Nikon Introduces 18-140mm DX AF-S VR, SB-300 Flash, and Coolpix L620

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by shuncheung, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Here is Nikon's summer 2013 new product announcement, and no, there is no D400.
    This is a fairly small announcement:
    • 18-140mm/f3.5-5.6 DX AF-S VR: Just when you think there are enough variations of those 18-nnn zooms, here is one more. This is the new VR version of the discontinued 18-135mm DX kit lens, with a metal lens mount and a relatively high US$599.95 price tag. I have never even seen this lens, but the higher price point usually means better image quality, hopefully between than those plastic-mount lenses and on par with the 16-85mm DX AF-S VR zoom.
    • SB-300 speedlight: This is essentially the DSLR and (high-end) Coolpix version of the SB-N7 flash for the Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras. It has a tilt angle for up to 120 degrees and uses two AAA batteries. There is no zoom head so that the coverage of the flash is fixed to the angle of view for 27mm FX or 18mm DX. The SB-300 is i-TTL compatible but not part of the CLS system; i.e. it cannot be a slave in a Nikon CLS set up. As you can see from the image below; the controls are very simple, mainy just an on/off switch. The rest of the controls are from the camera body. The guide number is 18/59 @ ISO 100 meters/feet. The price is $149.95.
    • Coolpix L620 with a 18.1MP CMOS sensor and a 14x zoom, 25-250350mm equivalent. $249.95.
    The lens and the flash should be available later on in August. The Coolpix L620 is expected in September.
    Whether there will be additional announcements in the following month or two remains to be seen. Since there is no Photokina in 2013, Nikon is not limited by any major show schedule this summer.
    All images are Nikon news images that they sent us to distribute. Copyright Nikon Inc.

    [​IMG]
    Nikon 18-140mm DX AF-S VR
    [​IMG]
    SB-300 front/side view
    [​IMG]
    SB-300 back side
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  3. the 18-140 looks like it should have been the kit lens for the d7100. wonder why nikon didnt release it with the camera body...
    the sb-300 looks like an sb-400 with more bounce/swivel options.
     
  4. I was guessing the 16-85mm 3.5/5.6 or 17-55mm 2.8 might have been due for an upgrade sooner than a 5mm extension of the old 18-135mm lens. That extra 5mm is not going to make that far-off Tiger much bigger!
    Eric, maybe it's the kit lens for the D400? Ho Ho!
    If this new lens was a constant f4 @ about $900, I'd be slightly interested.....but it's not. Another example of Nikon not making fast, Pro DX glass and re-enforcing it's 'beginner', amateur status. That's not to say perfectly 'Pro' pics can't be taken with DX cameras, just with someone else's lenses.
    I thought the whole DX ethos was smaller, lighter lenses or fast lenses the same size as slow FX lenses, and therefore cheaper? If Sigma can make an 'affordable' 18-35mm f1.8 DX, what are Nikon doing??
    Hope there's more to come soon.
     
  5. Just when you think there are enough variations of those 18-nnn zooms, here is one more.​
    You read my mind.... except, all the other variations seem to make sense. At $600, this one makes no sense at all, unless they immediately stop selling the 18-200VR, and upgrade the 16-85VR to a more enthusiast spec lens. But as it is now, it's filling a hole in the line-up so tiny nobody knew it existed...
    SB300 looks neat, and useful, though (won't get one, but will probably recommend it others more than once).
     
  6. Eric, maybe it's the kit lens for the D400? Ho Ho!​
    gee, i hope not. if nikon had any balls, they'd put out a d400 with a 17-55/2.8 refresh -- let's say a 17-70/2 VR.
    At $600, this one makes no sense at all, unless they immediately stop selling the 18-200VR, and upgrade the 16-85VR to a more enthusiast spec lens.​
    i'm guessing they upgraded the optics to meet the demands of 24mp DX. The 18-200 was ok during the 6mp era, but got outdated as soon as the 12mp bodies came in. the 16-85 should have been f/4, which would make it immensely more appealing, and set a clear demarcation between 2.8 pro (events/PJ) and f/4 (landscape/ casual).
    If Sigma can make an 'affordable' 18-35mm f1.8 DX, what are Nikon doing??​
    A mid-end lens with kit lens specs is kind of like runny porridge, as far as the excitement level goes. even if it's super sharp, it's still slow on the long end. maybe that flash will come in handy, hmmm.... if i'm upgrading from an 18-105 or 18-55, where do i go, except to (stabilized) third-party 2.8's? gosh, i'm starting to sound like Thom Hogan now.
    The thing is, with new DSLR sales dropping, you've got to do something to keep the people who already have DSLRs interested. i'm not sure nikon has done that here. In fact, it looks like they haven't, at all.
     
  7. Eric, maybe it's the kit lens for the D400? Ho Ho!
    gee, i hope not.​
    Actually, many Nikon users would be happy to have the D400 appear with any kit lens, as long as it appears at all. The D300 was sold at stores such as Costco only in a kit with the 18-200mm, an odd combination given the sturdiness of the body and the flimsiness of the lens.
    About SB-300: does it swivel? It doesn't look it.
     
  8. Hector, the SB-N7 doesn't swivel, and the SB-300 looks like the exact same flash except for the hot shoe.
    Well, not exactly the same flash. The SB-N7 comes with the SW-N7 diffuser panel, and the flash includes small divots on the sides of the flash head use to mount or stow the panel. The SB-300 doesn't have that. I wonder why not?
     
  9. Interesting. I already am pretty sure I'd rather have a 16-85 than that 18-140, though... just me, maybe...
     
  10. The flash would be nice for travel. You could simply stick a radio trigger on it for off camera use.
    Kent in SD
     
    • Flash color temperature information communication transmits flash color temperature information to the camera for optimal white balance control when a digital-SLR camera is used.
    You mean it changes the cameras WB to FLASH?
    • FV lock function with which flash volume is determined based on monitor flashes and saved so that composition may be changed while maintaining the flash value (not supported by D5200, D5100, D5000, D3200, D3100, D3000, D60, or D40-series cameras;* among COOLPIX cameras, only supported by the COOLPIX A)
    So, how does that tally with...
    'Developed for use by even those using an external flash for the first time'​
    Their first DSLR is FX or a D7000 series and they're going to put an SB-300 on it? Right!! Not forgetting.....
    • Advanced Wireless Lighting is not supported.
    What a mixed bag of compatibility!

    * Does that mean it will with my D50, D80, D90 and D300?
     
  11. I like the flash. I'll probably buy one and sell my SB400.
     
  12. Coolpix L620 with a 18.1MP CMOS sensor and a 14x zoom, 25-250mm equivalent.​
    Just for pedantry reasons, 25-250 is a 10x zoom, not 14x. Something doesn't make sense.

    Otherwise, nothing of interest to me, but Nikon are allowed to release products for other people occasionally, so I'll let them off. Besides, I need to buy a Sigma USB connector so I can stop my 35mm f/1.4 being useless with phase-detect AF, so my disposable income for buying Nikon products is temporarily lacking.

    Edit: DPReview report it as 25-350, which is indeed 14x. I assume the 250 was a typo?
     
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Andrew, make the L620's lens a 25-350mm equivalent. Sorry about the typo.
     
  14. I wonder what the asking price of the SB-300 will be in England? In the UK, you'd get, maybe £65 for a 2nd hand SB-400.
    I quite like the Meike MK-300 for £39.... no swivel or bounce though. Just a curious/weird looking strobe option in Hz and full to 1/128th power adjustment and i-TTL connectivity (not sure about that claim?) and a mini-USB interface.
     
  15. Considering there's an 18-105 and an 18-200, I don't get the point of an 18-140 (other than the metal mount).
     
  16. Considering there's an 18-105 and an 18-200, I don't get the point of an 18-140 (other than the metal mount).​
    The 18-200 is more than twice the price of the 18-105. The 18-140 sits in the middle, price-wise.
     
  17. Both 18-105 and 18-200 are quite soft at their long ends so IMO they are quite out of date at this point with 24MP DX being the norm. A 18-140 if it gives okay quality at 140mm would be very useful as the one other good slow standard zoom that Nikon makes for DX (the 16-85) is only 85mm at the long end (though that lens is very good). The 70-200's of course offer excellent quality but at a higher cost. The fact that the new 18-140 is priced similarly to the 16-85 suggests that it may be of comparable quality, which would make it a better choice for many DX shooters with 24MP cameras but who have a tight budget.
     
  18. DRPeview is hinting the 18-140 will be packaged with an as-yet-non-existent body. so maybe it is the d400 kit lens.
    I need to buy a Sigma USB connector so I can stop my 35mm f/1.4 being useless with phase-detect AF, so my disposable income for buying Nikon products is temporarily lacking.​
    andrew, can you say more? what body are you using the 35 on?
     
  19. Hi Eric. Apologies for diverting the thread... The (new) Sigma 35 f/1.4 is on my D800E, and it appears to have very heavy distance-dependent AF tuning issues. In other words, setting AF fine tune for one distance makes it wildly wrong for another distance. The lens is tack sharp if I use live view to focus, but that's not really what I had in mind for a low light lens. I'm hoping the Sigma dock I've just ordered will let me fix it. I've also had the AF stop working until I removed and remounted the lens - similar to AF misbehaviour issues seen by another poster a few weeks ago; I suspect this is because Sigma use steel contact pins rather than the gold plated ones that Nikon use. I'll try cleaning them, but at least the problem went away after a remount.

    For what it's worth, I believe my 14-24 is showing more field curvature than might be expected, even though Nikon have checked it out specifically for this issue and claim it's ok, and this makes me suspicious that my camera's flange distance may be out of tolerance - a problem reported by another D800 owner last year. I need to take some more photos to confirm whether I'm imagining the field curvature, but if there's something weird going on then it might be throwing the Sigma off. I've only been trying to focus (so far) with the centre point, but I'm not yet entirely blaming the lens. Still, the behaviour I've seen so far is inconvenient - I have several blurry low-light shots from a family wedding last week that are clearly AF misses. Fortunately my 200 f/2 and 50 f/1.8 (with an entertaining price disparity) saved me for speeches and the first dance, so all was not lost. Obviously, nothing Nikon announced today would have helped. :)
     
  20. I like the flash. I'll probably buy one and sell my SB400.​
    According to Thom Hogan, the 300 is less powerful than the 400, which i have and like.
    @Andrew, thanks for the explain.
    setting AF fine tune for one distance makes it wildly wrong for another distance.​
    That's the problem with AF fine tune, isnt it? let us know how the USB Dock thingy works out,ok?
    I've also had the AF stop working until I removed and remounted the lens​
    this happens occasionally to me with my d300s, but it's happened with third party lenses as well as my 70-200 VR II. i dont think ive ever experienced that with the D3s.
     
  21. let's say a 17-70/2 VR.

    Can you imagine that? Seems that will be all we can do Eric.
     
  22. The lack of lens innovation from Nikon is really getting depressing.
    Would anyone really buy this as a stand alone lens?
    Kit lens ebay fodder - nothing more.
    The D7100 is an outstanding camera with no Nikon DX lens support.
    Sad.
    Thank god for Sigma.
     
  23. lwg

    lwg

    Andrew, the Sigma Dock did fix my 35mm f/1.4 on the D800E. I hope it fixes yours.
    I would love to see a D400, and it would make sense to have decent kit lens with it. So I have hope that the 18-140mm is optically excellent. But with how slow it is I suspect it's already diffraction limited on a 24mp DX sensor even wide open.
     
  24. this just shows how far we've come since 2007, when the 18-135 was introduced with the d80: VR and 5mm. hope the nikon engineers didnt lose any sleep designing this.
     
  25. > http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/zoom/normalzoom/af-s_dx_18-140mmf_35-56g_ed_vr/index.htm
    > Gotta say, those MTF graphs aren't great at the wider end. Tele looks pretty good though.
    Yep, nothing particularly impressive, but this is kit lens evolution. I guess the main reason for this one was Canon's 18-135 IS. Nikon's marketing department couldn't put up with Canon having a longer one. They must've had this envy problem ever since the 18-105VR came out shorter.
    Don't worry, they will sell truckloads of them, most of them in kits for about half the official price ;)
     
  26. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    gee, i hope not. if nikon had any balls, they'd put out a d400 with a 17-55/2.8 refresh -- let's say a 17-70/2 VR.​
    Eric, as I have pointed out many times, high-end DX was discontinued back in 2007, at the end of the D2 era. Pro-sumer DX ended with the Canon 7D and Nikon D300/D300S; they are all over 4 years old and if there were any update to them, they should have happened 2, 3 years ago. In particular, the D300S, with 2007 technology from the D300, was officially discontinued in 2011. You don't discontinue a product, wait a few years and then introduce its successor. If that market segment is viable, you maintain it continuously.
    When Canon announced the 70D a month ago, its specs makes it very clear that Canon has no intension for any 7D Mark II. Likewise, the D7100 is so good that any D400, as a successor to the D300S, no longer makes sense. I pointed those out on this thread after the 70D's introduction: http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00bnBg; see my post on July 8, 10:15am.
    The $1800 to $2100 DSLR market segment now belongs to FX, which Nikon is promoting heavily with the D600 and matching lenses.
    I wouldn't expect any high-end DX lens such as an upgrade for the 17-55mm/f2.8, and that is why Sigma's 18-35mm/f1.8 DX lens will have few matching bodies from Canon and Nikon.
    DX is still alive and well, but it is now mainly a consumer format, i.e. $1200 and below. The new 18-140mm DX lens fits that trend and so does the SB-300 flash, which has the same limitation as the SB-400 with no tilting in the vertical orientation.
    I expect the next DX DSLR from Nikon to be the successor to the D3200; that line is refreshed every year to year and half with minor changes. Most likely the D4 will also see a minor upgrade prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics in February.
     
  27. I'm not sure how this stuff fits in the market. There's already the 18-105, 18-200, 18-300 and the 16-85, and now an 18-
    140. How is that going to stand out in the crowded field of variable aperture zooms? Unless it's clearly optically better
    than the 18-105 (to justify the price) and 18-200, and is really an alternative to the 16-85? I don't really get it. And how
    different is this flash from the SB400? That's selling for $120. What does the 300 get you that the 400 doesn't?
     
  28. You don't discontinue a product, wait a few years and then introduce its successor. If that market segment is viable, you maintain it continuously.​
    It is a viable market segment, it's just been ignored by nikon. Let's not pretend that nikon's marketing dept. always makes decisions which are logical and rational and make sense to its consumer base. Part of the reason i am still shooting with a D300s is that no viable successor has yet been released. The d7100 comes close, mainly because of the AF module, but... i dont necessarily need 24 mp DX (16-18 would be fine; that's enough to crop), and... i do need the bigger body and external controls the d300s has, because i occasionally stick a 70-200 on there and shoot live concerts, which requires fast frame rates and large buffers.
     
  29. Irrespective of whether a direct D300 or 7D successor is produced (I do believe there's a market, Nikon may simply be waiting for technology to fill it) I can't imagine that an f/3.5-5.6 zoom is going to be considered an appropriate "kit lens" to go with it, Nikon's attempts to ditch the old 24-120 with the D700 notwithstanding. If there's a "kit lens", I'd expect an f/4 lens in the 18-70 range to pair with the 70-200 f/4 - or a refresh to the existing f/2.8 DX, of course. Apart from the shameful 24-120 shifting business, I'm not sure that Nikon have been in the habit of providing their professional camera line (and, unlike the D600, I am thinking of a "D400" in the style that people seem to want as being a pro camera) with kit lenses anyway. You're a pro - you're supposed to buy the lenses you want, possibly discounted when bought together with the camera, but not as a "kit" as such.

    But I'm no expert on DX systems. I'd expect a 300 f/4, 135 f/2, 70-200 and 24-70 refresh (and some tilt-shifts) to be more urgent than trying to make a DX high-end kit zoom.
     
  30. Nikon only has two pro DX lenses that I know of (12-24, 17-55), neither of which were bundled with bodies AFAIK. If memory serves, the D200 was commonly paired with the variable aperture 18-70 lens.
     
  31. Alex - I could believe that (though I was a Canon shooter at that time and didn't follow Nikon so closely). However, I tend to think that the D200 was less of a "pro camera" than the D300 was, though I concede that it's on Nikon's official "pro cameras" list (AFAICT). The D2x was very much on its own as high end, and the D300 was arguably a successor to both the D2x and D200. I've always assumed that, when people ask for a "D400", they want something at the high end of the DX bracket - if anything, a D2x successor or a D4 with a DX sensor - and that the customers likely to make the most of a bundled lens are those likely to be very happy with a D7100 or lower. A kit lens is most useful for someone new to a system, whereas pros might be expected to have - or know how to acquire - their own lens collection. But I could be completely wrong on all these counts. (Which reminds me, I must try my 28-80 on my D800...)
     
  32. It's disappointing that nikon not working on DX and FX on the same time. Many FX lenses need upgrade, IMHO and the pace is slow.
     
  33. Absolutely a D400, as requested, would be at the high end of the DX range. Just like the D300/D300s were (and the D200 was certainly close to the top). But that hasn't stopped Nikon from pairing them with cheapie lenses. Both the D200 and D300 are shown on Nikon USA's site with the 18-200. Adorama even has a D300s + 18-200 kit advertised at $2,600.
     
  34. Alex: Then my bad - because I'd not generally seen the FX bodies (possibly before the D600) bundled with a lens, excluding the 24-120 box-shifting incident, I'd thought the same was true of DX (though I suspect it was true of the single-digit series). I'd make that assumption of a "D400" that's a "D2x successor" (D4dx, if you will), but I guess if it were really positioned at the D300/D600 "first Nikon" level then it could happen. I suspect I've now annoyed Shun enough that I should shut up. :)

    Edward: I'm sure they're working on them. I suspect they need to spread the announcements a bit. It's true that some Nikkors are a bit long in the tooth - something I feel better about admitting now I've ditched my 135 DC, though if a new 300mm f/4 VR is cheap then I may swear a bit. I look forward to Zeiss's 55mm f/1.4 turning up (interestingly their blog seems to suggest that their new 135 f/2 APO is not part of the same "money no object" range) and putting the cat among the pigeons. Though I've been meaning to start a thread to discuss how Amateur Photographer managed to do a review of lots of 50mm lenses and claim that Canon's 50mm f/1.8 - which as far as I know is almost exactly the same formula as the Nikon AF-D version - is sharper than the f/1.8 AF-S at wide apertures, so maybe normal lenses are a sore point.
     
  35. Still people going on about a D400.
    Seems to me that pros have been using the D3 as a crop-mode camera for a long time judging by the framerate they are using. I am sure Nikon is pleased to sell pros a $6000+ D4 instead of a sub-$2000 D400 for the job...!
     
  36. I wonder what the asking price of the SB-300 will be in England? In the UK, you'd get, maybe £65 for a 2nd hand SB-400.
    I quite like the Meike MK-300 for £39.... no swivel or bounce though. Just a curious/weird looking strobe option in Hz and full to 1/128th power adjustment and i-TTL connectivity (not sure about that claim?) and a mini-USB interface.​
    The SB-300 / SB-N7 are quite tiny for their GN and seem to recycle fast considering the batteries used. Pity no swivel.
    The MK-300 looks quite well made (the design smells like one Canon commander), the price is nice, and the manual control is something Nikon's small units badly lack if one wishes to use them off-camera (don't mention the SB-R200 unless you check its GN and batteries). Unfortunately, the manual power adjustment of the MK-300 seems to be somehow non-linear, and exposure is erratic in TTL also. Conditionally useful - if one doesn't mind adjusting exposure a lot. Has anyone got a clue what that mini-USB is for?
     

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