Rated & previewed New gear
In 2008, Nikon launched the 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G VR. It’s been an attractive upgrade to the kit lenses supplied with DX-format cameras because it offers a wider angle of view at the short end of its zoom range. However, at f/3.5-5.6. its widest available apertures are as pedestrian as in kit lenses like the 18-55mm and 18-105mm. The new 16-80mm offers apertures up to two-thirds of a stop faster at the short end and a full stop faster at the long end.
At 72x85mm, the new lens is the same physical length as the older 16-85mm, and just five grams lighter at 480 grams. That’s despite having a wider circumference due to the faster aperture, and a larger filter thread of 72mm instead of 67mm. The number of optical elements remains the same at 17, although the new lens has four rather than two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements. Other upgrades include nano crystal coatings to reduce ghosting and flare, plus fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements to resist dust, dirt and water. The new lens also has an electromagnetic diaphragm, which enables greater precision in aperture control, while the VR (Vibration Reduction) system remains similarly effective, rated at about four stops. FIRST IMPRESSIONS: It’s about twice as expensive as the older lens, but looks twice as appealing.
Standard zoom lens