Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR

Last updated (14 May’10):
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Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR is a standard zoom lens. The lens features 16 to 85mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/3.5 to f/5.6. The lens construction has 17 elements in 11 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 83° – 18°50’. Closest focusing distance at 0.38 m/1.3 ft and has a filter size of 67 mm. The Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR lens weighs 17.1 oz and it 2.8 inches in diameter and 3.4 inches long.

Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR Reviews reviews the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR and writes;
“If you’re an ambitious amateur calling for more optical oomph from your everyday zoom, but you’re not ready to take on the physical and financial burden of high-speed pro glass, Nikon has heard you.”
rating: N/A reviews the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR and writes;
“The bottom line is if you’re looking for a quality general-purpose DX-format lens which zooms-out to an equivalent of 24mm, then the DX 16-85mm VR is the model to go for and easily comes Recommended. It misses out on our Highly Recommended award though due to a lack of really compelling advantages beyond existing models and the fact you can buy the DX 18-200mm VR for only a little extra. “

Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR and writes;
“The 16-85mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 is an admirable lens; excellent sharpness and chromatic aberration results, marred only by some distortion and vignetting issues. However, I’m happy to see Nikon engineers giving sharpness the top priority, as this is the one factor that you can’t really correct for in post-processing. The lens is a definite improvement over its predecessor, the 24-120mm, a lens which provided an excellent platform for a wide range of photographic styles. “
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR and writes;
“Performance is excellent. It’s sharp, zooms and handles well, and VR works great. It never gets in the way of a great photo. My only reservation about this lens is what I could buy instead with the same money. “
rating: N/A reviews the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR and writes;
“Despite some shortcomings the Nikkor AF-S 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX is probably still the best DX standard zoom lens in Nikon mount to date. It is very sharp throughout the range although there could be a little less field curvature (curved focus field) at 16mm. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR User Reviews

Great lens, | Rating: ★★★★★
“I use a D80 and had previously used an 18-105. I also use a 50 1.8, a Tamron 90 2.8 macro, and a Nikon 80-200 2.8 zoom. The 18-105 kind of put me off the cheaper Nikon zooms, but after reading reviews I purchased the 16-85, and I’m glad I did. As a newer lens, it has all the new optical technology, and the VR is an outstanding feature – it really works! The lens is nearly as sharp as the two primes, build quality is good, and VR works as advertised. For what it costs, the 16-85 is a great lens, and it stays on my camera now about 85% of the time. Highly recommended. “ – by Teddy W. Raper

Excellent!!, | Rating: ★★★★★
“I won’t spend a ton of time on this review as others have very succinctly detailed this lens, however a couple points. I was initially considering the 18-200 for my purchase as a replacement for my kit 18-65 and for an everyday walkaround lens. In the end, I ended up deciding on this as the concerns of softness, etc scared me off. That being said, I am very, very happy with my purchase. I got the lens about 2 mths ago and have made about 1000 shots with it. It is all that I could have asked for – very sharp, great color, easy to live with. For others looking at the 18-200 I would encourage you to look back at old photos and see how many of them are actually >85mm. For me, it was an exceedingly small #. Additionally the extra 2mm on the wide side seems to be a small but noticeable difference. Of course, it would be nice if it went to f2.4 or something of the like, but that’s not realistic in this price range. I highly recommend this lens, good luck on you purchase decisions “ – by Jeffrey R. Hurren “Jeff”

Perfect Family Vacation Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is the perfect lens for family vacation photography. After reading the positive reviews, I purchased the Nikkor 16-85mm and rushed the shipment to ensure it was available for my just-completed family vacation to Southwest Colorado and Monument Valley, Utah. Mounted on a Nikon D-80, the product was the perfect tool for family photography, allowing close imaging with spectacular backdrops. I also carried a Nikkor AF-S 18-200, but found no reason to switch from the 16-85 to the 18-200. “ – by Robert Hesselbein “Pilot Bob”

Superb lens! Worth the money | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is currently my primary walk-around zoom lens with my Nikon D40. The lens optics are very sharp and the pictures I have gotten out of it are definitely outstanding. They do seem much superior to pictures I took with my previous lens, the 18-55mm kit lens. The lens itself is also solidly built, definitely not as cheap at the 18-55 or the 18-105 which I have also tried. I chose this lens primarily for the extra two mm in wide-angle power as many of my shots are wide-angle as opposed to telephoto zoom shots. However, if you make more telephoto shots than wide-angle then perhaps you might be interested in getting the 18-200mm lens instead. “ – by D. Bezboruah

Excellent all purpose Nikon DX lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“Nikon 16-85mm is a general purpose lens designed for Nikon DX camera. DX camera is camera that use APS-C size sensor. There are plenty of DX cameras in the market from beginner (D3000, D5000) to advanced (D90, D300s). The focal length is equivalent to 24-127mm. It is capable to take wide landscape or very tall building in one frame without panorama sticthing. It is also long enough for close-up portrait or pulling subject from 20 meters away. Like other non-kit lens, Nikon 16-85mm has metal mount. The outer shell are made by combination of metal and plastic. It is very sturdy and well made. Nikon 16-85mm comes with a plastic bayonet type lens hood. Nikon 16-85mm features VR (Vibration Reduction) which stabilized the image sensor to prevent blurring on images due to camera shake. This lens also features AF-S SWM, which ensure fast and silent auto focus. “ – by Enche Tjin

The best DX lens for the advanced amateur budget | Rating: ★★★★★
“I was one of the lucky few that got this lens when it first came out, and I must say, it has been the best lens purchase I’ve made since shooting nikon DX digital. It has been a faithful companion to my D80. I’ve found it to be quite versatile and dependable. This is one of the least recognized lenses that nikon makes, a focal length which lies within some pretty steep competition… The lens itself is smaller than the 18-200, lighter than the 17-55, it uses more common 67mm filters, it has no zoom creep (an issue seen in the first version of the 18-200mm, the version most people are still using), less distortion at 16mm than the 18-200 has at 18mm, and the 17-55 at 17mm, and more effective VR compared to the 18-200 (I’ve taken well stabilized, one handed shots over 50mm, while walking, consistantly at 1/30 with VR set to “active”). The 16-85 VR has a stellar build, fit, and finish – much higher quality than any of nikon’s kit lenses (I had the 18-135). I’ve not had any missed focus issues, which attests to the capability of this lens. I use the lens for mostly general purpose, in addition to some portraiture.” – by Joseph Jones

Very impressed with this lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“I bought this as an upgrade for the kit lens (18-55) that came with my D40, and to serve as the general purpose lens for future nikon camera upgrades. While the 18-55 is very good, I found a noticeable improvement in picture quality as soon as I attached this new lens. Also since the outer barrel doesn’t turn with focusing it makes using polarizing filters much easier. “ – by N. Paoni

Great walkaround lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“I use this on a D90 as a walkaround lens and have been very happy. I like it better in terms of quality and performance than the kit lenses, although I think it’s just a touch pricey and a bit slow at the long end. Can’t argue with the results though, and to get anything better would cost much more – and probably doesn’t really belong on a D90 anyway. Mostly I use it for architectural shots, so every bit of wide angle helps, especially with the crop factor of the D90. “ – by Lens Artwork “Chris Horner”

More user opinions | Write your opinion

Features & Specifications

Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR Specifications

The compact and highly versatile Nikon 16-85mm wide-angle-to-medium telephoto zoom lens is ideal for a broad range of shooting situations, from interiors and landscapes to portraits. The lens is equipped with Nikon’s Vibration Reduction technology, which minimizes the effects of camera shake. This allows handheld shooting at up to four shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible, producing dramatically sharper images at distance. The lens also offers two extra-low-dispersion (ED) glass elements, which minimize chromatic aberration to produce superior sharpness and color correction, and three aspherical lens elements, which virtually eliminate coma effects and other flaws, even when used at the widest aperture. And photojournalists will love the exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM), which facilitates accurate, high-speed, ultra-quiet autofocusing.

Other features include a Super Integrated Coating (SIC) that offers superior color performance and reduced ghosting and flare; a closest focusing distance of 1.3 feet throughout the entire zoom range; a rounded seven-blade diaphragm that improves the appearance of out-of-focus image elements; and a one-year warranty.


* Focal length: 16 to 85mm
* Maximum aperture: f/3.5 to f/5.6
* Zoom ratio: 5.3x
* Minimum aperture: f/22 to f/36
* AF-S Silent Wave Motor: Yes
* Vibration Reduction: Yes
* Minimum focus distance: 1.3 feet
* Maximum angle of view: 83 degrees
* Dimensions: 2.8 inches in diameter and 3.4 inches long
* Weight: 17.1 ounces
* Warranty: 1 year

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