Next on the AF-S FX Prime wish-list?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bmm, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. bmm


    This might seem like a bit of an 'I can't get no satisfaction' post given the recent release but its just for fun and interest...
    So now we have upgraded options for FX that are new and good at 24mm, 50mm and 85mm. Plus the 105/2.8VR Micro which I guess also qualifies in this growing list of 'new-style' (AF-S G) fast primes.
    Just curious as to what other people think the next priority is for these upgrades or what they would most wish for. Personally I'm a bit torn between a few possibilities... but would be particularly pleased to see a new 35/2 and a new 180/2.8 (The latter with VR if possible, the former I don't care so much for VR and would prefer emphasis to be on maximal flare control).
  2. None of the newer lenses you list have much appeal to me since I already have the f2.8 zooms in that range. What I'd like is a 300mm f4 VR.
    Kent in SD
  3. I personally wish for a new AF-S 35mm f/1.4 Nano, ect. In fact I'm saving for it right now. Funny thing is I don't shoot FX, I shoot DX...AND I already have the 35 1.8! But I'd STILL get the new one even at 7 or 8 times the cost. :O
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    After the 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm f1.4 trio, perhaps a 35mm/f1.4 AF-S or a good portrait lens at 105mm. It also makes sense to produce AF-S versions of the 20mm/f2.8, 50mm/f1.8, and 85mm/f1.8. At least for me, a 35mm/f1.4 is far more useful than a 24mm/f1.4 for indoor shooting. I still own the 35mm/f1.4 AI-S that I bought back in 1987.
    However, in this era of high-quality zoom lenses and DSLRs dominated by the DX format, the so called "primes" are not nearly as important as before.
    You may notice that one question that is asked over and over is potrait lenses for the DX format. Perhaps there should be a 60mm/f1.8 or 70mm/f2 portrait lens designed for DX at a modest price, similar to the 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX.
  5. I don't shoot a digital FX format camera, so I've no need for new $1000+ lenses. I still feel my older AI and AIS lenses are outstanding for digital, having shot with them on the D700. I really don't understand non-professionals buying lenses that cost nearly $2000 each these days, with the economy the way it is. It's not like suddenly the older AIS and AF-D lenses became obsolete or anything.
  6. Although I don't use one, I think the AF 180/2.8D is longgggggggg overdue for an AF-S and VR update.
  7. The 35mm f/1.4 or f/2 is something that is needed; the 35/2D is by now one of the weaker primes in the lineup. A replacement for the 105/2 DC (something that autofocuses correctly), and 180mm would be very useful to me. The 135mm f/2 could be better wide open but I wouldn't necessarily upgrade to a costly AF-S version. But I think the 35mm is the weakest at the moment - on the other hand it is quite small and inexpensive, which are virtues that would be lost in an update if past history is any guide.
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Although I don't use one, I think the AF 180/2.8D is longgggggggg overdue for an AF-S and VR update.​
    That is unlikely due to the popularity of the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR lens. Especially version 2 is excellent. The only problem with the zoom is the high cost, but since most of those who need a 180mm/f2.8 should already have the zoom, I would imagine that remaining demand for the 180mm/f2.8 is tiny.
    And of course Nikon should produce a VR version of the 300mm/f4 AF-S.
  9. bmm


    I can't judge for myself as I don't have either the 105 Micro or the 105 DC (though I do have, and love, the 135 DC) but I'm surprised at the call for another 105mm lens with the modern bells and whistles, apart from the Micro that is.
    I thought - obviously wrongly it seems - that people enjoyed the 105 micro very much as a general-use short tele, as much as in its specialised role. And from the postings I've seem on this site and elsewhere it seems to be a good performer for a range of applications. As such I would have expected the demand to be more for a 135, with the current (Micro) 105 'filling the gap' between that and the newly announced 85.
    Separately, Shun, on your post immediately above, there is a huge user-experience difference between the relatively light/small/handy 180 prime and the 70-200 zoom. Its the reason I have the former and not the latter, and why I got rid of the 80-200 after a short while. I respect your judgement, as always, but am surprised that there isn't a decent demand from people like me who want a longer option that is fairly fast and high quality, but don't want to lug around a hulking big zoom...
    PS: Yes yes yes to a 35/1.4... I'd only allowed myself to contemplate a like-for-like (therefore f/2) replacement but at 1.4, if the quality was good, I'd be camping out for it.
  10. I *would* consider an upgrade to the 135 f/2 DC, but probably only if it was decently apochromatic (in as much as it didn't have such bad LoCA) and if it retained - probably a different implementation of - DC. That's a lot to ask of a lens. In the meantime, I'm looking at switching to the 200 f/2 instead. Both the 200 f/2 and 135 f/2 have rumoured upgrades (without DC, in the latter case), but who knows how accurate the rumours are?

    Perhaps a lower-end supertelephoto? A 400 f/4 (although it might poach some 500 f/4 and 200-400 f/4 buyers), for example? My experience with a 150-500 Sigma is that it's not nearly as sharp wide open at the 500mm end as Sigma's MTF suggests; stopping down to f/11 for every shot is painful, and a longish prime is a tempting alternative if it didn't cost big glass money. Otherwise, the 105 f/2.8 micro VR doesn't seem to review as favourably as Canon's.

    Or there's the exotica. Bring back the 70-180 micro or the 6mm f/2.8... (i'd gladly pick up a 6mm fish-eye - although probably only at a hundredth of the price of the original).
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Bernard, I have exactly the opposite experience. I bought my first 80-200mm/f2.8 AF back in 1989 and never looked back. In 1978 I bought a 200mm/f4 AI but never felt the need for any 180mm/f2.8.
    Pretty much everybody knows that the 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR is coming for those who want something smaller and lighter, following the f4 VR 16-35 and 24-120. There are simply too many ways to reach 180/200mm in these days to justify a 180mm/f2.8 AF-S VR. Not to mention that f2.8 is not as important any more since it is easy to get good high ISO results.
  12. The 105 VR has a nominal f/2.8 maximum aperture but considerable vignetting wide open at distances of a few m, which makes it more like an f/4.5 lens wide open in the corners. This is a problem for me as I do indoor academic events without flash; I tried the 105 VR but have had to resort to the 85/1.4 and 135 DC to stop movement. The 105 DC is wonderful lens optically but it didn't autofocus correctly enough for wide open use on my lens and the digital bodies, so I finally after much testing I sold it. This problem needs to be rectified, the net is abundant in complaints with regards to this issue. If you use manual focus it's great and of course stopped down sufficiently the focus issue doesn't affect the images significantly.
    The 180/2.8 is half the size and weight of the 70-200 and far less expensive, also. Many people have a short tele for portraits and/or close-ups and the 105 and 180 form a nice pair that is more functional (thanks to macro capability), lighter on the hands while shooting and more discrete than the zoom. Sometimes it's inappropriate to bring a huge lens to an event. In fact, if the 180mm had AF-S, I would not currently own the 200/2 AF-S nor the 70-200. So even though by keeping the 180mm and other compact primes handicapped, Nikon certainly may make more money but it is not the behaviour of a company who cares about the actual needs of the users of its products. An updated 180mm with precise autofocus and manual focus would be far more preferable to those other two lenses for me. Although the 200mm gives wonderful results, its use elicits so much talk in the audience of events in which I bring it to that I'd switch it to an 180/2.8 AF-S in a heartbeat. In fact, once when I brought the 200 out during a wedding, guests started laughing. This is not a desirable feature in a lens. A set of compact primes with AF-S and intermediate apertures would be much more suitable to many quiet events such as classical concerts, weddings, and academic events. The 70-200 Mk II produces such high contrast in images that it can not be used indoors to photograph people without fill flash (which again equates to making a scene out of the photography which should be discrete and unnoticeable) so I've basically abandoned the idea of using it for people photography. I get better results with e.g. 85/1.4, 135/2, and the huge (but excellent) 200/2. Of course, someone photographing tattooed metal performers might think the zoom is great (actually I do think it is great, but not for indoor people photos).
  13. BM, I agree on your sentiments regarding the 180 f/2.8, and I am considering it as a replacement of the 80-200 (which I'd probably keep nonetheless); I prefer primes most of the time and a lighter bag won't hurt either. But the numbers in sales do the talking, and in that respect there is little to argue over what Shun said.
    I do not feel VR is terribly missing on my 300 f/4, but yes, it would make sense to add it. But what if there is an updated, fast-focussing 80-400VR? I guess that would place this lens in the same situation as the 180 f/2.8...
    The main missing one now would be 35 f/1.4. I think it would be the lens to get for those with FX and DX, since this length is extremely useful on both formats.
    A line up of cheaper, smaller, somewhat slower primes would sure be nice (f/1.8 or f/2 line), but I'm not holding my breath.
    And, personally, the only thing I really feel missing that would make me grab the wallet: a reasonably fast wide angle prime for DX; 12 or 16 mm, f/2.8 something, though I could live with f/4 if it means small and cheap(er).
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    But what if there is an updated, fast-focussing 80-400VR?​
    That one is obvious (adding AF-S and VRII to the 80-400), but the title for this thread says "prime." However, don't count on really fast AF from any lens that is max f5.6 (on the 400mm end).
  15. There are simply too many ways to reach 180/200mm in these days to justify a 180mm/f2.8 AF-S VR.
    Strange logic. :)
    Other than the 180/2.8D, I believe there are presently (in the current product lineup) two ways to reach 180mm at f/2.8. I'm not sure if two is too many (look at all the present overlap in the wide angle and wide~to~short-telephoto zooms). One is the older 80~200/2.8D, which is at its weakest at f/2.8 on the long end, and I think it is pretty well acknowledged the wide open performance of the 180/2.8 easily exceeds that of the 80~200/2.8 at 180mm. The other option is the 70~200/2.8 VRII at 2.5 times the cost and twice the weight, and with apparently significant effective focal length shortening at closer distances.
    Not to mention that f2.8 is not as important any more since it is easy to get good high ISO results.
    Some photographers want f/2.8 for subject isolation, not shutter speed (high ISO), particularly at that focal length.
    There is probably only a very tiny demand for the AF-S VR 200/2, but they still build it. I think an AF-S 180/2.8 would sell just as well. Clearly there are some here that would buy one. ;-)
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The other option is the 70~200/2.8 VRII at 2.5 times the cost and twice the weight, and with apparently significant effective focal length shortening at closer distances.​
    Michael, you are comparing apples and oranges. Your comparison is against the current 180mm/f2.8 AF-D. If that AF-D becomes an AF-S VRII, I can guarantee you that Nikon will charge you accordingly and you'll find the cost and weight difference much narrower. Do you notice the price change when the 85mm/f1.4 becomes AF-S but no VR?
    And of course there is another option (or two) to reach 180mm, f2.8. Namely the current lens and the many copies already available in the used market. You just don't have AF-S nor VR. Any new lens will have to compete against those as well as the many 80-200mm/f2.8 and 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR1 in the used market.
    Those current lenses that have a lot of duplicates and overlaps are all zooms, especially mass-market DX zooms for consumers. Nikon has finally added a few f1.4 AF-S primes since f1.4 cannot be achieved by zooms. Otherwise, zooms dominate everything up to 300mm.
    I could be wrong, of course, but I wouldn't count on any 180mm/f2.8 AF-S VR.
    Clearly there are some here that would buy one. ;-)​
    Not exactly. There are definitely some here who claim that they will buy one if it is introduced. Some of those same people have claimed the same thing over and over on many many products. Saying it and actually spending money on it are totally different things; the latter is much harder to do. I have learned to take those comments with a large grain of salt years ago.
  17. I should have thought of this before, but I'd bite the hand off someone offering me a cheap pancake lens (the current one is *not* cheap). A small DSLR - or a small film body - will fit in a bag or a large pocket, not much worse than an old-style 35mm compact. I actually recently took my Eos 500 (not -D) and 50 f/1.8 on a pub crawl, because it was lighter and not much bulkier than my Bessa R and 35mm. A plastic - and ideally AF - replacement for the 45mm might make me shop for a D3100 or F75 (and stop contemplating a GF-1). Just making it "G" would help the ergonomics comparaed with the 45mm f/2.8 P.

    As an aside, the length of shortish lenses is dictated partly by not hitting the mirror as it moves up. I wonder if a lens could be made such that the rear element moves out of the way as the aperture is closed, and springs back before the shutter opens?

    Of course, it would be nice to have a normal lens that was respectably sharp wide open, but Leica seem to have a patent on modern designs for 50mm primes. Not that I could afford a "Niktilux"...
  18. I'd like to see a 300/4 AF-S VR - but am afraid that the price point would be $2K+ (that goes for a 80-400 AF-S VR or a 400/5.6 AF-S VR as well). The question then arises if those lenses really are that much better than a 70-200 AF-S VRII with a TC-14EII (or an updated Mk III version) or a TC-20EIII?
  19. Maybe a new 50 f1.8? A basic lens that is light, fairly useful, and hopefully fairly cheap (maybe $50 over the current price of the af-d version). I mean, don't even mess with the glass, just add the AF-S components (maybe retool the plastic body to fit it all). I love my AF-D one and I use it on the D40, but I would like to have autofocus from time to time on it. A good "first non-kit-lens" that won't break the bank. In theory, it shouldn't cost them a whole lot to make, since keeping the same glass/optical formula saves them a lot in research costs.
  20. AFS 400mm F5.6 or F4 (with or without VR) - matching the two superb telephoto lenses Canon has in the 400mm prime. Nikon has zero AF hand-holdable lenses in this range - the 80-400zoom is not so good and does not take a TC.
  21. Shun brings me good news, because I recently bought a Nikon-refurbished 180mm f/2.8 for all the reasons others seek the update. I'd like the 200mm Micro to be updated only because I'm so tempted to get the antique version that is currently being sold.
  22. Yes I can see Shun's point. I own a 180mm f2.8 and like it very much. I doubt I would buy a new one as mine works very well and the focus is fast enough on my D700, I can live with the size and weight. I might buy a 35mm f1.4 and probably would prepurchase a 28mm f2. Still I don't really need any more glass and my body is still fulfilling all my needs except weight. It will take a lot to make me part with my money.
  23. I have this weird idea in the back of my head about the 105mm f2.0 and 135mm f2.0 DC lenses.
    Their focal plane (such as it is) shifts when focused. If Nikon made them AF-S lenses and added a mechanism for the lens CPU to sense the position of the DC ring and compensate focus as you turned the DC ring, wow. You could adjust DC and see the effect immediately, without having to refocus.
    And, they could tie that into the aperture mechanism (by signaling back to the camera that it was a fixed aperture lens) so you could always try Nikon's "optimal" aperture for every ring setting, and maybe have a switch to also give you one stop wider than "optimal" and full manual control of aperture.
  24. I would think that the 35/2 D could use a refresh into something that more obviously outclasses the zooms Nikon offers but as others noted it would almost certainly double in price.
    "A plastic - and ideally AF - replacement for the 45mm might make me shop for a D3100 or F75 (and stop contemplating a GF-1). Just making it "G" would help the ergonomics comparaed with the 45mm f/2.8 P."
    A bit off-topic from Nikon AF-S FX primes but if you were actually willing to buy a new body for it, then a Pentax K-x plus DA40/2.8 is pretty much what you're asking for (except the DA40 isn't plastic). Stabilized, too. For film, instead of an F75, mount that same lens to a MZ-6. In Pentax-land we have some of these pancake primes, but many wish they had some cheaper plastic ones in addition to the metal-bodied 'limited' versions. The issue has become more acute as most of the older, plastic, designed-for-film cheaper AF primes are discontinued. In truth though, don't know whether you'd actually be happier with this or a MILC (mirrorless interchangeable lens camera) + compact prime.
  25. mmm. Weird idea ?? 28mm f1.4 AF-s ( no VR !!) .
  26. Andrew - thanks for the Pentax pointer. I looked at the Pentax limited lenses at one point - mounting them to Nikon is awkward, but IIRC I could have put one on my Canons with an adaptor. Getting a Pentax body and keeping *three* systems on the run might be a bit enthusiastic, though. If only Nikon had a shorter flange distance... (then we wouldn't be able to mount Nikkors to Canons, but I'd be able to fit more stuff to my D700).
  27. I'm waiting for a 35mm f/1.4 AF-S lens for my D700. If the MF version wasn't so expensive I'd probably buy it instead.
  28. It seems that most people waits for a 35mm/1.4 AF-S... so am I! I can sign a pre-contract with Nikon that I'll buy it, just to be the same optical quality with 24/1.4.
    I understand Shun's point regarding 180/2.8. It is so lightweight and so affordable that a remodeled version with AF-S and VR will destroy it's advantages. I have it and I also have 70-200VRI but my workhorse is the 180. It seems that I have steady hands because I do not need VR on it and it provides always a magic output, while is much smaller and does not give back pains like the zoom.
    The only wish I have, apart of 35/1.4 is for a UWA prime like a 16 or 18mm/2.8, same optical quality like 14-24/2.8 but smaller size and accepting filters.
  29. Add me to the list of 180 f2.8 VR and 135 F2! Please make them with 77 mm front threads
  30. Good to see nikon *finally* addressing some gaping holes in their lens lineup relative to Canon, no competitor to the 24-105 f/4 and an ageing 85mm f/1.4 was not helping. Still required:

    35mm f/1.4
    180mm f/2.8
  31. Some 1.8's. The people who need AF-S the most are the people with the entry-level cameras, and since we obviously are on a budget, we can't afford all the shiny 1.4's that Nikon has been putting into the market lately.
  32. I want a 17mm PC-E.
  33. Some 1.8's. The people who need AF-S the most are the people with the entry-level cameras, and since we obviously are on a budget, we can't afford all the shiny 1.4's that Nikon has been putting into the market lately.
    Yes! Upgrade the lesser stuff.
    24mm f2.8.
    85mm 1.8 - with reversible hood and rounder aperture.
    135mm 2.8.
    Not a prime but how about a 28-105 3.5-4.5?
  34. I would much like to see an update on the Micro-Nikkor 200/4. It's not that the current one is any bad, really. It's just that since that's about the oldest lens of the bunch, it seems bound to be replaced. And since I'm in the market for one, I find myself in a kind of limbo not knowing what to do.. :) I can do without AF-S and VR, for sure, but nanocoating might come in handy. Also, I don't know how the current (steam driven) 200/4 behaves on digital. Some other old lenses that worked magic on film just aren't up to scratch on digital.
  35. I don't know how the current (steam driven) 200/4 behaves on digital. Some other old lenses that worked magic on film just aren't up to scratch on digital.
    Mats, I wouldn't worry about the optics of the 200mm f/4 AF Micro. Give it a try, chances are that like I you'll be hitting your head against a wall for not getting one sooner.
  36. bmm


    Just coming back to this thread after the weekend (hope you all had a good one)...
    Still surprised at the differing views on the 180, and interested at the response to this issue.
    I guess it begs the broader questions as to whether Nikon has an 'end plan' for a set of lens upgrades or whether it is upgrading opportunistically, that is where there is highest market demand, without intending to move to a complete offer/range of AF-S prime glass and the eventual ending of AF-D production. I simply don't know, but would be interested to find out.
  37. I'd be tempted by the 200 f/4 micro (if I could afford it), but I'm concerned, from reviews, that it trades sharpness for bokeh. If I were a forensic photographer I'd love it, but not so much for artistry. I'm over-stating the problem, but the price of the 200 f/4 makes me picky. A 200 f/4 micro VR that's as sharp as the current one but has smoother bokeh would be tempting, otherwise it's too specialist for me. Meanwhile I'm tempted by the 105, not least because I don't have a VR 100mm-ish lens, but reviews suggest that Canon have the edge and I'm kind of hoping Nikon will do an update.

    I'd be tempted by the 180 f/2.8, but not if it's expensive. A replacement would make me keener to get the old one.

    On the 135 DC front, I'd really like a reasonably apochromatic VR 135 f/2 with a drop-in graduated aperture filter at the optical centre (where the aperture blades currently are) to provide selective weighting of the aperture radius - this could give you gaussian bokeh (nicer than the current efforts from the 135 f/2) without the existing aberration games. It would, of course, be much less convenient to use than the current one, making it even more specialist and harder to sell, so it won't happen, but it would be sweet...

    I might be tempted by a cheap and light replacement for the 20mm f/4. I'd like something more portable than the 14-24 or 16-35, and I'm not willing to pay 20 f/2.8 money. Of course, there's no cross-over interest with DX because of the kit zoom, so that won't happen either.
  38. Some 1.8's. The people who need AF-S the most are the people with the entry-level cameras, and since we obviously are on a budget, we can't afford all the shiny 1.4's that Nikon has been putting into the market lately.​
    I have a D700, that I don't consider entry-level, and yet I would definately prefer AF-S over screwdriver AF. It is a lot faster and may very well make the difference between in or out of focus.
  39. I want a 400mm f/5.6 with or without VR.
  40. 400mm f/5.6 and a 300mm f/4 VR. Wouldn't mind a 35mm f/1.4 as well. And I'm in the same camp as Shun - I would rather have a zoom than a 180mm f/2.8 prime.

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