A great all-around lens with VR II and remarkably wide coverage.
The most balanced and versatile standard zoom lens for passionate DX-format D-SLR shooters, the AF-S NIKKOR 16–85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR offers a 5.3x zoom range. Incredible sharpness, a compact body and Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization ensure steadier stills and HD videos and more shooting opportunities—from everyday portraits to travel, landscape and architecture.
Any subject. Any setting.
True versatility and stellar performance
The highly versatile AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR delivers incredible optical performance in any setting. Its compact 5.3x wide-angle to medium telephoto zoom is ideal for a broad range of still and HD video shooting situations, from interiors and portraits to breathtaking landscapes. Focus as close as 1.3-feet from your subject throughout the entire zoom range, and discover how far your creativity will take you.
Empower your creativity
Superior stills and HD videos
Nikon VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization provides 3.5 stops* of blur free handheld shooting, assuring dramatically sharper still images and HD video capture. Two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements offer superior sharpness and color correction by effectively minimizing chromatic aberration. And the AF-S DX NIKKOR 16–85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR’s three Aspherical Lens Elements (AS) virtually eliminate coma and other types of lens distortion.
*Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when: DX-format lenses are attached to a DX-format digital SLR camera and zoom lenses are set at the maximum telephoto position.
A Nikon in-lens technology that improves image stability by automatically compensating for camera shake. Lenses that offer VR will feature the abbreviation VR on the lens barrel.
Silent Wave Motor
AF-S NIKKOR lenses feature Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor, which represents a significant advance in AF lens technology.
ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) Glass
An optical glass developed by Nikon that is used with normal optical glass in telephoto lenses to obtain optimum correction of chromatic aberrations.
AS stands for Aspherical lens elements. This type of lens utilizes non-spherical surfaces on either one or both sides of the glass in order to eliminate certain types of lens aberration.
Select NIKKOR lenses have a focusing mode which allows switching from automatic to manual focusing with virtually no lag time by simply turning the focusing ring on the lens. This makes it possible to seamlessly switch to fine manual focusing while looking through the viewfinder.
A NIKKOR lens in which only the internal lens group shifts during focusing. Thus, IF NIKKORS do not change in size during AF operation, allowing for compact, lightweight lenses capable of closer focusing distances. These lenses will be designated with the abbreviation IF on the lens barrel.
Focal Length Range
VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)
Focal Length Range
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)
Minimum Angle of View (DX-format)
Maximum Reproduction Ratio
FX in DX Crop Mode
VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization
ED Glass Elements
Super Integrated Coating
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)
Minimum Focus Distance
1.3 ft. (0.38m)
Accepts Filter Type
2.8 x (72 x) 3.4 in. ( 85mm (Diameter x Length))
17.1 oz. (485g)
Great kit lens for D300 series I have had this lens for several years, having decided to get this one and the AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens combination rather than the AF-S VR 18-200 lens. Probably 95% of my shots (mostly outdoors/landscapes) make use of this lens. It is obviously not that fast, but I find that the VR works well and that the images produced seem very sharp to me. And, since both lenses listed here and the older AF-S 18-70 kit lens use 67mm filters, I have found some efficiencies. I really like this lens and its balance/feel on the D300. January 27, 2012
Excellent I've owned this lens since Feb of 2011 and use it as my main lens on my D7000. It consistently delivers sharp images and rich colours. The range is perfect for me and construction of this lens is robust, January 21, 2012
Excellent Optical Performance - Great VR I have been using Nikon cameras and lenses for over 50 years, since I was a teenager using an S2 rangefinder. My new 16-85mm VR has really impressed me with both its excellent optical performance and the ability of the latest VR technology. I always test a new lens in my studio with an optical test chart and camera (in this case, a D300) mounted on tripod. The 16-85mm VR performed superbly, even wide open, with only the very corners at 85mm showing the slightest softening, visible only with "pixel-peeking" at 1:1, which is an image scale that would yield a 28"x42" print size. In terms of practical photography,even when I make 24"x36" prints, this lens is very sharp. I've included some sample shots from my first field use of the lens (the optical test patterns would be boring) -- two images are of ice crystals on a fence shot at 85mm near the closest focusing distance. This yields about a 1:4 scale on the sensor, so that even the small full frame image here is effectively larger than life-sized. The cropped image is an enlarged crop of the full image that would yield a print scale of about 12"x18". A tripod was used for this shot. Most of my work is scenic and wildlife, and I use a tripod for about 80% of my shots. However, when needed, the performance of VRII is amazing -- see two VR test images. This is again a full frame image, and a 1:1 scaled crop of that image. The shot was made at 1/15 sec hand held in my music studio at a focal length of 48mm. The 1:1 crop again would be yield a 28"x42" image size if the entire image were shown at this scale. As you can see, the text is fully readable in spite of the long exposure. I shot a number of images in the same area, both with and without VR, and all shot with VR were as sharp as this example, and none shot without VR at this shutter speed were the least bit clear due to camera shake. Great little lens -- compact and reasonably light to carry on all-day shoots. It will no doubt be my main Go-To lens for years to come. November 8, 2011
Amazing overall lens: Shines for Travel Amazing overall lens: Shines for Travel I just returned from a 16 day vacation in Italy. As an amateur archeologist spend a day at Ostia Antica, Herculaneum and Pompeii. Every corner you turn was a different photo op. I carried my prime lenses in my camera bag if needed. But I rarely did. Took great shots of Vesuvius from the train using active VR … Sure there are better lens at every focal length. But how can you capture everything from wide to medium tele w/o changing lens? I was concerned about not having a telephoto but from the point of view of photo journalism, serious telephoto shots are not needed. (At least for 99% of the photo travel work.) As I said, when I needed F1.4 I had my prime lens. Bottom line, great overall lens for the purpose it’s made. About 40 years ago, in the bad old days, we used to carry 2 lenses for travel photography: 35 and 105. This 16-85 lens, in DX format, covers both those focal lengths. Oh … BTW: for wedding and events, I have a 17-50 F2.8 Lens. You will never find one lens to do it all. September 25, 2011
All-around performer Another reviewer said this was the lens that stayed on his camera: same here. The 16-85 mm Nikon lens delivers great results throughout its range -- even at 16 mm I get consistently excellent images with no distortion or softness on the edges of the frame. Stopped down to f5.6 or f8 at 80-85 mm, it's a fine portrait lens. Between this and my 70-300 ED-IF Nikon, I have 95% of my shooting needs covered. September 20, 2011
Great all around lense This is the lens that stays on my camera. All other lens are for some special setup usually involving a tripod. But this one is great for hand held all around shooting. I read many reviews before buying this one and I am glad I did. The photos are sharp, the colors great, very little distortion in the corners. Aside from my macro shots taken with my 105mm I had to change the rating on all my previous photos because I did not have a sixth star for the photos taken with this lens. I use it with my d90. If I had an FX camera I may have considered another lens. It seem the d90 and the 16-85 were made for each other. The image I uploaded is the very first one I took with this lens and it blew me away how straight and sharp it turned out. September 10, 2011
Great lens. I am a landscape photographer and use this lens 90-95% of the time for landscapes. Very fast focusing and sharp. Than you for creating this product for the DX cameras. August 19, 2011
Great all around lens I just got a D5000 as a Xmas present. The 18-55 lens that came with it was surprisingly good but I wanted another lens to take on our vacation to Paris. I read all of the reviews regarding this lens and took a chance. In general, I always liked the 28-80 as a tele lens. The 16-85 took all the pictures that one could ask beautifully and especially in low light - inside as well as outside. I never used my flash.Great subtlety of color inside without flash. It is a little heavy but the glass is worth it and the City of Light never looked better. July 13, 2011
Amazing Do-It-All Lens! I've been using a Nikon 18-55mm VR lens with the D7000 and D5100 and although I am always happy with the quality of this very affordable lens I wanted both a bit range at the wide end and some more on the tele end - enter the Nikon 16-85mm. The lens has a 24mm equivalent field of view at the wide end and 130mm equivalent field of view at full zoom. But that isn't all, the lens bring fast & silent SWM autofocus with real-time override (what I want for video) and the VR used in this lens is very powerful. As if all those features weren't enough, the images from this lens are extremely sharp with high micro-contrast more so than either the 18-55 VR or the popular 18-200. The only downside to this lens that I have found is that the bokeh can be nervous - but for me its a small price I'm willing to pay for everything else it brings to the table. I considered this lens against the 18-200 VRII as well, and while I think the 18-200 is a great lens in its own right, I feel the value of 16mm is not often appreciated, and to be honest its not much to crop my photo to get a shot from 85mm to have a similar field of view as the 200mm from the 18-200. Factor in that on a smaller body like the D3100 or D5100 the 18-200 is noticeably heavier and longer than the 16-85mm, and if you shoot on a tripod and don't shoot level the zoom 'creep' or movement on the 18-200 can be a problem whereas the 16-85mm doesn't have any. I'm extremely happy with my final decision and I'm out enjoying right after writing this! July 2, 2011
Amazingly sharp and versatile without compromise. I use this lens with the D-90. The lens is fantastic and my absolute favorite. It is astonishingly sharp throughout its range with excellent contrast. Keep in mind that when analyzing optical output from any lens, one must consider the in-camera processing parameters that are set. From a practical real-world standpoint, I haven't noticed any distortions, flare, aberration, etc. Together with the D-90, this setup is my all-around 95% of the time used camera for landscapes and macro floral photography. When I'm enjoying such activity, I opt more for freedom and spontaneity than equipment. With the still unrivaled wide to tele range (16mm instead of the typical at the wide end) of this lens within its comparable class of lenses, this lens provides a wonderful sense of freedom from having to often change lenses. The auto-focus is extremely efficient, fast and relatively very quiet and can be counted on overall, yet it even affords the ability to tweak manually while set on auto. For example, this could be useful when doing very close macro shooting of flowers, when you would want to further tweak the focus plane precisely to a particular point within a selected shallow depth of field when using wider apertures in closeup macro shooting. The sharp subject background blur that can be produced using this lens in this manner is extremely pleasing and dreamy. Last but certainly not least, the VR (vibration reduction) feature of this lens works amazingly well and is the concluding component (in addition to the wide-tele range) that gives me an unrivaled sense of photographic ease and freedom. I rarely need a tripod anymore, even shooting as slow as 1/30 (even slower will get very acceptable results) (of course, noting that holding and shooting technique and subject movement factors apply). Concerning build quality, this lens feels solid and very well made. It's also a breeze to handle and use. I never experienced any barrel creep that had occurred in proper use. Finally, the cost of this lens is relatively reasonable for what you get in a good Nikon lens. Beyond all that this wonder-lens provides and how it performs, I can only say that even a longer tele range would be welcomed, but only to the extent that the existing optical output of this lens could be maintained. June 9, 2011
This is my new every day lens First time out using this lens on my recent vacation using D50 body. Wanted only one lens to carry going up and down mountain trails and backpacking. Lens felt very solid and stable, easy to handle and control. Framing a shot was very easy and the zoom feature made it a snap. Once set, the lens did not move while dangling on my neck although did find it helpful to retract the lens when walking and hiking and for storage in my camera case. Still new to and learning to use imaging software on computer so images here are probably not optimal yet. So far I am very happy with the results and the experience using this lens and feel very good about the decision. Of course I read all the reviews and great things others had to say about this lens before purchasing, and having used Nikon products in the past, this was an easy pick to make. Thanks for a great product. I would recommend this lens to all my friends. April 19, 2011
Ideal general purpose lens. This lens is on my camera 80-90 percent of the time. It has replaced my 18-200 mm lens for travel and general use. There is no focal length creep as there is with the 18-200 and the extra 2 mm at the short end is great to have. The best of the half-dozen Nikkors I've owned. April 18, 2011
great lens Only had the lens a couple weeks and have been playing with it and so far it is all I expected. April 16, 2011
This lens is on my D80 90% of the time. It is by far the best lens I own. I would highly recommend it! April 16, 2011
This lens covers the basics with excellence Prior to my purchase of the Nikon D7000 with a AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lense October 2010, I had used a Nikon D70 with a AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED. I often was frustrated because I needed one more step back to get the picture I wanted. After taking 1,300 pictures this year, I have seldom had that happen. Additionally, I am printing 12X16 prints with no loss of quality from the 4X6 proofs. If I could change anything, I would make it an f/2.8 like my AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED April 15, 2011
Great all-around working lens! This is a great lens for general photography and wedding work - the 16-85mm range is perfect to be able to go from a portrait at 70mm to a creative wide-angle shot at 16mm. It's always crisp and focuses well in most situations. April 15, 2011
Stays on my D300 This is the lens I keep on my D300. Excellant image quality, fast to focus and well build. If you could only have one lens, this is the one. April 15, 2011
one-lens wonder I had considered buying a similar lens with a constant f2.8 aperture but find that the VR feature compensates for the faster aperture. I find that the 16-85 zoom range is perfect for 85-90% of my shooting. As I get older I am losing my desire to carry all my accessories around with me. My experience has taught me that one lens (such as the 16-85} and a spare battery and SD card are perfectly adequate for most shoots. As I live & shoot in Florida I do find that a circular polarizing filter is often desirable tho. I am very pleased with the VR feature of this lens as it allows me to hand-hold at slower shutter speeds than I had ever dreamed of. All in all, the 16-85 Nikkor VR has been an excellent choice for me. April 15, 2011
best choice for all-around shooting If I had to choose a single lens as my everyday walking-around lens for most shooting situations, it would be the Nikkor 16-85 zoom. It's very well built and solid-feeling. It's heavier than the 18-55 kit lens that came with my D5000. But with the 16-85 attached, the D5000 still has a nice balance in my hands. The images produced with lens are sharp at all focal lengths with just about zero distortion. Color rendition with this zoom has been accurate and rich. Without reservation I would recommend this lens to anyone looking to upgrade from a kit lens. April 14, 2011
Nikkor 16-85 love this lens. just as sharp as a tack! Great zoom range. I think that this is one the best lenses in this range. If I was going to keep only one lense ,this would be the one. April 14, 2011
Great all around lens This has become my everyday lens. That extra width at the wide end makes a big difference. The overall quality of the pictures is extremely good. Great weight and feel. I would recommend it to anyone. April 14, 2011
Great standard zoom After 25 years of packing Nikon's premium, yet heavy, pro zoom lenses around for stock and commercial photography, I am now semi-retired and more interested in premium light-weight bodies and lenses that will satisfy my need for quality, yet allow me a lighter weight and smaller outfit for travel and occasional stock. As a fan of the 24mm wide angle and the 105-135mm short tele, the Nikkor 16-85 F3.5-f5.6 ED VR lens fits perfectly into my preferred zoom range. The lens is quality built, fast focusing, AFS, with ED glass resulting in sharp contracty images, and the bonus of VR. While the 16-85 is not the fast zooms of my commercial days, I now seldom need that kind of speed, and combined with the new light weight D7000 body and its higher ISO capability that takes care of the lens speed issues of the past, I have found the 16-85 the ideal standard zoom lenses for my needs. Combined with the Nikkor 70-300 f3.5-f5.6 ED VR, and I can travel anywhere and shoot almost anything, with a complete camera/lens package that comes in at around 3-4 lbs., and it all fits in a small comfortable belt pack. It's now my 'Ideal" lightweight outfit that still gives me the quality of Nikon that I have used for more than two decades. April 14, 2011
Simply: extremely useful lens. No more comments is necessary. April 14, 2011
The perfect all-in-one lens This is my most used lens; perfect zoom range for when I want to carry just one body (my D200) with one lens...and it is compact, too. I traded in my 18-70mm DX zoom (which I loved) for the 16-85mm DX zoom to get the VR feature that has made a big difference for the slow shutter speed, low-light photography I like (instead of using flash). April 14, 2011
I like it I bought this lens 3 months ago. I am very pleased with it. Especially when I travel and take landscape photos with the Nikon D3000. I uploaded some of my favorite pictures. April 10, 2011
Superb lens - pairs beautifully with the D7000! I recently switched to Nikon after shooting with Olympus for 35 years. I wanted a main lens that would complement the capabilities of my new D7000 and all of the reviews of the 16-85 VR were glowing. Wow! The 16-85 is a terrific lens - rock solid construction, great handling and amazing image quality throughout the focal range. Add the very sharp 70-300 VR zoom, as I did, and you have everything you need to cover an immense range of photography with pro-quality glass. March 5, 2011
I'm satisfied. I am impressed by this lens' overall build quality and it's very good IQ. Versatile lens with equally good close up and normal distance performance. October 4, 2010
Excellent Travel Size, Quality, and Zoom Range I have been shooting with numerous Nikon Cameras for the past 40 years to document industrial design projects, transportation and urban planning projects, and maritime safety and events starting with SP Nikons through various Nikon film and digital SLR/DSLR equipment. I recently purchased a new D90 for travel/back-up and a D300s for its greater durability as a working body replacing a F100 and a D70.I previously bought a 24mm-120mm VR for the D70 which was a bit heavy and did not have enough wide angle capability for shooting the confined streets of Europe/Italy and the back streets and architecture of Greece. This 16mm-85mm VR lens was the perfect working travel lens delivering stunning shots of the Greek Islands and sites from Athens to Paros and Santorini. The actual coverage on the D90 from 24mm-128mm was ideal for 80% of the photos I took. I did travel with Nikon's new DX 10mm-24mm for wide angles of Greek ruins and the large ships in port areas, and Nikon's 70mm-300mm VR zoom for the rest of my shooting of over 3,000 pictures in the 2 weeks of travel. These three lenses were the perfect travel package to handle 95% of my photo needs along with a Nikor 20mm 2.8 for low light shots. I use the 70mm-300mm VR for travel and leave my excellent Nikon 80mm-400mm VR at home as well, due to its weight and size. The only issue with the 16mm-85mm is paying attention to the potential edge distortion when shooting architectural subjects at 16mm/24mm. The lens has a nice balance, weight and feel when used on either the D90 or D300s bodies.The 16mm-85mm VR is my favorite travel lens and allows for expanding my creative vision in capturing landscapes, people, buildings and street scenes like when an old Greek Donkey driver appears suddenly around a corner leading several donkeys down the narrow cobble stone streets of Santorini.. September 10, 2010
Excellent bang for the buck I purchased this lens after several reviewers on the internet praised it in their reviews, so I had to see what the fuss was all about. Well, this lens now lives permanantly on my D2X, and is as sharp as my 24-70mm on my D700. While not a fixed aperture lens, this lens is a jewel, and I have allowed other photographers to use it, and they have all stated it is on their "Must Get" list of lenses for their DX bodies. For me, at least, it is the perfect focal length lens, covering 90% of what I shoot. From trips to The Alamo, to shooting my kids birthday parties, this is a highly useful lens. The light weight, and balance on my D2X, is just perfect. This lens is one that I wish I had purchased a long time ago, and now that it is here, it gets a great workout. August 19, 2010
A good primary lens choice This lens matched with my D300 has been the perfect choice as my primary lens for travel/landscape/nature photography. The optical perfomance/picture quality is very good, and the zoom range supports 98% of my photo needs. The lens is relatively compact and light weight, and the VR system allows me to take good sharp hand held pictures in most situations. August 12, 2010
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