New rumors: the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens to be replaced by the end of the year

Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-70-200mm-f2.8G-ED-VR-II-Lens
I received the same rumor from multiple sources: the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens will be replaced by the end of the year. Prototypes are already being tested out in the field. The current 70-200mm version was announced back in 2009 and is currently selling for $2,096.95.

Here is an updated list on what to expect next from Nikon:

Nikon DSLR cameras

Nikon 1 

  • I am still not sure what is the future of the current Nikon mirrorless system. No rumors so far about a new Nikon 1 products, but several lens patents designed for cameras with 1" sensor were filed in the past few months.

Large sensor Nikon mirrorless camera

  • The rumors so far are suggesting that a new Nikon mirrorless camera with a "larger sensor" will be announced in the next few months.

Lenses

  • Two new versions of the 70-300mm lens will most likely be announce next.
  • New Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.
  • In addition, we can expect an E/FL refresh of some of the Nikkor tele lenses.
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  • Jacek Siminski

    And I have just bought a VR II, replacing my old Sigma. The new one is going to be probably an E lens (electromagnetic diaphragm). Do you guys think that Nikon is going to abandon the mechanical aperture altogether? Or is it going to remain a standard feature in the pro bodies only? I have some darn good lenses with mechanical aperture control, I would not like to get rid of them.

    • Sashimi

      Why would you need to get rid of them if they fit your needs ? O_o

      • Jacek Siminski

        If the new bodies do not support the mechanical aperture control, then would such lens be functional?

        • fanboy fagz

          not happening anytime soon

          • Jacek Siminski

            Hope so.

            • Eric Calabros

              While removing any mechanical component from DSLRs have some cost cutting advantage for Nikon, but the mechanism responsible for driving G lenses is as essential as flipping mirror in pro bodies. Its there to stay.

          • Thom Hogan

            I’d expect Nikon to do the same thing they did with AF-S: the mechanical thing will go away on the low-end consumer cameras first (e.g. D3xxx, D5xxx). The irony, of course, is that Nikon will have to create whole new DX lenses in order to do that ;~) (buzz buzz).

            • Coolhand

              Already the widest Nikon DX-prime the 10,5/2,8 isn’t AF-S and therefore doesn’t autofocus on D3xxx and D5xxx bodies

            • El Aura

              Which they have already started with their most important DX lens: 18-55 mm f/4.x-5.6.

            • ITN

              That lens has the mechanical diaphragm, not electrically controlled.

            • El Aura

              You are right. The 18-55 mm AF-P has a new feature that makes it more suited for video, a stepping motor for very quit AF but not an electronic aperture. I only mis-remembered that.

            • El Aura

              If the AF motor disappearing from the low-end line(s) is the first step, Nikon hasn’t really moved forward on that front since 2006 when it moved camera(s) below the D70-class to AF-motorless.

            • EnPassant

              We all know what kind of that lenses that will be; cheap kit-zooms and no primes.
              If Nikon on the other hand finally get serious making a mirrorless with a bigger than Nikon 1 sensor it may never happen to the DX DSLRs, at least not in many years as most of the lower end cutomers will be shifted to mirrorless.
              Lenses for a mirrorless camera will naturally be fully electronic. But it would be nice if Nikon reintroduced the aperture ring for some of those lenses as has been done by Fujifilm, Panasonic and Sony.

        • ArTourter

          I doubt the will remove the mechanical aperture triggers from the cameras anytime soon, especially since it currently tend to be a high end feature. If all new kit DX lenses were to be E lenses, then I would imagine the amateur end of the market would see it gone, the same way they did with the autofocus screwdriver. But we are nowhere near that yet.

        • Sashimi

          most expensive bodies still have screw drive AF ; there are way to many lenses around with mechanical aperture control for Nikon to ditch that system in the next 10 years (unless obviously some major technological disruption in the optics field makes glass lenses drop dead altogether :D)

          • El Aura

            “Most expensive bodies”: Unless you count the D5500 as part of the ‘expensive bodies’, this should rather read as: “All expensive bodies”. One might even extend that to “All mid-level and high-end bodies” or better still “All but the entry-level bodies”.

            “All except the entry-level bodies” sounds quite different than “Most expensive bodies”, doesn’t it?

        • ITN

          No, it would not, but backwards compatibility is a salient feature of the Nikon F mount system, and today you can use most Nikon lenses made since the 1970s on new DSLRs; the exception is the entry level DX cameras which only give partial support of the lenses. Any camera body from middle level (D7200/D610) upwards fully supports lenses from Ai to AF to AF-S. Most Nikon mount lenses are G type. They will not drop support of these lenses in many decades.

    • HF

      A good buy. I am extremely happy with my sample, worth every penny.

    • The E diaphragm is already showing up in consumer lenses like the 16-80 f/2.8-4 DX lens. The mechanical linkage (specifically the aperture tab return spring) is the number one repair for lenses and the 70-200, being a workhorse that gets tossed around has a large number of repairs for this on lenses that work hard (I’ve had that repair done 2 times already on the current version of the 70-200 and I don’t even use it that hard). So I think that the mechanical linkage will be around for a long time in existing lens models but I think new lens models will all go to the E diaphragm.

      • Thom Hogan

        There’s also the issue of smoothly moving the aperture when shooting video.

        • Captain Insane-O

          Are you saying that the mechanical power aperture isn’t smooth in video? Or that the E variants aren’t?

          I’ve never tested that out on an E lens, but the mechanical linkage doesn’t move smoothly enough for video imho.

          • Thom Hogan

            The variable aperture lenses with mechanical aperture arms “click” when zoomed in video/live view. The accuracy of the mechanical arm when moved incrementally (as opposed to snapped to position with still shooting) is suspect.

            • Captain Insane-O

              Yeah, that is exactly how it appears. Followed with an abrupt change in exposure that takes a second to adjust. Which quite literally ruins video.

              I was sorely disappointed in the performance of “power aperture.”

        • Wolfgang Oertl

          This is a problem on the D750 where E lenses don’t move their aperture smoothly at all, instead it steps much too fast in an unusable way. Not that Nikon is interested in fixing that, even though I got an acknowledgement for the issue.

    • T.I.M

      Nikon does what Canon did 30 years ago….
      I don’t like E lenses, they don’t work with my F6, and I never had any apertures issues with the mechanical system.
      Electronic apertures also help reduce cost on low end lenses and DSLR cameras.
      But I do think that the electronic aperture could help for video.

      • Jeffry De Meyer

        No canon made an entire new mount Nikon is sticking to f mount just slowly evolving it to modern needs

        • T.I.M

          I never used Canon but I believe that the aperture in Canon EF lens mount is electronic.

          • Jeffry De Meyer

            Canon FD mount was mechanical like nikon F
            then they dumped it completely for EF and revolutionised the industry.
            it took nikon I think a decade to release afs lenses and now almost 20 years after that still fall short of what canon started in the eighties.

            And yes EOS lenses are completely electronic, no levers or screws on them.

            • T.I.M

              No,
              The first available AF camera was the Minolta 5000 (a real revolution at that time).
              The others brands followed quite quickly, 2-3 years later.
              I did not take 10 years for Nikon to go AF.
              Nikon’s revolution was the F801 (N8008), in Europe there was a 6 month waiting list for the F801 (I had 2 of them, great camera, with matrix exposure)
              I think Nikon was balance between the new technology (coreless AF motors, electronic aperture) and the “obligation” to keep the F mount compatible between new and older lenses.

            • Jeffry De Meyer

              I think I didn’t explain enough causing this misunderstanding.

              EF lenses have the motor in the lens body, it took nikon 10 years to start doing that do with their af-s technology. before they did it with the motor in the body af-d.

              Canon EF lenses were miles and miles ahead when it came to focus speed because of it and still are faster. (reason why sport fields are lined with white lenses)

            • jec6613

              Nikon actually beat Canon to it in the F3AF, but then moved the motor in-body. Early EF lenses did not have much of an advantage over early F mount AF lenses, but that slowly grew as longer lenses required bigger motors. The real advantage Canon had initially was the in-body AF sensors.

              Also, the Nikon mechanical aperture arm was very accurate and still is today – the FD mount one always had issues, which is why it was abandoned. It wasn’t until video that the F mount really needed an electronic aperture upgrade. Up until the D90, nobody cared about how the aperture worked so long as it worked. 🙂

            • Adam Fo

              The Nikon 300 f2.8 AF-I with internal motor came out in 1992 some 5 years after Canon launched the EOS mount.
              What makes you think current AF-S super telephotos focus slower than the equivalent Canons? The lens tests in the 2 German mags I get don’t suggest that.

    • AnotherView

      “Do you guys think that Nikon is going to abandon the mechanical aperture altogether?”

      No, you’ll always be able to buy a DF. ;~)

  • Wohoo, actual rumors. Thanks admin!

    Large sensor mirrorless: my Coolpix A approves 🙂

    • don’t blame the messenger 🙂

      • No no, I *thank* the messenger! Let’s hope the dry spell is nearing the end 🙂

      • T.I.M

        I just sold one of my D800, there is no good camera (beside the D810 who is the same as the D800) in Nikon’s DSLR offer right now (forget DX ).
        I can’t do weddings with only one DSLR body so I have to borrow a DX crap (just in case my D800 dies).
        I’m waiting for the D30x30 (fotokina ?) I believe that a new 48MP sensor with 1 step cleaner ISO and better dynamic range will be a killer)
        I’m ready to spend $5000 for the D30x30.
        Peter, if the D30x30 is release at the Photokina I’ll send a TC for free ! (sometimes I can be nice).

        • Captain Insane-O

          1 stop cleaner! ? You’re crazy.

          Not even the low light champ D5 is, Not even medium format for that matter.

          Another stop of dynamic range? That would literally produce hdr photos off a single exposure.

          Good luck, I feel that you will be more disappointed than Fox news was announcing Obama’s second victory.

          • T.I.M

            by 1 stop cleaner I mean that the ISO 800 from the D900 will look like the ISO 400 from the D800/D810
            With a new sensor type I think it’s not impossible.
            I can imagine using ISO 1600 in day time with my Nikkor reflex 500mm f/8

            • Captain Insane-O

              That’s still a tall glass to fill. But I hope you get it

            • HD10

              Agree. The best that can be expected would likely be a 1/3-1/2 stop improvement at most in SNR.

            • Thom Hogan

              Won’t happen from a raw file standpoint. If we’re talking OOC JPEGs, well, you’re talking about better NR.

          • Max

            I know. Keep asking myself, what more can they change in a sensor? Then again, I know nothing of sensor engineering.

            • Captain Insane-O

              Law of diminishing returns.

              As technologies mature their gains become fewer. That doesn’t mean you won’t see gains, but it will be at much lesser rate.

              I’m wondering what benefits we’ll see with bsi sensors. The a7rii’s bsi sensor has to be one of, if not the, best ask around sensor (detail, noise, DR).

              There are still gains to be made, but Nikon needs to push the envelope. I hope the d5 sensor philosophy doesn’t make it to their 810/750 replacements.

          • TwoStrayCats

            Gosh, yes… one itty bitty stop more – and then it’s ETTL time and we can kiss HDR stacking goodbye. And good riddance.

  • Roman Kosolapov

    Do I have to wait new Full Frame dslr with 4k video in near future? D500 is good, but too expensive for APS-C sensor. D5 is just too expensive 🙂

    • preston

      What aps-c sensor camera is better than the D500? If you want the best then you pay for the best. If you can’t afford that then get a D7200 for nearly half the cost but 85% of the performance and quit whining.

      • Roman Kosolapov

        Actually as I said I need a full frame, because most of my lenses are for the FF (I’ve got D4 & D600). So I’m thinking about replacing my D600 with similar FF camera which have a 4K video. But if Nikon had cheap aps-c – like D3400 or something – I could by 3rd camera in addition just for the 4K video

        • preston

          Actually it wasn’t clear you needed full frame since you talked just as much about dx and fx in your post.

          • Roman Kosolapov

            Sorry for my poor english.
            But the first sentence was about FF + 4K, was it unclear? Next I just talked about Nikon cameras which are already have 4K and why are they not suits to me.

            • preston

              I don’t mean to dwell on a misunderstanding (especially if english isn’t your first language!), but your first sentence was clear that you were wondering if another FF with 4k was going to come out and your next sentence only mentioned price as the reason to not get the aps-c D500. If price is the only reason to not get a D500 then it was reasonable for me to think you didn’t need an FX.

            • Lex Cross

              You were very clear. You said full frame 4K and then explained that you didn’t want to spend 2000 on apsc 4K but the FF 4K currently available was too expensive.

              You speak English very well. Some people just don’t read it very well.

            • Roman Kosolapov

              Thanks, Lex. This is exactly what I wanted to say 🙂

            • preston

              The way it was worded confused me about what he was actually looking for. This was an innocent language barrier misunderstanding. That’s great that you got it but it doesn’t mean I don’t know how to read. My initial reply was snarky because I read his initial post as a cheap way to put down the cost of the D500. I realized after he explained himself that wasn’t the intention and have apologized.

            • Justtakethepicture

              His original post was pretty clear. Apart from missing a ‘for a’ and ‘the’ (which doesn’t effect it’s meaning), the English was fine. You obviously didn’t read it properly.

            • preston

              I have been perfectly clear that the left out words and incorrect grammar DID cause me to misinterpret the meaning. Just as I did not blame him for the wording since it’s not his first language it wouldn’t be appropriate to blame me for misinterpreting the incorrect english.

            • Justtakethepicture

              Apologies are worth very little when you still try and blame him in part.

            • preston

              Ok, thanks for letting me know. Very helpful.

            • Captain Insane-O

              Let’s not devodelve into unnecessary criticisms.

              I’m sure he reads well enough.

        • ZoetMB

          Most of your lenses being “FF” only matters at the wide end. They all work quite fine on a DX camera. I had a D70 and D200 and used the 28-70, 70-200 and 105 macro. Only my 12-24 was DX. How wide do you want to shoot? And 4K video doesn’t necessarily look better than 2K video. What is being done with the video? What is it being played on? If it’s video that’s going to get uploaded to YouTube, 4K really isn’t going to make much difference.

          • Roman Kosolapov

            I know it, but don’t you agree that FX camera would be more suitable if you have all FX lenses including wide-angle lenses? I have 16-35 & 14-24 and using DX I’ll be losing half of the greatness of this lenses. I don’t want to buy another DX wide-angle for cropped sensor, moreover it cost as much as other slightly older FX cameras. I need 4K for making stock footages, that why it is important, especially in a long term.

            • M. Sauvage

              While you wait for an hypothetic FF camera able to do clean 4k, you can get a Panasonic GH4 + 2-3 mft native lenses and adapted the rest of your Nikon lenses for the same price as the D500.. It would work well until Nikon finally wake up..

        • M. Sauvage

          If you already got a D4 and and D600, I’m afraid it’s not body that you should upgrade…. If you really need 4K, get a Sony A6300, adapt the lenses you have with a metabones speedbooster and wait for Nikon to release a real 4k beast (it could still take a long time as this kind of technology is harder to implement in reflex, specially from Nikon who don’t have an expertise in video unlike Sony, Canon or Panasonic)

      • CERO

        what other camera by nikon has 4k?
        any full frame other than the D5?
        the D7200 doesnt have 4k?
        he said full frame.

        • preston

          Yes, I misunderstood that what he needed was 4k. I have apologized.

    • preston

      It looks like what I misunderstood is that you’re just looking to get 4k. Maybe others got what you were getting at. I apologize I didn’t. It read to me like the part about the D500 being too expensive was independent of the first sentence, which is why I suggested buying a cheaper DX camera.

      • Roman Kosolapov

        Whatever, nevermind 🙂

  • Aku Kankaanpää

    Why this lens? E diaphragm will of course be used and probably slightly lighter. But nothing is wrong with current version. More interesting would be 14-24 replacement. That one is also good lens. But – Canon now goes to 11mm and the difference between 11 and 14 is remarkable, I have used both. Maybe even so big difference that I would pick up 11-24 /4 before 14-24/2.8. Also there is good Tamron 15-30/2.8VC.

    Does anybody think there is some possibility for ultra-wide zoom replacement or some completely different lens that goes wider than 14mm? Could there be pressure to make one now that Canon has some edge in ultrawides?

    • I’m guessing they want to fix the focus breathing problem. It doesn’t impact everyone, but the lack of zoom up close does really mess with some portraits/weddings/headshots.

      • Unfortunately, Nikon’s “fixes” these days seem to come at the expense of making something else worse. Sharper corners, less sharp center… better iso at 12k, less dynamic range at iso 100. The question is, what part of the current 70-200 is everyone going to be okay with loosing, in order to fix the focus breathing?

        • nwcs

          The lens designers have to make compromises somewhere to meet design goals. People wanted fast focusing so they got some focus breathing. If they fix focus breathing something else will move. Just how lenses work.

          • Harry

            And the Canon 70-200 does not focus fast?

            • nwcs

              Different compromises. It’s not an either or scenario.

            • Harry

              What does the canon lack then? It seems to me almost all Nikon lens have 1 or more “weaknesses”

              Obviously some Canon lens got “weaknesses” too but overall Canon makes better glass then Nikon.

            • nwcs

              I think Canon makes many excellent lenses but they aren’t overall better. Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses.

        • ninpou_kobanashi

          Maybe the old formula (previous version) with the new VR?

        • All design is compromise. To expect a perfect lens is expecting too much. I would say Nikon have been doing pretty darn well in the design department, sales, qc and marketing? Not so good.

      • Carlos DAngerio

        Tony, I am not sure how much you understand about Photography, but there are ways around it. hahaha just kidding love your site and your youtube vids. One problem… if Nikon DOES fix the focus breathing (In my mind the only real issue with the lens, then you won’t have any reason NOT to switch to Nikon! Hahahaha didn’t you say that once in one of your youtube vids?

      • Bob Thane

        I look forward to seeing your review of it – is the 70-200 still the main thing keeping you in the Canon camp?

    • DrNo666

      considering that the 70-200/2.8 is the workhorse for most photographers, it’s natural for nikon to give it a boost now and then. is it needed? well I don’t think so but it’s also about marketing.

    • The current model has one pretty big flaw and it’s that it is unbelievably short of 200mm at close focus distances. A phenomenon called focus breathing.

    • Dariusz Breś

      11-24 F4 is too dark, and 11 mm is too wide, 14-24 2,8 is way better.

    • ITN

      The current 70-200/2.8G II has relatively poor bokeh and so-so sharpness at long distances. It also loses focal length substantially when focused close. Finally, it doesn’t have E diaphragm control nor the fluorine coating for the outer elements to protect from dirt catching onto it. Lots of room for potential improvements in this lens, and huge financial return as it is the quintessential pro lens.

    • I would love to see a new 14 mm prime. The current one is old and not very good by today’s standards.

      • T.I.M

        get the AF 18mm f/2.8 it is much better than what Ken says.

        • There is a 4 mm difference between 18mm and 14 mm and at wide end that is a huge difference.

          • T.I.M

            yes,
            but I had the 14mm f/2.8 (and the 14-24mm f/2.8), both are very soft in the corners so I prefer to have a 18mm that is sharp all over (and also the 18mm have less fall-off).
            I had 2 samples of the 14mm f/2.8, they were both soft in the corners.
            But on day I’ll find a “like new in the box” 13mm f/5.6 on Ebay for $5000 (yes, with a lot of faith, it’s possible}

            • I have the 20 mm/1.8 and it is OK. The 18 just doesn’t seem to do it for me. I have a 14-24/2.8 and it is good for a zoom and I use it whenever I need the versatility, but as Tim points out, it is not perfect in the corners. I also have a Rokinon 14/2.8. It is sharp, but it is also manual focus. While not a huge deal for 14 mm, I would really prefer a Nikon lens with AF that is sharp and fast.

            • You buy 14 mm because you want that extra 4 mm. Or else I would also prefer 35 or for that matter 50 mm for better corners or IQ in general if I can always step back.

        • EnPassant

          Unfortunately it is not that easy to find as it is no longer in production and less than 8000 were made.

          • T.I.M

            va sur Ebay USA, il y en a souvent a vendre, environ $700-$800 pour un “comme neuf”

  • LittleCam

    Focus breathing like Canon 70-200 mk 2 or the old Nikon 70-200 mk 1?
    That alone would be reason for an update.

  • reporteratlarge

    STILL waiting on the 135mm refresh.

    BTW, I have the first generation of the 70-200 2.8 and it’s excellent. I’m not sure why I ever would want to upgrade.

    • Bob Thane

      I don’t care if it’s Sigma or Nikon, but I really want someone to come out with a new 135mm too. The Samyang and Zeiss lenses are great, but manual focus only gets you so far.

      • … or Tamron.

      • TheInconvenientRuth

        A FF 105/1.8 and 135/1.8 would be great, aslo very suited for low light indoor sports witht he D500.

    • fanboy fagz

      vr1 user as well. my friend has 2 vr2 lenses at home and wants to sell me one. no thanks. the vr2 would be perfect if it didnt have bad focus breathing. bad flaw.

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      Still rocking the AF-S 80-200 daily for work. It would be a sad, sad day when it stops working. It’ll get put in a little display case to show off it’s scars “)

    • Captain Megaton

      Very little love for a non-macro prime telephoto 100-150 mm. Not just Nikon, but almost across the board.

      I always imagined this was simple demand: very little advantage as far as most people are concerned vs. the 70-200 zooms.

      • EnPassant

        Very true, at least for AF lenses. But at least Olympus have a 75mm (150mm FF eq.) lens and Fujifilm have a 90mm (135mm FF eq.) lens. Both excellent. Also the Sigma 60mm for MFT is a 120mm FF eq.
        100/105mm is worse. No new non-macro AF lens this century as far as I know. The Nikon lens is from 1993 and the Canon lens from 1991, and the one Minolta made from 1987. I guess the 100mm macro lenses killed the market for standard primes at that focal length.

        • M. Sauvage

          A 105mm upgrade is a must, a 135mm F/2.8 is very much needed. A 135mm F/2.0 would be spectacular (Sony has one, Canon has one, Zeiss and even Rokinon has one) and a lot of people would be tempt… Worth to note that 135mm is almost a perfect 200mm for aps-c! Using a 135mm f/2.0 on a D500 would be very very fun for indoor sport photography!

        • El Aura

          90 mm macro lenses didn’t kill the market for 85 mm fast primes, though. We have seen quite a number of new fast 85 mm (or 85 mm equiv.) lenses in the last decade (Nikon f/1.8 & f/1.4, Otus, Milvus & Batis, Tamron, Sony ZA & GM, Panaleica 42.5, Pana 42.5, Olympus 45 mm, Fuji 58 mm, Nikon 1 32 mm, Nikon 58 mm, Voigtländer Nokton, Mitakon 85 mm f/1.2 & f/2, Samyang).

          As you said, we have also seen a couple of fast 135 mm (or equiv.): Sony ZA, Zeiss ZF/ZK, Samsung, Fuji 90 mm, Olympus 75 mm, Samyang. Plus, most of the 85 mm lenses become ~130 mm when used on APS-C.

          But fast 100/105 mm? Zero, except for the very recent MF Laowa or the 50 mm f/0.95 lenses when used on m43. And none of them with AF.

          • EnPassant

            No, becuse that is the only fast short tele and needed for a lot of photography and can’t be replaced with a slower lens. And f/1.4 vs. f/2.8 is a big difference.

            100mm f/2 lenses on the other hand is more a compromise and general focal length that always was squeezed between 85 and 135mm lenses.

            Today photographers often have both a 70-200 zoom and a short tele macro. If more speed is needed it is easy to crop the image from a 85mm lens to the same field of view as a 100mm lens without losing too many pixels.

            The reason for the demise of the 100mm focal length is people mostly preferred the lenses mentiod above instead. And camera companies and other lens makers naturally first produce the lenses they think will generate most profit.

            • El Aura

              If you compare a 100/105 mm f/2 with an 85 mm f/1.4, then the 85 mm lens offers a more shallow DOF and a stop more low light performance. If you look however at an 85 mm f/1.8, then the difference in DOF is very minor (with even a slight advantage for the 100/105 mm lenses) and low light performance is also very close. The same applies when you look at the difference between an 85 mm f/1.8 and a 90 mm f/2.8 and the difference between between an 100/105 mm f/2 and an 100/105 mm f/2.8.

              100 mm is also noticeably closer to 85 mm (17.6% longer) than 135 mm is to 100 mm (35% longer). Using a 105 mm lens however, the relative magnification differences is much closer (23.5% vs 28.6%).

              Generally, 85 mm f/1.8 is noticeably cheaper and more compact than 100/105 mm f/2 and does the job of head-shots well enough (something 75 mm aka 50 mm on APS-C doesn’t quite manage). And 85 mm f/1.4 offers a more shallow DOF and better low-light performance as you said. So it is understandable that 85 mm lenses are more popular and thus also more attractive for lens manufacturers.

              But I would have thought that 135 mm lenses would the ones dying out. They are too long for portraits in most situations (unless staged) and too short for anything involving distance (I’d call them neither fish nor fowl). And most people have a fast tele zoom for medium tele needs. They do offer a more useful equiv. focal length on APS-C.

            • EnPassant

              As you yourself noted 100mm is very close to 85mm. And if a company have to choose which to make and sell the 85mm will always be first choice for a FF system.

              The general rule is that 50mm is good for half body portraits, 85mm for head-and-shoulder portraits and 135mm for head only portraits. Following that the photographs can be taken from about the same distance to the person being portrayed.
              The reason is to avoid perspective distorsion that appear if the camera and lens is too close to the portrayed person. Note that the distorsion depends on the distance, not the lens being used.

              There is of course nothing preventing longer lenses from being used for half and whole body portraits. The reason for this is to blur the background while still keeping enough Depth Of Field on what is being portrayed. A 50 or 85mm f/1.4 may provide enough blur but give much to thin DOF compared to a longer lens used from a longer distance. That is why some pro glamour and swimsuite photographers even use such extreme lenses as 400/2.8.

  • sperdynamite

    I heard that it’s going to be a 71-202mm F2.7.

  • sperdynamite

    IF Nikon listened to criticism then I’m really excited about the Df. I still like the camera but so many mistakes were made in it’s development. If they can actually nail the design then I will be all in.

  • mok

    I hope they will not change filter size. Although could be maybe logic to make same as new 24-70 Vr.
    But there is no technical reason to change filter size here I think. Hope for lower weight.

  • john

    Where is the D810 or D750 replacement with the new sensor?

    • Shutterbug

      With the earthquakes, supplier troubles, and huge D500 demand, probably not until 2017. Maybe Thom knows more.

      • Thom Hogan

        I’m on record this week as saying January 2017 for a D850.

        • Any thoughts on the specs?

        • john

          I’m okay with that, going to be legendary!

        • And there go T I M’s predictions. Most of them.

        • Scott M.

          Sure hope that’s true!

    • T.I.M

      fotokina

      • Thom Hogan

        Highly doubtful, and just from the sensor standpoint.

  • Alan

    How about releasing that superwide PC-E lens that’s been rumored for years now. Pretty please Nikon?

    • john

      Try Schneider PC-TS 28mm

      • Alan

        Superwide <20mm

  • David

    Can the new lens be any better? My 70-200 VR II is the best lens I’ve ever owned and I have quite a few. I just don’t see upgrading it. I upgraded to the 24-70 with VR and quite honestly I didn’t see any benefit and it’s also longer and heavier.

    • Matt

      The one big complaint about the VR II is focus breathing issues.

      • true

        Yes, getting better maximum magnification @200mm will be the thing they will have to fix if they want this lens to be competent.

    • Maybe carbon fiber galore and even better VR….used a VRII for a season shooting and it didn’t feel as effective as the 4 stops+ I get out of the 18-140mm. Even with a foregrip it didn’t seem to have quite the incredible smoothness I’m accustomed to, that being said having 60mm less helps, however it’s a DX lens so it behaves like 200 at the long end anyways.

    • Unrest

      + 1. Hope we get a sexy, meaningful update this time. The 24-70 update was a bit blah.

  • Matt

    If they do make a larger sensor mirrorless (lets say APSC) I hope that means there’ll be some measure of compatibility with their DSLR lenses, and i-TTL. I think if they do that they’ll instantly have one of the best mirrorless ecosystems, and all they’d need to do is build out their camera releases.

  • koenshaku

    If the mirrorless rumor is true, I will wait around before adopting the Fuji X system. Though I have a feeling it will come no where close.

    • M. Sauvage

      Get the Fuji, try it, and after all, you’ll be missing the very very good AF of Nikon (way beyond good enough AF from Fuji).

      I’m not denying that it’s a sweet system, but still not up to pro standard… The lenses are nice, but there is a lot of report of Fuji lenses feeling “tired” after 2-3 years, an issue you will never have with Nikon Pro level lenses… Also, the weight and size advantage is only true on wide to normal lenses. Have a look to the 50-140mm and 16-50mm, they are bigger and still lack pro level build.

  • Peter

    I would love to see a D5x or at least a 50mp D820. A Hasselblad X1D competitior would be a dream but does not seem to fit in Nikons roadmap. In fact, I am thinking about getting this loveley beast instead of a new Nikon. I´ll wait for Photokina and CP+ to decide which way to go.

    • Those products are not in the same market, would you complain to Fiat about them not making supercars for cheap? The X1D costs as much as half a DOZEN D810’s. Hassie is shooting for the moon, and pricing it accordingly. Different audience, very very very few people outside of the film industry can afford $10k for a camera up front. Nice cars can be had for less.
      Meanwhile well off hobbyists can afford a D810 right now no problem.

      • Peter

        I never stated that the products are in the same market. My Nikon preference would be a D5x and I don´t think it will be much cheaper than the Hassie. Some years ago there was a rumor that Nikon is working on a medium format system (MX). To me a high resolution MF mirrorless system with leaf shutter lenses is the perfect camera (I mainly shoot people using flashlights indoor and Outdoor) and I know that this is not where the camera makers sell volumes 🙂

        But being able to use flash at 1/2000th of a second without any workarounds is all I want 😉

        Peter

      • Bob Thane

        Based on B&H pricing, the Hasselblad x1d costs 3.216 times as much as the D810, not 6x. And only 1.384 times as much as the D5. It’s really not a bad price, all things considered. Not for most people, but then neither is a D810.

        • Bob for what it’s worth I figured my price on a well treated used one like mine or a grey market model, so around $2000. Even then my maths figured on the hassie owner buying a lens or two, which for Nikon’s hell you can buy a great 70-210mm af-d for $60, new hassie mount? The two lenses purchased amounts to over $5k. You dont have any other optuons there, you are stuck with only two lenses to pick from there is no way to skimp, and the zoom they mentioned is going to cost $4k+ Which leaves us at about 6x$2000, a new hassie and lens is $11,700, without tax. A whole set of great FX primes can be had for one new XCD mount lens. You can compare a D5 as being 1.384x but I don’t think you are throwing in the sizable chunk of change that glass adds. It’s a new mount…from a very elite manufacturer, I don’t expect wallet friendly prices.

          • Bob Thane

            Ah, yeah, that’s fair if you compare used availability and such. Though I don’t think the lenses are all that expensive – sure older, used Nikon lenses are cheaper but the Hasselblad lenses are really quite excellent – comparable glass from Nikon costs comparable amounts. I do agree with the general idea that the x1d is a pricey camera that fills a small niche overall.

        • Carleton Foxx

          Have mercy on our overseas brethren with your price comparisons; we currently live in a camera-buying wonderland compared to photogs in other countries thanks to the strong dollar.

          • Bob Thane

            Totally – I used B&H USD pricing because it’s easiest, but I’m in Canada myself and I’ve seen the UK getting brutalized too. Even before the pound fell they were getting hammered – I’m guessing it’s similar in other countries too.

      • Well, I don’t know about Hassie, but I can shoot the moon very well with my D810. /joke

        • CERO

          oh gods, I’ve seen that excuse of “But I can shoot the moon just fine!” everywhere.. specially in the canon camp in some forums x_x

        • reductron

          Do you use flash?

      • raziel28

        FF cameras are everything but FIAT…
        Nowadays, NASA uses Nikon cameras. 😉

        Regards

  • Jonathan

    Good news is, the new 70-200 will only cost $3,995! Am I right?

    • Shutterbug

      I know you’re joking but clearly it will not cost anywhere near $4k…Probably $2599 or thereabouts.

      • We should start a pool… I’ll put a dollar on … $2899 with a $400 instant rebate three months after it’s introduced.

    • Kyle

      the 300 F4 had about $600 price bump, so I’d expect at least that amount putting it right at $2999 minimum MSRP. I’m guessing it’ll be $3499 though.

  • Tieu Ngao

    I wonder when they will be able to produce a 200-400mm f/4 lens that weighs under 1kg???
    I have 70-200mm f/4 and that’s the limit in size & weight I’d feel comfortable with (on my D750).

    • Shutterbug

      Probably a very, very long time….minimum size of the front element on a 200-400/4 lens is 100mm and glass is very heavy.

      • BVS

        Just curious, what is the formula for calculating front element size from focal length?

        • Nyarlathotep

          Focal Length / F-Stop. Not really truly the front element size but the entrance pupil (aperture)

          • BVS

            There must be more to it than that though, right? 14-24/2.8 is a lot bigger than 8.6mm isn’t it?

            • Nyarlathotep

              This is an example where the entrance pupil is not the primary factor on front element size because of the relative distance between the front element and the pupil as it relates to angle of view. The entrance pupil on the 14-24 is for sure 8.6 at its widest. But, wide angle lenses tend to have constraints related to field of view and because of the short focal length. As mentioned above, the front element is very far away from the entrance pupil relative to the angle of view as compared to a comparable telephoto design. So in a nut shell the front element guide people use (FL/Fstop) is really flimsy outside of normal and telephoto lenses. Even with telephoto lenses it’s not a fully reliable indicator, just a rough gauge.

            • Thom Hogan

              Lenses that wide start to be a special case due to ray angles.

          • Carleton Foxx

            So why does the new 24-70 have an 82mm filter versus the old one with a 77mm filter.

            • Nyarlathotep

              As stated in my comments above, the entrance pupil and the front element are not the same thing. This “guide” for getting a rough estimate of what size a front element should be begins to unravel for a number of different reasons, particularly with wide angles. Wide angles have other limitations and lens designs that dictate the size of the front element.

              In the case of the 24-70, I suspect there are a couple of possible reasons in the lens design, 1, an increased front element can be designed larger to reduce the amount on light fall-off in the corners/edges of the frame and 2, the further the front element is from the entrance pupil, the larger the front element may need to be to accommodate. The more correcting elements or VR elements you have in a lens design, the further forward the front element will need to move. This may result in larger front elements to accommodate these additional lens elements. If you look at the new 24-70, it is physically longer and has more elements (20 vs. 15) than its predecessor.

      • Tieu Ngao

        It’s time to invest in R&D for a new material to replace glass!

  • Jeff Wunder

    Well I went with the 70-200 f4. Hope I don’t miss the 2.8, since I don’t shoot sports.

    • ThEGr33k

      As long as you don’t want low light performance for indoor shooting or late/ early day, you’ll be fine. Seems like a nice lense!

  • ABB

    I have tested the “new” 70-200/2,8 VRII several times against the old one. At 4 meters distance the VRII was only a 135mm lens and the old one a 180mm lens. This ist a dramatic difference when you shoot people. The actual lens was a failed development. The old one was sharper at 70 and 135mm and it was a joke to sell the new lens with the promise to get less vignetting at “200mm” when zu get effective 135mm in the area where you shoot people. A focal length where the old one ist sharper. There are much possibilities to improve the lens, not only to build it with an electronic aperture!

    • Unrest

      You’re being a bit tough on the 70-200 vr 2 IMO. Yea it does focus breathe but it’s so versatile and I just love the way it renders. That said I’m looking forward to seeing what Nikon does with an update.

      • true

        Bit tough? You mean a 70-200 lens with terrible maximum magnification is okay? I think there was some older Tamron “macro” (1:3 or something) that does better, and even that lens is old! If people can’t use the 200mm for true portraiture, the 135mm prime is probably better, so it kinda defeats the point of having a 70-200 zoom if the end range is not very usable.

        • Unrest

          Well at MFD it’s an excellent 70-135 then. The fact that it focus breathes doesn’t mean you can’t take really great portrait shots with it. Where did you get that idea? I know from experience. It’s sharp at all apertures with excellent color and contrast. And the focus performance is stellar. Bottom line is its a very reliable and versatile lens.

          • CERO

            You’re missing the point and defending a lens that is not giving you what you’re supposed to get.

            • Unrest

              What point? I went into my purchase of the 70-200 vr 2 knowing it focus breathes. As I already said I love it as a 65-185, as a 69.9-177.1 as a 75-135, etc. It has other qualities such as build, focus performance, color, contrast, and IQ that I hold in high regard. All that said sure there’s room for improvement (no perfect lens). We’ll see what Nikon does with an update.

            • CERO

              So, because you do.. everyone else must fit your personal opinion?

            • Allen_Wentz

              No, Unrest is just expressing his opinion which is his right.

            • CERO

              So are others, doesn’t not mean to have to make his opinion trump over others.

        • Adam Fo

          You can always put on an extension tube to maintain focal length at closer focusing distances.

          • It works very well although you are loosing sharpness.

          • true

            This sounds like the same kind of argument people use when asked “why nikon doesn’t have 400 f5.6?” “just put 1.4x TC on a 300 F4” , that doesn’t work too well if the AF speed drops.

    • Let’s be honest, the focus breathing is very strong at the shortest focusing distance only: At 1.5m you get a disappointing 135mm, at 2m you get 150mm and at 4m that’s “already” a 170mm equivalent.

      On a side note: you don’t get past the 185mm mark before 10m so if there would exist a good 135mm f2, you could get better magnification and performance with a much lighter set up at all shooting distance <10m by cropping with your 135mm f2 = 135-185mm f2-2.8

      And that might be why we all want a new 135 f2 and Nikon don't …

  • Lloyd

    Just when I finally am required to carry two of them in my bag, they’re both going to be obsolete before the depreciation even begins 🙂 always happens like that.

  • MRomine

    They will probably want at least $2,995.00 for it. I hope it is more durable than the VRII, I have two of those and both have been repaired twice in the last five years at minimum $600 a pop to the infomous ‘impact damage’.

  • Captain Megaton

    2009.. the current version is almost “maxed out” in terms of Nikon’s current bucket list features: AFS, VR, N, … and optics technology doesn’t change that much in 6-7 years.

    My money is on a facelift and price hike, nip and tuck to address issues with the current version, E aperture and most likely improved VR.

    • true

      The maximum magnification on the VR2 is worse than on older version, much worse in-fact. The VR2 @200mm is not working like a true 200mm fl lens, very limited performance in that focal length.

      • CERO

        Reminds me of that Tony Northgroup video.
        Where the focus breathing is so bad.. the Vr2 ends with approximately 166mm when focusing at close range.

        • true

          Yes, they said it was one of the reasons they couldn’t fully switch from Canon to Nikon.

    • EnPassant

      The f/2.8 tele zoom is one of the most important pro lenses. Six years was the longest time between updates before. With seven years and going without an update the current lens is a record holder in the Nikon world!

  • I am in agreement with the folks saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” while at the same time, I can understand the inevitability and necessity of an update / upgrade.

    All Nikon lenses DESPERATELY need an electronic aperture, especially with the strong likelihood of a mirrorless F mount lacking a mechanical aperture coupling without an adapter.

    Any Nikon lens that is ~7 years old could have its AF speed, precision, and reliability improved, as well as stabilization.

    So, even though the current 70-200 resolves a D810 quite well, an upgrade is still both inevitable and necessary.

  • 247th

    Please … something that surpasses the Canon’s 70-200 f/2.8 mkII. Nikon should know the weakness is the 200mm end wide open, where the lens is most important…

    • BVS

      Sometimes I feel like there’s a kind of gentlemen’s agreement between Canon and Nikon, where Canon let’s Nikon have slightly better sensors, and Nikon let’s Canon have slightly better glass, so as to maintain the status quo.

      If one of them was better in both areas the other would probably go down, a bunch of workers lose their jobs, it’d be another blow to the Japanese economy, which seems like an un-Japanese thing to do.

  • Ramiu.s

    The one lens that desperately needs to be remade is the 10 year old macro Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 125mm f/2.5. Launched @ US$700, now at more than twice the price.

    Since every mfg’s fav price point seems to be $1400, I’d rather pay that price for a AF capable macro with optics and coating to beat the Lanthar. Hopes on Sigma to do it but their indefinite delay on the ART 85mm can only make one dream

    • HD10

      If you want an apochromatic prime, try the Zeiss 135mm f/2.0. Except for 1:1 macro, this is an equally capable lens and is much more durable.

  • Dmitry Tkachenko

    The current generation of 70-200 is fantastic – with the only drawback being – it is a heavy piece of art. Other than that I have no reasons to replace it at all.

  • Littlelio

    I am really happy with my 70200 F/2.8 VRII, so what the ‘even better’ would be? 😀

  • Espen4u

    A new 70-200, well it should be an easy project for the Nikon bosses to green light. Even the new lackluster 24-70 was a success. An E version with less focus breathing and they’re home. But where’s the 135/1.8, a longer PF tele and all the dx primes that are missing?

    • Morris

      where? itäs not yet the end of the world, there are years (the d500 and 300f4e arrived when someone pronunced them dead)

  • steve

    Maybe they’ll finally engineer a lens without “focus breathing”

    • Carleton Foxx

      I think that would turn it into a $5,000 lens, for an example go price cinema zooms. They start at $35,000 and go up from there.

      • steve

        I don’t see why, all previous versions to the VR2 did not exhibit this phenomenon …

  • NicP

    Please Nikon make it lighter with better magnification and less focus breathing, other than that VRii is so great. Thanks in advance.

  • Brett A. Wheeler

    Let’s hope they fix the breathing issues at close focus.

  • Jonny Stein

    Hopefully this new version will rival Canon’s. Nikon has had focus breathing issues for a while(ie. on Nikon 70-200 VRII at 200mm at close focus for portraiture is actually 135mm).

  • DP

    Talk about having the wrong priorities! They’re replacing a well-regarded optic when key updates to their aging camera lineup are long overdue?!?

    Where’s the mirrorless body? Where’s the D850? Where’s the D650? Where’s the D7300?

    This just might be the surest sign yet that Nikon has its head stuck in the sand. Can’t say I’m surprised. After all, dementia does accompany old age in some people (and companies).

    • BVS

      I think you mean Canon with their 4 year old 5D mark III and 6D.

      D7200 is only 1 year old. D810 is 2 years old and replacement is expected end of year or early next year. D610 (which is effectively a D600) is the only one that’s really old.

      Also, I’m pretty sure the camera designers and lens designers are in different teams, so developing one doesn’t mean work stops on the other.

  • JT

    Am I the only one out there just desperate for Nikon to replace the 1999 17-35 f/2.8? I can’t be.

  • Herman Au

    already? I’m just getting warmed up with my VR2… if they would actually invest that kind of effort updating the glasses like 50mm that’s my workhorse. They’re literally tempting everyone to buy Sigma and missing out on so much money there.

    • Brandon Nehus

      58mm!

  • I think Nikon should make a version of this lens for the pro/enthusiast DX bodies. Maybe like a 50-135mm f/2.8. When I had the 70-200mm with my D300s way back when it always felt a bit too tight. Even better, they could also do a 10-17mm f/2.8 so that DX users could have their version of the f/2.8 trinity (although I guess they may want to update the 17-55 as well).

  • englishfil

    I have an ageing 80-200/ 2.8 that really needs to go. It is probably the first Nikon lens I can genuinely say I have worn out. I have held off getting the current 70-200/ 2.8 because a) I always thought it was a bit over-priced compared to 3rd party equivalents b) its focus breathing is pretty astonishing. I know that optically it is superb for a zoom. I consider this news as good news, but now have the worry that Nikon will change the filter size as they have done with the new 24-70; I am engage in some pretty specialist photography and have several thousand pounds worth of narrow bandpass and dual bandpass filters – these are standardised on 77mm; 77mm was the ‘old’ Nikon standard for Pro lenses. A bit “me,me” I know, but I wish Nikon would consider the impact that even small changes can have to some people’s “eco” systems – butterflies and such!

  • M. Sauvage

    That is the kind of thing that makes me wonder…. Last version of the 70-200mm f/2.8 dated from 2009, that’s not that far away… How come Nikon produce a third version of a lens that basically any pro already has in his bag instead of a new version of the overdue 17-55mm f/2.8 (release in 2003 for the D2x) for the D500 and D7*** series!! Nikon really want to loose the crop sensor war against Sigma…

  • HD10

    Specs I expect for the new 70-200mm f/2.8E VR
    – 82mm filter
    – “E” Electronic controlled aperture
    – “FL” Flourine coating
    – Reduced focus breathing
    – heavier by 100-200grams
    *
    Possible features
    – Dual AF (with PDAF/CDAF capabilities for upcoming mirrorless cameras)
    – VR IV (which can work in tandem with in-body image stabilization)
    *
    Now for a bit of fun: future versions of this lens will likely be:
    – liquid lens
    – less than half the weight, approx. 600-700grams weight

  • Paul Bardotz

    Would the new 70-200 bring back a true 200 mm close range like the older AF-S VR NIKKOR 70-200 MM 1:2.8?
    I had teh 70-200mm Tamron and when you got close to a subject like a headshot, it only went to 135mm. So I got the older nikkor lens from E-bay which works great.

  • Paul Bardotz

    I would not be interested in it either. Love the first generation. Works fine for me.

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