 ZF.2 Nikon 2950 27
Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX DG ASP RF Nikon 629 26
Zeiss Distagon T 21mm f/2.8 ZF2 Nikon 1732 25
Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Asph Nikon 409 25
Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D 570 25
Zeiss Distagon T 18mm f/3.5 ZF2 Nikon 1395 22
Sigma 14mm F2.8 EX Aspherical HSM Nikon 749 20

Wide angle lenses:

Lens Price ($) DxOMark Score
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon 899 39
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED 2200 34
Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Nikon 599 34
Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon 1843 34
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G 699 33
Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon 1005 33
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G 1797 33
Zeiss Distagon T 28mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon 1283 29
Nikon AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D 280 26

Wide angle zoom lenses:

Lens  Price ($) DxOMark Score
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED 2000 28
Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Nikon 849 24
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR 1260 23
Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED 1764 21
Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF-ED 610 20
Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM II Nikon 1400 17
Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Nikon 840 16
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  • frank


  • The same with the telezoom test. The nikkor 70-200 2.8 vrII is not in the test. Really bad!

    • neonspark

      I’ll make it easy for you, the VRII is better, so if the VRI made it to the list. the VRII will be on the list.
      see that was easy wasn’t it?

  • Julian Phillips

    I notice on DXOMark they state this about the 14-24 Nikkor:

    Keep in mind that the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 AF-S NIKKOR G is not yet
    available on dxomark.com and should also be considered for wide angle
    zoom selection. Measurement should be available in may on dxomark.com.

    It does make you wonder though why it takes so long for them to test what is widely regarded as the best performing wide angle Nikkor.

    • neonspark

      actually it doesn’t make me wonder because they essentially do this for free. people just feel entitled to a review.

  • R

    The 14-24 is not listed. So what? It is not any words from a religous figure corresponding lenses that have stated this. Those who own a 14-24 know how well it performs anyway, with or without any external oppinions.

    • Julian Phillips

      and those that don’t own one don’t necessarily know.

      • neonspark

        the 14-24 is a lens that has been out for quite some time now. if by now, you have not seen it compared to just about every wide angle lens, then you’re probably living under a rock.

        • It is indeed the gold-standard in wide angle lenses. Period. But I’m surprised several big name reviewers have yet to get to it… (talking to you Thom Hogan!)

  • Wtoto

    Can’t believe DxOMark anymore.

    • neonspark

      yeah canon guys say that a lot 🙂

  • desmo

    A whole lot of ongoing acrimony over the absurdity of these tests
    (Parts 1,2 and now three)
    when maybe the real problem is the title.
    Maybe it should simply be lenses DXO tested on D800
    leave out the word “BEST”
    which is ludicrous

    • neonspark

      ludicrous is the lack of understanding of some people who seem to think there is a site where they review every lens possible and as such DXO should. lol.

      • desmo

        learn a basic understanding of photography or stop posting on photography sites
        your rudeness is as becoming as tiresome as your ignorance

        • neonspark

          learn to read what is behind an article, and learn some of the basics of how products are reviewed instead of showing your blunt ignorance of anything in the photography community. dpreview, camera labs, slrgear, photozone, etc, not one site will ever include every lens in their comparisons.

  • Jorge

    Oh My~ Every Nikon fan is in a feeding frenzy. Release the hounds. Grab your pitch fork and let’s mount an assault on DXO HQ! Heads will roll for this omission! Heads will roll…. NOT

    • neonspark

      actually they are probably not even Nikon shooters. If anything, Nikon shooters LOVE DXO. have you seen their sensor ratings? It’s like canon doesn’t exist!

  • neonspark

    You mean I should wait until DXO reviews the 14-24, as they say they would? nonsense! let’s complain now!

  • 5DollarFootlong

    The Distagon 21mm is the best Landscape lens PERIOD! By far the sharpest lens I’ve ever used!

    • You must have missed the show-down review where they compared the Distagon 21mm to the Nikkor 14-24 @ 21. The Distagon was marginally better at f/2.8… but was smoked by f/4 and onwards.

  • themiskir

    Keep in mind that the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 AF-S NIKKOR G is not yet
    available on dxomark.com and should also be considered for wide angle
    zoom selection. Measurement should be available in may on dxomark.com.

  • Can’t Believe It

    Bros. Chill. This is a lens test, not a plan for world peace. DxO is just a bunch of French camera-loving data nerds much like ourselves, they’re doing the best they can. And since you know everything they say is going to enrage you anyway, stop reading their reports, you’ll live longer.

  • Gravande_medborgare

    Suddenly my interest in what DxO is testing diminished in a split second. To omit the 14-24 is as crazy as Google now is trying to stop Swedish people to use the word “ungoogleable”.

  • jake

    are they serious?
    they say the Zeiss 21 is worse than the cheap crappy Sigma 20mmf1.8?
    I lost any faith in their lens test, I trust their sensor tests , though.

    • neonspark

      Zeiss has been overrated for years. DXO aren’t the first to debunk the Zeiss myth.

      • I have a Zeiss 21/2.8 for my D800E and it’s an amazing lens. Some of these test ‘grades’ are just great comedy.

  • jake

    wow , they seem really love Sigma and Samyong crap lenses.

  • app

    LOL neonspark. you must be fun at parties…

  • Zen-Tao

    I am a Nikon user but DxO marks test stinks.

  • Radek

    Clearly, Canoon is paying DxO NOT to include Nikon’s flagship lenses since they beat them by huge margin. Of course it means that DxO actually has tested those lenses … price cannot be an issue since they tested the recent Nikon 800mm lens.

    Just wondering, are there any Canon top-of-the-line lenses missing? (too lazy to check.


  • JHES

    It pays to read all of the article –

    “Keep in mind that the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 AF-S NIKKOR G is not yet available on dxomark.com and should also be considered for wide angle zoom selection.
    Measurement should be available in may on dxomark.com.”

  • mogando

    and in other news, Bigma is the BEST supertele zoom, since we can’t afford to rent the nikkor 200-400 …….

  • John

    What a waste of time these DXOMark sharpness scores are. No way does their all in one number of sharpness tell you if the corners/borders are sharp or how much of the central area is sharp. They have dumbed down these scores too much to be useful to anyone but the most casual of photographer. If you are looking at a 85/1.4G or a 100/2 MP you are certainly not a casual photographer.

    • neonspark

      and who would buy a lens based on a set of numbers anyways. :p

  • RondoX


    1. Vivitar 75-205mm f/6.3-8

    2. Quantaray 24mm f/5.6

    3. Quasar 85mm f/6.3

    4. Holga Pinhole HPL-N

    5. Nikon BF-1

    • Pete Grady

      Exactly…the best lens on your D800 is the one that was on there when you got that shot of a lifetime.

  • equus

    Sigma’s unautofocusible $899 lens is outstanding! FIVE POINT AHEAD of the $2,200 Nikon, which means about twice as good optically! Wow!

  • DonD

    Has DxO ever heard of a standard? The should really ttry to fine the best lenns in a category to get some type of relavance to the other lenses on the list. A benchmark. It’s not that they didn’t test every lens, it’s that they appear to not have even tried to establish the standard to which other lenses could be compared. Maybe it’s not the 14- 24., butyou certainly have to include that ONE lens in your test to seebased on it’s reputation. Form a hypothsis and test to it, but don’t feel like that means you have to test every lens.

    • neonspark

      I guess their review is worth as much as you paid for it then.

  • jdub

    Of course its inexplicable the omission of the 14-24 Nikkor but how about the highly ranked Tokina 16-28? I don’t doubt the Nikkor may be better but it I’d like to hear comments from anyone who has experience with both, cheer’s…

  • john

    i find this showdown incomplete imo, wheres the nikon 14-24mm? really? all they had to do was rent the lens if they did not own one. to not include nikons 14-24mm is silly, how bout the 14mm 1.4g version? i just dont get it…they want to be taken seriously yet their comparison lack the proper lens to compare with, why can’t they just rent one? renting a 14-24mm does not cost that much. this is an epic fail and a slap on their face, it really makes me think DxO is clueless and to me are loosing a tone of credibility. why would i take them seriously especially after not doing an expected job on comparisons.

    • neonspark

      off course it is, it lacks most lenses. good thing they never claimed it was an all inclusive test and if you read the article, they even state it so.

  • NikonGreg

    What makes this all an even bigger pile of shit is the fact that DxO HAS thoroughly tested the 14-24 lens!!!!

    Just check out their DxO Optic software page and check out the camera and lens compatibility utility… I punched in a D3S and Nikkor lens combination and right there in the list is the 14-24.

    So DxO tests the lens enough to provide distortion correction at all focal lengths with various FX and DX bodies, but it’s not enough to post a lens evaluation??? I smell something rotten here… Did Nikon ask for a no review, or was it pressure from other manufacturers tired of being at the bottom of the score lists?

    Let the eat cake.

    • neonspark

      I smell something rotten here, your lack of knowledge of lens reviews.

    • Julian Phillips

      Perhaps they get loaned the kit or they rent it to do the review… Otherwise they would have to own a massive range of kit which I think is pretty unlikely. Personally I’m not that stressed about the 14-24 not being reviewed – just as long as it is made clear that it is omitted – which I think it is.

  • Gradje

    I agree, what about the 14/24

  • G golf

    Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 wolud be 39 point i guess

  • neonspark

    wow funny how the DXO article is titled

    “Which lenses for your Nikon D800?”

    notice the lack of BEST?

    and notice the disclaimer at the bottom:

    “Keep in mind that the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 AF-S NIKKOR G is not yet available on dxomark.com and should also be considered for wide angle zoom selection. Measurement should be available in may on dxomark.com”
    read silly rabbits, read the article.

    • peterw

      mr neonspark, could you indicate how many times you made your statement? Do you think you can alter the world by repeating it? Would there, perhaps, be a message behind these repeated words? And why are you referring to morons and rabbits? Do you think this will add value to your arguments? To me, the effect is reversed.

  • peterw

    For those who are looking for something more affordable than 14-24 F2,8…

    The sigma 20 F1,8 is rated highly by DxO, however, check out the review by photozone.de on a D7000 (about the same resolution as D800), check the corners on DX format, and extrapolate this finding to the corners of D800. One could say this lens has a sweet spot somewhere in the very middle of the frame. I’d choose a different lens, and a different test to base my choice of lenses on.http://www.photozone.de/nikon–nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/803-sigmaex2018dx?start=1.

  • Martin

    Ok, I’ll loosen up the comments a bit here since everyone is pissed about the 14-24 not being part of the list (and I was extremely surprised to say the least).

    I’m renting the 16-35 this weekend. Looking forward to confirming the results in the above chart (on my D600, which is dust/oil free btw).

  • Ron Scubadiver

    Does not make much sense.

  • 24×36

    Two issues with this whole multi-part essay. First, “Which lenses to get the most out of your D800/D800E” is only half of the story, since no matter WHAT lenses you use, you will get the most FROM YOUR LENSES with a D800/D800E as opposed to any lower resolution sensor. I don’t like the stupid extrapolation that will be made of all this, inevitably, which will be how it’s “not worth buying a D800/D800E unless you’re using such-and-such a lens.” You KNOW that logical fallacy is filling the minds of many, which is what “lens testers” thrive on, i.e., mostly unnecessary equipment churn.

    The other issue I have is this: When comparing what lenses are “best” one should be comparing the SAME focal lengths or focal length ranges. Say what you will about, for example, the Sigma 12-24 f 4.5-5.6. There simply isn’t a zoom that competes with it. Nikon? No wider than 14mm (and yes, in lenses this wide, 2mm is a big difference). Tokina? No wider than 16mm. Telling me that a 16-28 lens is “better than” a 12-24 lens is pointless, as would be telling me that a 70-200 lens is “better than” a 35-105 lens. They might (assuming they tested them both) tell me that a Nikon 200-400 f4 is “better than” a Sigma 300-800 f5.6 too, if they chose to add a “super telephoto zoom” category, and it would be every bit as meaningless.

  • not a fanboy

    its funny to hear all the people who bragged about there D800’s getting the number one sensor rating from DXO mark, now complaining about DXO mark’s conclusion, I guess when there conclusion is what you want to hear, then it is a good one, and when they don’t include your world famous 14/24 lens, then DXO mark suddenly sucks ass, poor little Nikon fanboys haha

  • cbradley

    I would have liked to have seen the Nikon 24mm tilt-shift on there as well.

  • The omission of the 14-24mm is simple, sometimes it takes them a year or ten to get a lens to test with. Plus, hey, six years for the 14-24mm f/2.8G is just too short of a time period! Give them some time! /sarcasm

  • georg

    TOKINA rulez 🙂

  • Louis van Zyl

    This will be incomplete until the 70-200 2.8 VrII and the 14-24mm lenses are added to the tests. Looking forward to this.

  • Paul

    I got a Nikon camera
    I love to take a photograph
    So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

  • Alex Gurita

    Added by Emilie_DxOMark |
    March 27

    Re: 14-24mm and 70-200mm vrii


    Thanks for your interest in DxOMark.
    The 70-200mm review should be available in the coming weeks.
    As for the 14-24mm, it is planned for around a month.


    The DxOMark team


    the 14-24mm has the same angel of view on 14mm as the sigma 8-16mm in 8mm for Crop viewing angle 120 °

  • Jesse

    everyone needs to just chill the fuck out. if you think the 14-24 is the best wide angle lens, and you’re happy with it, then why do you give a fuck what DxO thinks.

  • I was going to buy a NIKON 14-24, but now I’m going to wait…

  • Aldo

    yeah it’s not funny anymore… kinda makes it obvious they have some interests under the table.

  • solidgoldstan .

    DXo did have a copy of the 14-24.but one of their “EXPERTS” thought it was a light bulb and blew it to bits when they tried to plug it in.

  • Guy LeSmart

    did everyone stop reading at the first sentence? the 14-24 is on this list, as the number 1 choice for wide-angle zoom lenses… which still puts it behind standard prime wide, and ahead of ultra-wide ‘prime’… oh i see what you did there, had someone smarter do your reading for you, crafty.

    To summarize for those of you who are REALLY dumb, prime lenses are lenses of a FIXED FOCAL LENGTH… the 14-24 is NOT a prime lens

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