Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR Lens

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83% Silver Award
The 16-35mm F4 VR is an excellent alternative to the 14-24mm F2.8 as a lighter, more affordable ultra-wide angle zoom for Nikon's full frame DSLRs.”

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Key Features

  • 16-35mm focal length
  • 24-52.5mm equivalent focal length on DX cameras
  • F4.0 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • Ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing
  • Image stabilization, vibration reduction (VR II) up to 4 stops
  • 77mm filters
  • 0.28m/11.02" minimum focus
  • Nikon F mount for FX and DX DSLRs

Product Description

Nikon's 16-35mm F4 VR lens is the first true wide zoom to sport optical stabilization, but thankfully doesn't compromise imaging performance to do so. It's very well built with dust and moisture sealing, and has very effective autofocus and stabilization systems. The one outstanding flaw is huge barrel distortion at wide angle on FX, although this can be corrected in software if necessary. As long as you can live with the distortion the 16-35mm is an excellent choice, particularly for full frame users.


Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 16–35 mm
Image stabilisation Yes (vibration reduction (VR II) up to 4 stops)
Lens mount Nikon F (FX)
Maximum aperture F4.0
Minimum aperture F22.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes rounded blades
Elements 17
Groups 12
Special elements / coatings two ED glass elements, three aspherical lenses and Nano Crystal Coat
Minimum focus 0.28 m (11.02)
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale Yes
Weight 685 g (1.51 lb)
Diameter 83 mm (3.25)
Length 125 mm (4.92)
Materials Plastic barrel with magnesium alloy sub-structure, metal mount
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Zoom method Rotary (internal)
Filter thread 77 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code HB-23
Tripod collar No


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Optical Quality
Build Quality
Image Stabilization
Ergonomics and Handling
Silver Award
Silver Award
83 %
Overall Score

Nikon's 16-35mm F4 VR is the first true wide zoom to sport optical stabilization, but thankfully doesn't compromise imaging performance to do so. It's an excellent choice particularly for full frame users, but you do need to be aware of its pronounced barrel distortion at wide angle.

Good For

Users of full frame Nikon SLRs looking for a wideangle zoom that's less expensive and more portable than the existing F2.8 options.

Not So Good For

Architecture and interiors (due to distortion at 16mm), DX users (due to limited range)

User Reviews

4.625 out of 5 stars
  • Guidenet, Mar 30, 2012 GMT:
    Long Term Keeper

    When this lens came out, the usual nay-Sayers and try-em-outers were making all kinds of negative mini-reviews online and in forums. I was concerned because this focal range is about perfect for me. I needed a superwide for my D700. Further, 24 was my pivotal hot spot for wide angle on landscape images. Had I bought the 14-24 I'd have had my super-wide, but would have always been fighting that long side. If I needed a little longer, I'd have to swap lenses. If I then wanted slightly less, ...

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  • VASEDENY1, Mar 29, 2011 GMT:
    The Nikon 16-35mm F4

    Mostly used on DX and film cameras, it's one of the sharpest lenses I've ever tried. If you stop down just a little (like F5.6), it,s already razor sharp corner to corner. The autofocus is REALLY fast and accurate, cannot even hear it, when focuses. The filter thread is very handy, when you like polarizer effects on wide angle. The only disadvantage for me is the big size, bigger and heavier than the usual wide angle lenses, but that's just a small discomfort to take for the superb quality. I ...

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  • Badger1952, May 29, 2013 GMT:
    Love this lens

    I added this to D800 kit a few months ago and did a bit of architecture (interior and exterior) shooting in Provence - yes it does "suffer" from the usual distortion at 16mm but what wide-angle lens doesn't - I have also aquired DxO Pro Optic 8 software and run the images through it - it automaticallly corrects for camera/lens combinations.  I would heartily recommend adding the DxO package to your purchase of this lens.

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  • Mick5, May 1, 2014 GMT:
    Great lens

    Bought second time and really love it. i can use my filters.

    Continue Reading


Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR Lens by DPReview

Questions & Answers


Nikon 16-35mm, 17-35mm, or 28mm for astrophotography?

I was in the middle of this debate about 3 months ago, and thought I made my decision to get the 16-35mm. I was looking at tutorials for timelapse, and going over the information I had set aside for astrophotography and realized that anything above about 2.8 is not preferred for astrophotography like pictures of the Milky Way or star trails. I'm just really not sure at this point. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I do not have enough money for 2 new lenses, as I just bought a brand new Nikon D610, but I can afford one of the listed lenses. The 16-35mm is wide open at f/4, the 17-35mm and 28mm are both wide open at f/2.8. What are your thoughts? Is there another wide-angle lens that would do an awesome job with landscapes as well as astrophotography?

MadTay asked
3 months ago


To the OP:  First, welcome to dpReview.  If you don't take too many of us too seriously, this is a great website.  :-) Second, if you have not already done so, I would suggest posting your inquiry on the Astrophotography forum. Continue Reading

PSCL1 answered
3 months ago

why not the 14-24? It's a great lens Continue Reading

Rogerlange answered
3 months ago

I would use the 14mm F/2.8 Samyang Lens. Milky Way Example Aurora Borealis More... Continue Reading

Carsten Pauer 2 answered
3 months ago


Which one to buy: AF-S 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR or the new 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G

Hi all, I have a new D800. I want to buy a ultra wide angle lens. Can you help me decide between AF-S 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR and the new 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G? I want to use filters as well since I do mostly landscape photos - this is why 14-24 is not an option. I like wide angles so the 2mm difference between 18-35 and 16-35 is quite some :) I read some post on forums  and on cameraegg that 18-35 is better than 16-35. Hmm...confused. Any thoughts and advices appreciated. Thanks

alyo asked
8 months ago


Most of what you hear from comparisons that say the 16-35 is better is due to either sample variation or those trying to rationalize their purchases for a lens that provides, at best, similar performance. Here are the facts: In favor of 16-35 * provides a wider FOV * provides VR * professional build In favor of 18-35mm * compact and lightweight * much less expensive * more consistent edge-to-edge performance (sharpness) In terms of IQ,  most differences in sharpness can be attributed to sample differences.  For example, this review, Photographylife , was conducted by a blogger who is loathed to praise any "cheap lens." They repeated their test because they were so surprised at the outcome. In general, the 18-35 was typically a little sharper than the 16-35 in the center, and a bit more sharper in the corners. However, the test performances was more alike than different.  I doubt that there would be many comparisons which would produce noticeable differences between the tested lenses. ... Continue Reading

gatorowl answered
8 months ago

Hmm, not sure what to make of your reply. Evidence is evidence, whether first hand or second hand. There is nothing to suggest that secondary data sources are less reliable than primary data sources. Let me see, do I give more weight to your word--a person who has posted on DPReview 145 times--or to reputable reviewers who have examined and tested dozens of lenses each? To me, that's an easy call. However, the point of my post was not call your competency as a reviewer into question. I have little reason to suspect that your 16-35mm did not perform better than the 18-35mm you test. My point--which is not inconsistent with your comparison--is that these two lenses are so close in IQ, that any noticeable differences are almost certainly due to sample variation. This is better explained here Canon 24-70 sample variation. If you don't have time to read the entire article, scroll down to the middle of the article where Roger Cicala compares the resolution of the 24-70 to the 70-200 (two ... Continue Reading

gatorowl answered
8 months ago

Probably mainly because it's a much older design with no SWM AF motor in the lens. It definitely has its fans though, and you can find many a heated debate about it in the archive of this forum. You can't realistically shoot the 17-35 at f/2.8 unless you're only wanting a sharp area at the centre of the frame. The rest of the frame will be very soft, partly due to aberrations and partly due to field curvature. Most wide zooms have a very curved field of focus. You need to stop down to at least f/4, better f/5.6 at which point the aperture advantage is gone. The 17-35 also lacks the Nano crystal coat, which believe it or not is not just marketing bumpf but really does make a difference to the colours and global contrast of the lens. The 16-35 is always in short supply. The other day at my local store the rep mentioned they have 80 backorders and only receive stock of 20 per month. That might be one reason. Continue Reading

thelenspainter answered
8 months ago


Nikon Lens Purchase - 16-35 vs 17-35 vs 24-70

I have a Nikon D4, and a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8  and Nikon 50 f/1.4G I am looking for a lens, that i can use for everyday shooting, as well as landscape. I'm considering the following Nikon lenses: 16-35  f/4G ED VR 17-35 f/2.8D 24-70 f/2.8G My budget only allows for a single purchase.   Any advice would be much appreciated. GD

gdrilloc asked
2 months ago


I do portraits with my Nikon.  The odd macro shot, but mostly portraits and people.  I'd go for the 27-70mm.  That's my priority, but your priority may differ. Continue Reading

PenPix answered
2 months ago

24-70mm would be the most versatile of the three. Continue Reading

trekkeruss answered
2 months ago

When I was still shooting Nikon over the years I used all 3 of the options you mention. The 24-70 is the best choice and a perfect compliment to the 70-200. With those two lenses you can cover almost anything you will see. Continue Reading

Richard Weisgrau answered
2 months ago

Warranty Information

"No registration or "warranty" card is included or needed with a Nikon D-SLR or Coolpix camera. Keep your original, dated proof of purchase from the Authorized Nikon Inc. dealer in case warranty service is ever needed. These products do include either a mail-in form or a paper with a web link to our registration page:
It's advised to register your product with Nikon so that we can send you information about future updates or service issues that may arise.

Nikkor lenses come with a standard one year warranty and Nikon Inc. lenses sold by authorized Nikon Inc. dealers will have a Nikon Inc. Five Year Extension. To register for the five year extension, one copy of the included form must be mailed in as indicated. Keep the Customer copy of the form as well as the original proof of purchase (sales receipt)."

Read the full warranty.

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