New Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR lens confirmed

The Japanese site Nokishita confirmed today what I already reported back in April: Nikon will soon announce a new Nikkor AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR full frame lens that will be a replacement for the current AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR version (Nikon also has a DX version of this lens that was already updated).

The new lens will have lens hood HB-82. The Japanese price will be 91,800 yen with tax (around $800). The current version is priced at $500.

Update - here are the fist pictures of the new lens:

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  • Borgar Tessem

    Im not sure if I like its going to re place the current edition, its putting a lot of older camera models whitout AF support

    • ITN

      Firmware upgrades can probably fix that.

      • Bean

        No it can’t unfortunately….

        • Manuth Chek

          The D5300, D5500 and D3300 all got firmware updates to support AF-P lenses.

        • Ashok Vashisht

          It means that the lens will not work on my D5200 ?

    • Bob Thane

      Sucks if you have an older camera I suppose and would like to use newer lenses, but it won’t make the current 70-300 any worse, and there’ll be plenty of those still kicking around on the used market too.

      I think Nikon’s chosen a pretty good balance of compatibility and technical improvements – they waited several generations before releasing AF-P, so I think for the majority of people considering this lens they’ll have a compatible camera.

    • I think some clarity is needed on this. Lots of blogs and reviews suggest af-p lenses work on the D7100. What didn’t work is the ability to turn vr on and off when there isn’t a button. I would assume this lens would have a vr button so it should have full support on all Nikon bodies.
      Can any one confirm this?

      • Eric Calabros

        Yea, camera doesn’t care how lenses move their focus elements.

      • Someone

        I have a D7100 and an AF-P 70-300 VR. It works very well. There are 2 caveats:

        1. There is no way to switch VR off.

        2. Focus “resets” every time the meter goes to sleep. (This costs you a fraction of a second when you focus for the first time after waking up the meter. But the focus is quick, so the fraction is small).

        Everything else works perfectly.

        • Thanks for the confirmation, there seems to be lots of confusion on line about this so good to clarify. I was tempted to get the DX 70-300 but the fact that I couldn’t turn off FV put me off especially because people have commented on the fact the VR can blur images whilst panning, so not so good for wildlife!

          I would be tempted to get the new FX version, I have the old one, but its pretty soft at 300 and the AF above 200 is sluggish. Here’s hoping they include a VR switch especially at this price.

          • Someone

            I did not do much panning and did not try it on a tripod yet, so cannot comment on that.

          • ZoetMB

            This is what Nikon notes for the 10-20mm AF-P: “The number of cameras compatible with both lenses is limited. Even for compatible cameras, firmware update may be required*. Fully compatible models: D7500, D5600, D5500, D5300*, D3400, D3300*, D500 and later models

            Compatible models with limited functions: D5, D810 series, Df, D750, D7200, D7100, D5200, Nikon 1 series with the FT1

            Incompatible models: D4 series, D3 series, D2 series, D1 series, D800 series, D700, D610, D600, D300 series, D200, D100, D7000, D5100, D5000, D90, D80, D70 series, D3200, D3100, D3000, D60, D50, D40 series, film cameras

            • Thanks, strange that my d7100 will work but not my d5100. I wander what it is with the af in the af-p lenses that don’t work with the older bodies.
              I’m guessing the limited function is lack of vr switch.

            • dabug91

              Well the D7100 is nearly 3 years newer than the D5100. Basically anything before 2014 is abandoned by Nikon now in regards to AF-P lenses. D3200, D5200, D7100 and older can be considered not worth purchasing at this point.

            • Marc P.

              Thanks, i am using Nikon since 2004 (D70, anyone?!) but i am glad i do also have other brands, for instance – Canon is way better here, all EOS AF Lenses since 1987 from Canon Original (not 3rd Party like Tamron, Sigma, etc) are still working 100% equal on Film SLR Bodies, as well as current Canon DSLRs. I am fed up already with Nikon, that i can’t use AF-P Lenses on my D7000, but that was the last Nikon DSLR i’ve ever bought anyway…into 2010. Perhaps someday used a D700, but no current or newer Model.

            • RC Jenkins

              AF-P lenses are ‘fly-by-wire’ and probably require a different type of pulsed, incremental signal.

              This is also why AF-P lenses don’t even work in manual focus mode…manual focus mode means the manual rotation of the ring gets converted to an electronic signal, which gets sent to the camera to encode it and draw power, which gets sent back to the lens’ stepping motor. Very different to the direct drive of non-AF-P lenses.

              In theory, they should be able to work with firmware updates (just like “E” lenses should be able to), but Nikon won’t be releasing those.

    • ZoetMB

      It will be a long time before they run out of inventory on the current lens. Years possibly.

    • CrashingOut

      There’s 10 billion used, new, refurbished, 3rd party and alternative models you can buy if you need that focal length but can’t use af-p.
      It’s going to replace it, nobody makes VHS tapes any more, what makes this any different? The lens being replaced is a dinosaur, the people who cannot be served by this new glass likely already have the old one or something similar, this a dime a dozen focal length not a 6mm f1.8 crazy glass.

  • Manuth Chek

    Ouch that price, almost double the previous version.

    • Bob Thane

      That is the Japanese price, so the US price could be a bit less. But yeah, still going to be a bit spendy for at least a year. Might have good body bundle discounts though.

      • yes, we better get used to it – photo gear will be more expensive (not only Nikon’s)

        • waterengineer

          Sadly true. I wish I had enough data. If I had the data, I would plot the trend of camera equipment prices against inflation. Get me the data, or point me to the data and I will do this exercise. My present hypothesis is that camera prices are trending well about inflation.

          • ZoetMB

            You just can’t calculate against inflation, you also have to calculate against the USD$ (assuming you’re in the U.S.) to Yen exchange rate. But even then it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison because newer lenses and bodies tend to have more or better features, like the stepping motor in this case.

            There is an official inflation calculator here, but because of the basket they use, I think it vastly under-calculates inflation:

            But Nikon’s were never cheap: Using that inflation calculator, the Nikon SP rangefinder was released in 1957 for $375. That’s $3266 in 2017 dollars. By 1960, Olden Camera was selling it with a 50mm 1.4 for $330. That’s $2875 in 2017 dollars. They were also selling the Nikon F with a 50mm f2 for the same $330. I remember buying a Nikkormat in 1973 and having sticker shock.

            The 70-300G was released in 2006 for an original list of $590. That’s $711 in current dollars. But the USD is worth about 4% less than it was back then. So that would bring the lens to about $739. So $800 with the stepping motor and supposedly improved performance would not be completely out of line, IMO. The bigger question is, regardless of whether it’s good value, is there a market for that lens? Is it too pricy for the D3xxx and D5xxx customer and too slow for the higher end D500, D8xx, and D5 customer?

            • nwcs

              To me it would be the perfect travel lens for telephoto. A D7500 + 16-80 and 70-300 would be very versatile and have a lot of flexibility with not much weight.

            • ZoetMB

              When I first got back into photography in early 2002, before I went digital with the D70 in 2004, I bought a Nikon N80, a 28-105 3.5-4.5 (#1971) and a 70-300 D 4.5-5.6 (#1924). I took those to Hawaii and they travelled well. My pics were fine for tourist photos, but I was never totally satisfied and a few years later, after I bought the D70, I went for the 28-70 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8, which I use to this day. But I’ll admit that those lenses along with two others, a D800 body and a bunch of accessories have become a real pain to carry around.

            • nwcs

              Yep. Last time I went out of the country I took my D800, 24-120, 70-200 f4, 85 1.8 only. It got very heavy by the end. I eventually went mirrorless and it is a good option but now that my situation is different I’m wanting something different. It’s a nice option to have as an enthusiast. I may move to a D500 16-80, 70-300, and 150-600 option.

            • Coolhand

              Why wouldn’t you save 400 dollars and buy the AF-P 70-300 VR DX for your D7500? Just curious

            • nwcs

              I’m assuming an updated 70-300 would be better on the long end. It’s an assumption until it’s announced and we have actual information to draw meaningful conclusions from.

            • CrashingOut

              As a D500 and D810 user, this lens is attractive but what I really want is something 300-500mm AF-P, VR, and PF if possible.
              Until then, my $62 70-210mm 1980s push pull zoom Nikkor will keep blowing my mind – awesome sunstars and ludicrously sharp at f6.3 already. Pixel peeping with my cheap used Nikkor is a delight as it outperforms modern glass in often surprising ways. I get the impression from its build quality that it wasn’t cheap to manufacture, surprising amounts of metal. I have a sizable 300mm f4 that is usually welded to my D500 as the AF is so good I really don’t need the SWM – screw type lenses can be really fast with the good pro bodies.

    • Delmar Mineard Jr

      Your right about that bump in price. That gives them lots of room for bundle special pricing.

  • Jirka

    Daaaamn $800 for 70-300? it is like 60% more from current version. At least we have sigma art, tamron “art” and they will sell some future 70-300 for reasonable price (hopefully).

    • keep in mind this is a full frame lens

    • nwcs

      Compare like with like. The 70-300 VR when first introduced costs more than it does today. It was about $530-600 and that was 10 years ago.

    • sandy

      Lets see the design and what improvements it brings before we throw it in the trash heap.

    • It’s a brand new price versus old settled price. It should come down as it settles in a year or so.

  • Plug

    Nikon has done a pretty good job with the cheap new 70-300 DX, my son has one and is using it on a D7500. If that is any indicator, expect this to be sharply superior to its predecessor.

    • I’m a bit confused here. The one in the article is an FX lens. So it’s not a successor to the DX one, is it ?

      • Bob Thane

        I think he means the 70-300 AF-P DX was a lot better than the 55-300 DX, so the 70-300 AF-P FX should be a lot better than the 70-300 FX.

        • Ok, much clearer indeed. Thanks a lot 😀

        • Plug

          That is exactly what I meant! Very recent Nikkors do seem to have upped their game,

  • Bean

    Nikon has gone a step backwards with their AF-P lenses not being compatible with older cameras. Canon’s lenses remained fully compatible when they added STM to their lenses. What a mess

    • ITN

      There are plenty of lenses available for older cameras if you’re still using them. Most people who are in the market for a new lens also update their camera bodies periodically since there have been large improvements in autofocus and image quality on the camera body side as well. AF-P is mainly beneficial for video AF and for video you want a fairly recent camera (for reasons of the quality of the video recording itself). Both of my cameras which support video recording are also compatible with AF-P except for color matrix metering which apparently is not supported.

      • Coolhand

        The issue is that only the D5, D810, D750 and Df are AF-P combatible. No other FF-cameras are.

      • Coolhand

        My understanding according to the Nikon website is that AF-P is only compatible with the following FF-cameras:
        D5, D810, D750 and Df.

        No other (ie no D3, D4, D700, D800, D800E, D610, D600)
        On these cameras the lens wont work at all.

        • ITN

          It is strange that D4s would not work if the Df does, as the D4s is newer.

          • Coolhand

            True, but I’m only citing the Nikon official chart.
            The system won’t let me link to the chart directly but google “Which Nikkor Chart” and it’s the first link

            • Coolhand

              Since Nikon now states that D6x0 is among the supported cameras after firmware upgrade I assume that the problem can be fixed

    • See my comment above, af-p is compatible with older bodies it was the lack of a vr switch on the cheaper lenses that caused problems, I.e you can’t turn vr off.

    • waterengineer

      At least Nikon didn’t redesign their mount the way Canon did.

      • RC Jenkins

        Nah (and they did…see “AI”…they just branded them the same as “F-mount”).

        Instead, Nikon has now just has limited compatibility with some lenses not even fitting at all (eg. pre-AI); or some lenses completely useless on some bodies–(eg. all of the AF-P lenses released so far)…

        You can see that in the comments here. Nikon may not have redesigned the mount, but the effects of incompatibility are essentially the same. If a lens doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

        Canon’s EF mount is now 30 years old. That “Canon redesigned the mount” argument may have made sense 25 years ago, but Nikon’s AI is only 40 years old (AI is the oldest that fits on most cameras we own without damaging the camera).

        So today, we have:
        -pre-AI (pre-1977): Only fits on cameras with no AI tab or special AI tab (Nikon Df)
        -AI (since 1977): Only meters on cameras with AI tab
        -AF (since 1986): Requires autofocus motor in body to autofocus. If the camera has an autofocus motor, the switch must be turned to “MF” on both lens & body to avoid damaging the camera body.
        -AF-S (since 1998): Aperture requires mechanical linking, but all Nikons have this.
        -“E” (really, since 2013): Can only change aperture with with “E” aware cameras for electronic aperture control
        -AF-P (since 2015): So far, only compatible with a handful of cameras. Requires camera to be “AF-P” aware to drive the stepping motor in the lens–cannot even manually focus this lens without that firmware. Also, have required custom camera menu items so far.

        On the flip side, every Canon EF lens released in the last 30 years is fully compatible with every Canon DSLR. They are all “E” type.

        This is also the reason only a handful of Nikon cameras can even change aperture in live view; while every single Canon can.

        Canon improving their mount 30 years ago and going fully electronic is unfortunately still helping them beat Nikon today.

        • It’s better if Nikon would make a cut and introduce a new mount for the mirrorless body that provides support using an F-mount adapter. Then they could make the same changes as Canon did years ago. But i guess that won’t happen as each new E type lens is having F-mount.

          • RC Jenkins

            Yes, I agree. I personally think it’s a better idea for Nikon to do a new mount, but I don’t think that they will. They’re too conservative.

            But there is an alternate way to think about these “E” and “AF-P” lenses–these lenses are even easier and more seamless to adapt which is why Canon’s adapter between EF and mirrorless systems works so well..

  • MB

    I wonder if Nikon will put AF and VR switches on this FX version … or cripple it like DX AF-P lenses …

    • Coolhand

      That’ll be interesting.
      I wonder if it is cheaper to put AF and VR switches on the lens or to update the firmware on the AF-P compatible FF-cameras like D5, D810, D750 and D610.
      I believe that no other FF camera are AF-P combatible.

      • ITN

        I would think removing the VR switch makes sense only in the cheapest lenses where the users are assumed rarely or never to turn VR off in practice … A switch on the lens is faster and more practical to use than going into the menu so I would assume Nikon keep the switch in the lens in this price class and higher.

        AF-P probably needs a fairly fast processor to evaluate the image contrast and run the steps fast enough so that focusing really is fast and convenient. Thus support is initially only provided on relatively recent cameras that also have the best video capabilities. Nikon could perhaps expand this support in a firmware upgrade as they have done for a few DX cameras.

      • Where does this af-p compatibility issue come from, I have seen numerous blogs, reviews videos and comments which suggest that the af-p lenses work fine with older bodies. See my comment above where some one kindly relied with their findings using the dx version of this lens and a d7100.

        • Coolhand

          You’re wrong.
          AF-P VR lenses currently only work fully on the following cameras:
          D3300, D3400, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7500 and D500.
          They will autofocus but you cannot turn VR on/off on the following cameras:
          D5200, D7100, D7200, D5, D810, D750 and Df
          On all other cameras the focus system, even in manual mode, won’t work at all, making the lens completely useless with no workaround.
          Unsure whether a firmware update can cure this or or there’s something electronically which prevent the lens from working on older camera

          • Yep i know about not being able to turn off vr but I’m talking about af. id guess this lens would have a vr switch, would hope so at this price. So it should be fully compatible.

            • Coolhand

              Yes but only on the above mentioned cameras. If for instance you have a D610, D600 or D800 you’re out of luck as the lens won’t work at all on your camera with no workaround.

            • sandy

              They will work you just cannot turn off VR

            • Coolhand

              Read my previous post again..
              No they won’t. Have tried an AF-P 18-55 VR on my D5100. Won’t work at all!

            • That’s not what lots of other people are saying? There are YouTube reviews of people using af-p lenses on the 7100 the only thing not working is the vr switch. Do you have an af-p lens and an older body? How do you know? Read my comment above some one replied who has the d7100 and an af-p lens.

            • Janne Hämäläinen

              I have AF-P 18-55 and it doesn’t auto focus e.g. in D90. Not too excited about the trend since my D3 and D800 are still great cameras.

            • Coolhand

              Read my post again. I state that there’s limited compatibility with D7100 and AF-P lenses, so the lens will work, but VR cannot be turned off as the menu item is missing from firmware..
              But most of Nikons FF cameras are not compatible with AF-P lenses, so the lens won’t work at all. Not even in manual focus mode!
              Have tried an AF-P 18-55 VR on my D5100. Won’t work at all!

            • Coolhand

              It seems the problem can be fixed with a firmware upgrade, since Nikon now states that D6x0 is among the compatible cameras

    • nwcs

      That’s what I was wondering as well. It would be a mistake for them to do that on this lens, I think. AF-P, E type, switches on the outside. That’s how it should be. I don’t want to be menu diving for everything.

    • Gilboa

      Well the VR switch isn’t visible in these publicity photos…which I find suspicious. It would be callas of Nikon to charge so much more for this lens than the previous version and not provide a VR switch! Especially as FX cameras have a more ‘pro’ vibe to them than DX ones (with the exception of the D500) do.

  • Suriya Kumar

    I would get the Tamron or Sigma Big brother 150-600 if the pricing for 70-300 is $800.

    • ITN

      A 70-300/4.5-5.6 is much smaller and lighter than those lenses. 150-600mm lenses are for a more specialized crowd whereas a 70-300 could be a travel walkaround lens.

      • Captain Megaton

        Tamron and Nikon 70-300 are pretty similar in size.

        • ITN

          Yes but Suriya was referring to 150-600mm lenses.

    • JXVo

      Different product and usage. The 150-600 lenses are large and heavy and mostly suited to a different purpose.

  • nwcs

    If they make this one sharp at 300 vs 70 then it could be a great option for the D7500 for intermediate long telephoto. When I went to Alaska I brought the 70-300VR as a backup lens on my D200 (it was a long while ago) but I got some great shots from it on some walking trails. It was a lot easier to handle than my 500mm lens at the time.

    All Nikon lenses should be E type so that would be good. This is a good lens for them to do.

  • C_QQ_C

    From Nikons website for AF-P lenses :

    Because AF-P lenses incorporate a stepping motor, the number of compatible cameras is limited. Even for compatible cameras, firmware update may be required.

    * Because focus mode (AF/MF) and VR ON/OFF are set using the camera menus, the number of compatible cameras is limited.

  • MNguy

    I must be living under a rock. What is “AF-P?”

    • ZoetMB

      P=Stepping motor. Better for video.

      • Gilboa

        Are stepping motors better suited to video due to completely silent operation or something or is there another reason?

        • nwcs

          They work better with contrast autofocus modes.

        • As far as i understand stepping motors can provide smaller adjustment steps in a shorter amount of time. Stepping motors are the same kind of stuff that was used inside a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive (a stepping motor that drives the magnetic head to each track).

    • Stepping motor which makes the lens incompatible with older bodies.

  • Avinash Rai

    Why is Nikon not making all of their lenses with electronic aperture controll beyond me? I’m getting frustated by nikon’s decisions.

    • They are already doing it? Each new lens is entirely “E” version which means electronic aperture until all lenses have been replaced with “E” versions.

      • Coolhand

        The AF-S 28/1,8 released in 2016 is a G-lens, not an E-lens.

        • EnPassant

          28/1.8 was released in 2012. I suppose you think about 24/1.8 from 2015?
          From 2014 all Nikon pro F-mount lenses are E lenses.

          The 1.8 G series of lenses are the cheaper series of primes aimed at consumers.
          Development of that series propably started 2009-10. they are all G lenses, saving development costs for mechanical parts and keeping compatibility with older cameras.

  • Gilboa

    Its supposedly going to cost about 60% more than the previous version, just because of the silent stepper motor? That’s a bad deal if true.

    • nwcs

      The “previous version” is also over 10 years old. Not an apples to apples comparison.

    • sandy

      Let’s wait and see what it looks like and the specs before we decide it’s just the stepper motor. Given the improvement of focus speed and accuracy, plus improved VR on the new DX models, I am pretty confident it will be way faster and quieter than the existing one. Now if the improved the lens to, we might really have something here.

    • Coolhand

      Can’t be the stepper motor.
      The AF-P 18-55 VR DX cost the same as the AF-S 18-55 VR DXII and the AF-P 70-300 VR DX cost the same as the AF-S 55-300 VR DX.

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    Hmmm, an FX kit lens, maybe a new 24-85mm AF-P and a D610 replacement (an FX version of the D7500) are soon on the way? With how poor a job Canon did with the 6DII, it will be very easy for Nikon to beat it again, that is as long as they don’t mess the initial run, again.

    • Gilboa

      I agree pertaining to the 6DII…a disappointingly mild upgrade considering how long its been since the original came to market, but that’s typically Canon. Nikon usually provide more bang for your buck spec-wise with their cameras. Mind you, the D7500 gave a lot while also taking quite a lot away unfortunately. But ultimately that was understandable considering you now have the D500 taking on the semi-pro/pro DX moniker. Where before the D7200 had to cover that market niche too, the D7500 doesn’t.

      • ” I agree pertaining to the 6DII…a disappointingly mild upgrade considering how long its been since the original came to market ”

        It’s because Canon can do it. They will sell enough of that because of the perception of the brand name. Kind of Apple strategy to sell products that are more expensive with less performance.

        If Nikon would be more aggressive with marketing they could point more (new?) customers towards the better price / performance value of Nikon products. The D750 still beats this new Canon 6D II.

  • Reilly Diefenbach

    Should be a worthy replacement :^)

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