Nikon 16 85mm vr


Nikon 16 85mm vr lens review

Nikon 16 85

vr lens review 16 85
Nikkor 16-85mm Nikon d7000 16mm f5.6 ISO 100 1/80s.
nikon 16 85mm vr lens review
Nikkor 16-85mm Nikon d7000 34mm f7.1 ISO 2500 1/125s.

Nikon 16 85mm vr lens review
Official name

AF-S Nikkor 16-85mm 1:3.5-5.6 G ED-IF SWM VR

Nikkor 16 85 vr lens review
Nikkor 16 85 vr – settings 85mm f5.6 iso 1600 Nikon d7000 as it comes out of the camera

Handling, build quality

The Nikon 16 85mm vr lens feels small in the hand compare to the f/2.8 bright alternatives. The lens is reasonably well built, but not tank like as the professional grade lenses.

The lens has very good build quality. The lens feel durable, the markings are seems made properly. The lens has a distance scale, which is often missing in cheaper lenses.

The lens has a Duo-cam design, the lens extends during focusing. There are three parts of the lens barrell, two parts only can be seen if we zoom for longer focal lengths. The lens barrel made of good quality, hard plastic.

The lens front element does not rotate, so using a polarizer is not a problem. This is what I suggest to this lens, a good polarizer is a very useful thing for this lens.

This is not a Pro lens for serious abuse, I don’t think the lens can resist a serious abuse such as dropping on the concrete, or a stronger hit to some hard objects. The zoom ring and the manual focus ring turns very smoothly.

The lens has three switches: Vr(vibration reduction) on-off switch, Vr normal or active(used in intense situation like boat for example) switch, and M/A(Autofocus with override) – M (Manual focus).


The stabilizer claim to VrII by Nikon, which proclaimed to do 4 stop difference. The stabilizer has two modes: normal, and active. Active mode is used in more extreme situations like moving platform, shooting from the vehicle, or other similar situations. The stabilizer is very effective: I made this shot at 1/8s for first attempt from the stopped car window.

Nikkor 16 85 vr iso2500 stabilizer Nikon d7000 – Nikkor 16-85 vr 16mm f3.5 iso 2500 1/8s


Filter size:67 mm (not rotating)
Close focus distance:0.38m
Aperture blades: 7
Weight:485g (17 ounces)
Dimensions:72x85mm-135mm extended
Zoom markings:16,24,35,50,70,85mm
Stabilizer: yes Vr II 4 stops gain, very effective
Made in Thailand

Standard accessories

-Petal shape lens hood – HB-39
-Nikon Lens cap

Focal range:

The lens has a very useful focal range. I very much like the 16mm wide angle setting (Usual kit lenses stop at 18mm). The 85 mm tele setting is also very nice, this way the lens can function as an occasional portrait lens. The two below photographs were made from the same position in the two extreme setting.
Nikkor vr lens
Nikon 16 85mm Vr lens – 85mm f5.6
Nikkor 16 85 vr lens review
Nikkor 16 85mm 16mm f5.6

Optical quality

The lens has reasonable optical quality at all focal lengths and apertures. The distortion at the wide end is less that the distortion of the 18-200 lens. Chromatic aberration is app. 1.5 pix at the two ends of zoom range if you shoot in raw (newer camera correct jpg-s automatically, some software like NX pro as well). The distortion at 16mm is quite small compare to the wide angle which is very useful.


The lens able to produce nice bookeh.
Nikon 16 85 Bokeh


Nikon 18-105mm, Nikon 18-200mm, Nikon 18-300mm, Tamron 18-200, Tamron 18-250, Tamron 18-270, Nikon 18-55mm
According to me the Nikon 18-200mm is way overpriced compare to what it is. The Nikon 18-105mm can be a good although alternative with lower budget. The Nikon 18-105mm is not a bad lens, surprisingly sharp at 105mm even at f5.6. At wide angle although is not so good according to my opinion. That lens also a little bigger in size.

Compare to

18-105mm: the 16 85 feels much smaller, and better quality optically and mechanically as well
18-55 vr kit lens: the kit lens is also very nice, but the 16 85 is better overall, in picture quality, build quality and functions as well.
18-200mm: The 16 85 is optically better, and much less expensive, for this amount of money I would buy an another lens for sure.
18-300mm: The 16 85 is optically better, and much less expensive


The best one lens solution for Nikon Dx. A real fun lens to use not need to change lenses all the time. Unfortunately a little expensive lens, I bought mine used. I like the convenience of the zoom range this lens give. Both ends (16mm, 85mm) are very useful. The relatively small size and weight with good build quality is also very nice. For serious shooters good for a travel or walkaround lens.

More samples with the Nikon 16 85 vr lens

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