Nikon launches faster 16-80mm APS-C “all round” lens


ikon's 16-80mm, f2.8-f4 Nikkor lens
All in one zoom: Nikon’s 16-80mm, f2.8-f4 Nikkor lens

Nikon has announced a new, faster standard zoom lens for APS-C cameras.

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR is a 5x zoom, giving the same angle of view as a 24-120mm lens on a full-frame camera. The design gives wider apertures than Nikon’s existing 16-85mm zoom, at the expense of a slightly shorter focal length at the telephoto end.

Like the older lens, the 16-80mm f/2.8-4E is built to a semi-professional standard, with a metal lens mount. Nikon has also applied a fluorine coat to the front and rear lens elements – the first time it has done this on a DX (APS-C) lens. The optics also use a nano crystal coat and extra-dispersion glass.

The new 16-80mm features vibration reduction, which Nikon says will give stable handheld shots at up to four stops’ less light than a non-VR lens. However, as almost all lens adapters for Nikkor lenses are purely mechanical, this advantage is really limited to Nikon cameras.

The real advantage of the new lens for film makers, though, is its wider aperture. The lens is 2/3 stops faster than the Nikkor 16-85mm at the wide end, and a full stop faster at the long end.

This will provide both more light and a shallower depth of field for Micro Four Thirds and Super35mm cameras; the lens is also faster than the 10x zoom lenses produced by Panasonic and Olympus, albeit at the expense of fewer focal lengths. The new lens is also light, at just 480g.

The 16-80mm f/2.8-4E takes a 72mm filter and has a close focus distance of 35cm. It goes on sale in July at a price of £869.99 or €1179.00.