New Lenses from Nikon

Nikon has announced updates to some of its pro telephotos, as well as a new, versatile DX zoom lens that is an especially good fit…

Nikon has announced updates to some of its pro telephotos, as well as a new, versatile DX lens that looks to be an especially promising prospect for travel photography.

The two drool-worthy additions are refreshed versions to the big, fast telephotos: the AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR and the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR. These are ideal for professional wildlife and sports photographers. Each is lighter than its previous version thanks to new magnesium alloy barrels. They also featuring improved optics thanks to new lens elements and have the latest vibration reduction technology that Nikon claims will give you 4 stops more before you run into shake blur. They add the Sport VR mode, which helps with tracking moving objects through the viewfinder with VR enabled. Both have a constant maximum aperture of f/4.

Neither is what you’d call cheap, but if the 5-figure price tags are outside your budget, hopefully they’ll find their way to the major lens rental outlets sometime soon. They’re expected to start shipping on July 16.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens

It weighs in at 6.81 lb, which is not quite 2 pounds lighter than the model it replaces. It has an angle of view of 5°, an aperture range from f/4 to f/22, and 16 lens elements arranged in 12 groups with 9 diaphragm blades.

Available for pre-order from B&H Photo.

And as you’d expect for a lens in this price range, it comes with a lens hood, a barrel-mounted filter adapter, and also its own dedicated hard case.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens

At 8.4 lbs, it’s about 2.5 lbs lighter than its predecessor. It has an aperture range from f/4 to f/22, an angle of view of 4° 10′, and, like the 500mm, has 16 lens elements arranged in 12 groups with 9 diaphragm blades.

It’s available for pre-order from B&H Photo.

It comes with a lens hood, a barrel-mounted drop-in filter adapter, a tripod color, and also its own new-style dedicated hard case.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR Lens

This one looks especially interesting for travel photographers using DX cameras. It’s an entirely new lens and is a dedicated DX frame lens. Overall, it’s a very interesting addition particularly for travel photography and as a general walking-around lens.

It’s a zoom from 16-80mm, which when converted to a full-frame equivalent is 24-120mm. That in itself isn’t especially remarkable, but this one is faster than your average prosumer zoom lens, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at wide-angle and f/4 when zoomed in. Combined with the new and improved VR technology that further improves its low-light potential, a versatile zoom range, and the use of Nikon’s ED, coated glass, it makes for an especially attractive package if you’re using a DX camera and a big step up in quality from the usual kit lens.

For what it is, it’s a very small lens at only 3.4 inches long. It weighs about 17 ounces and takes 72mm filters. It has 17 lens elements in 13 groups with 7 rounded diaphragm blades. Its maximum aperture is f/2.8 to f/4, depending on whether you’re using it wide-angle or zoomed in, and its minimum aperture is f/22 to f/32, again depending on whether you’re using it wide-angle or zoomed in.

It’s designed for DX cameras but will work on most of the recent full-frame cameras from Nikon, but you’ll get the DX crop mode so it won’t use the full sensor on a full-frame camera.

This is the type of lens you could leave on your camera most of the time, and I’m looking forward to trying it out in real-world use.

It’s available for pre-order from B&H Photo.

It comes with its own petal lens hood and a soft pouch.

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