Nikon announces fast 16-80mm f/2.8-4 DX zoom, faster-focusing, lighter 500mm, 600mm f/4 lenses

by Gannon Burgett

posted Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 12:01 AM EDT


Nikon today announced a trio of new lenses they've added to their expansive lens lineup: a high-performance and versatile, enthusiast-oriented AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80MM F/2.8-4E ED VR lens as well as two new-and-improved super telephoto lenses for professional and well-heeled sports and wildlife photographers.

First up, the new AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80MM F/2.8-4E ED VR lens offers DX-format Nikon users a ton of zoom versatility and higher-end features not typically seen on DX-format lenses, such as Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat -- the first DX lens to have this coating.


The 24-120mm-equivalent focal length range provides crop-sensor photographers a wide range of shooting opportunities, such as landscapes, portraits or simply for use as an all-around, travel-friendly single lens setup. The bright, variable f/2.8-4.0 aperture range, though not a constant f/4 like Nikon's FX-format 24-120mm lens, still remains bright throughout the zoom range, making it easier to photograph in lower light scenes as well as create pleasing background blur and subject isolation. The Vibration Reduction system is rated for four stops of correction, which will further help capture sharp subjects in low light or other scenes with slower shutter speeds.

Optically, the Nano Crystal Coat helps avoid flare and ghosting, while the fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements help shed dirt, smudges and moisture. The 16-80mm lens is also the first DX-format lens to use a circular 7-bladed electromagnetic aperture diaphragm, which Nikon states helps provide consistent exposure during high-speed burst photography. The lens is comprised of a total of 17 elements in 13 groups, including four Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) and three aspheric elements to help fight not only chromatic aberration but also further reduce ghosting and flare.

The new AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80MM F/2.8-4E ED VR is set to go on sale in July and will have a retail price of around US$1,069.95.


For super telephoto photographers, be prepared to empty your wallets -- and maybe your life savings. Nikon has announced two new super telephoto full-frame lenses, the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR and AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR.

Both lenses share a number of similar or identical features, most notably improved autofocus tracking, better optical performance, and a considerable reduction in weight for both models.

To reduce weight, Nikon has used a lighter magnesium alloy for the frame of the lenses, taken out unnecessary metal components, and implemented a number of Fluorite elements. In the AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4 E FL ED VR, these changes makes a 2lb (907g) difference, bringing the weight down to 6.8lbs (3084g) from 8.5lbs (3855g). In the AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4 E FL ED VR, the changes make roughly a 3lb (1360g) difference, bringing it down to 8.3lbs (3765g) from 11.5lbs (5216g).

The increase in optical performance comes from better optical designs, improved optical elements and more advanced coating technologies.

Both the AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4 E FL ED VR and AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4 E FL ED VR feature a fluorine coating on a front protective meniscus element for easier removal of dust and dirt, and Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coating to reduce ghosting and flare. Both optics utilize two fluorite elements, and while the 500mm uses three Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements, the 600mm packs in a total of four ED elements, all to help reduce chromatic aberration.


Both lenses use Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, giving up to four stops of image stabilization. Also included in the updated lenses is Nikon’s Sport VR Mode for improved image stabilization when panning, be it handheld or on a monopod.

The lenses also share the same tripod collar improvements, which include ball bearings for easier transition between shooting landscape and portrait.

The new AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR is set to go on sale in mid-July for US$10,299.95. The AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR will go on sale in mid-July as well for US$12,299.95.