Nikon Learn & Explore

Go Ultra-Wide with the AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Lens

Why would you need a 10-20mm zoom lens? Well, because it offers a really ultra-wide-angle of view that you just can’t get using the lens that came with your camera because its angle of view is wider than the eye can see. Many DSLR cameras come with a lens such as an 18-55mm, 18-140mm zoom or even 18-300mm zoom. These lenses are versatile but after shooting with one for a while you may find that you want to be able to capture a wider view of a scene than the lens will allow. Because this is a P series lens, when shooting video, its smooth stepping motor keeps focusing noise to a minimum.

The AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens can go as wide as a staggering 10mm angle of view. Images are incredibly sharp, even at the edges. Another feature of the lens is that it lets you get as close as 8.6 inches to your subject for dramatic looking photographs. This means you can get so close to your subject that it can fill the frame—looking larger than other objects in the background that may be the same size.
product photo of the 10-20mm NIKKOR lens
Tamara Lackey photo of two kids lying in the grass facing each other

© Tamara Lackey

The photographer placed the camera low to the ground in this shot, filling the foreground.

Tamara Lackey photo of kids playing in a park with bubbles

© Tamara Lackey

An ultra-wide angle lens lets you capture all of the action, and the surroundings, like these kids chasing after bubbles in the park.

Tilt the lens down and include more of the foreground; tilt the lens up and fill the frame with the sky.

You can exaggerate the perspective of buildings or straight lines in a scene by using the 10-20mm lens because it has such an wide field of view, meaning it can capture a lot more than the kit lens that came with your camera.

Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) is incorporated into this lens. VR is image stabilization, which will help you get sharp photos when you’re handholding the camera.

Lindsay Silverman photo of buildings in a city

© Lindsay Silverman

A wide angle lens can cause tall buildings to converge at their peaks, which ads drama to the image.

Daniel Dohlus photo of a cliff and water in the background, taken from the top of the cliff

© Daniel Dohlus

The AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens allowed the photographer to get close to the edge of the cliff and also include the village on the far side.

Daniel Dohlus photo of a nighttime scene, shot with a slow shutter speed to show light trails of car lights

© Daniel Dohlus

The viewer's eye follows the trail of light from the cars into the frame and around the street; into the background where the pinpoints of light and their reflections on the water bring you back to the foreground.

If you love to travel and take pictures of sweeping landscapes or cityscapes then the 10-20mm lens might be what you’re looking for. An ultra-wide-angle lens is also ideal for taking pictures of large groups of people since they allow you to stay fairly close to the group yet still get everybody into the shot. Do you like taking photos of interiors? An ultra-wide-angle will let you capture an entire room in one shot and if the space is on the smaller size, you can make pictures that you otherwise would not be able to create with a longer focal length lens.

Wide-angle lenses are often the choice of photojournalists because they can capture a subject in his/her environment and be able to tell as story with a single image. If you enjoy documenting the life around you, the 10-20mm zoom might be a good choice.

A fun way to use the close focus capability of the 10-20mm lens is to get really close to a portion of your subject to the point that what is closest to the camera is exaggerated and looks larger than life. Depending upon what your subject is, this can simply put an emphasis on a portion of the image or make it look huge as compared to the rest of the subject.

Tamara Lackey photo of a girl holding a cupcake close to the 10-20mm lens exaggerating the view of the cupcake

© Tamara Lackey

The AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens will let you focus close to your subject to emphasize its importance in the photograph.

For the avid travel, nature or landscape enthusiast, the AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is the ideal companion to your kit lens, allowing you to make unique photographs that the camera’s kit lens just can’t do.

Daniel Dohlus photo of boats in a harbor

© Daniel Dohlus

The boats in the foreground stand out as the main subject while the rest of the boats and buildings of the harbor fill the background.

10 Out of the Ordinary Shots You Can Make with the 10-20mm Zoom Lens

  • Exaggerate the perspective of buildings or other straight lines

  • Get so close to your subject that it becomes exaggerated and looks larger than life

  • Intentionally bring flare from the sun or another large light source into an image

  • Get low to the ground and include lots of foreground for an interesting shot

  • Tell an entire story with just one shot—capturing your subject and her/his surroundings

  • Show the vast openness of landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes

  • Fill the frame with dramatic skies

  • Utilize the foreground area for added drama

  • Photograph an entire building or interior room—whether the buildings are big or the rooms small.

  • Photograph large groups of people. Remember though, not to place anyone right on the edges of the frame when zoomed out to 10mm to keep from distorting their bodies.

Lindsay Silverman photo of reeds in the water of a landscape

© Lindsay Silverman

Dramatic skies filled with clouds help to show just how vast this landscape is.