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on 10 February 2014
I spent a long time wondering if buying the Nikon 16-35mm was going to be a wise choice.

I had intended going for the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8, I already own the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 so it seemed at first to be a no brainer given the 14-24mm's reputation for image quality.

Then I did some online research, a whole day in the end, and the choice became increasingly less obvious. Opinion was pretty much divided, no one argued the quality of the 14-24mm but in other areas the choice was less clear cut.

I decided to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate how I would be using the lens.
The lens was for intended for landscape so the 16-35mm on an FX body was a good focal length for this.

I like to shoot in inclement weather, the Nikon 14-24mm's inability to accept filters so having the front element exposed to wind, sand, sea spray and rain without the protection of a UV filter would have been a major concern.

The 16-35mm is an f4, so down a stop on the 14-24mm, and unlike many landscape photographers I rarely use a tripod as I find it gets in the way. Photographing whilst standing on slippery wet boulders can be tricky enough without a tripod to send you flying, so I tend to opt for a monopod or hand hold. So the Vibration Reduction had appeal.

Also the for me focal length had an advantage, 16-35mm covers a good spectrum of wide angle use. I try to plan for the lens I need before I go out and shoot. Changing lenses in rough weather is not a good idea to me, not only the risk of unwanted debris entering the camera or rear of the lens, but also the risk of dropping it.

On this basis I opted for the 16-35mm f4. So how have I found performance?
I ran some tests as far as I was able against my Nikon 24-70 f2.8, I took some shots at 24mm and 35mm on both lenses at the same f-stops, f4 and f8 with my Nikon D800 mounted on a tripod. I then blew these up to 300% in PhotoshopCC on a 27 inch monitor. This way exceeded what I would require of the lens.

At 35mm the Nikon 24-70mm appeared to have the advantage in terms of edge to edge sharpness, also for some unknown reason the the 16-35mm seemed to loose colour saturation compared to the 24-70mm. At f8 the 16-35mm was better though not the colour. This was simply adjusted in Photoshop.

At 24mm the situation reversed and the results were very noticeably better than those from the 24-70mm at both f stops. The colour saturation problem also disappeared.

I also ran some tests at 16mm, though I could not make any direct comparisons, the shots were taken in a conservatory with white chairs that had a wicker pattern on them. At f4 there was no real detail on the chairs at the image edges, at f8 the image improved very dramatically with good detail across the entire frame. This improved still further at f11.

All images taken at on the Nikon 16-35mm at f8 and viewed at 100% in Photoshop were impeccable.

In the field.
If I was still having doubts about my choice these did disappear once out in the wilds. This is a lovely lens to use. At first I thought it felt bit light and plastic for a pro Nikon lens, but once on the D800 it felt very well balanced and a very comfortable weight. It is fully weather sealed and suffered no mishaps when shooting close up to water falls despite getting fairly wet.

The quality of the images has not disappointed in any way. I think what counts are the results you get in the field, and this lens really delivers, also I experienced no issues at 35mm.

Also there is a significant price difference between the 14-24mm and the 16-35mm, large enough in fact to buy another piece of kit.

Perhaps if I ever take up interior photography I will take another look at the 14-24mm.
36 people found this helpful
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on 27 August 2015
Date of purchase: 03/08/2015
There are far more detailed reviews here as well as on the net; so I'll keep it simple:
1) the 16-35mm is lighter (680g versus 1000g) than the 14-24mm. One can argue that if you're shooting landscape and the lens is mounted on a tripod, the weight doesn't matter. Well, who's going to carry it there? :)
2) the 16-35mm is cheaper (£829 versus approx. £1200) than the 14-24mm. That's highly subjective to your budget, but £370 is a considerable sum which can be invested back in your photography gear.
3) As if the 14-24mm isn't bulky enough, please Google pictures of the 14-24mm with the Lee filter system; it's an absolute behemoth.
4) The 16-35mm range on this is far more practical allowing it to act as a landscape/street photography hybrid. The 2mm loss on the wide end is considerable but at 16mm you are already quite wide. If you are going to lose sleep over the 2mm, then get the 14-24mm, simple as.
5) F2.8 to F4 is a full one stop reduction... that's definitely a big deal if you're considering this for night sky photography; if that's the primary use then by all means grab the 14-24mm! However my hypothesis is this is a primarily a landescape lens in which case you'll have a lot more in focus wide open at F4 than at F2.8. It terms of light loss, given that both are likely to be mounted on a tripod (see point above), then really the F2.8 is no longer as a big loss at it first appears (no pun intended).
6)The addition of VR may encourage you to use this handheld, a far more enjoyable experience than a tripod/cable release combo.

I hope I have convinced you to save yourself and your wallet some serious cash which you can spend on some filters, etc
I'll be posting some sample photos following the bank holiday weekend so you can judge the lens sharpness, distortion for yourselves etc
9 people found this helpful
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on 23 July 2016
Superb quality wide angle lens for Nikon cameras. I use in full frame D750 and D810 and the sharpness and vibrancy is stunning combined with a really wide field of view. No issues vignetting or with fall off in the corners. Almost went for the 12-24mm but went for this lens because you can fit a filter to the front of this lens. Really looking forward to giving this a good run out on some landscape shoots as well as an upcoming commission on an architectural shoot in a refurbished mill.

The lens is quite long, almost as long as my 24-70mm f2.8 Nikkor but it is light as it has a plastic outer case but it doesn't feel cheap and feels well made.
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on 11 May 2013
Purchased the lens for my new D600 (body only) instead of opting for the D600 kit lens combo.
I think it was a good decision,I previously owned a Nikon 14-24 which is a very good lens but I found that its not a very practical lens for lugging around - its heavy, the glass protrudes past the casing and the lense cover is huge, I was constantly worried about damaging it.
The 16-35mm is in my opinion far more practical and I cant tell the difference in the quality.
6 people found this helpful
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on 4 July 2015
All I can say about this lens is 'GO OUT AND BUY ONE'. They are fantastic and you have to try it out and see for yourself the fantastic results that you will get...
2 people found this helpful
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on 11 April 2017
Great lens it's so much sharper than my other Nikon lenses. Very good price and next day delivery sealed the deal.
Thank you Amazon Prime
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on 15 July 2017
amazing optical quality. great for travel landscape
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on 14 July 2013
I'm very satisfied with this lens. I have it on a Nikon D800 and my experience so far as been great. Image quality is spectacular. It is a bit heavy, but it's on the light side compared to other lenses like the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4. I highly recommend it.
One person found this helpful
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on 2 April 2016
Pricey as all Nikon products are but then that's what you have to pay for a good lens.
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on 30 November 2017
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