Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Announcement

Nikon has just announced a brand new lens, the Nikon AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR to expand its line of APS-C / DX lenses. This lens is meant to be an update to the existing Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G lens that was produced back in 2006 and discontinued in 2009. Interestingly, the Nikon 18-135mm was a kit lens for mid-range DSLRs like Nikon D80, which means that we should be seeing an announcement for at least one DX camera later this year (probably at the end of September). And since the Nikon DSLR entry and mid-range lines are fairly recent (D3200, D5200 and D7100), this lens might ship as a kit lens for the upcoming Nikon D400.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Optically this lens should be very good, since there is some Aspherical / ED glass in it and the range is not as long as on super telephoto lenses. The Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G comes with the latest generation VR as well, with up to 4 stops of compensation. Priced at around $600, this won’t be a hot seller on its own, given that the Nikon 18-200mm costs only a couple of hundred more and gives more range. That’s why I think that it will ship mostly as a kit lens to the D400.

Along with the 18-140mm lens, Nikon also announced a brand new speedlight – the SB-300. We have already covered the announcement in a separate post.

Nikon Press Release

MELVILLE, N.Y. – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens and the compact SB-300 Speedlight, both versatile and exciting tools to help capture amazing images and HD video. Ideal for shooting everything from portraits to landscapes, the 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR presents a great zoom lens option for DX-format D-SLR users. Sporting Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization, users will be able to capture sharp handheld photos and videos in a variety of shooting scenarios. The SB-300 provides a compact and easy-to-use adjustable Speedlight option for photographers who want to explore creative lighting at an affordable price point.

“Nikon’s system accessories are designed to let the user capture their memories in vibrant detail and tell compelling stories through imagery and HD video,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. “While the new 18-140mm lens presents a versatile and powerful lens option for DX-format shooters, the SB-300 Speedlight introduces the benefits of flash photography to a wide range of users, specifically those who use either Advanced Performance COOLPIX or D-SLR cameras.”

The 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR: A Versatile Zoom Lens for DX-Format Shooters

A valuable and practical asset for everyday photographers and enthusiasts, Nikon’s newest lens features a 7.8x zoom range that helps capture beautiful images and HD video from a variety of focal lengths. Whether shooting portraits, landscapes, travel or architecture, the 18-140mm offering delivers astounding image quality when shooting wide-angle or far-away telephoto. Equipped with VR image stabilization, the lens also features four stops* of VR image stabilization, helping to ensure sharp photos and video even in low-light situations or while handheld.

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is built upon core NIKKOR technologies designed to render photos and HD video with the utmost clarity and color reproduction. Constructed with one ED glass element and one aspheric lens element, the 18-140mm lens sports a seven-blade diaphragm for natural image blur and a Silent Wave Motor (SVM) that provides quiet and precise AF operation. Additionally, photographers can operate the lens using one of two focus modes, M/A (AF with manual override) and M (manual) for complete control.

The SB-300: Illuminate Creative Possibilities

The SB-300 Speedlight is small enough to fit comfortably into a shirt pocket yet it is built for the user looking to take flash photography to the next level. Providing more power and coverage than a built-in flash, the versatile and portable SB-300is a simple and valuable lighting accessory compatible with both Nikon D-SLR and Advanced Performance COOLPIX cameras. This new Speedlight covers a wide-angle 18mm in DX-format and operates via simple on-camera controls, making it easy for beginner photographers to use light to their advantage.

The SB-300 tilts up 120 degrees, allowing for the use of creative bounce flash to soften shadows and diffuse the flash, resulting in more flattering portraits and even exposures. For additional convenience, the firmware is upgradable through supporting D-SLRs, and this Speedlight is powered by two AAA batteries. Additionally, the SB-300features thermal cut-out protection to prevent overheating when capturing rapid flash images in succession.

Price and Availability

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens will be available in late August 2013 for suggested retail price (SRP) of $599.95**. The SB-300 will also be available in late August 2013 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $149.95**. For more information on NIKKOR lenses and accessories as well as other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

Pre-Order Links

If you would like to pre-order this lens, please see the below links to our affiliates B&H and Adorama.

  1. B&H: Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR – $596.95
  2. Adorama: Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR – $596.95

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Ernest/Ernie
    August 5, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    is nice to have the 18-135mm upgraded I was wondering if this lens would be a kit lens for the upcoming D400?

    • August 6, 2013 at 1:00 am

      Ernest, yup, that’s what I think will happen :) All entry-level and mid-level DSLRs have been updated in the last 12 months, so it is time for the Nikon D400!

    • 36
      ) Anno S.
      September 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      This lense is already available as a kit lense to the Nikon D7100. Planning to purchase but still waiting for some more in-depth review.

  2. August 6, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Looks like a great lens, at least on paper (and MTF curve data), but I’m a little disappointed. I understand that there are probably splendid business reasons for Nikon to go after consumer market, but how about the professionals? There are so many pro-grade lenses that Nikon is either missing or refuses to update… 50/85 1.2, new 135 f2, new 24-70, 300 f4 VR… I can go on and on. And it’s not just lenses. Frustrating.

    • 4
      ) Yoan
      August 6, 2013 at 4:04 am

      It’s not just pro lenses they’re missing. We’re still waiting for a wide DX prime, updated 17-55/2.8 and a new 50-150/2.8. DX isn’t just for beginners, Nikon!

      • August 6, 2013 at 4:54 am

        17-55/2.8 is a pro-grade lens. But that begs the question, why the heck release D400 or any “pro-level” DX, if you don’t have the standard lenses for it, like the 24mm or 70-200mm equivalents? – I feel like they’re operating on a different kind of logic :)

  3. 6
    ) EnPassant
    August 6, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Nasim! The release-date for the 18-135mm lens was August 9 2006!
    The just reviewed 18-35mm D lens was however indeed announced August 29, 2000.
    I guess they got mixed up! ;)

    Maybe the 18-140 will sell in kit with the D7100 as well? Just like the 18-200 do already.

    • August 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      Thank you for letting me know – I fixed the release date for the lens :)

      I think the 18-140mm will become a default kit for anything higher than D5xxx series…

  4. 7
    ) Da Vinci
    August 6, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I want to have such lens!

  5. August 6, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Im pretty sure this lens is awesome sharp and going to hit the bank!

    • August 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      Yes, it looks quite promising in terms of sharpness. We will know for sure once I test it in my lab :)

      • 35
        ) Mickster
        August 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        As far as price goes, i found the 18-105 was prob one of the sharpest kit lenses i’ve used.. and i can’t stand most of them. If the new 18-140 even matches this in terms of sharpness, then i’d be rapt … but i can’t help feel it prob won’t :/

        Randon Q :
        As for super wides for Nikon DX ..or lack of lenses, what do you think of the Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8, as this is now top of my list .. i dismissed the Sigma 8-16 for a number of reasons.

  6. August 6, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Not a bad kit lens, I’m sure. Nikon’s kit lenses are pretty decent, with relatively few flaws and reasonable compromises. The 18-105 is already pretty decent, and this new one might be even better. That said, what Nikon lacks is imagination. I would consider DX as a backup system (my main camera is the d800) if it wasn’t for the lack of interesting or good DX lenses. Primes are OK, the 35mm F/1.8 G lens is stellar, and the 50mm F/1.8G lens, albeit a full frame lens, is pretty darn good and small enough for any DX camera.

    When it comes to zoom lenses, however, we don’t have much to work with. There is a single 17-55 F/2.8 lens that is heavy, expensive and lacks VR. And then, there is… what? Basically nothing. Meanwhile, Sigma is on the roll, with the magnificent 18-35mm F/1.8 zoom lens. Or the new C (Contemporary) 17-70mm F/2.8-4 zoom. It’s astounding how unimaginative Nikon has become, especially considering its rich history in optics and lenses in general.

    • August 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Fully agree with everything you’ve said!

    • 30
      ) Nick C
      August 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      Agreed. Why this lens and why now? Specs are uninspiring (at least to these eyes). If the D400 does come and if it is truly an upgrade of the D300 with all the new bits and pieces – what does a consumer spec zoom get you? I’m not suggesting the 18-140 is a “bad” lens, just one that seems to be more tied to the past than the future.

      If the D400 is supposed to be a pro level DX camera, how about constant aperture f/4 zooms such as a 15-50 and 50-150, with ED glass and latest VR. Maybe a f/3.5 10-18 or thereabouts. It’s not unreasonable to dip into FX glass for longer lenses on DX, but there are some real gaps at the short and middle. I don’t see how an 18-140 addresses the real problem. Again, it might be a nice lens on its own merits, but it also means the R&D dollars that were directed to the 18-140 didn’t go to where the need was greater, imho.

      • August 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm

        Face the problem.

        The real need is to resove power of a new crop Nikon sensors
        such as d3200, d5200 and mostly no AA filter super sensitive d7100
        also coming d400

        that is huge 24 megapixels on tiny crop sensor

        its so tiny that is equivalent of 54 megapixels on full frame

        there is no such lens that can stand with these new crop cameras

        18-105 or anything else is just not sharp enough.

        so lets hope 18-140 going to solve THIS PROBLEM!

  7. August 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    ” … this lens might ship as a kit lens for the upcoming Nikon D400.”

    Can you hear me bouncing up and down and shouting: “GOODY GOODY GOODY GOODY!!!!”

    ??

    ; ))

    • August 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Let’s hope the D400 comes to life later this year :)

  8. August 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Crop sensor camera is okay especially if they going to make D400 somewhat less megapixels.

    So this crop DX lens 18-140 is going to be even more zoom than 70-200 2.8 VRII.
    because its going to be like 28-210 on full frame camera.

    AWEEESOMEEEE!!!

    • 16
      ) AM
      August 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      Awesome? f/3.5-5.6 vs f/2.8?
      Do you even realize that a 70-200mm on a DX body will give you a FOV of 140-300mm?
      You’re comparing apples and oranges.

      • 17
        ) AM
        August 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm

        Correction: a FOV of 105-300mm.

        • August 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm

          …some lenses lacks autofocus…
          and some people here lacks logic =)

          im not going to carry heavy weight full frame camera with heavy lens 70-200 2.8
          i better take crop sensor with 18-140 and get JUST SAME FOCAL LENS and same pictures
          for much less weight and money =)

          • 20
            ) AM
            August 7, 2013 at 5:31 am

            Different people, different logic. Nobody lacks logic here, you have yours, I have mine.
            It’s just that I would never trade off f/2.8 and better IQ for lighter weight, provided that I already shoot FF and have the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII.
            You can have the equivalent focal length, but a f/3.5-5.6 lens on a DX body will never produce the same pictures as an f/2.8 lens on a FX body, especially when shot wide open. If you knew some basic photography, you would have known that.

            • August 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm

              …basic photography…
              yeah thats where your logic belongs)

              i shoot at high ISO and my shutter speed is just fine)

    • August 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      oh oh

      by the way

      this awesome new lesn 18-140
      is not just covering the 70-200 2.8g vrII
      but also replaces 24-70 2.8g
      2 high end primes in 1 entry zoom body!

      with new ED glass and technology of Nikon in 2012 its possible!

      remember that new 70-200 f4 was sharper than anything ever on the edge and corners
      and was just as sharp as any best lens on center)

      i think this is going to be same story here…

      • 23
        ) AM
        August 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

        Man, the real Da Vinci must be rolling in his grave. You seriously need to consider attending photography 101. They will surely teach you that any lens with variable focal length is NOT a prime.
        Anyway, this new 18-140mm lens is probably a good lens, not great, but will never replace a high-end ZOOM such as the 24-70mm f/2.8 or the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II.

        • August 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm

          When i say DX prime i meant crappy 35 1.8g not a zoom

        • August 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm

          oh oh sorry, that was another topic i spoke about DX primes are crap.

          yeah i wanted to say here premium zooms. thats my misspelling)

        • August 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm

          yeah the 18-140 going to replace 2 premium zooms 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 vrII
          just in 1 lightweight and cheap DX lens.

          but this is only for DX crop sensor body. such as Nikon D7000, D7100, D400.

          other than that – people going to use those heavy 2 kilo lenses (weight and bucks).

        • August 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm

          me personally and many professionals
          such as Ken Rockwell http://kenrockwell.com

          they say that you need full frame sensor only for wide shots

          other than that crop sensor bodies are just what you ever going to need (ken rockwell’s words from his page).

          for me i can not use full frame for my work – maybe for studio people yes, for landscape people yes.

          but for me – for actions, paparazzi and all this – you can not carry heavy weight body and lens full day.

          you just need a DSLR no matter what is the sensor for that job. just look into the mirror and see target and bam bam shoot.

          also you get extra zoom for crop sensor.
          and you dont need the edge of the lens – edges are usually bad. especially on 70-200 vrII is good only on the center portion. the rest is blurry.

          no point.

          so this new lens is fantastic for every professional DX crop shooter!

          • 29
            ) AM
            August 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm

            LOL. Why don’t you or KR notify Nikon and Canon they need to stop making telephotos for FF?
            I believe nobody has told them they’ve been making useless telephotos for more than 6 decades.

  9. 19
    ) Luis
    August 6, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Strange for a D400 coming : no DX primes and 3 zooms in the same quality range 18-105, 18-140 and 18-200. Maybe they discontinued 18-105?.

  10. 28
    ) Raj
    August 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Nasim, when do you expect to test this lens? And what would you recommend to a travel photographer with a FF camera?

    • 32
      ) gm
      August 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Nikkor 24-120 f/4 VR

  11. 33
    ) Shibesh Roy
    August 20, 2013 at 3:52 am

    nice article.why this lens is so expensive?

  12. 34
    ) Krusty
    August 26, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Looks like many commenters here have fallen into the Rockwell trap. Sad.

  13. 37
    ) Satya
    September 16, 2013 at 8:02 am

    The variety of opinions are as fascinating as Nikon’s variety of lenses :)

    The 18-105 is a “decent” lens, = not great, not expensive, not for professionals. For most beginners and non-pro shooters it remains on a DX camera most of the time.

    That said, it has its issues for experienced shooters. I have read stories of the lens falling off due to the plastic mount (sounds like a bit of exageration though), which is addressed in this new model. It lacks ‘Active VR’ mode, which I’m not sure is addressed in this new model. It lacks that reach to 120mm or beyond when needed on rare occasions. That is a useful enhancement in this new model.

    My only complaint is the price. It sounds at least $100 higher than it should be. This one is definitely an affordable replacement for 18-200. I only hope the IQ is better than 18-200. This zoom range will satisfy 90% of my shooting needs (where 18-105 would meed about 75%) if the IQ is good.

    If a pro shooter is using the D7100, there is no point complaining about this lens. They will be better of spending extra money on FX lenses.

    Thanks.
    Satya.

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