The Nikon 16-35 F4 Surprise

NCV

Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Messages
94
Location
Italy
Real Name
Nigel
I needed a VR wide zoom for shooting architecture on those occasions when I cannot put my 12-24 on a tripod. I have an EM5 with the 7-14 that will do the job decently. But I wanted something FF for my higher resolution D810/D800.

I traded my old 5x4 with a pair of lenses of lenses for a Nikon 16-35. I was a bit reluctant to get this lens because the reviews are not too positive. It was paid for by a piece of old kit that was rotting away in my old darkroom, so I was risking very little.

So I went to Carpi near Modena to try this new lens out. I find if I am careful I can get good results with VR down to about 1/15, similar to my EM5's IBIS. VR has been a big surprise, It works almost as well as the more hyped IBIS.

But the thing that makes this lens a winner for me is the absence of flare blobs that dog my lenses with bulbous front elements like the 12-24 and the M43 7-14. Those mostly purple zones are impossible to repair or hide.

This lens really is a low flare king. It handles point light sources very well too. The resolution is not so disastrous as the reviews would have us believe. I can live with a bit of edge softness if flare does not destroy my images.

I am glad I added this lens to my collection as it really seems to handle those impossible indoor monument lighting situations remarkably.

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Duomo Carpi, Modena

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Palazzo Pio Carpi. Modena


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I made the same shot with the EM5 and the 7-14. The flare was terrible, with a huge purple blob. This one just has a slight fringe around the window.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
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4,504
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Redwood City, CA
btw Nigel - your shots are well done and I'm glad the lens worked for you. There are Nikon lenses that are iconic and loved by all and then others like the 16-35 that draw strong reactions. I think the 14-24 set the bar very high for it's time and the 16-35 didn't make that league.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,115
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I needed a VR wide zoom for shooting architecture on those occasions when I cannot put my 12-24 on a tripod. I have an EM5 with the 7-14 that will do the job decently. But I wanted something FF for my higher resolution D810/D800.

I traded my old 5x4 with a pair of lenses of lenses for a Nikon 16-35. I was a bit reluctant to get this lens because the reviews are not too positive. It was paid for by a piece of old kit that was rotting away in my old darkroom, so I was risking very little.

So I went to Carpi near Modena to try this new lens out. I find if I am careful I can get good results with VR down to about 1/15, similar to my EM5's IBIS. VR has been a big surprise, It works almost as well as the more hyped IBIS.

But the thing that makes this lens a winner for me is the absence of flare blobs that dog my lenses with bulbous front elements like the 12-24 and the M43 7-14. Those mostly purple zones are impossible to repair or hide.

This lens really is a low flare king. It handles point light sources very well too. The resolution is not so disastrous as the reviews would have us believe. I can live with a bit of edge softness if flare does not destroy my images.

I am glad I added this lens to my collection as it really seems to handle those impossible indoor monument lighting situations remarkably.

View attachment 1648381
Duomo Carpi, Modena

View attachment 1648383

Palazzo Pio Carpi. Modena


View attachment 1648382

I made the same shot with the EM5 and the 7-14. The flare was terrible, with a huge purple blob. This one just has a slight fringe around the window.
I think that's just a problem with bulbous front elements, you're more at risk for flare. The 16-35mm f4 VR might have distortion and soft'ish corners, but at least it's more flare resistant and you can handhold it in various shooting locations.
 
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NCV

Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Messages
94
Location
Italy
Real Name
Nigel
So you have to use lens correction in Photoshop with this lens and then the images mostly look very nice. I like this lens.
I use the lens corrections in DXO which sorts out automatically the lens distortion and some sharpness issues.

I like this lens too, the VR lets me get the job done when I have to handhold in low light.
 

NCV

Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Messages
94
Location
Italy
Real Name
Nigel
I never liked this lens
Distortion at 16 was aweful
I come from using M43 where all the lenses have horrible native distortion and have to be corrected in post as part of the lens design. I do not like the idea od software corrected lenses, but that seems the way things are going in lens design.

I needed a lens to photograph hand held in very dark places. The 16-35 seems like a good compromise. The DXO corrections do a good job too.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2007
Messages
1,008
Location
SW Florida
I have been seriously thinking of buying the 16-35mm f4.0 for my D750 as I need a lens in that focal length category. Reason I haven't gotten it yet is because so many folks (as evidenced by this thread) are so divided on it. Some people love it, equal amount of people hate it.

Is there any Nikon lens with a similar focal zoom range that performs better within the same price range?
 

NCV

Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Messages
94
Location
Italy
Real Name
Nigel
I have been seriously thinking of buying the 16-35mm f4.0 for my D750 as I need a lens in that focal length category. Reason I haven't gotten it yet is because so many folks (as evidenced by this thread) are so divided on it. Some people love it, equal amount of people hate it.

Is there any Nikon lens with a similar focal zoom range that performs better within the same price range?
NCV_5576_DxO.JPG
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A 16-24 shot on my D800

I wanted a super wide lens with VR to be able to hand hold at low shutter seeds, this lens fitted the bill quite well.

DXO sorts the distortion problem and I find the lens quite sharp enough on my D810.

All lenses are compromises, so do not be put off by the negative comments about this lens. I am glad I gave this lens a chance. Try it and see if it works for you.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,115
Location
Los Angeles, USA
All lenses are compromises! What matters is what compromises you're willing to accept based on each lens. What might be acceptable for one person based on price/design/performance, might not be acceptable to another. What matters is the end result and most people viewing your images, don't care what lens/camera you used!
 
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