ANNOUNCEMENT : Nikon expands lens lineup. Again

It seemed for a while that there was no new glass coming out of Nikon.  That's definitely changed this year and today Nikon announced three new lenses.  Check them out below.

 AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8E ED VR

AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8E ED VR

One of the first lenses that it appears that every serious Nikonian purchases is the respected 24-70/2.8  Well as of now, you've got a new lens to desire and save for.  The new AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8E ED VR will replace that proven lens with new tech sure to attract buyers.  The new lens uses ED (extra low dispersion) glass for sharper images and includes Nikon's Vibration Reduction functionality, said to deliver up to 4 STOPS of stabilization.  I'm always cautious about these kinds of claims but Nikon has proven accurate in my testing of other lenses, so this would be very cool to have.  This is also the first time that Nikon has used Aspherical elements (ASPH) in this zoom.  What excites me most about the new lens is the E designation.  This means that this lens has Nikon's new electromagnetic aperture tech that we first saw back in the July announcements.    This provides a superior level of performance in aperture actuation and in time lapse photographs we should not see any of the flickering common to older style "stop down to shoot" lenses.  The filter size has increased on the new lens to 82mm.  Nikon uses a salad bar of acronyms to describe the construction of its lenses and this lens is no exception.  So here you go; AS E ED HRI IF M/A N SWM SIC VR.  These mean, in sequence; Aspherical Elements, Electromagnetic Diaphragm, Extra Low Dispersion Elements, High Refractive Index Elements, Internal Focus, Manual / Auto Focus Select, NANO Coating, Silent Wave Motor, Super Integrated Coating and Vibration Reduction.  For more information on the new lens see its page here.  Availability will be late August 2015 with a Canadian MSRP of $2,799.95

 AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6 ED VR

AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6 ED VR

There's a school of thought that says your lens can never have too much reach and we've seen the third party builders driving this mantra.  Now Nikon is doing the same thing with the new AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6 ED VR.  While f/5.6 is not screaming fast optically, it does make for lens with incredible reach that is still handholdable in real world shooting situations.  Like all Nikon FX lenses it can also be used on DX sensor cameras for an angle of view like a 750mm lens on a full frame sensor.  Most long lenses don't focus very closely but the new lens gets you as close as 7.2 feet, really useful when you want to come in tight on something without having to stand on top of it.  Nikon claims that the VR provides up to 4.5 stops of image stabilization, which will be terrific for wildlife and airshows.  A special Sport mode is offered in the VR options to help maintain sharpness at high frame rates and when panning.  The lens can be used with any of Nikon's Teleconverters, but bear in mind that you may lose autofocus capability depending on the converter and your camera's limit on autofocus maximum aperture requirements.  Filter size on the beast is 95mm and Nikon has filters in market to fit it.  The pantheon of acronyms on this lens include ; E ED IF M/A SWM SIC VR.  So as in the 24-70 there is ED glass, the E aperture mechanism, and Nikon's Silent Wave Motor for fast autofocus.  For more information, check out the lens' page here.  The lens will be available in mid-September 2015 for a Canadian MSRP of $1,649.95.  That thud you just heard was the sound of the third parties hitting the ground in paralysis because that price point is going to hurt them hard.

 AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED

AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED

One of the primary advantage of prime lenses (pun intended) is lens speed.  Primes typically have larger maximum apertures than zooms so focus very quickly in low light.  A larger maximum aperture also makes for more options in depth of field management.  While I HATE that lenses no longer have hyperfocal distance scales on them, Nikon is not alone in this dumb decision, but at least do give some pseudo markers to permit for some hyperfocal focus techniques.  And that's a great thing in a 24mm wide angle.  I was never a fan of the 28mm focal length so popular in the Eighties, I prefer the look of the 35mm for groups and the 24mm for landscapes.  Now of course we can get ultra wide lenses for less than a house, but there is no substitute for a fast wide angle in your bag and in my opinion, if you can only have one, a 24mm is that lens.  The new AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED might be that lens for you.  It's built using extra low dispersion glass and aspherical elements and also includes Nikon's highly respected NANO coating for sharpness and durability.  It's a wide angle so the need for VR is minimal and Nikon saves weight and cost by leaving those out.  The acronym pantheon includes AS ED M/A N RF SWM SIC.  Different for this lens from the others in this announcement is RF which stands for Rear Focusing.  This means that only the rear elements move in focusing.  This brings performance as well as no change in lens length for different distances.  Filter size is 72mm.  You can see all the detail on the lens here.  The new lens will be available in mid-September for a Canadian MSRP of $879.95.

It's great to see Nikon back on track and releasing new glass.  The tsunami of a few years back really put a dent in their glass production capabilities and it looks like the issues have been resolved.