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Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5 - 5.6 VR (rumour mill)

Hot off the rumour mill!
It's now official! See the press release (external link)

Image by: stfbfc on flickr.

Nikon appear to be poised to release a new 16-85mm lens later this month - in time for PMA. The new lens seems to be a replacement for their 18-70mm f/3.5 - 4.5.


  • Adds VR mechanism: This will give roughly 3-4 stops of stabilisation.
  • Obviously, it's an AF-S lens, which means that it will focus with the D40 / D40x models.
  • Starts at 16mm. The extra kick at the wide angle compared to the 18-70 means you get a very wide 24mm equiv. FOV.
  • A bit extra reach - 85mm. Won't make much of a difference, but it makes it a nice all round 24-128mm lens for the crop bodies.
  • It's a DX format, G-series lens. This means that it will work on DX bodies (D40, D80, D300, etc), but will only work on the D3 in DX-crop mode.
  • It's a G-series lens. It has the disadvantage of not having an aperture ring. Forget working it on old manual-only film cameras. You have to set the aperture electronically via the camera.
  • Slower! This lens is a very slow f/5.6 at the long end. At least they gave it VR to compensate slightly. Making it slower means that they've been able to keep it relatively light and compact.

What it might be like

Most probably, sharpness levels will be very similar to the already excellent 18-70mm, maybe slightly better. Size and weight also appear to be similar. It will almost certainly be positioned slightly higher than the 18-55 VR kit lens. Focus speed should also be faster than the 18-70.

Pricing? Release date?

I haven't really heard anything reliable on pricing, but it appears that it will be around $300 / €300. Release date will probably be just before PMA, later this month.

UPDATE (3rd Feb 08)
Still no word on an official release date, however we do at least have some word on pricing. The RRP appears to be at £429.99 / €642.00 (roughly $850 - $950)


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