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Along with the announcement for the Nikon D3100, 4 new lenses were quietly introduced:

  • AF-S DX 55-300mm VR II
  • AF-S 28-300mm VR II
  • AF-S 24-120mm f/4 VR II
  • AF-S 85mm f/1.4

The first one is a DX lens meant to complement the kit-lens with something longer than usual, reaching 300mm at the long end, which of course is equivalent to 450mm on a full-frame. This lens, along with two others, is equipped with Nikons latest VR II optical stabilization system which can provide an advantage of up to 4 stops over non-stabilized lenses. With a long lens like the 55-300mm which opens to F/4.5-5.6, this is indeed extremely useful.

The second lens is a full-frame long zoom covering 28-300mm. The maximum aperture starts at F/3.5 and ends at F/5.6. This long range covers a very broad range of subjects and can be used as a single-lens for travel or a backup lens that actually covers several shorter zooms.

The thirds lens covers the 24-120mm range with a  constant F/4 aperture. On a full-frame DSLR, this gives an ultra-wide field-of -view at the wide end and a short telephoto at the long end. This is also an excellent travel lens, covering more architecture, landscape and indoor subjects and less street and wildlife than the previously mentioned 28-300mm lens. Both offer Nikon’s VR II system and which one to choose will largely depend on personal photography style.

The final lens is the 85mm F/1.4 ultra-bright lens, something which is ideal for portraits due to the large maximum aperture and flattering perspective of that focal length. Nikon judged this one did not need stabilization, probably due to its bright aperture and intended use. Stabilization never helps for subject movements, only the photographer’s movements, so for portraits it is generally of little use.

The new NIKKOR lenses are scheduled to be available beginning September 2010, at the following suggested prices:

  • NIKKOR AF-S DX 55-300mm VR II – $429 CDN
  • NIKKOR AF-S 28-300mm VR II – $1149 CDN
  • NIKKOR AF-S 24-120mm f/4 VR II – $1349 CDN
  • NIKKOR AF-S 85mm f/1.4 – $899 CDN

Models purchased in Canada come with a five-year warranty.

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