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31 March, 2012

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm 1:4G ED VR review

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm 1:4G ED VR review

July 2010 | By Andy Westlake

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm 1:4G ED VR, announced in February 2010, has the distinction of being the world's first ultra-wideangle lens to feature optical image stabilization. It's designed primarily for use on full-frame DSLRs, as a less-expensive alternative to the likes of the 17-35mm 1:2.8D or the 14-24mm 1:2.8G, but is also fully compatible with DX bodies on which it offers a 24-50mm equivalent range. It can be seen as an answer to Canon's EF 17-40mm F4 L USM, which has long been popular as a (relatively) inexpensive, compact, lightweight yet high quality wide zoom; indeed we suspect many Nikon fans will be hoping it's the first in a series of F4 premium zooms. However a quick glance at the spec sheet shows that the addition of optical stabilization has resulted in a lens that's distinctly larger than the Canon, at the best part of five inches in length and a pound and a half in weight.

The addition of stabilization also means a more complex optical formula than is usual for a relatively slow wide zoom. The 16-35mm makes use of 17 elements on 12 groups including a liberal sprinkling of exotic elements to address aberrations, of which three are aspherical and two made from Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass. Nano Crystal coating is also employed to combat flare. The stabilization system meets Nikon's 'VR II' specification, promising sharp images hand-held at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would usually be possible. Focusing uses a ring-type AF-S motor for speed and silence, and full-time override of the focus distance is available.

These goodies are rounded off with high standard of build quality, including protection against dust and water. A nine-bladed circular aperture is also employed for the attractive rendition of background blur. All of this adds up to one of the most attractively-specified wideangle zooms available; the question is, does the reality live up to the specs?

Headline features

16-35mm focal length range; F4 constant maximum aperture
Optical image stabilization – 4 stops claimed
Ring-type ultrasonic focusing with full-time manual override
F mount for Nikon and Fuji DX and FX format DSLRS

Angle of view

The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to telephoto, on FX and DX camera bodies:

16mm (FX full frame)
35mm (FX full frame)
16mm (DX; 24mm equivalent)
35mm (DX; 53mm equivalent)

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR specifications

Street price• US: $1160
• UK: £880
Date introducedFebruary 2010
Maximum format size35mm full frame
Focal length16-35mm
35mm equivalent focal length
Diagonal Angle of view (FF)107º - 63º
Diagonal Angle of view (DX)83º - 44º
Maximum apertureF4
Minimum apertureF22
Lens Construction• 17 elements/12 groups
• 2 ED glass elements
• 3 aspherical elements
Number of diaphragm blades9, rounded
Minimum focus0.28m / 0.9ft
Maximum magnification0.25x at 35mm
AF motor type• Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus - A/M and M/A modes
Focus methodInternal
Zoom methodInternal
Image stabilization• VR II, 4 stops claimed
Filter thread• 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories• Front and rear caps
• HB-23 Hood
• CL-1120 Lens Pouch
Weight685g (1.5 lb)
Dimensions82.5mm diameter x 125mm length
(3.2 x 4.9 in)
Lens MountNikon F only
Other• Weather sealing
• Reports focus distance information to camera body
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author, we recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision. Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of them, click to display a larger image in a new window.

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This article is protected by Copyright and may not be reproduced in part or as a whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

Buy the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR from Amazon
$1,510.00        $1,399.00

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