£300, $350 (non-VR), £350, $400 (VR)
New goodies, including two Nikon 70-300mm lenses and a tripod
Nikon hasn’t just launched a new camera, it’s launched two new lightweight super-telephoto lenses too… Well, actually, they’re two different versions of the same lens. The AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED comes in a VR (Vibration Reduction) and a cheaper non-VR version. There’s not too much difference in price and we would definitely recommend the VR version.
Nikon already makes an AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens, but it’s much more expensive than the new lenses, almost twice the weight and is designed for full-frame Nikon cameras as well as DX models. These new lenses are designed specifically for DX cameras. The 1.5x crop factor of the smaller sensors gives a 1.5x crop factor and an effective focal length of 105-450mm. The lenses are compatible with existing D3000-series cameras from the D3300 on, with D5000-series cameras from the D5200 on, with D7000-series Nikons from the D7100 on, and with the D500, although some cameras may require a firmware update.
The new lenses feature a compact design and light weight – 400 grams for the non-VR version and 415 grams for the superior VR lens. This should make them more comfortable to carry around and give better balance with Nikon’s smaller D-SLRs.
The interesting technology here is Nikon’s AF-P autofocus system. This uses stepper motors rather than the ‘Silent Wave’ autofocus motors used in Nikon’s regular AF-S lens range. Nikon says the stepper motors offer fast, smooth autofocus but, crucially, they produce almost no noise, so they’re ideal for video work. This AF-P system was first seen in Nikon’s latest 18-55mm kit lenses, as supplied with the D3400.
Both lenses should be available now.
We shouldn’t expect stellar performance from these entry-level lenses, but they look a good match for DX-format Nikons, which are relatively small and light.
We’re expecting to see these lenses turning up in cost-effective twin-lens bundles – but do check whether you’re getting the VR or non-VR version