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.
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?