Three New Zooms and a Fast "85" from Nikon

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The engineers at Nikon have apparently been burning the midnight oil of late, the results of which appear in the form of four new AF-S G-series Nikkor lenses. They include three new zooms—a 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, a 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, a 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR and an update of Nikon's classic 85mm f/1.4, a killer portrait lens if there ever was one.


The AF-S Nikkor 85 f/1.4G is a lens that makes the day for portrait and low-light shooters alike. When used at its widest apertures, the fall-off between sharpness and melt-away details is enough to make bokeh lovers weak in the knees. And it's an unbeatable short telephoto for low-light shooting. Capable of covering both full-frame (FX format) and APS-C format sensors alike (with an equivalent focal length of 127.5mm), the AF-S Nikkor 85 f/1.4G features Nano Crystal Coatings, which have proved to perform as advertised on previous Nano Crystal-coated optics from Nikon.

Other features found on the AF-S Nikkor 85 f/1.4G include an M/A Focus Mode switch for quick shifting between AF and manual focus, internal focusing, a Nikon Silent Wave Motor system (SWM) for quick and quiet focusing, Super Integrated Coatings (SIC) for improved light transmission and reduced flare, and 9 rounded aperture blades for that "natural look," a.k.a. nice bokeh.


AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G and
AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

For owners of full-frame (FX-format) DSLRs and SLRs seeking a high-performance, all-in-one zoom for any number of travel or business-related applications, the AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is well worth considering. Like the AF-S Nikkor 85 f/1.4G, this image-stabilized (VR II) 10.7x zoom is optimized for use with full-frame and APS-C format compact DSLRs from Nikon. (When used on an APS-C format DSLR the equivalent focal length is 42-450mm.)

Along with 4 stops of vibration reduction, the AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR features two extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements and three aspherical elements for improved sharpness and steep dampening of coma and chromatic aberrations and focusing down to 18" at all focal lengths.

Other features include a Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for quick and quiet focusing, an M/A Focus Mode switch for quick shifting between AF and manual focus, internal focusing (IF), Super Integrated Coatings (SIC) for improved light transmission, color consistency and flare reduction, a zoom-lock switch to keep the lens at minimum size during transport, and 9 curved aperture blades for natural-looking, out-of-focus highlight details (again... nice bokeh).


AF-S Nikkor 24-120m f/4G ED VR and
AF-S Nikkor 55-300 f/4.5-5.6 ED VR

The AF-S Nikkor 24-120 f/4G ED VR is an update of Nikon's original 24-120mm zoom. Designed to cover a full-frame (FX-format) DSLR or SLR, the AF-S Nikkor 24-120 f/4G ED VR is equally at home on a smaller DX-format Nikon DSLR, on which it is the equivalent of a 36-180mm lens.

Some of the improvements found on the AF-S Nikkor 24-120 f/4G ED VR include Nikon VR II image stabilization, Nano Crystal Coatings, two extra-low dispersion (ED) and three aspheric lens elements for improved color, sharpness and reduced coma and color aberrations, internal focusing (IF), a Silent Wave Motor (SWM), an M/A Switch for easy shifting between manual and AF and you guessed it: 9 curved aperture blades for natural, good-looking bokeh.

The fourth lens on the list is the AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, which is specifically designed for use with DX-format (APS-C) DSLRs from Nikon. This compact zoom, which has an equivalent focal range of a 82.5-450mm lens, features Nikon's VR II image stabilization, a Tripod Detection Mode that steadies your image when shooting on a tripod, an HRI (High Refractive Index) lens element that helps maintain optimal contrast levels and two extra-low dispersion (ED) elements for optimizing color and reducing coma and chromatic aberrations.

Other features include a Nikon Silent Wave Motor, Nikon Super Integrated Coatings, a minimum focusing distance of 4.6' at all focal ranges and all together on the count of three—one, two, three!—9 curved aperture blades for natural, good-looking bokeh!

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****!

I really wish there was a way to buy a 85 mm 1.4 without having to mortgage the house. 

AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
AF-S Nikkor 24-120m f/4G ED VR

So which of these would be a better QUALITY glass? I want an all-in-one travel type lens with the highest quality possible. These both look promising so which would take better QUALITY shots?

Is this lense compatible with a Nikon D60?

 ^ first poster I agree with you. or in my case having to shell out half my quarter of tuition and rent.. arghh hopefully the old 2.8's come down in price :x hopefully..

For the all bells and whistles and price of the 24-120 zoom, it better rugged metal built with rubber sealants and not that ******* feeling stuff that Nikon puts out.  But it looks like that ****** ******* contruction.  =(

Travis, the 24-120mm would obviously be the better quality lens.

I wouldn't mind paying the high cost of pro glass if I didn't have to update my body every 2-3 years! That being said, Nikon knows that they can always ***** on pros (and shooters with too much money) to pay their prices. I don't think that we'll see prices go down, unless they have a backlog of supply. That's not likely to happen, as they seem to be doing an effective job of managing inventory and keep us clamoring for more product.

I'm eager to get my hands on the new 24-120. That's a great range for travel and event shooting. The constant f/4 is also a plus. If the optical quality is anything like the previous two generations of 24-120s, however, I'll stick with my Nikon 17-55 and Tokina 50-135 lenses. Both of them are excellent lenses.

What would you suggest for a macro lens on my Nikon D5000?

I don't mind paying for a good lens, but I just don't get $1300 for a 24-120. I don't care if it is a constant f/4. 

I have both Canon and Nikon.  My biggest complaint is that Nikon lenses feel like they are made from cheap materials.  The composite material is for weight saving and strength, but still feel like they are cheap.  Sigma got around the issue with nice satin coating over the lense body.  Why can't Nikon do the same thing and make us feel better for dropping $$$$ on it.  It's all preception but give a brother a break and make us feel like we aren't schmucks.  Btw, I prefer my canon lenses over my nikon, but prefer the nikon body over my canon.

Do I get this right, that all the news about the AF-S Nikkor 85 f/1.4G  is that it is now available with VR? Every other feature semms to be old to me?

I have an original Nikkor 24-120. No VR and it's very sharp and contrasty, but at some focal lengths it bends straight lines unacceptably, and the front of the lens rotates with the zoom ring which makes using a polarizer a hassle. I hope the newest 24-120 corrects those problems. The zoom range makes it a versatile travel lens.

The new 85 does NOT have VR. From what I've been reading, a lot of pros are relieved - the feeling is that VR would likely impact the bokeh negatively (I'm not a pro, but having bought the 105 f/2 DC I'm not interested in the 85 in any case).

When will Nikon come out with the 24-70 in a VR? I really want the 24-70 lens and it is one many Nikon photographers I know use but I like the VR like my other lenses. Is it worth waiting to see if they do or just go with the 24-120 VR lens now?

I had the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Autofocus Lens 72 mm filter size, what a letdown and disappointment that lens was. I traded it in within a few months,  it was not sharp, etc etc. I hope the Nikon engineers took to heart what many of the users of the previous version posted to the Nikon tech site, 77mm filter size and constant f stop. I am willing to give Nikon another try in this zoom range but I am going to have to shoot one on my D3 and D700 first before I buy it. Hope it turns out.  

Nikon has decided to confuse us, totally.

We're used, now, to identifying lenses for the smaller DX sensors by looking for the "DX" in the model name. We know that the AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED is a lens for the DX bodies, and sticking it on a D3/D700 body will switch the body into using just part of the sensor. The AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, by contrast, is an FX lens, and (coincidentally) offers about the same range of angles of view on a D3 as the previous one does on a D300 (or D700 vs. D90-D3000, etc.).

So today Nikon announces a thing called a AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR.  Cool, you think, there's "standard to lengthy tele" lens for the FX users kinda like the 18-200mm is for the DX folks, right?

Nope. That's a DX lens. Does it say it's a DX lens? Nope. It pretends it's a regular old Nikkor, which have always been FX lenses (even back in the days when we called "FX" by the quaint term "Film" or 35mm)!

Sure, you may have noticed that it's an "AF-S NIKKOR ... VR" while the previous examples were "AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKORs", but that's not compelling, either: the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II is a full frame beastie, and very nice it is too.

 Bah!

I will wait for independent review(s) for all the lens mentioned above. The reviews sound more like advertisement and selling points.

If the price of the 24-120 f4. is $1300, Then Nikon can Keep there lens. I have been buying Nikon since 1980 and love there products. The prices have gotten to high for this old boy. I'm sure there are some photographers that can justify the high prices. They are probably few and far between.

Digital photography is advancing to fast for the average photographer to keep up with the latest equipment. You'll see the next D? this winter or next spring? Good Luck!

OMG!  $1650?? Who buys these things? Lottery winners?

nikon lenses is to EXPENSIVE..................................PERIOD

I will, of course, follow the reviews from those of you who are experts, but couldn't you justify, and this hurts, $1300 for an everyday, most situations, kinda lens like the new 24-120? I am still using the original 24-120 F3.5-5.6 VR that came with my Nikon D700 on the majority of my shots. I am noticing more and more that it is not as sharp as I would like and I get lots of vignetting (although easy to correct in Lightroom). If the new lens corrects those situations and I have a major milestone birthday coming up (or if the wind blows the right way) I could justify spending the money for a lens that will go with me more times than not.

I was just about to buy the AF 70-300 lens and now this new 55-300 comes out. Which one is a better lens? 

For those considering the 'new' 24-120 lens, I would strongly advise them to wait for some real-world reviews (as with all new lenses).

I owned both the original (1st generation) 24-120mm non-VR lens (which I used on an F70) as well as the 'improved' (2nd generation) VR version. The original performed well on my F70 and was a killer 'all-rounder' and 'travel' lens on a film camera - the 24mm end was sooooo useful.
Despite the loss of wide-angle usability on a DX camera, I bought the 'improved' 24-120 VR lens in 2004 (just after its release) to go with my new D70, largely on the strength of that 24-120 'Gen 1' experience, as there were not many reviews around at that time. I still have it, but it's been horribly disappointing lens - not sharp at all. It seems I'm not alone, either .. from the reviews above or even the opinions of reviewers like Ken Rockwell (love him or hate him). And as Ken rightly says, the Gen 2 lens was choc-full of the 'right' technology (VR, ED etc) and had a hefty price tag to match, so it really should've been better.

So .. even though it might look appealing (especially with the apparent rise of the FX format), one shouldn't equate the 'better' technology, the constant aperture or the heftier price tag with anything meaningful .. yet. Wait and see!

I have the old 85-1.4 lens,  I can take very amazing pictures. I hope the new one it's better especially with SWM and IF. 

Enjoy it

Yves

RE: 24-120 f/4 @$1300-- I'm happy shooting with my Nikkor 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 that I bought cheap (I could buy ten+ for one new lens)--sharp and contrasty, little distortion, not too big, works great on my D700.  When I win the lottery, then maybe....

dear sir  

   i writing in reference to my command placed and the cheque of us$45000.00

please try to infor me if you have recieved my  consament 

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24-120 lense ? I am waiting available

JUST FOR INTEREST, I AM BASED IN CAPE TOWN, SUNNY SOUTH AFRICA.

BEEN A PRO PHOTO-GROVELLER SINCE '91.

MY COMMENT AS FOLLOWS:LIKE EVERYTHING IN LIFE,BUY THE BEST YOU CAN AFFORD AND THEN SHUT UP,BE HAPPY AND MAKE SURE YOU KNOW AND FOLLOW THE BASICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE PICS YOU PRODUCE WILL BE THE BEST THAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE GIVEN THE TOOLS IN YOUR POSSESSION.

LIKE MY DAD, WHO WAS IN THE AUTOMOBILE TRADE USED TO SAY..."A THIRD CLASS RIDE IS BETTER THAN A FIRST CLASS WALK"

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I have a Nikon D300S and I was wondering what is the best lens for it. I need just one lens for travelling. Looking into 28-300 mm VR lens. Is this a good lens for it? Second hand ok too? Thanks!

 I have a Nikon D5000 (AF-S  DX format) & hope to upgrade someday. 

I am looking for a  ___mm - 300mm lens for shooting my daughter during band performances at half-time.  Quality matters most to me.  I am totally confused now that I've explored the options!   

Which of the lenses  below is the better quality glass and is likely to take the best quality pictures?  I'm wondering if the f/3.5 would be more useful, although I'd have to save awhile to afford it.  (I have a 28-105mm f/3.5 and a Sigma 200mm f/2.8 )

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens

the new Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR (5.5x), or
 
the Nikkor 70-300mm 4.5 IF ED AF-S VR (4.3x) ?

Thanks for your input!!!

is the lense (28-300mm Nikon) conpatible with a Nikon D5000