Looking To Replace 18-55mm VR Kit Lens

Started Nov 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
RMC74 Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Looking To Replace 18-55mm VR Kit Lens


I was facing a similar decision a few weeks ago.  I have the D5100 with 18-55 and 55-300 kit lenses.  I purchased the Nikkor 16-85 used on Craigslist for $400 and it has rarely been off my camera since I bought it.  It has a better build quality than the 18-55 which you can feel as soon as you start working with it.  The extra 2mm on the wide end are nice when I am out hiking and taking landscape shots.  You would be surprised how much difference 2mm makes.  The extra 30 mm on the tele end means I do not need to go to my 55-300 nearly as often as I used to.  I have hardly used the 55-300 since purchasing the 16-85, except for those circusmstances where I need the really long zoom. The internal focusing on the 16-85 makes it better than the 18-55 if you want to use a circular polarizer.  The manual focus override is also a nice feature, which I find myself using occasionally.  I also like that the 16-85 has the focus distance window and the wide focus ring, unlike the 18-55 that only has a very small focus ring on the end of the lens and no focus window.  If you combine all of the little things that are better on the 16-85, I think it is worth the extra money to upgrade from the 18-55.  It's not that the 18-55 is a bad lens, it's just the 16-85 is nicer to use and is also nice and sharp.

I am also currently looking to upgrade my 55-300 as well, and will probably get the 70 -300 Nikkor or Tamron to complement the 16-85.  I have received some good feedback on the Tamron from members of this forum and as a result I am leaning in that direction.

I will be saving the kit lenses to put together a nice starter kit for my wife.

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