Sunday, August 29, 2010

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Pre-Photokina: Nikon Announcements

Nikon has announced a variety of interesting new FX format (full-frame) lenses, starting with a big, beautiful new 85mm lens, the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G (Nikon details).  While the old AF 85mm f/1.4D was (and still is!) certainly a very good lens optically, it seems to frequently require an in-body AF adjustment to focus accurately with different cameras when shooting at near wide-open f-stops.  Initial reports indicate that the new AF-S version is more accurate across differing bodies and, on top of that, it also boasts Nikon's excellent Nano-Crystal lens coatings for excellent contrast and resistance to flare in challenging lighting conditions. The price will be a bit higher than the old 85mm, coming in at $1779, but not too bad when compared to the competition.

Next up is the Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm f/4G VR, which will sell for $1269 (Nikon details). This lens will make an excellent high-quality and fairly fast (f/4 all the way through the zoom range) “kit-lens” to use with full-frame bodies such as the D700. Vibration reduction on wide-angle lenses is an interesting thing to have, since it is possible to hand-hold surprisingly slow shutter speeds.  I would suspect that at 24mm, you'll likely be able to get sharp photos down to ¼ second or so... of static subjects of course.  VR does nothing to help freeze moving subjects at slow speeds, which is why some people will need to continue to buy fast f/2.8 zooms.

Finally, there is the ambitious new Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR for $1079 (Nikon details), which is only a little more than its DX cousin, the AF-S 18-200mm VRII.  For an all-in-one FX format travel lens, this is a great deal and and again, early results show this lens to be very promising optically.

We have placed orders for these three lenses already, so if you interested in getting one of the first ones, give me a call and I will put you on our list.

Finally, Nikon has also announced an interesting new consumer DSLR, the D3100 (Nikon details), which will sell for a mere $679 as a kit with the inexpensive 18-55mm zoom.  Based on its specifications (14.2 MP CMOS sensor, Full HD 1080 video, ISO up to 12,800) it seems as though this diminutive consumer DSLR might even put some of Nikon's more expensive current DX bodies to shame, not to mention having the highest pixel count of any Nikon this side of the D3X!  Could this mean a broader refresh of Nikon's lineup?  We'll know when Photokina finally hits if there are any further announcements...


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