Sat 12-Dec-09 05:10 PM | edited Sun 13-Dec-09 07:47 PM by ZoneV
Every so often I write up a post with suggestions on Nikon lenses Nikon should make. Here I go again. I have two lists. The first is the bare-bones list, the very minimum I and others think they should make over the next couple of years. The second is a long-term wishlist that would take a decade and would put Nikon at the top of the heap. All VR lenses have VR II of course. Why AF-S in so many lenses? because some cameras don't support the screw-drive. Good opportunity to tweak the optics or redesign them, too. Why not replace the mechinical aperture stopdown lever with the electromagnetic mechanism used on the current' PC-E lenses, too?
Note: these are not full lineups. I left off current lenses that are fine as they are (but which would remain in the lineup for many years to come).
16-35/4 AF-S (replaces 18-35/3.5-4.5 D AND 17-35) 24-105/4 AF-S VR (replace 24-85/2.8-4 D AND 24-120 VR) 70-200/4 AF-S VR (new lens) 100-500/4-5.6 AF-S VR (replace 80-400 VR)
Dream (or next decade) list: all the above lenses PLUS the following:
14/2.8 AF-S (replace) 16/2.8 AF-S fish eye (replace) 17/2 AF-S (new lens fills gap) 20/2 AF-S (replace 2.8 D lens) 24/2.8 AF-S (replace) 28/2 AF-S (replace f/2.8 lens) 35/2 AF-S (replace) 50/1.8 AF-S (replace) 50/1.2 AF-S (replace AIS lens) 85/1.8 AF-S (replace) 105/1.8 DC AF-S VR (replace f/2 DC 105mm D) 135/2 DC AF-S VR (replace f/2 DC 135mm D) 200/2 AF-S VR II (minor upgrade to VR II) 400/4.5 AF-S VR (new lens) 600/5.6 AF-S VR (new lens) 800/5.6 AF-S VR (new lens)
FX zooms: all the above zooms plus:
24-70/2.8 AF-S VR (VR lens similar to current one) 35-60/2 AF-S VR (awesome new super fast zoom) 28-200/2.8-4 AF-S VR (new lens) 28-300/4-5.6 AF-S VR (new lens) 60-105/2 AF-S VR (awesome new super fast zoom) 70-180/4-5.6 AF-S VR micro (bring back the micro zoom!) 70-300/4-5.6 AF-S (replace current non-VR lens for D3000 AF use) 200-400/4 AF-S VR (minor update to VR II) 300-700/5.6 AF-S VR (new lens)
10.5/2.8 AF-S DX (make it AF on D3000, etc) 16/2 AF-S DX (fast wide DX prime) 18/2 AF-S DX 24/2 AF-S DX 17-55/2.8 AF-S VR DX (replace with VR version) 50-135/2.8 AF-S VR DX (new lens)
PC-E II lenses with full adjustment in both directions:
18/3.5 PC-E II 24/3.5 PC-E II 45/2.8 PC-E II 85/2.8 PC-E II
TC-14 E III TC-17 E III TC-15 E VR (provides VR to non-VR lenses)
400/f4 has been available since 2003, in the form of the 200-400/f4 AFS VR. It seems rather popular, and about the only complaint that I've heard about it is that it does not mate that well with the TC-20 (and of course that might be due to the TC).
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
>How about following the success of the 35mm f/1.8 with more >small, light, fast and inexpensive DX primes? They could >start with a 24mm, f/2 or faster.
That's what I say. A 60mm f1.8 VR portrait lens and a 14mm f2.0. Both 52mm filter and af-s. Many of the zillions of DX owners will get more into their hobby and want to augment their zooms with faster small and light primes.
This be something like: AF-S 1200-1700 f/5.76 IF-ED VR III
VR III of course to handheld it.
Albert Esschendal - Nikonian in Hengelo(O.), The Netherlands ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Nikonians Moderator: D5/D4/D3/D2/D1 Users Group, D300/D200/D100 Users Group, Nikkor Autofocus Lenses and Dutch Cafe Moderator Website: Albert Esschendal Photography
Hang on for just a bit more It should be evident to all that Nikon is methodically replacing and upgrading every last one of its PRO offerings. By now it should be clear to us this has been in their master plan for some years now. If its a PRO product it will be upgraded with more priority than other offerings. It makes a good deal of sense if the business plan goal is to dominate the world-wide pro market. No holes will be left.
From this, I expect the 200mm f2 VR II is already in the design pipeline somewhere. And many expect the 24, 35, and 85mm f1.4 are just around the corner.
The rest of us may have to wait a smidgen longer, at which point they will knock off the many other needed upgrades.
- The days of f2.8 primes are probably over with? Two things conspire to kill them, the quality of the three kings and the high ISO capabilities of today's cameras. Thus (aside from specialized macro and PC-E etc), FX primes will have to be f2 or faster to sufficiently differentiate themselves in the market. I am aware of the small/sharp/low distortion prime argument, but is the market?
- because of that I don't think any of these are coming at f2.8: 14mm (no reason for this one due to the superb 14-24), 20, 24, 28, or 180mm. The latter is also further redundant due to the 80-200.
- TC-15 VR is probably not possible? IIRC no current VR lens wiggles the last element group.
I like the rest of your ideas. Have you heard the rumor about a Nikon patent for a "DO" (diffractive optics) capability like Canon? That could shake up the entire super-telephoto range by providing an ability for smaller and lighter offerings.
Sun 13-Dec-09 03:39 PM | edited Sun 13-Dec-09 03:44 PM by ZoneV
>- The days of f2.8 primes are probably over with? Two things >conspire to kill them, the quality of the three kings and the >high ISO capabilities of today's cameras. Thus (aside from >specialized macro and PC-E etc), FX primes will have to be f2 >or faster...
Agreed. Sort of. Enthusiasts on a budget who use the D90, D5000, and D3000 may still want a 24/2.8 because they are relatively inexpensive. Not everyone will be able to afford f/1.4 or f/2 primes, but they will still want the optical quality and/or DOF character that relatively fast primes offer. So that is why I left the 24mm as an f/2.8 prime. But for the 20mm, 17mm, 35mm, or even possibly the 28mm, f/2.8 makes little sense. In fact, Nikon hasn't had a 35/2.8 in a long time!
I think Nikon has chosen to let there be a permanent gap (or lag) at f/4, unlike Canon. Nikon's f/2.8 line is heavy and expensive, but most pros and serious amateurs seem to aquire f/2.8s eventually. The f/4s would just cannibalize the f/2.8s that people over time manage to stretch for.
And if money is an issue, the f 3.X-5.6 range is extensive and affordable to anyone, and great value for money.
Over the last 2 years I've purchased the new 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8 and 300/2.8. All my f/3.5-4.5-5.6 zooms are long gone.
I'd gotten straight f/4s instead, if they were cheaper, lower weight, were sharp at f/4 and had AF-S and VR.
AF-S 8mm f2.8 fisheye nuff said AF-s 50-135 f2 great basketball lens and portrait lens AF-S 200-400 f2.8 this would really go over with the sports shooters, but boy, it would be heavy. AF-S 300-600 f5.6 (daylight) birding lens? AF-S 600-1200 f5.6 Long wildlife lens.
These lenses would all be way too expensive for me to even think about buying, but if I win the lottery, I would pay Nikon to build them.
Chris, I second the vote for a 8mm fisheye. I don't have a fisheye because I have the 14-24 and fisheyes don't excite me *that* much. 8mm though? That could be too fun to pass up. Bet it would be expensive.
I'd like a 24 or 28 mm f/1.4. The 50mm f/1.4 is a bit too long for my general walkabout photos. 24mm is my all-purpose lens and it would be awesome to have it as a faster prime (AFS would help close the sale).
Extension tubes. No one mentioned tubes. Last I checked Nikon didn't make tubes with all the contacts. Macro shooters would like them.
>"16-35/4 AF-S (replaces 18-35/3.5-4.5 D AND >17-35)" > >I don't think an f/4 lens really replaces an f/2.8 lens >(17-35). I would like to still have available an f/2.8 FX >superwide zoom that can take a threaded filter. Right now, the >17-35 is it.
I understand and agree, but realistically, an f/4 version that takes filters is more likely because teh 18-35 is old, and they already have the 14-24 even if it can't (sort of) take filters in the conventional sense. Maybe they will just keep making the excellent 17-35 for another decade to serve this need. After all, they haven't discontinued it yet! There is a limit to the number of lenses they can make, and something has to give.
Maybe something has to give, but there are at least a half dozen lenses on your list that I would prefer to "give" before the 17-35 or equivalent. For one thing, I simply don't get the fascination with f/4 zooms. It seems that since Canon makes them, people think Nikon should, too. But how many slices of the aperture range do we really need? I find that when I want to travel light, the variable-aperture zooms are sufficient, and when I want to maximize performance, the f/2.8 lenses are what I want.
The f/4 zoom seems like a solution to a nonexistent problem, to me. If they updated the 18-35 f/3.5-4.5 to AF-S and with whatever optical improvements they could make without causing the price to shoot out of sight, that would serve equally well as having an f/4 zoom.
>The f/4 zoom seems like a solution to a nonexistent problem, >to me.
Don't forget that the f/4 zooms can have greater zoom ratios than the f/2.8 zooms while keeping the size and price similar. Take Canon's 24-105/4 and 24-70/2.8: similar size, weight, image quality, and price...but one has a greater zoom ratio and sacrifices "only" one stop (while providng similar IQ at f/4 apparently, which is amazing considering you're comparing one lens's maximum aperture to being stopped down one stop on the other lens).
A 16-35/4 (or even 15-40/4) would be easier to make and buy than a similar f/2.8 lens (and more likely to accept filters). Look back at the recent history of zoom lens design; the trends are clear: every so often we get such niceties as more compact designs, better IQ, faster lenses, and greaterzoom raios. But something still has to give. I think that a 15-35/2.8 that takes would be pushing it, not to proabbly wold mention kil the 14-24. If you want a wide f/2.8 zoom that takes filters, I'd say the 17-35 is it.
I'm with you though. Yeah, I'd actually prefer f/2.0 zooms in all honesty, which is why I included some on the list...but such glass will be very limited in zoom ratio compared to today's excellent f/2.8 designs.
I don't think the f/2.8 zooms are really the comparison to make to the f/4. Those who want top-end performance will go for the f/2.8 in any case. The real question is what the f/4 zoom provides over the variable-aperture zooms. All that you say about size/weight/zoom range of f/4 zooms holds true, even more so, of the variable aperture zooms.
Most of all, as you say, Nikon can make only so many lenses, so does it really make sense to ask them to create a whole new line of f/4 zooms while also producing f/2.8 and variable-aperture zooms? I would rather they concentrated on upgrading the lenses they have now (80-400, 300 f/4, 24-120, e.g.), with a few key additions (fast superwide prime, 35-135/150 f/2.8 DX, e.g.). Of course, that's just my list.
My wish list is short and sweet -- 24-70mm f/2.8 FX lens that is affordable (about $800) and considerably lighter in weight than Nikon's current "pro" 24-70. Don't say it cannot be done, because Sigma has already done it with their recently upgraded 24-70mm f/2.8. It might be possible by simply placing the same glass & diaphragm of the current Nikon "pro" 24-70 in a different housing (such as the housing used for the Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4). Please, no VR in the 24-70mm "light." VR is only helpful when shooting a static subject (not action) and Nikon's newest generation of FX cameras have amazing high ISO capabilities, so VR is unnecessary. It would just add unwanted weight and cost. Weather sealing, of course, would be out. But I, for one, could live without that (never been too fond of taking pix in the rain anyway). A really great (and very useful) feature would be to add a macro switch (like the Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4). Perhaps to offer 2 versions -- one with macro, one without. I'd pay at least an extra $200 for the macro feature.
>My wish list is short and sweet -- >24-70mm f/2.8 FX lens that is affordable (about $800) and >considerably lighter in weight than Nikon's current >"pro" 24-70. Don't say it cannot be done, because >Sigma has already done it with their recently upgraded 24-70mm >f/2.8.
Of course they can do it, but I doubt they would. Why cannibalize existing 24-70/2.8 pro glass sales? It would have to be a 24-85/2.8-4 AF-S...and Nikon already has a non-AF-S version of that lens. I honestly think it's more likely that your compact 24-70/2.8 will end up being a 24-70/4, a 24-85/4, a 24-85/2.8-4, a 24-105/4, a 24-105/2.8-4, a 24-120/4, or a 24-120/2.8-4 (which wouldn't be compact or light!) with or without VR. Sorry, I just don't see Nikon competing with themselves and staining the reputation of the Nikkor pro f/2.8 glass by coming out with a version that competes with Sigma and Tamron by reducing build quality. Even the old 35-70/2.8 was damn solid.