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Thread: Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

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    Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

    While not a pro lens and not fast at f3.5-5.6 just wondering if anyone has played around with this new lens?

    Thanks,
    Terry

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    While not a pro lens and not fast at f3.5-5.6 just wondering if anyone has played around with this new lens?

    Thanks,
    Terry
    IŽd be interested as well; my 17-55/2.8 is just too heavy, and the 24-85/3.5-4.5 isnŽt quite up to it...

    Photozone has tested it: http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/46-n...or_1685_3556vr

    ...and, FWIW, hereŽs Ken Rockwell: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/16-...s-18-200mm.htm

    But I do look forward to some comments on a forum of this caliber; then one starts to get the picture....

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    Re: Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

    I bought one about a week ago and returned it. I was looking for a "walkaround" lens for my D300, and all the reports I read pointed to this lens. I tested it by walking around an urban environment, shooting buildings, trees, cityscapes, etc. I shot raw 14 bit, ISO 200, medium f-stops (5.6-8), solid shutter speeds, VR ON (normal). I got about 30 images and processed them in ACR. Then made 15x22.5 inch prints on 17x25 inch paper on an Epson 3800 printer using Imageprint 7. The results were thoroughly underwhelming. I gave up after making the 4th print. Every image looked the same; there was no "there" there. I wasn't expecting Summicron results, but I did think I would get a very sharp center and maybe so-so corners. The sharp center never arrived.

    I returned the lens the next day. I know I am in the minority on this. All the published reports are universally good to better than good. It's possible I got a bad sample. The store had 3 more in stock and offered me another copy. I declined, as I do not have time to do the whole routine again or, even worse, go through the D300 lens tweak process. Long and short of it is I needed a mid-range zoom for the opening baseball game in St. Louis yesterday, so I rented a 28-70/2.8 over the weekend. Different class of lens, I know, but NIGHT AND DAY difference. I take the rental lens back today and will be ordering a 24-70.

    The D300 really demands topflight lenses. I use this camera as a compliment (not replacement) to the M8. I bought it to do what SLR cameras do best; wide, tele, precise composition, etc. My lenses to date are mostly MF: 20/2.8-AIS, 25/2.8-ZF, 28/3.5-PC, 35/2.8-PC, and 50/1.4-AF & 105/2-DC (AF). These lenses produce fabulous results with the D300 sensor. I was hoping I could get along w/o a behemoth pro level zoom for my walkaround lens. My testing proved otherwise. YMMV, but I would definitely buy from a source where it is returnable, as I will be doing with all my future purchases.

    ---Kent

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    Re: Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

    I got one as a general purpose press/pr lens. It also acts as a good backup. If the 17-55 or 70-200 break down, Shhhh! It would cover what I needed to, to get me out of a hole.
    It's a pretty good lens, OK f5.6 is a bit slow but the stabilizer helps you out there. Slower focus than the f2.8's which is obvious I guess.
    I don't pixel peep It's a cheapish lens that does the job. I have seen very good reviews on it see
    http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/46-n...or_1685_3556vr
    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1177/cat/13
    Not used it in anger yet but it will get it's first outing in a couple of weeks.
    Fits nicely on a D300 body without a battery pack. So I have that as a set up and a D300 with grip for the F2.8's if required.
    I've stripped my outfit down to just the above and a couple of SB 800's. I can always borrow or hire anything else I need.
    Bottom line is I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    David
    Last edited by DavidL; 1st April 2008 at 07:32. Reason: added text

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    Re: Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    IŽd be interested as well; my 17-55/2.8 is just too heavy, and the 24-85/3.5-4.5 isnŽt quite up to it...
    I hesitated as well - the 17-55 is too big for my tastes, and not long enough. The 16-85 is only 4/4.5-5.6, so I was not really tempted. I like a bright viewfinder... Same for the 24-85/3.5-4.5. So... I have just bought a 24-85, but the 2.8-4 version. So far the results seem fine, but I have not used it extensively yet.
    -- Bernard

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    Re: Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

    HI All
    Well, I haven't used this lens, but I've had quite a lot of experience with Nikon's mid range AFS VR lenses.
    I think they CAN be excellent, but you need to expect to have a couple of tries to get a good one. It took me 3 goes to get a good 24-120, and 2 to get a good 18-200 (actually it took 3 lenses to get a decent 17-55 as well).

    My worry in all of this is that I'm pretty certain that the options aren't good/bad (which they seem to be with Leica), but:

    terrible
    poor
    okay
    fairly good
    excellent

    for any given lens - and how do you tell which one you got.
    It's also worth mentioning that a lens can be good at both ends and rubbish in the middle. I had a 17-55 which was fine from 17-28 and from 40-55, but around 35mm it was dreadfully soft down one side - especially around f5.6; go figure.

    The moral of this tale is:
    1. Don't assume you have a good lens:
    2. Test it, tripod, brick wall, range of apertures and a range of focal lengths - check especially for one side being softer than the other.
    3. If possible buy it from a store - going back the next day with a couple of disastrous samples will usually get you an immediate replacement - if you've bought it from the internet it can be more of a hassle and they tend to send it back to Nikon.

    Incidentally, I didn't stop shooting Nikon because of this, but because I never could get the hang of the greens in evening and morning light (problem if you shoot landscapes).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI All

    for any given lens - and how do you tell which one you got.
    It's also worth mentioning that a lens can be good at both ends and rubbish in the middle. I had a 17-55 which was fine from 17-28 and from 40-55, but around 35mm it was dreadfully soft down one side - especially around f5.6; go figure.
    I found the same with my 16-85.
    Initially I was very pleased with it. But was snooting some kids with an Olympic swimmer and noticed his face was out of focus. As he was behind the kid I thought depth of field, all the usual stuff.
    On testing it just over 50mm on the trusted brick wall it was soft. It was in a place you could notice. If the guys face hadn't been in the unsharp area I wouldn't have noticed.
    I turned the camera around to show how sharp it could be.
    Luckily it was from my local Jessops and it's being replaced no problem. Despite what people say about this company they are great in this respect.
    David

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    Re: Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

    I am not disappointed with the lens. If you do not set your expectations very high. Contrary to some members, I find it to be sharp in the center across the
    fl.

    Maybe a little costly for what it is. a tamron 17-50/2.8 is lower priced here.

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    Re: Anyone tried the 16-85 AF-S DX VR

    What I find with most consumer lenses, is that they all have one or more seriously weak points. Since my memory is often overshadowed by my enthusiasm, I tend to forget those weak points when I'm shooting, and I come home with images that can't be used for different reasons.

    So, I stay away from consumer lenses as much as I can. There's a mint, second hand 135mm f/2.0 for sale at one of the local stores here, at the same price as for a new 16-85 "plastic fantastic". Not a difficult choice

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