Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
not as sharp as you might imagine
on 29 May 2014
I recently upgraded to a D610, and am gradually accumulating full-frame lenses to go with it. Probably my favourite DX lens for use on my D7000 had been my Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, which was quite simply the sharpest lens in my collection, so I wanted a full-frame equivalent. I consider the Tokina 16-28mm f2.8, but was put off a little by some of the reviews which drew attention to high levels of barrel distortion. So I considered the various options, and decided to go for the mid-range Nikon wide-angle 16-35mm f4. I imagined it would be as sharp as my former Tokina lens, and decided I could live without a 2.8 maximum aperture as I hardly ever used it on the Tokina anyway.
I have used the Nikon quite a bit now, and it certainly has a lot of good points, The 16-35mm focal range is really versatile, and the inclusion of VR means I can happily use it hand-held for things like street photography if I want to. Autofocus is reasonably fast, although not breathtaking - not slow enough to complain about. However, the thing which disappoints me about this lens is the sharpness. It's certainly not bad, and better than some of the entry level Nikon lenses I have owned, but its noticeably less sharp than my Tokina. Bear in mind the Nikon is used on a D610, whereas the Tokina was used on a D7000, so I would have expected it to be at least a match, but it simply is not. My Tamron 24-70mm f2.8, which has some overlap in focal range, also appears to be sharper than the Nikon, which again I would not have expected.
Now I don't think it is bad enough to send back, and I am sure I will continue to use the lens for now and get some good photos with it, but I can't help thinking it might not have been worth spending the extra money on a Nikon lens, when a third party lens might have done as good a (maybe better) job for less money.