16-80 or 18-140?

spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,060Moderator
Hi Guys. I thought I would get the opinions of the collective about this choice.

My 17-55 f2.8 needs expensive repair as it is failing to achieve sharp focus every time. Rather than bother with the repair just to keep an old lens with no VR, I thought I would update it with one of the above new VR lenses. They are both good for the intended purpose (second body for weddings and general use), but obviously the 16-80 has the small speed advantage.

What I wondered is how the sharpness and VR compare (I go cross-eyed trying to get a warm feeling after reading these test sites).

Have any of you compared the two?

Thanks.
Always learning.
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Comments

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 2,951Moderator
    By the numbers:

    18-140:
    7.8x zoom
    Born on 9/13
    67mm filters
    .45m min focus
    490g

    MTF Wide

    MTF Tele

    Construction:

    (Blue Aspherical/Yellow ED) One of each


    16-80:
    5x zoom
    Born on 7/15
    72mm filters
    .35m min focus
    480g

    MTF Wide

    MTF Tele

    Construction:

    (3 Aspherical 4 ED) Front and rear element Fluorine coated, Nano coat and SIC


    For my money, the 5x zoom (that goes to 16mm) is the better lens. More optical compromises will be made to the 7.8x zoom, just laws of physics. The 16-80 also has 4 ED and 3 AS elements for better correction of CA and aberrations. It also has Nano coating, Super Integrated Coating (SIC) and Fluorine coating (reduce ghosts, flares, and fingerprints) This earns it the storied gold ring (like the 17-55).

    Nikon rates both lenses with a 4-stop VR, but the 18-140 only has VR on/off. The 16-80 has VR on/off and normal/active, I think they are both VR II.

    Haven't found any actual photo comparisons, and I don't have the 18-140 to compare to my 16-80. Happy to take some photos if you want.
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 179Member
    I own both lenses, but I've used the 16-80mm almost exclusively. When I bought my D7200, the 18-140mm came with it as the kit lens, basically for free because of all the discounts. I was going to sell it, but decided I would keep it in case I wanted to use it for travel.

    I haven't done much testing of the 18-140mm, but I did compare the two lenses at FL=50mm, and since I do a lot of landscapes I tested them "at infinity." At low f/ (large aperture) my 16-80mm is the much sharper lens in the center and especially in the corners. That's true up to about f/8 or f/9. Beyond that, at smaller apertures, I see not a whole lot of difference in sharpness between the two.

    There's at least one discussion thread about the 18-140mm lens in the Nikon DX forum at DP Review. I haven't looked at it recently, but I believe the consensus was that if you didn't ask too much of the 18-140mm lens it was acceptable for general photography, e.g., as part of your travel kit.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 963Member
    edited August 2016
    I have two , the wife uses 18-140 exclusively for weddings on a 7100..its fine ...Its used at f8.you cannot tell the difference to the 810 I use and 140 is enough for ring shots. It crops well and its cheap grey.....80 mm is just not long enough. As a back up any camera/lens is OK if you are stuck up by the altar and something breaks.

    Just checked the price 16-80 £750 18-140 £200 grey ...its a no brainer.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 2,921Member
    edited August 2016
    I have the 18-140 and I am tempted by the 16-80 :-) but I dont know if I can give up the long end (like the long end too much). I do like the faster aperture, but I already have the Tammy 24-70 VC.

    The 16-80 is a very nice range and Aperture though. Its sharp enough to crop or use the 1.3 crop factor on DX especially with the nice 24mp DX these days. F8 no difference. F2.8 indoors in a dim hallway.. hmm.... my Tammy does much better than my 18-140. I would expect that the 16-80 would too.

    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • BVSBVS Posts: 165Member
    Both are sharp wide open in the center throughout their focal lengths. AF speed, VR capability, and build quality are all similar.

    16-80 is a bit sharper overall, has a bit better color, goes a bit wider, better in lower light, expensive, lens hood is conspicuously large.

    18-140 goes much longer, very inexpensive refurb ($299 or less). Also note that it's f/5.3 at 80mm, so a bit less than 1 stop difference.

    If wide or lower light is more important, go with the 16-80.

    If longer range or price is more important, go with the 18-140.

    Alternatively, given that the 18-140 can be had so cheap, get both and use whichever is better for the situation at hand.



    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 708Member
    edited August 2016
    I used the 18-140 for two weeks. I was way less than impressed. On the other hand I was one of the first to review the 16-80 and think it is awesome. I own a whole lot of Nikon zoom lens. Also have the prime lens for 35 1.8f and the 50 1.4f and rate them personally as only so so for my purposes. On the other hand I have used the Zeiss prime lens and think they are very good and for video have their niche. Only if I was searching for as much zoom range as I could get would I get the 18-140. A number of outfits sell D7200s with two lens and often one is the 18-140. For a novice OK! For a photographer as advanced as SpraynPray......as we often say on Nikon Rumors YOU try them both if possible. But myself I love the 16-80 range and clarity.
    Post edited by DaveyJ on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 963Member
    When people say they tried a lens I always wonder did they bother to do the fine focus adjust ? ( did the camera even have it ?) and did they compare like with like ? ie a +9 sharp Jpeg from each lens at the same focal length.....who knows.

    Another sharp cheap lens is the 24-85 VR 3.5-4.5 not the older one that's bad.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 708Member
    I used the 18-140 on a D7100. I have used the 16-80 on D500, D7200, D7100 all with great results. Did I use the fine focus adjust? On the 16-80, no! On the 18-140 and the D7100 I attempted a number of times any ways to get focus adjusted. I finally concluded that the lens I was trying was not good enough for me to keep. However I also will say I did not take as many photos as I did with the 16-80. I obtained the 18-140 Nikkor through a dealer in Vermont and was allowed to return it. I though the lens however was good enough to own...but not a must own lens.
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 179Member

    When people say they tried a lens I always wonder did they bother to do the fine focus adjust ? ( did the camera even have it ?) and did they compare like with like ? ie a +9 sharp Jpeg from each lens at the same focal length.....who knows.

    Another sharp cheap lens is the 24-85 VR 3.5-4.5 not the older one that's bad.

    Before I "test" a lens, I always tune it to the way I'd most often expect to shoot it. The micro-adjustment value I use for my 16-80mm on my D7200 is an average +4 (+3 at 16mm, +6 at 80mm). For my 18-140mm lens, I use +8 for the micro-adjustment value (+6 or +7 at 18mm, +10 at 140mm). I compare lenses at the same FL and f/, taking shots at a series of f-values for each to see how they compare at relative f-values, one to the other.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 963Member
    My comment was not pointed at you but at testers in general..seems you are doing it in a professional way.
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 179Member

    My comment was not pointed at you but at testers in general..seems you are doing it in a professional way.

    I assumed your comment was a general one and not directed specifically at me. I thought others might want to know whether my initial comment about the two lenses took into account possible fine tuning, so I added my second comment just to clarify that point for the record.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,611Member
    Personally I prefer the long end over the wide end, but I can see why you'd want the 16-80 just for the wide end though.

    Like others have said, I think you would best determine which one is for you by either renting or trying it out at the camera store.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 963Member
    edited August 2016
    Or spraynpray could ask me for a set of sample pics to his spec and I could send him the chip/////
    Strange as it seems I have often found doing the fine focus adjust 1 stop up from the minimum makes the job easier...many lenses are not good at all wide open
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,060Moderator
    Well thanks guys, Some interesting and informative responses. My mind is made up. I would like to do a test comparison, but considering the other lenses I have, maybe the 16-80 is the ideal focal length range. I would normally be worried about price, but in this case it is important I get best performance as it is my back up wedding camera.

    Thanks for the offer Pistnbroke, but I will just go for it I reckon. It had to be Nikon this time, I have a Sigma 24-35 f2 which is brilliant, but the AF can let one down in the heat of battle.
    Always learning.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 708Member
    My son has photographed weddings, my oldest Grandson has, they used the 16-80 and aerial views done with DJI quadcopters. The D500 and the D7200 focus with that lens abruptly. I have not used it for weddings......but feel it would be better than any single lens I have used for them. But I need wide.....and sometimes up to the 80mm point. I am not now willing to give up those two mm on the wide end. My grandson still uses the 18-200 a lot. But I believe he is using it on a Black Magic Video camera..... Babaganoush is using a more advanced focus check than I bother with for certain! When I have a lens and camera combination that I am stuck with then I get down to everything I can do to correct focus. I have gear to check sharpness and distortion. I also better admit that initially I was very taken with the 18-140 range.....but it did not work for me like the 16-80!
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,060Moderator
    Thanks DaveyJ.

    Pistnbroke - incoming PM.
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 963Member
    Yes spray you must have the best quality ...its on DX , then you turn it to JPEG and compress it for a memory stick ,,they view it on a low IQ monitor and print it 6x4.
    Of course you must spend £800 on a spare you may never use ....
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,060Moderator
    LOL! Excellent point but I also use my gear for hobby pix too.
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 963Member
    don't tell the tax man that or you wont get 100% relief
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 708Member
    My work is all I do......no time for play......luckily I love the work!
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 2,640Member
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qEv0qc85fA
  • BVSBVS Posts: 165Member

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qEv0qc85fA

    Just to save everyone 15 minutes of boasting and ranting, he says the 16-80 sucks (vs. the 17-55) because it's got a cheap slow AF motor, bad distortion, and worse IQ.

    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,060Moderator
    @BVS Thanks. I got three minutes in and was almost sick. What an egotistical twit he is. Fortunately, I checked back in the hope someone had summarised it. I am just glad he had tidied up his mothers basement and got dressed to make the video. ;)

    It does raise the question whether any of the things he says are true though, Maybe I'll do some more research among less extreme sources.
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 2,640Member
    edited August 2016
    He certainly is a wild man. Apparently, he has created about 2,000 you tube videos. Sort of entertaining or foolish, depending upon your tolerance for rants. Nothing wrong with a good laugh.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 2,951Moderator
    edited August 2016
    BVS said:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qEv0qc85fA

    Just to save everyone 15 minutes of boasting and ranting, he says the 16-80 sucks (vs. the 17-55) because it's got a cheap slow AF motor, bad distortion, and worse IQ.
    @BVS Thanks for a good TL;DR summary of the angry man :smile:

    AF: I can say that the 16-80 has the same focus response as any of my f/1.8 primes. Is it better than the 17-55? I don't know, but probably not, but we are at the point of splitting hairs, methinks. Full rack infinity to zero and back again is less than 2sec.

    Distortion: This lens follows current Nikkor thinking in that it trades a bit of simple (pincushion,barrel) distortion for lower astigmatism, CA, and better micro-contrast. Since distortion is easily corrected in post (or by the camera), and things like CA are not, it's a reasonable tradeoff. It's also decently well-corrected for coma for a zoom lens. See my milky way shot below.

    IQ: Since we've yet to see a head-to-head from anyone, it's a bit tough to compare. I guess I'll have to buy a used 17-55 and do it myself :naughty:
    16-80 @ 16mm
    DSC_1806_DxO
    Post edited by Ironheart on
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