I have already told you that I adore taking photos at a wide angle, thus, this lens is a real catch for me.
I just got acquainted with them one of these days when I went to Moscow on business. I have got great impressions both of my visit and the lens itself.
10-24 mm has substituted its older Nikon friend 12-24 mm. The only considerable change is a focal distance. Thus, if you are already a lucky owner of 12-24 mm I see no point in changing it. Although, in fact, the difference between 10 mm and 12 mm is quite considerable for many maniacs of a wide angle, personally I am not so fanatical, that is why I have not changed my Tokina 12-24 mm.
As the lens is equipped with a “small motor” the autofocus will work on low-cost SLR cameras of Nikon, namely, D40 / >D40x / D60 / D3000 / D5000 / D3200 / D3300 /D5500.
Naturally you should understand that you will have to pay for having a wide angle with an optical distortion, but I think that it’s quite normal, all the more so that now even Lightroom can correct distortion automatically. Below you can see the view from the last floor of Kosmos hotel in which an arc on the horizon is seen clearly:
Due to the fact that distortion is not critical for me here, moreover, I really like it, I have not corrected it.
I should also mention that you can take photos of a portrait with 24 mm as there is practically no distortion at the extreme focus:
One more great advantage of 10-24 mm is its sharpness that is above all praise. In order to prove my point there is an example of 10-24 below (in the left) and 50 mm f/1.4 AF-S (in the right):
Naturally it ranks below the prime lens but nevertheless, the result is not bad for a wide-angle lens, my Tokina 12-24 cannot even dream about such a sharpness.
The other side of the story is its price, now the lens costs about 830$ and I do not think that the price will become lower than 800$. But alas, it is a wide-angle lens and it is Nikon and these lens always have problems with the price. The old Nikon 12-24 still costs 800$, this is connected with the complexity of production of wide-angle lens.
In fact, it is up to you to decide, my opinion is that 10-24 is the best wide-angle lens of Nikon for DX-cameras for today.
If you do not want to spend so much money, and here I really understand you, there is an alternative with an autofocus on low-cost cameras, namely, D40 / D40x / D60 / D3000 / D3100 / D5000 / D5100 / D3200 and that is Sigma AF 10-20 mm F3.5 EX DC HSM, and as for the owners of DX-cameras having an AF-S system I recommend you to buy Tokina AT-X DX AF 11-16 mm f/2.8.
There is no sense in buying 10-24 mm for FX as you will be able to take photos only on focal 18-24, if it is lower than 18 mm there will be a falloff at the angles of the photo. I recommend the lucky owners of FX to buy 17-35 mm or 16-35.
It is a must to buy a security filter of 77 mm in diameter together with the lens, and I highly advise you to have a polarizing filter.