Nikon 16-35f4 or 17-35 2.8

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Registered: Mar 31, 2008
Total Posts: 211
Country: United States

Greetings to all.
I;m hoping for some real world exp. with these two lenses. 16-35....17-35
I;d love some imput on which to own for interior real estate images.
I;ve read many good things of both models.
One being old school, the other newer with VR.
Thanks in advance for any response.

ps...shooting on a D800e or a D7000

Registered: Jul 01, 2011
Total Posts: 196
Country: United States

If you are going to use D800,


Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 8403
Country: United States

Ignore the previous post as it's not very constructive.

The 17-35AFS holds up very well on the D800 (I know - I own both). The advantage of the 17-35 is lower distortion - especially critical for interior shots - and potentially lower cost. The downside is that it's an older lens and the AF motor tends to die and it's about ~$400 to replace. Also f/2.8 may not be useful to you if on a tripod for static shots.

The 16-35 goes a bit wider, has VR (only useful if hand-held), is lighter and newer (thus under warranty).

People will chime in with helpful info on the 16-35 - which is a fine lens for sure - and you'll have to weigh the pros and cons of each.


Registered: Nov 20, 2009
Total Posts: 2444
Country: Romania

For shooting interiors on a tripod you can also take in consideration the new Tokina offers. They are affordable and IMHO a better option for indoor architecture.

Tokina 16-28/2.8 controls distortion a little better than Nikon 17-35/2.8 but has a smaller range.

Tokina 17-35/4 is quite soft wide open but stopped down at f/5.6 is sharp. Its advantage is the size, cost, receives filters and most important gives the littlest amount of distortion from the whole group. For indoor tripod work this will be my first option. For a general use I'd go for Nikon 17-35/2.8.

Having said that the best use for architecture is a 24/3.5 tilt-shift lens... but that's costly...

Chris Dees
Registered: Dec 24, 2002
Total Posts: 4897
Country: Netherlands

The 16-35 would be/is my pick.

The 17-35 was one of my first Nikon lenses after my swap in 2008. Over a few years I had 3 copies and never was happy with them. One had 'the squeak' and one had a dead AF motor.

The 16-35 is at its best between 20-30.
Distortion is heavy on the wide side but easily corrected in PP.
Sharpness in the corners is a little better than with the 17-35

If you need the 2.8 there is no real choice (perhaps the 14-24 but that one has it's own difficulties).

Over here the 17-35 is much more expensive than the 16-35

Steve Beck
Registered: Sep 22, 2006
Total Posts: 959
Country: United States

I couldn't imagine 2.8 is needed for interior realistate shots. I've always used a tripod for the jobs I was hired to do. I am now using a 16-35 and it is great, sometime straightening up in cs6...

Registered: May 17, 2005
Total Posts: 7467
Country: United States

I chose the 17-35 a while back for two reasons. One is lower distortion, a no-brainer for real estate photography of course. Also real estate isnt the only thing I shoot so the 2.8 comes in handy for concerts, events etc. Corner-to-corner sharp, fast, silent, not really any more you could ask for in an ultra-wide:

Registered: Sep 29, 2012
Total Posts: 191
Country: United States

If you're using a D7000, then neither. Get the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS or the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8

For the D800, I would go with the 16-35 f/4 VR. That's what I plan on adding to my D600 eventually. I shoot mostly landscape and don't need f/2.8 most of the time. Also, VR is nice and that lens is cheaper and lighter (and from what I've read just as sharp as the 17-35, if not sharper).

Registered: Nov 27, 2011
Total Posts: 289
Country: United States

If it were me, my choice would be the 16-35 VR. I've own this lens and used it on both FF and DX. It is a very good lens minus the heavy distortion at the wide end. And like someone mentioned, it is perfect in the 20-30 mm focal length especially when stop down to f8-f11. But let me throw another option in the equation. If you're going to be using both the D800E and D7000, then why not consider the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens? Although the 16-35 was my "walk-around" lens on the D7K, it may or may not be wide enough for what you're going to be using it for.

Registered: Mar 23, 2004
Total Posts: 2243
Country: United States

I had both and kept the 16-35 because when you set the 16-35 at 17mm it wasn't much worse then the 17-35 from a distortion perspective. Corners, sharpness and color better on the 16-35. I've since sold the 16-35 and am trying the tokina 16-28 which has the least distortion of the 3.

Registered: Nov 07, 2012
Total Posts: 85
Country: France

Sold the 17-35 for 16-35. Traded build quality for slightly better IQ and VR.

I'm glad I did.

lou f
Registered: Nov 18, 2005
Total Posts: 5205
Country: Ireland

had the 17-35 sold it for the 16-35, didnt need 2.8 and found it quite a bit sharper.

Registered: Apr 11, 2011
Total Posts: 1122
Country: N/A

Why not look into the Tokina 17-35 f4. I just ordered one. Around $600 new with rebate.

Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1355
Country: United States

I got the 16-35 and 17-35 at the same time.
I sent the 16-35 back.
F/2.8 is more important to me than VR.

I use my 14-24 for Landscape and Architecture

Registered: Mar 30, 2006
Total Posts: 125
Country: United States

I bought the Tokina 17-35 F4. I had taken a few shots in the store with the Nikon 16-35. The distortion seemed worse on the Nikon @ 16mm than the Tokina @ 17mm. The Tokina becomes much sharper @ 5.6 than wide open. Seems to be well built and was less expensive than the Nikon. Another consideration was the ability to use a filter which is what prevented me from considering the wonderful Nikon 14-24! The only issue has been with auto DX detect on my D800. Sometimes it thought the Tokina was a DX format lens. Turned the auto detect off on the body which isn't a big deal for me. Completely satisfied.

Registered: Sep 29, 2012
Total Posts: 191
Country: United States

That Tokina 17-35 f/4 looks great stopped down at 5.6 or more

Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 8403
Country: United States

This afternoon I went to the local pro shop and shot a 16-35/4 AFS VR against my 17-35/2.8AFS on my D800.

Yes the 16-35 is slightly better in the extreme corners at f/4 at 16mm, but by f/5.6 they are pretty much tied except for the really larger distortion of the 16-35. At 35mm the 16-35 seemed to have a bit more CA.

At least these two copies of these lenses seemed to be pretty darned close in my informal non-tripod testing. I'm sticking with my 17-35AFS and in fact will send it in for a complete CLA and motor replacement so that it will last me a long long time.

The rumored new 17-35/2.8, if it manages to be better than the old, seems like it will be quite stellar (and quite expensive I'm sure).


Loren E
Registered: Jul 14, 2011
Total Posts: 621
Country: United States

jhinkey wrote:

The rumored new 17-35/2.8, if it manages to be better than the old, seems like it will be quite stellar (and quite expensive I'm sure).


You mean the rumored 16-35/2.8 right? Man would love to see that lens get announced...might be the clincher for getting a D600!

Registered: Mar 31, 2008
Total Posts: 211
Country: United States

Thanks to everyone for all the replies.
You have helped me make up my buy the 17-35....unless I get the 16-35

I appreciate the input.
Cheers, Ken

Total Posts:

If I'm shooting architectures/interiors professionally, I would pick the 24 PC-E

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