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

Last updated (20 August’10):
– Review by WDC

The Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S features 16-35mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/4. The lens construction has 17 elements in 12 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 107 degrees. Closest focusing distance at 0.29 m (1.0 ft.) and has a filter size of 77mm. The Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S lens weighs 680 g/24.0 oz and it measures 82.5mms in diameter and 125 mm long.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

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

WDC reviews the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S and writes;
“There is a very slight hint of chromatic aberration around the branches in the top corner of this picture but it is invisible unless sought at high magnification. There is good visual sharpness on the centre-most corner of the roof and a smooth transition into out-of-focus areas until pixellation takes over at high magnification.”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S and writes;
“Bokeh is pleasing, though at f/4 it’s not all that visible, and overall this lens is as sharp as a tack. Nikon claims that the vibration reduction offers compensation for camera shake up to four stops; in our tests we were able to reach a handheld exposure of 1/8s at 35mm without discernible motion blur.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Ephotozine reviews the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S and writes;
“Overall this lens is a very good all round performer being capable of producing images of very good resolution, especially in the centre of the frame where the performance is excellent up to 24mm and very good thereafter. The performance in this respect isn’t as stunning as the 14-24mm lens as I’d hoped, but is still very respectable indeed.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Photozone reviews the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S and writes;
“The Nikkor AF-S 16-35 VR is a very good pro grade ultra wide zoom lens that shows excellent resolution in the center, very good border and corner at medium focal lengths, but lacks border and corner sharpness at the shortest and longest focal lengths. Distortion is rather hefty at 16 mm, but well under control above this zoom setting.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S and writes;
“Lateral chromatic aberration was consistently negligible through the test lens’s aperture and focal length ranges. In fact, at no time did we record a value of more than 0.027% of distance to corner – and the overwhelming majority of CA values were less than 0.01% of distance to corner in our Imatest tests. (0.04% of distance to corner marks the border between ‘negligible’ and ‘low’ CA.) No coloured fringing was observed in test shots taken in contrasty outdoor lighting.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PhotographyBlog reviews the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S and writes;
“In the optical department, the only serious flaw is the amount of barrel distortion at the 16mm end, which is surprising even for an ultrawide zoom. Putting aside that, however, the lens is a superb performer. Chromatic aberrations are almost non-existent, corner shading is minimal – being restricted to the extreme corners at 16mm f/4, and too subtle to worry about at other focal lengths and f-stops -, while sharpness – if not quite “biting” – is very good throughout, except along the edges at 35mm f/4.”
Rating: ★★★★½

KenRockwell reviews the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S and writes;
“With a lens this wide and slow, almost nothing is out of focus. If you can get a background out of focus, bokeh (the softness of the out-of-focus area) is excellent. Backgrounds never distract. the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR, when set to 16mm, is the most distorting lens I have every used, short of a deliberate fisheye. The distortion goes away at other zoom settings.”
rating: N/A

SLRGear reviews the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S and writes;
“The Nikon 16-35mm ƒ/4G ED VR II delivers remarkable sharpness uniformity across the full 35mm frame, even at its shortest focal length and maximum aperture. At 16mm and ƒ/4, the entire frame is sharp on a sub-frame camera like the D300s we used in our test, and even on the full-frame D3x body, only the very corners of the frame were slightly soft.”
Rating: ★★★★½

User Opinions

Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S User Reviews

Very good. | Rating: ★★★★☆
“This new 16-35 is very good, right into the corners, from f/5.6. Things just get better until around f/11 which appears to be the best. Chromatic aberration is really, really low. The VR works although I found it was more of a 1-stop advantage; that is, I could handhold at 35mm for 1/4 sec vs. 1/8 without the VR. Bear in mind that these VR tests were handheld shots of a test pattern at a short distance, so for scenic photos you can probably do much better.” – by Coronet Blue

Nice lens, 14-24 is better, | Rating: ★★★★☆
“Overall, a really nice lens. Fairly sharp, the VR is great, it takes filters, and it has a very good range. However, if you’re thinking it’s an F4 alternative to the 14-24 it’s not. The 14-24 is sharper at all given F/stops – this lens is never its equal, especially in the corners. “ – by S. D. Perry

GREAT Lens for FX – Get the 16-85mm VR instead for DX | Rating: ★★★★★
“this 16-35mm adds VR, gives surpassingly excellent image quality including outstanding, snappy color rendition, and is sized much more appropriately for any type of casual use..” – by Glenn Carpenter

Great lens for Landscape Photography | Rating: ★★★★★
“The corners of the 16-35 at the wide end are very good compared to any other wide zoom. After reading several independent reviews comparing the 16-35 and the 14-24, the 16-35 is the better lens after f4 between 20 and 24mm. If you are a landscape shooter and are thinking about the 17-35, the 16-35 is the better choice..” – by D. Dietiker

A review of the Nikkor 16-35mm by an owner of the Nikkor 17-35mm and 14-24mm. | Rating: ★★★★★
“The 16-35mm f/4 is incredibly sharp on a DX shooting wide-open pretty much from center all the way to the corners except at 35mm where shooting at f/4.0 can get a bit soft at the corners. Stepping down to f/5.6 onwards however corrects this. As also noted earlier, the colors and contrast are top-notch though the colors on FX seems to be a bit more pleasing..” – by LGO

Good Choice for the Wide Side of FX | Rating: ★★★★☆
“It is not a lightweight lens, has a solid build, and is a good solution for the wide side of FX providing very sharp images at a price substantially less than the 14-24mm.. The focus is fast and accurate, you don’t have to worry about filters (as in the case of the 14-24mm), it has VRII which is a strong plus for me, and is Nano coated.” – by Fred Rosenfeld

Fantastic | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is a fantastic new lens from Nikon that allows you much creative freedom on a FX body (I use mine on a D700). It’s sharp corner to corner, and images are rich and well saturated. It’s not quite a carry-around lens because of the limited focal length, but it is a great wide-angle lens. The constant f4 aperture together with the VR make for a great all-around lens..” – by RonAnnArbor

16-35mm review | Rating: ★★★★★
“I say get this lens. I’m very happy with it. Works great with my D90 & looking forward to using it on my new D700. I seem to have gotten a very well made lens b/c it’s sharp & the VR works great in low light. I turn the VR off if there’s enough light available. Enjoy. “ – by inocencio

Many were ready to dismiss this lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“I bought this lens for an upcoming trip to the Canadian Rockies and my practice shots are just a good as I expected. This fits nicely on the D700 [I need to learn a bit more about a true wide angle lens on a full frame camera], the failure shots are not the fault of the lens. I have no regrets with this lens and expect to be further impressed out west…” – by R. J. Benson

Really about perfect for me. | Rating: ★★★★★
“The color, contrast and acuity were perfect as well. There is some barrel distortion at 16mm, but I actually like that a little. Our eyes curve the horizon naturally, and it’s not too bad. When I don’t want it, both Capture NX and Photoshop CS5 remove barrel distortion almost automatically. Hold the lens parallel and it’s pretty much gone at 17mm…” – by Craig T. Harding

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S User Manual

– Download Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S User Manual (PDF – 4.5Mb)

Features & Specifications

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

High-performance wide-angle zoom features Nano Crystal Coat and VR image stabilization for dramatically sharper still images and video capture.

The new AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens is an ideal lens for enthusiasts and professionals craving a constant maximum aperture and ultra-wide angle zoom versatility with the benefits of Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) II image stabilization. As the widest FX-format NIKKOR zoom lens with VR, users can realize the ability to shoot up to four shutter speeds slower than otherwise possible, expanding low light shooting opportunities and contributing to dramatically sharper handheld photography and video capture. Nikon VR II image stabilization technology is engineered specifically for and optimized to function most effectively for each lens, ensuring optimum performance. Whether joining the growing ranks of FX-format photographers or using the Nikon DX-format, photographers will appreciate the perspectives possible when shooting architecture, interiors, landscapes and more.

MTF Chart:



Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization
Vibration Reduction, engineered specifically for each VR NIKKOR lens, enables handheld shooting at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible, assuring dramatically sharper still images and video capture.

Nano Crystal Coat
Further reduces ghosting and interior flare across a wide range of wavelengths for even greater image clarity.

2 Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Elements
Offers superior sharpness and color correction by effectively minimizing chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture settings.

3 Aspherical Lens Elements
Aspherical lens elements virtually eliminate coma and other types of aberration, even when shooting at the widest available aperture.

Internal Focus (IF)
Provides fast and quiet autofocus without changing the length of the lens, retaining working distance throughout the focus range.

Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
Enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus.

M/A Focus Mode Switch
Enables quick changes between manual and autofocus operation.

Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
Renders more natural appearance of out-of-focus image elements.

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