I am upgrading from my D80 to D300 and I also want to get rid of my 18-135 lens. I have read many posts hear and the 16-85 and 24-70 get very good reviews but I am struggling over which to get. The other two lenses in my bag are Nikkor 12-24 and 70-300VR. I primarily shoot landscape, wildlife, vacation travel and whatever else seems interesting at the time. Based on these choices, I know there is give and take, what would you do or recommend?
For the best IQ the 24-70mm is the best choice, as long as you can deal with the size and weight. Second choice would be the 16-85mm, it has a wider range and is smaller, lighter and about 1/3rd the price of the 24-70mm. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikon!
Thanks for the reply!! I am leaning towards that lens but I am getting older and my hands are not as steady as they once were. The VR option of the 16-85 helps me with that concern. Not having VR on the 24-70 and hand holding,I am concerned about the quality that I may be degrading. With it being faster lens at 2.8, does this help minimize the lack of VR?
given what you have stated, I would go with a the 16-85. I have the 24-70 which is a great lens, but I use it primarily indoors and for portraits. I actually just ordered a 16-85 to use as a walk around lens.
The 16-85 VR is a very nice carry lens. It's a good match to what you have already. It's less than half the price of the 24-70 and small and light as well. I have both.
The 24-70 is a VERY good lens - but EXPENSIVE, large and heavy. Good indoors and in lower light but of late I'm more likely to grab the 16-85 and a long zoom - 70-300 VR or something else - if I'm headed out somewhere. I was very happy with the 16-85, 70-300 and a Sigma 150-500 in Colorado this August. A LOT less to carry than the 'good' glass selection Tokina 12-24, Nikon 24-70, 70-200 and 200-400 - and a lot less to worry about as well. Either approach has its merits but I'm starting to believe 'less is better' for certain trips.
Can't speak directly to the 18-105 but believe it's a plastic mount - I just don't like those.
Given what you're shooting, I'd save some $$$ with the 16-85VR. If you were shooting weddings and lots of indoor I'd go with the 24-70.
good to hear the 16-85 and 70-300VR worked well for you. I just did the same thing. I figured out that when I take family vacations and casual trips, I want to go a lot lighter, and a lot less expensive. I have a business setup with a friend of mine in which we do group photos and events, and eventually we plan on doing weddings. Thats were the big glass will come in. For just walking around I will be content with the 16-85 and 70-200. I had an 18-200 which I loved, but selling that and a 1.7 TC enabled me to buy a 16-85 & 70-300, which got me a little wider and little longer. Where in Colorado were you at?
Rocky Mountain NP in late August. Perfect time as the place is emptier with western states back in school and the elk start coming down from the higher pastures. Spent two hours in the middle of the park one night shooting stars (FAR different sky - a lot less background light than here in NY) and elk in twilight with maybe three cars going by.
Was lucky and had clear days for most of the trip - last two days had a bad haze from fires. Pine Beetle kill off is getting really bad at RMNP - was surprised at how bad it was.
Had a full backpack with me the previous spring in AZ/NM so I wanted to try a lighter kit this time. Went with four lenses total but only carryied the 16-85 and 70-300 on hikes - Also had the Sigma 150-500 for shooting elk and Tokina 12-24 for landscapes.
Am still torn about which direcion to go. The really good long lenses are large and heavy - and a pain with carry-on luggage but I was just trying out the 500VR and was blown away....... oh well... I HAD been happy with the Sigma shots.... but life is a compromise. There's a limit to how much you can carry.
Was at Glacier and Waterton with my youngest for 10 days right before the Colorado trip. Try that trip if you get a chance..... while there are still glaciers. Logan Pass was full of mountain goats and Bighorn. Caught a few bears elsewhere as well - and even a moose at TwoMedicine.
I went through the same list of lenses as you have and quite happily decided on the 18-105. I love this lens, perfect focal length range for my walkabout / street lens. Yes I know it has a plastic mount. For me so far that is no big deal. If that lens was offered with a metal mount with the VR & ED glass I am pretty sure that that focal length range would be far more desireable for most people, Nikon needed a lens to fill a price point so they made it with some plastic components, they also didn't want to directly compete with their own 16-85 product. I don't baby my stuff but I do take great care of my gear, I do change lens on a regular basis & so far I have no issues. Focal length range, VR, ED glass, for $300.00 I can live with plastic mount. IMHO, James
What about the 17-55 vs the 24-70? There's about a $500 savings on the 17-55...would this be a good alternative. I'd like to get the 24-70 but I'm not sure I can swing it, but I hate to spend another $600 on another general lense like the 16-85. I'm looking for something that will work well indoors with a D700 (my next purchase). Thanks.
>What about the 17-55 vs the 24-70? There's about a $500 >savings on the 17-55...would this be a good alternative. I'd >like to get the 24-70 but I'm not sure I can swing it, but I >hate to spend another $600 on another general lense like the >16-85. I'm looking for something that will work well indoors >with a D700 (my next purchase). Thanks.
I believe that the 17-55 is a DX lens, so you may want to keep that in mind if you are looking at a D700.
I ended up going for the 24-70. With everything I heard about that lens and seeing what some have used it for outside and for many different types of photography, I bit the bullet and went with it. It really came down to it or the 16-85. I guess I can always keep my 18-135 for those times I really do not care about what I get but want something with me for those ahhh moments. Both lenses from what I have read on reviews as well as seeing shots of what others have taken, you will not be disappointed in your decision.