Nikon 16-35mm f/4G AF-S ED VR Lens

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When Nikon created the AF-S 16-35 lens

AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens - Top They established a new standard when it comes to ultra wide lenses, for sharpness, by creating better resolution than a few of the best prime lenses in this range. Although there's a substantial amount of distortion on the wide range, there's also a tendency to manufacture flare spots and in the most unforeseen circumstances and not an easy fix as there's no thread to even mount a filter, it's not everybody's sweetheart.

Fast forward to PMA 2010 when Nikon surprised us with another professional category ultra wide angle, the AF-S 16-35/4 VR. It's a full stop less than its sibling but instead, includes optical stabilization and a wider focal range.

The target for AF-S 16-35/4 VR. lens is primarily the professional community and therefore the manufacture quality is high as a result. The outer most barrel is constructed of magnesium alloy, there are dust and moisture seals for protection from the elements. Both the focus and zoom rings function smoothly and are damped well, but the focus unit provided a little bit of play: not exactly in the ring, but in the coupling within the actual focus element. When reversing the focus direction, a few millimeters of travel are needed until the focus element actually goes along with the focusing ring. This is somewhat annoying when attempting to get critical focus, for instance using Live View.

Dissimilar to the 14-24 this lens sports a nearly flat front lens element and accepts a 77mm filter. We can be thankful for the internal focus system (IF) which allows the inner tube to remain stationary during focusing while the front lens element and filter mount do not turn.

The physical lens length does not change, although the inner tube travels in accordance the focal length inside of a solidly built outer tube At 24mm the most inner lens tube travels almost 1 cm inwardly and comes back only half of the way outwards until 35 mm is reached.

The HB-23 petal shaped hood employed on other Nikon DX and FX ultra wides is provided with this lens.

Although it has modest specifications, it's astoundingly long but looks rather similar to the AF-S 24-70. although It's not as thick, but longer than the 14-24, although it's bigger than the older model AF-S 17-35/2.8.

Being a G lens, the Nikkor 16-35 VR there's no aperture ring. but because of a Silent Wave Motor autofocus is expectedly quick and quiet. By direct comparison, the AF on the AF-S 14-24 has a feeling of being somewhat more responsive, though. Nikon claims shutter speeds as much as 4 stops less can be achieved with VR II. Actual results may vary dependent on the photographer, naturally.

In my tests up to a three stops increase in shutter times were achieved at the long range and two stops slower at the shortest end of the zoom length focusing on a non-moving subject. Feb 20, 2011 ✓

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Nikon 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR Hands-on Review

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