Nikon 16-85mm VR Or 24-85mm VR for D7100


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Sep 17, 2012
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Can someone tell the pros and cons of the lens? Which one is better and which one should I buy?

16-85 VR

  • Wider Angle
  • More rugged

  • Smaller Aperture at 85mm
  • More expensive - $559.95 on B&H

24-85 VR

  • Larger Aperture at 85mm
  • Cheaper - $496.95 with D7100 at B&H

  • Not as wide angle
  • Less rugged

The main think is here is f/4.5 at 85mm on 24-85 VR and f/5.6 at 85mm on 16-85 VR. This is the reason that im considering the 24-85 VR. Which one should I buy?
I found this on amazon!
[h=1]Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED IF AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens[/h]
Its and older lens and marked as refurbished buy the Seller says that its BRAND NEW and since the lens is discontinued, amazon doesnt let it be listed as new. This seems to be a combination of both lenses. i have the 18mm wide-angle and the f/4.5 aperture at 70mm. Should I go for this? The seller is rated at 94% Positive so would you call it a good buy?
Well I wish I could help you with the comparisson of these 2 lenses but I own just one and not the other so I will let you know about the one I do own and send you to see pictures taken with this lens.

First about the lens I dont own, the 16-85mm, I heard only good things about it, from what I gathered this is the best mid DX zoom lens you can buy.

Now for the one I do own the 24-85mm VR.
This is my main go to lens and does around 90% of my shots, its first trait I love about it is how sharp it is all through its zoom range.
Its not the fastest lens but then you don't pay for a pro lens and its price in my eyes is very reasonable.
Here is a link to see pictures I took with this lens on my late D7000, now I use it on my D7100 and the pictures are sharper and better.
16-85mm will be truly USEFUL on a D7100.

24-85, less-useful.

The 24-85 was designed for FULL-frame use...a 24mm bottom end on a 1.5x camera is a pain in the butt many times.

I actually own a's not that useful on my crop-body Nikon. I own the older, faster Nikkor 24-85mm AF-S f/3.3~4.5 AF-S model.
I own the 16-85 and tend to use the wide end of it so, I would have to prefer it over the 24-85. The 24-85 is however, a FX lens and will work on a FF camera as well as a DX. This may matter down the road.
Although the 24-85 vr is a good lens that can be picked up cheap used, its just not great focal distance for dx, as its not very wide. The time spent making this lens good was optimizing it to work on FX and across a full frame sensor. A dx camera wouldnt even use this. While they spent money on making it an affordable FX lens, build quality is "ok" plasticky and the manual focus and zoom ring are not great. Deffently not smooth enough for video.

I would look more into dx lenses if your putting it on a dx camera, no reason paying money for features you are not going to use and then in turn loosing build quality.
I can not compare these two lenses, but I have 16-85, and its range is a real strength. As Derrel said, it is VERY useful, very well built and a quite consistent performer throughout the focal range. It stays on my camera 90% of the time. If you do not plan to upgrade to FX in the future, it is a no-brainer really.
I've gotten to try out a few lenses now (in-store), and I own the 16-85. The only other zoom I'd ever consider for DX in this general focal range would be an f2.8 17-50/55. I've gotten to take a look at the 17-70 and an 18-105, etc... not as impressed. My 16-85 has performed exceedingly well in the past few weeks I've taken it out, and it's so sharp even at 16mm that I've got some shots that I could do very large prints on that I'm quite happy with.

Based on my beginner experience (not sure how much that's worth!), the 16-85mm is exceedingly sharp. Aside from its aperture limitations, it's amazing in all regards. In my opinion it's sharp at the 16mm end, and only at about 70mm+ it gets a little less sharp.
If i purchase the Sigma, I wont have a range from 35-70. Which I will need.
Just about an hour ago was selling the nikon 16-85mm for $409 shipped. I know because I bought it at that price before it went back up. :)
17-55 F2.8 DX

This lens is why I still have a DX camera.
It was a lot less expensive to get the D7100 than buy a 24-70mm f/2.8 for my D700.
I shoot primes in FX anyway 90% of the time.

By the way, the D7100 is a really excellent camera. I would go so far as to call it a poor man's D800E.
The Sigma 150mm macro, Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, and (believe it or not) the Nikon 24mm f/2.8 D are all simply outstanding on the D7100.
The 24D on the D7100 (36mm equivalent angle of view) is nice, light-weight alternative to my D700 and Sigma 35mm f/1.4.

If i purchase the Sigma, I wont have a range from 35-70. Which I will need.

I can see that, but if you have the $$$ then I think it's best to stick with 3x (or less) zooms. You can always fill the gaps with a nice prime or 2.
For example, I might get the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 and add the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and the Nikon 85mm f/1.8. That's some decent 1.8 glass from 18-85mm.
I would rather have that than a variable aperture 16-85, but that's me.

Whatever floats your boat.

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