Rated & pre­viewed New gear

NPhoto - - Close-up -

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

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