Nikon Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Nikon Inc. AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon Inc. AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

This compact and highly versatile 5.3x zoom includes Nikon's VR image stabilzation technology and delivers incredible optical performance.

Average Customer Rating:
4.716 out of 5
4.7
 out of 
5
(74 Reviews) 74
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot 74 reviews
5 stars
58
4 stars
14
3 stars
0
2 stars
1
1 star
1
71 out of 74(96%)reviewers recommend this product.
Customer Questions & Answers:
31 Questions | 46 Answers
Customer Reviews for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Review 1 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

great walk around lens

PostedNovember 11, 2014
skier45
Location Hudson Valley
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Travel
Nikon Family 11-20 years
Experience 6-12 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
it would be nice with a wider aperture, it would also cost more and surely be heavier than I want to carry. The VR handles the low light, so in actuality, depth of field might be the lone disadvantage .
0points
Review 2 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

A must have general purpose lens.

PostedOctober 19, 2013
ClassicDigital
Age 25-34
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
This is my "goto" for general photography. Whenever I'm out and about I never know what I'm going to run into. So I usually bring this lens along and my 40mm macro just in case something catches my eye.
This lens is sharp from 16 to 85mm. The VR works wonderful and its very well made. The 16-85mm VR uses allot of metal in its construction which makes for a solid feeling lens in the hand. The zoom ring is nicely dampened so you don't have to worry about lens creep. The focus ring also feels smooth when using manual focus. This lens is equipped with Nikon's ring type SWM motor. Its AF speed is almost as fast as my Nikkor 70-300mm VR. So I hardly miss any shots with this lens.
The 16-85mm focal range is very useful to me. I can get a nice wide angle shot, though not the same effect as a true wide angle lens. The wide 16mm focal length with this lens allows you to fit everything into the frame. But this lens doesn't have the distortion associated with wide angle lenses.
The 85mm focal length is a good enough reach for me. I really have no use for mega zoom lenses since I'd rather photograph whats around me instead of wasting time with distant objects.
I use this lens on my D3100 and D7000's. Its sharp and contrasty on all my bodies.
If your looking for a lens that built better then your kit lens, offers better VR, faster AF speed and a more useful focal range as well as sharper images then this lens might be your ticket.
+33points
Review 3 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Very sharp lens

PostedMarch 29, 2013
Hoosierdaddy
Location Indianapolis, IN, USA
Age 45-54
Favorite Subject Family & Friends
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
Produces very sharp images on a D7000. However I would have traded some focal length on the long end for another f-stop; a sharp 16-60 f/2.8-4 would have been preferable but none exists. (VR not helpful for moving subjects.)
+19points
Review 4 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

My "go-to" lens with my D7000

PostedNovember 16, 2012
Grimbot
Location Grimsby, ON, Canada
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience 6-12 months
Role Semi-professional photographer
The Nikkor 16-85 VR is Nikkor's best zoom lens in a DX format in terms of image quality. Great colour rendition and clarity. Having the extra wide field of view does make a big difference shooting at 16 mm rather than 18 mm. I have taken more photos on my D7000 with this lens than any of the other 6 Nikkor lenses I own. It is a real workhorse.
I've also used this lens on my D600 when shooting corporate video and have found it to be excellent for that purpose as well.
+36points
Review 5 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

This has become my "go-to" lens

PostedJune 1, 2012
CoastalRick
Location San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Portrait
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Semi-professional photographer
Purchased this lens when I bought my D300S body. While I have five other lenses, this one has become my "standard" lens that I shoot 75% of the time. If I don't want to carry "everything," I rely on this lens as my "walk around" lens. Not as sharp as my 70-200 2.8, but a easier to carry around on a long day.
+21points
Review 6 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

good lens at great price

PostedFebruary 9, 2012
BlueHeart
Age 18-24
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 11-20 years
Experience 3-6 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
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This lens is well-built, good images at all range.
I personally find it a bit soft at the 85mm end, but it is sharp at 20~50mm length.
A great lens to have, and if you are looking for a travel lens, choose this one over 18-200mm!
+22points
Review 7 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great kit lens for D300 series

PostedJanuary 27, 2012
Geoff
Location Boulder, CO, USA
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I have had this lens for several years, having decided to get this one and the AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens combination rather than the AF-S VR 18-200 lens. Probably 95% of my shots (mostly outdoors/landscapes) make use of this lens. It is obviously not that fast, but I find that the VR works well and that the images produced seem very sharp to me. And, since both lenses listed here and the older AF-S 18-70 kit lens use 67mm filters, I have found some efficiencies. I really like this lens and its balance/feel on the D300.
+21points
Review 8 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Excellent

PostedJanuary 21, 2012
2011Nikon
I've owned this lens since Feb of 2011 and use it as my main lens on my D7000. It consistently delivers sharp images and rich colours. The range is perfect for me and construction of this lens is robust,
 
My product recommendations
 
 
 
+31points
Review 9 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Excellent Optical Performance - Great VR

PostedNovember 8, 2011
Photo-Guy
Location Colorado Rocky Mountains
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience Less than a month
Role Professional photographer
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I have been using Nikon cameras and lenses for over 50 years, since I was a teenager using an S2 rangefinder. My new 16-85mm VR has really impressed me with both its excellent optical performance and the ability of the latest VR technology.
I always test a new lens in my studio with an optical test chart and camera (in this case, a D300) mounted on tripod. The 16-85mm VR performed superbly, even wide open, with only the very corners at 85mm showing the slightest softening, visible only with "pixel-peeking" at 1:1, which is an image scale that would yield a 28"x42" print size. In terms of practical photography,even when I make 24"x36" prints, this lens is very sharp.
I've included some sample shots from my first field use of the lens (the optical test patterns would be boring) -- two images are of ice crystals on a fence shot at 85mm near the closest focusing distance. This yields about a 1:4 scale on the sensor, so that even the small full frame image here is effectively larger than life-sized. The cropped image is an enlarged crop of the full image that would yield a print scale of about 12"x18". A tripod was used for this shot. Most of my work is scenic and wildlife, and I use a tripod for about 80% of my shots.
However, when needed, the performance of VRII is amazing -- see two VR test images. This is again a full frame image, and a 1:1 scaled crop of that image. The shot was made at 1/15 sec hand held in my music studio at a focal length of 48mm. The 1:1 crop again would be yield a 28"x42" image size if the entire image were shown at this scale. As you can see, the text is fully readable in spite of the long exposure. I shot a number of images in the same area, both with and without VR, and all shot with VR were as sharp as this example, and none shot without VR at this shutter speed were the least bit clear due to camera shake.
Great little lens -- compact and reasonably light to carry on all-day shoots. It will no doubt be my main Go-To lens for years to come.
+69points
Review 10 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Amazing overall lens: Shines for Travel

PostedSeptember 25, 2011
Gatorpan
Location Tel Aviv, Israel
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Portrait
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Professional photographer
Amazing overall lens: Shines for Travel
I just returned from a 16 day vacation in Italy. As an amateur archeologist spend a day at Ostia Antica, Herculaneum and Pompeii. Every corner you turn was a different photo op. I carried my prime lenses in my camera bag if needed. But I rarely did. Took great shots of Vesuvius from the train using active VR …
Sure there are better lens at every focal length. But how can you capture everything from wide to medium tele w/o changing lens? I was concerned about not having a telephoto but from the point of view of photo journalism, serious telephoto shots are not needed. (At least for 99% of the photo travel work.) As I said, when I needed F1.4 I had my prime lens.
Bottom line, great overall lens for the purpose it’s made. About 40 years ago, in the bad old days, we used to carry 2 lenses for travel photography: 35 and 105. This 16-85 lens, in DX format, covers both those focal lengths. Oh … BTW: for wedding and events, I have a 17-50 F2.8 Lens. You will never find one lens to do it all.
+23points
Review 11 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

All-around performer

PostedSeptember 20, 2011
NikonneCT
Location Connecticut
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
User submitted photo
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Another reviewer said this was the lens that stayed on his camera: same here. The 16-85 mm Nikon lens delivers great results throughout its range -- even at 16 mm I get consistently excellent images with no distortion or softness on the edges of the frame. Stopped down to f5.6 or f8 at 80-85 mm, it's a fine portrait lens. Between this and my 70-300 ED-IF Nikon, I have 95% of my shooting needs covered.
+26points
Review 12 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great all around lense

PostedSeptember 10, 2011
Idiophonics
Location Mount Vernon, WA
Age 25-34
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience 3-6 months
Role Semi-professional photographer
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
This is the lens that stays on my camera. All other lens are for some special setup usually involving a tripod. But this one is great for hand held all around shooting. I read many reviews before buying this one and I am glad I did. The photos are sharp, the colors great, very little distortion in the corners. Aside from my macro shots taken with my 105mm I had to change the rating on all my previous photos because I did not have a sixth star for the photos taken with this lens. I use it with my d90. If I had an FX camera I may have considered another lens. It seem the d90 and the 16-85 were made for each other. The image I uploaded is the very first one I took with this lens and it blew me away how straight and sharp it turned out.
+19points
Review 13 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great lens.

PostedAugust 19, 2011
doradus
Location tucson, az
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
User submitted photo
I am a landscape photographer and use this lens 90-95% of the time for landscapes. Very fast focusing and sharp. Than you for creating this product for the DX cameras.
+7points
Review 14 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great all around lens

PostedJuly 13, 2011
the old one
Location Sacramento,California
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I just got a D5000 as a Xmas present. The 18-55 lens that came with it was surprisingly good but I wanted another lens to take on our vacation to Paris. I read all of the reviews regarding this lens and took a chance. In general, I always liked the 28-80 as a tele lens. The 16-85 took all the pictures that one could ask beautifully and especially in low light - inside as well as outside. I never used my flash.Great subtlety of color inside without flash. It is a little heavy but the glass is worth it and the City of Light never looked better.
+9points
Review 15 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Amazing Do-It-All Lens!

PostedJuly 2, 2011
Nikon-AJ-USA
Location Naperville, IL
Age 25-34
Favorite Subject Family & Friends
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I've been using a Nikon 18-55mm VR lens with the D7000 and D5100 and although I am always happy with the quality of this very affordable lens I wanted both a bit range at the wide end and some more on the tele end - enter the Nikon 16-85mm.
The lens has a 24mm equivalent field of view at the wide end and 130mm equivalent field of view at full zoom. But that isn't all, the lens bring fast & silent SWM autofocus with real-time override (what I want for video) and the VR used in this lens is very powerful. As if all those features weren't enough, the images from this lens are extremely sharp with high micro-contrast more so than either the 18-55 VR or the popular 18-200. The only downside to this lens that I have found is that the bokeh can be nervous - but for me its a small price I'm willing to pay for everything else it brings to the table.
I considered this lens against the 18-200 VRII as well, and while I think the 18-200 is a great lens in its own right, I feel the value of 16mm is not often appreciated, and to be honest its not much to crop my photo to get a shot from 85mm to have a similar field of view as the 200mm from the 18-200. Factor in that on a smaller body like the D3100 or D5100 the 18-200 is noticeably heavier and longer than the 16-85mm, and if you shoot on a tripod and don't shoot level the zoom 'creep' or movement on the 18-200 can be a problem whereas the 16-85mm doesn't have any.
I'm extremely happy with my final decision and I'm out enjoying right after writing this!
+31points
Review 16 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Amazingly sharp and versatile without compromise.

PostedJune 9, 2011
mebrev01
Location Delaware, OH
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 2-5 years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I use this lens with the D-90. The lens is fantastic and my absolute favorite. It is astonishingly sharp throughout its range with excellent contrast. Keep in mind that when analyzing optical output from any lens, one must consider the in-camera processing parameters that are set. From a practical real-world standpoint, I haven't noticed any distortions, flare, aberration, etc. Together with the D-90, this setup is my all-around 95% of the time used camera for landscapes and macro floral photography. When I'm enjoying such activity, I opt more for freedom and spontaneity than equipment. With the still unrivaled wide to tele range (16mm instead of the typical at the wide end) of this lens within its comparable class of lenses, this lens provides a wonderful sense of freedom from having to often change lenses. The auto-focus is extremely efficient, fast and relatively very quiet and can be counted on overall, yet it even affords the ability to tweak manually while set on auto. For example, this could be useful when doing very close macro shooting of flowers, when you would want to further tweak the focus plane precisely to a particular point within a selected shallow depth of field when using wider apertures in closeup macro shooting. The sharp subject background blur that can be produced using this lens in this manner is extremely pleasing and dreamy. Last but certainly not least, the VR (vibration reduction) feature of this lens works amazingly well and is the concluding component (in addition to the wide-tele range) that gives me an unrivaled sense of photographic ease and freedom. I rarely need a tripod anymore, even shooting as slow as 1/30 (even slower will get very acceptable results) (of course, noting that holding and shooting technique and subject movement factors apply). Concerning build quality, this lens feels solid and very well made. It's also a breeze to handle and use. I never experienced any barrel creep that had occurred in proper use. Finally, the cost of this lens is relatively reasonable for what you get in a good Nikon lens. Beyond all that this wonder-lens provides and how it performs, I can only say that even a longer tele range would be welcomed, but only to the extent that the existing optical output of this lens could be maintained.
+24points
Review 17 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

This is my new every day lens

PostedApril 19, 2011
duvtony
Location San Mateo, California
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 11-20 years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
User submitted photo
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First time out using this lens on my recent vacation using D50 body. Wanted only one lens to carry going up and down mountain trails and backpacking. Lens felt very solid and stable, easy to handle and control. Framing a shot was very easy and the zoom feature made it a snap. Once set, the lens did not move while dangling on my neck although did find it helpful to retract the lens when walking and hiking and for storage in my camera case. Still new to and learning to use imaging software on computer so images here are probably not optimal yet.
So far I am very happy with the results and the experience using this lens and feel very good about the decision. Of course I read all the reviews and great things others had to say about this lens before purchasing, and having used Nikon products in the past, this was an easy pick to make. Thanks for a great product. I would recommend this lens to all my friends.
+3points
Review 18 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Ideal general purpose lens.

PostedApril 18, 2011
Hiker
Location Hudson Highlands, NY
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience 6-12 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
This lens is on my camera 80-90 percent of the time. It has replaced my 18-200 mm lens for travel and general use. There is no focal length creep as there is with the 18-200 and the extra 2 mm at the short end is great to have. The best of the half-dozen Nikkors I've owned.
+18points
Review 19 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

great lens

PostedApril 16, 2011
razmataz
Location Rohnert Park, Ca
Age Over 65
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
Only had the lens a couple weeks and have been playing with it and so far it is all I expected.
-5points
Review 20 for AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

PostedApril 16, 2011
standby lens
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Occasional user, memory keeper
This lens is on my D80 90% of the time. It is by far the best lens I own. I would highly recommend it!
-6points
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