The Nikon 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR DX is a big deal. It’s Nikon’s first professional DX lens in nearly a decade. For fans of DX who thought Nikon had abandoned them, this lens is a ray of hope.
Why Does it Matter?
The new 16-80mm f/2.8-4E fills a huge gap in the Nikon lineup. Up until now, if you wanted a pro midrange zoom, you were stuck with some very heavy glass. This includes the 17-55mm f/2.8, the 24-120mm f/4, and the 24-70 f/2.8. The lightest of this group is 755g. In comparison, the Nikon 16-80mm is featherweight and weighs in at a measly 480g.
I don’t know about you, but my days of carrying around a bag of heavy lenses are over. When paired with a mid sized dx body like the d7200, the 16-80mm becomes the perfect go everywhere do everything lens.
How Does it Perform?
Nikon is a 98 year old optical company that makes scientific equipment, semiconductor lithography systems, and camera lenses. Sight unseen, I’ll state that this lens is great, just like the rest of their professional lenses.
But the Nikon 16-80mm f/2.8 isn’t FX ….
The online intelligentsia love to wax on about the big pro cameras, but the heart of Nikon is the middle of the road prosumer bodies. If you don’t believe me, then check out these numbers.
They’re many ways to interpret this data, but the simple takeaway is that the top 5 Nikon cameras used by Flickr members are DX bodies. You can make the argument that pros don’t use Flickr or that flickr is irrelevant, but based on the analytics from Alexa, Flickr is still the 135th most visited website in the world.
If you dig a little deeper into each of these cameras you’ll also notice another interesting trend. These users aren’t using the kit lens. A simple search of “d90 macro” or “35mm 1.8 dx” reveals that hundreds of thousands users have bought into the Nikon system and purchased additional lenses.
If the numbers from flickr aren’t convincing enough, check out these adword stats:
Once again, the dx lineup dominates. It not only dominates with installed users (flickr), but it’s the main channel for new users coming into the system. (google searches). What does this all mean? In means that the Nikon DX lineup is a VERY big deal.
With the introduction of the 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR DX, Nikon has finally pivoted away from a strategy of moving users to FX and is now addressing the needs of its largest and most important user base.