There is a lens that I have been wanting, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR. It is a wide angle zoom that would be useful for landscape photography. My current lenses left a gap between 14mm and 24mm and I often find that I would like to shoot a bit wider that 24mm. Nikon makes a 14-24mm f/2.8 lens that is desirable, but it is also $1900! In addition to that, the filter adapter and filters for the 14-24mm f/2.8 would set me back an additional $500 or more. The 16-35mm f/4 is much more affordable, is considered a pro class lens, has good reviews, fits with the filters that I already have, and landscape photos seldom need anything as fast as an f/2.8 lens.
I decided that I would try to get this lens reconditioned from Nikon. I have read photographers give good reviews of the reconditioned lenses as just as good as new, but lower cost. Nikon has a website on which they list random reconditioned equipment that they are selling and I have been checking from time-to-time for this lens. A couple of weeks ago, the lens showed up on their site again and I ordered it quickly. It was finally delivered and came with everything you see here.
This is a refurbished product which means that it should be at Nikon factory specifications. It’s just already been on somebody else’s camera before mine. So, I got a lens that was as new as it can be without being called new and saved a couple of hundred dollars.
The first picture that I took with the new lens was my side table lamp with the window behind it and I won’t bore you with that. But I did pack up my bag, head for the train station and catch the metro train into downtown Austin on a Friday evening. I got downtown just as the sun was setting, so I was concerned about running out of light. I hoofed it across the lake to the Long Center as I thought that this would be an interesting foreground for the city skyline.
In the picture below, I am attempting to use the columns of the Long Center as frames, inside of which you can find parts of downtown during twilight. The orange lights shining up on the columns provide a good contrast to the deep blue sky.
This was shot at 16mm, f/8, 2s, ISO100. This was the first real interesting shot I took with this lens. I set it for f/8 to try to get some focus depth, but I have learned that with a lens this wide, once you are focused more than a couple of meters from the lens, everything is in focus. I did also do a slight adjustment for vertical distortion in Lightroom and this is a crop.
As you may be able to see, there is a round circular artistic light in front of the Long Center. I experimented with getting different amounts of this in the foreground as I thought it was interesting, it points you toward downtown, and would be a good shot for the wide angle lens. There was a couple laying there enjoying each other’s company and I kind of like them in the picture. They didn’t mind me taking photos, so that worked out and I think that this is a good composition.
The focus was mostly in the foreground on the colored lights, so the background buildings may seem a bit our of focus upon close inspection. This was a 5 second exposure, so you can see some lights from a bus and some movement in the people. Another shot at 16mm, f/8, ISO100.
By this time the sky was getting almost completely dark and I think downtown looks better with a twilight sky. I walked across the park to a hill where you can observe the skyline. I mainly just wanted some test compositions for another time, but a girl on a bicycle that had lights on the wheels rode by and made a nice design on the bottom of this photo. I was actually waiting for car headlights and taillights but the bicycle lights were nicer.
This photo was shot at 16mm, f/11, 30s, ISO100 with a remote shutter release and on a tripod, of course. I didn’t do a lot in post to this image. Taking a photo like this after dark does result in a wider dynamic range than the camera sensor can handle so some of the city lights are probably clipped, but it turned out OK. I thinking of this vantage point for a nice sunrise at some point as this time of year the sun will rise just right of center in this image.
I then continued my hike back across the pedestrian bridge and across town back toward the train station. I stopped at a bar for a couple of beers while waiting for the train, which was nice. But not having to find a place to park and pay for it was very nice.
The lens is probably a bit sharper in the center than at the edges, which is typical for a lens like this. It does zoom from 16mm to 35mm even though all of the above photos are at 16mm. Keep tuned and I will have more photos with this lens at other focal lengths. So far, I am happy with this lens and having fun shooting with it. Thanks for reading and leave a comment below.
5 thoughts on “Nikon 18-35mm f/4 Lens”
Best of luck with this lens Jason! I plan on adding a wide angle to my bag next and I’m between both of the lenses you discuss here. I’m leaning toward this lens for all the same reasons you discuss. The 14-24 while appealing is just too impractical. Based on these images the 16-35 looks amazing. Have fun with it!
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Yeah, the 14-24mm f/2.8 is top notch. But really overkill for me and the filter situation really adds to the cost.
I like the columns, it’s almost as if you’ve got 4 photos within a photo. I may have to investigate a wide angle zoom next 🙂
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Thanks, that is what I was going for. I wasn’t sure that I was very successful.
I think I have the lenses that I need now. It would be fun to play around with a macro.
I was planning on going camping this week for some astrophotography, but the weather forecast keeps looking cloudier by the day.
[…] first lens I grabbed was the 16-35mm f/4 lens that I recently acquired. I was excited to see how sharp it was and what I could do with a […]