Nikon Inc. has released three new professional lenses for Nikon’s full-frame FX format which are a
- a prime – 24mm f/1.8G ED
- a standard zoom – 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR, and
- a super telephoto – 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR
The 24-70mm is familiar territory, renowned for its durability and image quality, and it makes a grand return in a new avatar. One of the most important enhancements is the addition of the long-awaited (and source of frustration to many) Vibration Reduction (VR) feature. According to Nikon, this Optical Image Stabilization technology offers up to 4 stops of stabilisation and is perfect for hectic on-the-move events, and performs well for video too.
Along with a new optical construction improving image sharpness, the lens also offers Aperture control useful during high speed burst shooting. Nikon has also added a new Aspherical Extra-Low Dispersion (ASP/ED) element, paired with traditional aspherical, ED and High-Refractive Index (HRI) elements which take optical accuracy to a whole new level. The new lens construction along with a Nano Crystal Coat reduces ghosting, flares and chromatic aberration to a bare minimum. The lens is also dust and moisture proof, and now has a fluorine coating on the front and back lens elements to make dust and smudge removal easier.
Additionally, it has a 9 blade aperture for creating picturesque bokeh and features a new filter diameter of 82mm as opposed to 77mm of its predecessor.
The 24mm f/1.8G ED is great for those looking for a fast, wide-angle lens delivering superior images for landscapes, architecture as well as interiors with low-light handling capability while producing minimal distortion.
This lightweight yet affordable lens, featuring similar Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass promises to eliminate ghosting and chromatic aberration with its aspherical elements, while delivering sharper and more vivid images than its predecessor.
The 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR packs a lot of power in its compact form factor. The lens is ideal for sports, wildlife and other outdoor enthusiast photographers. The lens offers a maximum focal length of 500mm (which reaches a maximum of 750 mm on DX format cameras) and operates on a maximum aperture setting of f/5.6. Like the other two new lenses, this also is empowered by VR and electromagnetic aperture control. However, the VR also has a Sports mode, which promises to capture fast moving subjects accurately, It focuses as close as 7.2 feet, which is not bad for this focal length.
While it looks bulky, the lens weighs in at just 5 lbs (2300 grams), making it easy for long periods of handheld usage. It is constructed of three ED elements reducing chromatic aberration while the 9 blade aperture gives great background separation. Another important feature is the Silent Wave Motor technology which helps achieve critical focus while suppressing the focus motor sound, crucial to wildlife and avian photographers.
The filter diameter of the new 200-500mm lens is 95mm, and Nikon will also offer optional 95mm NC (Neutral Color) and the 95mm Circular Polarizer CPL2 filters. Additionally, users looking to even further the reach of the lens can add on the compatible Nikon 1.4x, 1.7x or 2x E-series Teleconverters, which, theoretically, can increase the range on DX format cameras to 1500mm.
While the market is rife with speculation about these lenses, we can only pass a verdict once the lenses start shipping.
Pricing and availability for the three lenses is as follows:
- AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR – $2399 in late August
- AF-S Nikkor 24mm F1.8G ED – $749.95 in mid-September
- AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR – $1399.95 in mid-September
Will you be upgrading your 24-70mm any time soon?