I refer to your Big Test on standard zoom lenses ( N-Photo 73) and wish to express some concern at the quality – or lack thereof – of the standard zooms available for DX-format Nikons. I currently use a Nikon D5100 and a Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR, both purchased in 2012. I was considering upgrading this lens to one with a similar focal range but wider maximum aperture. However, I noted from your comparisons that the Tamron and Sigma DX zooms use non-ring-type focusing systems, compared to the ring-type system of the latest Nikon 16-80mm f/2.8-4 lens. This latter lens would normally have been my upgrade choice, but its overall performance would seem to be mediocre at best – especially considering the high price tag (£890/$1070).
I would be interested to hear if you are aware of any other manufacturer about to release a DX mid-range zoom lens in the near future that I could consider, as I don’t believe the new Nikon 16-80mm lens to be a worthwhile upgrade for my 16-85mm For a premium-quality standard zoom, there’s Nikon’s professional-grade, constant-aperture AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8G, although it’s comparatively expensive at around £1350/$1500. We didn’t feature it in the recent Big Test as it’s a relatively old lens that dates back to 2004. For the D5100, we’d recommend sticking with the 1685mm VR that you already own.