Nikon has been promoting its lenses with rebate programs for a while now, but all of those rebates required purchasing a DSLR to qualify. Since many of us already own DSLR cameras, those incentives were not very useful, as we could not take advantage of those offers (myself included). Starting from midnight tonight, February 17, Nikon is launching a lens rebate program that does not require purchasing of a camera body. This lens rebate is one of the largest I have seen, with savings up to $350 on select Nikkor lenses. Participating lenses include everything from the budget 50mm f/1.8G lens to professional glass like 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II. The rebate program ends on March 2, 2013.
At first, I thought that there would not be anything exciting about this lens rebate program, but after I looked at the first four lenses and saw $300 off the Nikon 24-120mm VR lens, I realized that the savings are significant and the offer is very attractive. Let’s go over each lens, one by one.
- Nikon AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED – $350 Off. I am personally not a fan of this lens due to its slow AF motor. Plus, it is long overdue for a refresh. Nikon is probably pushing this one off the shelves, because a replacement version will most likely be introduced later this year (a patent for a new version was filed a while ago).
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR – $300 Off. Another lens on the list that I don’t particularly care about. For one, it is a DX lens and I shoot FX, and second, it is a superzoom with a huge range and you know what that means optically. See my review of the lens.
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Zoom – $300 Off. I am shocked to see this killer lens on the list at $300 off. I can understand when Nikon wants to shave $300 off an expensive professional lens like the 70-200mm below, but at $1,296 retail price minus $300, it leaves it for less than a grand! Grab this one while you can, because it won’t last. Do not expect this one to be replaced anytime soon. See my review to understand why I love it so much.
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II – $300 Off. One of the best professional portrait zoom lenses on the market. It has always been an expensive lens, but at $2,099, it sure makes it very appealing. There will be no replacement for this lens in the nearest future. See my review for details.
- Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II – $250 Off. For a DX shooter, this lens is pretty attractive at just $600. Again, I am not a big fan of superzooms, but this is the only one I would consider if I needed an all-in-one lens for a DX body.
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED – $200 Off. An absolute killer lens, one of the sharpest lenses in Nikon’s arsenal. Unfortunately, the lens is not cheap at its current price of $1,999, so a $200 off rebate brings it back to $1,799, which is a great price for this class of a lens. See my review of the 24mm f/1.4G for details.
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G – $200 Off. Another killer lens that gets $200 off. At $1,419 after the rebate, it is now getting closer to the superb Sigma 35mm f/1.4 that I am testing right now. I think Nikon very well knows that once people find out how good the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is, this lens simply won’t sell anymore. Personally, I would not recommend to buy it – the Sigma is clearly a better choice at just $899. See my Nikon 35mm f/1.4G review for details on the lens.
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G – $200 Off. I loved my Nikon 85mm f/1.4G until the f/1.8G version came out. If you want a pro build and extra low light capabilities, this one is a no-brainer for portraiture. I really wish Nikon updated it with VR, but I don’t think we will see one anytime soon. See my review of the 85mm f/1.4G lens.
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED – $200 Off. If you are a working pro and need the best quality build and a fully weather resistant body, then this is the lens to get. By far, the 24-70mm remains my most used and most favorite lens for landscape photography. With Canon’s new 24-70mm f/2.8L II that came out last year, the Nikon 24-70mm is no longer the sharpness king. I really hope Nikon updates this one with a better optical formula to make those corners look sharp even at f/2.8 and adds VR to it. My recommendation – unless you need the pro build and weather sealing, go for the 24-120mm f/4G instead. See my review of the lens
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR – $200 Off. Another superzoom? You betcha! I personally stay away from this one, while many others rave about it. If you are a “one lens” type of a person, then go for it. See my detailed review for details.
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G – $100 Off. A very good lens for those that cannot afford the 24mm f/1.4G. And at $599 after the rebate it sounds even better. See my Nikon 28mm f/1.8G review.
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G – $100 Off. How can you resist this lens at less than four hundred bucks? The rest of the world will hate us Americans even more when they see this price. Do not expect this lens to last at this price, go grab it while you can. Looks like I will be purchasing one for myself. See my review to understand why I rave so much about it. This one pretty much just came out, so do not expect it to be updated within the next 5+ years.
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR – $100 Off. People were getting this lens for free with the D600 at the end of 2012. By now, it is probably worth nothing in the used lens market. See my review of the lens that I posted last year.
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G – $100 Off. Unless you really need that f/1.4 aperture, don’t waste your money and get the 50mm f/1.8G instead – that one is better optically. See my review of the 50mm f/1.4G. I hope Nikon updates this lens soon with a Nano-coated version, or perhaps a 50mm f/1.2. VR would be icing on the cake.
- Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED – $100 Off. A great macro lens at a great price. Personally, I like the 105mm VR better, but it is much more expensive than this one.
- Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR – $100 Off. One of the best zoom lenses for DX cameras you can buy. Nikon might release an updated version with the upcoming D7100 camera later this year.
- Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR – $100 Off. If you are looking for an inexpensive macro lens for a DX body, the 85mm f/3.5G is a great choice.
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G ED – $20 Off. Even more savings on the best Nikon 50mm lens? Oh yeah! See my review and my Nikon 50mm f/1.4G vs f/1.8G comparison to understand why I love it so much.
Unfortunately, the new Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR is not included in the above rebate program.