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Most Liked Positive Review
Excellent Optical Performance - Great VR
I have been using Nikon cameras and lenses for over 50 years, since I was a teenager using an S2 rangefinder. My new 16-85mm VR has really impressed me with both its excellent...Read complete review
I have been using Nikon cameras and lenses for over 50 years, since I was a teenager using an S2 rangefinder. My new 16-85mm VR has really impressed me with both its excellent optical performance and the ability of the latest VR technology. I always test a new lens in my studio with an optical test chart and camera (in this case, a D300) mounted on tripod. The 16-85mm VR performed superbly, even wide open, with only the very corners at 85mm showing the slightest softening, visible only with "pixel-peeking" at 1:1, which is an image scale that would yield a 28"x42" print size. In terms of practical photography,even when I make 24"x36" prints, this lens is very sharp. I've included some sample shots from my first field use of the lens (the optical test patterns would be boring) -- two images are of ice crystals on a fence shot at 85mm near the closest focusing distance. This yields about a 1:4 scale on the sensor, so that even the small full frame image here is effectively larger than life-sized. The cropped image is an enlarged crop of the full image that would yield a print scale of about 12"x18". A tripod was used for this shot. Most of my work is scenic and wildlife, and I use a tripod for about 80% of my shots. However, when needed, the performance of VRII is amazing -- see two VR test images. This is again a full frame image, and a 1:1 scaled crop of that image. The shot was made at 1/15 sec hand held in my music studio at a focal length of 48mm. The 1:1 crop again would be yield a 28"x42" image size if the entire image were shown at this scale. As you can see, the text is fully readable in spite of the long exposure. I shot a number of images in the same area, both with and without VR, and all shot with VR were as sharp as this example, and none shot without VR at this shutter speed were the least bit clear due to camera shake. Great little lens -- compact and reasonably light to carry on all-day shoots. It will no doubt be my main Go-To lens for years to come.
Most Liked Negative Review
Trading this in because of poor performance
I have used this lens for about a year with my D300. It is sharp and contrasty from about 50 mm to 85mm at f5.6 and at 8. There is a noticeable fall off...Read complete review
I have used this lens for about a year with my D300. It is sharp and contrasty from about 50 mm to 85mm at f5.6 and at 8. There is a noticeable fall off of resolution beginning at f11. Additionally, the resolution is simply poor in the range of 16mm to about 35mm especially at wider f stops. Resolution becomes marginally acceptable between 35mm and 50mm. In sum, if you only shoot outdoors with plenty of light (or with flash) and keep the lens at f5.6 or f.8 and limit it 50mm to 85mm, you will be fine. Anything else produces amateur quality results. Nikon needs to upgrade the resolution of this lens below 35mm and at f stops at and above f11.
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Reviewed by 75 customers
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Versatile sharp lens
from San Francisco and Hawaii
Comments about Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:
I purchased this lens about a year ago and immediately started using it as my primary lens for my D5200, good size and weight, versatile focal range, I recommend this lens as a primary lens for the dx cameras, a little wider and a little longer than the standard, 18-55 kit lens
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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great walk around lens
from Hudson Valley
it would be nice with a wider aperture, it would also cost more and surely be heavier than I want to carry. The VR handles the low light, so in actuality, depth of field might be the lone disadvantage .
A must have general purpose lens.
This is my "goto" for general photography. Whenever I'm out and about I never know what I'm going to run into. So I usually bring this lens along and my 40mm macro just in case something catches my eye. This lens is sharp from 16 to 85mm. The VR works wonderful and its very well made. The 16-85mm VR uses allot of metal in its construction which makes for a solid feeling lens in the hand. The zoom ring is nicely dampened so you don't have to worry about lens creep. The focus ring also feels smooth when using manual focus. This lens is equipped with Nikon's ring type SWM motor. Its AF speed is almost as fast as my Nikkor 70-300mm VR. So I hardly miss any shots with this lens. The 16-85mm focal range is very useful to me. I can get a nice wide angle shot, though not the same effect as a true wide angle lens. The wide 16mm focal length with this lens allows you to fit everything into the frame. But this lens doesn't have the distortion associated with wide angle lenses. The 85mm focal length is a good enough reach for me. I really have no use for mega zoom lenses since I'd rather photograph whats around me instead of wasting time with distant objects. I use this lens on my D3100 and D7000's. Its sharp and contrasty on all my bodies. If your looking for a lens that built better then your kit lens, offers better VR, faster AF speed and a more useful focal range as well as sharper images then this lens might be your ticket.
(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
Great alternative to the kit lens
from Northern California
I bought this over a year ago in preference to the 18-55 kit lens, here's why: It has a metal mount which way more robust than the kit lens, it has a useful improvement in the wide angle end of the focal range for indoor work and architectural shots and makes a great portrait lens too. Some say it is a great "walking around lens", which it is, but that term implies that it is average at everything. It's not. It's better. If you only had one lens to choose, pick this one first. Sure, there are wider range zoom lenses available for the DX family, but this lens is commendably light and shoots well indoors too. I use it with a D5100.
(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)
Very sharp lens
from Indianapolis, IN, USA
Produces very sharp images on a D7000. However I would have traded some focal length on the long end for another f-stop; a sharp 16-60 f/2.8-4 would have been preferable but none exists. (VR not helpful for moving subjects.)
(21 of 26 customers found this review helpful)
My "go-to" lens with my D7000
from Grimsby, ON, Canada
The Nikkor 16-85 VR is Nikkor's best zoom lens in a DX format in terms of image quality. Great colour rendition and clarity. Having the extra wide field of view does make a big difference shooting at 16 mm rather than 18 mm. I have taken more photos on my D7000 with this lens than any of the other 6 Nikkor lenses I own. It is a real workhorse. I've also used this lens on my D600 when shooting corporate video and have found it to be excellent for that purpose as well.
(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)
Good general purpose lens
from Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Sharp,good contrast,accurate colors but less than satisfactory in dim light [hunts focus].In good light resolution impressive.
(15 of 18 customers found this review helpful)
This has become my "go-to" lens
from San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA
Purchased this lens when I bought my D300S body. While I have five other lenses, this one has become my "standard" lens that I shoot 75% of the time. If I don't want to carry "everything," I rely on this lens as my "walk around" lens. Not as sharp as my 70-200 2.8, but a easier to carry around on a long day.
(44 of 63 customers found this review helpful)
good lens at great price
This lens is well-built, good images at all range. I personally find it a bit soft at the 85mm end, but it is sharp at 20~50mm length. A great lens to have, and if you are looking for a travel lens, choose this one over 18-200mm!
(21 of 25 customers found this review helpful)
Great kit lens for D300 series
from Boulder, CO, USA
I have had this lens for several years, having decided to get this one and the AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens combination rather than the AF-S VR 18-200 lens. Probably 95% of my shots (mostly outdoors/landscapes) make use of this lens. It is obviously not that fast, but I find that the VR works well and that the images produced seem very sharp to me. And, since both lenses listed here and the older AF-S 18-70 kit lens use 67mm filters, I have found some efficiencies. I really like this lens and its balance/feel on the D300.
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