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Nikon unleashes $1,400 supertelephoto zoom and more

The company's August lens offerings consist of a well-priced 200-500mm f5.6, second-generation 24-70mm f2.8 and midrange 24mm f1.8.

Nikon's 200-500mm f5.6 lens takes on Sigma and Tamron's competing models. Nikon

Sigma and Tamron have heated up the competition for relatively inexpensive supertelephoto lenses geared to enthusiast wildlife and sports shooters, with models like the $1,100 (AU$1,250) Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 Contemporary (£903) and Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 (£770). Nikon's joining the club with the AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR, a faster lens at a slightly higher price of $1,400 (directly converted, about £900, AU$1,925).

The lens, designed for full-frame cameras but with the equivalent of a 300-750mm range on an APS-C dSLR, is fairly compact at 10.5 inches long (267mm) with a diameter of 4.2 inches (107mm). It doesn't use internal zoom so it will extend up to about 8 inches more (203mm) when fully extended, and overall it's still bigger than its Sigma and Tamron equivalents. Heavier, too: it weighs 80 ounces (2,300 g) compared to about 68 oz (around 1,950 g) for the others. Its end element is pretty big: it takes a 95mm filter.

NIkon gives its 24-70mm f2.8 lens a much-needed update. Nikon

As with an increasing number of Nikon's lenses, it uses an electromagnetic diaphragm for faster and more accurate response to changes in exposure and a 9-bladed aperture for rounded out-of-focus highlights. The lens is rated for 4.5 stops of VR stabilization, and includes Nikon's tripod and sport VR modes (to change compensation when mounted on a tripod or when panning). It has a minimum focus distance of 7.2 feet (2.2m) at all focal lengths. Note that it doesn't have any of the coatings offered on the higher-end lenses.

It's expected to ship in September.

Digital photography looked a lot different at this time in 2007 when Nikon released its 24-70mm f2.8 lens, a professional staple for events and portraits. Now it's bringing the essential pro full-frame AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR up to date with some essential enhancements including a rated four stops of optical image stabilization; an electromagnetic diaphragm; an enhanced optical design which includes a high-refractive element and an aspherical extra-low dispersion element for more precision; and updated coatings, including Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat, which reduces ghosting and flare, and protective fluorine coatings on the front and back elements.

Unfortunately, the lens hasn't gotten any smaller; it's actually slightly wider, longer and heavier. Nor has the minimum focus distance gotten any closer. It's priced a lot higher than the current lens at $2,400 (directly converted, ), and is expected to ship by the end of August.

Finally, a new landscape-friendly 24mm prime joins the other four 24mm FX lenses in Nikon's lineup; the $750 (directly converted, about £431, AU$1,030) AF-S Nikkor 24mm f1.8G ED, based on the same design as the AF-S Nikkor 28mm f1.8G, slides into the line between the old consumer 24mm f2.8 at about $400 (£370, AU$750) and the professional 24mm f1.4 at $2,200 (£1,380, AU$3,000). It too benefits from Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat, though it only has 7 aperture blades. It has a minimum focus distance of 9 inches (230mm). And sorry shaky-handed folks, there's no image stabilization.

It should be available in September.


Mount type F-mount
Format FX/35mm
Maximum aperture f2.8
Minimum Aperture f22
Lens construction

20 elements in 16 groups (including 2 ED elements, 1 aspherical ED element, 3 aspherical elements, 1 high-refraction element, and elements with Nano-Crystal or fluorine coatings)

Angle of view

Nikon FX-format dSLR cameras: 84° to 34° 20′; Nikon DX-format dSLR cameras: 61° to 22° 50′

VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilisation Yes
Diaphragm blades 9 (rounded diaphragm opening)
Coating Nano Chrystal coat, Fluorine coat
Diaphragm Automatic electronic aperture control
Metering Full aperture
Filter-attachment size 82mm (P = 0.75mm)
Dimensions Approx. 88mm maximum diameter x 154.5mm (distance from camera lens mount flange)
Weight Approx. 1,070gm (2.4lb)
Autofocus Yes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor) Yes
Internal focusing Yes
Focus mode Yes
Focus distance indicator


Focus length scale


Zoom Yes
Supplied accessories

82 mm snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-82, Rear Lens Cap LF-4, Bayonet Hood HB-74, Lens Case CL-M3