I’ve been watching PMA closely for all announcements from Nikon. To be honest, just like many other Nikonians out there, I’m disappointed. Many of us (users of Nikon gear) were expecting updates to the professional and prime line-up of lenses such as 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 that are very old and are long overdue for an update. All the latest Nikon gear is coming out with AF-S & N coated glass, so having primes with the above features is becoming a big necessity. Many people are waiting for these lenses impatiently and PMA 2008 was a big hope…but it turned out otherwise.
First of all, why D60? Nikon seized the production of D40 and D40x and invested time and money into a body that nobody needs. It might have a sensor cleaning system and an Expeed processor from D300, but almost all other specs are identical to D40x. So, the question is – who is this body for? Higher-end D80 costs $90 more (according to B&H) and can do a lot more. Price-wise, it’s definitely not an entry-level camera, so is Nikon expecting DSLR newbies to buy this camera?
Now regarding the newly-introduced lenses. Nikon presented a new consumer DX lens – 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR. Unless it performs much better than 18-200mm VR, there is really no market for this lens with its price tag of $650. True, 2mm does matter on the wide end, but how will this guy truly perform? If the performance is average throughout and poor on the wide end, nobody will buy it. If the performance is much better than 18-200mm VR, this will be an interesting lens to look at.
The new perspective-control lenses PC-E 24mm, 45mm and 85mm all sport ED glass and were a big surprise for everyone. Some people (those with deep pockets, who probably own all of Nikkor glasses) found these useful and interesting, while most didn’t really care. Yeah it can shift and tilt, but it’s freaking manual and is definitely not something I want to waste money on (the PC-E 24mm f/3.5 costs $2000 and doesn’t work on many Nikon bodies). I’m not ready for this type of photography.
The only good news is the 60mm f/2.8 AF-S Macro. The old 60mm macro needed an update and Nikon did just that. The new 60mm features an updated motor along with N coated glass, which should make it a very fine lens. But Nikon is already strong and much ahead of the competition on macro glass, so why continue updating it? The 105mm VR was already excellent…