Nikkor 18-105 of 16-85

Started Nov 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
gear1box Senior Member • Posts: 1,497
Re: Nikkor 18-105 of 16-85

I have fairly extensive experience with both and shoot the 16-85 now.  And i agree that they are roughly equally sharp; with the 16-85 you get (useful) width for length. In my case, i find it a good trade against the 18-105.

But neither will really do for landscapes. Try as i might, and even at optimal apertures and focal lengths, the corners are *not* really sharp.

So, you have some choices: the 24-70 ($$$), Tokina's 11-16, or various primes come to mind. In my case, i don't shoot UWA well; my eye just doesn't "see" that way. My style of work finds a mid-range zoom useful. And i don't really need speed with a D7000. I know Hogan uses a 17-50 Sigma, but i've had bad luck with their quality control.

Now for a radical solution: the new full frame 24-85 VR. The focal range is, if not awful, certainly not great (36-125 FOV). The 72mm filters were a problem for me too (why not 77mm . . . or it looks to me like the optics would fit 67mm . . .)  But it is unbelievably sharp corner to corner in DX at almost all focal lengths and apertures. Seriously, on DX this lens is the bomb for sharpness. These SLRGear test results are not an exaggeration with my sample:

In aperture priority at f5.6 or f8 at any focal length, you can go deep into the corners and they are sharp. Okay, it is not wide, but this lens performs on par with fixed primes on my D7000.

From what i can tell, this is *not* a great lens on full frame (those darn corners, again), but it is designed for modern, high-pixel-density, sensors. We DXers can get a "free ride" on Nikon's transition to full frame.  If you can live with the focal range, i would say "hop on board".

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gary ray

Semi-professional in early 1970s; just a putzer since then. interests: historical sites, virginia, motorcycle racing. A nikon user more by habit than choice; still, nikon seems to work well for me.

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