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Nikon planning to release a new Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4G VR lens

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There will be several changes in Nikon's product map as a result of the recent forecast cuts. As you can see from the above Q&A session, Nikon is planning "to launch new products in the latter half of the fiscal year expect a shift towards newer products that have higher profit margins". I already mentioned that I expect three new Nikon DSLR cameras by the end of the year (the actual announcement could be in the first week of 2014 for the CES show): one full frame camera (probably D4x), one entry level DX model (probably D1000). The third camera is still not clear: it could be anything from a mirrorless to a SLT based or a retro design.

Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-300mm-f_4D-IF-ED-lens

The current Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED lens

Upcoming lenses are always more difficult to predict, especially with the latest changes in Nikon's product map. At that point I expect Nikon to release a new Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4G VR lens which will be the long awaited replacement of the current Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED ($1,369.00). Expect better image quality and higher price similar to the recent 80-400mm upgrade. I was told that this lens already has an assigned internal number which is usually an indication for announcement in the next 1-3 months.

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  • Sahaja

    >”The third camera is still not clear: it could be anything from a mirrorless to a SLT based or a retro design.”

    Mirrorless: Do you mean a large sensor mirrorless? (FX or DX)
    SLT design. Sony just gave up on that one.
    Retro design: the “Digital FM”???

  • delayedflight

    Judging by what Nikon have said I highly doubt that they’ll release a 400mm f/4 VR they’re probably implying an update on their kit lenses which in my opinion is in desperate need of revival in the face of Canon’s STM lenses.
    You guys may not like it but the majority of Nikon’s and Canon’s sales come from their consumer level products who in turn fuels development for high end equipment.

    I love Nikon’s products but without a solid line of consumer products Nikon cannot hope to keep their pro line well funded.

  • Neopulse

    Amazing how the “I need a D400″ rant still goes on. I remember reading about the “need” for a D7100 that also flourished in many threads for a long while. In the end, not even a 1/1000th of total positive posts about the release of it in comparison to the negative. And in my opinion it’s a great camera (got my dad one for Father’s Day a couple of months ago). The release of lenses first I think is a good idea before a badass DX. Just be patient, it will be released and most likely surpass expectations. I prefer them taking their time to release something epic from left-field then something too predictable to our standards.

    • Joseph Li

      I hope so too. But nikon has been slacking in terms of innovations. Other than the d800 36 mp which caught a lot of attention, the D4 D3200 D5200 D7100 specs are quite predictable. If they are releasing updated cameras such as d7100 d5200 and d3200 so quickly (from d7000 d5100 d3100) I dont understand why they do something predictable as well for the D400. All the parts are there, it’s not difficult. Definitely not helping sales. Maybe they want to force those who are waiting for the d400 to get a d7100 or help clear out d7000 inventories before they actually release such a camera, so they can sell as many units as possible

      • Neopulse

        I think the innovative thing that they “might” be working on is possibly a better buffer-dual Expeed 3 or a new Expeed 4 system that would render a dual processor system unnecessary and cut costs . And of course a new quick AF-system to compete with the new 70D that came out recently. I personally like the 3500 51 AF-point system with cross-types. Maybe they are trying to add more cross type AF-points or an update for their software. Or ultimately making absolute sure there isn’t something where a person would look to bash like a upper left-corner AF “bug” (of 51 ffs) or something.

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

          That’s my explanation as well – they must be working on some new tech, unless they have completely scratched the high-end DX line.

          • I AM NIKON

            I have been saying that there will bo no D300s replacement ever since the D7000 appeared.

            • BroncoBro

              You’re correct, perhaps, but it makes little sense to me. The D7000/7100 isn’t as much camera as the D300s.

    • decisivemoment

      I think if Nikon would double the frame buffer in the D7100, or, even better, offer such an upgrade to existing customers at a price, 90 percent of the grousing would go away. But as it is, Nikon’s choices for rapid-fire, deep-frame-buffer cameras are down from three a few years ago to one today, in contrast to Canon who are now up to four rapid-fire, deep-frame-buffer bodies — the 1DX, 5DIII, 7D and 70D are all at least 6fps and 16 frames RAW for the buffer. That’s the root of the grousing; it means the sports, nature and events people are being told to drop $6,000 by Nikon, take-it-or-leave-it-or-go-used, but given options ranging from $1,200 to $6,800 by Canon. There’s more to life than great shadow-noise performance. you know.

    • RBR

      The problem with that approach is that Nikon will have held back a body which could have been generating sales and which has become obsolescent in the mean time.

      • Neopulse

        Hate to do a comparison, but so has Canon held back a camera of the same category so far. Nikon released their D7100 before the 70D and the D5200 before the half-ass update of the 700D. Anything not released obviously prevents generating sales. Kinda like saying, “Why haven’t they release right now the successor to the D3X yet? They are losing customers because of it!” You get what I mean? It will come, just be patient and I think the fotm camera isn’t always something that photogs drop everything after they hear the announcement (mind you no annoucement yet) and wait until it’s release to buy it to THEN go back to work.

        • RBR

          I understand your position, but products which “sit on the shelf” awaiting release are aging with every day that passes in an industry which already is slow in development of electronics.

          The D800 was a year old when released and it showed in terms of features incorporated in “lesser” cameras released soon thereafter. The fact that the delay was quite understandably occasioned by the earthquake and tsunami does not change the reality of it.

          …and, yes, photography goes on in the meantime.

          Cheers

  • Smudger

    So, Nikon’s strategy is to produce one model at the base of the range that everyone can afford, but hardly anyone wants and another in the stratosphere that loads of folk would want but few can afford……
    Good thinking Nikon.

  • JKOJ

    Suck my lens! There’s no D400?!

  • Don D

    I never understood the release of the Nikon 1 line. It just did not make sense on any level or consumers and marketing, but folks were saying, oh you just don’t know. Well, I guess I did know, and apparently more than Nikon. I could have saved them millions of dollar and made them millions more if they had just released an FX or DX mirrorless camera in the at the same building quality and lens design as the current DSLR. Now, that would sell. yes, I know, it would eat in to the DSLR market, but you have to go forward, you can not hold back technological advancement or you will pay, and pay they are.

  • droll

    Nikon still needs to release the upgrade of D700. D800 is not even remotely close to D700 in terms of actual use: a very slow, time-space consuming camera dedicated for stills. D600 is a cheap, compromised beginner camera which should have been released in 2009, not remotely close to D700 except for the sensor size. D4x should have been released in 2011, a year before D800, and gone discontinued in the event of D800. Even landscape boys and resolution fanatics are satisfied with the amount of pixels D800 has to offer. D4x no longer has any place in consumer’s market, were it not a medium format, an impossibility. 300mm f4g is a welcoming addition. But there is something quite wrong about their market plans.

    • Maji

      I am glad that you do not work for Nikon :)

    • callibrator

      For someone who is into “not even remotely” off the cuff statements, you’re not even remotely close.

    • decisivemoment

      What’s slow about a camera with a 43 millisecond shutter lag? How could anyone have released a 24MP FX camera in 2009 at any price with a 5.5 fps capture rate? Etc. Etc. Etc.

  • joe

    I hope it’s a 300mm DX lens

  • KnightPhoto

    Pricing of the new in-demand stuff has to be high to capture maximum revenue during that initial high demand period. Not sure why Nikon priced the D800 so low at release, they probably could have started out at $3,500, but I guess they wanted to force serious Nikon-shooters hand for us all to get one, and from what I can see it has worked and a lot of guys are shooting this camera. It is a real bargain at $2,800 as is the D7100 at $1,199, both are a lot of camera for the money. The 80-400 is on back-order locally which tells me that even at its inflated price it is selling. I guess what what we haven’t seen on the lens front is how much prices will decline after the first couple years for things like the 80-400 and upcoming 300 f/4 VR. I would pay the early-adopter rate if they can make a 300 f/4 VR small using DO or one of the other glass and metal technologies to make it truly light and small. Then there would be a place in many shooters bags for it – amongst 70-300VR (Good quality and value), 300 DO (light, sharp and takes teleconverters), 80-400 (flexible and longer reach but bigger), 200-400 (pro tool).

    • RBR

      All you say is true, but I remain of the view that Nikon are taking a course which will will inexorably result in a smaller market with even higher prices which reinforce the market decline.

      The fact that any specific product, or group of products, is on back order does not reveal the true volume of sales as one must keep in mind that Nikon makes small batches which results in shortages even when sales are modest. One example with which I am familiar is the D7000. The initial shipment for the entire U.S. was reported to have been 10,000 bodies. That meant that many stores got an allocation of one or two, certainly no more than a handful, at best.

      As to a DO 300mm f4 VRII, do you have any information that it will be a DO or is your comment “wishful thinking”? (Not that there is anything wrong with wishful thinking.) while a DO lens would be interesting, I shudder to think of the price Nikon would charge for it. That would make it something other than a replacement lens.

      • KnightPhoto

        DO=wishful thinking based on other posters here ;-) Nikon does have that other glass tech., forget what it’s called exactly, that also has a lens length reduction effect, so maybe the price would not have to be through the roof (AKA not > $2,000).

  • Serpent

    The only thing that keeps me away from Nikon is the 300mm F4 which is not weather resistant (like the Canon and Pentax). If the new one is I will sell my Pentax K5 and DA* 300 and buy a Nikon D800+300 F4.

    • Steve Griffin

      DA*300 is better than the Nikon AF-S 300/4. I’m thinking of selling mine and grabbing a DA*300 for my K-5 to get that extra bit of resolution, WR and the SR from the K-5. I find myself using my AF-S 300 in 1.5x crop mode on my D800E and manually cropping even more most of the time anyway.

      Shooting BIF normally requires fast shutter speeds and higher ISO anyway so VR may not be as important as you might think for many subjetcs.

    • Morris

      i think it should have all the features of the new 70-200 f4

  • Reese

    So any day now for this one admin?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Not sure when, maybe January-February?

      • Morris

        i’m saving every possible cent, i also gave away my 70-300

  • Yair

    Hi, any update on the 300 f/4?

  • cameraguy

    Where is the updated 300mm f4 gone? I do not see anything coming soon from Nikon Stable….after all these rumors for over 2 years now, no sign of replacement….

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