Tag Archives: Nikkor lenses

Backyard Shootout: Nikon 500 f/4 VR vs. 200-500 f/5.6 VR

Can a $1400 zoom compete with a $8000 prime telephoto lens?

That’s the $64k question, isn’t it? When I saw that the new Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E VR was announced at under $1400 (check price here), I figured that either: a) I read that wrong, or b) it must be a compromise. Seeing as how I own the 500mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor, I figured I’d do the obligatory comparison, so here’s my backyard shootout:

[youtube_sc url=”https://youtu.be/OCZT26N_FT0″ title=”Backyard%20Lens%20Shootout:%20Nikon%20500mm%20f%2F4%20versus%20200-500mm%20f%2F5.6″ autohide=”1″] Continue reading Backyard Shootout: Nikon 500 f/4 VR vs. 200-500 f/5.6 VR

Nikon cuts prices on many Nikkor lenses

I received an email today from site sponsor B&H Photo indicating that Nikon has dropped prices on a large list of Nikkor lenses. It’s unclear as to whether these are temporary cuts, or are more long-term adjustments that reflect the relative weakness of the Yen against the US dollar.

Notable price drops include $400 reduction on the excellent 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS G VRII Nikkor and a $300 reduction on the 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS G VRII Nikkor.

 See the full list of Nikkor lenses with their new prices at B&H Photo.

Nikon Announces new 500mm and 600mm Nikkor Lenses

The new 500mm f/4E FL VR Nikkor weighs in at under 7 lbs.
The new 500mm f/4E FL VR Nikkor weighs in at under 7 lbs.

Nikon has announced updates to its 500mm and 600mm f/4 VR Nikkor lenses. The new lenses replace the original VR versions, which were announced in 2007. These new big Nikkors use fluorite glass elements to significantly reduce their weight. The 500mm f/4 E FL Nikkor weighs in at 6.8 lbs, and the 600mm f/4 E FL Nikkor is 8.4 lbs. That makes them currently the lightest 500/4 and 600/4 lenses on the market for 35mm format cameras.

Nikon has also updated the VR system in these lenses to add 4-stops of effective shutter speed, and introduced a “sport” VR mode, which should theoretically improve AF tracking of moving subjects. The lenses also gain electronic aperture control, which is intended to improve exposure accuracy during high-speed shooting, such as with the D4s DSLR.

Feature Comparisons

I’ve put together a simple table comparing each of these new lenses to its predecessor. Major differences are highlighted in green.

The new 500mm and 600mm f/4E Nikkors compared to their predecessors.
The new 500mm and 600mm f/4E Nikkors compared to their predecessors.

Continue reading Nikon Announces new 500mm and 600mm Nikkor Lenses

Nikon 1 for Macro Photography

The Nikon 1 system, when coupled with a macro lens, offers excellent opportunities for close-up photography.

One really fun application of the Nikon 1 system is for macro photography. The 2.7x crop CX format sensor offers some significant advantages to the close-up photographer, including:

  • Greater apparent depth of field
  • Longer working distances
  • Extra magnification when using true macro lenses

All of these points are important with close-up photography. Macro photographers can use all the depth of field they can get, and having a longer working distance means you don’t have to shove your lens right up against your subject. I got an email from a colleague the other day asking if I had any recommendations for a Nikon 1 macro kit, so I thought I’d test out the one macro lens I have: the 105mm f/2.8 AFS G VR micro-Nikkor. Continue reading Nikon 1 for Macro Photography

Two new wide-angle Nikkors announced

Nikon today has announced the release of two new wide angle lenses.

  • 24mm f/1.4 AFS G Nikkor
  • 16-35 f/4.0 AFS G VR Nikkor

These lenses are both designed for FX (full-frame) bodies, meaning that they will also work on DX (APS-C) bodies.  The 16-35mm adds an image-stabilized option to the wideangle zoom lineup, and it lists for significantly less than the 17-35mm AFS ($1259 vs. $1760 in the USA).

The 24mm f/1.4 AFS Nikkor is a long-awaited replacement to the 28mm f/1.4 AF-D lens that sells used for ridiculous prices (over $3000).  The 24mm f/1.4 AFS lens will allow photographers to have very creative depth of field options and incredible low-light performance, especially on a body like the D3 or D700.  The new 24mm f/1.4 lens has a suggested price of $2199 in the USA.
The good news here:  if you need a super-wide zoom that can accept 77mm front filters and don’t need the fastest aperture (ie, if you are a landscape photographer), then the 16-35mm VR is for you.  In addition, the new 24mm f/1.4 lens is priced considerably lower than the 28mm model it replaces sells for on the used market, so expect the price of used 28mm f/1.4 lenses to drop precipitously.