The Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR is a professional-quality, full-frame f/4 lens. Featuring Nikon’s Vibration Reduction technology, this lens provides the ability to shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would otherwise be possible.
The complex optical design features Nikon’s exclusive anti-reflection Nano Crystal coat, two ED glass elements, and no less than three aspherical glass elements to minimize distortion and aberration even at maximum aperture. The VR system and Silent Wave Motor deliver extremely quiet operation and the nine-bladed rounded diaphragm renders delightful bokeh.
Well, it’s everything I had hoped for but unfortunately a bit more.
First the great: it’s relatively small so it’s convenient to carry in a bag or pack. It’s as sharp as you could ever hope, autofocuses quickly, and the VR is spectacular (shooting at 1/6 second, I’m getting nice, sharp images). It’s a great all-around ultrawide, and it’s ability to take filters gives it an advantage over even the legendary Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S.
There’s a downside though: at 16mm the barrel distortion can only be described as “nearly fisheye.” It’s much less at 18mm and gone by 20mm. Barrel distortion is, of course, easy to fix in Photoshop or your image processor of choice, but this needs to be mentioned (and perhaps demonstrated below.) The corners are soft at the wide end at 16mm and the lens is a bit soft at 35mm.
How important this is will depend on what you’re planning to shoot and if you’re willing to spend some time postprocessing the images. I don’t shoot a lot of buildings, so it won’t bother me much, but I wouldn’t recommend this lens to someone who’s going to shoot a lot of architecture.
- Filter Size
- 77mm (nonrotating front element)
- 1.6 lb (without tripod collar)
- Minimum Focusing Distance
- 0.95 foot
- Maximum Magnification
- Angle of view: (full frame)
- 107 to 63 degrees
- Zoom method
- Front element, inner barrel withdraws into sleeve, nonrotating
- Image Stabilization
- 4 stop, no panning mode
- Focusing System
- Internal, Silent Wave motor
- Aperture Blades
- 9, circular
- Low Dispersion Elements
- Aspherical Elements
- Weather Resistant
- Nikon F
- DX, FX
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