On March 5 of 2013, Nikon released the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G VR, the long awaited update to the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D VR that was released over 13 years ago as Nikon’s first lens to sport image stabilization (Vibration Reduction) technology. I have been impatiently waiting for this lens update for quite some time now for a number of reasons. First, it is the only Nikon budget lens that can reach 400mm focal length without teleconverters. Second, it is a very versatile lens with a huge zoom range, which can be quite useful for outdoor sports and wildlife photography. Third, it is a relatively lightweight lens one could hand-hold for extended periods of time, especially when compared to any of the Nikon super telephoto lenses. And lastly, the old Nikon 80-400mm VR had a very slow autofocus motor and it was almost unusable for anything that moves, making the Nikon 300mm f/4D pretty much the only “budget” telephoto choice. So this much-needed, long overdue update was certainly welcomed by many of us Nikon shooters.
I have a very unique Nikon D7100 – it is likely the first unit converted for infrared use – in the world. My D7100 is also likely the first to undergo two infrared conversions (more on this in a bit). I was fortunate to receive my D7100 from B&H as part of the first wave of product shipments. Apart from a night of putting the DSLR through its paces to ensure that there were no focusing problems or other issues, I didn’t have the D7100 for very long. For the many reasons Nasim outlined in his detailed D7100 review, and being very familiar with its predecessor, the D7000, I liked what I saw of this DSLR’s capabilities.
One of our readers, Christian Sasse, sent me a user review of the new Nikon 800mm f/5.6E VR lens that has recently been announced by Nikon. I have not yet been able to obtain one myself (still waiting for NPS to drop ship it), so I requested Christian to provide some information, along with image samples from the lens for our future section called “User Reviews”, where we will be publishing shorter reviews of camera gear sent by our readers. Below is a summary of his findings.
Big thanks to Nasim and his team at Photography Life for letting me post my short review of the Nikon 800mm f/5.6E that I recently acquired for my wildlife photography needs. Since I have been using the Nikon 600mm f/4 before getting my hands on the 800mm f/5.6 lens, I decided to compare the two lenses, with the 1.4x teleconverter attached to the 600mm f/4. But before I go there, I would first like to talk about size differences between the two lenses. Here is an image showing the two lenses side by side (Top: Nikon 800mm f/5.6E, Bottom: Nikon 600mm f/4):
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon D7100 DSLR that was announced on February 20, 2013, along with the Nikon WR-1 wireless remote controller. Although I have been shooting with the Nikon D7100 for about two months now, I specifically postponed the review, because I wanted to thoroughly test it and also make sure that I test at least two samples of the camera. I have been very concerned about Nikon’s latest rushed product launches with dust, oil and autofocus issues, so my intent was to examine the camera in detail and test all of its capabilities in various environments for this review.
After taking a long nap with 12-16 MP DX and FX cameras and letting Canon take the resolution throne with practically every newly announced camera, Nikon finally struck hard last year, when it announced the 36 MP full-frame Nikon D800 camera. Ever since, Nikon has been on a megapixel roll bringing one high resolution camera after another and not letting its competition come close. As of today, the whole DX line-up from entry-level to high-end cameras features 24 MP APS-C sensors, and the undisputed resolution king, the Nikon D800, still has no equivalent on the market. Looking back, Canon always had the edge over Nikon in resolution; it seemed like Nikon preferred pixel quality over quantity.
This long overdue review of the Nikon D3200 is based on my 2 months experience with the camera – first when it came out and later when then I received the Nikon D5200 for testing. Due to an extremely busy schedule and a huge number of lens and camera reviews that I went through in 2012, I did not get a chance to review this camera. So before I start working on any other articles, I decided to first post the Nikon D3200 review.
Nikon has a long history of making professional 70-80 to 200mm focal length zoom lenses, but aside from the very old 70-210 f/4 AI-S and AF lenses, it has never had an affordable and lightweight constant aperture f/4 model in its line. With its arch-rival Canon making a 70-200mm f/4L lens since 1999, and the high cost of the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II model, Nikon was often criticized for not providing an f/4 alternative. After many years of delays, Nikon finally announced a lightweight alternative to the f/2.8 version in October of 2012 – the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR, which is designed to work on both full-frame (FX) and cropped-factor sensor (DX) DSLR cameras.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 1 J2 mirrorless camera that came out on August 9, 2012, less than a year after Nikon debuted its mirrorless system with the introduction of the Nikon 1 J1 and V1. Along with the J2, Nikon also released the 1 Nikkor 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5-6 zoom lens, a very compact lens to complement the J1/J2 cameras. In this review, I will go over the features of the camera, talk about its pros and cons and compare it to other mirrorless cameras such as Sony NEX-series, Canon EOS M and Olympus OM-D E-M5. This is the first camera from the “Battle of the Mirrorless” series. The recently evaluated Nikon 1 V2 will be featured in the second part.
After many months of rumors of a budget full-frame camera, Nikon finally announced the Nikon D600 right before the Photokina 2012 show. Priced at $2,099 MSRP, the D600 is currently the cheapest full-frame DSLR from Nikon, around $900 cheaper than its bigger brother, the Nikon D800. The camera is designed for any kind of amateur and professional photography – from landscape and studio, to event and wildlife photography. In this review, I will not only provide detailed information about the camera, but will also try to answer the many questions and requests that we have gotten so far on it, along with comparisons to other DSLRs such as the Nikon D700, D800 and D3s.
While most of the features and components are borrowed from the D7000, the D600 is physically larger in size and comes with a brand new 24.3 MP CMOS sensor. And as you will see on the next pages of this review, with a native ISO range of 100-6400, the Nikon D600 provides pretty clean images throughout the ISO range for both daylight and low-light environments. Built to be affordable, it does not have the same robust autofocus system used on the D800 and D4 cameras, so it comes with an older 39 point AF system used on the D7000. Its shutter speed is limited to 1/4000th of a second and its flash sync is also limited to 1/200th of a second, which might be a disappointment for some photographers out there. However, it has 100% viewfinder coverage, 5.5 fps speed, which is faster than the D800′s 4 fps and has the same 3.2″ LCD monitor with 921,000 pixels used on the latest Nikon DSLR models. And movie fans will be delighted to see impressive 1080p video with uncompressed HDMI output.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR lens, also known as “AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR”, which was announced together with the Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX in June of 2012. The Nikon 24-85mm VR is an affordable consumer-grade lens targeted at photo enthusiasts that need a mid-range zoom lens with optical stabilization for everyday photography. It is an update to the short-lived Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED that was introduced in 2002 and discontinued in 2006, and it might also replace the older Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF that is still in production as of today. With an equivalent focal length of 36-128mm on DX sensor, it is better suited to be used on full-frame cameras. When the full-frame Nikon D600 budget DSLR was announced in late 2012, Nikon included the 24-85mm VR as a kit lens option, so I think we will be seeing this lens bundled with FX cameras in the future.
After testing a set of brand new 28mm lenses for my Nikon 28mm f/1.8G Review a couple of weeks ago, I was rather disappointed by the overall performance of the lens. Both samples that I tested exhibited visible focus shift and field curvature issues, which impacted performance in a “wavy” pattern. This weekend, I decided to give another Nikon 28mm f/1.8G a try and see if it has the same optical issues (borrowed from our team member Bob Vishneski).
To my surprise, the third lens sample performed much better in comparison to the first two. Here is the original chart that I published in my review: