New Gear

£300, $350 (non-VR), £350, $400 (VR)

NPhoto - - Contents - www.nikon.com

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.

First im­pres­sions_

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

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