Nikon 16-85 VR or 18-105 VR

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by gregg_kastman, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Hi all.

    I am upgrading to a DSLR and going to buy the Nikon D90. I was planning to get the combo kit with the 18-105 VR lens
    but have heard that the 16-85 VR lens is much better. Is it worth buying separately and paying an extra $250 for the 16-85

    Eventually, I want to get a long zoom but for now I can only afford the one lens and got some good advice to get
    comfortable with the camera and single lense for now. My photo hobby is mostly family pictures and vacations. Any
    advice would be greatly appreciated!


  2. Yes, I think that it is. The 16-85 is a very fine lens. It has a significantly better build quality, sharp throughout its range, and has low
    distortion. The 16mm wide end is more useful than the 105 on the other lens.
  3. YES!

    For the metal mount, better build, and (from all reports) great image quality, perhaps the best among "consumer" kit lenses
    from Nikon for DX.
  4. Buy the 16-85VR and don't look back, it's that good! The IQ of this lens is just fantastic given the price of the lens. It has very little distortion, pin cushion and barrel distortion, that pretty much goes away when stopped down one or two stops. It is sharp throughout it's range and is very good to excellent wide open. While it's not a pro lens, it doesn't cost a small fortune either. I have one and it is just excellent. The build quality is great, solid tight feel, no zoom creep. It has a metal mount while the 18-105 has a plastic mount. If you have a camera store nearby try one, you'll like it. Some people have complained about the high price but for less than $600 it's a lot of lens!
  5. I loved the 16-85mm lens. It did not have great image quality at 16mm however, I found the results on the soft side. I usually shot at the 24mm setting on up, and always got superb results!
    Temple Church, London, September, 2009 - D300 with 16-85mm VR lens
  6. for a $250 differential, i think so.
  7. Best comment on the 16-85 VR is that Nikon got the sharpness right and everything else to complain about with it can be fixed easily in post, but most users will be very happy with it. Highly recommended. Now where is the full frame version of the 16-85 VR - the 24-128 (or 105 or 85 even) VR that Nikon did not make - yet.
  8. The 16-85 DX VR is probably one of Nikon's best non-pro grade lens. Its only meaningful shortcoming is the slowish aperture.
  9. Look at the lab reports at Try out their interactive 3d histograms on these lenses.
    The 18-105mm tests out better.
    I have the 18-105mm. I think it's as sharp as my prime lenses at all f/stops and zooms.
    This is the only zoom lens I've haven't complained about.
    I think you'd be better off buying the kit with the 18-105mm.
    If your disappointed with the 18-105mm sell the lens on ebay and get your 16-85mm. But you won't be disappointed.
  10. How does the 16-85 compare with the 18-70? That extra 15mm at the long end is tempting.
  11. I would lean to the 16-85 for the extra mm at the wide end. For me it might be a single lens travel kit. However I think you should also consider a 17-50mm f2.8 type lens first. Later if you wanted more reach consider a fast prime telephoto like the 85mm f1.8 or longer if needed. Personally I use 7 primes from 20mm to 500mm with my D700 as I much prefer faster glass.
  12. I own 18-105. I was considering 16-85 VR, 18-200 VR, and 18-55 VR for general all purpose lens with small apertures. I am not expecting these lenses to perform at their best since I am using it for casual shots where I am not too demanding with the quality. So i am not going to burn extra money for things that is not expected to be good. Finally I pick up 18-105 just because it is cheaper than 16-85 and 18-200 but has longer reach than 18-55. For special / specific applications/assignments I would go with fast zooms or primes.

    However, after hundreds of shots of family vacation, casual family gathering, backyard party, I found this lens is useful for what it's designed for. It's wide enough and long enough for my shooting habits. I rarely go over than 85 or in needs wider than 18 in those occassions when I am using it for.

    The results: I am very happy with it! Corner to coner sharp. However, the distortion is quite nasty at 18 mm. But I am fine with it.

    PS: I never used 16-85 or 18-200 before. Are these lenses worth the extra dollars? For me , NO.
  13. I'm also thinking of upgrading from a 18-70 but I'm not sure if both the 16-85 and 18-105 are real upgrades.
    So far I like the 18-70, it's a solid lens with metal mount and fast AF, perhaps faster than the 18-105. F4.5 on
    the long end is also not that bad compared to others in this range. My main point is the VR feature. I ask myself
    if the
    VR on these cheap lenses like the 18-105 is worth the money, the advantage is probably only one f-stop as some
    reviewers say.

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