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Lens review

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

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 16-80 mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
7 November 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

When we got a press release concerning the launch of the Nikkor AF-S DX 16–80 mm f/2.8–4E ED VR I admit I shouted loudly: “Finally!” After all it is completely possible to produce a good quality APS-C/DX- dedicated lens with focal lengths ranging from 16-17 mm to 70-85 mm – after all Zeiss was able to construct the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16–80 mm f/3.5–4.5 for the Sony A system and Sigma have offered as much as three versions of the 17-70 mm model, with perhaps a narrower focal range but featuring a working substitute of the macro mode.

The biggest players on the market so Canon and Nikon ignored that class of equipment for a very long time and I almost lost hope that anything at all would be presented by any of them. To my surprise and great joy Nikon launched the AF-S DX 16–80 mm f/2.8–4E ED VR. Still the suggested price was like a bucket of cold water – 4999 PLN. I tried to explain that in a way: after all firstly you get an aperture fastness better than that of the Zeiss and the focal range better than that of the Sigma. Additionally I hoped for an instrument with outstanding optical and mechanical properties which, when it settles down on the market for good, would be 10-20% cheaper and would become something worth recommending to the owners of Nikon reflex cameras with smaller sensors.

We hope that the following chapters of our test will allow you to assess whether my wishes might come true – enjoy your lecture!


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We would like to thank the Nikon Poland.company for lending us one specimen of the tested lens for testing purposes.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

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