Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR

I received this tip several days ago and was trying to gather some more information before publishing it online. This is what we have so far:

According to this post on the Japanese site kakaku the user "That's 235's" claims that a new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens will be release soon. Let's look into some previous comments made by the same user:

  • On June 03, 2008 "That's 235's" wrote about a NikonSB-900 flash with the ability to switch between FX and DX with the correct focal lengths. On July 8th, 2008 the SB-900 was released. In the same post he wrote also about the FX D700 and a months later the cameras was officially announced.
  • On July 6th, 2009 the same user wrote about the new 70-200 f/2.8 VRII with some technical details (length, weight, filter size). On July 30th, 2009 the lens was announced.

Note that this poster always writes about the new product aprox. one month before the official release. The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR comment was made on September 12, 2009. This will make the potential announcement during the second weeks of October, which matches the previous Nikon D3s rumors - also right in time for the Photo Expo Plus in NY (October 22-24).

This user (That's 235's) has a total of 7 comments - it seems that he writes only when he knows something (no BS here).

The expected Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens will be full frame, with Nano coating.

That's it folks. I am starting to get convinced that something is coming in mid-October (for now D3s and at least one lens).

Special thanks to the tipster who had the patience to explain me all the details and translate them from Japanese (I did not believe this rumor initially - read the whole discussion in the comments section here).

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  • Josh

    Makes perfect sense to me, and dovetails with what Thom Hogan said a couple weeks ago about at least one overdue lens being released.

    I think we’re getting a 17-35 replacement.

    • Anonymous

      This doesn’t tell us much, does it? I can tell you right now that every other manufacturer (Canon, Sony, Pentax…) will release at least one overdue lens in the future.

      • Ryan

        good point John… great point

    • Jon

      This would logically replace the 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D, NOT the 17-35 f/2.8, which suggests it won’t be a high quality build.

      Personally I’m also guessing a 80-400 replacement might be in the works at the same time.

      My initial though was BS on the 16-35 having VR… but who knows Nikon has been starting to put VR in their slow wide angle DX lenses so it’s possible.

      • mike

        But it’s constant aperture … How many amateur zooms are constant aperture? I count … zero. I think it will have pro build and will replace both the 18-35 and the 17-35. The 18-35 is (relatively) small and light, sure, but it is not up to snuff for people with an FX camera (and why would a DX shooter be interested in it?). There is no point in making an FX wide with amateur build at this point.

    • Zograf

      I don’t understand the specs.. 17-40mm, f/4 would make much better lens. Also, strange is the inclusion of VR in such a ultra-wide to wide lens…. IMHO it is not real. Something similar but not 16-35/4 VR

  • JR

    I still wish it would be 2.8. I’ll be keeping my 17-35 for that exact reason.

    • Jon

      Huh? You’re saying you’d replace your 17-35 f/2.8 with a a 16-35 f/2.8? Sorry but that’s kinda crazy.

      As I said above I see absolutely no reason for Nikon to replace the 17-35 f/2.8, however replacing the 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D with a G version does make perfect sense…

      • mike

        The 18-35 serves no purpose in the lineup currently. It’s an amateur lens without an amateur body. For landscape photographers, the 14-24’s only saving grace is its optical perfection. It seems to me that there are more than enough people that would like to get the same optical quality as the 14-24, but in a smaller package that takes filters. The 17-35 currently serves this niche, but it isn’t as sharp as the 14-24 (also, Nikon stopped manufacturing them a long time ago). For us amateurs using DX, there really is no point in getting this lens, pro build or not.

  • photonut

    Makes sense but I don’t buy the VR feature on the wide angle lens (although it would be awesome!)

    • This was one of the reasons I didn’t believe it either at the beginning.

      • Zograf

        Admin, Why this gray background for text? It is almost repulsive 🙁 Personally I find the previous layout more pleasant and easy to read from…

        • Several users complained about the black background, so I decided to change it only in the comment section since my post are usually very short and most of the reading happens in the comments section. I think it is better that way. Opinions?

          • Either way seems fine to me. I can see how people would find the previous way harder to read. The grey bkgd doesn’t detract at all, IMO.

          • Jim

            I liked the white on black better – it didn’t bother me

          • Peter

            I believe studies have shown, or so my music teacher has told me sometime in the past. that black on very slightly yellowed off white, is the easier on the eyes to read.

          • I can change it back to black background

    • zeeGerman

      If it would be 16-45 or 50mm I’d say that it’s a “dual purpose” lens. Standard on DX, wide on FX. Therewith the VR would have made more sense. Aynway, I really hope it true, I’ll order as soon as possible. I really hope this is opening the game for more f/4 to come! A 24-105 or 120mm f/4 VR, and I have all the zoom I need.

  • pulu

    more zooms? please tell us they will release wide fast primes in october as well.

    • Alex

      Yes, a 300mm F/4 AF-S VRII, oh ! wait ! my wife just woke me up, I was dreaming…

  • Johnny Yuma

    And Thom Hogan wrote this:

    ( Sept 25th)
    “Nikon’s direct statement on that is “establish a production structure better able to withstand further appreciation of the yen.” That’s code for more lens production in SE Asia, and perhaps even less production at Sendai (which currently makes the D3s, D3x, and D700 models).”

    Note he states “D3s”.

    • Steward

      Let’s see how long until Thom Hogan writes about this new lens. Any bets? I say 4 days.

      • Max

        I say he’ll do it on Friday.

      • Anonymous

        He’s written about having received tips about new lenses a couple of weeks ago. It’s safe to assume that this is old news to him. Or do you think that Admin here is the only guy receiving inside information? Get real.

        • 100% BS

          Bulls**t – show me one link where TH is specific about an upcoming product or about this 16-35 lens “we will see a long needed update on one of Nikon’s lenses” – which one? or “there will be a new Nikon DSLR by the end of the year” – everyone can say that for any manufacturer at any point of time and still be right

  • Anonymous

    Good job.
    I appreciate your recent reservation.
    Indeed no one knows the nature of the source.
    Nevertheless, I can clearly tell you every apparent leak that he or she has brought to the site become true.
    With auto translation, the name of the source as That’s 235’s is incorrect.
    It should be spelled as “Yousan235”, though I don’t know what Yousan means.
    Naturally, a proper name allows no translation.

  • Another freaking SLOWER zoom! Does Nikon even remember how to make an f/1.4 lens any more?

    • Alex

      I have a 50mm f0.95, I can exchange it for a D3x

  • Alex

    What about my D700xs ?

  • 2beers

    How does f2.8 no VR compare to f4 VR at this focal length? At 18mm 2.8 is just a stop more light. At 18mm, dof is measured in meters not in mm – so what is the advantage of f2.8 compared to f4? If the VR is effective, f4 vr might be the better solution. And a 24/1.4 is still missing.

    • Soap

      VR doesn’t correct for subject motion – only camera motion. That is why you would want 2.8 over 4 in many circumstances.

      • WoutK89

        Also, VR is practically useless on a tripod!

    • pulu

      some of us want a decent photojournalist lens, to capture moving subjects, like, you know, people

      • mike

        I thought that’s what the 14-24 was for?

  • VST&Co.

    Any speculations on price? If this is expensive (14-24, 17-35) then its pointless

    • nobody

      As an FX lens, and with VR, it would definitely be more expansive than the equivalent DX 10-24. Expect 4 figures.

  • Probably a pro quality lens with a consumer pricetag? And by consumer I mean something like the 18-200 not the 18-55 in terms of price.

  • Chris P

    Now if Nikon, unlike Canon who produced a 17-40 and then instead of going for a similar quality 35-105, produced a 24-105 with crap edge performance, get it right and produce a really good 35-105 f4 in the Spring I will be buying two Nikon lenses in short order. I must admit that i don’t see why a 16-35 needs VR, but I suppose its just another sop to the great god marketing since some photographers think that, like chips, VR should come with everything.

    Mebyon K

    • nobody

      I most definitely disagree. A standard zoom needs at least 28mm wide angle, better 24mm. That’s what I’m waiting for, f4 and VR and high quality. Looks like Nikon can’t serve you and me simultaneously (-:

    • Mikael

      I definitely see a 16-35 “requiring” VR. If you were able to take sharp handheld shots at 1sec at 16mm without VR, then you’re in for 2 or 3 sec exposure now, handheld!

      • pulu

        are there people who can actually take 1 sec shots at 16mm handheld?

        • WoutK89

          Anybody can 😉 just dont expect them all to be perfectly sharp

        • Peter

          Ken Rockwell can 😉

  • Thuan Nguyen

    yeha i believed we will never have the update version for 17-35 f2.8 since Nikon already had the beast 14-24 f2.8. This rumor does make sense to me. I hope its price is around 800 USD and be availble before xmas 09 please 😀

    • nobody

      800 USD is the current B&H price for the DX 10-24. The equivalent FX lens (with VR!) would be clearly more expansive.

  • kristupa saragih

    YAY!!! Can’t Wait…..

  • Hmm, nice range. And with the high ISO performance of full frame cameras it’s not even that bad an idea to make it F/4. It’ll be a nice Nikon alternative to the Canon 17-40, as a matter of fact it’s one of those lenses I really missed in Nikon’s lineup.

    Now where’s that freakin’ 85mm f/1.4 AF-S?

  • fdhw

    VR an 16-35 – I am happy if it come ( price under 1000 USD) and with the same optical quality like the 14-24

  • WoutK89

    Nikon has lost it 😀 First they launch the 70-200 II with DX only bodies, then they announce a 16-35 f/4 VR with a ‘sports’ camera (D3s and 14 fps, if true). I assume we will be seeing more than just these two announced, like two FX bodies, the 16-35 lens, and maybe a DX lens to make it even more weird?

    • WoutK89

      and what I forgot to say, this lens seems to be made for landscape photography, why add VR, when it will be mostly used on a tripod?

    • Zoetmb

      What they announce with what is not relevant. The lens is not a kit lens to be used primarily with the camera that happens to be released on the same day. They don’t sell lenses only to people who buy new bodies…in fact the opposite might be more true.

  • kim

    Max f4.0 with the D700’s ISO capabilities would be just fine. Should be considerably easier on the pocket than the current 17-35mm 2.8. If Nikon would also make a 50mm 1.2 AF-S to match Canon’s L for that magic OOF effect, I’d be done…for life!

  • kristupa saragih

    I really hope it’s performance close enough to 14-24 in term of sharpness etc…and can accept filter…now hopefully the price is right…but knowing nikon recent price, it will be expensive for sure.

  • Thank god, I didn’t purchase a 17-35 … i would rather have the Nano coat goodness! I almost bought one used as there was a great deal on it.

  • nobody

    The most interesting aspect, if this rumour becomes true, is that Nikon finally would have listened and start to give us a range of f4 zooms. If the 16-35 f4 VR becomes true, a standard f4 VR zoom and a 70-200 f4 VR will surely follow.

    • Stu

      Agreed, if Nikon bought out a 70-200 f/4 VR, I would buy it – no questions asked!

  • David

    I agree that there is really no longer a need for a f/2.8 for a wide angle lens. I just sold my 17-35mm on eBay for $1,200. It was a decent glass for casual shots, but quite frankly it was not as sharp as I had preferred and at 2.8 the corners were way too soft. The lens is not worth its weight when traveling. For a heavy wide-angled zoom I still prefer the 14-24mm as it is much sharper even though it cannot use any filters. If light/compact is the goal, nothing beats the Leica Elmarit 28mm f/2.8. In my opinion the Leica 28mm f/2.8 on a M9 produces images not beatable by any other digital cameras out there. Of course any serious landscape pictures are still made on 120/220 these days 🙂

  • Bill

    It would be nice to have a sharp, relatively light lanscape zoom

  • metalorange

    If this lens has a good close-focus ability i am definately interested. But I don´t think VR is needed in such a lens. VR is generally overrated in my opinion

  • Davey

    Hmm… Is a 17-35mm 2.8 better or a 16-35 4.0 better? Does VR make it better than 2.8? I don’t think VR changes the bokeh. So with a 4.0 you wouldn’t have beautiful bokeh like you would on a 2.8. Even the 18-70mm has 3.5-5.6.

    • WoutK89

      3.5-4.5 actually

  • Bob Jobson

    More friggin’ zooms. Get those primes updated soon Nikon before I open a vein and send you the contents!

  • Twoomy

    If this is true, I am EXCITED. If anybody still remembers the 12-24 f/4 DX, this seems to be a full-frame send-up of that. I really do hope we see this lens and a few more FX f/4 lenses!

  • David

    Does boken matter for a wide-angled zoom? I think if you are going to good boken, you shoot 50mm or higher, no?

  • SBGrad

    What’s with the BABY zooms??!!! Put out a 300 f/4 AF-S VR and/or an 80-400 AF-S VR and THEN I’ll be opening up the wallet!

  • Ronan

    Looks like “That’s 235’s” should be running Nikon Rumors 😉

    • WoutK89

      Why not let Nikon themselves run it, with vague and unsharp photos of products to come 😛

      Or better yet, just tease us with the assembly without telling which lens/ body it will be

  • Gordon

    Except for the VR bit, sounds like a landscapers lens to replace the 17-35mm. Seems a strange paring to release it with the D3S, no D700X announcement to go with it?

    Looking at recent lens release history, the last couple of years Nikon has announced 7 new lenses a year, so far in 2009 there has only been 4 and if this new one is true makes it 5. With the push of newer and better bodies over the last two years, why would Nikon suddenly slacken off in updating their lens range if the D3S and 16-35mm are the last batch of announcements for 2009?

    • WoutK89

      I dont think it is a replacement to the 17-35.

      And I agree, we probably will see some more lenses, keeping my fingers crossed

  • Pat

    AF-S 16-35 f/4 ED VR Nano? If it has a gold ring on it like AF-S 12-24 f/4 DX, I would guess MSRP at US$1399. We would be lucky enough already if they charge $1200 for one. There’s a huge number of D3X/D3/D700 shooters out there who want a landscape lens like this. With high iso performance of modern cameras, people would be happy enough with such a lens that’s sharp wide open at f/4 and weight less than 1.5 pounds. Adding VR to a wide angle wouldn’t hurt – just turn it off when i don’t want it.

  • eval nx2.4

    if it were f/2.8 or wider, i would be more interested. thank you and no thank you.

  • Aaron

    F4 is a good strategy, don’t sell it over 1000 USD please…

  • Mike

    VR cancels out the lack of 2.8 cost wise IMO. So even though it doesn’t have 2.8 the VR feature will keep the retail price up there. I’d be surprised if it was less than $1600 CDN/USD

    • Soap

      What is the price difference between the 18-55 AFS DX and the 18-55 AFS DX VR? Pennies?
      VR is a nearly free option when we’re talking the cost of pro lenses.

  • Rosco

    You gotta laugh. People moan about there being no f4 lenses, now they are moaning about the possibility of a f4 lens!!!

    • SimonC

      Quite true.

    • Jon

      EXACTLY… this would be a replacement to the 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF-ED (370g and $600) and a better option for many of us than the 24-120.

      The 17-35 f/2.8 is DOUBLE the weight of the 18-35 and presumably the 16-25 (assuming the added VR wieght is similar to the lost aperture ring). Personally for landscapes I’d rather carry the 16-35 in my pack than the 17-35 (745g) or 14-24 (1000g!). The same is true for upclose PJ work where the camera is often held over ones head for long stretches of time and I’d rather put the 16-35 on w/ an ISO at 1600 or 3200 rather than the 17-35.

  • dino

    My opinion is that VR COULD make sense. Not in the USUAL way, Nikon marketing might have found that adding a VR might be more effective and less expensive than making a fixed F/2.8 lens with all (or more than a F/4 lens) the aberrations to correct. For this reason, a F/4 lens at full aperture might have also a better rendition than a F/2.8 and the VR would supply such slow times you couldn’t get elsewhere. Shooting at the inner of a cathedral at F/2.8 aiming at its top or at F/4 wouldn’t change the final result that much.. you would just gain some more dof but also a better IQ, theoretically.
    Third, if this is true, maybe we could see a F/4 lens series soon, but it all depends on the focal lenght chosen and again the effectiveness of using a VR instead of a larger and bulkier front lens.

  • Char

    This lens, if true, might actually make me buy a Nikon FX body. The problem I have at the moment is that I would need a good landscape Zoom on a Nikon FX. The 17-35/2.8 would be great, but it is expensive and it is heavy. So a cheaper, lighter zoom with high image quality in the f/8-f/11 range would be greatly appreciated.

    I do not need nor understand the inclusion of VR, though.

  • sohnjwan

    This lens only makes sense if it can compete in price with the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L, as it is today Nikon problem in this recession is the lack of attractive low priced legacy lenses, in the other side of the fence they have the EF 17-40mm f/4L (around $700.00) , EF 70-200mm f/4L (around $650) , EF 100mm f/2.0 (around $450) and I don´t mean another plastic barrel, duo-cam cheap design/quality a la Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VR.

    For many studio shooters who won´t go below f/5.6 these f/4 zooms make perfect sense.

    • a

      17-40mm f4L is an old lens and might be replaced pretty soon and when it does get replaced believe me it will not sell for its current price. Besides the lens has weak corners to say the least so any f4 zoom from Nikon will be newer than age old 17-40mm and will be more expensive. If I was a betting man, I would say 1000 at least or it could be 1100. So don’t hold your breath.

      • sohnjwan

        while it isn´t that good wide open stop down and you have all the image quality you need from the lens -much better than any other option that aren´t the really expensive 17-35mm f/2.8 or the 14-24mm f/2.8 in Nikkor out of those 2 lenses Nikon doesn´t has a solid performer packed on a good body-

        Speaking of which with the price increases thanks to the weak dollar Nikon should be rethinking their strategy with lenses, the 80-200mm f/2.8 IF AF-D ED was 800 bucks a year and a half ago right now is $1,100, the new 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II comes with a hefty price tag too (MSRP $2300), they may exercise some caution, they are wasting too much R&D in 18-something lenses (18-55, 18-55 II, 18-55 VR, 18-70mm, 18-135mm, 18-105mm, 18-135mm, 18-200mm, 18-200mm II)

  • Josep

    Having new cameras sensivity growing up to ISO 102400, who really wants a f:2.8 lens.. bigger, louder..and more expensive?
    16-35mm/f:4 lens is perfectly for landscape or aperture of f:4 would be enough for me… And its VR as a bonus..WOW!!

  • Bob Jobson

    Zooms, schmooms.

  • The most amazing thing in releasing such an useless lens, is that it could actually sell well !

    • Pat

      Useless lens?

      This lens is what a boat load of landscape photographers have been waiting for – I bet including folks like Thom Hogan and even Bjorn Roselett. If it is sharp enough wide open, have nano coating, and takes 77mm filters , then it would arguably be a better landscape lens than the 14-24.

      16mm is wide enough for 98% of situations. And no landscape photographer would turn down a decent wide lens that weight 1.3-1.5 pounds versus the 2.2 pound/1 kilo 14-24!

      • David

        I agree that 16mm is more than wide enough for any serious landscape compositions. It would be interesting to see whether it would take 77mm filters because, if that were so, then I don’t see how it would be much lighter than the 17-35mm unless it is made of plastic. My guess is that something of that focal length and aperture will take 58mm filters and a step-up ring may be needed if you already have a collection of 77mm filters (though the ND Grads won’t work well stepped down since you lose the darker edges of the gradient).

        An F/4.0 lens is much easier to design/make better and shaper than a F/2.8 lens; I gladly surrender the extra stop (and weight) for a lens that is sharper at all four corners. I am skeptical any zoom lens can really beat the fixed focal lengths in this range of zoon, but then again the 14-24mm lens proved everyone wrong on that front so lets see and hope!

        • mike

          The current 18-35/3.5-4.5 takes 77mm filters. I’m not sure why you think a 16-35/4 would take smaller filters than that …

  • Ubiquitous

    The 16-35mm f/4G N VR lens makes some sense to me for FX format. It does not replace either the 14-24 or 24-70, but complements them. An f/2.8 version (or an updated version of the present 17-35) would have been a tremendous seller at the expense of both the 14-24 and 24-70, imho. It is the FX equivalent of the DX 10-24mm f/3.5-f/4.5.

    What about for DX format and compared to the DX 16-85 VR? From 16mm-35mm is f/3.5-f/4.5 and superior from 36-85mm, in every respect. 🙂 For DX format, the rumored 16-35mm f/4 VR does not make sense, imho.

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