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Nikon 16-35mm f4 VR vs 18-35mm G + 20mm 1/8 G?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jonathan F/2, Mar 14, 2019 at 1:45 PM.

  1. Nikon 16-35mm f4 VR

    6 vote(s)
  2. The 18-35mm G + 20mm 1.8 G

    3 vote(s)
  1. Which combo would you rather have? I will be mostly shooting event and occasional interior photography. The 16-35mm f4 VR offers wider range, has VR for handheld shooting, but doesn't have the fast aperture for DOF separation. The 18-35mm G + 20mm 1.8 G is more versatile, with the 20mm 1.8 excelling in low light/subject isolation, but this combo lacks that extra 2mm wide-end which might come in handy for tight spaces. Though I've compared 16mm and 18mm and I'm not sure how much I'd miss it in terms of practical real world shooting.

    Saying that I consider the 16-35mm more of an "anchor" lens, since it's better constructed, N-coated and has VR. the 18-35mm G is more consumer level, with more plasticky parts. Not sure I'd want to rely on this class of lens for work-type shooting (though I'm sure it's fine), but I do have the contingency of the 20mm to fall back on which is N-coated, fast aperture and the simplicity of a prime.

    Opinions welcomed! I wish Nikon would just update the 17-35mm 2.8 AF-D, because ideally that's the focal length and aperture I really want, but not sure it's a safe bet to buy due to squeaky AF-S motor and soft'ish corners. :( 

  2. I didn't like the 16-35. Sold it years ago. BD at 16mm for anything man made is a disaster and unfixable w/o giving up a lot of real estate
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Other than the cost, have you considered the Nikon 14-24 f2.8? I used mine extensively with my D750. Crystal clear shots and the f2.8 came in handy more than once in low light.

    There was another plus to it ... sitting on my shelf it looked like a piece of art... beautiful glass!! :) 

    Range-wise I'm using a Canon 17-40 now and I find it perfect for my limited usage now days, but I do not believe the glass is quite as good as the 14-24 (which makes sense ... it was a LOT less expensive.)

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 1:41 PM
  4. I love my 16-35. It was the only lens I carried with me on my October trip to Belgium. Served me very well. Distortion clears up well with most modern software. VR performs very well. For me a big plus is that it is an IF lens and the front element does not rotate either during focusing or zooming so ND grads and CP filters stay put, and the length stays the same at all zoom setting and focus distances.
  5. ahinesdesign


    Mar 14, 2017
    NC, USA
    I liked the 18-35mm a lot, wish I still had it. I don’t feel that it was handicapped by the variable aperture (especially over the 16-35; f/2.8 options are another story). Small-ish, light, inexpensive, well-mannered... what’s not to love? Never had any issues using the lens for work, including on construction sites, beach, boats, and much more.

    Have also shot with the Tamron 15-30 and Sigma 14-24, both are great lenses but are larger, heavier, and more expensive. I also felt that while these had higher image quality metrics than the 18-35, they could exhibit less pleasing out of focus blur and more flare issues due to the large front elements.

    The 20mm 1.8 leaves them all in the dust, in my opinion.

    The best ultrawide zoom may be the 14-30 S (at least until they release the 14-24 S).
  6. No complaints with my 16-35. In general use I'm not sure the extra 2mm made any real difference. BUT.... in the middle of the dance floor there were times I wish I had the 14-24. I also didn't mind the f/4 since I either needed the DOF or I was close enough to get enough separation.
  7. Another crazy idea I was thinking that might work within my budget is getting the 18-35G and also a Sigma 14mm 1.8 Art for those times I need ultra wide and fast. I might be able to wing that as well by selling off my 24-120mm f4 VR. The 18-35mm G can be used as an event lens and the 14mm 1.8 can come out for those crazy low light wide situations. Since I'm usually a two body shooter, the 24-XX range is pretty useless to me nowadays.
  8. Two bodies here as well. I always went between my 24-XX + 70-200 or 16-35 + 24-XX. For my events I could live without the ends more than the 24-XX range.
  9. 16-35 for me. Though it has its flaws - distortion at the wide end and soft corners at the long end - the VR makes it invaluable for me. Great for landscapes at dawn/dusk without a tripod!

    I'll probably replace it this year with the 14-30 f/4 Z, though - even wider, more compact, and hopefully optically better, too :) 


  10. Hmm, making me think I should also go 14-30mm f/4! :D 
  11. How is the Z with in door low light events? Does it work with flash IR assist?

    It's something I hadn't thought of until I read this article. But it explains some of the issues I when I tried to switch to mirrorless for events a while ago.
    The essential pro feature that no mirrorless camera offers
  12. This is why I'm keeping DSLRs around for the time being, I think flash/strobe photography is one area that mirrorless is actually worst.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 11:36 AM
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