(news and commentary)
Nikon continues its announcement-of-the-month tactic, this month with a few things that'll perk up some of the Nikon faithful. Maybe.
First up, we've got the long overdue 80-400mm refresh. The last lens that Nikon announced that wasn't AF-S was over 10 years ago, about two years after the 80-400mm originally shipped. Despite selling about 200,000 of these lenses--most in the AF-S era--Nikon seemed to drag its feet on ever creating the AF-S update. I count 25 lenses that got AF-S updates plus quite a few new lenses (14-24mm, 16-35mm, 24-120mm, 70-200mm f/4, and so on) that appeared before the 80-400mm finally got a built-in lens motor.
Rip Van Optical Winkle has finally awoke, though, and today Nikon announced the 80-400mm replacement. What's new in terms of specifications? The new VR system, AF-S, Nano coating, weather sealing basically. It's still 80-400mm and it's still f/4.5-5.6, though the optical formula is different and the published MTFs look much better. It's still a 77mm filter ring lens, with minimum focus of 5'9" (1.75m). With the D4, D600, D800, and upcoming D7100 cameras, you can use a TC-14E converter and still get focus. Weighing in at 3.3 pounds (1480g) and 8" in overall length collapsed, it's bigger and heavier than the original by a bit. Price is US$2700 and availability will happen later this month.
Along with the Awakening Zoom, we get two new Coolpix models, both interesting in some way. These are covered on gearophile.com now.