Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR £900, $1000

Once in­no­va­tive, it’s since been over­taken

NPhoto - - Gear Zone The Big Test -

When an­nounced back in 2010, this lens was pro­claimed to be the first-ever FX-for­mat ul­tra-wide zoom to have op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion. The max­i­mum view­ing angle is wider than from the Nikon 18-35mm lens that’s also on test, at 107 rather than 100 de­grees. The aper­ture is more well-rounded, based on nine rather than seven di­aphragm blades, and the widest avail­able aper­ture re­mains fixed at f/4. How­ever, the 16-35mm VR is beaten by the Tam­ron 15-30mm for max­i­mum view­ing angle and the lat­ter has an f/2.8 con­stant aper­ture rat­ing, while also fea­tur­ing op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion.


Given that you can get away with fairly slow shut­ter speeds in ul­tra-wide hand­held shoot­ing, it’s not sur­pris­ing that VR is only worth about 2.5 f-stops. That’s still bet­ter than noth­ing in low light. Im­age qual­ity is very good on the whole, with ex­cel­lent sharp­ness and con­trast, and min­i­mal colour fring­ing. The only slight nig­gle is that bar­rel dis­tor­tion is pretty ex­treme at 16mm.

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