After using DPR's AF-S DX 16-85 VR on a joint photoshoot last March, I was impressed with its sharpness and since then I've hankered after one of my own. Well, as luck would have it one popped up on the 'bay the other day; it was described as pristine and in perfect working order, and the buy-it-now price was reasonable (not cheap, but reasonable). I'm sure you can guess the rest.
Would you believe Australia Post delivered it today, Sunday? I thought they only worked a 5-day week! Anyway, the seller was truthful; the lens is indistinguishable from new, it arrived complete with box, hood, pouch and manual, and a quick test run confirmed it was working OK (I've been a bit paranoid about the focussing issues some folks seem to be having with their D7000s). Here's a few quick-and-dirty sample photos (all with D7000, handheld, VR on, and some light sharpening applied):
1. Focal length=16mm, 1/200, f/7.1, ISO 100
2. Focal length=85mm, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 100
3. Focal length=85mm, 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 100 (crop).
(I particularly like the smooth bokeh in this particular shot. The 16-85 is not a macro lens so I was pleased to get a half-decent close-up on this little fellow, whose body was about 3-4mm long.)
So far, so good; colour and contrast seem great, focussing is spot on, resolution fine. Now, the problem is, do I keep my beloved 18-200 VR?
Thanks for posting those Les. Have you compared the 18-200 at the same FL(s)?
Congratulations on your purchase. The 16-85 is my primary lens.
I haven't done a side-by-side comparison yet, but my subjective impression is that the 16-85 is a sharper lens overall. Since the D7000 automatically corrects for chromatic aberration and I have lens distortion correction turned on, I wouldn't expect to see much difference in those characteristics. That said, the 18-200 has a fair amount of distortion at the wide end, so it will be interesting to do a comparison with lens correction turned off as well as turned on. I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit (!). :)
Originally Posted by D70FAN
Congrats on the new lens. Should be a big improvement over the 18-200. I use the 18-105 VR as my everyday lens and have the 55-200 VR for longer shots. As I get older the VR is more of a necessity.
Looking at the Photozone tests (using the D7000), the 16-85 and the 18-105 are similar in performance with the 16-85 being slightly better than the 18-105 below f/8. As would be expected, both have generally better center resolution than the 18-200 and much better borders. You can copy and paste the performance lists for side-by-side comparison.
Congrats. As you loved the 18-200 I'd be inclined to keep it, at least until your observation makes you not want to shoot it. Stuff the lens test sites, it's about your experience.
Oh, I forgot to mention my other addition to the stable, which I acquired at approximately the same time as the 16-85 VR. Now, I know it's not a Nikon product, but I'm so impressed with it that I thought you might like to know about it. What is it? It's a 2006, 5-megapixel, 10x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom, point-and-shoot Panasonic DMC-TZ1, which Jeff has reviewed here.
Why am I so impressed? Well, for starters it's so easy to use. Point and shoot -- that's it. No thousand-and-one options to worry about, like with my D7000. It slips into a cargo pants or jacket pocket, so it's easy (and discreet) to carry around. The "Mega O.I.S." image stabilisation is fantastic, even at 40x zoom. The image quality from the Leica lens is great straight out of the camera, at least in reasonable light. Best of all, it only cost me $20 through a classified ad in the local paper! :)
Here's a few examples (most of them s.o.o.c.):
Plane at 11,000 metres, 10x optical zoom (350mm equivalent)
Distant scene, 35mm equiv. (shot through dirty window!)
Same distant scene, 10x optical + 4x digital zoom (= 40x zoom, 1400mm equiv.) handheld
Bright sunshine, subject backlit, fill-in flash
Subject in shadow, fill-in flash
Subject indoors, strong backlight, fill-in flash. Note: no red-eye!
Now do you see why I'm impressed? OK, for critical work or not-so-good lighting conditions I'll stick with the D7000, but for quick-and-dirty casual snapshots, the TZ-1 is hard to beat -- especially at the price I paid!
Great bang for buck, well done.
Macro shots are why I still use the CP990 (3MP). Most small sensor cameras excell at this. $20 is a heck of a find.
I got a D600 about a month ago. So far I'm really liking it. Just has a lot of nice little touches that make it it fun, though I still like and shoot with the D90. It's obviously not perfect, but it's great for me. Too bad this is my busiest time of year at work so I can't go out shooting hardly at all.
One note re files: I don't know how D800 users handle those huge files -- it's bad enough with the D600's 24MP. I couldn't imagine dealing with those files -- I'd need new computer, storage, everything!