For those looking to go beyond what a kit lens has to offer their Nikon dSLR, there's Nikon's AF-S DX 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 G ED VR. Compatible with all Nikon DX digital SLRs including the D300, D60, and D40, there's an awful lot to decipher in its name.
|DX||Designed and optimized for Nikon's digital SLRs, which use the DX-aspect CCD|
|G||No aperture ring|
|ED||Extra-low dispersion glass for improved contrast and reduced chromatic aberration|
|VR||Vibration Reduction. Optical stabilizer to minimize blur from camera shake.|
Providing the 35mm-equivalent angle of view of a 24-127.5mm lens, it delivers a useful zoom range, and its features make it a great everyday lens capable of scenics as well as portraits. Given that it has a rather narrow maximum aperture of f3.5, though, its near-$600 price tag seems relatively hefty.
Solid construction with a quality feel to it, including a black crinkle finish with a metal lens mount and base for added durability.
Weighs 17.2 ounces, measures 3.3 inches long with a 2.8 inch diameter, and accepts 67mm screw-on filters. The filter does not rotate while focusing.
Knurled wide rubber zoom ring at the front of the lens, with a smaller but very useable manual focus ring toward the base of the lens.
Large, easy-to-read zoom markings at 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, and 85mm. Distance scale window that reads in meters and feet, good to have when setting focus manually.
Working focal length of 24mm to 127.5mm on a Nikon DX-based body (1.5x magnification factor)
Variable maximum aperture from f3.5 to f5.6 and a variable minimum aperture from f22 to f36
Vibration Reduction optical stabilization system for sharper handheld photos at slow shutter speeds, especially in low light. The VR compensates in real-time for shake and vibration with no degradation to the image. Besides the normal setting, it has an active mode that is useful if the photographer is moving.
Nikon's exclusive M/A (manual/auto) mode provides full-time autofocus with instant manual-focus override by just turning the focus ring. Also has a full-time manual-focus mode.
Nicely accessorized with a lens hood (HB-39) and a lens pouch (CL-1015) for safekeeping.