To kick things off for PhotoPlus Expo this year Nikon has announced two new Nikkor lenses that may pique photographers’ interest. The two new additions to the fold are the PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED tilt-shift and an updated AF-S Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8E FL ED VR lens.
Just recently Nikon surpassed 100 million lenses produced, and what better way to mark a milestone than introduce a first in the Nikkor family. The PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED tilt-shift lens is the widest lens in Nikon’s perspective control (PC) line which in includes a 24mm, 45mm, and 85mm. With the introduction of a new PC Rotation mechanism, the PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED is the has the most usability and perspective control on any Nikon lens to date, allowing photographers the ability to make the direction of tilt perpendicular or parallel to the shift.
A 97-degree field of view (full frame) will, according to Nikon, provide “a unique perspective ideal for shooting horizontal or vertical panoramas, or even filmmaking…Tilt the lens to sharpen focus throughout a scene or create a miniature effect, or shift to adjust perspective in-camera, create panoramas or eliminate converging lines.”
Inside the lens is a total of 17 lens elements in 13 groups. There is a Nano Crystal and fluorine coatings, two aspherical elements and three ED elements. Considering the bulbous front element, the Nano Crystal coating is particular import in helping to control flare and ghosting.
The 70-200mm f/2.8 has been a long-time staple in the bag of professional photographers. Nikon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II wasn’t exactly in need of an update with the last update coming out in 2009. The new 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is similar in size but, does have slightly more width than its predecessor. The lens has a diameter of 3.4 inches and is slightly shorter at 7.9 inches.
The optical formula includes 22 lens elements in 18 groups, compared 21 elements in 15 groups for its predecessor, and 6 ED glass elements. The new version includes a fluorite element and a high refractive index element. Nikon states that the refined lens offers images with less chromatic aberration, distortion, ghosting and flare.
There is the return of Nikon’s memory focus buttons, four of which are placed at the end of the barrel for instant recall of stored focus positions. Minimum focusing distance has been improved to 1.1 meters. Autofocus speed and accuracy is also improved, as is the four-stop vibration reduction system.
With these two lenses, Nikon continues to create E-type lens aperture blades in its professional series. E-type aperture lenses function much like Canon lenses where the aperture is controlled electronically via the camera and not a physical mechanical lever. Canon lenses still thrive in a world of mirrorless as their control design is open to other manufacturers like Sony or Olympus/Panasonic. The new electronic lens created by Nikon will prevent other manufacturers from creating third party adapters with ‘aperture rings’ like for the G-Series lenses.
With with their past relationship with Fuji, I would like to see a collaboration on an adapter for the new E Lenses to the XF lens mount.