Nikon announcements

30 07 2009

Nikon have been busy recently.  Two lenses I own have been replaced with new models and my current body has also received an overhaul. 

Apart from the drop in value of my gear (if I were thinking of selling, which I’m not!) this is all great news.

The 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 now has the "II" moniker and they’ve reduced the zoom creep (which never bothered me) and added a zoom lock (more useful; keeps the lens locked to the shortest length).  Improvements to the optics system are going to be marginal at best with the only change a different lens coating.  While these are quite minor refinements this was already an excellent lens in it’s class.  For me it’s the perfect travel lens.

The 70-200mm f/2.8 however has been given a completely new optical design.  This is my favourite (and most expensive) lens and it’s sublime on my DX D300.  It has been criticized (by pixel peepers if not commercial shooters) on FX bodies for being soft, particularly in the corners, and an update has been expected for a long time.  I’m sure this update will improve this fantastic workhorse.

The D300S (more info) replaces my D300 and some nice features have appeared.  Video, of course, faster shooting, SD card slot (to complement the CF) and a slew of other refinements.  Although there’s nothing here that are making me think "upgrade" all of the changes are welcome.  New owners are spoiled with a sensational camera.

There were other announcements (particularly the D3000 to replace the entry-level D60) but these were very relevant to me since they upgraded so much of my own gear!  Good work Nikon, these are all solid refinements.

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4 responses

1 08 2009
Brushy

The 18-200mm is a pretty good lens – I admit that, but the bastard is bloody heavy. After a day or two of lugging it around, I am always tempted to whack the somewhat limitied 18-55mm or even the fixed 50mm back on for a bit of a rest.

You got any recommendations for a good wide-angle lens?

Greetings from a sunny Germany, where we are planning a long weekend of outdoor rock climbing in a few weeks. :)

Brushy.

1 08 2009
trentini

I’ve always considered the 18-200 a light lens! But then everything feels light after lugging around the 1.5kg 70-200…

But I agree, it’s liberating to drop the simple 50mm on and shoot away.

As for wide-angle lenses, I bought a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 and it’s a corker. Fast, sharp and very, very wide. Very nice to shoot hand-held in almost any conditions (I’m looking forward to taking this baby through Melbourne at night). Obviously not a large zoom range – just treat it like a ‘flexible’ prime. :) If you can find and afford it I highly recommend it.

I hear reasonably good things about the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 though I haven’t personally used it. Relatively cheap but supposedly a pretty capable performer. I’ve used, and liked, both the Nikon and Tokina 12-24mm f/4 ‘s – good glass. I still prefer my 11-16 though.

Incidentally, my hunch is that Nikon will release another wide angle zoom before too long since the 12-24 is getting a bit long in the tooth. And they probably learnt some lessons with their extraordinary (and extraordinarily expensive) 14-24mm f/2.8 that they could apply down the range…

Climbing; I’m jealous! I haven’t even been able to do my weekly indoor climbing lately since I hurt my elbow (diagnosed as ‘tennis elbow’, though the closest I’ve been to tennis is watching Wimbledon on TV!). Have a great time on the rocks!

3 08 2009
Brushy

We have been doing a bit of climbing on and off lately, including a technique course and a first outdoors climbing day in France. I am signed up for a lead-rope course in a few weeks time, and can’t wait. :)

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