Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR Announcement

Today Nikon announced a brand new FX lens – AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, world’s first ultra wide-angle zoom with Vibration Reduction technology. The lens is ultra-fast with AF-S silent-wave focus motor, has Nanon crystal coating against flare and is sealed against tough weather conditions. Unlike the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G lens, the new Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 VR has a 77mm filter thread, which is great news for landscape photographers.

Nikon 16-35mm f4G VR

Lens Specifications

Main Features:

  1. Ultra wide-angle zoom lens that covers focal lengths from 16mm to 35mm
  2. Vibration Reduction (VR II) enables sharper pictures while shooting at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would otherwise be possible
  3. The adoption of Nano Crystal Coat effectively reduces ghost and flare
  4. An ultra wide-angle zoom lens that, while offering a wide angle view of 107°, is compatible with 77mm screw-on filters
  5. Fixed maximum aperture of f/4
  6. ED glass and aspherical lens elements are utilized for a new optical design that achieves high resolution
  7. Quiet focusing with built-in Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  8. Two focus modes selectable – M/A and M


  1. Focal length: 16-35mm
  2. Maximum aperture: f/4
  3. Minimum aperture: f/22
  4. Lens construction: 17 elements in 12 groups (with two ED glass and three aspherical lens elements, and Nano Crystal Coat)
  5. Angle of view: 107° – 63° (83° – 44° with Nikon DX format)
  6. Closest focusing distance: 0.29 m (1.0 ft.) at a focal length of 16mm or 35mm, 0.28 m (0.9 ft.) at a focal length between 20mm and 28mm
  7. Maximum reproduction ratio: 0.25x
  8. No. of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded)
  9. Filter/attachment size: 77mm
  10. Diameter x length (extension from the camera’s lens-mount flange): Approximately 82.5 x 125 mm
  11. Weight: Approximately 680 g/24.0 oz.
  12. Supplied accessories: 77mm Snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-77, Rear Lens Cap LF-1, Bayonet Hood HB-23, Flexible Lens Pouch CL-1120

Compared to Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8

The MTF data charts from the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G and the older Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 suggest that the new Nikon 16-35mm has more contrast on both wide and telephoto side. The same is also true for sharpness and better handling of chromatic aberrations.

Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 MTF:

Nikon 16-35mm f4G MTF Wide Nikon 16-35mm f4G MTF Tele

Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 MTF:

Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 Wide Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 Tele

Although there are no direct sharpness comparisons available yet, the MTF data of the lens looks much better than the 17-35mm f/2.8 lens.

Price and Availability

The Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens will be available in late February 2010 with an estimated selling price of USD $1259.95.

B&H has the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens listed as “New item – no arrival date known”, but you can choose to get notified when the lens is in stock.

I think this lens is an excellent alternative to the already great Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 and superb Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lenses. This is the first professional ultra wide-angle zoom lens that has VR II technology for image stabilization, which is going to have a 2-3 stop advantage over the older 17-35mm lens. Nikon specifically manufactured this lens at f/4.0 constant constant aperture to keep the price low. The current Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 is selling for approximately $1,760 and the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 is selling for $1,830, so this lens is definitely the cheapest of the group. Just like the 17-35mm f/2.8, the Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 takes 77mm filters (unlike the 14-24mm f/2.8 that has no filter thread), which is great for landscape photography.

If real-world tests do not reveal any problems with this lens, it will definitely be my lens of choice for landscape and architectural photography, along with my favorite Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8.

Check out some image samples at Bob Krist’s Blog.


  1. February 9, 2010 at 3:06 am

    обновляют парк оптики для ФФ =) и к тому же диафрагма 1/4 вот и дешевле. и потом зачем ВР для такого вайда ? имхо лишние несколько сотен денег =) в общем продукт маркетинга =)

    • February 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      VR для такого вайда не помешал бы. Вон у 18-55 тоже есть VR, и работает прекрасно :)

      Мне кажется эта линза будет продаваться на “ура”, особенно для пейзажистов.

      • 1.1.1) medvezhutka
        February 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm

        вообще не понимаю зачем на китовом 18-55 вр приделали =) я ж говорю маркетинг =)
        вон раньше мануальными стеклами, без всякого аф, вр, усм, хсм и пр. снимали и делали шедевры =)

  2. 2) MEGGA
    February 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I have been reading you post with full of enthusiasm, and really appreciate it in deed. I believe that this is right lens for DX users too in order price allowing to afford this lens without doubt to amateurs like me:)

    • February 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      MEGGA, thank you for your feedback! Yes, this lens would be superb both for FX and DX users :) Ability to put a filter on this lens is really great and considering the performance of the lens optics, there is no reason to buy the 17-35mm f/2.8 lens anymore.

  3. August 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for the excellent review.
    I am following all the information provided by your excellent site for a long time.
    I´d like to see your opinion on the following:
    I am moving from the D300 to a D800. My current lenses are the 12-24 f/4, 17-55 2.8, 70-200VR 1 and 50 1.4D.
    Therefore, I´ll need to buy some FX stuff. Problem is that here in Portugal it is hard to sell used lenses , owing the current economic conditions. I am almost decided to buy the 16-35 f/4 (trying to sell the 12-24 later…) and keep the 17-55 to use with the D300 and eventually with the 800 in DX mode. However I´m also tempted to go for the 24-70, trying to sell the 17-55 (which I love by the way). I don´t like the 24-120 as I suspect that it is not in the same league the pro glass is…
    The photography I do the most is architecture and landscapes but, I am planning to start doing weddings as well.
    Asan expert, what would be your advice? Do you use the 16-35 to do weddings? Isit usable from 20-35mm avoiding distortions on people?
    Thanks for your kind opinion.

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