Photography News Issue 34

Photography News | Issue 34 | absolutephoto.com

32

Review

Nikon Nikon has been making lenses for over 80 years, many of which were the first of their kind. We talk to Zara Livingston and photographer Jeremy Walker about the current wide range Lens special

Words by Jemma Dodd

Since 1932, Nikon has been making lenses under the Nikkor name and it now boasts a broad range of DX (APS-C format) and FX (full-frame) lenses. We spoke to junior product manager Zara Livingston who tells us of some of the company’s proud achievements: “Many Nikkors were the first ever of their type. For example, the OP 10mm f/5.6 fisheye was the world’s first orthographic projection lens, the UW-Nikkor was the world’s first lens dedicated to underwater photography, and we were pioneers in offering the first perspective control (PC) lens.” Zara listed the most popular Nikkors for its APS-C format DSLRs as the AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G, AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR and the AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR). “The AF-S DX Nikkor Micro 40mm f/2.8G ED is an incredibly popular lens for macro and portraits,” she says. When it comes to full-frame FX lenses Zara told us the f/2.8 range has always been highly popular. “It’s referred to as the mah-jong hand – (three big dragons). In their third generation now these three key Nikkor lenses are theAF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED VR and the AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II. Additionally, one of the most popular lenses is the AF-S 50mm f/1.8G, a ‘must-have’ for portraits as well as everyday use. These lenses can be commonly found in the FX user’s kit; they receive glowing reviews and are often users’ favourite lenses.”

Nikon lenses boast a Nano Crystal Coating, which is unique to the brand, and was invented by its semiconductor manufacturing division. “The Nano Crystal Coating allows unrivalled image quality in terms of minimising ghosting and flare. As a brand, we are exceptionally proud of the versatility of this glass coating and it is testament to our optical excellence that we are able to use this glass not only in our interchangeable camera lenses, but also in other areas across the business (specifically in projection lenses in integrated circuit steppers and scanners),” says Zara. “Whilst not ‘different’ from other brands, it is worth noting that an increasing number of Nikkors also use ED (extra-low dispersion) glass elements, which help to eliminate axial chromatic aberration. Additionally, more and more of our lenses use a fluorine coating on the front element. The coating repels dust, water, grease and dirt and leads to high durability, without compromising the clarity of images. Many of our popular lenses deploy this function including the 16-80mm f/2.8-4, 24-70mm f/2.8, 300mm f/4, 400mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4, 600mm f/4 and 800mm f/5.6.” Nikon’s most recently launched lenses are the AF-P DX 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6G VR and the AF-P DX 18– 55mm f/3.5–5.6G and they received a great reaction from the public. “Given the lenses are DX format and used primarily in entry-level

kits (D3000 series and D5000 series), many of the consumers who bought the new lenses would arguably not have been fully aware of the advancements. Nonetheless, these lenses are faster and quieter than their predecessors and we have seen a number of positive reviews acknowledging not only that, but also their aptness for video recording. We were also pleased to hear positive feedback on the compact size and lightweight build of the lenses.”

“Building on our optical heritage, Nikon is continuously working on identifying gaps in the market and areas in which we can improve our lens technology.Wehaveanexcellent product line-up and a passion for growing and improving our Nikkor range. TheNikon customer is always at the forefront of new designs and innovations, and we will continue to listen and respond to our valued customer base.”

The Nano Crystal Coating allows unrivalled image quality in terms of minimising ghosting and flare. As a brand, we are exceptionally proud of the versatility of this glass coating

nikon.co.uk

Featured lenses

AF-SNikkor 200-500mmf/5.6E EDVR £1179 With an exceptional reach this super-telephoto lens is ideal for sports and wildlife photography. Built-in Vibration Reduction offers a benefits of up to 4.5 stops, while the Sport VR mode is ideal for tracking subjects. AF-SNikkor 300mmf/4E PF EDVR £1470 As the first F-mount Nikon lens to feature a Phase Fresnel (PF) element, this telephoto lens has a compact build and a fluorine coating on its front element, which repels water, dust and dirt.

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