Nikkor AF-S 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED DX - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
Thursday, 27 December 2007 16:24


At about ~1.7% the Nikkor shows a relatively pronounced degree of barrel distortion at the wide end of the zoom range changing to slight pincushion distortion at 18mm and 24mm. Compared to other lenses in this range this is a pretty good characteristic.

Move the mouse cursor over the focal length text marks below to observe the respective distortions
12mm 18mm 24mm

The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm.


At wide-open aperture the Nikkor shows a noticeable degree of vignetting regardless of the focal length - this is quite typical for dedicated APS-C lenses. Stopping down to f/5.6 and more so to f/8 reduces the problem significantly to a degree which should no longer be relevant under field conditions.

MTF (resolution)

The Nikkor AF-S 12-24mm showed very impressive resolution figures in the MTF lab. Unlike many other lenses with a reduced image circle it is capable to combine an excellent center performance with very good borders and generally still very good extreme corners. The only exception is 12mm @ f/4 where the extreme border performance drops to good quality. Some users complained about soft corners at wide-open aperture at 12mm - this probably originates in a quite pronounced degree of field curvature at 12mm (which bends the border portion of the focus plane towards the background resulting in out-of-focus borders in the foreground).

Despite the different optical designs it is remarkable that the MTF characteristic is very similar to the Tokina AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X Pro DX.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

Lateral CAs (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are relatively well controlled for an ultra-wide zoom lens. That said the lens still shows a quite pronounced degree of CAs at large aperture settings in the lower half of the zoom range. Stopped down and at 24mm CAs are a lesser problem.

Please note that CAs are no principal show-stopper because they can easily be corrected via various tools such as the Adobe Photoshop RAW converter or Debarrelizer (a Photoshop plug-in).