To accompany the announcement of its new D60 SLR, Nikon has announced three new lenses: the PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED, the AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED, and the AF-S DX 16-85 f/3.5-5.6G VR. The most unusual of the three is the PC-E 24mm, which is a perspective correction lens-- a type of lens that Canon has dominated for a while now with three models, though Nikon already offers the PC Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D. Canon refers to this type of lens as tilt-shift, since it lets you adjust the angle of the lens elements in relation to the film/sensor plane by angling the lens from side to side, up or down, and slide it horizontally. By angling the lens elements, you can compensate for the trapezoidal look that very large buildings take on when looking up as you shoot them. While this is obviously a very specialized lens, it's nice to see Nikon stepping up their already-extensive selection of lenses. The PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED will be available this fall for about $1,930. Nikon will also be showing prototypes of a new PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED and PC-E Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D ED at the PMA show this week.
Next up is a new 60mm macro lens called the AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED. Compared to the existing AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D, which has been around for a few years now, this new 60mm includes a built-in Silent Wave Motor for autofocus to make it compatible with the D40 and D40x, Nikon's new Nano Crystal Coat, ED (extra low dispersion) lens elements, and fully internal focusing. The internal focusing means that the front lens element doesn't extend or retract while you focus-- something that did irk me when using the previous 60mm when shooting at magnifications close to 1:1. Nikon expects the AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED to be available in March for about $550.
The last new lens is a versatile DX-format lens that covers a 35mm-equivalent zoom range of about 24-128mm. The AF-S DX 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G VR includes Nikon's Vibration Reduction optical image stabilization, which the company says can provide from 2-4 stops of leeway. Meaning that if you normally would shoot at 1/100 second for a particular shot, you should be able to use this lens at 1/25 second (a 2 stop difference), or possibly even as slow as 1/6 second (about a 4 stop difference). As always with image stabilization, your mileage may vary. This 16-85mm lens also includes ED glass and Silent Wave Motor technology. Nikon expects the AF-S DX 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G VR to be available this March for about $650.