Nikon’s latest standard zoom could be the lens DX-format users have been waiting for. Phil Hall puts it to the test to see if the wait has been worth it
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm f2.8-4E ED VR – Introduction
Over the past few years Nikon’s lens engineers have been a little preoccupied with their full-frame FX-format lenses, with only the odd update to existing (and it would perhaps be fair to say, often unremarkable) lenses in the DX-format line-up. While these lenses have their place, for owners of the higher end DX-format DSLRs like the Nikon D7200, this may be a little unsatisfactory. While FX lenses can be just at home on a DX body, they can be a bit of a compromise. Size can be an issue, as can the 1.5x crop factor on DX-format cameras that means wideangle coverage on zoom lenses is often sacrificed.
So if you’re in the market for a high-quality standard zoom lens for your DX-format DSLR, what are your choices? The AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED was a pro-spec workhorse lens back in the days of the D1 and D2-series DSLRs, but it was designed in an era way before 24 million pixels, while the AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR doesn’t deliver the faster maximum aperture often desired. However, with the arrival of the AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR, it appears the wait for a high-quality standard zoom lens for DX-format DSLR users is over.