Thursday, January 10, 2008

New 16-85 VR Nikkor Rumored

Apparently Nikon is planning on a 16-85 VR lens as a replacement for the excellent 18-70 that served as the "kit lens" for the D70. Photos of the new lens were leaked from Thailand and are circulating on the forums. Best estimates are that the lens will be introduced with either a D40X replacement or a D80 replacement, sometime this year.

I currently have the 18-70 that came with my original D70. It is definitely a cut above what you normally think of when you hear "kit lens". It is currently my main lens, especially for wedding work. Almost all the flash photos I take during a wedding are shot with this lens. For most of 2006 I also used a Nikkor 24-120 VR that I picked up used off of eBay for only $300. I really liked the lens, and used it quite a bit, because it had a longer reach than my 18-70, and it also had VR. But I was always hindered by not being able to go wider than 24mm, particularly at the reception, and often had to switch back to the 18-70.

If this new lens is available at a reasonable cost, and is optically as good or better than my 18-70, then I am definitely going to get it. Having the extra reach on both ends, and having VR to boot, this lens would be a great all-in-one wedding lens. Having the extra width means I can put off having to get a wide zoom (like a 12-24) for a while. The only question becomes whether the 16-85 or 18-200 makes a better wedding lens. Both will have VR, and both appear to have similar construction. So it comes down to which range is more useful and whether both are optically acceptable. Cost might also come into play, although I suspect that initially, demand for the lens will out-strip supply (as has been the norm for Nikon with new lenses) and the lens will probably be selling on eBay for $50 to $100 above the MSRP.

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