Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens review

This Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens ($306.95) review is by lensvid.com.

The full review video:

We recently had a chance to review the newest ultra wide zoom crop lens that was introduced by Nikon earlier in 2017 called the AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR.

For the past 8 years or so Nikon had a 10-24mm lens which is considered to be a pretty great DX lens but is a quite expensive at close to $900. Nikon decided to make a much more affordable ultra wide lens and in this review, we shall look at what sort of compromises, if any, this new lens comes with.

Build quality

When you consider the fact that this is made to be an inexpensive entry level type lens it is actually pretty decently made. It is mostly made from hard plastic including a plastic mount so be careful not to break it.

The lens is very small at close to 80mm or 3 inches long closed down and it does extend a bit to 85mm or about 3.5 inches. It is very lightweight, weighing 256 grams or 9 ounces with the hood which we recommend you keep on your lens at all times and has a filter thread of 72mm so you can definitely use this lens with conventional filters.

This but good quality focus ring

The lens has two rings – a relatively thick zoom ring which feels fairly good and a very thin focus ring which felt surprisingly dampened (especially compared to the thin focus ring of other Nikon DX lenses such as the older 18-105mm kit lens which we own and feels really bad).

What we found really strange is that this lens has no switches – no AF/MF  switch and even stranger no VR off switch (the new Nikon AF-P 18-55mm VR also has no switches and it is possibly another way for Nikon to cut costs - we would definitely pay a little extra to get those switches back). As for the effectiveness of the VR, Nikon does claim it goes up to 3.5 stops.

AF speed and Image stabilization

The AF speed in our testing was quick and very responsive with little to no hunting and on our D7500 test camera (review coming soon to LensVid) we were able to focus pretty fast on both 10mm and 20mm. You might have seen our recent Vello Nikon to Sony AF adapter review and we tested this lens on a Sony A6500 as well –we had some issues focusing on smaller objects at around 10mm but this should not really be a point against this lens as it was not designed to work with that adapter or Sony cameras.

Testing VR on this lens is hard because there when we tested we found no way to disable it and to be honest with ultra wide lenses we need image stabilization less than on longer lenses but it is still nice to have. From a subjective experience, the claimed 3.5 stops stabilization seems reasonable (see update in the conclusion).

Light and compact lens

Performance

Moving from subjective to a more objective testing, we tested sharpness in different apertures of the lens and also did a quick comparison to our older Sigma 10-20mm f/4-f/5.6 DC HSM lens.

As you can see in the image below the sharpness at 10mm in the center of the frame is very good even wide open and you don’t see a lot of improvement closing down.

Looking at the sides of the frame you find the same result (keep in mind that this specific test was shot at a distance of 3 feet or about 1m). If you look at very high magnification you can see that there is just a tad more CA at the wider aperture but the sharpness itself seems almost identical in all of these shots which is truly surprising (we really can’t recall any lens with a similar behavior).

10mm sharpness – center of the frame comparison (click to enlarge) – low left – f/4.5, low right – f/5.6, top left f/8, top right f/11

10mm sharpness – right of the frame comparison (click to enlarge) – low left – f/4.5, low right – f/5.6, top left f/8, top right f/11

At 20mm you do see a slight improvement in sharpness between f/5.6 to f/8 in the center and about the same level of sharpness stays at f/11 as well. On the side of the frame, we see an even bigger improvement between f/5.6 and f/8 and in this case, there is also a tiny bit of improvement going from f/8 to f/11 as well.

20mm sharpness – center of the frame comparison (click to enlarge) – left – f/5.6, center – f/8, right – f/8

20mm sharpness – right of the frame comparison (click to enlarge) – left – f/5.6, center – f/8, right – f/8

Below you can also see a side by side comparison to the Sigma which is a little bit faster at 10mm and much larger and heavier but the sharpness overall is very similar.

The Sigma (right) vs. the Nikon (left) @10mm f/8, 300% magnification – the Sigma is just a tad sharper (maybe something to do with the VR on the Nikon – both shot using a tripod)

CA – the lens seems to control chromatic aberrations pretty well – the image that you are seeing below is cropped heavily (400x) and was shot against bright sunlight and even here the purple fringing isn’t extreme, although we did encounter CA it from time to time.

The Nikon Has some chromatic aberrations (more than our Sigma) but there are good ways to correct that

Flare – the lens seems to handle flare pretty nicely which is not an easy task for this type of ultra wide angle lens.

Good handling of flare for an ultra wide angle lens

Vignette – is less relevant for a crop lens and we didn’t see much of a change in the corners when we stopped down.

Barrel distortion – as you can see below, at 10mm the lens has quite a clear barrel distortion which goes away as you get closer to 20mm where it is practically gone.

Quite a lot of Barrel distortion at 10mm (when the camera auto correct is turned off)

And almost no distortion at 20mm

Bokeh – this is a wide slow lens so Bokeh isn’t really what you are looking for here. None the less you can see how the background is rendered almost wide open at 10mm from a close range (the lens can shoot close objects at 10mm from a distance of about 5cm from the end of the lens which is pretty close).

Conclusion

The new Nikon 10-20mm is an interesting option from Nikon. It is a very small and compact, it is decently built for the price, has image stabilization (which is very uncommon in the category) and focuses quickly (with a modern Nikon camera).

In terms of image quality, we were kind of surprised to see that at 10mm the lens is as sharp wide open as it was when it was closed down (at 20mm there is still an advantage going to f/8 or even f/11) and in general the sharpness is pretty good.

Surprisingly good image quality for the price

As for drawbacks, this lens is much slower (aperture-wise) then some of the other ultra-wide angle lenses in its category (especially some of the lenses Tokina has in its line), this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for a lot of users especially if you are shooting on a tripod but some would certainly want the faster lens for low light handheld shots. From what we understand only some Nikon cameras (recent ones?) get an option in the menu to turn off the VR. We are not sure if Nikon will add this option to older cameras in the future but being able to turn the VR off for shooting on a tripo, for example, can be important and this is something that you need to consider.

In terms of pricing, this lens is meant to be as inexpensive as possible and is currently sold for just a above $300 which means that it is less expensive than any other comparable lens in the category and with the performance that we have seen in this review it is certainly a lens that you should consider.

A few sample images we shot with the Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR on the Nikon D7500 

Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens review

This article was adapted from a review published on LensVid.com.

If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

This entry was posted in Nikon Lenses, [NR] Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Photobug

    Good review. Nice to see Nikon releasing new and upgraded crop lens.

  • Spy Black

    “… the Sigma is just a tad sharper…”

    I’ll take that as photo mag journalistic humor…

    • silmasan

      That does look like VR issue on tripod. But I need the reviewer to confirm if he forgot to turn it off before shooting.

      • Paul H.

        VR cannot be disabled on this lens…

        • silmasan

          Can’t you turn it off through the menu?

          • Thom Hogan

            Custom Setting menu option, not Shooting menu option where it belongs.

            • MB

              Yes it is in Custom menu, Shooting/Display branch and after LCD illumination … totally non intuitive … and you can not assign it to any button as far as I can tell …

            • silmasan

              Ah.. that explains it. Thanks. A bit confusing when you don’t have the camera in hand.

            • Thom Hogan

              Correct. Total design failure.

              Look, I don’t mind if they remove the switch on the lens for costs. But as far as I can tell no one really paid a lot of attention to the change and it was a high-school effort to just throw a “virtual switch” somewhere without thinking it through from a user viewpoint. Total lazy engineering. Anyone under my employ that would suggest such a thing would not be in my employ long.

            • silmasan

              That’s… weird/why/wtf erm, inconsistent. In the D5300 & D5600 manuals that I’ve checked, it’s at least one step faster.
              Menu –> Shooting Menu –> Optical VR

            • Thom Hogan

              Yeah. On a couple of cameras they do it that way, for who knows what reason. Most put it on the CSM, though.

        • Shutterbug

          Yes you can, you just turn it off in camera.

        • Thom Hogan

          On the D7500 he said he tested it on, it’s Custom Setting #D9.

    • Paul H.

      Yeah, just a tad right? And since you cannot turn VR off, why even mention it as a possibility for the softness?

      • Sebako

        You can turn it off (on the D7500, it’s item d9 in the custom settings menu), but you shouldn’t because Nikon recommends to leave VR on when mounted on a tripod.

        • Is it some auto VR feature?

          • Sebako

            That is perhaps a good way to put it. A few very fancy telephoto lenses (like the AF-S 600mm f/4G ED VR—that is the older, non-FL version) used to come with a VR switch you could set to “Tripod.” But the newer iterations of these lenses don’t have that switch position anymore, and most lenses never got it. The idea is that modern lenses can detect that the camera is sitting still, and then VR can be useful to compensate for the minute vibrations that can still happen even when on a tripod. The standard recommendation is to read your lens’ manual (yes, that’s the strangely folded sheet of paper full of customer safety warnings in all the languages of the world that was in the box), but unfortunately, Nikon’s language in those manuals tends to be rather nebulous on this particular issue. For the AF-P 10–20, it says:

            “Vibration reduction is generally recommended when the camera is mounted on a tripod, although you may prefer to turn it off depending on shooting conditions and the type of tripod.”

            That’s as close as Nikon ever gets to saying “KEEP IT ON!”

  • Aldo

    I’ll wait for the f5.6-8 version for 100 bucks

  • silmasan

    Can anyone confirm or correct me about compatibility with these new AF-P lenses with no VR switch (70-300 DX, 10-20, 18-55):

    fully compatible out of the box (with “Optical VR” menu):
    * D3400, D5500/5600, D7500, D500

    firmware update gives “Optical VR” menu:
    * D5300

    still can’t turn off VR from menu w/ latest firmware:
    * D7100, D7200

    ???
    D3200, D3300, D5200, D7000

    • julian_n

      I look forward to answer too. I asked my dealer and even they don’t know about D5200 AF-P compatibility.

      • silmasan

        Unfortunately, it hasn’t been updated. 🙁 Pity because it’d be a bargain by now. My cousin also has a D3200 and it hasn’t been that long either since he bought it, the 70-300 af-p would’ve been a nice buy for him.

    • Sebako

      The D3300 belongs in the “firmware update gives ‘Optical VR’ menu” category like the D5300.

      The D5500 also belongs in that category, it does not have the “Optical VR” menu with the original firmware. It is possible that it is now shipping with the updated firmware right away, I don’t know that, but older specimens certainly need to be updated.

      Note that “full compatibility” should also include not resetting the focus when waking up from standby. This is another problem that the D7100 and D7200 still suffer from.

      • silmasan

        Thanks. D7100/D7200 situation is a bummer. I like the 2-dial operation so much. I wish they’d give that in the D5xxx already (Pentax does it with some of their aps-c entry level!).

        • Sebako

          It is certainly a bummer. The D7200 is a professional camera that’s still one of Nikon’s current top DX models. As an owner, the limited compatibility has not stopped me from buying an AF-P lens and does not hinder me much in practice, but the thing is, I feel like I’m being treated by the manufacturer like I believe they might treat the casual buyers who got a D3300 at a discount consumer electronics store and barely remember what brand they bought. But no: they get the AF-P update. What gives?

    • MB

      Shooting/Display Menu
      d9 Optical VR (On/Off)

      P.S. It appears only with AF-P lenses attached …

      • silmasan

        Looks like it’s in different locations depending on the camera.

        In the D5300 & D5600 manuals that I’ve checked, it’s

        Menu –> Shooting Menu –> Optical VR

        In the D7500 it’s

        Menu –> Custom Setting –> Shooting/Display Menu –> d9 Optical VR

    • Thom Hogan

      D5, D500, D850, D3400, D5600, D7500 built in
      D3300, D5300, D5500 require available firmware updates
      no other cameras updated for AF-P VR yet that I know of

      • silmasan

        Thanks Thom. I wonder if the D7100/D7200 would get the update sometimes later…

        • Thom Hogan

          One would hope. But right now Nikon is doing silly and stupid things.

          • Reilly Diefenbach

            Like making the best ever DX and FX cameras. Bad Nikon!

            • Thom Hogan

              Including ones that can’t use the features of this lens ;~) Bad Reilly.

  • Aldo

    They should have done a better one for a little more money

    • Aditya Gupta

      AF-S DX NIKKOR
      10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED ….. Only 900 bucks

    • silmasan

      I was glad when I saw the price. Totally see myself getting a cheap lightweight dx body + this to cover ultrawide, which I use only rarely. But seeing the wild CAs, I’m not so sure…

  • Mehdi R

    AF/MF switch removal on a lens made mostly for landscape photography?

    • Thom Hogan

      Every Nikon DSLR you’d use this on has an AF/MF switch located on the body about an inch away from where such a switch would live, so I’m not sure what your complaint here is. Would you rather Nikon add price and complexity to this lens?

      • Sebako

        Well, it’s a budget lens. A lot of people are going to use it on a D3x00 or D5x00 series camera.

        • Eric Calabros

          And with D5xxx I can switch with just a tap on the screen 🙂

          • Thom Hogan

            Right. My point is that there are easy ways to switch to MF if you want. The switches on the lens have been mostly redundant since Nikon went with the current body switch design (the previous three position design would be more problematic).

            Indeed, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve encountered with a “camera won’t focus” problem where one of the many intersecting “switches” simply had been turned to MF without their noticing. It’s probably better to have it in one place, not many.

            • Mehdi R

              I prefer physical switch 🙂
              I can use it without looking at it you know, Like the one on 35mm. It may sound strange but one of my initial reasons years ago to choose Nikon was the ON/OFF switch, I could turn the camera on instantly without looking at it saving time to capture the moment with minimal lag, never liked Canon’s power switch.

            • Thom Hogan

              Again, the camera already has that switch within finger distance of where it would also be on the lens. You can’t use this lens on a camera without that switch.

            • Mehdi R

              Not on my D5500.

            • Thom Hogan

              Ah, forgot about that. But it just goes to show you how Nikon is not talking to itself and really doesn’t have an overall product management system that is working.

            • Max

              My D5300 doesn’t have one though..

            • Thom Hogan

              Shows you how much I’ve been using a D5xxx lately (zero). You’re correct. But that’s also an indictment of Nikon’s overall product line management: the D5xxx should have that switch, particularly given that the lenses have been having them removed.

            • Max

              I know. I often think about how they can slot the 5xxx more evenly between the 3xxx and 7xxx. They can give it the built in motor or maybe an extra fn button or two.

              Instead of stripping the D3xxx down like they seem to do with the D3400!

              But then again I have a feeling entry level dslr’s, in spite of being volume sellers, will suddenly be replaced by mirrorless (Canon G5x)

  • Sebako

    The chromatic abberations in some of these images are distractingly strong even at normal screen viewing size, for example on the windows in the first sample image. Reviews for this lens are all over the place, especially concerning sharpness and corner sharpness in particular. My impression is that the more thorough reviewers tend to be more disparaging of the optical quality (all while noting the light weight, small size, and affordable price, which are undisputed). I would be quite interested in a comparison with the old 10–24. Used lenses of that model are easily found on ebay and elsewhere and are not that much more expensive than a new AF-P 10–20.

  • I use the 14-24 on FF and Crop and have yet to use VR, on a WA I see almost no point

  • Captain Megaton

    I respect Nikon for putting this out, it’s a nice complement to the 18-55, 35DX, and 55-200.

    But, this is a lens that only has acceptable performance with CA and distortion correction turned on in software. So I’m afraid it is off my shopping list.

    • Thom Hogan

      Not sure where you’re getting that from (isn’t what I see).

      But yes, the 10-20mm, 18-55mm, and 70-300mm AF-P set makes for a really good base set of consumer zooms for DX, even 24mp DX. Arguably better than the base set of consumer zooms for any other camera brand I know of.

      Now if we only had a 12-20mm f/2.8, 16-50mm f/2.8, and 50-135mm f/2.8 set that established the high end of DX (buzz, buzz).

      • Eric Calabros

        With DX mirrorless around the corner, you really think they will use their limited resources to make more F mount DX lenses?

        • Thom Hogan

          Let’s start with “limited resources.” I would not call Nikon’s optical resources limited. Moreover, there are plenty of third party options that can be used to fill in gaps via OEM arrangements. Thus, I would say that there is nothing at all holding Nikon from introducing a dozen or more lenses in a year other than Nikon.

          And that brings me to an answer. No, I don’t think they will make a full DX lens lineup. It has to do with bean counting. Nikon is in full on “we can’t afford to make any product with less than X margin” mode right now. I believe their analysis of that is extremely short cited and does not take into account ecosystem benefits.

          When your question came in, I was actually putting the finishing touches on an article that intersects this. The reason why Fujifilm is successful at APS-C crop cameras is that they are perceived as having and continuing to introduce a full lens set. The reason why Nikon had so many people leak to Fujifilm is because Nikon never protected the DX system.

          It would take an act of bravery within Nikon at this point for someone to take charge—and they’d have to get past the management by consensus that Nikon typically uses—and race to fix the problem before it’s too late. I don’t know who that person would be. I don’t expect Nikon to fix their DX lens set problem, though I think they’ll still dabble at it.

          • Captain Megaton

            Honestly though, why should they even bother? Such lenses would be expensive, large, and distinctly “meh” vs. Nikon’s FX offerings.

            I mean look at the 17-55/2.8 … a 26-83/4 eq. for the price of a 24-70/2.8. Where do I sign up!

            • Thom Hogan

              Lens design is a series of balancing different attributes. You present the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 as an example. Most of us were using Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 lenses, which are smaller and lighter. And at the moment, on sale at B&H for US$370.

              This is Nikon’s problem: they don’t have a solid notion of what product line management is. It should be:

              DX — full system with some compromises; lower cost, lower size/weight
              FX — full system with no compromises

              That means that perhaps you don’t target the same things for a 16-46mm f/2.8 DX that you do with the 24-70mm f/2.8 FX. That’s because you still want people to have something to move up to once they’ve bought into your system.

              Nikon is trying to take shortcuts. They seem to believe that people go from DX and 18-xx variable zoom to FX and quality optics. I’m not convinced that’s true. In particular, Fujifilm and m4/3 are proving that it might not be.

            • Allen_Wentz

              Your observation:
              “This is Nikon’s problem: they don’t have a solid notion of what product line management is”
              hits a very key point, because as Nikon adds a response to mirrorless to their product mix product line management among all body types will be absolutely critical.

            • Thom Hogan

              I’ve been writing this for a long time. And there are plenty of clues that Nikon is changing but not necessarily getting it fully right. Dropping screw-drive, removing the mechanical aperture arm activation, and using stepper focus motors have all created fractures in the old “legacy compatibility,” for instance.

              So we have this moving map of lenses and bodies that absolutely require close attention to product line management detail.

              Mirrorless is almost certainly going to be fly-by-wire, electronic aperture, AF-P. Nikon would be crazy not to go that route. But that has potential for disruption. If an F-mount adapter for the mirrorless system has any incompatibilities with the legacy lens set, it will have implications for Nikon.

              You can never perfectly rationalize product lines. You get tech disruptions from time to time that cause you to have to transition. Apple is aggressive about being at the forefront of that, Nikon is now proving to be resistant to transition and is trailing edge. That increases the need to make the right decisions.

            • Adam Brown

              When Sony started mirrorless, they really couldn’t make it work with legacy lenses. So they went with new mount, and a slow mostly manual focus adapter. (The PDAF adapter was a SLT system.. taking away most of the mirrorless advantages).
              Same with early Canon mirrorless. Before dual pixel, their legacy lenses didn’t work so great.
              The technology has advanced.. Canon lenses adapt perfectly to Canon mirrorless — and is Canon even releasing any new mirrorless lenses?
              Sony legacy lenses (at least non screw drive) now work pretty well with mirrorless.

              So if starting a new mirrorless system today, why go with a new mount?? Just to save 50-100 grams on the potential system?
              If the Nikon 50/1.8g can adapt seamlessly to a Nikon mirrorless.. then what’s the point of a new mirrorless 50/1.8g? Why not just update the f-mount version so that it works better on dSLR and mirrorless?
              Creating 2 parallel lens sets only creates confusion.

              There would only be 1 true reason to start a whole new mount —

            • Thom Hogan

              Sony has essentially made new mistakes with the Minolta line they bought. KM made one set of mistakes, Sony is making new ones. But frankly, they didn’t have a lot of choice. They were far behind in the #3 slot (DSLR), and they did the Ries and Trout thing of making a new market to be #1 in (mirrorless).

              But, Sony is now repeating Nikon’s DX mistake. And it’s already having ramifications for them. Canon, too, looks like it is going to make the same mistake, but they’re a bigger player and they simply just came into the new market and took it away from Sony before Sony could defend it (which they really didn’t with E).

              The irony is that every one of the camera companies knows why Canon and Nikon are #1 and #2: lenses. Particularly, lens legacy. Why they’d not see that they have to build the same broad and deep lens set in a new market is just bad management.

              Fujifilm got it. They went straight for what was needed. So did Olympus/Panasonic. It’s why they’re still around, actually. They siphon off sales that should have gone to DX, E, EF-S, EF-M, had those been properly defended.

              So, to answer your question (which I’ve answered many times over the years in different contexts): you need a full lens set to protect any mount. It’s a bonus if you can let your user base keep its old lenses and use them.

              Thus, the point of a new mirrorless lens is to take advantage of what it enables. The old 50mm f/1.8G is not E, not AF-P, not sized appropriate to mirrorless, and requires you always carry the adapter. I’ll take the 50mm f/1.8E AF-P FX-M, thank you. You probably only have one adapter, so you’d be moving the adapter from lens to lens as you shoot, and removing it when you shoot with a native lens. Basically, you’re making your design problem a user problem.

              Personally, I would have gone with keeping the F-mount and using my lens group to fill in the DX blanks and push E/AF-P updates. I have no problems with the lens mount sticking out from the body as much as a decent right side grip, and it ensures that all legacy lenses work, which is what Nikon built its user base catering to.

              Again, it just strikes me that not one of the Big Three camera companies in Japan seems to understand that lenses were what eventually locked in the market shares, and that no one really wanted to have to purchase new lenses. Nor was there a need to if the camera companies had been building up the right ones.

            • Adam Brown

              My question/point is a little different. To the extent the 50/1.8g can use upgrading — that applies equally to mirrorless and dSLR. A mirrorless version wouldn’t be any smaller than a potential dSLR version. (It can be shrunk a bit for both equally).
              You only save size among a few potential wide angle lenses.
              Most lenses will be the same size — whether mirrorless or dSLR.
              Comparing a Sony A9 with a Nikon df or Nikon d750… mirrorless doesn’t have to save much size.

              So we agree that Nikon is in trouble if a mirrorless adapter doesn’t provide full functionality of f-mount lenses.
              But if an adapter can provide full functionality, then what’s the advantage of a new mount?? Why not just keep the f-mount.
              Why go the inefficient route of supporting even more lens lineups?
              Just to save 100 grams on the body and a few wide angle lenses?

              If Nikon is going the new mount route… it suggests to me that the adapter will only provide limited functionality. Suggests to me they are facing technological limitations on the ability to use on sensor systems with legacy lenses.

              Now… if they release a full frame mirrorless… let’s say it’s sloghtly inferior to the a7iii… if it was native f-mount, I would have incentive to compromise on the camera quality and stick to Nikon.
              But if the camera is inferior to the Sony a7iii… and requires new lenses…. then I have no reason to stick to Nikon.

            • Thom Hogan

              I outlined that problem for Nikon some time ago. There are problems with both choices. You can see that readily with the E/AF-P technologies: Nikon has to leave the past legacy behind even with new F-mount lenses.

              So they have a choice: retain the F-mount, build a new mount. They just have to choose one and move on it. They’ll be last mover in the market no matter what their choice is, and there will be consequences to that.

              I’ve written it before and will continue to do so: lenses are the way users got locked in. By allowing ANY users out of your system, you don’t take advantage of that lock. That’s why the dearth of DX lenses was a mistake.

              It’s why the slow migration to E/AF-P is going to hurt Nikon, too. I just posted my 70-300mm FX AF-P review. Great lens. Not a lot of cameras can use it, and most of those are DX cameras which would probably be better served with the cheaper, smaller, lighter DX version.

            • El Aura

              Technically, Nikon won’t be the last in APS-C (or m43 through FF) mirrorless, there’s also Pentax.

            • Thom Hogan

              Technically, Pentax was one of the first APS-C mirrorless ;~). But they abandoned that oddball camera.

            • The Pentax K-01? I actually liked the idea behind this camera – remove the pentaprism and keep the same mount. I think Pentax should have continued to work on that. Yes, the body was still bulky, but they solved the lens problem already.

            • Thom Hogan

              True. It was far better than people gave it credit for. But the odd styling/UI coupled with the slow contrast detect focus really doomed it.

              Nice thing was all those Pentax pancakes you could use on it.

            • Yes, and I secretly liked the design of the camera 🙂

          • El Aura

            Is Fuji more successful at APS-C (mirrorless) than Sony? It certainly is less successful than Canon.

            • Thom Hogan

              Said nothing about “more” or “less” successful. Just successful. By that I mean that they’re growing, are nearing profitability, and are getting people to switch to their system over previously established systems. That last is a very difficult task to do.

            • El Aura

              If Fuji is successful because it is doing something different (many APS-C prime lenses), which is what you implied, but others (Sony & Canon) are equally or even more successful than Fuji, then the label of merely ‘successful’ looses a lot of its shine.

              Of course, your comparison as to Fuji being successful while somebody else is not, refers to Nikon which isn’t growing or attracting switchers (though it is also nearing profitability, albeit from a different direction). But then Nikon doesn’t have a mirrorless system. My point being that your argument is inconclusive. Looking at Fuji and Nikon alone, you cannot distinguish whether it is the primes or or the mirrorlessness that makes Fuji more attractive (growing, attracting switchers) than Nikon.

            • Thom Hogan

              I think I’ve been clear on this. The problem for Nikon (and Canon and Sony using the same tactic) is that you enable competitors to siphon off sales that you would have made (what I call sampling, leaking, and eventually switching).

              Over time, this can erode your base substantively. It has, in the case of Nikon. It is beginning to, in the case of Sony. It hasn’t yet in the case of Canon.

              The whole “move” towards full frame and high cost products with high margins is a defensive strategy, not an offensive one. That’s because it arbitrarily limits your unit volume due to price elasticity of demand. It may temporarily help you hold overall profits, but there are consequences. Consequences that Nikon has yet to address. They built their manufacturing to address 20m+ units a year (probably far higher than that, actually). They no longer need that, so they have assets on their books that will need to be written off, and that will kill those high overall profits they were trying to maintain.

              You can only “juggle the books” for so long. Eventually poor decisions have real and meaningful impacts that you can’t ignore. The marginalization of DX has occurred for a number of reasons: emphasis on FX, non-defense of the DX product line by mediocre updating and extension, and ignoring mirrorless are the three biggies.

              Thing is, Sony is repeating Nikon’s mistake with APS-C (E-mount as opposed to FE). Sony executives were shocked when they were confronted by the assertion they were “ignoring” E-mount. They seem to think that they’re optimal there with their current offerings. They aren’t. For the same reasons that Nikon wasn’t with DX. Over time, the same problems will surface if not addressed.

            • El Aura

              Looking at this differently, where would Canon, Sony and Nikon be if Fuji hadn’t siphoned off sales and customers from them? Ie, what would be their numbers if we distributed Fuji’s sales over these three companies, favouring Canon and Sony as only they have APS-C mirrorless products? Are Fuji’s numbers large enough to make a meaningful difference at these three companies?

            • Thom Hogan

              That’s what should be causing panic at Nikon’s HQ: Fujifilm is siphoning off serious APS-C sales, Canon is siphoning off APS-C mirrorless sales, and Sony is siphoning off full frame sales other than the D8xx spot. The net result of that is that Nikon’s market share is almost 10 percentage points lower than its high not even 10 years ago. They can talk about catering to high end all they want, but Nikon has a serious problem now, and it lives in the sub D500 range. All of that range.

              It’s difficult to tell exactly where Fujifilm is right now as they’ve not released unit numbers for over a year, but does it really matter whether that’s 2 percentage points back to Nikon or 3? It’s a fumble. Self-caused error. Own goal.

              Each percentage point market share at Nikon’s current margins has to equate to over 500m yen (call it US$5 million). Would you like to face the board of directors and say that you bumbled away perhaps US$50m in 10 years?

            • Tony Beach

              Wouldn’t it be much more than $50 million? Five million the first year, then million the second year, and so on until they are now hemorrhaging $50 million a year (and where that stops no one knows), so assuming one percent a year loss in market share using your $5 million per percentage point I come up with $275 million lost in the last ten years.

              Not including inflation and the diminishing value of losing a percentage point (it is arguable that they somewhat offset each other), ten more years of this rate of attrition and Nikon will have lost about $1 billion.

            • Thom Hogan

              Generally the way you measure business success is year-against-previous year (or quarter against previous quarter). So basically I’m saying that every year for much of the last 10, Nikon was leaking sales they shouldn’t have been, and thus profit, and at a level that should have caught the attention of the board.

            • Tony Beach

              Okay, but that seems rather myopic to me, which goes to the very core of a company’s success or failure over the long term.

      • Allen_Wentz

        I agree about the need for 12-20mm f.2.8 but the DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E is a very good lens that mostly obviates the need for a 16-50mm f/2.8. And IMO above 80mm upper end DX shooters should buy FX glass anyway.

        • Thom Hogan

          Maybe. One could argue that Nikon should produce a series of three f/2.8-4E zoom lenses for DX. This would keep FX being different than DX and help scale size appropriately.

          It doesn’t really matter the exact specifications, it matters that the perception of DX being lens restricted and not complete is fixed. In particular, the two things I see over and over in surveys: primes and faster zooms.

          Sigma has been preying on this. The 18-35mm f/1.8 and 50-100mm f/1.8 lenses are fantastic DX lenses (see my reviews). Overnight they changed my DX bag. The fact that there is a third party that is filling the demand is both good news and bad news for Nikon. Good for the user, bad for Nikon’s perception as a full system provider.

    • Cpk

      “Acceptable performance” = good enough for many. I have the Sigma (on a D300) and it helped me take some stunning shots at 10mm in Yosemite and Yellowstone. At that point I couldn’t care less about barrel distortion or corner softness. I just…liked the photograph I took.

  • Callum Gibson

    Tried it out, corners were soft even at f8/f11, at every focal length. Got the Tokina 11-16, and offers even performance when stopped down and a more robust build for an extra £120.

  • julian_n

    Thank you for the reply and link. Very useful.
    It is actually the 70-300 I am considering – and leaving VR enabled on that lens is probably not an issue.
    I did find a Youtube video of someone showing the 18-55 AF-P working on a D5200.
    Thanks again.

  • kutti

    AF-S DX NIKKOR10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED ….. Only 900 bucks

  • Phil Schmidt

    They should have done a better one for a little more money

  • Amir

    This crappy lens has nothing to do/say in front of Tokina 14-20mm f/2.Love it!

  • cole ortega

    The chromatic abberations in some of these images are distractingly strong even at normal screen viewing size, for example on the windows in the first sample image. Reviews for this lens are all over the place, especially concerning sharpness and corner sharpness in particular. My impression is that the more thorough reviewers tend to be more disparaging of the optical quality (all while noting the light weight, small size, and affordable price, which are undisputed). I would be quite interested in a comparison with the old 10–24. Used lenses of that model are easily found on ebay and elsewhere and are not that much more expensive than a new AF-P 10–20.

  • Paul Elisarov

    I’ve had this lens and did not like it at all. It has very low microcontrast and all trees in a curtain distance look like digested green mass. This make this lens unusable for shooting nature. And, as said here – stopping down does not help.I sold this lens and bought a used Tokina 12-24, it is a much-much better lens for photography. I see Nikon 10-20 as a lens purely for videographers.

  • Back to top