The first “cheap” FX lens for the D600 will be the Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR

I already mentioned that with the D600 Nikon will release a new range of "cheaper" FX lenses. The first lens in that category will be the Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR. There is already an existing patent for a 24-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens and one of the calculations is exactly for a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 version. Expect the announcement of this lens in the next 30 days, maybe even earlier.

[NR] probability rating: 90%.

For comparison, this is the design of the current Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 (15 elements in 11 groups, 3 ED elements, 3 aspherical lenses, one Nano Crystal Coat):

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  • Kim Olsen

    hmm, almost same focal range than my good old AF 28-80mm f3.3-5.6.
    It’s a old lens used for a film camera, so it’s basically a FX lens.
    And i use D200…ironic, but not bad.

    • Kim Olsen

      woops, meant almost same focal range “as” my 28-80mm. 🙂

    • Yeah… I was going to say something like that when I read your comment… the 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G is superb, I’ve been trying it with my D800 and I was astonished with the results… I don’t see the point of this new lens unless it costs something like $200. VR is a welcome feature, but at that length, not a big deal.

      • BTW, you can buy the 28-80mm for about $60 on eBay, I got mine new (unused) and boxed for $85. There are plenty of these everywhere.
        If you guys don’t believe me about the quality of the images coming from this lens, just get one, for the price you can’t be wrong.

        • Bondi Beach

          I read your comment and did some quick comparisons at 24, 40 and 80mm between the 28-80 f/3.3-5.6G and the 24-120 f/4G. These two lenses are chalk and cheese. The 28-80 is very light and focuses quickly, but the image quality is just not there. Using it on a D800 will produce images, but surely there are more appropriate lenses to use on a high end body. $85 is a fair price for what you are getting, I guess..

          • Bondi Beach

            *28 lol

      • There is a 24-85 2.8-4 too! I was looking at it for a while as an inexpensive portrait lens. I then decided to hold out for 16-85mm f4 and now d600!

        will a 16-85mm work on the d600? ie. can the dx be turned off to have a really wide angle? that would save some shoulder ache carrying other equipment…

        • MJr

          lol !

        • Erik

          I’d love to see a VR version of the 24-85 f2.8-4.

      • Jduffy

        For video, VR would be a huge deal.

        • MJr

          Right, i always forget about that. One thing kit lenses are good for.

        • Dan

          Actually, unless you intend to record audio on a septate devise then VR isn’t really ask that great for video since the gyro noise gets picked up by the camera’s microphone.

    • Nikon D800 + AF Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G sample image:

      • Ol

        I can only second that. Have used my 28-85 AI-S on the D800 and it is nothing short of spectacular.

      • MJr

        Not bad indeed, not bad at all.

        Tho there is a electronic level on that thing you know !

    • MysterF

      Are we talking about the same lens that came with the F80 kit?
      I have used it for years and I allways thought it was a crap of a lens, soft, low contrast…a Lot of plastic….Did I get the wrong sample?

      • Yes, that’s exactly the lens, the same one coming on cameras like the N75, N65, N80, etc, and yes, these lenses are fairly cheap, plastic made, they look like toys, but as per the optics they are superb. You might have a bad sample.

        Here are more pictures taken with that lens and the D800 in case you have more doubts:

        • MysterF

          Looking at your pics I have to say that my sample was really bad in did… I’m going to try to find one in ebay to compare.

        • Bondi Beach

          Aldo your images are superb. It is important to note though that you have used the lens stopped down to f/11 perhaps? And on a tripod. This lens is great for landscape photographers. If you are trying to use it near to wide open, if the light is poor so shutter speed is slow, then the results will be less than hoped for.

        • dave

          I can generate similar pictures in those conditions with virtually any lens. When stopped down between f8 to F11 and tripod used, the results will come out similar. Also in your pictures is a whack of natural contrast so it probably isn’t a good sample to go by. That lens wide open is very soft, and it even gets soft when stopped down beyond F13 (only a little bit). What makes a lens good isn’t when it’s on a tripod stopped down to the sweet spot, in those circumstances most lenses operate very similar. What differentiates them is quality of build and how sharp they resolve when opened wide, as well as, of course, how wide the lens will actually go within the zoom range.

          • Anonymous Maximus

            For Landscape Photography, wide-open performance is not that important. Size & weight considertions is more of a priority.

      • AM

        It sounds that the lens fell in the wrong hands.

        • MysterF

          The wrong lens fell in my hands.

          • AM

            Most likely, it was too much lens for you to handle.

    • Adam Maas

      Exactly the same range as the old 24-85 f3.5-4.5 AF-S that Nikon killed in favour of the slightly faster but in all other ways inferior 24-85 f2.8-4 AF-D. Good to see this coming back, but I hope the AF performance is up to the old version, as that was a speedy little lens.

      • Roland

        Adam, I must agree with you.
        I have also an 24-85 f3.5-4.5 AF-S (got it on Ebay for less then 200 $) which is very often my lens of choice on my D700.
        The quality is superb, even fully open, AF-S is fast and silent, there’s just a little distortion, but Capture Nx corrects it.
        And in this focal range, it’s possible to live without VR !

        • Miklos

          Same here! Its also my fave lens of choice on my D700 😀

  • Disschuffed


    Want D300s replacement.

    Want 800mm.

    Want ’em now.

    I’m off to talk to Mr Canon.

    • Dolph Lundgren

      Well off you go … let us know what he’s got to say.

    • coloretric

      lol’d at NFI 😛

    • Sensitive soul


      Does that mean what I think it does?

      That’s rather rude.

    • Sports

      Beat it, Mr. Canon said.

      Off to Ms. Sony.

    • EnPassant

      You want fast focus and 800 mm equivalent?
      Try Nikon 1, FT-1 adapter and AF-S 300/4.
      It’s a lot cheaper.
      Not long enough?
      Well, then you can step up to AF-S 500/4, still cheaper than a 7D and 800 mm Canon Tele.
      Not good enough?
      Bye, bye.

    • asdf

      Have fun with low DR + banding noise pile of crap with spastic unreliable AF.

  • yaras_phoenix

    beginning of the new era of cheap FF?

    • andy

      If you mean digital full frame, then maybe. Otherwise there are plenty of cheap but old 35mm film cameras for grabs.

  • twoomy

    Nice! Cheaper/lighter FX lenses signals the push by Nikon to get more people on the FX wagon. I just hope it has decent sharpness in the corners. And for those that poo-poo the idea, that’s fine; you can still stick with your 2.8 zooms and primes.

    • Michael

      I like my 80-200mm 2.8
      I like my 35-70mm 2.8
      as well. The D600 will auto crop for Dx lenses so this is a good thing too.
      Now if they would only copy Fuji’s new CCD sensor.

      • MJr

        Nooooo, have you seen the RAWs ?

      • Ick! NOOOooo! Ok, check out ever sample online that has a something strongly red or blue and you’ll see something wonky. They’re effectively the opposite of the foveon sensor, in that they’re lower color resolution. At least on the red and blue channels.

        For example compare the red/blue star target:

        Something weird going on there. I wonder if nobody has optimal demosaic math for this CFA patter yet, or it’s just something inherent in the design…

        • Bondi Beach

          Great links! I see what you mean – that does look like bad demosaic – how was the image processed?

        • an onymous

          Interesting comments there, trying to figure out what you mean as far as I can see the Fuji X-Pro 1 uses a different pattern than the typical Bayer pattern, but still both Bayer and X-Trans have the same “sub-pixel” ratio of 1 R, 2 G, 1 B.

          From the sample pictures in the 2 links you gave, except for that the Sony NEX shows colour fringing in the corners, the only thing I noticed is those 6 big circles with red/black stripes, green/black stripes in upper right corner etc. etc. shows different artefacts depending on the colour composition of the stripes, especially the red/green stripe circle in lower left corner showed some weird artefacts for the X-Pro 1, not very sharp at all.

          The picture of the 3 women shows pros and cons in both cases, I notice certain colour combination in the finer details give different results, some better with the NEX-5N while some better with X-Pro 1.

          Colour fidelity is sure different but I guess that isn’t the case, and at least not what I talked about here above.

  • Idea on a price, if it should be announced in the next month or so?


  • Seldon

    Cheap FX bodies and cheap FX lenses… uhm…

    Expecting a loss of resolution with these new lenses, I start to think good DX bodies and lenses will can reach the same quality of the images at the same price, with an advantage in the shooting speed.

  • Bret M

    There already was a AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 (and a 28-85mm and 28-105mm AF-D lenses), can anyone tell if this is the same optical design plus VR? If it is, I’d expect its performance to be average at best… but we’ll see. If it’s a different design, could be much better quality.

    Could be a solid seller depending on where they price it, I’m guessing it will come in lower than the other current FX zooms (28-300/24-120 are both ~$1000).

    Could be a solid standard zoom, definitely adds some more merit to the D600 FF rumor (which I didn’t have much faith in in the past, but I still firmly believe it will NOT be $1500).

    • Ol

      Have used the 28-105 on my D800. Same with the 28-85 AI-S: nothing short of spectacular.

    • Ashwins

      Yes, 28-105 AF D is a great lens. I am using it a lot on my D7000.

    • The design is very similar to the old 24-85/3.5-4.5
      let’s just hope they’ll get rid of the mustache distortion of the old one

    • I picked up the old 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 G just a couple of months ago, found one like new on ebay for like $450. The review on Photozone gave it very high MTF scores and not a lot of distortion, and Tom Hogan had recommended it as having high optical quality. The glass is great, esp with D800. Only problem with it (other than no VR) is it isn’t at all weathersealed and dust can get in if not careful. Oh, and it’s almost impossible to find, since it was only produced for a short time.

      • silmasan

        Bought a used copy of the AF-S 24-85/3.5-4.5 G myself earlier this year, for casual/family events. Mine has mint optics and a little worn off exterior–was sold at around $250, which is a bargain considering the quality of the optics.

    • Bret M

      Ah I did not mean that the 28-85 and 28-105 weren’t good lenses, I’ve heard awesome things and actually looked for a 28-85 for a while before I came across something I liked better.

      The 24-85 AF-S however didn’t have a very good reputation… which is why they only made it for a few years and in smallish quantities. Good MTF scores and such on, but note that that test was on a D200, 10mp and crop body. Not exactly super strenuous though it proves that the lens isn’t as bad as most people think.

      If the design is similar plus VR, I’d expect this thing to come in around $500 and to perform… average-ish, much like the 18-35 and 24-85 2.8-4.0… seems like Nikon can’t currently make an FX lens in that price segment without issues.

      • Adam Maas

        For some reason the 24-85 AF-S was always considered to be a cheaper version of the faster AF-D version and the AF-D was a mediocre performer, this is in fact not the case and the AF-S was a significantly better lens. I’ve owned the AF-S and it’s a superb little lens. Sharp, fast focusing, compact and well built. Only issue is mustache distortion, but that was fairly minor.

  • Bob

    Unless it’s a lot better than the 28-300, why would I want such a lens. It’s roughly the same f-stop at those ranges, and doesn’t have the zoom range. Granted, the 28-300 doesn’t have as high an IQ as the f 2.8 zooms, but is there room for something in between?

    I can see something of an argument for a lower cost D600 replacing the D300S, cameras. In some ways it makes more sense, particularly since the D7000 has closed the gap in that space somewhat.

    • Mike

      The 28-300 is $1000. The 28-85 may be the FX version of the 18-55 VR. Cheap and light…. and cheap. And it’s 24mm on the wide end.

      • Sports

        And cheap 🙂

        You’re right. Many potential D600 buyers are already moving to a more expensive camera than their previous model, so they will prefer not to spend another 1000$ on a lens right away.

      • Michael

        This seems more like a FF version of 17-55mm VR than the 18-55mm VR.

        DX lenses and its equivalent focal length and aperture on FF
        18-55mm VR f/3.5-5.6 = 28-85mm VR f/5.4-8.6
        17-55mm VR f/2.8 = 26-85mm VR f/4.3

  • Jordan

    They may be losing resolution… but they are definitely are losing my attention. (I’m starting to feel like a dog begging for scraps.)

  • Daniel

    we don’t need this kind of lenses. Nikon lacks a 70-200 f4.

    • coloretric

      Stuff the 70-200 f/4 – you want a performance zoom, you get a 2.8. No f’ around.

      The old 70-200 VR I is pretty near $1k get that and move up when and if you upgrade to FX

      That said, I think DX wides should be updated. Widest DX prime is the 35mm 1.8 ignoring the (usable-ish) 10.5 fish eye.

      • I bought an 80-200 f/2.8 for ~$700, and I love it if you don’t need the VR, so another option.

      • ggweci

        +1 Daniel

        I want a 70-200 f4 vr. The 2.8 is too large and heavy. Look at Canon’s version… one of, if not, their sharpest lens and a hot seller. If you’re not a pro, it’d be more than sufficient.

        • Petia


        • Henri108

          The 2.8 vr1 is same size as the canon f4… and I used the f4 and it’s not that impressive, would rather take a 2.8 vr1.

          • EnPassant

            Let’s check:

            Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR1:
            1470 gram
            215 mm long
            77 mm filter

            Canon 70-200/4 IS:
            760 gram
            172 mm long
            67 mm filter

            Comparision shows the Nikon lens is almost twice the weight, 43 mm longer and use 10 mm larger filter because of larger front element.

            Conclusion: Your claim about same size severly failed the lie detector test!

            • ggweci

              Indeed, thank you very much!

              C’mon Nikon, wake up and bring this to market ASAP!

  • jake

    actually if this is really coming I may sell my D800, I dont need 36mp and I dont want to carry a tripod all the time all day long.
    the D600 sounds very very nice , hope it is the same size as my D7000.

    • Sports

      True, the D600 will givee you better value for money.
      But I really don’t see a difference in tripod usage. If you fear getting blurred pictures with the D800 …. like 10 pixels of blur, you’ll get 7 pixels of blur with the D600. If you need a tripod for the D800, you’ll still need it for sharp images with the D600.

    • gregorylent

      am also wishing to sell my d800 … i simply cannot hold it still enough, except in bright daylight, to take advantage of the 36mp … tripod city

      my d7000 actually shoots better hand-held for daily use

      live and learn

      • Jake

        False. Your d7000 does not shoot better hand-held. You just think it does. Given as the pixel densities are the same on the sensors, with identical lenses, you will get the EXACT SAME amount of motion blur on images from the two sensors taken hand-held.
        Lrn2 pixel density.

        (also, to anyone else reading, notice that my name is Jake, not jake; He and i are different guys.)

        • Thomas

          @Jake I totally agree with your comment. Motion blur is one of the biggest misconceptions of the D800. I seriously doubt these guys actually own a D800. If they do poor technique cannot be erased by great equipment.

        • susan

          Second that. I went from D7000 to D800 and do a lot of pixel peeping, and I am getting about the same rate of sharp in-focus images handheld. Actually I get more with the D800 because of the stop I have gained from the higher iso.

  • WouterJ

    I know very little about lens design, but how much harder is it to make this lens as an fixed f/4 aperture?

    Even with variable aperture, I might consider it for my analog N80 🙂

    • Jake

      The lens is designed to be an FX equivalent to the 18-55mm f/3.5-4.5 VR.
      Check it: 24/1.5= 16mm, 85/1.5=56.6.

      As this FX lens is almost perfectly equivalent (slightly wider, and very slightly longer) to the basic DX kit lens, we can assume that it will be used as a kit lens for a cheap FX camera, AKA the D600.

      • Jake

        Wait, i think somehow I replied to the wrong comment here…. Disregard all of that.

  • jake

    and forgot , as for the lens , I much prefer this one to the 24-120f4VR or my AFS24-70f2.8GED since when I shoot serious with a good tripod , I use Zeiss (no Nikon lens ).
    for me zooms should be light and convenient , iow, if it is not convenient , there is no reason to use zooms or Nikon lenses(just use Zeiss or Leica instead).

    • Jake

      I feel like you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Just a feeling though.

  • Jolle

    To me this would be a very welcome lens, if the price is right and the lens is sharp.

    I am already looking at the 24-120mm VR but am a bit afraid of the distortion and the vignetting at the widest focal lenght, so if this lens could handle those problems better I think I’m in.

  • Trent

    Hmm, something about, how much it will cost? I just bought the Tamron 28-75 for my D700 and more wide-angle would be nice. Otherwise, the Tamron has a fixed aperture at f/2.8… =)

  • So, there is a great need for high quality DX glass (50-150, VR to the 17-55, just to name two) and the strategy of Nikon is to build… cheap FX. Wonderful. Where can I apply for a market analyst job at Nikon?

  • Wait announcement in next 30 days is for this lens for d600 ?

    If d600 I will cancel my d800 order

    • Hugo First

      if you remember back to 2008 and the D700, nikon came out of the blue the first week of july to announce that camera, and it arrived in stores by the end of the month. now, look at the calendar: we’re right on track! sometimes history does repeat — it might this time, too. the purported D600 sounds like an interesting camera, but i don’t have any problem hand holding my D800, or using a tripod. so i’ll probably stay on the sidelines for this one. for the $, i’d rather buy a 24/3.5 PC-E.

  • Benjo

    Have the 24-85mm 3.5-4.5 AF-S, bought it on craigslist years back for $100, and it’s ok on the D800. Nothing incredible, not super sharp, especially in the corners and especially wide open, but it has no major flaws either. Distortion can be corrected, CA and vignetting are fixable, nice range, sharp enough that no client of mine would see the difference between it and a 24-70 etc., and 4.5 at the long end is a nice touch.

    Very similar to the old 18-70 DX. Looks and feels almost identical too, except a tad shorter. Add VR and even if it’s not any better optically, it would be a handy, compact walkabout/kit. If it were very cheap I’d probably grab one, but I’m not the target, and it’ll probably be an excellent kit lens for the D600.

    • silmasan

      Wow, you got an even better deal than I did, $100 is a steal. Yes it reminded me of the good ol’ 18-70 too. Stop down a little and you’re good to go.

  • Geoff_K

    It should sell well with the D600 if it is light/sharp and not too expensive. Close enough to an f4 lens.

  • I_Finally_Got_D800

    Guess : US$550-600. Should cost the same as the old variable aperture 24-120 VR. This lens should perform well. People who already have 24-70 but not super deep pockets who want to go light would like this lens better than 24-120/4 to complement their 24-70.

    The wild card is whether Nikon would put nano-coating on it. The D800 sensor seem to require it to perform at its best. A 24MP sensor is no slouch either.

    • Landscape Photo

      Nano coating is not essential for lens resolution, but more for flare elimination & improved contrast.

  • Tomhawk

    Hi admin!
    You say that this lens comes out with d600. If you rate this rumor 90%, then you are quite sure. This means you got this loud and clear, this can only means that the release is near!..any hints on how near?June-July i guess, right??..hope d600 will be out soon!

    • Agree!

      Who is your source? Is Nikon pushing the rumour mills?!

    • Anonymous Maximus

      This D600 seems closer to reality than a rumor. Some kit lens for a “rumored camera” is coming soon. And so certain…

      • silmasan

        It’s indeed no longer a rumor…
        It is a New Reality [NR].

    • I was told before Photokina for the D600. I do not want to put any date out because there could always be a delay.

  • Landscape Photo

    24-85mm is welcome, but a 28-135mm VR would be much nicer.

    24mm on the widest on a zoom is an optical compromise for the tele end. OTOH an FX zoom starting from 28mm can be extended to longer focals much easier, while keeping the size compact. 24 vs 28mm is not a big deal (for a walkaround lens assuming the photog. has an ultrawide anyway), but 85mm vs 135mm is more of an issue since tele lenses are bulky. Having an access to such a focal on a compact lens would be very handy.

    I have a good sample of 28-200mm G & use it often @ 200mm (although it neccesiates f/11 for corner-to-corner sharpness, and good stabilization too.

  • Landscape Photo

    Hope Nikon makes a pocketable 16mm f/4 rectilinear ultrawide accepting filters, designed like the 20mm f/2.8. If an 16-40mm can be made, than why a 16mm prime with smaller size & better optics should not be possible?

    And BTW they may update the 20mm AFD lens too with one having less distortion.

  • Pablo Ricasso

    How rectilinear is that zoom lens at 16 mm?

  • Lardinio

    Variable aperture is a pain in the ass. I’d much perfer to a fixed f/4 lenses, but appreciate they would cost more. Why they end up costing a lot more I don’t know, but technically there must be some reason.

  • John

    Well, well.
    If it’s better than my 24-85/3.5-4.5AFS then that would be terrific even if I keep my D700. From the profile it looks like it will be longer and bigger and likely much much more expensive than my $265 excellent condition 24-85AFS.
    VR will be a welcome addition.

    Things are getting really interesting for FX users – DX seems like there’s not much going on these days . . . .

  • Harrie

    Why, oh why does Nikon keep on producing lenses in the ‘normal’ range? Don’t they have better things to do?

  • trialcritic

    It seems like DX might go away with Nikon coming out with cheap FX cameras and lenses. Am I mistaken?

    • Jake

      I hope that you’re right. With high-res FX and lightweight CX, there isn’t really a need for DX for much longer.

      • AM

        That will be Nikon digging its own grave.

        • Jake

          Not really. The Nikon 1 system is pretty much at the same price point as the D3200. If Nikon could release a stripped-down, amateur FX body between $800 and $1000, there’d be no more use for DX.

          It *would* explain why Nikon hasn’t released many DX lenses in a long time…

      • Andrew

        DX is here to stay, it allows Nikon to sell DSLR cameras in a much more compact body than what FX requires; me thinks!

        • Jake

          You remember those small disposable cameras that you could fit in a pocket, or a purse, or pretty much anything? Yeah, everyone seems to forget that those were FX. You could easily fit an FX sensor in a D3x00 body. Nikon just needs to make some good pancake lenses.

          • I agree.Nikon really should make fast pancake lens for both FX and DX camera. At least a set of pancake that is 16mm,24mm,35mm and 50mm at f2.8. I really like those lens,it make my kit smaller.And it should be easy for Nikon to make those.

  • Largo Winch

    i heard you have to be black to buy one. Hence the cheap part.

    • Andrew

      Largo, you must consider yourself some superior being, hence the snide remarks.

  • WT21

    I’ve tried a Nikon twice in a store. Mostly Canon, and right now m43. Looks like I’m going to be a Nikon user now!

    Dang when will this camera ship!?!?

  • It looks like Canon will release a new 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens:

    Will Nikon follow with a pancake lens?

    • nuno santacana

      I love pancake lens. Wish all lens were.

      • D400

        +1. 600mm f/2.8 pancake anyone?

  • AM

    What we need is more DX fast primes and not cheap FX glass.

    • silmasan

      Nah… a cheap good FX glass will sell well with a cheap good FX body.

  • Pablo Ricasso

    AM it looks like you miss the point completely. A lousy lens on a full frame can beat a pretty good one on APS. The small lens has to work harder because there is more pixel density in a small 24 mp chip than there is in a full size one, causing any error to be magnified. For instance, a 50 1.4 does the job of a 35 1.4 on APS. The 85 1.8 on the full frame will blur the background better than the 50 1.4 will on APS. The 135 f2 lens on a full freme is probably at least on par with the 85 1.4 on APS regarding blur and sharpness, but costs considerably less. If there is to be any long term advantage for the APS other than cost and reach, it might be speed. We already see some 2.8 zooms with a bit more range than full frame lenses. We see some Olympus f2 zooms. It might be possible to have some f2.4 zooms in APS. But they would probably weigh and cost more than the current crop of 2.8 zooms if people bought them. That nobody has tried to make speedier APS lenses indicates that nobody has seriously considered the format to be more desirable for anything. At some point one of the most important uses for the camera will be in place of or in conjunction with a converter, because the format becomes advantageous above the last focal length that a person can obtain a reasonably cheap, compact, light lens. Notice that the people using APS format cameras for an advantage in telephoto shooting are invariably using lenses that are for full frame cameras. There are no long telephotos dedicated to APS and that is the only place where the camera exhibits a real strength. I’m thinking that a lot of people are going to carry multiple cameras and use some of their lenses on both, effectively making the camera into a deluxe converter.

    • Michael

      D800 will do DX format effectively turning my camera into a 36 MP FF or a 16 MP 1.5 teleconverter without the need to have teleconverters, an advantage in many ways…

      • Pablo Ricasso

        Yes Mike, but for chump change you can get a camera that will see 24 mp in the same small area, allowing your lens to show you and everybody more of the details you are trying to see. And you can also put a converter on it as well. I believe that if the lens and converter work well together the extra pixels should allow you to resolve more extra details than are lost by the converter, which allows you a little over double focal length. (300 by 1.4 by 1.5 = 630) You should also remember that the APS camera has a viewfinder that is a bit larger when being used in the APS mode. I believe that APS will continue to have more pixels in their smaller sensor areas than the full frame cameras do for a long time. When they lose that edge is probably the time to drop test the lenses that are specific to them.

        • MIchael

          Agreed, but i would not want to take two cameras and or a converter on a backpacking trip, bike touring trip, or foreigner climbing expedition when I have to carry everything on my back or on my bike. When counting ounces i look for a camera that will be as versatile as possible. That is one of the wonderful things about the D800. Wide to tele, FX and DX in one camera.

          • Pablo Ricasso

            There is no doubt that the D800 is the best camera you can have for all in one and especially at that price. I’m just saying that there is always going to be a group of sports/action/wildlife photographers who will want the cutting edge in speed and optical quality (pixels) in a smaller format because it gives them a telephoto advantage in terms of size, speed, and cost. For the portable you I recommend the nikon 35-70 2.8, some wide angle prime, and a longer constant aperature zoom. For ultra cheap and super light, get the old 70-210 f4 if you can handle slow focusing and especially if you like close up. For the cheap and light, get the original 80-200 2.8 without the tripod mount if you never use tripods. If you use a tripod, pay extra for the newer style with the mount. Or get the AFS if you can afford it because it peaks at a lower aperture. If you take pictures while you are jogging, get one of the newer 70 – 200 versions with the antishake. If you shoot longer then get the sigma 100 – 300 f 4. The last is a serious one to consider because at most apertures it is equal to the old Nikon 80-200 (non AFS) or better. The Nikon 2.8 actually needs to be stopped down further than the sigma at the same focal lengths and the Sigma is at it’s strongest where the others get weak. You only lose the 80-100 for gaining 200-300. I also like the 35-70 2.8 because it is tiny, sharp as a prime, and shares a 62 filter with the 20 and the 70-210 f4. It even has a macro setting (wide angle). The other thing I like about it is it is cheaper than a 20 and only a bit more than the 70-210. If you can afford the d800 you can probably afford to ruin all these excellent lenses, which brings me to another advantage of APS…………. Can you afford to ruin your full frame camera like I can afford to ruin a d40x??? (I didn’t think so.) APS will therefore have a use with photographers who must abuse their equipment in order to obtain the photograph that they want. Possibly the industry will never cater to such a use, but the use is there and cannot be denied. I have no doubt that many fine cameras will be consumed insatiably by those seeking to obtain images previously thought unobtainable.
            One other area that I overlooked is in macro work. Macro telephotos tend to be expensive, so the crop factor reduces costs. Macro photographers struggle with incredibly narrow depths of field, so the small sensor adds depth by allowing someone to use a shorter focal length for the same result. Finally, there is the magnification factor. A one to one lens can fill the frame with a smaller object if it is filling a smaller frame. The same lens that needs something 24 mm tall to fill a frame at minimum focus only needs something less than 16 mm tall when placed on an APS camera.
            Of course, some people want the narrowest depth possible, even in macro. For that I say it is a good thing that they can still use full frame. I believe that the different formats will exist for a long time. If APS is dead, then Olympus and Panasonic made a mistake starting an even smaller format, one that is no doubt popular with macro shooters. And then everyone else screwed up worse when they copied that and Sony in selling all those mirrorless cameras. But they are selling them. Right?
            So, more choices and NO, none of it going away any time too soon. Each format has a different draw and some people will probably find themselves using many. I see APS continuing largely as it has. It will be for people who want the most bang for their buck between a low and a moderate price point. It will be for people who value a bit of modularity and who don’t mind carrying something a bit larger than a compact. It will be for people wanting to maximize the capability of their full frame telephoto and macro lenses. A photographer that carries it might also use it to allow a compact 10-20 or 11-16 zoom substitute for a big expensive 14-24 or warpy plastic16-35. You might even use an 8-16…

  • Bryan L

    This is such a great year for us Nikon shooters..By the way when is the last time (recently) ,,Nikon has put out a bad lense??,,,Dx or Fx,,,I am glad to hear about this and the D600 by end of summer….love my D7000 which I have had and learning for the last 2 years…and now the D600 just is what us novice looking to go fframe can not only afford,,but move up without breaking the bank…I don’t think I have (earned) the right in my photography skills to yet own a D800…(yes I would take one in a min),,,but these Fx lenses and D600…are gonna sell even better than the d800’s,,,not only will people like me be buying ,,,so will pros and every soccer mom in the planet…if this D600 is made in Japan…we are all gonna wait forever…

  • Pablo Ricasso

    You could probably take the full frame advantage fairly far. The 135 F2 is a whopping good lens, but I think that a 180 2.8 on a full frame is a worthy match and costs less, at least on the used market. I would rather use a 300 2.8 on a full frame than a 200 f2 on an APS. However, at that point it is obvious that a stop of speed advantage just accrued to the APS camera, an advantage that it will keep as the focal lengths increase. The 400 2.8 lens is twice the weight of the 300 2.8, but switching cameras makes the 300 lens do the work of a 450. The only thing missing is a little compression, which is often already more than ample due to the aperature and focal length. Predicting the end of APS reminds me of people who predicted the end of medium format when digital became common. It’s no longer something that the majority of serious photographers are going to run to, but any increase in the ability of anyone to impart strict tolerances when producing lenses will continue to extend price and size advantages to cameras of smaller formats. What you medium format guys really need to be worried about are those barbie cams.

    Yeah, I really said that. Those barbie cams are going to make APS sooo obsolete….

  • dave

    A really great cheap lens is the Tammie 28-75 2.8. It has close focus, is very sharp wide open, and is awesome at portaits at 75. Might not be long enough on an FX body though.

  • HDR

    My desire to buy Nikon has been obliterated by the D600 dead-weight dumbbell fiasco. Without the dumbbell, D600 would have been the size of D5100. Now it is purported to be north of D7000. I do not doubt corners will be cut feature-wise to meet the price target.

    Instead of striving for future-proof, Nikon has chosen to be hijacked by legacy.

    Nikon is mistaken if it thinks the competition for new users is not fierce.

    ps. I do own 1st gen Nikon AF equipments.

    • Allen W.

      Perhaps you could restate that rant in words this simpleton can understand.


  • Pablo Ricasso

    He is mad because Nikon’s inclusion of an AF motor for his old lenses guarantees that his new toy will continue to be larger than the Barbie cam.

  • John

    Well – I looked up the patent and it appears this is “working example #2” which gives a distance from the sensor plane to the first/front element of 158.098mm at tele and 121.098mm – 4.76 inches when in wide angle position. The Nikon F-mount flange to sensor distance is 46.5mm – so in the wide angle position it will have a flange to front element length of 74.6mm or 2.934 inches – that’s about .2 in longer than the current 24-85AFS – that’s pretty darned good if you ask me. VR + hopefully more sophisticated elements/design in just a slightly longer lens.

    Perhaps my math is wrong – somebody please check it!

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