LensTip.com

Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 16-80 mm f/2.8-4E ED VR

7 November 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary

Pros:
  • very useful parameters,
  • excellent image quality in the frame centre,
  • imperceptible longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • moderate lateral chromatic aberration,
  • lack of problems with spherical aberration,
  • slight astigmatism,
  • sensational image stabilization,
  • good performance against bright light.

Cons:

  • slacks on the manual focus ring,
  • image quality on the edge of the frame should have been better,
  • high distortion not only at 16 mm,
  • noticeable coma,
  • not reliable, slow autofocus work,
  • exorbitant price.

This test shows clearly the changes Nikon have undergone during the last ten years or so. At the beginning of the digital era they backed the DX format and treated it seriously enough. As a result such lenses as the Nikkor AF-S DX 17–55 mm f/2.8G IF-ED were launched – solid, metal constructions made in Japan with very good optical properties.


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Today, for almost identical amount of money, you get a physically light instrument mostly made of plastics and produced in Thailand which offers you very good image quality in the frame centre and efficient stabilization but fares very poorly in other categories.

It is true that, when it comes to the equipment designed for APS-C/DX sensors the 16-80 mm lenses are my favourite segment. The models which focal range starts with 16-17 mm and ends at 50-55 mm, even if fast aperture-wise, I find too narrow. I always seem to lack more at the ‘top’. The 18-135 mm class for a change is too limited at the bottom and usually too slow too. My dreams come true with the 16-80 mm f/2.8-4.0 parameters; that’s why I was really toying with an idea of buying that Nikkor, even when I found out how much I’d have to pay. I would simply wait several months until the company stops levying their novelty tax and then I would go shopping.

After testing that lens, however, I know I won’t buy it, anyway not until its price decreases by 40-50%. I haven’t seen such an overvalued piece of equipment in the amateur segment for a very long time…