18-70 vs 16-85 not so simple....

Started Jan 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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camelguy
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18-70 vs 16-85 not so simple....
Jan 17, 2012

Right now I've got both the 18-70mm and 16-85mm Nikkors, and have decided to sell one of them. Surprisingly, it's not quite as easy of a decision as I thought it would be. While the extra cash I would get for the 16-85 would be nice, I'm really just interested in keeping the better lens. Even still....

What I've found is that the 16-85 is generally consistently better - meaning sharper, less distorted, even perhaps better AF performance - at wider focal lengths, up through about 50mm. On the long end, however, the 18-70 is definitely the winner. At 70mm, the 18-70 gives me images that look almost lifelike, even at 100%. Even shooting indoors under incandescent light, with VR turned on on the 16-85, the 18-70 still beats it at 70mm, (as long as shutter speeds are just fast enough to hand hold). The 16-85 isn't bad - but the 18-70 is better. In fact, it's astonishingly good. Also, bokeh on the 18-70 is marginally better at pretty much any focal length.

In the end, I'll probably end up selling the 18-70, because I use the wider end a lot, and I love having the extra 2mm on that end on the 16-85. But it won't be without regrets or second thoughts.

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