LensTip.com

Lens review

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

7 January 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

6. Distortion

After finding out that the image quality on the edge of the frame was poor and the chromatic and spherical aberrations were corrected badly we hoped that perhaps the distortion would be an exception to that rule. No such luck.

Everything looks more or less fine if you attach the Nikkor 16-35 mm VR to a DX sensor body. Distortion is the easiest to spot at the minimum focal length where you deal with its “barrel” form, amounting to −1.46%. In the middle of the range the distortion decreases to 0.49% and at 35 mm it is 0.68%.

Unfortunately results on full frame are very bad. At 16 mm focal length the aberration is really huge, amounting to –6.33%. Such results we’ve seen only in case of lenses which leave the distortion correction to the software of a camera. In their case, though, the real focal length of the lens is lower so after correcting that aberration and cropping the image you still get the field of view of the declared size. The full frame system of Nikon doesn’t shift the distortion correction on the software, though, so the optics has to deal with it. In this case, though, the optics failed completely.


Please Support Us

The coronavirus crisis has been adversely affecting many businesses and, sad but true, ours is not an exception. Despite that difficult situation we would like to preserve continuity and high quality of publications available on all our websites. Still, we are now aware it might be impossible without additional financial help. That's why we would like to ask all those who visit, read, and care about Optyczne.pl, LensTip.com i Allbinos.com for support - it's enough you send us a small sum of money via PayPal. If a lot people decide to support our websites we think we'll stand a chance and survive next months without any lasting harm. We count on your support and understanding, stay safe and be healthy.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - advertisement - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Taking into account the fact that we deal here with a low zoom multiple and huge distortion at the wide angle it seemed that at other focal lengths the results would be perfect. The distortion level can be considered low in the middle of the focal range where it amounts to just 0.25%. Unfortunately at the maximum focal length it exceeds once again 1% (being exactly 1.28%) and starts being visible in photos.

The total failure of the Nikkor in this category cannot be alleviated by the fact that we deal with a wide angle instrument; Sigma showed that even in such models like the 10-20 mm or the full frame 12-24 mm you can get even wider angles of view and distortion not exceeding –3%.


Nikon D7000, 16 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-35 mm f/4G ED VR - Distortion
Nikon D7000, 24 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-35 mm f/4G ED VR - Distortion
Nikon D7000, 35 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-35 mm f/4G ED VR - Distortion

Nikon D3x, 16 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-35 mm f/4G ED VR - Distortion
Nikon D3x, 24 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-35 mm f/4G ED VR - Distortion
Nikon D3x, 35 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-35 mm f/4G ED VR - Distortion