The Most Desired Future Nikon Lenses

One topic that many of us Nikon shooters often discuss between each other in local groups, online forums and various photography clubs, is lenses that we wish Nikon had. Sometimes a desired lens comes from our experience from using a lens from another brand, sometimes it is something that does not exist, but we wish existed to make our photography easier, more fun, etc. While Nikon has been doing a great job filling in the holes during the last several years, with lenses like >Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR, 24-120mm f/4G VR, 28mm f/1.8G, 50mm f/1.8G, 85mm f/1.8G and 70-200mm f/4G VR, there are still plenty of lenses that Nikon should have in its arsenal. In this article, I will go over the most desired future Nikon lenses, the ones that have not been released yet, but I really wish to see come to life soon. I guess you can also call the below a “wishlist” of unannounced Nikon lenses.

Nikon Lens Wishlist

1) DX LENSES

I will first start out with DX primes. While I believe the DX market will probably go away sometime in the future (as I pessimistically shared in my “why DX has no future article“), thanks to the fast growth of the mirrorless market and lack of attention to DX users from Nikon, there are still a lot more DX cameras out there today than FX. If Nikon wants to keep its DX line attractive for the next 5-6 years, it should not only develop great DX camera bodies, but also great DX lens options.

The current DX lens lineup is rather weak. Aside from a couple of excellent choices like 12-24mm f/4G DX, 35mm f/1.8G DX, 16-85mm DX VR, there is really nothing else to be proud of. The 17-55mm is excellent, but too darn expensive. Zoom lenses like the Nikon 18-300mm are too big and optically weak. DX users need more great primes and better zooms!

Good Ultra Wide Angle DX Primes

Nikon has pretty much no good ultra wide angle lens offer to DX shooters. Why not release something like 10mm f/2.8 DX, 12mm f/2.8 DX, 14mm f/2.8 DX, 16mm f/2 DX, 18mm f/2.8 DX? Make them cheap, make them good optically and people will buy them. VR would be an added bonus (hey, Canon has been adding stabilization to their wide angle lenses lately, so why not?). And please do not make them expensive, all up to $500 or so.

Nikon 24mm f/2G DX

A small, lightweight, budget 24mm f/2 DX lens would be great for DX shooters. 35mm is a focal length of choice for many photographers, so this lens would fit the bill for many DX shooters.

Nikon 17-55mm f/4G VR DX

Why not redesign the current 17-55mm lens with an f/4 version that does not cost an arm and a leg? Make it excellent optically, lightweight and small, add VR and put a price tag of $800-$1,000 and it will make a lot of DX shooters happy. This would be a great landscape lens.

Zooms Lenses: The DX Trinity

Ultimately, it would be great if Nikon could develop equivalents of Nikon 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses for the DX sensor. So a new “DX Trinity” with a Nikon 10-16mm f/2.8G DX, 16-50mm f/2.8G DX VR and 50-150mm f/2.8G VR DX would be ideal. These obviously won’t be cheap lenses to make, but Nikon should not price them higher than $900-$1,200. Otherwise people will choose FX glass instead, or will buy options from third party manufacturers.

Let’s talk about some FX lenses now.

2) FX LENSES

Nikon has a number of FX lenses that need to be updated as soon as possible. There are also many lenses that would be nice to add – from wide angle lenses, to super telephoto.

2.1) Wide Angle Lenses

Nikon has done a great job releasing some new wide angle lenses, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Nikon 16mm Fisheye

The current 16mm f/2.8 fisheye is too darn old. It needs to be replaced with a new model that is optically sharp, very little CA, excellent handling of flare (Nano coated glass will do). Price it at $800-$900 and it will be a winner.

Nikon 16-35mm f/2.8G

This can be either a 16-35mm or a 17-35mm lens for pros that need the quality and durability of a pro-grade lens. It will be heavy, it will be all metal and it will be superb optically. Nano coated glass, aspherical elements, rear focus with a protective rear element that is easy to clean. Landscape photographers will drool over this lens.

Nikon 20mm f/2.8G

The current Nikon 20mm f/2.8D could really use an update. Would be a great lens for those that need something wider than 28mm and do not want to spend over $500.

Nikon 24mm f/2.8 PC-E

I don’t care if it is f/2.8 or f/3.5 (the current 24mm PC-E is f/3.5), but we need an updated version of this lens that is sharp optically. The current version was clearly not designed for high resolution cameras like D800. Since we will be seeing higher resolution sensors in the next 3-4 years, Nikon should update this lens as soon as possible. And for the love of God, please make shift and tilt go in the same direction!

Nikon 24mm f/2G

Yes, we already have the 28mm f/1.8G, but it is 4mm too long on an FX body. Give us a budget 24mm lens please, because the focal length is ideal on a full frame camera like D600. If an f/2 version is not possible at $500 mark, an f/2.8 will do as well.

2.2) Normal Lenses

Nikon has pretty good normal or “standard” focal length lenses, but there are still some gaps to fill.

Nikon 50mm f/1.2G VR

The current 50mm f/1.4G is weak optically. I bought the 50mm f/1.8G and I love it. It is time for Nikon to bring 50mm back to life, with a pro-grade 50mm f/1.2 lens. Yes, it will be heavy, it will be sharp, it will have superb bokeh and it will make other photographers jealous and it will be expensive! But we still need it. Add VR to it and it will be perfect. Or almost perfect. I will take it either way…

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G VR

It is time for Nikon to refresh the 24-70mm f/2.8G with a newer version. We need better optics (the 24-70mm is too soft in the corners at large apertures) and we certainly need optical stabilization. The 24-120mm f/4 is excellent and a new 24-70mm f/4 (below) wouldn’t hurt, but we need a pro grade lens with the same durability of the current 24-70mm. This would replace the current 24-70mm f/2.8G.

Nikon 24-70mm f/4G VR

Canon has already done this with their EF 24-70mm f/4L IS model and it is certainly a good time for Nikon to respond. We need a cheaper version of the 24-70mm f/2.8, which will have excellent sharpness wide open, with the latest generation VR on top. This is a new generation lens, not a replacement for any prior Nikon lens.

2.3) Telephoto Lenses

Nikon has a great collection of super telephoto lenses that cost $5K and more. But we need more lightweight, modern and budget options.

Nikon 85mm f/1.2G VR

Canon has the 85mm f/1.2L and it is excellent, so Nikon should do the same. The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is relatively new, but it could really use more speed and VR on top of it. In fact, Nikon should stop producing anything longer than 35mm without VR. It does not cost a lot more to add VR, so why not do it on every lens when possible? This won’t be a cheap lens, but it will be in demand by professionals.

Nikon 200mm f/2.8 VR

The Nikon 200mm f/2G VR is excellent, but it is too darn expensive! An f/2.8 version would be twice lighter and it would be insanely sharp, priced at $1,800-$2K max. Not the lens for everyone, but it will have its audience.

Nikon 200mm f/4 VR

This would be a macro lens that is insanely sharp, with VR for those of us that like to get close without having to physically get close.

Nikon 300mm f/4G VR

This one is long overdue. The Nikon 300mm f/4D AF-S is one of my most favorite lenses. I have taken a lot of pictures with it and it continues to amaze me every time I use it. The 300mm f/4D couples very well with the TC-14E II and it is a superb lens for photographing birds. But it has gotten pretty old now and Nikon should replace it as soon as possible with better optics, Nano coated glass (hey the 70-200mm f/4 has it) and most importantly, VR. This lens desperately needs optical stabilization, especially for those low light situations. Desired price range would be $1,300-1,500 for this lens.

Nikon 400mm f/5.6G VR

Another lens that has been asked about for quite some time now. Canon has their 400mm f/5.6 “budget” super telephoto lens, so we need one too. Canon never added image stabilization to theirs, so Nikon should release one with VR and make Canonites lust for an IS version again! Oh, and please make it very sharp, so that it would be usable with the TC-14E II (560mm, yeah baby!) on the D600/D800/D4. $1,500-$2,000 price range would be ideal.

Nikon 80-400mm f/4-5.6G VR II

Yes, the current version has VR, but its autofocus is too darn slow for birding. We really need a faster, AF-S version of the 80-400mm with the newest VR technology. Add some Nano coated glass and keep the price the same and many of us will buy it right away!


Yes, the list is long and trust me – I actually cut it short! There are many more lenses that could make it to the list, but I will leave it up to you. Let me know what lenses you wish Nikon made and please let me know what you think of the list I compiled. What is your most desired lens from the above?


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Avatar of Nasim Mansurov About Nasim Mansurov

is a professional photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is the author and founder of Photography Life, along with a number of other online resources. Read more about Nasim here.

Comments

  1. Nasim, I think you nailed it on the head. The entire list of FX lens is something for sure that I have thought about at one point in time or another.

    If Nikon wants to stay competitive they really need to release a whole arsenal of lenses to keep up with Canon’s latest offerings.

    • Thanks Brian! I agree, we need more good lenses from Nikon :)

  2. 2
    ) mike

    + I would wish some new macro lens for fx :)
    150 or 180mm + vrIII would be great.
    Greetings, Mike

    • Mike, wouldn’t the 200mm f/4 do? :)

      • 9
        ) mike

        Yes, but I think @200mm it would be much more expensive?!
        If I could wish something more – an better version of the 70-300. Because of the less weight it would be great for landscapes :)

        • 38
          ) Stefan

          Sorry for the “intrusion”. :-)
          I do agree with Nasim for 200mm, but I also agree with Mike – it will be expensive. The current old 200mm micro is $1700. I wanted to get it, but all the time was hoping that very soon we should see a replacement. My setup?
          105mm + 2x teleconverter
          Sharpness-wise – excellent – no loss of quality (at least at my home testing) Losing 2 stops of aperture – true, but on micro we NEED more dept of field anyway, so 5.6 for start is not bad at all.
          I just ordered (it’s actually arriving today) the V1 kit (including the F mount adapter).
          I’m curious to test this setup. 105 x 2 x 2.7 = 567mm.
          Sounds good in theory, let’s see in practice.

          About the 70-300mm – it’s a very nice lens, but I found it soft after 220-240mm
          It’s excellent for low budgets though and for those who wants to walk light weight.

  3. 3
    ) Jay

    I think you are missing the 135 AFS 1.8 F2 or 1.8

    • Jay, that’s a good one, but would be pretty darn expensive! Probably in the $2K range…

    • Totally agree. The current F2.0 DC is old as the hills. Needs new nano coated glass, dump the DC as it confuses people and just adds to the price. Throw n VR if need be but keep it close to Canons 135 f2.0 pricing. This is a must have length for portraits

      • 19
        ) Peter G

        Grant,
        Must admit the DC does confuse. I never use it ..Nice lens, apart from that .

        • 136
          ) Adnan Khan

          How can it be confusing Peter ? there are F and R in capitol letters on the front meaning if someone wishes to control focus in front turn to F and in normal shooting set it to center meaning off. The outdoor portrait shooting will be normally as it will be set to R the subject will be sharp and background will have soft bokeh ,bringing out the subject more prominently.
          In Studio shooting most PGers set it to F ,they say it gives a bit of softer feel to subject as back ground is already under controlled light.

          • 137
            ) Peter G

            Well, it never seemed to show much difference for me. I had never noticed the F and R on the lens :-)

            If I wanted to take a portrait, I found my 300mm f2.8 or 500mm f4 worked well for me anyway .
            I dont have a studio either ..

            • 138
              ) Adnan Khan

              Yes ,the difference is subtle but in digital it is very obvious now as we can view the full photo ,in film days it showed at 3 ft size.
              I borrowed the 135 for F100 from a Pro while going on a trip with friends ,he said if you are shooting landscapes ,set it to off (in center) and if you wish to take portraits outdoor set it to R ,got great photos, though mostly all of them were printed in 4×6 or some in 8×12 size.

              I also like to take portraits at 200 and above and do not have a studio as I’m just a non serious hobbyist :)
              It just occur to me that an experienced guy like you saying it’s confusing and are using Nikon products since 72 ,heck! I was born in 77 :))

              The F and R at either end where the focusing control button is with focal range on both sides near the front element :)
              I’m not into portraits otherwise 135 is the lens to get if one can’t afford huge primes like 200,300 and 400 ,but they cream out the BG not give bokeh blobs which people like and that’s why most of them here want a 135 or 105 in 1.8 :) not knowing that they already exist and are superb lenses and I always found it out of stock at B&H ,one has to book n pay in advance and then wait :) and VR is not that important for it ,just shoot bursts of 6 or 7 and the middle one is usually OK :)

              I think many ppl. who have not used old lenses and which are still in production do not realize their potential . I always loved the 55mm 2.8 AI-s micro for my manual film cameras and it shows it’s potential on D800 ,Nikon has only new 105 micro VR to match this great durable glass only in IQ ,that’s why it is still in production since 1979 .

              You were talking about the 400 3.5 , well I think it’s time to bring back those classics in a new package with VR tech. as the new digital cameras can shoot noise free at ISO 1600 ,where the 16o0 ISO film used to be bit grainy , you must be using 400 to 800 fast films with that :)
              A 400 F4 or F5.6 VRIII would be great!

              cheers!

      • 40
        ) Stefan

        Ili neshto kato Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA
        http://www.photozone.de/sonyalphaff/500-zeiss_135_18ff

  4. What about a 200-400mm f2.8 VR with a built-in teleconvertor that works at a flip of the a switch? (as per Canon’s version)

    • Brian, not necessary…Nikon needs to address the issue with the lens at long focal lengths first. The lens is insanely sharp and accurate at short distances, but it really fails at anything far :( If Nikon could address that problem, they do not need the built-in teleconverter!

      • 53
        ) Jay

        The current 200-400 f/4 VR II is pretty sharp at 400 / infinity (at least my copy) – even in the corners. AF is on par with a 300 f/2,8 + 1.4TC and is slightly better than the pervious version and way better than the 80-400 or 300 f/4. Atmospheric conditions (haze, heat mirages, ect) do affect the long distance image quality, but no more so than the 500mm or 600mm. Reasonable expectations are almost import as technique when using long lenses.

        A 100-500 f/5.6 or updated 80-400 f/5.6 would be a great walk around wildlife lens. This is the real hole in nikon’s offering. Though I doubt that it would be engineered to rival the 200-400, 400, or 500 in terms of long range IQ. The 200-400 is still the go to lens for moving large subjects (think safari conditions) and near to mid distance birds from a blind or kayak.

    • Currently built into the body, DX mode on the full frame cameras. The insane mp count on the d800 gives plenty of cropping room.

    • 145
      ) Peter G

      How much money do you have ?

  5. 10
    ) Faz

    I completely agree with you nasim. FX range needs to be revisited by Nikon to stay up in the market. Canon has released some cheap and excellent lenses and hence Nikon should do the same. I am looking forward to 24-70mm 2.8 or 4 with VR.

    I hope Nikon is listening to us :)

    • Faz, let me rephrase that – Canon released some expensive and excellent lenses. ;) All the new primes are hugely overpriced even when you consider IS.

      • 41
        ) Faz

        Haha :)

      • 82
        ) Michael

        Yes, they are overpriced and not so good. The new Canon EF 28 mm f/2.8 IS USM and Canon EF 24 mm f/2.8 IS USM suffer from terrible vignetting when wide open…

        • Vignetting is something I can usually live with, Michael, and it’s a one-step process removing it. :)

  6. 11
    ) David

    The current 14mm f/2.8 fisheye is too darn old
    _______________________________

    Current Nikon fisheye is 16mm for FF and 10.5 for DX… there is no 14mm

    • 18
      ) Peter G

      Correct… Nothing wrong with the 16mm f2.8.

      I have one, as well as an 8mm f2.8 ( full circle) . Of course, some-one will say its not Auto Focus. No real problems with manual focus with an 8mm f2.8

    • Sorry, forgot to clear the cache after updating the post. I was talking about the 16mm AFD that needs to be updated with an AF-S version…

      • 30
        ) Peter G

        Why does 16mm f2.8 need AF-S motor ? Its not like its got a lot of glass to move around.

        Are you worrying about noise? The lens is so small anyway, better to keep it simple with the screw driver coupling.

        Nasim, somehow, I think you are one of these reviewers who wants a company to replace everything every two years .
        BTW..I dont work or are associated with Nikon. Just have used their product since 1972.

        • Peter, the 16mm f/2.8 is not without its problems (CA is pretty bad outside of the center frame), so a newer version with updated optics would not hurt. I never said that I want Nikon to replace everything. We have to be realistic about our expectations. This post is not called “what I want Nikon to do” – it is a wishlist of lenses that I and many others would love to see come to life someday. Some, sooner than later :)

          Happy holidays to you and your family!

  7. 14
    ) Achim

    Nasim,
    you are absolutely right!
    I am waiting for a super sharp Nikon 16-35mm f/2.8G landscape lens for my D800E too.
    And this lens needs to have a front thread for filter use.

    What i am missing in you list is the Nikkor 17mm f/3.5 PC-E !

    Best regards
    Achim

  8. 15
    ) Octavio

    Hi guys.

    I would kill for a 105 or 135 mm f1.8 VR.

    Happy Christmas!

  9. 16
    ) Rami

    Glad I’m not the only one dying for an updated 50mm 1.2! And the 24mm tilt-shift!
    I do hope someone from Nikon is reading this article!

  10. 17
    ) Pascal

    I’m currently a DX shooter and I have the 17-55 f2.8. This is a fabulous lens and I would never buy an f4 version of it even if its a lot cheaper. Yes this lens is expensive but you can get it for a decent price secondhand. That’s how I got mine. There are a lot of people who are upgrading to FX today.
    The 17-55 is my only DX lens and I won’t be buying any more DX lenses. I want to keep my options open to move to FX in the future. There is plenty of chose in the FX range of lenses. Next to my 17-55, I have the 50 mm f1.8 and the 105 Micro f2.8. Both are great FX lenses that work great on a DX body. Both of these FX lenses will work great on a FX body too.
    The only lens I’m currently missing is an existing one. It is the 70-200 f2.8; great lens but a bit too expensive for me. The new f4 version has an attractive price but its not f2.8. I’m very interested in the new Tamron. This might be a great option at a good price but I was told that Tamron’s service is very bad.

  11. 20
    ) Farhad

    Salam Nasim,

    Great topic, great analyze as usual.
    I’m totally agree with you, it would be excellent to have 24-70mm f/2.8 with better optics and off course with VR. I wonder whether we’ll get 50mm and/or 85mm f/1.2 primes soon.
    I’d like to ask your opinion, do you think that Nikon will release any of these 3 in 2013?
    I’m patiently waiting to use them on my D800.

    Regards,
    Farhad

  12. Hey Nasim what about the 70-200 f/2.8 with the the 5 stop VR technology incorporated in the 70-200 f/4? :) Is the new VR system worth an upgrade for the current 70-200 f/2.8?

    • Forgot to mention my Nikon upgrade wish list!
      1. 24-70 f/2.8 VR
      2. 24-70 f/4 VR
      3. 300 f/4 VR

      I completely agree with you on the fact that the DX line is very weak. Personally I feel only the 16-85 DX VR is a lens worth buying in the DX range. The 12-24 DX is way to pricey for a DX lens as putting in some more money can fetch you the 16-35 f/4! Both my macro & telephoto lenses are FX lenses as I have followed your advice & not invested in DX lenses (16-85 being the only exception).

  13. 23
    ) dina

    Can’t agree more
    Hope they read the article and listen to what people need and badly wants

  14. 25
    ) Mustafa

    Here is my wish list, I dont want to envy carl-zeiss or canon anymore :)

    - Nikon 15mm f/4 FX, Non-Fisheye,
    - Nikon 400mm f/5,6 FX, VR
    - Nikon 105mm f/2 FX, Manual Focus, 1:1 Macro, Non-VR

    I am ready to comprimise for corner sharpness; vignetting; distortion… anything that can be fixed in post process; But expect competitive pricing, good build quality, and handling.

  15. 26
    ) Chris Harrison

    Sigma released a rather excellent DX format 50-150 2.8 a few years ago, hardly anyone bought it. I had one and it was an incredible lens, very compact so great for travel. I’ve always been mystified as to why that length on crop has never taken off, especially given how popular 70-200 is on FX.

    • 39
      ) Matias

      Been always a DX shooter since my first DSLR six years ago I must say that to me is mystifying why aside from the Sigma 120-300 there is no other current f/2.8 (or even f/4) FX lens in the 100-300 range, nor can I understand the popularity of the 70-200 with FX shooters.

      Maybe is that we (DX shooters) are spoiled by our first teles (55-200 most probably), but to me the 50-150 lens just felt short, so I chose to buy a 70-200 instead (the Sigma f/2.8 OS) for my D7000.

      Shall I ever go to FX, I will buy the 120-300, or if I can’t afford it I’ll have a x1.4TC permanently attached to my 70-200. But either way I certainly wouldn’t like to see my tele reduced to a mere 45-135 (in DX terms).

      • 97
        ) Agus

        You really don’t have a single clue about lenses, focal lengths and what they are meant to achieve do you?
        You also need to go right back to school on focal lengths and so called “crop factors” because your reasoning is so fundamentally flawed as to be just plain laughable.

        • I can’t see that your comments are justified and your derision is quite inappropriate.

        • 104
          ) Matias

          First off I’ll acknowledge that my response may well suffer from poor wording and I accept that I can sound offensive (sorry, english is not my native language).

          My point with my comment in the end was about two things:
          -Field of View preferences depend on what you shoot, and how you shoot it.
          -The FX user is very different from the DX user.

          Also the fact is that focal length is just a physical property of a lens, and what changes with sensor sizes is the field of view. And in that respect to talk in FX terms is just a convention out of tradition. I’ll venture to say that when the time come that us (young photographers) who grew from DX cameras outnumber those who have a film past, will mark a change in that talking in DX terms will become the norm.

          Aside, until the day that I’m allowed to be inside a equestrian jumping course, I’ll prefer a 70-200mm DX field of view rather than it’s FX field of view :P.

          • 105
            ) Paul

            I think there is a mistake. Repeat “their” phrase – “camera changes, the lenses remain”. Three years ago I wasn’t even thinking about the FX camera … Now I’m also not going to buy it. But … Two years ago I bought my Nikon D7000 for $ 1300. Today, Nikon D600 (FX) sell for less $ 2000, and the next day she was still cheaper. Weight and sizes similar to D7000. How do I know when I want to change the camera, it will probably already be FX more accessible. This goes. Why do I recruit a great park DX lenses? FX lenses will arrange with DX cameras. Not to mention that the FX lenses with DX cameras gives the best results (less vignetting, resolution better because we did not deploy the extreme boundaries of the lens, where to get a normal result of the problem.)

            • 107
              ) Matias

              FX is becoming more affordable, yes, but always DX will be even more affordable. But that is only part of the point. Every time you choose you make compromises, and this also applies to cameras.

              Choosing between DX and FX is deciding which set of the compromises of each system you prefer. The big argument to have DX-only lenses is that by buying FX you could be making conflicting camera-lens compromises. For example choosing a less expensive and smaller camera makes a strong case for also having small and inexpensive lenses.

              In the end all boils down to making a choice basically between price, IQ and size. And both DX and FX present different compromises, but Nikon would greatly benefit for not making lack of lenses a DX compromise (as it leaves them vulnerable to having another company steal their costumers if they offer a more complete DX system).

          • Matias , your English is fine as much as it remains relevant :) , it’s not my native language too!

            The Focal Length will remain the same either on DX or FX, think of it as a hardware thing and your DX camera as having a non standard 35mm sensor will take an already 1.5 times cropped image from the actual focal length of the image circle ,hence creating an angle of view of a FX lens that might take that much focal length to achieve the same angle of view.
            For example a shot ,shot at 300mm will be actually 300mm but on DX sensor it will be shot as cropped at 450mm (multiply 300 by 1.5 = DX cropped focal length) now this is the “software” thing :) , in other words 450mm focal length is what a full frame camera will need to achieve the same exact frame , DX helps on the tele side.

            The DX lenses are designed to create smaller image circles for smaller sensors ,if attached to a full frame film camera there will be black line around the frame, though now most modern FX digital cameras can auto switch to built in DX mode, the 35mm 1.8 DX is actually a 50mm on FX :)
            So, whether you want a 70-200 or whatever your desired dream lens you cannot change physics :) but can bypass it by having an already smaller sensor to generate optical effect :) ,you are actually asking for 46-133mm zoom or to be flat roughly a 50-135 FX will be around 70-200 DX in cropped size :)

            The 18-200 DX and 28-300 FX zooms are the same thing (not by focal length) only that one is made for actual standard 35mm format and one creates a smaller image circle for the smaller sensor :) ,the 18-200 mounted on FX will show 200mm and will “crop show” 300mm on DX body.

            BTW there is nothing wrong about using FX lens on a DX body ,i’ve used manual focus AI-s lenses on DX bodies ;)

            cheers!

          • 110
            ) Paul

            The difference here is obvious – it is less noisy at high ISO and large Dynamic range photography. A DX eventually supplanted Mirrorless System Cameras.

      • 106
        ) EnPassant

        You may be very strong and rich and not care about weight and price. But for most people the difference in price and weight between a Sigma 70-200/2.8 and the 120-300/2.8 can’t be ignored. The 120-300/2.8 is twice the price and weight of the 70-200/2.8 lens. Shooting handheld with the 3 kg 120-300 is nothing I would do for any longer time. The 70-200/2.8 is much more manageable at 1.5 kg. Though personally I would use a 70-300 zoom at only 600-750 g. If better and faster optics are needed at the long end then either use a DX-camera or crop from a full frame camera like D800 with 36 MP comes to the same thing.

        But if you are thinking about the 120-300/2.8 maybe you should get it as you will like the additional rech it will give you on your DX-camera! And when the day comes when you upgrade to FX Sigma have just the lens for you, the 200-500/2.8!! That it cost more than six times the price of the 120-300/2.8 and weigh 16 kg I am sure will be no problem for you, rich and strong guy! I bet you can swing it easy and hold it steady as a rock in your hands! :D

        I think you get the point! ;)

        DX will always have a tele advantage in long reach with less weight and lower price compared to what is needed to get the same framing at same aperature with a FX-camera.

        I do however agree with the point I think you were trying to make. With DX it is not much point restricting a telezoom to 135 mm only when extending it to 200 mm will not be punished with so much additional weight as it would for a FX-lens.

    • 108
      ) EnPassant

      As answered below. 150 mm seem very short on a DX tele zoom when the cheapest DX tele kit zoom is reaching 200 mm.

      Looking at the current Sigma 50-150/2.8 that added OS and pro build and now is only 90 g lighter than the Sigma 70-200/2.8 the only advantage is that 50-70 mm that can be important for some users and a slightly lower price. Though optically excellant according to tests one can but wonder why Sigma bothered making such a lens.

      Either Sigma could have updated the predecessor with OS and slightly better build to keep the price lower and weight under 1 kg. Or if they wanted make such a big pro lens then should have tried going all the way and made it a 50-200/2.8.

  16. Excellent suggestions, and pretty much nailed everything on my wish list. However, having just sold my backup D7000 camera to make room for a D600 and having little use for DX, I reluctantly parted with my 35mm f/1.8 DX lens as well. Nikon needs to follow the recent introduction of the 28/1.8, 85/1.8 and 50/1.8 G primes complete the second-tier yet optically superb FX prime line with a 35mm f/1.8 G lens of comparable optical quality.

    I’d also love to see a very fast 135mm portrait lens with VR to top Canon’s fine 135mm f/2 and replace the old DC lens.

    An affordable 15 or 16mm fisheye with autofocus would be nice as well; for the time being I don’t find Nikon’s offerings desirable or worth the investment, and have settled for an inexpensive manual focus Zenitar 16/2.8 for the past few years. Having used Canon’s 15mm f/2.8 fisheye and the optically excellent Samyang 8mm f/3.5 DX lens I’d jump at a reasonably priced full frame fisheye from Nikon.

  17. 28
    ) MJohn

    Dear Nikon, Please read all these!!!!

  18. 29
    ) Tony

    Hi Nasim,

    Great suggestions and I do hope Nikon is reading this thread! I have a few additions though:

    To complete the recent prime lens refresh, Nikon should introduce a 35mm f/2 (or f/1.8, but I bet they’d do a f/2 to avoid confusion with the DX version). VR would be a bonus. I have high hopes this will happen given Canon’s recent announcement of the 35mm f/2 IS and also Sigma’s 35mm f/1.4.

    On the telephoto end, 300mm f/4 VR and a 80-400mm VR II replacement are, as you said, loooooong overdue. However, instead of a 400mm 5.6, I’d prefer a 400mm f/4 (VR of course) which would give a 560mm f/5.6 (with the 1.4x) that can be shot wide open.

    Tony

    • 32
      ) Thierry

      I also have a FX 35mm f1,8 or f2, and the 300 mm f4 refresh with VRIII on top of my wishlist.

      Many thanks Nasim for this.

    • 33
      ) Mustafa

      Tony,

      400mm f/4 much better, but with recent FX bodies better low light performance and f8 autofocus ability, I assume many people will be ok with budget 400mm f/5,6.

      mustafa

    • 36
      ) Thierry

      Tony, I have the same wishlist in FX: updates of the 35mm f2 and 300mm f4.
      I wonder why nasim did’t mention the 35mm f2update

  19. Hi Nasim
    as far as I know, a 16-85 f/4 should be released soon.. At least rumors are out there since a while..
    For everything else, I agree with you, shorter zoom and/or better primes is the way to go, both dx and fx.

  20. 35
    ) Mike

    I don’t see myself buying anything from Nikon soon after the way they priced the D600 and then cut the price after their best customers went out and bought that camera. They did the same with some recent lenses as well. It only taught me to not trust their pricing. Lesson learned. I won’t be buying anything soon from Nikon. I will keep the glass I have for now and take my time with any changes.

    • 50
      ) HomoSapiensWannaBe

      Yeah, I feel the same way, plus having to clean the D600 sensor multiple times due to internal dust!
      I could buy the 70-200/4 VR now, but won’t because of reasons you stated.

      In the next year, I will keep an eye out for the Sony A99, 3rd party lenses from Sigma and Tamron, and other options.

  21. I love primes but for travelling “light” with one body (50 1.4 is always there)

    I would certainly welcome an 80-400 with faster focus and VR III
    Or
    Sigma made a very tempting range of 150-500 having very nice n sharp optics but both copies had issues with infinity focus ,if “Bigma” can do it ,I think Nikon can do it much better :)

  22. 42
    ) William Jones

    I have worn out my copy of the original 80-400 lens. Hate to spend money on another one until they release the AF-S version (VR III perhaps?). While the old pro bodies (D3X and D3S) could handle the focus fast enough on the current version, the newer bodies focus too slow, so AF-S is a must. It would be nice if they released a 50-500, however I doubt they ever will. I hate having to carry two bodies when I used to get away with just one.

  23. 43
    ) Stefan

    I wonder – why the “holy trinity” is as it is now?
    I mean I do have the lenses and I know what they do and why. But thinking, for me it would make better sense to have those different way. How about:
    15-50mm 2.8
    50-150mm 2.8
    And you can add a fast 150-300mm 2.8
    How much bigger similar lenses would be – I don’t think much. More expensive – not necessarily.
    And although I appreciate the range of 24-70mm, it’s still not quite there – sometimes you miss the wider end for landscapes, sometimes you miss the longer end for portraits.
    15-50mm would be a perfect lens for any landscape work. And 50-150mm will be perfect for any portrait work.
    70-200mm is a gem, but I do miss the 50-70 range a lot and I need to swap lenses all the time or have two bodies. With 50-150mm I wouldn’t.
    And you rarely need 150-200 for portrait shots. If you need longer zoom – there comes 150-300 – for wildlife, sports, etc.
    To me those lenses make much more sense. Even if it’s not 15-50 but 15-40mm or 15-45mm (because you have the 50 on the other lens).
    What the others think about this?

    • 61
      ) John

      24-70 is designed to be a walkaround lens though, assuming you’re not going to be photographing dedicated landscapes and zooming in to strictly portraiture.

    • 79
      ) Graham

      “70-200mm is a gem, but I do miss the 50-70 range a lot and I need to swap lenses all the time or have two bodies.”
      I could not agree more. I often wish my 70-200 went at least down to 60mm, for longer landscape work. So how about a fresh 60-180 VR3 of maximum quality and reasonable weight? Allied with a 1.7X it could also replace the lighter 70-300, that in any case is not quite up to standard at the long end, but remains far lighter to carry than the big 70-200. (If you ever need that, who is going to buy the f/4 as well?)
      Any chance of a 21-105 f/4, or are the differences irreconcilable between W/A and Tele, at the highest quality?

      • 81
        ) Stefan

        As there is 24-120mm and it’s a nice lens, I don’t think we’ll see 21-105mm. Although Canon have 24-105mm.
        What I suggested was to replace the Trio (14-24, 24-70, 70-200) with Duo (15-50, 50-150) and only add over 150mm if you need it, as it’s not for everyday shooting (unless you’re not a bird photographer).

        • 133
          ) JR

          Excellent ideas, Stefan!!! I echo each one of your feelings about the current “trinity”.

          On he other hand, Nikon is having a difficult enough time making the current lenses meet the demanding spectations of their user base. It’s not like they’ve mastered the art of making the “perfect” lens. They have to learn to walk before they try to run; and undertaking a completely new lens lineup may not be in the company’s best interest.

    • 93
      ) Sebastiano

      Hi Stefan,
      it is a good suggestion. I like making “long distance” portaits, to people who are not aware to be photographed so they tend to be “natural” and relaxed.
      Currently I couple my 80-200 to my DX body, but returning to Full Fram (I come from 35mm film SLR :) still the 70-200 f/4 will not be long enough.
      I will need 300mm, but for this style of photography a prime lens is not the smart gear you can use. The benefit of a zoom is the most flexible choice.
      So a 150-300 f/2.8 will be great.
      Yes, I could currently couple a TC17x to a 70-200 f/2.8 (Nikon, Tamron or Sigma) but Tamron has a 120-300 f/2.8, so why Nikon shouldn’t have a comparable range and speed lens?

      Most of all, a 150-300 f/2.8 coupled to a TC2x will allow a 300-600mm f/5.6 range, that I think will be much appreciated by sport & wildlife photographers.

      • 94
        ) Stefan

        I just think that range like:
        15-50mm
        50-150mm
        150-300mm
        would suit better to many people than the “standard”
        14-24mm, 24-70mm & 70-200mm

        • 95
          ) Christian

          Couldn’t agree more. With high resolution sensors readily available it would be nice to optimise those lenses for centre sharpness to allow for cropping. In near future 100 MP or more sensors will be possible.It will be intersting to see if we also see a change in sensor design, instead of RGB maybe RGB + BW pixels for low ligh or non uniform pixelel size with smallest pixel size at the centre.

  24. 44
    ) xpanded

    Great article – I hope Nikon is reading it.

    I would appreciate it very much if all Nikkors had VR. If it is too difficult/expensive on the f:1.4 then at least on the f:1.8. IF Nikon released a 50mm f:0.95 without VR I would not make too much fuss though ;-)

  25. 45
    ) Peter Looper

    I am patiently awaiting the updated 300mm F/4 VR3 AFS that will work with my TC-14E II. I may be tempted by a 400mm F/5.6g VR3 AFS though if they announced it sooner.

  26. 46
    ) John

    As long as we’re at it, I wish for an 8-500mm f/1.2 VRIII with macro ability, zero CA and zero corner softness with a limiter switch for not going below 14mm on FX for under $500. Oh yeah, it should take 77mm filters.

    • 59
      ) Peter G

      And sell for $50.00:-) At least, you are writing this ” tongue in cheek”.

      However, from some of the ” wishes ” I see here, it appears that some people want everything in one lens, and they want it for nothing or, at maximum $0.01 :-)

    • 102
      ) Mark

      Why would you need the filter thread?

      Surely the polarizer dial on the lens and auto configuring piezoelectric gradient nd functionality would take care of that… duh.

      • 103
        ) John

        LOL! You’re right, I don’t how I overlooked those obvious lens inclusions.

  27. Hi Nasim – you talking to me from the soul. At the telephoto zooms Sigma has the edge. Sigma has a 150-500mm in the program – and it’s affordable! Tamron 24-70mm VC – everything that Nikon does not have. I am not a professional – so I would like to buy good and cheap lenses – if Nikon in these segments which would. So it remains on my D800 at 28mm – 50mm – 85mm and 105mm – and my 70-210mm from the 90s. Let’s see what happens.
    A happy new year !

  28. 48
    ) Chris Zeller

    Please make the 16-35mm f2.8 able to take 77mm. I don’t know if this is possible but at least 82mm filters. I love the 14-24mm but its major weakness is in using polarizers and split ND filters. I’m considering the 16-35mm but I would already have it if it were an F2.8.

    • 90
      ) Peter G

      Just wondering how you plan to use a polariser succesfully at 14mm ?

  29. I’m not sure about the 24mm f3.5 PC-E having problems of sharpness. My understanding is that its central sharpness is exceptionally high at f5.6 but far corners are soft. Counter-intuitively and notwithstanding diffraction if you stop it down as far as f16, centre sharpness is still excellent and far edge sharpness is very good. The further reaches of tilt should also be avoided but with these constraints it is not only very sharp but also offers unique capabilities.

  30. 51
    ) gianpaolo

    35 f1.8 or 2… Small, fast focusing. Ideal for street photograpfy. Actual 35d is awful.
    The same for dx: 23/2 very small. Vr is nice but not eesential (many moving subjects)
    Happy new year to all!

  31. 52
    ) Jason

    I’ve been wanting to get into wildlife photography, but can’t afford a 5k long prime lens. I would love a 300-400mm sharp f4-f5.6 prime in the $1500 range.

    Thanks for the wish list hopefully Nikon is listening! :)

    Jason

  32. 54
    ) andre

    16-50mm f/2.8G DX VR ……what would be the big difference
    between 17-55mmf/2.8 DX
    except for vr i cant see why this would be soo much better?

  33. 55
    ) Marsha

    I ended up buying the D700 in July as the D800 was out of stock and the D600 wasn’t out yet. The only lens I got was the 24-120 and have been “anxiously” waiting for Nikon to release newer FX lenses. A nice, fast, mid-range (cost) 120-400 would be really nice – am considering the one that Sigma has but it is quite pricey.

  34. For DX, I only want:
    1. 50-135mm f/2.8, VR, DX, with fast and precise autofocus (or 45-135mm);
    2. 16-50 f/2.8 VR, DX, with fast and precise autofocus (or 16-45mm);
    3. 16mm f/2 DX;
    4. 24mm f/2 DX.

  35. 57
    ) Verm

    How about a super-telephoto DX bird lens while we’re dreaming. Maybe a 600mm f/4 DX that’s lighter and lets you get further afield. How much more compact do you think this could be made?

    200-600 f/4 DX VR3 anyone? If DX has a serious future, I think the reach advantage is one of the reasons why.

  36. 58
    ) Vie303

    Why can’t Nikon make better looking lenses? The lenses Nikon make have really long barrel! 24mm and 50mm1.8g that i just bought (great lens but ugly on the body!!)

  37. 60
    ) gregorylent

    redo the 50mm 1.4 please, mine is not that great

  38. 62
    ) James

    Only one question: Why 24-70 f/4 when there is a 24-120 f/4?

    Lighter? Better optically? Both? Other?

    Thanks.

  39. 63
    ) Sudharshun

    Hi Nasim, My most desired lens at this point of time is 24-70 2.8 VR built with solid metal. And a 50mm 1.2 with great optics.

    • 64
      ) Ben

      Me too! I need both of those. My old 50 1.4D and 1.8D both give much better bokeh than the new G versions. The 50 1.2 needs be sharp enough for my D800E and still have nice bokeh. I’m holding off on buying a Nikon 24-70 until it gets refreshed.

  40. 66
    ) Paul

    I think, that would be very good cattle 35mm/1.8 for FF. Old 35/2 is not so urgent, and expensive. New 35/1.8 for DX only.
    I have a DX camera, but I decided to buy FF lenses only with the increase in production and reduction of FF cameras at them prices. Do not be surprised to see in the future amateur FF camera for 1300 – 1500 $. Cameras disappear – lenses remain.

  41. 67
    ) Julian

    Nasim,

    Do you think the Nikon 70-200 2.8 vr2 will be updated to vr3 anytime soon? I was considering purchasing but being an accountant wanted to minimise any fall off in resale value.

    Julian

  42. 68
    ) Biho

    A 150mm f2.8 VR macro lens would be great. There is a big gap between the current 105 and 200 macros. Sigma already filled this gap with excellent 150mm. Maybe also re-introduce newer versions of 28-200 and 70-180 macro.
    Finally something from my imagination, a FF lens 20-105 f4 and a portrait zoom lens that has 4 “clicks” at 50, 85,105,120mm only !

  43. 69
    ) baka

    Nasim,

    Great informative articles. Thanks!!

    I’m in the market for a new nikon lens which I want to use for a combination of portraits and wildlife photograpy.

    I own a D7000 with the 18-105mm kit lense and I’ve been window shopping for months to find the perfect lense. Initially I was thinking about getting the 18-300 superzoom, because it looked promising. I decided against this after reading some reviews about this lens’ optical performance accross the zoom range.

    What are your thoughts about pairing the new 70-200mm f/4 on a DX body? Is it a bit of a waste? Af far as I understand it goes to 105-300mm on a DX body, which should enhance it’s use for wildlife photography?

    Thanks again for the articels!

    • 87
      ) Braden

      Hi Baka,

      I too like you were once considering the 18-200/18-300 Nikon superzooms. I also found their performance to be too much of a compromise despite being a ‘one lens does all solution.’

      I would leave the professional advice to Nasim (his 70-200 F/4 review should be out sometime soon) but I can give you my thoughts, however they are worth what you paid for them : )

      I have a D3100 and a few days ago picked up a 70-200 F/4. I never once thought it was going to be a waste to put it on a DX body. This is a lens that should last many years and if I ever make the move to FX (more than a dream now thanks to D600 pricing) than it is a lens that will complement and be able to perform at that higher quality level. Plus even on a DX body the resolution, AF speed, sharpness are all top notch. Plus there is no vignetting and even better corner performance! The weight of 70-200 F/4 on the D3100 is much different to the balance of the 18-55 kit lens but with some more practice and thanks to the new VRIII handholding for shots is no trouble at all (even I have a good hit ratio down to 1/20 sec at 200mm). I would imagine with that lens on the D7000 it would feel ever better and more balanced.

      With all that said depending on how much you want to spend, there is the 70-300 F/4.5-5.6 that is a real bargain, however for me I chose to spend more for some better performance and quality. Everyone is different and has to weigh their options and situation accordingly! Thanks to sites like this the researching process is much easier!!!

      Regards,
      Braden

  44. 70
    ) Gerald

    I’m on FX (D800) and currently own zooms in the “F4-range”: 16-35/4VR, 24-120/4VR and some primes (50/1.8, 85/1.8, 105/2.8 Macro). The reason for me to have the zooms in the F4-range is mainly the weight of theses lenses in comparisation to the 2.8-range zooms. What I would like to have is a perfect tele-zoom as addition (I currently have a AF-S 70-300 VR, and I’m not happy with it!): I love the VRIII of the new 70-200/4, it does unbelievable things ;-) – but 200 at the long end is to short me (120 – from my 24-120 – and 200 is not a big difference), the 200-400/4 VR is much too heavy an too expensive, so a 100-300/4VRIII would be perfect!!! Nikon has already a patent for it: http://nikonrumors.com/2012/05/19/nikon-100-300mm-f4-full-frame-lens-patent.aspx/. Nikon please please please bring out the 100-300/4VRIII ASAP!

    • 72
      ) biho

      You have indeed a very good selection of lenses. You can get the 80-400 or wait for an Af-S version but the 100-300 f4 would be perfect.

    • 74
      ) Thierry

      I have a very similar equipment: D800, 24-120/4 VR, 50/1,8G, 85/1,8G and 70-300 VR.
      I would like to complete this with :
      a good 35/2 (the 35/2D is not good enougth and the 35/1,4 is too expensive and heavy to my opinion).
      a new version of the 300/4 with VR, or a 100-300/4 VR to replace the 70-300.
      Considering the 70-200/4 I have the same feeling as you: it does not make a big difference with the long end of the 24-120.

  45. 71
    ) Christian

    New “16-35 f2.8 VR” imminent?

    While shopping around for a new wide angle lens I came across the following: NIKON website states 16-35 f4 sold out whereas 14-24 status states out of stock. This might be just a typo (why would they discontinue a 2 year old lens?), but with most UK suppliers out of stock for the 16-35 as well, I am not sure. Any thoughts?

    My wish list:
    - 16-35 F/2.8 VR
    - 35 F/2.0 VR
    - 180 F/2.8 VR with 1:2 macro
    - 300 F/4 VR with rear glass element or slightly shorter focal lens to reduce overall size and optimising for use with TC

    Cheers & Happy New Year 2013

    • 73
      ) Christian

      Update: 16-35 sold out @ Nikon UK & DE Store

      Just realised that 14-24 have “notify me when available” button whereas “16-35″ states “sold out” instead in UK and DE.

      Not sure if this means 16-35 discontinued from UK & DE shop only or this item is discontinued in general.

      • 75
        ) Thierry

        update:
        10-24 DX, 12-24 DX and 16-35 arer still available in several e-shops in france, belgium, netherlands

        • 76
          ) Christian

          Hi Thierry,

          thanks for the reply. Just checked.

          16-35/4 sold out in NL & FR as well, did not check Belgium

          Seems like 16-35/4 sold out in most of Europe. Any ideas?

          Cheers

          • 85
            ) Achim

            Availability of the 16-35 f/4 went down shortly after the D800 was released.
            The reason for this is obvious: the D800 is the No.1 landscape camera out there and the 16-35 f/4 is the only serious lens for landscape photographers (front thread for filter holder / much cheaper and no coma as the 17-35 f/2.8 suffers from)

            Best regards
            Achim

  46. 77
    ) Thierry

    Apparently the 16-35 f4 is still in stock at photogalerie.com, reflexpro.fr, numipixel.com

    • 78
      ) Christian

      The lens is available @ small retailers in London as well, but that may well be remaining stock from orders in the past. What makes me wonder is the official Nikon sites. Does this mean they announce an upgrade or replacement soon?

  47. 135 f/1.8

    D600 sensor in a D800 body….please Nikon? You lost a sale because of that damn tiny af spread that looks like a sanitary napkin and struggles with focus in low light :(

    I bought a used D700. It kicks the D600′s ass all day.

  48. 83
    ) Michael

    Well i would take a loan for Nikkor 1.2/50 haha:)

  49. 86
    ) Erol Cagdas

    Hi Nasim,

    Great (as always) article.

    I currently use the D7000 + Sigma 17-50 OS 2.8, great lens, for a so much lower price then a Nikon 17-55. I especially like the OS/VR on my Sigma. Looking at the exif of my pics I have realized I am mostly at either end of the lens; at 17mm (25.5) or 50 (75mm).

    Wanting to complement my collection with a D600, I need a good “wide” lens, mainly for a few group shots, or wedding shots. I do not want to spend my money on a Nikon 24-70, for what I have heard is not so great at 24mm (or I am wrong?), though on the other hand, everybody seems to be in love with this lens. I have heard/read the 24mm 2.8D is out of date (?), or needs replacement? So, for now that leaves me with either a 28mm 1.8G or Sigma 35mm 1.4 (to use along with my 85mm 1.8G).

    Really hope Nikon will come up with an updated 24mm 2.8, or perhaps an update like a 24-70 2.8 VR. But most of all, I really wish Nikon lowers it prices as 3rd part manufacturers start to produce real nice stuff, like the Sigma 50-150 OS (which I hope you’ll review some day as well)!

  50. I would like a Nikkor 100-400mm f/4-5.6G VR ED..

    which Nikon patented back in 2010..

  51. 91
    ) SpaceMan

    For the love of God, Nikon would you please release the equivalent of Canon’s MP-E65 macro lens or at least 1:3 magnification if not 1:5. Release it now and it will be good for 10-15 years like Canon’s offering

  52. 92
    ) Jeroen

    The obvious list would have to be:

    fixed:
    35mm/1.8
    58mm/1.2
    85mm/1.2
    105mm/1.8
    135mm/2.0

    zoom:
    24-70/2.8 VR
    80-400/4-5.6 VR

    I would buy the 35 – 58 – 105 in a heart beat.

    You really missed out on the 35mm Nasim :)

  53. 96
    ) RVB

    I wonder if Nikon should make a completely new mount… I dont know for sure but i have read that a larger mount would make superfast lenses easier to make.. such as f1.2 lenses..

  54. 99
    ) Dusty J

    Small prime lenses with good optics. 20, 24, 28 f/2.8′s, 35 f/2, 40-60 pancake?

    50 f/1.2 would be sweet as well!

  55. 100
    ) EnPassant

    While we always can make wishlists and complain: “Why didn’t Nikon replace that old lens yet?”. We must remember it can take several years to make a lens. Also Nikon have limited resources and must focus on what makes most profit. That’s why we se all these kit zooms not many here are excited about.

    DX DSLR-cameras are in my view filling up the same market as did the 35mm SLR cameras for film while “fullframe”, FX-cameras today are the digital alternative to the affordable MF-cameras people in the filmdays used.

    This is all natural as for most the IQ of 35 mm film in the past and APS-C sensors today is good enough for most people. But unlike the golden days of the manual focus cameras in the beginning of the 80′s when there were several focal lengths having as many as three different prime lenses, like 28 mm with 3.5, 2.8 and 2.0 aperature as well as 35 mm with 2.8, 2.0 and 1.4 lenses. But after that especially when the AF arrived zooms took over and since then prime lenses have been decreasing in numbers.

    For DX the lack of primes in the normal range, 20-200mm FX equivalent, is even more apparent. Nikon made the 10.5 fishey for pros in 2003 but didn’t release the normal DX prime 35/1.8 until 2009. I think the fast transition from film to digital surprised the whole camera industry. Nikon had to concentrate on pushing out cheap DX-cameras with kit zooms for ordinary people while at the same time preparing for the digital full frame entry, which explains the many pro grade full frame lenses being released in 2007.

    While I don’t know anything about Nikon’s plans for a mirrorless DX-camera I must assume they will continue with DX DSLRs for at least five more years.

    Some say Nikon is neglecting DX because they want people to step up to FX where there are a much better selection of lenses. That may in part be true. While not knowing Nikon’s own thoughts about it i think it is also a question about doing one (or two!) things at the time.

    Nikon line-up of full frame AF-S lenses is now pretty decent covering 14-800 mm. Sure there are a few holes with older lenses in need of an update. But hey, Nikon must save some lenses for the coming years as well! But for both pros and amateurs there are now a good enough selection of lenses at different levels of price and performance.

    Also Nikon 1 is a strategic release occupying a niche to attract compact users who want to step up to something that is better and more advanced but not so much bigger. That Nikon takes Nikon 1 very serious is shown by the fact that with two more expected in beginning of January Nikon will have released seven lenses already in less than 1.5 years while at the same time only released four FX-lenses and ONE DX-lens. Later in 2013 also a portrait prime is expected. That means Nikon 1 will have two prime lenses missing for DX, a short portrait tele and a wideangle lens as well as the already released normal lens giving Nikon 1 users a nice set with three primes.

    Clearly DX-users have been a bit neglected while Nikon concentrated their efforts first on FX and now also on their CX-system Nikon 1. Good thing is now when both FX and CX are much closer in having a good line-up of lenses there should be time for DX!

    Why should Nikon not continue treat their DX-system with their “left hand”? Because it will hurt Nikon’s sales, or at least market share. While a few surely step up to D600 or even D800 this is not an alternative for those who prefer the smaller size and lower weight of a DX-system. And if Nikon can’t offer them the lenses they want they will look somewhere else. While coming from a DX-sized sensor the small CX-sensor in Nikon 1 will not attract many. It is much more likely they will migrate to the Sony NEX, Fujifilm X or M 4/3 systems who all offer more interesting alternatives. While some may like the smaller size of the mirrorless systems I beleive many, like me, prefer the better ergonomics on a DX DSLR and would have stayed with Nikon if only there were a few more important lenses. With just a few more DX-lenses Nikon could squeeze the mirrorless competition between their in many ways superior DX DSLR-system from above and from under with their own small CX-system. But now they are constantly loosing customers who are upgrading from their old Nikon DX entry-/mid-level camera with kit lens to a mirrorless APS-C or M 4/3 system.

  56. 101
    ) EnPassant

    What lenses do I then think or wish Nikon should release?

    Starting with DX prime lenses I can only agree with Nasim. The greatest hole in the DX line-up are the missing wide angle primes. While I don’t expect Nikon to release half a dozen DX wide angle primes at once, which ones are the most important?

    As I always prefered the 35 mm for use as a wide normal and 24 mm when I needed a wider wiew on film my personal choice would be a 24mm/1.8-2 (or preferably 23 mm to be exact to make it closer to a 35 mm equivalent) and a 16 mm/2 (Although if Nikon make one it will propably be only 2.8 to keep cost low). I seriously hope Nikon not will make only a 18 mm/2.8 and call it a day for DX wide angles. Not that I would mind if Nikon made one some day as their are many who like the 28 mm on full frame cameras. But for starters many of the kit zooms start at 18 mm and there are at their fastest aperature 3.5 which is just 2/3 stop from 2.8. Also at 18 mm the wide angle distorsion is much more visiable than at 24 mm while it is not wide enough compared to 16 mm.

    Wider angles than that are a bit extreme and I doubt Nikon will think there is a big enough market for primes in that range. Besides Samyang is reported to work on a 10/2.8 DX lens which will propably be just fine. I also prefer the more natural projection in Samyangs 8 mm fisheye lens compared to Nikons 10.5 which could do well with an AF-S update. Not that I care much myself as almost everything will be in focus set at hyperfocal distance.

    The only other DX prime missing except the wideangles is a dedicated DX portrait lens. Preferably something like a 58mm/1.4. For a long portrait lens the FX 85mm/1.4 or 1.8 is an excellant choice.

    As to DX zooms there is quite a good selection already. But agree again with Nasim here a constant f/4 mid zoom with VR would be a nice option to the slow at the tele end 16-85/3.5-5.6. I am however not sure a DX 2.8 Trinity would be succesful now when most pros already moved to FX. Nikon already have the 17-55/2.8 and the 70-200/2.8 VR can be used on DX as well as the new 70-200/4 VR.

    Now to FX and what I think about the wide angles. Actually I don’t expect many updates as many already been updated in the last five years. I can understand experts wishing updates to even better glass for the lenses they are using. But there are really other lenses that have been on the update list much longer time. The 14-24 and 16-35 cover the super wide angles quite nicely The new 24/1.4, 28/1.8 and 35/1.4 are the fast wide primes. If Canon didn’t just update their slow wide angle primes with IS I would have said that is it. We will not get any more wide angle prime except maybe some day a AF-S 20 mm /1.8. Nikon will not make more than one prime of each wide angle focal length. At least they didn’t do that with their old AF-lenses. But now I am not quite sure. Still I don’t expect any wide prime lens coming soon.

    One wide lens missing though is a consumer wide angle zoom with variable f/3.5-4.5/5.6 aperature that is both smaller and cheaper than the 16-35/4 lens. And I think we we may see such a lens already next year.

    As to normal lenses again I don’t see much need as most is covered with quite new lenses. 50/1.2 is just a dream. And it is not that it is a lack of 50 mm lenses or 1.2 is really needed.

    At the tele end I must also disagree with a lot of proposals. 85/1.2 is even more unrealistic than 50/1.2. While I sympathize with the idea having VR for all longer lenses I would prefer Nikon adding VR to the sensor in the camera bodies as well for use with all non VR-lenses, including old manual lenses!

    135/1.8 VR has already been rumored and as this is a glaring hole in the Nikon AF-S prime line-up I think we may see this lens soon, especially as Zeiss just presented an APO 135/2 lens.

    200/2.8, really, why? Aren’t everybody quite happy using the 70-200/2.8 VR wide-open? Yes I know the old, still for sale, AF 180/2.8 is quite a bit more handy and lighter than the zoom, but haven’t been updated since the AF 2.8 short tele zooms took over most of the market. Besides, if the 135/1.8 VR will be such excellent as I beleive, paired with the TC-14E II it will become a 189 mm/2.5 lens that will perform very well wide open and even better stopped down to 2.8.

    Sure the Micro 200/4 could do with an AF-S and VR update. But are its optics really in need of any update? It doesn’t feel such urgent as other lenses. Especially as it is and neither will be a big seller.

    The current AF-S 300/4 is really the lens that has been screaming for a VR-update for a long time! While I see much less need for VR in the long super teles as at least I would keep them on a tripod or monopod and keep the shutterspeed as fast as possible, preferably 1/500 or faster when VR has no effect a 300/4 is actually hand holdable, and with VR could be used att much slower shutterspeeds than the non VR lens. As 300/4 VR would be the lens for amateurs with higher ambitions than the 70-300 VR can offer and they now, with the D800 and D600 returned to FX cameras I think we finally will see an upgrade of this lens as it would be the natural extension to the new 70-200/4 zoom.

    400/5.6 VR. Really? Why bother making such a slow lens? Because it is cheap? Well, a new 300/4 VR will not be more expensive. And while a 400/5.6 can only be paired with the TC-14E II to reach a maximum of 560/8 with still working AF on the latest AF bodies A 300/4 VR can be paired with all of Nikon’s teleconverters to reach 420/5.6, 510/6.8 and 600/8. If Nikon make an excellant 300/4 VR there will be no need for a 400/5.6. There is a reason Canon never updated the old 400/5.6 relic to IS!

    Instead I propagate for a 400/4 VR! (Or even 400/3.5 as the old manual lens!) There is already the 200-400/4 VR some will say. Sure, but although I never had or ever will own one myself I get the impression it is great, but not completely perfect. And logically a prime should be better with teleconverters. Also while the 500/4 at BH is $ 8,399,- the 200-400/4 is still $ 6,749,- What about $ 1,000,- less, $ 5,749,-, as the 300/2.8 VRII for a 400/4 VR? I think that is a good estimation of a possible price. Still a lot of money for sure. But for the serious amateur birder/wild life photograper this could be the only long lens needed. Paired with the teleconverters it would become a 560/5.6, 680/6.8 and 800/8!

    I agree of course that the 80-400 need both updated optics, AF-S and VR. But will it be 80-400 or maybe 80-500? With cameras able to focus at f/8 we may see zoom lenses with a slower aperature than 5.6 at the long end from Nikon. The final question is which will be updated first, 300/4 or 80-400? As the zoom also cover 300 mm and only is a stop slower it may not happen the same year.

    Let’s not forget the AF-S 800/5.6! It may have been presented and rented at the olympics this year but will actually not be available until next year!

    Summary what in my opinion is most expected:
    CX:
    10-100/4-5.6 super zoom without the motor Zoom of previous 10-100.
    6.7-13/3.5-5.6 wide angle zoom. Both expected in January.
    32/1.2 portrait prime. Later in 2013. Already displayed as a prototype

    DX:
    Any DX wide angle prime.
    f/4 mid-zoom.
    Portrait prime.

    FX:
    f/3.5-4.5 or 3.5-5.6 wide angle consumer zoom.
    AF-S 135/1.8 VR
    AF-S 300/4 VR or 80-400 VR replacement.
    AF-S 800/5.6 will be available
    Joker: AF-S 20/1.8!
    An eventual 400/4 will propably not be released this year but maybe some year later.

    That’s it folks!

    • 116
      ) Peter G

      Instead I propagate for a 400/4 VR! (Or even 400/3.5 as the old manual lens!) There is already the 200-400/4 VR some will say. Sure, but although I never had or ever will own one myself I get the impression it is great, but not completely perfect. And logically a prime should be better with teleconverters. Also while the 500/4 at BH is $ 8,399,- the 200-400/4 is still $ 6,749,- What about $ 1,000,- less, $ 5,749,-, as the 300/2.8 VRII for a 400/4 VR? I think that is a good estimation of a possible price. Still a lot of money for sure. But for the serious amateur birder/wild life photograper this could be the only long lens needed. Paired with the teleconverters it would become a 560/5.6, 680/6.8 and 800/8

      Comment: Why would you consider 400f4 and 2 x convertor .. 800mm f8.. AF will not work..
      I had the old 400mm f3.5 many years ago, and a 2x convertor on that was useless…. I tried. IMO, a TC14E is the only convertor to consider. I have TC17E, TC20E , and I am not interested in Nikons revisions.. They need to get it right first time, and I like my TC 14E, but, the TC17E and TC20E are just extra weight in my bag nowadays.

      • 117
        ) EnPassant

        I think you need to update your information AF is not working with f/8!
        Here is what Nikon themselves say about AF in D600: “Moreover, the seven focus points (five central focus points and one point to the left and right of them in the middle line) are compatible with f/8.” http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d600/features02.htm

        You had “a” 2x converter. But which exactly? All converters are not made the same!
        The 2x converters made for 400/3.5 are the Nikon TC-300 and TC-301 (same optics, just a bit different build). In fact for all long, manual lenses 400/3.5 was considered the best match with TC-301, and usable wide open. Trying a modified TC-20E III on the 400/3.5 could also be worth a try.
        But of course it will still not AF and modern optics with aspherical elements nanocoatings etcetera will be better.

        Well, standards may vary. Many consider the new optical formula TC-20E III a great improvement over TC-20E II (Which use same glass as TC-20E). But if you don’t find even the TC-17E II good enough TC-20E III may still not be good enough for you.
        I was only trying to make the point that a 400/4 would be a much more versatile lens compared to a slow 400/5.6. And it still is without or with only a 1.4x teleconverter. Besides the AF-S 300/4 (or a new 300/4 VR!) with the TC-14E, which are meeting your standards, will make it a 420/5.6 lens with very little need or demand. At least Thom Hogan think that combination with the current 300/4 is very good: http://www.bythom.com/300afslens.htm
        And Nasim on this site seem to agree: “The 300mm f/4 + 1.4x TC is great shooting wide open…”

        Read more: http://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-300mm-f4d#ixzz2GhBWSnYQ

        • 121
          ) Peter G

          Interesting comments.

          OK…. Many years ago, I had a 400mm f3.5. The old TC301 didnt work with it at all and I eventually sold both the lens and convertor. The lens was good, but, convertor was useless.

          I subsequently purchased a 300mm f2.8 AF-S and my TC14E works well with that, but, I found the TC17E worked on some things , but, not others. I also purchased a Nikon TC20E ( MK1 model) but, didnt like it.
          I do have a 500mm f4 AF-I that I purchased new in 1995 and the TC14E is good on that, and the TC17E is OK, but, my TC20E ( probably MK1 version) isnt good)

          As I am no longer shooting motor sport, I’m not interested in upgrading. I still have my 800mm f5.6 which I purchased in 1990 ( time flies).. The old manual TC14 does work on that to give me 1,120 mm f8. I have used it a couple of times, just for fun :-)

          My 15 Nikon lenses cover from 8mm full circle fish-eye to 1,100 mm , so, I am more than covered:-)

  57. 111
    ) roberto

    I ve got my money now for:
    FX:
    NIKON 105mm 2.0 not a macro lens VR
    nikon 50mm 1.2g nano cristal
    NIKON 135MM 1.8G NANO CROSTAL VR
    NIKON 14mm 2.8g nano cristal

    • 112
      ) Paul

      + 35/1.8 for FX

    • 134
      ) Adnan Khan

      Roberto ,
      there is already a fantastic 105 non macro , portrait specialist lens 105mm F2 DC and it’s big brother the bokeh factory 135 F2 DC both are meant to produce great bokeh and are superb lenses ,just try one. So, 135 F1.8 is useless with nearly same thing, though having VR is another matter.

      I’m with you on 50 1.2 G ,there is a manual one Nikon should make it an AF one :)
      And 85 1.2 G
      They promote the 14-24 and already the current 14mm both can’t take filters ,not sure a very expensive wide is on their list right now :)

      =========
      Yes Paul I wish of a 35 1.8 FX too as the current 1.4 is the most crappy $1700 expensive lens full of ghosts :)

      cheers!

  58. 113
    ) ansack

    I agree with tha idea of updgrading/releasing more wide angles for Dx cameras. Currently the two Nikon options are way more expensive than Tokina’s 11-16 and 12-24 which have demostrated to be very good in optical and build quality. Something in that range and well under 800 bucks would be great, even if lacks of VR which is not that critical at those focal lenghts.
    On the other hand I will always wanted something like Canon´s 70-200 f4, the non IS version. Its a cheap lens, fast enought for almost everything, much lighter that more sophisticated VR or IS lenses and at a very good price.
    Finally, and updated 18-105VR with metal mount and better optical quality would be great. I have found this lens to be very practical as a walk around lens, but it needs some tweaks. I wonder if the price drops on this lens during last year could be a sign that somethign in this range is soon to be released.

  59. 114
    ) Brian Breczinski

    Agree on (FX) 16/2.8 fisheye, 20/2.8, 24/2 and would also like to see 35/2. The 28/1.8 is disappointing for the focal length and also the focus problems. I’d also like to see the 135/2DC and 300/4 updated.

    While we’re wishing for things, I’d like to see standardization on filter sizes. First there was 52 and 72, then 62 and 77 were added, now we also have 58 and 67. Why would you put 58 and not just go to 62? I wish they would pick 2 or 3 sizes and stick with that.

    Bringing back aperture rings would also be nice. It would get around the inability to change aperture while in liveview on D600 if I understand that correctly. I know, no chance that it will happen.

    • 115
      ) Brian Breczinski

      I should point out that the multiple filter sizes means more cost in filters or adapters, more things to carry, and especially lost shots while you’re trying to find what you need…

  60. 118
    ) Sayed Mohamed

    It would be nice, if Nikon post you on their research dept. BTW, I think a 16-85mm f/2.8G VRIII DX lens would be a good deal..

  61. 119
    ) hoang

    Nikon DX 24mm F2.0 VR = $250 , somebody please satisfy my wish !!!!!!

    @Mohamed : 16-85 2.8 VR will equal at least double the price of the current 17-55 2.8 , so don’t dream abt it

  62. 120
    ) Randy

    Hi Nasim – I just received a survey from Canon and one of the questions is “If you could have Canon design one new lens, what would you want?” I don’t believe Nikon has ever asked this. While I don’t personally feel the need for a D800, I’m glad it has pointed out the weaknesses in some lenses, which I see even on a D700. I won’t hold my breath for an improved fisheye for $900 but if they could just make a 24PC that’s as good as the Canon and add VR to the 24-70 that would be enough for me.

  63. 122
    ) Iksas

    Hi Nasim,

    Now I would really like to get new AF-S 300/4 VR. After reading your article have bought Nikon 300mm f/4D AF-S. Super lens, but VR lack is visible (better than my Sigma 150-500. Sigma is good for its price, but with its limitations as well). Next my purchase will be Nikon TC-1.4, because mostly I am shooting birds in nature and reach of 300mm not enough. This is why I have bought Sigma before.

  64. 123
    ) Claudia

    Hi!…

    Could you tell me please which is better AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D lens & AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G lens?…and why?…..

    Thank u very much!, I love you page!, & your pictures!… :D

  65. 124
    ) Amrou-A

    Hi Nasim ,
    I would like to tell you that I enjoyed your birds photos , I also like birds photos, and I have my own blog..

    About Nikkor 300mm , I agree with you , I found it very nice lens with zooming and sharpness .

    I used it with Nikkor T.C 1.4X , and got a very nice photos ..

    Thank you so much for post and share , Wish to visit my blog :)
    http://amroua-ksa-center-birds.blogspot.com/2012/03/blog-post_2992.html

    Wish you the best .
    best regards.
    Amrou-A

  66. 125
    ) Mark

    I’d be willing to pay a fair price for DX equivalents of the 24/1.4 and 35/1.4 pro-level lenses.

    I’ll also join the legions clamoring for the 80-400 refresh but it’s starting to feel like a hopeless situation.

  67. 126
    ) cmwong

    There is ONE DX Lens that is worth investing for the future:

    Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX

    Here’s why….. Plug it on a FX body and switch off the AutoCrop function… and shoot….

    : )

  68. 128
    ) R CORDELL

    FX 20-100 VR F4
    FX 20-60 VR F2.8

    I do mostly landscape and to avoid switching lenses in daylight I use my
    24-120 VR F4. I use mostly the lower end and if needed change to my
    14-24 F2.8

    20-60 mm VR F2.8 would be so convenient and would stay on my D800
    probably 85% of the time

  69. 129
    ) Sebastiano

    Another lens is missing, imho, is something like 35-135 Fx and very fast, like f/2 o f/2.2, to be complementary to either 24-70 f/2.8 or some primes like 85 f/1.8, 50 f/1.8, 105 f/2 ed 135 f/2.

    It could also be without VR to lower its cost, as sensors have improved so much ISO sensitivity and noise performance, and it’s expected they will still improve in next years, allowing to easily capture EV 3-4 without VR.

  70. 130
    ) Geoff

    My desire is for a 400mm f/4.0 VR which is as sharp as the 2.8 version.

    • 131
      ) Peter G

      Geoff,
      Nikon used to manufacture a 400mm f3.5 manual lens. I had one back in the 1980′s.
      My first.. ” Big Bottle”. Maybe Nikon have decided there wasn’t the demand for them…

  71. 132
    ) JR

    How about a Nikkor 24-120mm f4 without distortion, field curvature, softness, low contrast, and whatever else plagues the miserable first release of this lens.

    Don’t know about the rest of you, but that lens has been one of the most disappointing pieces of gear to ever be released by Nikon. I was hoping to take that lens and the Nikkor 16-35 f4 on a trip to Europe this summer, but instead I’m packing my trusty 80-200 F2.8.

    • 135
      ) Adnan Khan

      Except for the nasty distortion I found it to be like 16-35 F4 ,same price same image quality ,you must have got a crappy piece. I thought you were talking about the old third class 24-120 3.5-5.6 VR which is Nikon’s worst ever lens :)
      Not sure Nikon is going to replace a relatively new lens , I tried the 28-300 it’s very impressive and I think a good one for travelling ,though they all have distortion but I think 28-300 is bit better and more useful.

      Good luck on your trip and don’t forget to put the 50 1.4 in the bag :)

      • 139
        ) JR

        Oooooooh, I wouldn’t dare say the performance of the 24-120mm is anywhere near that of the 16-35mm. I’ll go as far as to say that if the 16-35 reached out to 50mm, instead of 35mm, it would be a PERFECT walkabout lens, if there is such a thing. But, as it stands, the 16-35 is a bit too short.

        My copy of the 16-35 is sharp at 16mm@f4 and very good for environmental portraits at 35mm@f4. Stopped down, it’s as sharp as current technology allows and whatever distortion is present is easily correctable.

        The problem, as most photographers know, is that lens manufacturers have not been able to develop a lens that can encompass the 24-120mm range without sacrificing some important performance characteristics. Need to look no further than Canon’s equivalent which suffers from pretty much the same problems as the Nikkor.

        On the other hand, look at the Nikkor 28-105mm f3.5/4; a fantastic lens! No distortion, no vignetting, good contrast and as sharp as the 24-70mm f2.8 when stopped down.

        My experiments/tests, albeit not scientific nor using test charts, have proven to me without a shadow of doubt that the BEST mid-range zoom is the 28-105/85mm. No compromise to any significant optical characteristics. The Canon equivalents have shown the same results. But, when either manufacturer has tried to go beyond 28mm and 105mm, the results have horrendous.

        Moral of the story: the Nikkor 24-120mm f4 should have been the 28-85/105mm f4.

        And, yes, I will be taking my 50mm f1.4 on my Europe trip :-)

        • 140
          ) JR

          Correction to previous post: “the results have been horrendous”
          (Fat fingers and an iPhone make for bad typing)

  72. 141
    ) phegic

    Hope nikon is going to read your post and take note of these awesome suggestions :)

  73. 142
    ) Monte

    A 400MM F/4 AF-s VR would get my $$

  74. How about some long f/2.8 DX-coverage only teles? A DX 300mm f/2.8 would be awfully nice, without having to pay the $6,000 or whatever it is for the FX version.

    • 144
      ) Peter G

      Put a 180mm f2.8 on your DX body, and you are almost there .

      • Hm… I was thinking more of a 300-looks-like-450-on-DX. With VR. :)

        • 147
          ) Pete G.

          I have a 300mm f2.8 as well.

          Still have my D2Xs body, but, once I went ” full frame ” with the D3S and D3, the D2Xs doesn’t get used as much.

  75. 148
    ) Steve

    The 16-35 f/2.8G has had me wanting for a long time!
    Will it ever come to fruition? I don’t know but the 17-35 f/2.8 is pretty old now, then again the 16-35 f/4 has VR, perhaps that was it’s replacement…?

  76. 149
    ) A. Miller

    Nikon . . . . . . . . ! Please redo the 13mm f/5.6 AI-S rectilinear ultra wide angle lens.
    Az a new design, I would be very happy with a, FF, 13mm f/5.6 even f/8 rectilinear prime manual focus AI-S lens. Speed is not an issue at 13mm wide angle lens. It must be rectilinear, as the old astronomical priced 13mm f/5.6 AI-S.
    Please do not call anything longer then 15mm, FF, as a ultra wide angle lens.

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