Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR Review

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This is an in-depth review of the new professional Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens that was released in February of 2010. The Nikon 16-35mm VR lens is a professional-grade constant aperture lens for enthusiasts and professional photographers that need an ultra wide-angle zoom lens with the latest generation of VR II (vibration reduction) technology for both FX and DX cameras (equivalent of 24-52mm on DX). Being the world’s first ultra wide-angle zoom lens with vibration reduction, the lens is ultra-fast with AF-S silent-wave focus motor, has Nano crystal coating against flare and is sealed against tough weather conditions. Unlike the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G lens, the new 16-35mm f/4.0 VR has a 77mm filter thread, which is great news for landscape photographers.

Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR

While the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR is a new generation lens in its own class, I will be reviewing it as a lens that is in a way replacing the older 17-35mm f/2.8D AF-S lens that was due for an update. In this review, I will be making direct comparisons between these two lenses, in addition to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G and will do my best to provide a thorough analysis of this lens, along with image samples and comparisons against other Nikon lenses.

1) 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

Technical Specifications:

  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

Detailed specifications for the lens, along with MTF charts and other useful data can be found in our lens database.

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