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Keywords: Nikon Nikkor Wide Zoom 35mm AF-S VR II Stabilized tested


Registered: December 2013
Posts: 3
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor review by PeterM1_Leica
Review Date: 12/7/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Excellent performance at pretty well all focal elngths and apertures, highly effective VR
Cons: None really but the build quality seemed a little less than I expected but having said this it is still very good.

I sort of bought this lens by accident. I was in Hong Kong on holidays and more or less determined to buy some camera gear whilst there.

I can't say I really wanted this lens over other lenses such as the 24-70 but it was in a better price range than that lens. And I knew I needed a wider lens as part of my kit. So more or less out of curiosity I decided to buy it figuring that if I got it at a half reasonable price and did not get along with it I could always sell it later.

Well long story short I have no intention of selling it. Immediately I tried it a few times I was amazed at its image quality, particularly in dim light conditions where the VR really pays for itself. It really produces nice sharp images with nice colour. But I also have to say that I was using a D700 which also performs well in low light and while the maximum aperture on the lens is only f4, that is in practice not an issue particularly with that camera - its possible to put the camera on auto ISO with an upper limit of say 1600 ISO and then forget about the lens's modest maximum aperture in most shooting situations if that is what you need to do. Although in practice I usually prefer to shoot in aperture priority treating ISO / aperture / shutter speed as full inter changeable has its advantages sometimes. In short this lens with that camera can be wholly relied upon to turn in good shots without the photographer needing to think too much if that is what you need.

Some users have complained about this lens's relatively poorer resolution at full aperture when shot at 35mm focal length but as shown in the test charts on this page the loss of resolution here is quite minor and you can of course always stop down which fixes it. So that "issue" is only nit picking.

A bigger problem for many will be the marked distortion at the widest focal length as I found out when shooting in an urban environment like Hong Kong where this can be a disadvantage. But I do not let this worry me too much. You have to expect some distortion with ultra-wides. And in any event the distortion with this lens, while considerable, is not complex and can be fixed completely or almost completely in post processing.

This is, simply put, one of Nikon's finest lenses in terms of the quality of images it produces particularly when compared to its price.

As noted in the summary, initially I was a little put off by this lens's build quality. Its not that its bad in any sense but I was comparing it to a 17-55mm DX Nikkor that I had recently owned before going full frame. That lens had a lot more metal in it and felt more substantial to handle. This 16-35mm lens is more similar to most other G lenses which are all or almost all polycarbonate in construction. That's not bad. It just takes a little getting used to if coming from earlier lenses as you need to adjust your expectations and accept they do feel a little plastic.

Here are 3 links to shots taken by me with lens in Hong Kong. They give you some idea of its capability in adverse light conditions using VR. (By the way back lighting is not an issue either - that nano crystal coating really kicks butt).

Registered: October 2011
Posts: 10
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor review by CraigH
Review Date: 10/14/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,250.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, fairly light weight, perfect ultra wide range, balances nicely
Cons: None

I preordered this lens when it was announced, something I don't ever do, but I wanted an ultra wide for FX to go the the Grand Tetons with. I read the initial reviews posted by the internet forum nay-sayers and felt a bit discouraged. Then I got the lens and actually used it. What a pleasant surprise. Goes to show why not to listen to the intitial views of the pixel peeping measurabators.

This lens might be one of the sharpest, most contrasty lens in my kit. If I do my part, the output is stunning to say the least. This lens is usually mounted to my D700, D3S or my D800 and finds itself at paid assignments as well as pleasure photoshoots.

The 16-35 f/4 is a tough lens. Situated on the side of a mountain in driving sleet and snow for six hours waiting for after storm light, I just kept knocking sludge off of it and the D700. No damage and no fear of it. It just kept doing what it was designed to do.

My sweet spot in FX extra wide is around 24mm. My rational for not getting the 14-24 f/2.8 was that I'd always be fighting that 24mm area and need to change to a longer lens. The 16-35 f/4 allows plenty of room both side of 24mm so I am always able to adjust. Just makes sense.

This lens has incredible barrel distortion at 16mm and goes away fairly fast as you zoom in. The thing is that if you don't want it, it's so simple to process it away in or out of the camera. It's not a problem unless you're stitching panos at that length. It's a very simple type of barrel distortion.

Now, let me say this and I'm sure I'm rare, but I love a good bit of barrel distortion at times and have been known to add it in on some images. A fisheye has a ton of it and can really be creative. Your eye has a huge amount of barrel distortion your brain doesn't allow you to notice unless you try. I sometimes love the look which really only is seen on a straight horizon or with lots of horizontal lines. It can be very fun. Correct it if you don't like it, though.

This lens is a real work horse as well as a fun creative chunk of high quality glass. I highly recommend it.

Registered: November 2011
Posts: 6
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor review by dhale001
Review Date: 8/3/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,195.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, good contrast , not to heavy, VR
Cons: On camera flash shadow at 16mm

I use this lens on a Nikon D800E as a daytime walk-around lens for photography in an urban environment, landscape, or flash photography of indoor parties.

I use an SB-600 to avoid the on-camera flash shadow.

Registered: September 2010
Posts: 9
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor review by jtorral
Review Date: 1/19/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 


To see hundreds of photos with this lens and compare to others look here:

You can get an idea of how this lens performs with different camera.

Registered: October 2010
Posts: 3
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor review by jwphoto
Review Date: 10/31/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,300.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, good contrast , living colors , not to heavy, VR
Cons: distortion at 16 mm, vignetting

Nice and easy to handle. bought it as wideangle expansion to my new 28-300 nikkor zoom ( is also very good for the money ) Give's very sharp images but need to stop down to 5.6 or 6.3 , also less fall off with these settings. Use it on my also new D700 . compared to the 24-70 a bit more chrom.abbr. but thats no problem when shooting Jpeg. Its far better then my 'old' nikkor 12-24 DX

Registered: September 2010
Posts: 6
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor review by pc998
Review Date: 10/17/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp even at F4, VRII, closest focusing distance is around four inches (from front element)
Cons: Too long (lens dimension), distortion (but can easily be fixed)

Build: Pro grade lens with Nano Crystal Coat, magnesium alloy barrel and weather sealing. The ability to accept filter is important. Lens and hood are made in Japan. The new 24-120 F4 VR is made in Thailand but still selling at pro grade price level. This is one of the reason why I buy this 16-35 F4 VR. 680g is not heavy and 77mm filter size is excellent. Lens elements are extremely clean (can’t find any dust particles). I like the hood because of its size (small enough). However, is it necessary to make the lens 4.9 inches long?

Focusing and related features: For an ultra-wide angle zoom, VR is more useful than F2.8. AF-S is fast and quiet. Low light focus capability (using D700) is very good. Focus holds while zooming. Internal focus, no external movement during focus. Internal zoom, the optics move inside the barrel. The very close focusing distance is an added bonus and indeed very useful.

IQ: Very sharp even at F4 across the whole zoom range. It seems the best aperture range is between F4 and F8 with maximum center sharpness at F5.6. There is distortion but it can automatically be corrected during NEF conversion in Capture NX2.

Overall impression: It’s a very capable ultra-wide angle zoom. This is the first of its kind that has image stabilization. Last but not least, it’s a more affordable alternative to 17-35 f2.8 and 14-24 f2.8. I gave a rating of 9 (not 10) because of the length of this lens. Would it be, longer is better (in terms of IQ)?

Registered: January 2010
Posts: 4
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor review by cputeq
Review Date: 8/30/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,300.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, VR, accepts filters
Cons: Large-ish, distortion on the wide end.

I bought the 16-35 lens as an alternative to the very popular 14-24 f/2.8. For me, it was very important to have the ability to use filters, as I'm addicted to my B&W 77mm circular polarizer. Also, I thought VR II would be more useful than an extra stop of light, in the instances I would want to do landscapes hand-held.

I must say overall I am very impressed with the lens. It lives up to all my expectations. Very sharp images, autofocus is decently fast (not like you need fast AF in an ultra-wide angle lens). Construction is very good.
VR II works awesomely. Additionally, the lens is very good with flare - I actually see flare in my viewfinder that I DO NOT get in the final image - it's almost immune.

My only complaint, if you want to call it that, is the distortion. More specifically, distortion at 16mm and closer-focused targets. The lens can throw some crazy distortion on near targets - far targets, like landscapes, are FAR LESS PRONE to the distortion, though you'll notice it.

For landscapers or anyone else, I wouldn't hesitate to suggest this lens. For architecture or people that really need the straightest of lines, I would probably avoid this lens.

Registered: July 2010
Posts: 1
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor review by foto_fhantom
Review Date: 7/26/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Quick focus , Surprising Very Near focusing Distance and very Versatile
Cons: slightly longer than the 2.8

* It is a great lens no doubt about it.... f4 is more than enough. The VR II good for low light condition and keeps the image sharp.....

* Image output are sharp

* Lens built is solid

* Lens Value for money

Registered: May 2010
Posts: 1
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor review by shineofleo
Review Date: 5/25/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,200.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Lighter than F2.8 lens; Sharp; Close Focus; VR
Cons: Distortion on 16mm

Just bought and used this lens with my D3, with outdoor landscape, nightscene, indoor photography where is very dark.

* Construction. It is very well built, although some of it is plastic. However, this is advanage compare with heavy 17-35. I quite like it and the quality is not bad at all. But it is quite long and you still prepare a bigger bag for it.

* Sharpness. Very good, no complaint. From a quick look, the pictures shot by F4 and F8 are not obviously different.

* Distortion. It is not uncommon for a wide lens, but the distortion at 16mm does have some impact. You may want to do some correction in the PS.

* VR. Handy, especially in dark.

* F4. I think I will not pursuing F2.8 with this lens in my hand. It is good enough.

* Macro. Interstingly, it can focus at a short distance. This is useful when you want to do a quick macro without changing lense.



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