Nikon 16-85mm VR vs 18-105mm VR


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Aug 15, 2010
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Just got a new D90 and I have a 50mm f1.8 lens on it.

Looking for a zoom lens. Really would like a nice sharp lens with good range.

I'm really leaning toward the 16-85mmVR lens at this point but the 18-105mm is quite a bit less expensive.

Can anyone show me proof that the 18-105mm is just as sharp as the 16-85mm?
I have the 18-105 VR and dont use it that much, that lens has some barel distortion that i really dont like but with the new cs5 lens correction filter, its pretty much painless to fix. overall its a good lens
I have the 16-85mm lens and love it.

I have no experience with the 18-105 but f you plan to use this lens a lot, I'd suggest getting the 16-85mm simply because the it has a metal mount (the 18-105 has a plastic mount).
I've looked at the write-ups on the Nikon site linked by Garbz. To me the overall looks like it's given to the 16-85, however they do bring up the bokeh of the lens and state that it's not one of it's strong points.

Where the 18-105 has a plastic mount instead of a metal mount, obviously the metal would be better... but I don't see where the plastic mount would be a problem.

Honestly I like the focal length of the 18-105 and it having a little extra reach, but I'm afraid it's not sharp enough for my taste. I want a lens that I can take a portrait, zoom in on the persons eyes in photoshop and see their eye lashes clearly.

I've been looking at an aweful lot of pics posted by individuals with both lenses on flickr and on pbase, and any others I could find, and I havn't yet been able to find any good sharp portrait shots taken with the 18-105 where a large enough copy was posted to zoom into the eyes and see how sharp it is. Either they post a low resolution shot, or it's just not a good shot. I have found a couple of shots from the 16-85 that were portraits and were posted large enough to see that it is sharp enough, but the bokeh thing bothers me, and the price of the lens is almost double.

Anyone here have a portrait they've taken or can take with the 18-105 that they can post a full size sample of? I'd like to see some sharp eye lashes and some decent bokeh to convince me to get this lens.

Here is a link to the portrait I found taken with the 16-85 so you have an idea what kind of shot/quality I'm looking for. I'd like to see the 18-105 do this.
Abbi_6th_Bday-1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

All of the portraits on my website were taken with the 18-105.
Anyone else have any full size portraits taken with the 18-105 to share?
Well I didn't go with either of the lenses in the original post. Eventually I may get a Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 or something faster, etc. But I decided for the time being, I needed something for a walk around lens without hitting the finances hard. I just ordered a mint condition Nikkor 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 lens. Got for more then $100 cheaper than a new 18-105vr. It may not have VR and may not be a fast lens, but I have looked at sooooo many images posted on pbase and flickr lately that I need to have my eyes checked. I've seen a lot of nice sharp portraits (some with pretty decent bokeh) taken with this lens. For the money, I couldn't pass it up.

This should work well for what I need. I do believe it has a metal mount too! :)

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