I was researching a bit on Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens. Both Nikon USA and India websites are silent about the build material of the lens barrel. There are a class of people, who either out of "frustration" or "satisfaction" of purchasing the lens, are inflating the fact using hyperbolic jargons, e.g. weather resistant, professional grade optics, solid build etc. Unfortunately these seems to be subjective and not backed by any official data.
Weather-resistance: Nikon is vague about weather-proofing. All it does is to slip-off the follwing while trying to convince its potential customer how wonderful this piece of glass is.
With an excellent build quality, Nano Crystal Coat to minimize internal reflections while reducing ghost and flare and dust and moisture sealing, the AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR is ready to tackle your next assignment.
I hope a minor mention of moisture sealing is not tantamount to a lens being weather sealed.
Build material: No information is there in official docs which I could find out. A third-party review says,
The outer barrel is made of magnesium alloy...
I wonder what exactly is a pro-quality lens. Nikon doesn't mark its products as consumer or pro-grade. Is it only a commerial hype by over-satisfied or dis-satisfied souls? What are the features beyond focal length and aperture that makes a lens suited for profssional use with higher price tags?
Some of the documented factors that crosses my mind are:
- ED glass
- Nano crystal coating to reduce ghosting and flare
- Aspherical lens element to reduce chromatic aberration
- M/A, Auto-focus with manual override
- Count of lens elements
Some of the undocumented/unofficial/subjective factors those I find people to hold different views (worse is, they contradict diametrically) on:
- Build material
- Weather resistance
- Chromatic aberrations
I'm keen to know what aspects define the line between consumer and professional grade products in Nikon line of lenses.
To put in some more information, I want to refer to this article where he has classified the lens in four categories. As per his definition, a professional grade lens is,
Professional – high-end, constant aperture full-frame lenses (between f/1.4 and f/2.8) with superb optics, metal barrel / mount, advanced optical design with top coating technologies, fast autofocus motor and weather resistance. Prices typically start in the $1500 range, but can be lower depending on age and other factors. Examples: Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II
What I find very subjective are a few exaggerations:
- Superb optics (What is that?)
- Advance optical design (What the ...?)
- Weather resistance (As per any standard? Who doesn't the company claim so? Do an 18-55 and a 14-24 differ as far as weather resistance is concerned? Or is it just a fuss around a costly lens?)