Today, Nikon is celebrating the production of 70 million Nikkor lenses for their F and 1 mounts with the launch of the longest zoom ever produced for a DSLR. The new Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR is designed for digital SLRs with an APS-C sized sensor such as the excellent D7000 reviewed here. For those counting in Xs, this Nikkor lens has 16.7X optical zoom, matching a zoom range previously only possible with fixed-lens ultra-zooms. In 35mm terms, this is equivalent to a 27 to 450mm zoom lens, which of course does not exist!
The Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens has a very complex design with 19 elements – of which 3 are Extra-Low Dispersion – arranged in 14 groups to minimize distortion and aberrations throughout the zoom range. It features Nikon’s ultra-sonic in-lens focusing which makes it fully compatible with the entire Nikon DSLR line-up. Also includes is an advanced Vibration Reduction system to counteract camera shake, something which is essential when shooting hand-held towards the long end of zoom.
Along with the ultra-zoom DX lens, Nikon is launching the Nikkor AF-S 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5G VR FX lens for its full-frame DSLRs. This ultra-wide to medium zoom covers a 3.6X optical zoom range which was previously covered the the unstabilized AF 24-85mm F/2.8-4D IF. The new 24-85mm lens features the ultimate in stabilization technology with Nikon’s own Vibration Reduction system which can detect when the camera is mounted on a tripod and adapt to continuously stabilize while recording videos.
Despite is modest range, this lens is made of 16 elements in 11 groups, including one Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) element. This is because Nikon wants this lens to be extremely sharp and very well corrected against aberrations which is extremely important given the ultra-high resolution of Nikon’s latest full-frame DSLRs such as the Nikon D800E has goes away with the traditional anti-aliasing filter.
The Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR is scheduled to be available this month for $999 USD or $1050 CDN. The Nikkor AF-S 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5G VR is also scheduled for June but for $599 USD or $579 CDN. Now you know which side of the border to buy each of these lenses! If you cannot wait, preorders are already accepted here for the DX 18-300mm and here for the FX 24-85mm. This way you will be among the first to get these lenses but you wont be charged anything until your lens ships.