Nikkor 16-35 f/4 VR Review (Image Heavy) PART 2 ADDED

Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
3,087
Location
NJ
I received my Nikon Nikkor 16-35 f/4 VR lens from the big brown truck today and decided to write a review on the lens. I'm going to split this review up into multiple posts to cover different aspects of the lens. I'll be posting these at different times.

General notes about the lens...
It's big and heavy! (I'm going to correct myself here...The lens is heavy, but not heavy for what it is...hope that makes sense) It's larger than my old 18-200 and certainly weighs more. I had a bit of an issue adjusting to the weight and size of the lens at first, but I got used to it quickly. Be careful when slinging the camera over your shoulder, you might bang the lens into a doorway, like I did :eek:

The AF is SILENT and I mean SILENT! If I wasn't looking through the viewfinder and saw the focus change I don't think I would have thought it was focusing...it's that quiet. Good job, Nikon!

The build of the lens is very nice, it feels sturdy and solid. The only downside is that the casing is plastic on the outside, but if it was metal it would have just been way too heavy, so that's not an issue to me. I kind of wish Nikon had engraved the FL markings, like they did on the 17-55 2.8 DX because I feel like they might rub off eventually. However, I think they didn't do this because of the plastic casing.

The lens hood looks funny to me, but who cares?

It looks like it has 2 barrels...I could be wrong on this. When zooming, there is an inner barrel that moves in and out but never protrudes from the front of the lens. This means when you zoom, it doesn't look like it unless you are looking at it from the front. There is NO zoom creep, as expected.

It has a switch for M/A and M and a switch for the VR.

First I'll post the unboxing photos :biggrin:

Thanks B&H!
unboxing-1.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


(Drool)
unboxing-2.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Hood and softcase
unboxing-3.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Lens (paperwork is inside box)
unboxing-4.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Woohoo!
unboxing-5.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


With the hood on
unboxing-6.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Now onto the review!

The next 5 shots (including crops) were shot at f/4, ISO 200, Matrix metering, VR off. Only minor brightness PP done. No sharpening

16mm
part1-1.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop of focus point
part1-2.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


20mm
part1-3.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop
part1-4.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


24mm
part1-5.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop
part1-6.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


28mm
part1-7.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop
part1-8.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


35mm
part1-9.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop
part1-10.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I noticed that 16 and 20mm were "softer" than the rest of the focal lengths, but it is possible that could have been my error or due to the fact they are a little blown out. Considering no sharpening is applied, I found the results to be excellent. At 35mm it is sharp from corner to corner. I was also impressed with the sharpness when shooting wide open.

Distortion was not noticeable in the above images, but that could be because the bricks do not run parallel from edge to edge. I'll do distortion tests in a later part of the review.

I found the color rendition to be pretty much perfect, no strange colors or casts.

VR off, f/4, 16mm
part1-11.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop of bottom right corner
part1-12.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


VR off, f/8, 16mm
part1-13.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop of bottom right corner
part1-14.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


VR off, 16mm, f/8
part1-15.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop of focus point
part1-16.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


VR off, 16mm, f/4
part1-17.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop of focus point
part1-18.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I thought the corner sharpness was pretty amazing, and no noticeable light falloff either! At f/8 the corners are almost as sharp as the centers and it wasn't too bad at f/4 either. At the center I noticed almost no difference in sharpness between f/4 and f/8. f/4 actually seemed to be slightly sharper. I didn't post it because I didn't want to be too repetitive but the leaves in the trees were sharper at f/8, not sure why considering everything else at f/4 was the same or sharper.

I believe you could shoot at pretty much any aperture and get fantastic and usable results. I'll dig into this a little further when I do some aperture tests.

The images below are measuring the out of focus areas. All images have VR off at 16mm Focus point on the brick sticking out from the right side

f/4
part1-20.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


f/5.6
part1-21.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


f/8
part1-22.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


f/11
part1-23.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


f/16
part1-24.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


f/22
part1-25.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Obviously, the out of focus areas get a little more ugly (I use that term VERY loosely) as the aperture number increases. At f/4-5.6 I found the bokeh to be to my liking. This is more of an opinion thing, but I thought the results would be very likable.

If I didn't get that reflection from the sun on the f/4 image I think it would look perfect in the background, 5.6 shows what I'm talking about. I don't think bokeh is an issue with this lens, I believe it looks FANTASTIC!!

Quick VR test, both images at 16mm, f/4

VR on
part1-26.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop of focus point
part1-27.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


VR off
part1-28.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop
part1-29.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


As you can see, with the VR off, my image was SLIGHTLY less sharp, but unless you are viewing at 100% I don't think it matters. It also could have been because my hands were a little shaky...the lens is heavy and I'm not used to the weight yet. The only thing I didn't like about the VR was that I noticed a little bit of shutter lag, but I think this is a VR in general issue and is not specific to this lens.

That's all for now...I'm still doing some tests and will be doing a "real world" test today at the cemetery (oooh, creepy!) I'll post the next part when I'm done with it. EDIT: Changing the bottom line...

If you are looking for a super wide angle lens with moderate zoom and don't mind the size, get this lens! If you are turned off the size...well don't get it. It's definitely big, so if you are used to smaller lenses or use primes...this isn't for you.

PART 2

I took a lot of photos this weekend with the lens, trying to get different types of photos and situations. Enjoy...

35mm, f/4, 1/1000 sec, VR off, AF-C
part2-1.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Trying to get an action shot here! My niece chasing a chicken doing her chicken walk. Focus was fast on the lens and I had no problem getting this photo and others with sharp focus where I wanted it.

16mm, f/4.5, 1/320 sec, VR off
part2-2.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

I didn't notice any bad distortion on her face even at the wide angle, I think it gave a nice perspective. She was only standing 2 feet away.

100% crop of the image above. No sharpening applied here. It looks a lot better, however, on my computer screen at a higher resolution
part2-3.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


23mm, f/4.5, 1/500 sec, VR off
part2-4.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Sandy the dog! Sorry for the uneven lighting, but she isn't a very good model, she likes to get very close to you if you kneel down.

100% crop of the above images
part2-5.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Once again, it looks better on my screen, but this has no sharpening and is still super sharp

35mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec, VR off
part2-6.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Kodak (or Nikon) moment! Now, my niece on the other hand, is a wonderful model and will always pose for the camera!

35mm, f/4, 1/320 sec, VR off
part2-7.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Sandy the dog again, this time she posed...only because she was tired

24mm, f/4, 1/800 sec
part2-8.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Getting ready to go on the boat! Very sharp shot, IMO

35mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec, VR off
part2-9.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Trying to paddle with daddy! She had a blast on the boat!

35mm, f/4, 1/250 sec, VR on
part2-10.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

I was pretty amazed at how close this lens can focus. I could have gotten even closer, but the wind was kind of pain. The photo was a little soft, but that was mainly due to the wind and the flower blowing around

35mm, f/4, 1/320 sec, VR on
part2-11.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

CHICKENS!

35mm, f/4, 1/320 sec, VR on
part2-12.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

What are you looking at?!

35mm, f/4, 1/400 sec, VR on
part2-13.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Once again, the chicken!

100% crop of the above image
part2-14.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

No sharpening applied....all I had to say when I saw this one, was WOW!

16mm, f/8, 1/50 sec, VR on
part2-15.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

VR works well as you can see, no softening. I also found the lens flare to be very good! I took about 5 shots in this pose and only 1 had noticeable lens flare...and even then it wasn't too bad. Nano coating helps I suppose.

16mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, VR on
part2-16.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Focus was on the 2 flowers in front, they were very sharp and the background has nice bokeh.

33mm, f/4, 1/30 sec, VR on
part2-17.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Oh no! What happened to the water?! The only softness was from the slow shutter speed and her moving. Otherwise, perfect.

21mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, VR on
part2-18.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Ok, it works now! This was was sharper than the last one even with a slower shutter speed and her moving. I used AF-C on this one

23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, VR on, flash fired (the pop-up flash)
part2-19.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

I know, I know, I used the pop up flash! I just wanted to see if I would get a shadow at the bottom, which I did. That was expected and could have been from the lens good. I'll have to test this later with the hood off and my SB-600

Highway fun on the way home!
part2-20.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


part2-21.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


After my "real world" shooting, I found this lens to be perfect for my needs. Even for shooting family stuff, it is tons of fun to have, especially with little kids. As expected, it is sharp and consistent. I'm really excited to shoot with it over spring and summer and get some landscape and architecture shots (my favorite). I'm sure there is some distortion with this lens for architecture shots, but nothing I can't fix. I am extremely happy with the lens and have to say it is the best wide angle zoom I've owned and/or tried. As I said above, if you don't mind the size of the lens, this is probably for you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Messages
4,215
Location
Belgium - Antwerp
Will,

only now I see this thread. You've done a great job to document your unboxing joy!
She seems to be huge when I look at these shots :)
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
638
Location
NE OH
Nice pics - they really capture the size. Everyone comments on how big the lens is, but I didn't realize just how "tall" it was until viewing your pics. I must admit I find myself tempted by this lens, although it's probably at #3 or 4 on my lens lust list, but it's now on it...
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
3,035
Location
UK
This might help to resolve the "size" issue.

It feels lighter than the 105 VR and about the same as the 70-300 VR.

701_1529.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
7,500
Location
Los Angeles, CA
That's all for now...I'm still doing some tests and will be doing a "real world" test today at the cemetery (oooh, creepy!) I'll post the next part when I'm done with it. For now, the bottom line is...BUY THIS LENS!!!!

I thought the corner sharpness was pretty amazing, and no noticeable light falloff either!

Hold it! not so fast.. :wink: this lens behaves VERY differently on FX as opposed to DX. I see that you're shooting a D300(?) I put mine on a D60 and it was perfect -almost no distortion and zero vignetting. I put it back on my D700 and all the gremlins come out.. lol. I think the bottom line is... if you're considering this lens and you shoot an FX body, my suggestion is you have to test one in person and see if you can tolerate its flaws (or lack thereof). If you shoot DX, you should be fine.

btw, congrats on the new lens, Will. come on now, it's not that heavy... :wink:
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
44,480
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
i have only taken a few shots with it and i didn't have a problem with the distortion at 16mm and it's not that heavy but it is longer than i expected
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
2,113
Location
Canada
Uhmmm, not for me. It's frikking huge for what I do. Thanks for the review.
I said the above and I'd like to clarify and add my perspective (pardon the pun). I shoot the streets, which (for me) means the people on the street, and I shoot them WIDE. This means that half the time I'm literally a few feet from them, between 3 and 8 ft. Imagine poking a lens the size of the 70-300 VR in people's faces. :smile: Or better yet, imagine being shot at with a 70-300VR lens right in your face. :biggrin:

I'd like to think the for most landscapers needing a wide zoom that can take filters and without breaking the bank this lens would be perfect. It just won't do for a street shooter like me. So I pass. There you go.

I applaud people who take the time to test gear and share their findings. Kudos to the OP.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
1,814
Location
City of Angels
This might help to resolve the "size" issue.

It feels lighter than the 105 VR and about the same as the 70-300 VR.

when i purchase the d700 + 16-35 + 50/1.4G, this will be my exact lens lineup. thanks for giving me a heads up on how my kit will look like!!:tongue:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
3,087
Location
NJ
Thanks for the positives everyone. I was able to get some great real world shots today and will be posting the 2nd part of my review soon!
 
M

Michael Mohrmann

Guest
This might help to resolve the "size" issue.

It feels lighter than the 105 VR and about the same as the 70-300 VR.

http://i461.photobucket.com/albums/qq337/gtrman68/FORUMS/701_1529.jpg
Nice family photo. :smile:

When compared to a 50/1.4 or a lens like a 70-200 VR II, the 16-35 VR, 105 VR, and 70-300 VR are relatively similar in length and weight. The 24-70/2.8 would fall into this group, albeit a bit heavier than the other three (but still 1.4 lbs lighter than the 70-200 VR II). The 180/2.8 is also similar in size and weight to the 70-300 VR.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Messages
4,215
Location
Belgium - Antwerp
This might help to resolve the "size" issue.

It feels lighter than the 105 VR and about the same as the 70-300 VR.

701_1529.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

A great collection of glass you got there: four in a row!
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
84
Location
NJ
Uhmmm, not for me. It's frikking huge for what I do. Thanks for the review.

Concur. :eek:
The more 'pancake' they are, the better I like'em!
(And, without it's hood, my unobtrusive 35mm f1.8 is a gem that way...)

But I'm curious as to why a WA 16-35 lens like this is so huge? (-It looks to me like a big long telephoto zoom, no?) Does it's size make it offer offer a lot more in picture quality than say, WA primes 16 or 24mm can do?

I'm not being critical here, just curious, and I'd like to read more about wide angle lenses and why their size, and the resulting effects on photos?
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
3,087
Location
NJ
Concur. :eek:
The more 'pancake' they are, the better I like'em!
(And, without it's hood, my unobtrusive 35mm f1.8 is a gem that way...)

But I'm curious as to why a WA 16-35 lens like this is so huge? (-It looks to me like a big long telephoto zoom, no?) Does it's size make it offer offer a lot more in picture quality than say, WA primes 16 or 24mm can do?

I'm not being critical here, just curious, and I'd like to read more about wide angle lenses and why their size, and the resulting effects on photos?

It does has 17 elements, which I believe it a lot, especially for a lens like this...so I'm sure that adds to the size.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
3,087
Location
NJ
Well I took about 150 photos yesterday and I think everyone will be happy with the results. So far the photos look fantastic and are as sharp as a tack. I'll be posting them today or tomorrow.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
3,087
Location
NJ
Here are some cemetery photos I took on day 1

16mm, f/4, 1/3200 sec, VR off
part3-1.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


35mm, f/4, 1/160 sec, VR off
part3-2.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


16mm, f/4, 1/320 sec, VR off
part3-3.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


20mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec, VR off
part3-4.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


35mm, f/4, 1/320 sec, VR off
part3-5.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


19mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec, VR off
part3-6.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom