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Thread: Thoughts on the Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR?

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    Member coolhand78's Avatar
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    Thoughts on the Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR?

    I'm looking at getting this lens to be my main walk around lens when on holidays/living in England next year and for my honeymoon in Tassy later this year. it'll be on a Nikon D7100.

    It appears to be the best for IQ of the kit lenses, and the most expensive as well, but i'd rather have one really good standard zoom and use primes 35/50mm for the rest...

    mostly i'll be shooting architecture, lanscapes and general street/portrait/happy snaps whilst on hols...

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I think I've said this before, but if not I'll post it again.

    16-85 looks to be a great lens, but for the price!!! ... still too expensive, for what amounts to a kit lens!

    What I reckon would make a great starter kit would be:

    Sigma 10-20/4-5.6
    Sigma 18-35/1.8
    any longer lens for a bit of reach and portraiture(Tamron 90mm comes to mind)

    Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 awesome for architecture(and landscapes) with lot of latitude to set the camera up correctly and then crop the image to taste.
    Another option would be the even wider 8-16mm, but this lens is harder to set up with filters. 10-20 accepts 77mm filters.

    (if you have a narrower FOV you'll tend to frame your architecture scenes tightly and as most folks do, point the camera skywards bringing with that lots of perspective distortion, not to mention the inherent lens distortion involved this looks great if comedy is an attribute you want in the image, otherwise you'll be forever processing in some lens correction in PP .. which obviously has some detrimental effect on the images.

    Sigma 18-35 would make a great mid range like every day prime lens alternative

    It's could provide for some nice portrait options too depending on your taste for portraiture photography.
    So a 75-105mm lens for portraiture would be an ideal lens to have as well ... some of the best portrait lenses somehow double up as great macro lenses too.
    I think(I'm sure) the Sigma 105/2.8 OS macro seems to do well as a portrait lens, I know that the Tamron 90/2.8 macro does very well as one from experience, Nikon's very expensive 105VR is also very good too .. if not the best other than for it's very expensive price tag.
    I'm sure there are other good lenses out there that would do equally well .. just can't think of them right now.

    OH! and if you still want a good allrounder lens, I still don't think any Nikon lens offers as good value for money as the 18-105VR does! Super cheap, and really sharp. It's a lot slower than the 105VR(at 105mm), both in terms of aperture size, but also T-stop ... but in terms of sharpness, I don't think you could pick the two apart(at 105mm that is).
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    coolhand78's Avatar
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    Hey mate

    Thanks for the great info, do u think slower 4-5.6 aperture of the 10-20mm would be not ideal for dusky/early evening landscapes/skylines etc?

    Would a lens with a faster aperture perform better in those situations?

    And lastly, how do the sigma lenses compare in quality/build etc to the nikkor lenses?

    Thanks mate!!!

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    Member bconolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolhand78 View Post
    Hey mate

    Thanks for the great info, do u think slower 4-5.6 aperture of the 10-20mm would be not ideal for dusky/early evening landscapes/skylines etc?

    Would a lens with a faster aperture perform better in those situations?

    And lastly, how do the sigma lenses compare in quality/build etc to the nikkor lenses?

    Thanks mate!!!
    It'll be fine for that sort of work, particularly if you use a tripod. You'll most likely want to be working at f8 -> f11 to have a enough in focus (by f5.6 would work) so the 10-20 should be "fast" enough
    Olympus OM-D EM-1, 12-40mm f2.8, 45mm f1.8, Panny 25mm f1.7

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    Member Photophil2010's Avatar
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    I have the 16-85mm nikkor lens and find it to be very good. The IQ is better than the 18-105mm (which I used to have) and the build quality is far superior too.
    I have had to replace both of these lenses on seperate occassions because I fell on some rocks whilst photographing.
    I also own a sigma 10-20mm f3.5 lens which I find to be very sharp, I haven't owned it for too long and am only using it for landscape photos. The 16-85 seems to me to be more versatile as a walk around lens, it is just a bit wider than the 18-105 and has more reach than the 10-20 sigma.
    The 16-85 is about twice the price of the 18-105 lens and maybe it should be cheaper but I was happy to pay for the lens that I considered to be better.
    Good luck in deciding which way to go.
    Phil

    D7000, D90
    AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f1.8,AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f3.5-5.6,
    AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor105mm f2.8, Sigma 120-300mm 1:2.8 APO DG HSM, Nikon SB700 speedlight, Kenco Extension Tubes

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    While the slower aperture can become a disadvantage in lower light/darkness in terms of viewfinder/liveview brightness, the difference is minimal and not worth the worry anyhow.

    As bconolly already said, you're most likely to be working at f/8 like apertures anyhow for optimal DOF and edge sharpness.

    If a faster aperture UWA lens is something you're after, the Tokina 11-16/2.8 will give you some good images too.
    Had a play with this lens, and even tho you're best off stopping down for deeper DOF in your architectural images, you could get away with some decent handheld images at f/4-5.6 if all the depth in the image is far enough back.

    Sometimes I know it's hard to carry around a tripod all the time, or it may be either hard too, or impossible too set up a tripod in many places .. so if handholding is something you have on your wish list, the Tokina is a very good lens.

    While the lens is a 11-16mm, and if you get yourself a cheapie 18-105VR .. I'm pretty sure you won't miss the 16-18mm focal length range either.

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