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Thread: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

  1. #1
    AndyB1975's Avatar
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    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    I am in need of a good general purpose 'walkabout' lens to cover general landscapes, street, family days out etc and after much searching around I have settled for the above.

    From reading reviews online it seems to fit the bill quite well, being quiet small and light with a good focal range and fits my budget of 400ish (don't tell that to the wife ).

    Before I part with the cash, does anyone have any first hand experience of this lens? Is it as good as it sounds?

    Also, I am sure I have read somewhere that there is a slight issue with light leakage through the distance scale (if thats whats its called......the little window between the zoom and focus rings) while doing longer exposure shots at night. If this is true can it just be corrected with a little black tape over the window?

    Are there other lenses you would recommend above this as a general purpose lens?

    Thanks

    Andy
    Last edited by AndyB1975; 9th January 2013 at 11:04 AM.

  2. #2
    PhotomanJohn's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Andy,

    I have been using the 16-85mm for several years now and it is the lens that is normally on the camera. Have been very pleased with its performance and am very happy with the choice I made. The lens has good sharpness and contrast and is simply a solid performer for a mid-priced lens. I have not heard about the light leak issue and have not done any long exposures with the lens so I can't comment. It is wide enough at 16 that I very seldom put on the 10-24mm and long enough that I seldom put on the 70-300mm that I carry in my bag. I will be surprised if you are disappointed with this lens.

    John

  3. #3

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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Andy: I like John have and use the lens a lot on my D7000, I also do a lot of long exposures and have never had any problems with anykind of light leakage from either the lens or the camera unlike my D600 which I have to cover the viewfinder, unlike the D7000.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  4. #4
    AndyB1975's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Excellent, thanks for your replies.

    To be honest the light leakage may not have been for this lens, it was just a comment that I had noted on a picture I saw somewhere. My memory is not my best asset so I may have remembered the lens incorrectly.

    It's looking very much like I will purchase this lens at the weekend.

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    To Allan and John,

    What were your particular reasons for choosing this lens as opposed to the 18-55mm kit lens; or do you have both?

  6. #6
    PhotomanJohn's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    John,

    I was looking for a general purpose lens with a little bit longer max focal length to close the gap with my 70-300 and this looked like a good choice with good reviews. I had a D5000 at the time and I was really surprised when I took the first pictures with it compared to the 18-55. The colors appeared to be more saturated giving noticeable better contrast and the image was generally sharper. Maybe it was the specific subject but the second I opened them they just seemed to jump out at me. I then did some pixel peeping and they really looked good. The build quality is also much better (no surprise for the difference in cost) but the lens is much larger and heavier than the kit lens.

    I would be curious to see what comments Allan has.

    John

  7. #7
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    As others have said its a great lens. I've owned one for about two years now and it is rarely off my D300s, to the point where I often take only that out with me as its wide enough and long enough for most situations.

    Build is very good, optical performance is excellent, the VR is very effective and I wouldn't be without it.

  8. #8
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotomanJohn View Post
    John,

    I was looking for a general purpose lens with a little bit longer max focal length to close the gap with my 70-300 and this looked like a good choice with good reviews. I had a D5000 at the time and I was really surprised when I took the first pictures with it compared to the 18-55. The colors appeared to be more saturated giving noticeable better contrast and the image was generally sharper. Maybe it was the specific subject but the second I opened them they just seemed to jump out at me. I then did some pixel peeping and they really looked good. The build quality is also much better (no surprise for the difference in cost) but the lens is much larger and heavier than the kit lens.

    I would be curious to see what comments Allan has.

    John
    John,

    i did a comparison of the two lenses and one thing I noted was that the 18-55mm doesn't list VR function, yet it (VR) is shown on the barrel of mine. Do you recall if it was etched on your 18-55mm.

  9. #9
    PhotomanJohn's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    John,

    i did a comparison of the two lenses and one thing I noted was that the 18-55mm doesn't list VR function, yet it (VR) is shown on the barrel of mine. Do you recall if it was etched on your 18-55mm.
    John,

    There are two versions of the 18-55mm. One has VR (#2176) and the other (#2170) does not. The lens I had was the VR version.

    John

  10. #10

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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    John: (Shadowman) you asked why I got the 16-85mm instead if the kit 18-55mm. I never had that kit lens, I stated with a D70, I had purchsed a Sigma 10-20mm that I still use, I had a 70-300mm FX lend, I wanted something wide but also crossed over 70mm as I did not want to switch to another lens and the 16-85mm was a perfect fit for me to use a a very day walk about lens.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    Last edited by Polar01; 10th January 2013 at 01:54 PM. Reason: trying to get rid of that face, where and how did I get it.

  11. #11
    AndyB1975's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Well I ordered this lens yesterday and its just turned up, along with a new tripod, UV and Polariser!! The wife is seriously gonna kill me when she gets home

    I am supposed to be working from home today but am now very distracted!

    First impressions are very good and as the sun is actually out for the first time in ages the camera will be coming out to the forest on my dog walk...........today is a good day

  12. #12
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    First thing, I am a Canon Guy but, that doesn't matter. A 16-85mm lens on a crop Nikon is virtually identical in coverage to the 15-85mm on a crop Canon (a bit shorter on the long side but, not enough to matter). That is a great focal range! It covers a wide 24mm to 127mm equivalent. This would be super for a walk around camera and would also match very well with a 70-xxx mm lens. The overlap of the 70-85mm length should result in less frequent lens switching if you are working with a single camera which most photographers do.

    As far as the comparison between the 16-85mm and the 18-55mm lens (in focal range only - not considering any IQ differences), the 2mm difference on the wide side is quite a difference. I am still an old school guy and cut my teeth on full frame cameras, so I always think of lenses in relation to their equivalent focal length.

    The wide side of the 15mm is a 24mm equivalent while 16mm is a 27mm equivalent. I owned a 28mm lens for my full frame manual focus film cameras and I occasionally borrowed a 24mm lens. There was an obvious difference on coverage between the two lenses.

    However, the greatest advantage of either the 16-85mm Nikon or 15-85mm Canon over the 18-55mm lenses (of either Nikon or Canon) is on the long side! The approximate 127mm equivalent makes this lens quite handy for street shooting and for portraiture. I use the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens as my go-to glass for all general and travel photography. It is however, really too short for walk around use (as a single lens) and just marginal for portraits but, I love the consant f/2.8 aperture and its super AF and IQ; so I stick with this lens. I solve the dilemma by shooting with a pair of cameras with 17-55mm f.2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses. However, I would expect that this is not a solution which all photographers would opt for...

  13. #13
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    First thing, I am a Canon Guy but, that doesn't matter. A 16-85mm lens on a crop Nikon is virtually identical in coverage to the 15-85mm on a crop Canon (a bit shorter on the long side but, not enough to matter). That is a great focal range! It covers a wide 24mm to 127mm equivalent. This would be super for a walk around camera and would also match very well with a 70-xxx mm lens. The overlap of the 70-85mm length should result in less frequent lens switching if you are working with a single camera which most photographers do.

    As far as the comparison between the 16-85mm and the 18-55mm lens (in focal range only - not considering any IQ differences), the 2mm difference on the wide side is quite a difference. I am still an old school guy and cut my teeth on full frame cameras, so I always think of lenses in relation to their equivalent focal length.

    The wide side of the 15mm is a 24mm equivalent while 16mm is a 27mm equivalent. I owned a 28mm lens for my full frame manual focus film cameras and I occasionally borrowed a 24mm lens. There was an obvious difference on coverage between the two lenses.

    However, the greatest advantage of either the 16-85mm Nikon or 15-85mm Canon over the 18-55mm lenses (of either Nikon or Canon) is on the long side! The approximate 127mm equivalent makes this lens quite handy for street shooting and for portraiture. I use the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens as my go-to glass for all general and travel photography. It is however, really too short for walk around use (as a single lens) and just marginal for portraits but, I love the consant f/2.8 aperture and its super AF and IQ; so I stick with this lens. I solve the dilemma by shooting with a pair of cameras with 17-55mm f.2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses. However, I would expect that this is not a solution which all photographers would opt for...
    i probably wouldn't notice the difference in wide angle between the two lenses (16-85mm and 18-55mm) at the short focal length, would be great to see some comparisons.

  14. #14
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    i probably wouldn't notice the difference in wide angle between the two lenses (16-85mm and 18-55mm) at the short focal length, would be great to see some comparisons.
    Try this John:

    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/simulator/

    Wait for it to finish loading.

    It' a bit fiddly, but you can use 16 and 18mm on DX format (1.5 crop)

    Unlike the brilliant DSLR simulator which only goes to 18mm

  15. #15
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Try this John:

    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/simulator/

    Wait for it to finish loading.

    It' a bit fiddly, but you can use 16 and 18mm on DX format (1.5 crop)

    Unlike the brilliant DSLR simulator which only goes to 18mm
    Thanks Dave,

    I used the harbor scene to compare and I was more impressed at what i saw at the long end of lens capability. I can see the need for wanted 16mm range if I was shooting in a tight spot, but would want to see something more such as sharpness or clarity to justify the price difference. I wouldn't see the 16-85mm as a good walking around lens either because of the added weight, but I wouldn't turn it down if i had a choice between the two lenses.

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