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.
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.
|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|
|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) |
|AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)||Yes|
|Focus distance indicator|| |
|Focus length scale|| |
|Supplied accessories|| |
82 mm snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-82, Rear Lens Cap LF-4, Bayonet Hood HB-74, Lens Case CL-M3