Looks like Nikon is finally going to announce the long-awaited Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR Lens at the PDN Photo Plus Expo in New York, according to our friends at Nikon Rumors. Many Nikon fans have been complaining for years about not having a cheaper and lighter alternative to the superb Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II (see our Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II Review). Nikon has never had a 70-200mm f/4 lens in its history – a 70-210mm f/4 lens was produced way back in 1986, which was later replaced by a variable aperture 70-210mm f/4-5.6 AF-D version in 1993 (discontinued later). Canon has had its 70-200mm f/4 model since 1999 and an updated (current) IS version came out back in 2006. The Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS has been a very popular lens among the Canon user base ever since, because of its excellent price/weight/performance ratio. It will be interesting to see what the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR will offer.
It is also rumored that the new Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR lens will have a “new generation VR system”. For now I do not know what this truly means and what this new VR system does differently from the current VR II technology, but I am anxiously waiting for details from the official press release. If the VR system does turn out to be new, then we can expect minor updates to the high-end pro lenses fairly soon (Nikon will probably start from the expensive super telephoto lenses like 600mm f/4 first).
There is no information yet on price, weight and size, so it is hard to say how the new 70-200mm f/4G VR will fare against its bigger brother, the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II. Considering the $2,399 price tag and 3.39 lb weight of the latter, I am hoping to see something dramatically lighter and cheaper, hopefully in the $1,400-1,500 range. The price will hugely depend on performance and if Nikon delivers another outstanding lens that will rival the 70-200mm f/2.8 at f/4 like some of its f/1.8 lenses, then many of us might be disappointed by the introductory price of the lens. For me personally, the weight factor will be a huge deal. After carrying the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II to so many weddings this year, I want to have something dramatically lighter to use. Hopefully there won’t be a high price tag attached to a lighter lens body.
I am still hopeful that we will see a Nikon 300mm f/4G VR, along with an updated Nikon 80-400mm VR sometime next year. And the Nikon 400mm f/5.6G VR would be icing on the cake…or should I keep on dreaming?